The Kushner “Deal of the Century”: If Only America’s Profound Betrayal of the Palestinian People Came as a Shock

Eau Claire, WI (Special to Informed Comment) – President Trump unveiled his administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan at the White House on January 28, 2020, telling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel that there are ‘many, many countries who want to partake in this,’ and predicting that “you are going to have tremendous support from your neighbors and beyond your neighbors.” The architects of the plan, the trio President’s Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, long-time confidant, and chief legal officer
| Israel/ Palestine |

Israel claims air strikes near Damascus

Israel said Sunday it struck bases of the Islamic Jihad militant group near Damascus, while Syria claimed that its air defences shot down "enemy missiles". Israel said Sunday it struck bases of the Islamic Jihad militant group near Damascus, while Syria claimed that its air defences shot down "enemy missiles". The Israeli army said in a statement that fighter jets "struck Islamic Jihad terror targets south of Damascus," following rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
| News |

Syria needs new aid transit point, UN chief warns amid humanitarian crisis

UN chief Antonio Guterres has urged the security council to approve a new transit point for Syria aid amid a worsening humanitarian crisis in the country's north. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged the Security Council to authorise a new passage point on the Turkish border to allow humanitarian aid to reach the embattled population of northeast Syria , where medical supplies are running short. The recommendation came in a report issued on Friday
| News |

Syria Weekly: Few options to end catastrophe in Idlib

Turkey and Russia are facing off over Idlib, with a last-ditch attempt to save Idlib from disaster at French-brokered crisis talks. Fresh clashes between Turkey and the Syrian regime broke out this week in Aleppo province, as the deadline nears for Damascus to withdraw its forces from recently re-captured opposition areas or face a Turkish military response . Fighting centred on the village of Al-Nayrab , outside Saraqeb - a town
| In-depth |

Drone captures deadly dance of Turkish ACV-15 and Russian T-72 in Syria

In graphic video footage captured by the drone and shared on social media, the ACV-15 armoured personnel carrier of Syrian rebels (supplied by Turkey) has intentionally rammed the Syrian regime T-72 main battle tank. Bild’s foreign policy editor Julian Röpcke on Saturday shared the video saying, “Maybe the most unreal battle footage of the entire war in Syria, proving the total incompetence of the Assad army, which would be dust since 2015, if Russia did not intervene on its side.”
| Army, News, Syria |

Why the Russian Petro-state is actually terrified of a Bernie Sanders Presidency: The Green New Deal

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has been accused by Western intelligence agencies of seeking to interfere in the 2020 US elections in favor of Donald Trump on the right and in favor of Bernie Sanders on the left. But guess what, Russia doesn’t actually want Bernie to win. At all. Moscow just wants the US to be polarized and fighting internally so as to leave Russia alone to pursue its expansionist projects in places like Ukraine.
| Bernie Sanders, Climate Crisis, Democratic Party |

The different ways people say 'money' across Arab countries

The different ways people say 'money' across Arab countries Money, money, money... must be funny... in the Arab world 💰🎶 February 23rd, 5:00 am February 20th, 11:47 am Mariam Nabbout The Arab region is one of the world's most diverse areas when it comes to cultures and dialects.  The official language we all share around here is the Modern Standard Arabic, which is also known as "fus7a." 
| News |

How Bernie Sanders Will Destroy the Deep State if He Becomes President

Joe Lauria at Consortium News headlined on February 21st, “Apparent US Intel Meddling in US Election With ‘Report’ Russia is Aiding Sanders”, and he noted that, If the story is true and if intelligence agencies are truly committed to protecting U.S. citizens, the Sanders campaign would have been quietly informed and shown evidence to back up the claims. Instead the story wound up on the front page of the [Washington] Post, “according to
| Corruption, Deep State, Democracy |

Damascus-Aleppo highway reopened for first time in 8 years following brutal regime advance

Syria's M5 highway has reopened for the first time in nearly eight years following a brutal regime advance into northern towns previously held by rebels. The highway that links the Syrian capital with the northern city of Aleppo is open for public use for the first time in nearly eight years after regime forces recently captured parts of it that had been held by insurgents, the transportation minister said on Saturday. The reopening of the M5 highway
| News |

Recap of Recent Articles on Just Security (Feb 17-21)

Department of Justice Video of Panel on the “Crisis at the Justice Department” (featuring Bob Bauer, Lisa Monaco, Andrew Weissmann) Three Dozen Questions for Congress (and News Media) to Ask Attorney General Barr by Joshua Geltzer ( @jgeltzer ), Ryan Goodman ( @rgoodlaw ) and Asha Rangappa ( @AshaRangappa_ ) 2020 Elections Why the 2020 Election Will Be A Mess: It’s
| Other |

With a Million Fresh Refugees and a 9-Year Civil War, Can Impoverished Syrians Survive?

( Middle East Monitor ) – A devastating civil war and international sanctions have destroyed Syria’s economy, leaving it with a GDP that is a third of what it was in 2010. The monetary crisis and depreciation of the currency is the latest chapter of the country’s economic meltdown. Despite the lack of accurate statistics, some agencies such as the UN Development Programme estimate that 83 per cent of Syrians live below the poverty line and close
| Bashar al-Assad, Displaced and Refugees, Free Syrian Army |

Erdogan urges Russia to restrain Syria regime, end human crisis in Idlib

Russian air strikes in Idlib are bolstering a Syrian government offensive that has forced nearly one million civilians to flee - the biggest wave of displacement of the nine-year conflict. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to halt the Syrian regime's violence in Idlib on Friday as efforts intensified to avoid more bloodshed in the final rebel holdout. Russian air strikes in the northwestern province of Idlib are
| News |

Intelligence Officials: Russia Is Boosting Trump Candidacy

WASHINGTON — Intelligence officials have warned lawmakers that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election campaign to help President Donald Trump get reelected, according to three officials familiar with the closed-door briefing. Trump pushed back Friday accusing Democrats of launching a disinformation campaign. “Another misinformation campaign is being launched by Democrats in Congress saying that Russia prefers me to any of the Do Nothing Democrat candidates who still have been unable to, after two weeks, count their votes in
| 2020 election, adam schiff, chris wray |

Syria : two journalists killed, eight wounded in Syrian war zones

News Amid intensifying fighting in recent weeks in Idlib and Aleppo, in which two Syrian journalists were killed and eight were injured, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) voices concern about the risks for reporters covering military operations in Syria and calls for every effort to be made to protect them. The latest fatality was  Abdel Nasser Haj Hamdan , a journalist working as a photographer for the Binnish Media Office, who
| News |

National Security at the United Nations This Week

Editor’s Note: This is the latest in Just Security’s weekly series keeping readers up to date on developments at the United Nations at the intersection of national security, human rights, and the rule of law. World Health Organization Projects Cautious Optimism on Ability to Contain Coronavirus amid Reports of Underfunding and Corruption World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday that there have been 92 cases of human-to-human transmission of COVID-19—the official
| United Nations, budget, Idlib |

Modi's anti-Muslim moves threaten unholy alliance between India and Arab allies

India's Modi faces the challenging task of navigating an unfamiliar and tricky geo-political situation in order to keep intact the close partnership he has forged with some Gulf countries. When five Muslim countries, Malaysia, Turkey, Iran, Qatar and Indonesia met in Kuala Lumpur in December, it was widely expected to be another episode in the 'Game of Thrones' series played out by major Arab powers. But there was more to the summit than meets the eyes as the gathering turned
| In-depth |

Assad’s slaughter in Syria has made a mockery of the West

The promises made by the international community after the fall of Nazi Germany have once again been shown to be worthless.  “We're going to see a massacre on a scale that has never been seen during this entire war.” These are the words of UN deputy regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria, Mark Cutts, speaking to  Sky News  about the Assad
| News |

The Early Edition: February 21, 2020

Signup to receive the Early Edition in your inbox here . Before the start of business,  Just Security  provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.   ROGER STONE CASE President Trump’s longtime adviser Roger Stone was sentenced to three years and four months in federal prison yesterday for obstructing a congressional investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as part
| Daily News Roundup, Featured |

US denies entry to British-Israeli war crimes investigator based on 'terrorist detecting algorithm'

Eyal Weizman said he is "alarmed" that the US asked him to give information on contacts in order to be allowed entry to the country, after his visa was revoked. The head of the human rights-focused investigative group Forensic Architecture has been denied entry to the US because he is deemed a security threat by an algorithm, according to a statement released on Thursday. Eyal Weizman, whose group's work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
| News |

Roaming Charges: Billion Dollar Babies

Walls (sea) and Bridges (Astoria). Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair. + Michael Bloomberg is, of course, the perfect person to lead a party which has been the driving political force behind the neoliberal policies which helped make him the 9th richest person in America. In fact, he may be its apotheosis. Finally, we’ll have some clarity about what the Democratic Party has really been up to for the last 40 years. + The Democratic Party has been bought for
| articles 2015, Leading Article, Roaming Charges |

As Tensions Flare between Russia and Turkey in Syria, will Trump be Drawn in on side of Ankara?

By Bakr Sidqi | – Amid international neglect of the tragedy of an additional one million displaced individuals from the “de-escalation” zones in the countryside of Idlib and Aleppo provinces, Moscow and Ankara announced that the talks that took place on Monday and Tuesday failed to reach any new understandings. “We did not accept the map [of de-escalation zone borders] proposed by Russia,” said Turkish spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, while Lavrov said that Russia did not
| Russia, Syria, Turkey |

Homeland Security Algorithm Revokes U.S. Visa of War Crimes Investigator Eyal Weizman

Eyal Weizman , an Israeli-born British architect who uses visual analysis to investigate war crimes and other forms of state violence, was barred from traveling to the United States this week for an exhibition of his work after being identified as a security risk by an algorithm used by the Department of Homeland Security. Weizman, a professor at Goldsmiths, University of London, where his human rights research agency Forensic Architecture is based, frequently travels to the U.S.
| National Security, Robert Mackey, World |

The Devil’s Comb Over

It is this author’s analysis that the effect of the Donald Trump presidency has been, somewhat paradoxically, to put wind in the sails of a kind of patriotic liberalism, reaffirming confidence in the forms and functions of US governance. Since Trump’s election, the calling words have been “not my president,” “not my country,” “this isn’t the America I know”–and the protagonists in the valiant anti-Trump struggle has been Robert Mueller, the FBI, Nancy Pelosi, the CIA, and NATO. With the
| Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson |

Merkel, Macron want to meet Putin, Erdogan to discuss Syria crisis

Merkel and Macron want to meet with Putin and Erdogan to discuss the intensified fighting in Idlib. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron told Russia's Vladimir Putin they want to meet him and Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan to defuse the crisis in Syria . In their phone call with the President Putin, Merkel and Macron expressed their "concern over the humanitarian catastrophe for residents of Syria's Idlib province," Merkel's office said.
| News |

Lebanon overturns death sentence for killer of British diplomat

The death sentence of Tarek Houshieh, who killed British embassy worker Rebecca Dykes, has been overturned. A  Lebanese  court has overturned the death sentence of a man charged with the rape and murder of a British embassy worker in Beirut, local media reported on Thursday. Judge Jamal al-Hajjar of Lebanon's highest court overturned the ruling against Tarek Houshieh, who had been sentenced to death in November for the rape and murder of Rebecca Dykes . No reason was given
| News |

Turkey may receive US missiles over Syria threat

Turkey is hinting that it may get US Patriot support in war-torn Syria. Turkey said Thursday it wanted no "face-off" with Russia over Syria's offensive near the two countries' border but said it might receive US defence missiles to protect Turkish forces. Tensions have mounted in the last three months between rebel-backer Turkey and Syria ally Moscow over dictator Bashar al-Assad's offensive in northwest Idlib, the last-rebel held region. Earlier this month,
| News |

Far-Right German Gunman Calling for Genocide Kills 9 People

HANAU, Germany — A 43-year-old German man who posted a manifesto calling for the “complete extermination” of many “races or cultures in our midst” shot and killed nine people of foreign background, most of them Turkish, in an attack on a hookah bar and other sites in a Frankfurt suburb, authorities said Thursday. He was later found dead at his home along with his mother, and authorities said they were treating the rampage as an act of domestic terrorism.
| domestic terrorism, far right, far-right violence |

Turkish and Syrian soldiers killed in fighting as Ankara launches Idlib operation

Two Turkish soldiers were killed by an air strike attributed to the Syrian regime, while Turkey claims its forces killed 'up to 50' regime soldiers in its Idlib operation. Turkey's defence ministry said on Thursday that two of its soldiers were killed and five wounded following an airstrike in Idlib  province, northern Syria, where the Turkish military is carrying out operations to recapture territory from the Syrian regime. The ministry added
| News |

America’s War on Dissent Began a Century Ago

This is Part 2 of a two-part essay. Read Part 1 here . Upon U.S. entry into the war, in 1917 the Wilson administration proposed and a compliant Congress almost immediately passed the Espionage Act, a direct attack on American press freedom. The law criminalized newspaper journalists who dared to oppose the war, question the official narrative, or encourage dissent. Massive fines and stiff prison sentences were dealt out with regularity throughout the war. The postmaster general,
| barack obama, espionage act, germany |

Explaining Syria

It’s everyone’s fault except the U.S. and Israel The first week in February was memorable for the failed impeachment of President Donald Trump, the “re-elect me” State of the Union address and the  marketing of a new line of underwear  by Kim Kardashian. Given all of the excitement, it was easy to miss a special State Department press  briefing by Ambassador James Jeffrey held on February 5 th  regarding the current situation
| Commentary & Analysis, Iran, Israel Lobby |

Turkey launches 'limited' operation to retake Idlib towns

A Turkish-led operation recaptured a key town in Syria’s Idlib, reports say, following days of Turkish threats of an operation to curb the crushing regime offensive on the opposition-held province. The Turkish military has launched a "limited" ground operation inside Syria to recapture towns on Idlib ’s southeastern front, Turkish diplomatic sources told The New Arab ’s Arabic-language site on Thursday. Video footage has circulated on social media showing Turkish infantry commandos storming the
| News |

Reclaiming Home: Looking at the connection between land rights, conflict and justice

Book Club: Reclaiming Home: The struggle for socially just housing, land and property rights in Syria, Iraq and Libya, offers insights into how property loss impacts those in conflict. Syria, Iraq and Libya are three countries locked in intractable conflicts that have caused enormous loss of life and destruction, and while attention is centred on armed groups, fighting and political alliances, war raises issues that are often overlooked. A key issue in need of scholarly and policy focused
| Society |

The Early Edition: February 20, 2020

Signup to receive the Early Edition in your inbox here . Before the start of business,  Just Security  provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.   TRUMP AND CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATIONS President Trump offered to pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange if he said that Russia had nothing to do with the 2016 hack and leak of emails from the Democratic National Committee, one of Assange’s
| Daily News Roundup, Featured |

Headlines for February 20, 2020

Democratic Contenders Take Aim at Billionaire Michael Bloomberg in Nevada Debate Protesters Interrupt Nevada Debate to Demand Immigration Discussion Michael Bloomberg Made Transphobic Remarks in 2019 Bloomberg Campaign NDAs Could Prevent Reporting of Abuses U.N. Warns of Unfolding Humanitarian Catastrophe in Syria's Idlib German Far-Right Gunman Kills 10 in Frankfurt Suburb China Expels Wall Street Journal Reporters over "Racist" Op-Ed
| News |

Turkey to abolish visas for UK tourists and five other European nationalities

Turkey is set to welcome six countries, including the UK and Poland, into its visa-free club as a move to open European borders. In a bid for European diplomacy, Turkey has decided to offer visa-free travel to six more European countries, a Foreign Ministry official said. Turkey will lift visa restrictions for tourists from Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK starting 2 March, spokesperson Hami Aksoy revealed. Currently, British travellers must apply
| News |

How Bloomberg Blew It in Las Vegas

Subscribe to the Deconstructed podcast on Apple Podcasts , Google Podcasts , Stitcher , Radio Public , and other platforms . New to podcasting? Click here .   On Wednesday night, six of the remaining Democratic candidates faced off in Las Vegas ahead of the Nevada caucuses. All eyes were on former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who, despite sitting out the early
| Deconstructed, Deconstructed Podcast |

The Criminalisation of Solidarity With Rojava Should Worry Us All

Since 2019, the British government has ramped up its attempts to criminalise people travelling to Northern Syria to join the Rojava revolution.  Last week, the father and brother of Dan Newey, who has joined the People’s Protection Units (YPG) to fight fascist Islamist forces, were charged with funding and assisting terrorism.  The widening web of criminalisation suggests a dramatic escalation of the state’s actions in clamping down on political protest and
| Articles, Opinion, activism |

'Anyone seen our father?' Family of jailed American in Syria seek help from former detainees

Three years after his disappearance, the family of American citizen Majd Kamalmaz, held in Syria, are calling on former detainees to share what they know. In February 2017, Virginia resident Majd Kamalmaz travelled to Syria from neighbouring Lebanon to visit with relatives and pay his condolences following the death of his father-in-law. A day later, the dual US-Syrian citizen was detained at a checkpoint in a Damascus suburb and has been missing ever since. With no
| In-depth |

Shut Down Canada Until It Solves Its War, Oil, and Genocide Problem

Photograph Source: tuchodi – CC BY 2.0 Indigenous people in Canada are giving the world a demonstration of the power of nonviolent action. The justness of their cause — defending the land from those who would destroy it for short term profit and the elimination of a habitable climate on earth — combined with their courage and the absence on their part of cruelty or hatred, has the potential to create a much larger movement, which
| articles 2015, Leading Article |

Ankara says talks with Russia on Syria warming but more needed

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Feb. 20 that there was some rapprochement with Russia in talks about Syria's Idlib region, where Ankara has threatened to mount an offensive, but added that discussions were not at the desired level yet.
| Turkey |

“And Then Nothing. Silence”

If you were mad enough to judge the state of the world by the daily outpourings of ‘mainstream’ media, you would have no real understanding of the perilous state of the human race. Or, if you had concerns on seeing the latest news on climate breakdown, you would not be fully informed about the powerful elites that are driving all of us towards this looming catastrophe. Nor would you be alerted to the overriding and immediate imperative for the
| Capitalism, Democracy, Doomsday Clock |

In Syria’s Idlib, Turkey is trying to play middle man between Russia and the US – with little success

By Umut Korkut and Tarik Basbugoglu | – The recent turn of events in Idlib, an opposition stronghold in north-western Syria undergoing bombardment by the Syrian military, has put Turkey in a difficult position. Since the end of January, Syrian regime forces have killed 13 Turkish soldiers who were monitoring a tense ceasefire in Idlib . It now looks like the Syrian army is gradually winning the battle for Idlib. For the past
| Russia, Syria, Turkey |

The Persian Gulf Standoff

They say we’ve been down this road before. The “last time” creakily hinged upon a hysterically hyped WMD threat from Iraq that overwhelmingly forced the W. Bush regime and its bipartisan cheerleaders to preemptively invade Iraq in order to eliminate the imminent threat that Saddam Hussein’s non-existent WMD posed to the “Freedom-loving” world. Such was the logic then. That time has long since passed, yet U.S. troops are still in Iraq, as in Afghanistan, and also Syria today. The current
| Donald Trump, Iran, Iraq |

Russia blocks UN bid to end Syria bloodshed as Turkey threatens 'imminent' Idlib offensive

The Assad regime's key backer has repeatedly blocked UN resolutions on the conflict. Russia on Wednesday warned Turkey against intervening in Syria as it blocked a UN bid to end the Syrian regime's brutal assault on the last opposition enclave. Syrian aid workers called urgently for a ceasefire and international help for nearly a million people fleeing the regime onslaught in the country's northwestern Idlib province -
| News |

U.N.: Thousands Fleeing Syrian Offensive, Kids Dying in the Cold

UNITED NATIONS — Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing a Russian-backed Syrian offensive are being squeezed into ever smaller areas near Turkey’s border “under horrendous conditions” in freezing temperatures that are killing babies and young children, the U.N. humanitarian chief said Wednesday. Mark Lowcock told the U.N. Security Council that “the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe” in northwest Idlib province, which is the last major rebel stronghold, has “overwhelmed” efforts to provide aid. He said nearly 900,000 people have been displaced
| aid, children, cold |

Two Oxfam workers killed in Syria's Daraa province: NGO

An 'unidentified armed group' attacked an Oxfam vehicle in Daraa, the NGO said, killing two workers and injuring one volunteer. Two Oxfam aid workers were killed and another volunteer injured in an attack on their vehicle in Syria on Wednesday, the UK-based non-government organisation said. The incident occurred at 2:00 pm local time (1200 GMT) in Daraa in the south of the country, Oxfam said, naming those who died as its southern
| News |

Al-Muhajiroun and the long tail of UK terror

The murder of two young Cambridge graduates on London Bridge last year was the latest atrocity committed by a follower of al-Muhajiroun, the Islamist group given freedom by the British state to radicalise a generation of Muslims. On the afternoon of 29 November 2019, a convicted Islamist extremist out of prison on licence stabbed and murdered two people in a rampage
| News |

Germany Goes 19th Century with New Statement on Law of Occupation — On Status of US Forces in Syria

Last month, and as reported this week by Prof. Stefan Talmon, the German government disclosed its position on various legal questions relating to the presence of Russian and U.S. troops on Syrian territory. International law enthusiasts would surely find interest in Germany’s explicit statements on the legality of Russian presence in Syria (i.e., valid consent by the Syrian regime), as well as in its quite permissive understanding of the legal basis for the U.S. presence in oil fields in
| ISIL, occupation, Syria |