Thursday, 24 April 2014

New York Times Propaganda Photos on Ukraine Exposed

Global Research

A day after the New York Times published a front-page report purporting to show the involvement of Russian Special Forces in protests in east Ukraine, its report, titled “Photos Link Masked Men in East Ukraine to Russia,” has been exposed as a blatant fabrication.

The Times printed low-resolution pictures of fighters—allegedly wearing Russian insignia while in Georgia, and then later as protesters in east Ukraine—asserting they were the same men, thus proving the existence of an armed Russian intervention in Ukraine. It was based on a crude trick first noted by a commenter on a link posted on Reddit. The photos in the Times were down-sampled versions of higher-resolution images circulating online, which show that the men in the different pictures are in fact not the same.

Images from the New York Times with text and captions:



Original images posted on reddit:


It very rapidly became clear that the Times ’ claims to have proven that Russian soldiers were driving the east Ukraine protests against the pro-Western regime in Kiev were complete rubbish.

The BBC compared the high-resolution pictures of two bearded men the Times falsely asserted were the same fighter. It concluded, “In the 2014 photos, the man’s greying beard appears to be black, while in Georgia six years ago, the slimmer-looking man shown has a reddish beard.”

It also noted that Russian Special Forces patches on the men’s uniforms, highlighted by the Times as proof that they are Russian troops, “can be bought on the Internet for less than $5.”

Asking whether the pictures “prove anything,” the BBC concluded: “It cannot be said for sure that they are actual Russian Special Forces, as the Ukrainians argue.”

In publishing the false allegations, the Times worked closely with the US government, which received the photos from the unelected pro-US regime in Kiev and “endorsed” them before passing them on. At a press briefing, however, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, whom the New York Times quoted in its article, indicated that the administration was well aware that the photos did not constitute proof of what was being claimed.

Pressed about whether she was certain the pictures showed individuals linked to Russia, Psaki replied: 

“What we see in these photos that have been, again, in international media, on Twitter, and publicly available, is that there are individuals who visibly appear to be tied to Russia. We’ve said that publicly a countless number of times. I will let you draw all the conclusions yourself as to whether these are individuals who look similar or not to other events.”

A journalist at the briefing objected to calling this “evidence,” and asked, “Do you think this is evidence that would stand up in a court of law?”

Psaki replied, “I don’t think it’s a legal—we’re not making a court-of-law case here. We’re just showing that this is photographic evidence that indicates the connection we’ve been talking about for weeks now.”
The journalist asked, “You think it is proof of connection, or it’s just—or you’re just alleging that it’s another sign of this?”

Psaki replied, “It’s another sign.”

In fact, the Times has worked to mislead its readers, uncritically presenting concocted photos delivered by its contacts in the State Department.

Washington, as it passed the pictures on to the Times, knew very well that they did not constitute evidence of anything, but were simply a new propaganda point supporting its as-yet unsubstantiated accusations of Russian involvement in Ukraine. The Obama administration relied on theTimes to publish the pictures, fanning the flames of the media campaign to denounce Russia, without doing any due diligence to check that its materials were accurate or that proved anything at all.

A decade ago, Times journalist Judith Miller was the conduit for broadcasting lies that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD), touching off a huge media campaign that set the stage for the US invasion of Iraq.

Today, the lies the Times is palming off as news could provoke a war with Russia, a nuclear-armed power.

By fabricating evidence of Russian involvement in east Ukraine, the Times was providing political ammunition for calls in Ukraine and in the Western imperialist powers for a military crackdown against protests in east Ukraine, a region with a large Russian population. This could lead to a military intervention by Moscow in eastern Ukraine to break up the crackdown, and a clash between Russia and Ukraine drawing in the Western powers.

The Times ’ fabrications also served to obscure the fact that this conflict arose out of the decision of Washington and its European allies to topple Ukraine’s previous, Russian-aligned regime in a fascist-led putsch in February. The unelected pro-Western regime in Kiev has now encountered significant popular opposition in pro-Russian regions of eastern Ukraine. It is this aggressive policy of the Western powers that is driving the explosive standoff in eastern Ukraine.

The employees of the Times who were involved in producing this article, like Judith Miller before them, reflect the growing integration of the media and the state.

Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon, intervened personally four years ago to try to obtain a Chinese visa for the lead author of the Times article, Andrew Higgins. Higgins has been refused entry into China ever since 1991—when, after reporting on the Tiananmen Square massacre, he was found traveling with Chinese state documents in his briefcase and expelled from the country.

Higgins’ reporting on Ukraine in the current crisis has been largely oriented to downplaying the dangers posed by the fascist forces Washington and its European allies put in power in Kiev, and demonizing Russia. One particularly foul piece published on April 8, “Among Ukraine’s Jews, Bigger Worry is Putin, Not Pogroms,” attacked the idea that these groups posed any danger to Ukraine’s Jewish population.

The Right Sector militia and the fascist Svoboda party occupy key posts in the unelected Kiev regime and glorify World War II-era fascist forces, such as the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists of Stepan Bandera, who allied with the Nazis during the Ukrainian Holocaust. Yet, according to Higgins, such organizations are far less dangerous to the Ukrainian people that the Russian government.

“Even Right Sector, a coalition of ultranationalist and in some cases neo-Nazi organizations, has made an effort to distance itself from anti-Semitism,” Higgins wrote. “In late February, its leader, Dmytro Yarosh, pledged during a meeting with Israel’s ambassador in Kiev to fight all forms of racism.”

Higgins’ attempt to whitewash the right-wing character of the Kiev regime is of a piece with the current concocted denunciations of Russia by the Times, shamelessly supporting Western imperialism’s intervention in Ukraine.

State Dept-funded program installs alternative networks abroad

RT

While some security experts have recently accused the United States government of undermining the infrastructure and integrity of the web, the State Department is helping fund a project that lets people connect and communicate over alternative networks.

Since last June, revelations about the US National Security Agency and how it goes about getting intelligence from foreign suspects have continued to surface, in turn rekindling all too routinely allegations about how the internet has been practically obliterated by the NSA. 

Leaked intelligence documents disclosed to the media during that span by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden have indeed impacted the way the world sees the American government with regards to protecting a medium of communication that continues to grow. But while these heightened concerns about online privacy are without a doubt warranted thanks to Mr. Snowden's revelations, one former government official now tells the New York Times that a project largely funded by the Department of State is actually making it easier for people in certain parts of the world to communicate and collaborate over a parallel internet of sorts. 

“Exactly at the time that the NSA was developing the technology that Snowden has disclosed, the State Department was funding some of the most powerful digital tools to protect freedom of expression around the world,” Ben Scott told the New York Times for an article published in Monday's paper.

According to Scott — a former State Dept. official who helped the agency get involved in a program that is putting the web back into the hands of the people — the US government has actually been playing a pivotal role in letting new parts of the world become networked. 

“It is in my mind one of the great, unreported ironies of the first Obama administration,” Scott told the Times.

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US spy-satellite agency failed to report sex crimes against children to authorities

RT

The agency that controls US intelligence satellites failed to inform law enforcement when some employees and contractors admitted during lie detector tests to child abuse crimes, according to the intelligence inspector general.

The US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which operates surveillance satellites for the US intelligence community, was also found in other cases to have delayed reporting to authorities admissions of criminal activity uncovered during security clearance polygraph tests. Two inspector general reports released Tuesday found these delays possibly imperiled evidence in investigations or even endangered children. 

In one case, an NRO legal counsel advised employees against reporting admissions by a government contractor of child molestation, viewing child pornography, and sexting with a minor, according to the Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General. 

“Doubt we have enough to interest the FBI,” the NRO’s then-assistant general counsel told another agency official in an email, adding, “the alleged victim is fourteen years old and fully capable of calling the police herself.”
 
The NRO employee reported the confession anyway, revealing that the girl was still in contact with the contractor who had admitted to the crimes. The US Department of Justice was not informed of the confession for nearly five weeks, according to McClatchy news service. 

Overall, 30 individuals of the 30,000 who took the NRO polygraph tests from 2009 to 2012 confessed to child abuse or possessing child pornography, the inspector general found. The inspector general’s office referred for investigation seven confessions related to child pornography or child abuse that the NRO failed to report. 

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The Gnosticism of Power

Center for a Stateless Society
Those in power regularly reveal themselves to be oblivious to conditions in the real world, and to material constraints on transforming their commands into reality. There’s good reason for this: Their power insulates them from direct experience of the material world, and from direct experience of the constraints offered by material reality.

For example, earlier this month the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that a judge could rightly weigh a police officer’s memory of events, as recalled in testimony, more heavily than video evidence. That’s right: When a video recording of events contradicts the subjective recollection of a police officer, so much the worse for what actually happened. A cop’s “experience” and “superior observational skills” should carry more weight even when what the cop observed didn’t happen.

As ridiculous as this sounds, it’s really not that unusual. Back in the 1960s systems theorist Kenneth Boulding observed that “the larger and more authoritarian the organization, the better the chance that its top decision-makers will be operating in purely imaginary worlds.” The system of information flow in a hierarchy is designed to filter out messages from below that contradict the carefully constructed images of the world in the minds of those at the top. Advancement in a hierarchy is predicated on being a “team player,” which means reinforcing the image of reality held by those at the top and protecting them from exposure to any, you know, actual reality that might contradict it. So naturally when those in authority inadvertently come into contact with real-world information that undermines their official worldview, they dispose of it as quickly as possible using all available Hazardous Materials protocols.

At the same time, those at the tops of hierarchies make decisions, and issue endless decrees to those below them, in utter disregard of the actual resources required to carry them out effectively or possible material constraints on their implementation. The Pharaoh of Egypt anticipated the very best practices of today’s corporate CEOs in the age of downsizing when he said “Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore:  let them go and gather straw for themselves. And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof.”

When the implementation of the Studer Group’s idiotic management gimmicks was at its peak frenzy a few years ago, we all got (as “gifts” for “Employee Appreciation Day”) little inspirational booklets full of all kinds of sayings from Gandhi and Mother Theresa about giving endlessly without expecting anything in return, out of the sheer fulfilling joy of doing good for others. “Take no care for thy paycheck or staffing ratios. Behold the lilies of the field: Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as one of these.” They also reassured us in a newsletter that we could provide “extraordinary patient care” despite our “abundance or lack of resources.”

Oddly enough though our management, despite their seeming belief that we lived in a world of pure light and spirit beyond the concerns of the physical world, were not similarly immune from the requirements of the material realm. Our corporate CEO made an $18 million salary that same year, plus a $3.6 million bonus. And management constantly poor-mouths us about the need to economize on staffing because “nursing staff is our biggest cost” (even though the salaries in our hospital’s C-Suite are probably the same general order of magnitude as hourly wages for all nursing staff). I had to wonder why management couldn’t just miraculously multiply its funds to hire enough staff, like Jesus did with the loaves and fishes. That’s apparently what they expected us to do when it came to providing adequate care with the dangerous and criminally negligent staffing levels they provided us with.

So people in authority are completely out of touch with reality. What does that mean for us? The good news is voluntary self-organization, like horizontal networks, is running circles around the old government and corporate hierarchies and eating them alive, like piranha skeletonizing a cow. Over twenty years ago John Gilmore said “The Net treats censorship as damage and routes around it.” 

Self-organized networks and other voluntary associations, similarly, treat the intrusions of irrational authority as damage and route around them. We’re building a world in which the irrational interference of those in authority is becoming less and less relevant to our lives and their stupid commands are becoming unenforceable. Maybe you’d like to join us?


FBI Adds People to No Fly List for Refusing to Become Informants

The Guardian 

Naveed Shinwari hasn’t seen his wife in 26 months. He suspects it’s because he refused to become an informant for the FBI.

In February 2012 Shinwari, who has lived in the US since he was 14, flew to Afghanistan to get married. He says that before he could get home to Omaha, Nebraska, he was twice detained and questioned by FBI agents who wanted to know if he knew anything about national security threats. A third FBI visit followed when he got home.

The following month, after Shinwari bought another plane ticket for a temporary job in Connecticut, he couldn’t get a boarding pass. Police told him he had been placed on the US no-fly list, although he had never in his life been accused of breaking any law. Another FBI visit soon followed, with agents wanting to know about the “local Omaha community, did I know anyone who’s a threat”, he says.

“I’m just very frustrated, [and I said] what can I do to clear my name?” recalls Shinwari, 30. “And that’s where it was mentioned to me: you help us, we help you. We know you don’t have a job; we’ll give you money.”

Shinwari is one of four American Muslims in a new lawsuit who accuse the FBI of placing them on the no-fly list, either to intimidate them into becoming informants or to retaliate against them for declining.

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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Real Reason the US Media Hates Vladimir Putin

Daily Reckoning
Marc Faber

With few exceptions, the Western media and most strategists have been very unfair in their comments about Vladimir Putin and his response to the Ukrainian demonstrations. According to Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton (he is also the author of Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War), there has been a “tsunami of shamefully unprofessional and politically inflammatory articles in leading newspapers and magazines” which portray Putin in a very negative light and fail to take into account some larger things happening in the region. Here&Now Public Radio’s Robin Young recently interviewed Stephen Cohen, who opined:

…for nearly a decade, the American media has so demonized Putin that we’ve lost sight of him, and we’ve obscured the possibilities that are there and that he’s offered to enhance, through some kind of steady, calm cooperation, American national security.…
I can’t remember any Soviet communist leader being so personally villainized[;] that is[,] we wrote bad things about Krushchev, about Brezhnev, about Andropov, but we disliked them because they represented an evil system. We didn’t say [they] themselves were thugs, murderers, assassins, which are words that we attach to Putin.…
The American media coverage of Ukraine is wrong and inflammatory from beginning to end. The media refers to The Ukraine and The Ukrainian people striving for Western democracy and capitalism. That’s false. Everybody knows that at a minimum, there are two Ukraines. One part of it, mostly in the west, wants to attach to Europe. The other part of it in the east, and partly in the south, wants to remain close to Russia….
 
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Composing Only 5% of the World Population, Americans Take 50% of All Pharmaceutical Drugs

Natural Society 

While Americans comprise only 5 percent of the world population, we consume an incredible 50 percent of Big Pharma’s drugs, as explained in Jeff Hays’ documentary film, Doctored. Make no mistake. 

These drugs are meant to keep us imprisoned in poor health, not heal us. It’s time to kick the drug habit America. Tell the drug pushers – Merck, Pfizer, Novartis, Roche, GlaxoSmith Kline, Abbott, Astra-Zeneca, Amgen, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Sanofi (along with the FDA and CDC) that you are going cold turkey, and learn what true health really means.

Sadly, Americans are more familiar with names like Abilify, Nexium, Humira, Plavix, Crestor, Advair Diskus, Enbrel, and Cymbalta, the top selling drugs of Big Pharma, than  names like Aloe barbadensis, Curcuma longaAllium sativumMoringa oleiferaVitis vinifera L, all indigenous plants that have healed millions around the world.

You’ve likely heard the phrase before – just a dozen huge corporations are keeping Americans popping pills while they rake in billions, but have you really thought of what these numbers translate into, in terms of real health?

Annual sales for just one drug, Humira, was $9.3 billion. That puts Abott squarely at the top of the list as one of the most successful drug companies of all time.

One drug. One year. $9.3 billion.

This particular drug is meant to inhibit cancerous tumor growth, but there are dozens of natural remedies for the same purpose. Consider: turmeric, papaya leaf, grape seed extract, ginger, cannabis, and a host of other inexpensive plants can treat cancer. Here are 4 cancer fighting foods. Cost – around $3 per day per item.

Or the ‘what if’ scenarios:
  • What if that $9.3 billion were used to clean up the environmental messes from fracking, oil drilling, oil spills, mining, nuclear meltdowns, chemtrails, pesticide and herbicide spraying, chemical dumping, and more, that cause cancer to begin with?
  • What if we hired comedians to visit patients with cancer, using the proven technique of laughter therapy to treat many diseases, cancer among them?
Our money and our health is wasted on these companies, but we have to unplug from the drugs. We are overworked, under-nourished, over-fed, and lied to. You don’t need another pill. What really needs to pop is the illusory bubble that Big Pharma is the answer.

Additional Sources:
ScienceDaily

Bush and Obama Are Both Evil Men

 
Source:  www.mistahboombastic.blogspot.co.uk/

Michael S. Rozeff

Singling out the last two presidents as evil is not to let other U.S. government officials, past and present, off the hook. It is only to focus on recent, visible and incontrovertible instances of evil deeds done by evil men.

Bush lied the U.S. into a vicious and aggressive war against Iraq. He’s responsible for a huge number of deaths and injuries.

Obama attacked Libya based on lies. Hoping to destroy the Syrian military by a bombing campaign, he lied about the gas attack in August 2013. Obama constantly lies.

Bush and Obama are wicked men, corrupt men, vicious men who have done profoundly malevolent deeds.

The U.S. government and its presstitute media have become so pervasively corrupt that the wickedness of one branch goes unnoticed by the others, or if noticed then unmentioned, and if mentioned then uncorrected by the other branches. The wickedness of one branch is far more likely to be joined in and approved of by the other branches than it is to be criticized, investigated and stopped.

Every day some U.S. government official, and usually many of them, propose, endorse or instigate some malicious act or law. Only a few days ago, the Congress unanimously passed a measure forbidding a visa to an Iranian diplomat who had been appointed as its U.N. representative. What term other than malevolent better describes such a despicable, vindictive, vengeful and vile act?


No rest for the wicked – When Israel bled Qana, story of a genocide

 

US Independent 
Catherine Shakdan 

On April 18, 1996, Israel committed the unthinkable – Oblivious to international laws and human decency it deliberately targeted a United Nations compound in which over 800 refugees of war, all Lebanese nationals, sought refuge, as to strike fear at the heart of Lebanon and most specifically the Hezbollah.

Left bruised and humiliated by the Hezbollah advances and military superiority, Israel’s military commanders resorted to the most abject of all tactics to regain their footing – the targeting of a civilian population, hoping that by spilling enough innocent blood the people of Lebanon would recoil in horror and fright, unable to risk anymore of their children.

For well over a decade Lebanon has mourned and remembered its martyrs, it has cried the lives of its children, the lives which murderous Israel reaped apart before they could blossom. But as the blood of Qana has sipped into the soil, forever embedded in Lebanon’s history, an entire nation still await vindication, for there are crimes which can never and should never be forgiven.

Qana massacre has since become a symbol of resistance, a reminder of Israel’s wickedness and inhumanity. An illegitimate power which foundations have been built on Palestine stolen lands Israel is no more than a usurper, an institutional abomination which should never have to come to be.  If ever anyone was in doubt of the treachery and sheer villainy and depravity of Israel and its Zionist leaders, Qana should stand a testimony.

April War

Following a three years truce -1993-1996 – Hezbollah resumed its shelling campaign against Israel in March 1996, keen to demonstrate its military capacity as to ward off the enemy and put an end to Israel’s reign of terror in southern Lebanon. It is important to note that if the international community has been keen to portray Hezbollah as the attacking force in 1996 April War, it is essentially to defend his people’s freedom and Lebanon territorial sovereignty that Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah – Secretary General of the Hezbollah – moved his men into position. It was more out of necessity and sense of duty than love for confrontation that the Hezbollah declared war on Israel.

Too often depicted as the innocent party by western powers, it is crucial to remember that it was in response to the unwarranted killing of two Lebanese nationals in Yater – Southern Lebanon – by an IDF missile that Hezbollah decided to retaliate against Zionists. If anything, Hezbollah uphold its duty toward Lebanon by opposing tyranny.

In the weeks which followed Hezbollah’ shelling of Israel, IDF Major-General Amiram Levine became only too aware of the giant his forces had awaken. For the first time in three years Israel felt inherently threatened in its positions in the Levant, faced with  an enemy much bigger and potent than it ever anticipated.

It is to crush such threat that Israel launched on April 11, 1996 its so-called Operation Grapes of Wrath, what Lebanon will come to know as April War.

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Is There Hope?

Anti War.com

In the spirit of Easter 
by Justin Raimondo

This Easter day, 2014, is fraught with meaning, at least for me. This is a holiday of hope, and I’m wondering: is there any?

I have to admit, at times, that pessimism overcomes me. The way lies take hold, and persist, does not bode well for the triumph of truth. Take, for example, the recent story about a leaflet supposedly distributed by the "Peoples Republic of Donetsk," the breakaway region of eastern Ukraine that wants union with Russia. Handed out by mysterious individuals in black balaclavas standing in front of a synagogue, the leaflet instructed Jews that they had to register with the local authorities or face deportation and the seizure of their property: it bore what looked like the official stamp of the Republic and was purportedly signed by the Republic’s self-proclaimed chief executive. 

Such an obvious provocation was quickly denied by the Donetsk rebels, and just as quickly debunked by responsible journalists – but that didn’t matter. The story is still circulating all over the place: indeed, I’ve never seen a story spread quite so quickly. Even well after its dubiousness was clear, American and British "news" outlets ran with it, albeit appending comments by various locals as well as the Donetsk authorities describing it as a "provocation" meant to discredit the pro-Russian side.

The US government ran with the story: immediately after the Geneva talks produced a shaky Easter truce – which was soon broken – John Kerry gathered about him a veritable thundercloud of self-righteousness and denounced the leaflet. US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt declared it "the real deal" – except it wasn’t.

But that no longer mattered. The story had spread beyond the realm of truth and falsehood and ascended to sheer truthiness. It was part of the "narrative" being woven by Western governments and their media handmaidens, a word-cloud of epithets and vague associations that now hang over the Russians and their Ukrainian supporters – and, as it happens, a complete inversion of the facts on the ground.

For the real anti-Semitic presence in Ukraine is clearly in Kiev, not the east: there the outright fascist cadre of Right Sector and Svoboda, the two ultra-nationalist right-wing parties that provided the "muscle" for the Kievian insurrection, enjoy widespread support – and they aren’t shy about their origins as the spearhead of the neo-Nazi movement in Ukraine.

The Donetsk leaflet was clearly "black propaganda" – an incident staged by the Ukrainian coup leaders (or their Western backers) to impugn the pro-Russian rebels and muddy the waters when it comes to accusations of fascism leveled by many Western commentators at Kiev. Such concepts as "truth" and "falsehood" don’t enter into it: with the help of the Western media, the Russians-are-Nazis meme enters the public consciousness – a public that skims headlines without actually reading the story below.

Mission accomplished.

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Monday, 21 April 2014

The Controversy of Zion - Interview With Gilad Atzmon


Sott.net

Last Sunday SOTT Talk Radio talked with world-renowned Jazz musician, essayist and author, Gilad Atzmon. Touring the world with the Orient House Ensemble he founded in London in 2000, Atzmon is an outspoken critic of Israel's policies, not least towards the Palestinians and neighbouring countries.

Born in Israel and grandson to an early Zionist 'freedom fighter', to say that Atzmon's insights about Israel and 'The Jewish Question' have raised a few hackles would be an understatement! Despite receiving support from such high-profile public figures as U.S. academic John Mearsheimer and U.N. Special Rapporteur Richard Falk, Atzmon's book The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics has been roundly condemned in Western media.

Accused of being 'anti-semitic' and a 'self-hating Jew', Atzmon counters his critics by continuing to shed light on the strong taboo against questioning Israel or the involvement of high-profile Jewish figures in global 'big power games'.

In this interview Gilad reveals some fascinating information about Jewish political ideology. Don't miss it!




Why is the US Honoring a Racist Rabbi?

Comment: Worth reminding folks that the US government supports racism /fascism whether it is the Ukrainian government or Chabad Lubavitch. Probably because it's an example of the same...

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by ALISON WEIR
CounterPunch

If things proceed normally, President Barak Obama will soon proclaim April 11, 2014 “Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A.” Despite the innocuous name, this day honors the memory of a religious leader whose lesser-known teachings help fuel some of the most violent attacks against Palestinians by extremist Israeli settlers and soldiers.

The leader being honored on this day is Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, charismatic head of a mystical/fundamentalist version of Judaism. Every year since 1978, a Presidential Proclamation, often accompanied by a Congressional Resolution (the 1990 one had 219 sponsors), has declared Schneerson’s birthday an official national day of observance.

Congress first passed a Resolution honoring Schneerson in 1975. Three years later a Joint Congressional Resolution called on President Jimmy Carter to proclaim “Education Day, U.S.A.” on the anniversary of Schneerson’s birth. The idea was to set aside a day to honor both education and the alleged educational work of Schneerson and the religious sect he headed up.
Carter, like Congress, dutifully obeyed the Schneerson-initiated resolution, as has every president since.  And some individual states are now enacting their own observances of Schneerson’s birthday, with Minnesota and Alabama leading the way.

Schneerson and his movement are an extremely mixed bag.

Schneerson has been praised widely for a public persona and organization that emphasized “deep compassion and insight,” worked to bring many secular Jews “back” into the fold, created numerous schools around the world, and had offered, in the words of the Jewish Virtual Library, “social-service programs and humanitarian aid to all people, regardless of religious affiliation or background.”
However, there is also a less attractive underside often at odds with such public perceptions. And some of the more extreme parts of Schneerson’s teachings – such as that Jews are a completely different species than non-Jews, and that non-Jews exist only to serve Jews – have been largely hidden, it appears, even from many who consider themselves his followers.

As we will see, such views profoundly impact the lives of Palestinians living – and dying – under Israeli occupation and military invasions.

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