The Avalanche – Snapshot 14 – May 30, ’18

“Wikipedia disappears article on “Philip Cross” & life-bans author” by ? (Off Guardian)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Wkipedia contributor “Mojito Paraiso” recently tried the experiment of creating an entry for “Philip Cross” the apparently pseudonymous editor/contributor who has been a persistent defamer/disinfo source, making rapid-fire and negative editing of the Wikipedia entries for many alt-media and “pro-Russia” journalists and commentators.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the article was disappeared very rapidly. And in what looks a lot like overkill, Mojito_Paraiso was then banned from editing in perpetuity. Apparently defaming John Pilger, George Galloway, Media Lens etc is acceptable Wikiconduct, but drawing attention to the persona responsible is a banning offence

From MEM:
Bilal Abdul Kareem, an American citizen and journalist working in Syria [Twitter]

“Journalists challenge their inclusion on a US drone ‘kill list’” by ? (Middle East Monitor)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Two journalists have today filed federal court cases in the United States to challenge their inclusion on a classified US “Kill List”, Reprieve said in a statement.

Bilal Abdul Kareem, an American citizen and journalist working in Syria, escaped being killed by drone strike on five occasions, including two strikes on cars he was travelling in. Two additional strikes were executed on his independent news agency, On the Ground News, while he was working in the studio.

Ahmad Zaidan, a senior reporter with Al Jazeera has appeared in a top secret SKYNET document, a US computer programme which has classified him as an Al-Qaeda courier based on “metadata”. Zaidan was the first person to interview Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda’s former leader in the 1990s.

“Bilal and Ahmed are journalists, not terrorists. All they are asking for is the chance to prove it. Yet, the government seeks to deny them that chance. In doing so, he is asking the courts to jettison the very value, which sets America apart from dictatorships and despots – due process,” Jennifer Gibson, head of Reprieve’s drones project, said.

Talk about killing unwanted communication!

*edit, June 15, 2019 – Well, I was fooled. Bilal Abdul Kareem is one of the bad guys. See “Sky News and the Western Press Have Once Again Failed Syria,” by Vanessa Beeley (Mint Press News)

From Briarpatch:
During Nakba Day demonstrations, Palestinian protesters carry keys, symbolizing the homes they have not been allowed to return to. Poster by Waleed Idrees.

“Who will commemorate the Nakba in Canada?” by Morgan Duchesney (Briarpatch)

=== == =
This week marks the anniversary of conflicting narratives: the founding of the Israeli state on May 14, and the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba on May 15. The word Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe) is used by Palestinians and others to describe the period between 1947 and 1949, when over 700,000 indigenous Arabs were driven from their homes during Operation Dalet, to make way for the expansion of the nascent Jewish state of Israel. Since the Nakba is both dismissed and intentionally excluded from the official narrative, most Canadians receive a narrow version of history, one that facilitates the further marginalization of the Palestinian people.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently acknowledged the birth of Israel while blithely ignoring the Nakba, issuing a statement saying that “Canada is proud to stand with Israel. We will continue to oppose efforts to isolate Israel internationally, and work to expand the trade and security relationship between our two countries.” It is Trudeau’s closely guarded trade and “security” relationships that are both cause and symptom of Canada’s cozy relationship with Israel, and the state’s determination to ignore the Nakba.
= == ===

Frankie Boyle

“Frankie Boyle: Your new show betrayed Gaza” by Jonathan Cook (BSNEWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Dear Frankie Boyle,

I’d prefer not to be writing this as an open letter, but you didn’t leave me much choice: I can no longer engage with you on Twitter because you blocked me (and many hundreds of others, it seems) for criticising the first episode of your New World Order TV show on Friday…

There are a number of additional reasons why some of your followers are so angry with you over this episode. Rather than shutting them up, it might have been wise to listen to them.

1. You have spoken in the past about the BBC censuring you for jokes you made that were critical of Israel on the grounds that those jokes were supposedly anti-semitic. Remember what you wrote in an open letter eight years ago, before the media had set up Corbyn as the fall guy rather than you. Then, you stated:

I think the problem here is that the show’s producers will have thought that Israel, an aggressive, terrorist state with a nuclear arsenal, was an appropriate target for satire. The [BBC] Trust’s ruling is essentially a note from their line managers.

It says that if you imagine that a state busily going about the destruction of an entire people is fair game, you are mistaken. Israel is out of bounds.

Well, your prediction is fully vindicated. Now you don’t get censured by the BBC for anti-semitism; instead they pre-emptively censor your jokes on the assumption that they are anti-semitic (see point 2).

2. You admitted in a tweet that BBC executives cut sections of Friday’s show – in violation of promises to you that those segments would be kept in – in which you criticised Israel as apartheid state and spoke out against Israel’s actions in Gaza. It is commendable that you made such comments, and that you have alerted us to the fact that the BBC excised them. It is yet further confirmation that the British state-corporate media is deeply unbalanced and untrustworthy on issues relating to Israel.


“Promoters of Saudi Prince as Feminist Reformer Are Silent on His Crackdown on Women” by Adam Johnson (FAIR)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

During his US PR tour in March, Saudi prince and de facto ruler of the absolute monarchy Mohammed bin Salman (often referred to as “MBS”) touted the progress the kingdom was making in the area of “women’s rights”—namely letting women drive and combatting nebulous reactionary forces that were somehow separate from the regime.

Since then, at least seven major women’s rights advocates—Eman al-Nafjan, Loujain al-Hathloul, Aziz al-Yousef, Aisha al-Manea, Madiha Al-Ajroush, Walaa Al-Shubbar and Hasah Al-Sheikh—have been detained by Saudi authorities and, according to at least one report (Middle East Eye, 5/22/18), may face the death penalty.

Two of the biggest media corners that helped sell bin Salman as a feminist reformer during the trip and the months leading up to it—the New York Times opinion pages and CBS News’ 60 Minutes—have not published any follow-up commentary on bin Salman’s recent crackdown on women’s rights campaigners (Independent, 5/22/18)…

“US Gov’t Silent As Ally Saudi Arabia Kidnaps and Cages Women for Wanting to Drive” by Rachel Blevins (The Free Thought Project)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

When Saudi Arabia announced last year that 2018 would be the year women were finally allowed to drive, the United States treated its close ally as if it was setting the standard for women’s rights. However, now that several of the women who were at the forefront of the movement have been mysteriously arrested before the new law goes into effect, the U.S. has refused to call out the Saudi government…

The United States refused to call out its close ally, and U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert summarized the ordeal by simply saying, “We support space for civil society and also free speech. But overall, we’re concerned about it and we’re keeping a close eye on it.”

The United States’ response is ironic, given the fact that if another country in the Middle East that was not considered a close ally—such as Syria or Iran—was arresting activists for supporting basic women’s rights, the U.S. would be calling for a full-scale invasion to bring that country the “freedom and democracy” it clearly needed, and to overthrow the dictator who was oppressing his people.

However, because Saudi Arabia is a friend of the United States—and it is partnered in the “single largest arms deal in U.S. history,” which guarantees the kingdom $350 billion in weapons over the next 10 years—the U.S. has apparently chosen to turn a blind eye to egregious human rights violations committed by the Saudi government.

“Journalistic Community Slams Kiev’s Ban on Russian media” by ? (Sputnik)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Ukrainian authorities on Thursday blocked the operation of Rossiya Segodnya International News Agency on the country’s territory in a move which Moscow and the international journalistic community have denounced as another step in the censorship and intolerance campaign against an alternative viewpoint.

Earlier on Thursday, Rossiya Segodnya was included in Ukraine’s sanctions list for three years, with the agency’s assets and websites blocked. The restrictions also apply to the RIA Novosti Ukraine portal, whose head, Kirill Vyshinsky, was arrested in Kiev earlier in May, and Россиясегодня.рф,,,, as well as websites.

Kiev has repeatedly limited the activities of Russian news outlets and journalists in Ukraine. In March 2015, Kiev published a list of 115 Russian media outlets, which could be denied or temporarily suspended accreditation by Ukrainian authorities as the outlets “posed threats” to national security. As the regulation came into force, a number of Russian journalists and television reporters were denied entry to Ukraine or deported to Russia, with a number of TV channels banned.

“YouTube restricts video exposing Israeli brutality” by ? (Middle East Monitor)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

YouTube on Wednesday decided to reinstate a video exposing Israel’s brutality towards Palestinians after receiving backlash on social media.

Claiming the content violated its terms of service, the video-sharing platform on Sunday deleted the video, which was posted by Palestinian academic and activist Sana Kassem to pay tribute to Palestinians killed by Israeli forces during recent demonstrations in Gaza.

Renowned American professor and activist Norman Finkelstein reposted the video, which was again removed by YouTube. Finkelstein appealed to YouTube in an email, asking for the reason for its decision.

“They will patiently wait until all the children in Gaza are murdered by Israel. Then they will repost the video,” Finkelstein told Anadolu Agency.

Shortly after his statement to Anadolu Agency, YouTube responded to Finkelstein, telling him they will be reinstating the video but placing it behind an age restriction.

“A Loud Whoompfing Sound”

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