mercredi 30 janvier 2019

Operation Northern Shield: Hassan Nasrallah Reveals Why He Remained Silent

Interview of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah Secretary General, with Ghassan Ben Jeddou, founder of the pan-Arab and anti-imperialist Al-Mayadeen channel, January 26, 2019.

This live interview lasted for more than 3 hours.



Ghassan Ben Jeddou: [...] Why have you stayed silent since November 10, and decided to speak (only) today? 

Hassan Nasrallah: In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Obviously, this silence, or the fact that I stayed away from the media, have nothing to do with health problems, and I will return to this in a moment, because during this period, I was often asked about my health, but I confirm that everything that was said (in the Israeli media) is just lies without any basis of truth. My brain, my heart [Laughs], my body, and before that my soul and my intellectual abilities, with the grace of God, my senses, everything is fine. I do not suffer from any health problems, and I had no health concern whatsoever.

Ghassan Ben Jeddou: You did not go (get treatment) in Shiraz (Iran)?

mardi 29 janvier 2019

UNSC: Russia Compares the Situation in Venezuela to the 'Yellow Vests' Crisis

Russian Representative at the United Nations Security Council, devoted to 'The situation in Venezuela', January 26, 2019.



President: I give the floor to the representative of the Russian Federation.

Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya: Thank you, Mr. President. 

The distinguished representative of Germany devoted a major part of his statement to a personal dialogue with me. I would like to comment on what he said.

The use of preventive diplomacy is indeed excellent. It is obviously better to prevent a crisis than to resolve it. But you (France and Germany) propose a very strange way to prevent this crisis, putting forward an absurd 8-days ultimatum. Some states didn't even need 8 days to reject the recognition of the legitimate authorities of Venezuela. 

You completely disregard the sovereignty of Venezuela,  imposing on it the decisions that you prefer and denying its people the right to resolve their own affairs. You're not calling for the political forces of Venezuela to find a common understanding in the interest of achieving internal peace and stability. You're calling on the legitimate authority to simply acknowledge their defeat and to transfer power to the opposition. What you're doing is not prevention, but incitement.

How would you feel if the Russian Federation brought the situation in France and the 'Yellow Vests' protests to the Security Council? Just over the past weekend, some 22.000 people took to the streets. Would you consider that as prevention? I want to reassure the representative of France that we do not intend to bring this issue to the UNSC. Unlike you, we're not trying to recognize or not recognize anyone, although we recognize the legitimate authorities of Venezuela.

We call upon: 

a) respecting the legitimate authority;
b) not to interfere into the domestic affairs of the country;
c) not to impose on Venezuela solutions from the outside, but rather to help them resolve their own affairs peacefully.

Thank you. 

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mercredi 23 janvier 2019

Syria Ready to Strike Tel-Aviv, Determined to Liberate Golan (Full UN Speech)

Statement of the Permanent Representative of Syria at the UN, Dr. Bashar Ja'fari, during the Security Council devoted to the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, January 22nd, 2019.



Thank you, Mr. President.

In the beginning, I congratulate your country [Dominican Republic] for your non-permanent membership in the Security Council, and I congratulate you personally for presiding over the work of this Council during this month. I welcome the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, Mrs. Marsudi, and I congratulate Palestine, the State of Palestine for presiding over the G77 + China.

Mr. President,

Yesterday, the Israeli occupation forces once again committed a series of aggression using missiles targeting the Syrian Arab Republic territories from above Lebanese territories – it was mentioned by my colleague, the representative of Lebanon in great detail. They attacked us from above the Lebanese territories, from the occupied Palestinian territories and from the Sea of Galilee in the occupied Syrian Golan. This was a gross violation of international law, of the UN Charter and of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, as well as the 1974 Disengagement Agreement (between Israel and Syria).

These acts of aggression would not have been committed if the Security Council hadn't failed in compelling the implementation of Security Council Resolutions relevant to the Israeli-Arab conflict over long decades, and were it not for the unlimited support provided by some permanent members of this Security Council to this rogue entity. This encouraged Israel to increase their frequent crimes, violations and State terrorism, away from any kind of accountability, even purely formal. This was demonstrated by the repeated acts of aggression against my country carried out by Israel, and the multifaceted support they provided for years to terrorist organizations.

These acts were not condemned, nor was there any call by the Security Council to stop such acts, in light of the position of the US, Britain and France, who are accomplices and supporters of Israel in such acts of aggression. The policies of these 3 countries and their stances in the UN run counter, in the letter and spirit, to the responsibility they are supposed to shoulder in maintaining international peace and security in line with the international law and the UN Charter’s provisions. The fact that these countries continue to play the role of false witnesses and prevent the Security Council from undertaking its responsibilities will not stop us from exercising our legitimate right of self-defense and work on retaking the occupied Syrian Golan by all means possible.

Mr. President,

Recovering the Syrian Golan is an established right for the Syrian Arab Republic. This imprescriptible right is not subject to negotiations, concessions or expiration. The full withdrawal of the Israeli occupying forces from the Golan, to the June 4th, 1967 line is an obligation that shall be fulfilled. It is an unwavering demand based on the principles of international law and the binding UN International Resolutions, including your own resolutions 242, 338 and 497.

Israel feverishly strives to alter this reality, as we have seen today in the Israeli representative's intervention – he talked about everything, except the Palestinian cause and the Israeli-Arab conflict. Israel feverishly strives to alter this reality, and keeps uttering aggressive statements and undertaking criminal acts, but they are doomed to fail, and will never lead in any form whatsoever to any prejudice against the legal or sovereign rights of my country.

Certain countries have invested heavily in the terrorist war waged against my country, and counted on the situation of some countries in the region to overshadow Arab rights and choke the voices calling to implement the binding UN International Resolutions imposing the end of the Israeli occupation of Arab land. Moreover, these countries tried to achieve gains for the occupation and promote some suspicious deal to liquidate the Palestinian cause and the established and unwavering rights of the peoples and countries in the region.

They tried to ignite artificial strife and stir surrealist conflicts between countries of the region, in order to deviate their attention from the fundamental cause of what's happening in the Middle East. All this lack of stability, prosperity and development is because of the continued Israeli occupation, Israeli settlements and Israeli massacre of the Palestinian cause.

Mr. President,

The past period has witnessed many dangerous and systematic Israeli practices, through which the occupying forces tempted to consolidate their control and impose their will on the occupied Syrian Golan. Let us mention for example: holding meetings of the Israeli government in the occupied Syrian Golan; striving to organize illegitimate local elections there; signing deals and issuing permits to loot the natural resources of the Golan; just recently, looting the properties of Syrians and displacing them to establish a project for wind power generation over around 6000 dunams of land, in some of the surrounding sites around the cities of Magd al-Chams, Ayn Qania, Buqata and Massada; and the continuous settlement activity as well as crimes and daily repression against Syrian citizens under the yoke of the occupation. They arrest them and throw them in Israeli prisons arbitrarily, as is still the case of the activist Sedqi al-Maqet, Syria's Nelson Mandela, and Amal Abu Saleh. They also subject other Syrians to house arrest. The Israeli officials have also issued repeated aggressive statements, which stress that the occupying power cares neither about international law nor about the Resolutions of your Council, and intends to continue its occupation.

Unfortunately, all these issues and their rejection by our people in the Golan did not catch the attention of the Special Coordinator, Mr. Mladinov, so that they could be included in his monthly briefing to you. Worse, he avoided on purpose to call things by their names. He talked to us about about the side "Alpha" and the side "Bravo", as if each of you knew what means Alpha and what means Bravo [1]
, instead of issuing a clear condemnation of the almost daily Israeli aggression against the territories of the Syrian Arab Republic, including the continuous aggression against the Damascus International Civil Airport, which is, I repeat, a civilian airport. Such blatant disregard is a political and moral failure to undertake his mandate in a way that turns counter to the principles and rules applicable in the UN, and thus deprives him of any legitimacy.

Mr President, isn’t it high time for this Council to take the necessary measures to stop the repeated Israeli aggression against the territories of my country? Or should we attract the attention of the war makers of this Council by exercising our legitimate right for self-defense and respond to the Israeli aggression against the Damascus International Civil Airport in kind by striking Tel-Aviv Airport?

Mr. President,

We are pragmatic and we know the differences in the political stances of the members of this Council. However, we call upon you to focus on the common ground that joins us, that is the international law, the UN Charter and the Resolutions of this Council of yours. Thus, we stress the necessity for the countries supporting Israel, its policies and stances to review their approach, to stick to that common ground that I have touched upon now, and to work towards the restoration of the legitimate rights to their true owners in line with the binding UN International Resolutions and the internationally recognized bodies. Otherwise, the destiny of this international organization will be just a repeat of the failure of the League of Nations for the same reasons. 

Let us remember that many of the calamities suffered by our country came due to the violation of international law and of the UN Charter, through the constitution of illegitimate coalitions like the ones which targeted Irak, Libya, Yemen, Syria and others, and due to call for meetings that bypass the Security Council, like this Warsaw Meeting [called by the US against Iran], or the Middle East Strategic Coalition known among intelligence experts as the NATO of the Middle East. All these coalitions are made outside the UN Security Council.

This begs the question : from where do such coalitions and meetings gain their legitimacy? Are international relations governed by international law and the UN Charter upon which the founding fathers strove to agree? Or are they governed by the will and the destructive agendas of some countries? Are we not correct, Mr. President, to warn that this organization might end up just like the League of Nations if we do not hold a stance against the policies of these countries? The absence of a UN sponsoring of the Warsaw meeting clearly shows that such an approach will not manage to resolve anything, and won't realize what was announced by the organizers themselves, namingly the drafting of a common strategy on the Middle East. They said themselves that the Warsaw meeting meant to draft a common strategy on the Middle East.

Mr. President,

My country expresses its firm and principled position supporting the rights of the Palestinian people for self-determination and independent statehood over all its territories with Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital, and the right of return of the refugees in line with Resolution 194 of 1948. We renew and stress that any measures that would prejudice those rights are null, void and rejected, and will only escalate tensions and threaten peace and security in the region and in the world.

To conclude, Mr. President, I tell those who are trying to redraw the maps of our region along their own whims that our people, who stood against the unprecedented international terrorist war imposed on us, will also stand against such evil plans, and will thwart them just as he thwarted others over decades.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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[1] Here is how Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, briefed the Security Council on the Israeli aggression, at the beginning of the session:  

“On the occupied Golan, the ceasefire between Israel and Syria has been maintained with relative calm and low levels of military activity in the areas of separation and limitation on the Bravo side. UNDOF attributes this activity to controlled detonations of explosive ordnance as part of clearance conducted by Syrian security forces. The relative calm in the UNDOF area of operation was interrupted by events that occurred on 25 December and most recently on 20 and 21 January.

On 25 December, UNDOF observed a helicopter on the Alpha side fire four rockets that impacted on the Bravo side. On that day, UNDOF also heard and observed surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft defense guns, rockets and heavy machine guns fired on the Bravo side but could not observe the points of origin or impact.

On 20 and 21 January, UNDOF observed and heard an increase in air activity over, and firing of missiles into, the areas of separation and limitation on the Bravo side. UNDOF liaised with both sides to de-escalate the situation. The observations of military activity coincided with open source reports of Israel’s confirming that it had conducted a series of airstrikes on targets in Syria in response to a missile fired from Syria intercepted by Israel.

Such events demonstrate the volatility of the area and risk jeopardizing the long-standing ceasefire between the two countries. It is critical that both parties to the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement respect the Agreement at all times to prevent escalation across the ceasefire line and actions that undermine progress towards stability in the area.”

Syria: Leading Israeli Figures Denounce Netanyahu's Recklessness

Report from Al-Manar TV, Hezbollah's Channel, January 22, 2019 (English Subtitles). 


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How Syria Thwarted Two Israeli Attacks in 24 Hours

Al-Mayadeen News Report, January 21st, 2019 (English Subtitles). 


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samedi 19 janvier 2019

Offenses against Jesus and Mary and Desecration of Christian Tombs in Israel

Al-Manar Report, January 12, 2018 (English subtitles). 


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The city of Haifa has witnessed clashes between Zionist police and Palestinian protesters because of insulting depictions of the Messiah and his Mother, peace be upon them, in an exhibition constituting a new aggression against the most sacred religious symbols.

Without any moral or legal deterrent, the Zionist entity continues its offenses against the revealed religions and beliefs, by displaying humiliating depictions of the Messiah and the Virgin Mary, peace be upon them, exhibited at the Haifa Museum of Fine Arts, which represents a new aggression against Christian holy figures, and is part of a continuous chain of destruction of all Muslim and Christian sacred symbols in occupied Palestine.

The so-called international community and the world media have kept silent about this, but Palestinian Christians faced it with demonstrations in front of the museum, demanding the withdrawal of the depictions insulting their most sacred figures. Police forces of the occupant repelled them with tear gas and stun grenades, and arrested a number of them after charging the protesters violently.

Christian religious figures have demanded the withdrawal of the offensive depictions, and the Council of Catholic Churches of Palestine was indignant about this treatment to the greatest references of Christianity. For its part, the Islamic and Christian Relief Organization for Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the Holy Places strongly denounced these offenses as representing the pinnacle of racism, and called to resist the attempts to denigrate religions conducted by various Israeli media and museums.

Everything indicates that this offense is one of a string of attacks against religious places, one of which being the recent destruction of crosses and tombstones in a cemetery of the Salesian monastery of Beit Jamal west of occupied Al-Quds (Jerusalem). Such attacks against the cemeteries and the priory church took place in previous years, committed by the Zionist settlers. 

vendredi 4 janvier 2019

Beyond Kafka: How Youtube & Facebook Keep Purging Alternative Media

Hassan Nasrallah is persona non grata on Social Networks, where Anti-Zionism is the ultimate thoughtcrime 

With a comment from Norman Finkelstein

The guillotine's blade fell again, one year later. On December 2017 already, my 5-years-old Youtube channel Sayed Hasan, mainly translating speeches from Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, was completely removed by Youtube, along with its 10 000 subscribers, +6 millions views and +400 subtitled videos of anti-Zionist & anti-Imperialist content. I then denunced this censorship in detail in my article Kafka 2.0: How Youtube’s Political Censorship is Exercised. And just around New Year's Eve 2019, the +6000 Subscribed Facebook Page Resistance News Unfiltered, along with all its similar content, got deleted without explanation. The only thing left online is a cache view of the page dating back from this summer, in French.

I had created this Page at the beginning of 2018, since no other place can compete with Youtube and its near-monopoly on video content, in order to reach a broader audience. But it was deleted without explanation by Facebook short of its first anniversary. I can't even know the precise date of termination. Youtube did at least bother to send emails notifying of the removal of a video or of a whole channel, but Facebook has only internal notifications for posts removals. Here is how it happened. 

I got two warnings from Facebook, dated December 24th and December 25th, 2018:

When I logged in on December 28th and saw these messages, I immediately appealed the decisions through the automated procedure, as shown above, though the specific posts alledgedly violating the Communnity Standards weren't even accessible, since they had been removed. It means that I didn't –and still don't– even know which posts got me these "strikes". At least, Youtube was specific about the videos alledgedly violating their rules –three speeches of Hassan Nasrallah–, though they didn't say more than that. I don't know if the whole Page was finally removed because of a third "strike" –Facebook does not even state how much "strikes" you can get before termination– or because of something else, like constant flagging and reports by cyber-IDF soldiers and Hasbara trolls. But I am positive it has to do with my anti-Zionist content. It is a blatant attempt to take down important speech and silence already marginalized voices, as stated by Vera Eidelman from the ACLU

Of course, one should always protest and complain using the due procedures. After all, Facebook has been known to restore such Pages after the public outcry following their removal without proper reason (TeleSur, VenezuelAnalysis, etc.). I did protest, and I am still expecting an answer from them, without much hope, since earlier appeals as old as September 17th are still awaiting a response almost 4 months later, as shown below (screenshot dated January 4th, 2019). Appeals are not suspensive.

Ever since September 2018, when the crackdown on my page began, tens of tens of my posts were thus removed as Spam or Community Standards Infringement, and a shadow censorship was applied to my page. Thus, my posts didn't appear on the majority of my subscribers' feed, drastically reducing its readership from the thousands to the tens. But it seems it was not enough, and my page was finally completely removed. Without any mention of a motive, corpus delicti and mere notification of removal of my page, not even in Facebook's internal notifications on my personnal account, we are clearly beyond kafkaesque.

This witch-hunt against the voice of the Resistance Axis online, especially Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah (I am the main translator of his speeches in English and French, voluntary and non-affiliated), is not new. Over and over again most often after Israeli-backed indictment campaigns, in 2012, 2014, 2016 and june 2018, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter closed down all accounts affiliated to the Lebanese and Palestinian Resistance, including Al-Manar TV Channel, banned for good. In 2014 and 2016, Facebook was hunting down Nasrallah's very picture and temporarily blocking the accounts that featured it, even though they were individuals having no link whatsoever with the organization: not only Hezbollah's missiles and fighters, but the very voice and picture of its Secretary General are considered as an existential threat for Israel, whose paid trolls keep reporting his videos as terrorist hate-speech to ban mercilessly. The right to information, neutrality or equity is a chimera in the Internet Giants' turf, where only alternative views, especially videos hostile to Zionism, are subject to censorship and banishment.

On January 8, 2019, Norman Finkelstein commented on the issue:
It is a scandal that the speeches of Hassan Nasrallah are banned on Youtube. Whatever one thinks of his politics, it cannot be doubted that Nasrallah is among the shrewdest and most serious political observers in the world today. Israeli leaders carefully scrutinize Nasrallah’s every word. Why are the rest of us denied this right? One cannot help but wonder whether Nasrallah’s speeches are censored because he doesn’t fit the stereotype of the degenerate, ignorant, blowhard Arab leader. It appears that Western social media aren’t yet ready for an Arab leader of dignified mind and person.
Thankfully, my first article got the attention of Ron Unz, who offered to safeguard my videos in his own website, and I published them back gradually in a new Dailymotion Channel from where they are automatically saved in The Unz Review's internal storage system. Thus, even if they end up deleted by Dailymotion, they'll still be accessible in one and same place without need to re-upload them again. I will keep posting my videos on Dailymotion –though it has its own, more subtle way of censorship: age-restricting videos, burying them in the search results... –, and I call on everyone to subscribe to my channel on the Unz Review (RSS feed). Whatever happens, the Electronic Intifada to which Hassan Nasrallah called will carry on.

Sayed Hasan

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