IN A MEETING with President Obama today, Benjamin Netanyahu went through the familiar motions of expressing rhetorical support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Stating, “I remain committed to a vision of peace of two states for two peoples,” Netanyahu said that he wanted “make it clear that we have not given up our hope,” for achieving a two-state solution to the conflict. Just a day before this statement, however, the Israeli government took steps to ensure such a vision could never become reality, moving to authorize the construction of an additional 2,200 housing units in the occupied territories in the face of Palestinian opposition.
The reason behind this apparent discrepancy between word and deed is that Netanyahu does not, and has essentially never, supported the creation of an actual Palestinian state. Last year, during the Israeli election, Netanyahu briefly acknowledged this fact himself, explicitly stating to voters that there would not be a Palestinian state during his tenure as prime minister if he was reelected. Despite this, the convenient fiction that the Israeli prime minister supports a “two-state solution” continues to linger in the United States. Why?
In his 2000 book, A Durable Peace, Netanyahu outlined his vision for any future self-governing Palestinian territory, one that bore little resemblance to actual statehood. “Many in the world have blithely accepted the notion that the Palestinians must have their own independent state,” Netanyahu wrote. “When I am asked about a Palestinian state, I answer in the negative.” Instead of statehood, Netanyahu proposed the creation of a “Palestinian entity,” a governing body with some rights of limited self-governance but not full independence.
In a video recorded the year following the release of the book, Netanyahu bragged that during his first term as prime minister, from 1996 to 1999, he had “de facto put an end to the Oslo Accords,” the agreement that had been negotiated with the Palestinians by his predecessor, and which intended to create a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
For many years, this brazen opposition to Palestinian statehood remained Netanyahu’s public position. While he moved on to other pursuits, including helping pitch the Iraq War to the U.S. Congress, his stance on Palestinian self-governance remained more or less static. Indeed, in the absence of any American pressure, a public evolution on this issue was not even necessary.
In 2009, however, that began to change. In June of that year, newly elected President Barack Obama, who had made rebuilding ties with the Muslim world a part of his foreign policy platform, gave a landmark speech in Cairo in which he said the United States “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements,” going on to describe them as contrary to previous agreements and an impediment to peace in the region.
Israeli media would report at the time that Obama’s words “resonated through Jerusalem’s corridors.” In seeming recognition of shifting American sentiments on this issue, 10 days later Netanyahu gave what was billed as a landmark speech at Bar-Ilan University near Tel-Aviv, dealing in part with the subject of Palestinian statehood.
In his address, hailed by the White House as an “important step forward,” Netanyahu endorsed for the first time the creation of what he called “a demilitarized Palestinian state” in the occupied territories. But the same speech added stipulations that, in sum, turned this so-called state into a rebranded version of Netanyahu’s 2000 “Palestinian entity,” with only limited autonomy. In private, just three months before the speech, Netanyahu was even more blunt about the limits he required for a more independent Palestinian territory, stipulating he could only support one “without an army or control over air space and borders,” according to diplomatic cables later released by WikiLeaks.
In a speech two years later to Congress, Netanyahu would go into more detail about the ridiculous conception of Palestinian “statehood” he was imagining, one in which the West Bank would be essentially bifurcated by massive Israeli settlement blocs, the prospective Palestinian capital of East Jerusalem would be surrounded by settlements, and the Israeli Defense Forces would continue to have “a long-term military presence” inside the newly independent “state.” Needless to say, such a proposal was unlikely ever to be accepted by the Palestinians, nor did it bear much resemblance to the independent statehood they had actually been seeking.
Netanyahu let the mask drop even further in July 2014, when he stated in a press conference that “there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan,” essentially outlining a position of permanent military occupation of Palestinian territories. In the run-up to the 2015 election, when he publicly disowned the idea of Palestinian statehood, Netanyahu would specifically repudiate his 2009 Bar-Ilan speech, stating that “there will be no withdrawals and no concessions,” and that the speech was “not relevant.” As recently as last week, Netanyahu told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that “we need to control all of the territory for the foreseeable future,” before adding darkly that Israel “will forever live by the sword.”
In light of all this, it’s difficult to take seriously Netanyahu’s most recent claim that he supports the creation of a Palestinian state. At best, he has in the past expressed support for a Palestinian “entity” with some features of self-governance (an idea that has well-known historical precedents), but certainly not one that affords genuine independence, freedom or statehood to its inhabitants. At his most brazen, he has denied the possibility of even that limited form of self-determination, stating bluntly that Israel will control the entire West Bank and keep its inhabitants under indefinite military subjugation.
Netanyahu has nonetheless been allowed to maintain a convenient fiction that he supports the negotiated goal of Palestinian self-determination. In reality, he has never really supported it. Thanks in large part to Netanyahu’s leadership, a Palestinian state will likely never emerge. Due to his own obstinance, as well as American indulgence, a binational state or a formalized Apartheid regime have now become the most probable remaining outcomes to this disastrous, decades-long conflict.
The post Netanyahu Has Never Actually Supported a Palestinian State, Despite What He Told Obama appeared first on The Intercept.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ordered the NSA to immediately stop vacuuming up domestic telephone records on Monday, writing that “the loss of constitutional freedoms for even one day is significant harm.”
But the order was limited to one plaintiff in the case: a California lawyer and his law firm.
Even so, the effect could be much more extensive. The government has previously argued that ending the collection of just one person’s telephone information records would be so technically challenging that it would be forced to shut the entire program down. On Monday afternoon, Department of Justice spokesperson Nicole Navas would only say that “the government is reviewing the decision.”
The NSA was already rushing to make its Congressionally mandated November 29 deadline to shut down the program and replace it with something more targeted.
An NSA order leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013 showed the FBI asking Verizon Business Network Services for three months’ worth of information about Americans’ phone calls: who’s calling who, when, and for how long. That was the first time the public learned of what became known as the bulk telephony metadata program.
Leon’s preliminary injunction ordered the NSA to stop collecting records of attorney J.J. Little and his firm — the only plaintiffs who were customers of that particular company — and segregate any such metadata it had previously collected.
The bulk telephony metadata program, which the NSA said was authorized under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, included many other providers as well, but those have not been acknowledged by the government.
Congress decided to end the bulk collection program when it passed the USA Freedom Act in June, but gave the NSA 180 days to end it for good.
Leon’s order would force the NSA to stop spying on Little and his firm three weeks early — and maybe everyone else, too.
Leon had previously enjoined the program in 2013, declaring it “almost Orwellian,” but stayed his own order pending appeal “in light of the national security interests at stake and the novelty of the constitutional issues raised,” he wrote in Monday’s decision.
“I did so with the optimistic hope that the appeals process would move expeditiously,” he wrote. “However, because it has been almost two years since I first found that the NSA’s Bulk Telephony Metadata Program likely violates the Constitution and because the loss of constitutional freedoms for even one day is significant harm … I will not do so today.”
Leon noted the government’s position: that “the immediate cessation of collection of or analytic access to metadata associated with plaintiffs’ telephone numbers … would require the NSA to terminate the program altogether.” But he indicated that was not his problem. “Unfortunately for the government the court does not have much sympathy for these last-minute arguments,” he wrote.
The NSA can appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which previously ruled against halting the program because the plaintiffs could not prove their records were collected. Now, after Little was added as a plaintiff, that obstacle has been removed.
“Judge Leon’s decision is a testament to the importance of the rule of law,” said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program. “This is an illegal program that violates the privacy of millions of Americans. It should not continue for another minute, let alone another three weeks. Judge’s Leon’s commitment to upholding the Constitution stands in stark contrast to the executive branch and FISA Court, which have been all too willing to play fast and loose with the law.”
The post Judge Throws Wrench in Gears of Nearly Dead NSA Phone-Records Program appeared first on The Intercept.
James Bond is doomed. But his undoing will not come from the Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion, or Ernst Stavro Blofeld, or a jilted Bond girl.
Bond is doomed because early in the movie Spectre, the otherwise benevolent Q, muttering something about nanotechnology and microchips, injects him with “smart blood.”
“Smart blood,” Q tells us, allows MI6 to track Bond absolutely anywhere he goes in the entire world. Presumably it turns his circulatory system into a radio, battery, and powerful antenna all in one, and is irreversible. For Bond, constantly broadcasting his location makes it virtually impossible to sneak around.
Sure, in Spectre, he manages to slip off the grid temporarily — thanks to Q’s plot-friendly indulgence. But long term? Even assuming that only MI6 can lock onto his bloody beacon and that MI6 can’t be hacked, his bosses will still always know where he is. And trusting in the security of government computer systems, as the movie demonstrates, is probably not a good idea.
There is no such thing as “smart blood,” of course. But it’s a pretty good metaphor for those omnipresent tracking devices that, in real life, have become a de facto extension of our bodies: our phones.
Most of us have no choice any longer but to carry mobile phones, even though they rob us of our locational privacy. For Bond, his very blood now robs him of his M.O. Smart blood equals geospatial emasculation.
And there’s another way that Spectre makes a valuable contribution to the typically staid public discourse about the surveillance state.
The standard inside-the-Beltway arguments about surveillance assume there’s a tradeoff between national security and privacy. But Spectre emphatically asserts that you can do more harm with total information than you can good.
Knowing everything about everyone is actually of limited use to the good guys. But it’s hugely useful to the bad guys — be they extortionists, terrorists, or power-mad bureaucrats. And if it’s collected, somewhere, be assured the bad guys can get their hands on it.
While Bond is pursuing his super-villain, his boss M wages a losing bureaucratic war with C, who’s more of an NSA/GCHQ type. M inevitably describes the massive surveillance network that C is building as “George Orwell’s worst nightmare.” In response, C literally laughs at M’s devotion to the quaint notion of “democracy.” Subtle it ain’t, but the central point — that ubiquitous surveillance is an inevitably totalitarian tool, not just inappropriate for democratic society, but actively inimical to it — is often underappreciated in the current debate.
The timing of the movie is extraordinarily propitious, especially in Britain, which is already much more of a surveillance state than the U.S. — with one surveillance camera for every 11 people. A draft Investigatory Powers Bill unveiled just last week would institutionalize profound invasions of privacy, from snooping on domestic web-browsing histories to bulk hacking.
Way back in 1998, science-fiction author David Brin published a influential non-fiction book called The Transparent Society in which he argues that limiting the collection of information is futile, and that therefore the only solution is to share the powers of surveillance with the citizenry — enabling the public to watch the government as well as the government watches the public. It’s a nice idea, but so unrealistic that Spectre’s more dystopian vision actually seems more plausible.
What if mass surveillance by an ostensibly beneficent national government really means that whatever the government collects is de facto transparent to SPECTRE, SMERSH, Kaos, the mob, the cartels, Carlos the Jackal, ISIS, and Vladimir Putin?
M is an imperfect messenger, calling as he does for a return to the traditional core value of assassination mano a mano — but he makes a powerful argument, on purely pragmatic terms: “All the surveillance in the world can’t tell you what to do next.”
The movie also shows us what kind of hero we need to prevent such a dystopian future — and it isn’t Bond. It’s Q, who bears a striking resemblance to Edward Snowden.
Sure, Q starts off by forever damning Bond to life as a radio antenna on a virtual tether, but he turns out to be a geek with an unshakeable moral center. With his heavily be-stickered laptop, he transforms in Spectre from outfitter of nifty death machines to white-hat hacker, singlehandedly bringing down a surveillance network that threatens the free world.
Nein zu Olympia! Die Spiele der Reichen verhindern!
Demo | Samstag | 21.11. | 16 Uhr | Hbf
Hier unser Mobiclip:
Feuer und Flamme gegen Olympia 2024!
Die Stadt Hamburg möchte 2024 die Olympischen Spiele hier in unserer Stadt austragen. So möchte man sich in der internationalen Konkurrenz zwischen den verschiedenen Metropolen weiter nach vorne bringen. Profitieren werden davon bloß einige wenige, während dieses aufgeblasene Riesenevent für die breite Masse der in Hamburg lebenden Menschen überhaupt keine Vorteile bringt. Im Gegenteil: für viele wird das Leben dadurch sogar noch schlechter.
Mit fast 3,3 Millionen Unterschriften im Rücken fordert eine europäische Bürgerinitiative das Aus für die geplanten Handelsabkommen Europas mit Nordamerika. Am Montag nahm EU-Parlamentspräsident Martin Schulz (SPD) in Berlin eine aktualisierte Unterschriftenliste der Organisation „Stop TTIP“ entgegen.
Das mehr als 500 Organisationen umfassende Bündnis sammelte innerhalb eines Jahres so viele Unterstützer wie niemals zuvor bei einer vergleichbaren Bürgerinitiative in Europa. „Dieser große Erfolg zeigt deutlich, wie stark der Widerstand gegen TTIP und CETA in ganz Europa ist“, sagte deren Sprecher Karl Bär.
Die EU-Kommission hatte „Stop TTIP“ im Vorjahr eine Anhörung vor dem EU-Parlament verweigert eine Bürgerinitiative dürfe nicht negativ formuliert
Kataloniens Parlament hat mit der Verabschiedung einer Resolution einen Prozess zur Abspaltung der Region von Spanien eingeleitet. Die Abgeordneten des Regionalparlaments in Barcelona billigten am Montag mit 72 zu 63 Stimmen einen Text, der den Beginn der Schaffung eines unabhängigen Staates markieren soll.
Für die Resolution stimmten die separatistische Allianz Junts pel Sí (Gemeinsam fürs Ja) des katalanischen Ministerpräsidenten Artur Mas und die Linkspartei CUP. Die Madrider Zentralregierung hatte angekündigt, die Entschließung sofort durch eine Verfassungsklage anfechten zu lassen.
Am Donnerstag hatte das spanische Verfassungsgericht (TC) in Madrid die Abstimmung des katalonischen Parlaments über die umstrittene Resolution für zulässig erklärt. Die Richter
After provoking outrage from civil rights groups, the FBI has reportedly delayed the rollout of an interactive website designed to help schoolteachers identify students on the verge of turning into a radical extremist.
The program, called “Don’t Be a Puppet,” described in a recent New York Times report as “a series of games and tips intended to teach how to identify someone who may be falling prey to radical extremists,” was to launch last week. But the launch has been put on hold, the Washington Post says, after blowback from critics who said it discriminated based on race and religion and that it focused on Islamic extremism while ignoring the far more prevalent forms of violence facing young people in American schools.
The FBI’s pause offers the bureau an opportunity to take stock of its efforts to detect extremism in children and to look at the blowback such efforts have engendered in the United Kingdom. Some experts suggest that the agency should scale back its efforts or scrap them entirely.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), one of the organizations that had been invited to first screen the program last month, praised its suspension, saying that it had “improperly characterized American Muslims as a suspect community,” and would have contributed to “bullying, bias, and religious profiling” of Muslim students if implemented in the classroom.
The idea of profiling students and young people as possible future extremists is not new. This February, The Intercept published internal government documents revealing that the National Counterterrorism Center developed questionnaires, described in a May 2014 document, to allow teachers and social service workers to rate the extent to which children, families, or entire communities might be at risk for “radicalization.”
The United Kingdom has even more experience attempting to root out potential future terrorists in the school system. Beginning as early as toddler age, British teachers are asked to help gauge whether any of the children in their care may be showing signs of potential extremism, although that term has not been clearly defined. As part of this effort, schools have been provided with questionnaires, training and even “anti-radicalization software,” for use in classrooms to help identify students believed to be at risk. Public support for such measures has increased following reports in recent months of British schoolchildren leaving home to join the Islamic State, including three teenage girls who joined the group in Syria this February.
But experts warn that such policies risk stigmatizing young students without actually combatting radicalization. “The social science of radicalization tells us that there is no set of indicators that can be used to predict who is at risk of becoming a terrorist,” says Arun Kundnani, a British researcher on radicalization and professor at New York University. The lack of any objective criteria about what constitutes radical behavior, “makes testing school students for signs of extremism both absurd and dangerous,” while risking the criminalization of legitimate forms of expression by students.
Furthermore, according to Kundnani, asking teachers to do law enforcement work “fosters an atmosphere of suspicion against Muslim students and undermines norms of confidentiality and trust between young people and the professionals who work with them.”
Yahya Birt, a British academic and researcher on radicalization, also criticized the implementation of counter-radicalization programs in educational institutions, saying that since the government began making such programs mandatory in Britain this year, “we have begun to hear more cases about students being reported, and of profiling being run through schools.”
And indeed the British press in recent months has included stories of Muslim students being taken aside and questioned for expressing support for political causes, including environmental activism, as well as for conducting academic research into terrorism. According to Birt, there is a burgeoning civil society backlash brewing over these cases. “Some resistance is developing among parent groups and universities and even concerned police officers,” he said, “but we are about to get a new anti-extremism bill that is likely going to make matters even worse.”
In the U.S., where ISIS’ message has resonated with at least some young people, one potential path for the FBI is to simply scrap any school-based efforts at preventing the recruitment of children by extremists. Critics argue that bullying is much a greater danger to children than extremist recruiting, and that programs like “Don’t Be a Puppet” will exacerbate the problem. More than half of Muslim students in the California school system experienced bullying and discrimination based on their religious background during the 2014 school year, according to an October study by the California chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations.
“Part of the FBI’s mandate is to fight bullying, but programs designed to identify potentially radicalized children in schools would almost certainly increase it,” says Naureen Shah, a director at Amnesty International. Such programs, she adds, “create a line between Muslim and Arab students and their peers, marking out for such kids that in order to be safe they have to be apolitical, and that they should expect to have less of a right to freedom of speech and expression than others.”
But it might be possible for the FBI to repackage counter- “radicalization” efforts so they’re less susceptible to abuse and less likely to produce blowback.
“Education about radicalization should be placed under a larger rubric of internet safety,” says Seamus Hughes, a former National Counterterrorism Center official, now helping to steer George Washington University’s research program on extremism. “Alongside training for teachers about dangers online such as sexting, online bullying and child predators, there could be added a small component on how violent extremists use social media to propagate their message.” Stressing that any classroom component to countering radicalization must take pains to avoid hysteria and prejudice, Hughes also said that the threat of groups like ISIS in the United States is not large enough to warrant a national program on school radicalization, arguing instead that the issue would be better served by a “discrete, case-by-case, localized approach.”
The post How U.S. Schools Can Avoid Britain’s Problems with Radicalization Screening appeared first on The Intercept.
Das neue deutsche Großmachtstreben und die Medien
Von MATTHIAS RUDE, 09. November 2015 -
Vor einigen Wochen warf Die Zeit die Frage auf: „Wer vertraut uns noch?“ Deutsche Journalisten sähen sich derzeit, so der Autor des Artikels, Götz Hamann, einem „Empörungsrausch“ ausgesetzt, etwa was die Berichterstattung über die Ukraine und Russland angeht, aber auch bei anderen Themen. So sei jemand bei der FAZ, der sich für Vorratsdatenspeicherung ausgesprochen hatte, als „Sprachrohr der Polizeilobby“ tituliert worden. Eine von der Wochenzeitung in Auftrag gegebene repräsentative Umfrage kam im Mai 2014 zum Ergebnis,
Polen will nicht die Idee von der Großen Rzeczpospolita, die laut Jósef Pilsudski vom Schwarzen Meer bis zur Ostsee reichen soll (Międzymorze), nicht aufgeben. Und der erste Schritt in dieser Richtung soll die Wiedergewinnung der Kresy (Kresy Wschodnie) sein. Die Kresy sind Teil der heutigen Westukraine und zwar sind das die Oblaste Wolhynien, Iwano-Frankiwsk, Lwiw, Riwne und Ternopil. Bis 1939 gehörten diese Gebiete der Zweiten Polnischen Republik. Laut dem Chef der Organisation Restitucija Kresow, Konrad Renkas, schuldet die Ukraine dem polnischen Volk mehr als fünf Milliarden Dollar.
Mitglieder der Blauen Division, dem franquistischen Freiwilligen-Bataillon, das während des 2. Weltkrieges mit den Nazis kollaborierte, erhalten seit mehr als einem halben Jahrhundert Pensions-Zahlungen von der Regierung der BRD. Die Zahlungen belaufen sich aktuell aus 100.000 Euro und werden gezahlt an 41 ehemalige Kämpfer, 8 Witwen und einen Waisen. Das steht in der Antwort der Bundesregierung auf eine Anfrage der Fraktion Die Linke. Die linke Formation bezeichnet den Vorgang als „Skandal“.