The Avalanche – Snapshot 37 – June 7, ’19

“Why is the Democratic Socialists of America silent on the persecution of Julian Assange?” by Andre Damon (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Last Thursday’s announcement by the US Justice Department of espionage charges against Julian Assange has made clear that the Trump administration’s persecution of the WikiLeaks founder is the spearhead of a drive to overturn the First Amendment’s guarantee of speech and press freedom and criminalize genuine journalism.

So brazen is this attack on democratic rights that even newspapers that have supported internet censorship, defended US war crimes, engaged in character assassination against Assange and supported his indictment on hacking charges felt compelled to warn about the dangerous precedent being set by the use of the Espionage Act to prosecute a media outlet for publishing government secrets. These include the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, all of which published editorials protesting against the latest charges against Assange.

Yet the Democratic Socialists of America has said nothing. The DSA National Political Committee has issued no statement. The organization’s official publication Left Weekly as well as its affiliated publication Jacobin, along with Jacobin’s publisher Bhaskar Sunkara, have remained totally silent about Assange’s indictment under the Espionage Act. They have not so much as tweeted a story reporting the indictment.

I have three series that I do, of which The Avalanche (dealing with the killing of unwanted communication by those with power and influence) is one. The other two deal with 1. the ruined world generally, examples of which may include actions and/or words of individuals and 2. professional scam artists. Usually, posts in one section can easily fit into another. The above entry is a great example of an article that I could properly slot into either The Avalanche (as I did) or Professional Scam Artists. Think about it: Rightwingers (fascists) are calling themselves socialists! What a propaganda coup! – if people are buying it.

Um Ahmad, an Idlib civilian tormented by terrorism. © Eva Bartlett

“Liberate Syria’s Idlib, precisely for the civilians that America fakes concern over” by Eva Bartlett (In Gaza and beyond)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Western media and politicians are crying for Al-Qaeda in Syria again. It doesn’t get much more absurd than this!

After years of brutal occupation by terrorists from various groups and now overwhelmingly Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (aka Al-Nusra, aka Al-Qaeda in Syria), Idlib governorate will eventually, by political or military means, be liberated. For now, military operations to liberate nearby northern Hama and southern Idlib villages are already under way.

Idlib, occupied by at least 70,000 terrorists, is the last remaining stronghold of Al-Qaeda in Syria – a fact emphasized by the US’ own former special envoy, Brett McGurk, who deemed the northwestern Syrian province the “largest Al-Qaeda safe-haven since 9/11.”

Yet, corporate media continue to deliberately overlook the presence of Al-Qaeda, instead writing of an Idlib that somehow, in the world of the Guardian, for example, is Al-Qaeda-free.

Kurt Nimmo

“Canada Joins the Authoritarian Censorship Agenda” by Kurt Nimmo (Another Day in the Empire)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Here’s how the Canadians will deal with citizen journalism and narrative debunking—they’ll force the taxpayers to subsidize corporate news rackets.

“Federal agencies will publish an A-list of newspapers and websites deemed reliable under a multi-million dollar subsidy program, the Department of Finance yesterday told the Senate national finance committee,” reports an Ottawa website, Blacklock’s Reporter.

Bill C-97 the Budget Implementation Act proposes a 15 percent tax credit to a maximum $75 for subscribers of websites operated by a “qualified Canadian journalism organization”. Criteria are not known. The tax credit is projected to cost $11 million in 2020. It expires in 2024.

The bill also amends the Income Tax Act to offer lucrative payroll subsidies for news organizations “primarily engaged in the production of original written news content”. A total $360 million would be paid over four years through a 25 percent payroll tax credit for publishers, the equivalent of a maximum $13,750 per newsroom employee, retroactive to January 1, 2019.

Not only will Canadians be forced at gunpoint to pay the salaries of official government script readers described as journalists, but the government is now in the process of making sure the average citizen will be prevented from viewing “misinformation” on social media.

Note: I used this article by Kurt in a recent standalone post, “Nazi Canada 2.”

Why Kurt remains with the awful Newsbud (Sibel Edmonds) organization, I don’t know. But in a rare show of classiness, Kurt took it upon himself to email me to apologize for not being able to post a comment I made on his website (critical of Sibel). Either it was classiness or else preemptive. I know how I would have reacted had he ‘not’ reached out to me. That’s what he could have had in mind. No one really has anything to fear from little me and my non celebrity blog. For the record, I’ve always found Kurt’s work to be excellent.

Nils Melzer

“BBC, Sky News Have Hidden Their Interviews With UN Expert On The Torture Of Assange” by Caitlin Johnstone (Caitlin

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer has said that on the 31st of May he gave video interviews with both Sky News and the BBC on his findings that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is the victim of psychological torture. As of this writing, footage of those interviews is nowhere to be found.

In response to a smear by virulent empire propagandist Idrees Ahmad about his conducting an interview with RT, Melzer tweeted that he has given interviews to both Sky News and BBC World, but that they seem not to have been aired.

“So the UN rapporteur actually appeared on the Kremlin’s premier propaganda network—yes, the propaganda network of the state that shoots journalists in the face—to discuss Julian Assange’s ‘torture’,” tweeted Ahmad, pretending to be under the illusion that UN experts are meant to remain exclusively loyal to a specific group of nations.

“For the record: On 31 May, I have also given similar exclusive TV interviews to both Sky News and BBC World on Julian Assange, but it seems they decided not to broadcast them,” Melzer responded…

UPDATE: Melzer reports that Sky News may have aired his interview on television, though it remains hidden online.

Peter Koenig

“The Bilderbergers in Switzerland” by Peter Koenig (Global Research)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The Bilderberg meetings started at the onset of the Cold War, as a discussion club of American and European leaders, a fortification against communism, in clear text, against the Soviet Union. The first event took place in 1954 at the Bilderberg hotel in the Dutch town of Oosterbeek. Ever since, meetings of the Bilderberg Group were held annually, in different locations in the western world, most of them, though, in North America…

The conferences of the Bilderbergers are the most secretive events, managed by those who pull the strings behind world leaders – politicians, corporate CEOs, big finance, and other business execs – artists, and the who-is-who of the world elite. And we are talking of the western world. Other than about ten attendees from Turkey, Poland, Bulgaria and Estonia, participants are North Americans or Europeans. The rest of the world doesn’t count…

This year’s Bilderberg meeting will be chaired by Henri Castries, France,Chairman of the Paris-based Institut Montaigne, a non-profit thinktank working on public policy and social cohesion. Other prominent attendees include Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, and the driving force of these events and protégé of Rockefeller’s, former US Secretary of State (and war criminal), Henry Kissinger; France’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire; Mark Rutte, Dutch Prime Minister, from the far-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy; Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s Defense Minister from the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU); – and, perhaps most noteworthy, Jared Kushner, personal advisor and son-in-law of US President Donald Trump, and intimate friend of Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.

This means that Israel will be represented at the highest level. From Switzerland attending will be – among others – the current President, Ueli Maurer, who, it is rumored, will hold behind closed-doors talks with Mike Pompeo about Iran whom Switzerland is representing vis-à-vis Washington. The Presence of Kushner, Pompeo, secretive Iran talks – smells a rat.

Pete Willsman caught in an upside down world

“WATCH: Israeli Diplomat offering MP £1 million” by ? (Off Guardian)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

The Labour Party have suspended Pete Willsman, a member of their National Executive Committee, for being “antisemitic”.

The charge is that Willsman was recorded claiming that the antisemitism charges against the Labour party were all lies, and that a member of the Israeli embassy staff had been caught covertly giving money to Labour Friends of Israel, as well as planning to “take down” anti Israeli MPs.

The recording was released to LBC radio. It sparked outrage in all the predictable places…

There is just one problem, of course: Everything Willsman said was true.

Whilst making a documentary for Al Jazeera, an undercover reporter recorded Embassy staffer (and former Israeli Naval officer) Shai Masot discussing “taking down” Alan Duncan, “creating pro-Israel groups” and giving money to the head of Labour Friends of Israel.

None of the media covering Willsman’s suspension have mentioned this, of course. Despite reporting on (some) of the story in the past.

From Mondoweiss:
U.S. Congressman Ron DeSantis of Florida speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

“Florida’s Governor just signed a bill that will censor criticism of Israel throughout the state’s public schools” by Michael Arria (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

On May 31, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that prohibits anti-Semitism in public schools and universities throughout the state. However, the legislation also equates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, effectively censoring the advocacy of Palestinian rights.

Two days before DeSantis officially signed HB 741 into law in Florida, he carried out a symbolic signing during a ceremonial state cabinet meeting in Israel. The session featured a variety of Israeli speakers and culminated with Florida lawmakers issuing a declaration of support for the country. “Since we’re in Jerusalem, we may actually get some interest in our Cabinet meetings for a change, which would be great,” joked DeSantis during the meeting. A number of news organizations filed a lawsuit against the state’s government, claiming that the meeting violated Florida’s transparency law, as it took place in a foreign country and wasn’t made publicly accessible to journalists…

Although HB 741 faced little political resistance, a group of Jewish Floridians sent a letter to DeSantis in April asking him to veto the legislation. One of the letters signatories, the constitutional lawyer Alan Levine, co-authored an Orlando Sentinel op-ed the following month with community psychologist Donna Nevel which denounces the bill. “There is little doubt that a prosecution under HB 741 for criticizing Israel will be challenged as unconstitutional,” they wrote, “But beyond that, we should all be deeply troubled by any attempt by the government to put someone in jail simply for speaking out on a matter of such public concern as a country’s human rights violations.”

Asaf Romirowsky of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

“Chicago-area school district withdraws ‘Teaching Palestine’ course and apologizes for ‘sense of exclusion’ it created” by Liz Rose (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Just eight days after an administrator offered public high school teachers in Skokie, Illinois, the opportunity to take a summer professional development course called “Teaching Palestine,” the school district retracted the offer in a statement from top administrators apologizing for the hurtful, “one-sided nature of this course.”

The district’s decision to silence any discourse about Palestinian history–with pressure from Zionist groups–isn’t surprising or new. But it’s important to call attention to public schools that continue to conflate criticism of Israel with antisemitism, especially when the opportunity to take the course was shut down by two district administrators along with the Director of Equity–an administrative position whose job description includes providing opportunities of social justice for its teachers…

To an outside observer – and certainly to the Zionist organizations who called out the district – the lack of “multiple perspectives surrounding this topic” that “created a sense of exclusion” might seem obvious. It’s true that the “Teaching Palestine” class was not offered alongside a “Teaching Israel” class, for example. But Zionist history is already taught in schools while Palestinian history is consistently and pointedly, left out…

Asaf Romirowsky, a historian at the University of Haifa and executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, also criticized the school for spreading bias:

We have long seen a Palestinianization of the academy this bias has been steadily spreading into high-schools and teacher trainings like the one in the Niles Township High School District 219.

Rather than acknowledging the “Zionizing” of curriculum that already happens, Romirowsky cleverly uses the term “Palestinianization of the academy” that spreads bias in schools.

“A Loud Whoompfing Sound”

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