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vendredi 15 décembre 2017

Vulture-Lawyers Michael Chetkof and Allyson Burger: My Soul is a Witness (Norman Finkelstein)



I owe readers a humble apology.

After an outpouring of support from so many people around the world, it seemed as if I disappeared.

I received many inquiries as to my fate but stayed silent.

But it wasn’t indifference let alone ingratitude.

The legal machinery had temporarily ground to a halt.

I compartmentalized my grief at Dr Baldeo’s crucifixion, and at my own absurd predicament, as I tried to rivet my mind on something productive.

But this week horror struck.

Stacy D. Bennett, the judge in Dr Baldeo’s case, rendered an obnoxiously biased verdict.

He was devastated; I was shattered.

Then the court ordered Dr Baldeo to hand over his life savings or he would “immediately” go to jail.

However, when he went to the bank (I accompanied him), the officers told him that Allyson Burger had all his bank accounts frozen!

After jailing me, this summa cum laude jackal was out to jail him.

Am I shocked?

Of course not.

This is Nassau County.

Its population is a little over one million but google “Nassau County Corruption” and you get 150,000 results.

The only time Nassau County makes it into the news is when yet another official is indicted on criminal corruption charges.

Nassau County is run like a backwoods Alabama town where every officeholder belongs to the Ku Klux Klan.

It’s the sort of place where Roy Moore would win by a landslide.

On 13 December 2017 I had to appear in court.

It was frigidly cold.

There are three entry points to the courthouse.

Each of the lines at 9:00 a.m. stretched as if for a rock concert.

Except, everyone but me was African-American.

Once you enter the courthouse every official from the judges, to the lawyers, to the uniformed guards is white. 

You can’t help but think: If the folks lining up outside the courthouse had access to jobs inside the courthouse, maybe they wouldn’t be shivering in the cold.

In my courtroom everyone awaiting trial was a person of color.  The lawyers sit in the jury box waiting to be called by the judge; the jury box is all white.

I am white, I am Jewish, I am 64 years old, I have a PhD from Princeton, and I live in Coney Island, Brooklyn.

But Nassau County officials didn’t recoil from crossing county lines, barging into my apartment without a warrant in the dead of night, kidnapping me and then brutalizing me.

Not just once, but twice.

When I went before the judge on the second occasion, he was so outraged at my appearance (I didn’t show sufficient deference to His Honor) that he ordered me to undergo an intensive psychiatric evaluation.

Who could second-guess his outrage?

I wasn’t properly attired for his august chambers.

That’s not normal!

But the fact that everyone inside the jail is black, and everyone outside the jail is white—

That’s normal!

I am being represented by very competent counsel.

The District Attorney dropped some charges against me, added others.

The case was adjourned until January 24, 2018.

The bottom line remains the same:

I face the real possibility of time behind bars.

Am I nervous?

Somewhat.

Will the fear deter me?

No.

I want only one thing:

To get on the witness stand and testify in excruciating detail what was done to Dr Baldeo.

How a penniless immigrant from Guyana lived the American Dream.

How he was devoured alive by two vulture-lawyers.

How they framed him and blackmailed him.

How they left him homeless and near penniless.

How they drove him to abject despair verging on suicide.

My lawyer is confident that I will get my day in court.

Once I testify, a huge boulder will be lifted from my chest.

An imperishable public record will endure of this farce-cum-tragedy.

Then I will be psychologically prepared for jail, or whatever else comes my way.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone who was there for me.

I just published a new book, GAZA: An inquest into its martyrdom.

The concluding paragraph reads:

In A Century of Dishonor, written at the end of the 19thcentury, Helen Hunt Jackson chronicled the destruction of the Native American population by conscious, willful government policy. The book was largely ignored, then forgotten, and finally rediscovered by later generations ready to hear and bear the truth. Speaking to the fate of the Cherokee nation, which was expelled from one tribal homeland after another and finally stripped of its tribal hold­ings by the US government, Jackson wrote, “there is no record so black as the record of its perfidy to this nation.”The present volume was modeled after her searing requiem. The author holds out faint hope that it will find an audi­ence among his contemporaries. Still, the truth should be preserved; it is the least that’s owed the victims. Perhaps one day in the remote future, when the tenor of the times is more receptive, someone will stumble across this book collecting dust on a library shelf, blow off the cobwebs, and be stung by out­rage at the lot of a people, if not forsaken by God then betrayed by the cupid­ity and corruption, careerism and cynicism, cravenness and cowardice of mortal man. “There will come a time,” Jackson anticipated, “when, to the student of American history, it will seem well-nigh incredible” what was done to the Cherokee. Is it not certain that one day the black record of Gaza’s martyrdom will in retrospect also seem well-nigh incredible?

Strange, but in my mind’s eye the fates of the people of Gaza and Dr Baldeo intersect.  An innocent people, an innocent person, crucified.  A corrupt system drunk on power that wrecks and destroys lives with impunity.  All that remains is a record, to be excavated long after the perpetrators, victims and bystanders are dead and gone. 

My life has been a story of lost causes.

But I have no regrets.

None.

“There’s only one fate worse than being a Jew today,” Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion supposedly said during World War 2.  “That’s being a Nazi.”

Even in the bleakness and despondency of defeat, I still prefer my fate to that of Michael Chetkof, Allyson Burger and Stacy D. Bennett.

***

Dr Baldeo emptied his bank account today as Chetkof and Burger stood by licking their hideous chops. 

Just as Dr Baldeo stood up to leave, Chetkof demanded $7,500 more in attorneys fees, on top of the $100,000 he already collected. 

May God watch over Dr Baldeo in his hour of trial.

May he find solace in the knowledge that his magical powers bless the children in his pediatric emergency ward each night with health, hope and happiness.

Not all the money in the world can purchase or replace this gift.

Norman Finkelstein, 15 December 2017

Norman Finkelstein and Dr. Baldeo vs. Michael Chetkof and Allyson Burger

Sign the petitions: 


jeudi 14 décembre 2017

Hassan Nasrallah: we are about to liberate Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and all of Palestine (CENSORED BY YOUTUBE)

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on December 11, 2017, at the protest in Beirut denouncing Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel

Translation: http://sayed7asan.blogspot.fr




Video censored by Youtube for alleged "violent or graphic content".

Transcript:

[...] (Against the decision of Trump), the least (degree of faith) here would be that the Palestinian Authority, the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (who will meet) in Istanbul in two days decree the end of the peace process. The Arab peace initiative should no longer be on the table. They have to tell the Americans: “It’s over. There is nothing left on the table. If you cancel this decision, we will come back to discuss around the table.” Even at the political and tactical levels, it is a strong, influential and effective logic, though of course we do not believe for a moment in (the efficiency or the legitimacy of) the way of negotiations.

Thirdly, the most important thing, my brothers and sisters, is that the answer to Trump’s decision be an Intifada, as called for by the Palestinian leaders. Not we in Lebanon, nor anyone else in the Resistance Axis or anywhere in the world, can impose on the Palestinians what they must do. Palestinians have always been the first in the Resistance, taking the initiative by themselves and before everyone else, as they also did in the popular struggle and the Intifada. And in this school they have always been very great teachers. The Palestinians themselves are the ones who decide what to do, and it is they who declare (the need for an Intifada), and we (merely) repeat it after them, to assume our responsibility together by their side... Yes, O my brothers and sisters, I want to say today that the absolutely most important answer to Trump’s decision – which constitutes an act of war – is the outbreak of a third Palestinian Intifada. The outbreak of a third Palestinian Intifada throughout all the occupied Palestinian land. This is the great and true answer. It is the responsibility of the Palestinians in the first place, and the entire Arab and Muslim world must stand with them and help them.

And I declare today that I speak not only on behalf of Hezbollah, but on behalf of the entire Resistance Axis (Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Iraq, Yemen). I know their opinion and their position very well, being in constant contact with all, whether States, peoples or factions and (armed) movements. I want to declare this:
O my brothers and sisters, O people of Palestine and O peoples of the region. Today, the Resistance Axis and the countries of the Resistance Axis are emerging from the test of the past years (against ISIS), and despite the wounds and the evils suffered, they come out triumphant, strong, firmer (than ever). This Resistance Axis is about to end its struggles in the region, and to defeat all the takfiris instruments (vainly) used by the United States and Israel to make it fall and annihilate it.

Today, the Resistance Axis will set again as his primary concern and priority, and devote all of its time (and capabilities), including Hezbollah, to Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Palestine, the Palestinian people, to the Palestinian resistance in all its factions, battalions, brigades and forces – and we count on them all – (and we are ready) to stand by them. Today, I call for the meeting and union of all the Resistance, to form our ranks (of battle) after these years of scarcity (for Palestine), to heal the wounds and the sufferings which struck this noble body (Palestine) during the last years.

I call all Resistance factions in the region – (yes), all Resistance factions in the region, and all those who believe in Resistance in the region –, to contact each other and meet in order to set... The general position is clear and no one discusses it because it is final: we must face this aggression to liberate Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and to preserve it, as well as the Palestinian cause, against attempts to liquidate it. (I call all factions of the Resistance) to meet. Why? To agree on a unique confrontational strategy, so that we fight (Israel and the United States) all together with a common, clear and (precisely) delimited strategy, and come up with concrete steps on the ground, concerted actions and complementary ways in which roles will be clearly distributed and efforts will be completed in this major confrontation. And we, in Hezbollah and the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon, will fully assume our responsibility in this regard.

O Palestinian people, O peoples of the region, you must have faith in your God, in the promise made to you by God the Most High: “If you support (the cause of) God, He will come to your rescue and strengthen you.” [Quran, 47, 7] And “If God brings you help, no force can defeat you.” [Quran, 3, 160]. If God assists us in our action, our unity, our meetings, our responsibilities (fully) assumed, our massive presence on the battlefields (to fight) and squares (to demonstrate), the absence of discord, fear and recoil in our ranks, God will grant us victory. Trust in your Lord, in your (Islamic) Community, of which they want you to despair, have confidence in the Resistance movements and in the Resistance Axis, which never entered a battlefield without coming out of it victorious, the Resistance Axis that brought the Community out of the era of defeats to bring it into the era of victories.

O my brothers and sisters, and O people of Palestine: they wanted this decision to be the beginning of the end for Al-Quds and for the Palestinian cause. Let us join forces to make this stupid and evil American decision the beginning of the end of this usurping entity, forever! And let our slogan, our way and our program be "Death to Israel"! [The crowd of protesters chants “Death to Israel!”] We must turn this threat into an opportunity, this danger into success and this diplomatic and political defeat for the Arab governments into victory for the Community, for the peoples, for Palestine and for the holy places.

Today or yesterday – so that no one says that I did not comment on this fact – Netanyahu, from Paris, threatened Lebanon, the Resistance in Lebanon and the Lebanese people of such and such thing. He thus wants to turn us away (from the essential question), he wants the question of the day to be the weapons of Hezbollah, its missiles (and not Al-Quds), and this is why he talks about missile manufacturing in Lebanon. I will not answer him today (because) we must remain concentrated and focused on our central cause, Al-Quds, the eternal capital, Al-Quds that we will never give up, Al-Quds about which the Palestinian people proclaim – and we Lebanese, as well as all our Arab and Islamic peoples, repeat with the Palestinian people: “We are moving towards Al-Quds by the millions, (aspiring to) martyrdom!” [The crowd chants: “We are moving towards Al-Quds by the millions, (aspiring to) martyrdom !”]

In this atmosphere, while they want the Palestinian people and the Community to be in despair, I say with confidence and certainty – and what I’m about to say is not based on the interpretation of a dream I had or on prophetic traditions, but it is based on (the most elementary logic which says that) 1 + 1 = 2, the (current) equations, the (acquired) victories, the rules of confrontation, the capabilities that are currently being prepared, the resurgent Resistance Axis (putting the Palestinian cause as a focus), the developments taking place in the world, and the trust in the promise of God Exalted and Most High –, Trump’s decision will be the beginning of the end for Israel, with the will of God! [The crowd chants: “We are at your command, O Nasrallah”]

That’s what I wanted to say today, I’m not going to be longer than I’ve been, but this is our oath, that’s our position, that’s our commitment, and that’s for eternity. We in Lebanon, the country of Resistance, the people of Resistance, the country of sacrifices and martyrs, the country of great men and men of exception, and the land of victories, we were with Palestine even before 1948, since the time of our fathers and grandfathers. We have always stood with Palestine, and we will stay with Palestine until Muslims (from all over the world come to) pray (freely) in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Christians (from all over the world) pray (freely) in the Church of the Resurrection (after the ultimate destruction of Israel). And we declare and repeat again: we will never give up Palestine, we will never give up on Al-Quds, we will never give up our (mosque) Al-Aqsa, because today it represents the cause for which Aba Abdillah al-Hussein [grandson of the Prophet and 3rd Imam of Shiism, massacred with his family and his followers by the army of Yazid b. Mu’awita, tyrant usurper of the throne of the Muslim community], peace upon him, sacrificed himself, with whom we conclude as we began by proclaiming, “I will never abandon you, O Hussein!” [The crowd chants: “I will never abandon you, O Hussein!”]

May the peace of God be upon you, as well as His mercy and blessings. God will soon grant us a dazzling victory by His Will. [The crowd chants: “O Allah! O Allah! Protect Nasrallah for us!”]

lundi 11 décembre 2017

Hassan Nasrallah: The Palestinian Cause and Al-Aqsa Mosque are in mortal danger

Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah's speech on December 7th, 2017, following Donald Trump's decision to recognize Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of Israel


Transcript:

[...] The subject of my talk tonight is the recent US decision announced yesterday by the President of the United States of America regarding his recognition of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of “Israel” in quotes (or rather) of the Zionist entity.  

But before I begin, while we're still in the atmosphere of these blessed commemorations, I want to address my congratulations to all Muslims of the world during these days of the anniversary of the birth of the Greatest Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Muhammad b. Abdullah, peace be upon him and his family, and of the blessed birth of his descendant Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, peace be upon him. 

O my brothers and sisters! As was said yesterday in more than one place in the Arab and Islamic world, we have the feeling of being faced with a new Balfour Declaration, a second Balfour Promise. Is it a coincidence or calculation, (exactly) 100 years after the first Balfour Declaration, a second Balfour Promise falls upon us.  

I want to talk about three points here as concisely as possible, despite the large number of points that should be developed on this matter. The first point concerns the understanding (of the nature and magnitude) of the dangers of this American decision, and some of the dangers that add themselves to it. The second point will evoke certain facts on which this American decision sheds light, namely what it means, what it shows and what it reveals. The third point is the stance that is required. And finally a conclusion. 

First, regarding the understanding of the dangers caused by the US decision. If we understand the extent of the dangers involved in this decision, it will be an encouragement for all of us to act and fulfill our responsibilities, and also, in addition, not to listen to the voices that will rise in the coming days, when everyone will share his position, I expect to hear voices in the Arab and Islamic world that will argue that what happened is not important or has no value, that nothing happened (that there is no need to worry) and therefore (we will unfortunately hear) denials of the importance and dangers of this decision. 

Considering the dangers (involved in this decision), a brief introduction: we all know that the Israeli enemy, this entity and its leaders, in principle, do not respect international resolutions – that is something proven and established, just consider all international resolutions (applying to Israel) –, they do not respect international conventions, they do not respect international agreements, and they do not even respect the agreements they themselves (negotiated and) signed. Their interests take precedence over everything and always have the last word. And they do not even respect the so-called international community and the international will. They couldn't care less about the declarations and stances of the Arab countries, Islamic countries, European countries – yes, even Europe – the Russians, China, Latin America, Canada or Australia. For this entity, the only thing that matters fundamentally is the United States of America and the American position. This is well-known. 

And therefore, in past decades, the successive governments of the enemy tried to take possession of Al-Quds, to seize it, in all respects: humanly, with the inhabitants, the holy places, at all levels. But successive US governments also, under the pretext of being the guarantors of peace, sponsoring the negotiations, ensuring (impartially) to respect the balance between the countries in the region, between Israel and its Arab allies, etc. sometimes allowed to a limited extent, and sometimes forbade Israeli measures (of gradual occupation) of Al-Quds.  

For example, regarding the gradual eviction process of Palestinians from Al-Quds, (it has been done) little by little, and sometimes the United States looked away and allowed these expulsions – as we say, they closed their eyes – and sometimes they prohibited it and took a position (against it). Things were advancing in this framework (of deception). Regarding the construction of settlements, same thing, it was gradual: sometimes they opposed it, sometimes they facilitated it, sometimes they looked the other way. Regarding the ownership of homes and property of Palestinians, same thing. With regard to getting closer and closer to the Al-Aqsa mosque, same thing. Thus, the US position was a protection or encouragement in one way or another, ensuring that Israel would not (openly) get an absolute hold of the whole city in one strike, and that the Zionist project in Al-Quds is not completely fulfilled. 

If we pay attention (to the data in) this introduction, we will understand the danger of the new US decision. For what did Trump told them? He told them: “This (city) of Al-Quds, all of it, West and East, is yours, it is your land, it is your capital. It is subject to your sovereignty.” Therefore, it is over: the (gradual) encouragement dictated by US tactics, which was due to the diplomacy, the policy of (pseudo-) negotiations, measurement and balance positions between the Zionist entity and Arab and Islamic countries, all of this collapsed yesterday, shot down by a fatal blow. Now, the government of the enemy, Netanyahu and his party have no more obstacles facing them after this American position. And that brings us into some details about the dangers. I will list them progressively, until the greatest danger.
First, the Palestinian residents of Al-Quds : what will be their fate after the US decision? Will Israeli citizenship be imposed on them? As with the 1948 Palestinians? Or is it that they will be expelled? Etc., etc., etc. What awaits them? While in the past there were limits on the expulsion of Palestinians from Al-Quds, after this decision, all the doors are open. 

Second, what is the future of Palestinian possessions in Al-Quds? In the past, we saw Israeli comedies in the media: they seized a house here, two houses there, they built a house here or there, sometimes in the guise of violations of the law, lack of building permits, etc., etc. So the property of the Palestinians, their homes, their houses, their fields, their lands in Al-Quds (all are under imminent threat of grabbing or destruction). 

Third, in the past, if a colony was built, one or two hundred houses, European voices (of protest) rose, the Americans told them “Shut up” and “Be still”, but now, we will see a massive and rapid settlement movement, colonization without barriers and without limits within the East Al-Quds and throughout the suburb of the city of Al-Quds.  

Fourth, Al-Quds will extend further towards the West Bank, under the title of the “Great AlQuds”. Tomorrow, everything around Al-Quds will be integrated to the “Great Al-Quds”. And it will even be officially recorded in the negotiations, if there can still be negotiations. And at this level - regarding the inhabitants, properties, houses and settlements, colonizing, everything that was done by the Israelis for decades, they will do much more in a very limited period of time. And this is a great danger. 

Fifth, and it is among the greatest dangers, the fate of the holy places of Islam and Christianity. Previously, Al-Quds had a special status recognized by the international community, etc. Now, what is left of this special status? Nothing at all. The sovereignty over the Muslim and Christian holy sites, according to US recognition, belongs to the Israelis. And we hear from the beginning, and in recent years, voices, saying it is an historic opportunity to rebuild the (Jewish) Temple [of Solomon, which implies the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque] and fully realize the Zionist project in this regard. After this statement, we can honestly say that the Muslim and Christian holy places are in great danger, we must sound the alarm, but what is in even greater danger is the Al-Aqsa mosque itself. The Al-Aqsa Mosque itself. Let no one be surprised if one day, with all that is happening in the world, we wake up one morning and are told that there were excavations under the Al-Aqsa Mosque, we do not know what happened, that a tunnel was dug or a wall destroyed and the Al-Aqsa mosque (accidentally) collapsed, do not hold it against us ladies and gentlemen. This can happen any night, at any moment. So even the fate of Muslim and Christian holy sites, especially the Al-Aqsa mosque (is seriously threatened). 

Sixth, the future of the Palestinian cause as a whole. For Al-Quds is the heart of the Palestinian cause, its base, its shaft, its foundation. When in fact, Al-Quds is removed from this cause, what is left? There's nothing left. Today, what did Trump say to the Palestinians and the Palestinian people, the Arab and Islamic communities and the world? “There is no Palestinian cause. It's over. There are Palestinian people, some are present inside (the entity of) Israel, according to their terms, some are outside, we must find a solution. Let's see where we can accommodate them, install them, maybe we can take them to Jordan or give them the Sinai (in Egypt), giving them a kind of administrative autonomy. And what of those in Gaza?” This is (all) the extent of the issue. But as for the Palestinian cause, the heart and foundation of the Palestinian cause that is Al-Quds, as regards the United States, the issue ended yesterday. 

And that even for those who believe in the path of negotiations (which was never the case of Hezbollah). And even more so for the future of the independent Palestinian state whose capital is the holy Al-Quds. What remains of al-Quds for the Americans, that can be negotiated and obtained (as the capital of Palestine)? Regardless (of differences between those who) claim (the whole of) Palestine from the (Mediterranean) Sea to the (Jordan) river, who accept the 1967 borders on a permanent basis or accept them temporarily, Palestinians are unanimous on the fact that the capital of the Palestinian state, whatever its extent, must be Al Quds East. Today, Americans erased it permanently. 

The Americans, the (alleged) sponsors of negotiations and guarantee of agreements - when any were reached - declare to all of us and to the Palestinians that Al-Quds is not part of the negotiations, it's over, it is not a subject of debate, negotiation or even discussion. If negotiations continue, they will talk about other things, but absolutely not of Al-Quds. What does that mean? As for those who are interested in negotiations and by the so-called "peace process", clearly and frankly, some of them have said yesterday that Trump fired the last (and fatal) bullet on this process. And some even said it was a stillborn process from the start, but that Trump has had the courage to announce his death. But there may still be in the Arab world people who insist on asserting that it is still alive. 

Another danger – and I will conclude on this – also with regard to what is outside of Al-Quds, when the United States have the audacity to take on what is dearest to Palestinians, to the Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Arab and Islamic worlds, and to grab it like this - I'm talking about Al-Quds - tomorrow, what will be the fate of the West Bank? What will be the fate of the Golan Heights (occupied Syrian territory)? Cheb'a Farms and Kafar Shuba Hills (occupied Lebanese territories)? And anything else? When they have the audacity to take what is dearest to you, the most holy, without fear, without taking the slightest element into consideration, how will they behave with what is incomparable in holiness, in importance, and (weighs much less) on aspects of civilization, (national) feelings and religion? And that's why all other causes which are an object of struggle with the Israeli enemy will be threatened, especially if we are silent facing this dangerous decision. These are just some of the dangers evoked briefly.  

Now, if we stop and think about it calmly, put into it a little time, 24 hours, two or three days, if people sit and think about it (together) we will discover many (other) dangers contained in this decision, especially if is met only with silence, because beyond what concerns the Arab-Israeli conflict, one of the greatest dangers is that the Americans no longer exerce any restraint or limit (for) all that is in the Arab and Muslim world. Because the community that allows the rape of AlQuds, that let it be torn forcefully from its history, its civilization, its heart, his reason, its soul and its (deepest) feelings, is a community that can give up any other thing, whether it has a link with the Arab-Israeli conflict or anything that would raise the ambitions and greed of the US administration. […]