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Tegenlicht The Israeli Lobby Documents

Dutch MSM investigating the truth as proposed by Mearsheimer and Walt and their book the Israel Lobby

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Tegenlicht The Israeli Lobby Documents

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March 5, 2018  Tags:   Posted in: Israeli Lobby  Comments Closed

Progressive Policy Hits Middle East Bump | Atlanta Jewish Times – Atlanta Jewish Times

The Netroots Nation panel almost made it to the end of the discussion on a progressive foreign policy without any trouble.

From the need to bring home the troops from Afghanistan to the bewilderment over President Donald Trumps approach to North Korea, the 40 or so people in the meeting room at the Hyatt Regency downtown mostly nodded, clapped and occasionally snapped in support of the anti-militarist policies promoted by the four speakers Friday, Aug. 11.

Sure, former U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Hardy from Wyoming had an uncomfortable rant about how awful Venezuela was before Hugo Chavez, but that was easily glossed over by focusing on the United States staying out of the business of regime change.

Then, the final question of the morning, one squeezed in as the session ran over its allotted time at the national progressive conference, crossed the line.

I would like to point out one elephant in the room that we have not talked about, and thats Israel, said a man who introduced himself as Mickey Reese, a student at the University of North Georgia. He complained about a double standard toward Israel, which is believed to have nuclear weapons, compared with Iran. I dont want Iran to have a nuclear weapon, but as long as we have this double standard, I think that we are going to be hated in the Middle East, and I wonder how we can break the hold that the Israeli lobby and other voices have on the U.S. Congress.

Freshman Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) serves on the House Armed Services Committee.

Questions were taken in pairs, and the two U.S. House members on the panel, California Democrats Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee, answered the two parts of another question, regarding Twitters role in resisting President Donald Trump (Khanna represents Silicon Valley) and the psychological toll of growing up in a United States perpetually at war (Lee is a clinical social worker).

That left Israel to Stephen Miles, the director of Win Without War.

We need to not have double standards in our foreign policy. We need to not be hypocritical with our values, he said.

Stephen Miles is the director of Win Without War.

Without specifying the problem, Miles said the solution is speaking up and demanding that our voices be heard.

He cited as a prime example the enactment of the Iran nuclear deal two years ago over the opposition of AIPAC and $8 million in paid phone calls to Congress by an organization AIPAC created, Citizens for a Nuclear-Free Iran. He did not mention that J Street and many pro-Israel individuals lobbied for that deal.

That is the challenge we should take from here today, Miles said. We can drown out the other side. We can have a progressive foreign policy, but only if we speak up and make our voices heard.

The Palestinians were never mentioned during the 75-minute session.

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Progressive Policy Hits Middle East Bump | Atlanta Jewish Times – Atlanta Jewish Times

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August 18, 2017   Posted in: Israeli Lobby  Comments Closed

Jagmeet Singh Isn’t The Palestinian Ally You Think He Is – Huffington Post Canada

Jagmeet Singh has been enjoying a great run in the NDP leadership race. His polished youthfulness has enabled him to reach out to, and engage with, a wide array of communities with an equally wide range of talking points. This has made him the candidate of choice for many.

One of these talking points has been Jagmeet’s relentless support of Palestinian rights.

Last December, he stood out as the only voice of opposition at Queen’s Park in the face of a motion aimed at rejecting BDS. The motion, which passed with the support of the Conservatives and Liberals, was aimed at rejecting “the differential treatment of Israel, including the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.”

Speaking there, Jagmeet stated that “we cannot support a motion that in effect bans the right to dissent. That is one of the most fundamental rights in any society the right to criticize… is something we must protect. We can’t conflate anti-Semitism with a movement that seeks to influence a government to change its course of action.”

This rhetoric is in line with the overall NDP stance, but has, in the context of this leadership race, earned Jagmeet the image of a campaigner for Palestinian rights. Enough so that he has been given a grade of A- from Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East who have questioned all NDP leadership candidates, placing Jagmeet second to Niki Ashton.

Jagmeet and his team continue to polish this image with tweets on Palestinian issues, as well as talks around BDS as he tours Canada:

However, Jagmeet’s criticism remains isolated externally. When it comes to the NDP’s own history with Palestinian rights and previous suppression of candidates who were vocally anti-occupation, Jagmeet has yet to take a stance. Most recently, he has accepted the endorsement of Helene Laverdire, an endorsement he is proudly touting, making him the only remaining leadership candidate with an endorsement from a sitting Quebec MP.

Earlier this year, Laverdire, who is the NDP’s foreign affairs critic, accepted an expense-paid trip to the U.S. to speak at a conference held by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee America’s largest Israeli lobby. But it would seem that it’s not only Laverdire who may be accepting Israeli lobby money to travel. Jagmeet’s tweets claim that his trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories was in December; however, evidence would suggest that his trip took place in January 2017, a month after his impassioned speech on BDS.

These media clippings, articles and tweets coincidentally seem to suggest that Jagmeet visited Israel and the Palestinian Territories as part of a seven-member MPP team that included Todd Smith (PC) and Michael Harris (PC), and that the trip may even have been sponsored by no other than the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).

If this is indeed the trip Jagmeet was referring to in his tweets, it would’ve been a trip aimed at showcasing a specific narrative with minimal exposure to “the frustrating conditions” of occupation mentioned in his tweets.

It’s possible the trip would not have allowed him to speak to stakeholders unless they were approved by the Israeli government, and certainly would not have given him the understanding he claims to have of the suffering of the Palestinian people.

To add insult to injury, Jagmeet’s media team now seems intent on merging this trip into the narrative he has set in his BDS speech: a narrative of Jagmeet as a defender of human rights promoted on social media through posts like this:

With all of this, it’s important to separate the facts from fiction.

1. Jagmeet has never endorsed the BDS movement, but has only spoken of its right to exist; that is, the right to free expression.

2. Jagmeet has never discussed the NDP’s previous conduct against its own members and candidates who have expressed anti-occupation views.

3. Jagmeet has gladly accepted the endorsement of an MP that has been associated with the AIPAC movement and has, without criticism, held onto the NDP’s current stance on the IsraeliPalestinian conflict.

And finally,

4. After making his speech against the anti-BDS motion, it would seem that Jagmeet accepted a CIJA-sponsored tour of Israel and is now using that trip to relay parables of his understanding of the suffering of the Palestinian people.

There is something queasily abhorrent around the thought of Jagmeet and his team using a potentially lobby-sponsored trip to garner the support of voters who have been the direct victims of a sustained occupation dating back to 1948 and their sympathizers. Is this what a human rights activist looks like? A person capitalizing on the suffering and victimization of the Palestinian population to garner votes? Is this what we want the leader of the NDP to look like?

If Jagmeet was the activist he claims to be, he would have refused a trip to Israel, a trip he took with an ease unavailable to the more than 6-million Palestinian refugees living outside of Palestine Palestinians who have been expelled, and remain expelled, by the government that so graciously welcomed him.

It’s strange to write a piece hoping that your findings are wrong. But if I’m right, it would point to an indefensible, petty and damning manoeuvre beyond any sort of political “bending of the truth.”

Jagmeet Singh must come forward and clarify the facts. The Palestinian people have suffered enough and deserve more than having their cause and fight reduced to an empty talking point used to mislead the public.

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August 11, 2017   Posted in: Israeli Lobby  Comments Closed

US sinking in Afghanistan – Press TV

These are the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line:

US sinking in Afghanistan

US president Donald Trump is notorious for making illogical statements about various issues. But he was definitely right when he recently criticized the US military for still being bogged down in Afghanistan after so many years of occupying the country. The president’s frustration was revealed by the US media which reported details of a tense meeting between the president and military officials at the White House last month. The report says Trump flatly said the US is not winning and that its actually losing in Afghanistan. He startled his advisers by suggesting they sack the US war’s top military commander.

BDS movement

Israel has defiantly violated international law for several decades. It has occupied Palestinian lands, forced out their residents and keeps building on them besides other flagrant violations of human rights. An embarrassing failure by governments and international bodies to force Israel into compliance with international law has led to the emergence of popular movements against the occupation. Perhaps the most successful of these popular movements is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. The global campaign was launched in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian NGOs. The campaign has significantly piled pressure on Israel in different fields from trade to scientific areas. For instance it has targeted companied that are involved in Israeli settlement construction on Palestinian lands. The BDS has been rapidly growing in popularity and caused alarm in Tel Aviv and among members of the Israeli lobby in the United States.

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US sinking in Afghanistan – Press TV

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August 6, 2017   Posted in: Israeli Lobby  Comments Closed

Israel is making new foes around the world – Daily Sabah

The international hegemony established after the end of World War II did not end in the world peace. In fact, the new world order, which was represented by the United Nations, was by no means an order of peace. On the contrary, it was the continuation of the global colonial order, pioneered by the winners of the two world wars. Injustice has then become the rule of the world.

After drawing the political map of the Middle East, the United Kingdom withdrew from the region by condemning related countries to strife and war. The Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan or Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait can be brought forward as notorious examples of innumerous problems caused by the colonial British Empire.

Jerusalem holds special status in the world order. Established on May 14, 1948, the Zionist state of Israel gradually invaded Palestinian lands as a whole. After occupying the Arab lands parcel by parcel, Israel now dares to forbid religious worship in Jerusalem, which is a holy city for Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

In the 1970s, when leftist movements were on the rise, the Palestinian issue had been one of the heated topics of political debates. Together with Muslim students, leftist intellectuals and university students were protesting against the Israeli persecution of Palestinians. Since the rise of political Islam after the 1980s and the weakening of leftist movements, the Palestinian cause has been embraced by the Muslim youth.

Regarding the current prohibition of praying at Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israel, the Palestinian cause has come to the fore of world politics not only Muslims, but also many Westerners who respect human rights protest against Israel’s persecution of Palestinians. Thus, it is reasonable to argue that Israel continues to make new foes around the world.

The Israeli lobby has always been influential U.S. politics. While conventional media organizations such as the CNN, the BBC and FOX News, have easily been controlled through lobbying activities, social media has relatively been out of control. Israel’s recent illegal and illegitimate moves at Al-Aqsa Mosque caused particular public outrage on social media.

At a press conference, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said: “The days of the Ottomans are gone.” I think that he meant the age of justice is gone and the age of persecution has begun. The Ottoman Empire established a system of religious tolerance in Jerusalem by ensuring the freedom of worship for Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Indeed, the system of religious tolerance had been expanded by the Ottomans throughout the entire empire, including Istanbul, Sarajevo and Thessaloniki.

The experience of continental Europe in living with the other involves only the Jewish culture. Living in ghettos in Europe, Jews have always been persecuted across European. Yet, they have always found tolerant asylum in Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire. In fact, the Jewish Museum of Turkey in Istanbul aims at informing society of the traditions and history of Turkish Jewry and celebrating the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Sephardic Jews to the Ottoman Empire.

The rise of racism in Europe not only threatens Muslims, but also the Jewish community. Instead of committing crimes against humanity at al-Aqsa Mosque, they have to show their solidarity with Muslims against the rise of xenophobia and racism in Europe. It is our firm belief that if oppression continues in Palestine, it means that there is no justice in the world.

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Israel is making new foes around the world – Daily Sabah

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July 29, 2017   Posted in: Israeli Lobby  Comments Closed

Democrats in Congress rethink anti-boycott bill in wake of ACLU … – Haaretz

Rep. Joe Kennedy is among the first of the bill’s co-sponsors to say he is reviewing his position on the draft law, which critics say would criminalize support for boycotts of Israel or the settlements

WASHINGTON Democrats on Capitol Hill are reexamining their support for a bipartisan bill intended to fight boycotts against Israel and the settlements after the American Civil Liberties Union warned U.S. senators last week that it endangers free speech in the United States and could lead to citizens going to prison simply for expressing a political opinion.

Two Democratic staffers who are involved in discussions over the legislation told Haaretz that over a dozen Democrats in both houses of Congress have already began to reconsider their positions in light of the letter the ACLU sent to U.S. senators. One of the first members of the House of Representatives to publicly announce such a review is Rep. Joe Kennedy III, a Democrat representing Massachusetts. Kennedy, a grandson of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, is considered a rising political star in the Democratic Party and is one of 240 co-sponsors of the bill in the House.

The controversial Israel Anti-Boycott Act was proposed in the both the Senate and the House in March, but it only garnered national attention after the ACLU issued the letter last week expressing strong opposition to it. The leading civil rights organization warned that under the bills current language, U.S. citizens could face fines of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and potentially even go to prison for up to 20 years, simply for expressing support for boycotts of Israel and the settlements.

Another organization that came out against the legislation last week was J Street, which opposes boycotts of Israel and the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement but warned that the bill caused serious concerns because of its potential for restricting free speech. J Street also noted that the legislation does not differentiate between boycotts targeting the entire State of Israel and those aimed specifically at settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Criticism of the bill has not been limited to the political left. The American Interest, a magazine that is considered to have a centrist, pro-Israeli editorial line, wrote last week, Its true that the bill is probably not as blatantly unconstitutional as some of its opponents are arguing: it modifies a decades-old law that has been upheld in court, and legal scholars are still debating exactly how it would be enforced. But its not free-and-clear either. It seems possible, for example, that a person funding a student campaign for a university to enforce a UN or EU-backed Israel boycott could be exposed to criminal liability. Now, in fact the courts would quickly throw a case like that out the First Amendment easily trumps a piece of feel-good legislation that Congress whooped through to gain popularity points. But it is hard to base a case for supporting a legal proposal on the argument that some of its obvious applications to domestic circumstances would be dismissed out of hand.

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These warnings have caused two of the bills original co-sponsors, Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland, and Rep. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, to publish a letter on Friday responding to accusations that the bill would endanger free speech. They wrote that the bills critics misunderstood its language and that despite the ACLUs warnings, no U.S. citizen will face legal penalties for supporting a boycott of Israel under the new legislation.

The two congressman explained in their letter that the most controversial part of the bill the one detailing the criminal penalties for participating in boycotts of Israel was in fact an expansion of a law, enacted in 1977, prohibiting U.S. companies from taking part in state-led boycotts of Israel. That bill was adopted in order to counter the Arab boycott of Israel. The new bill adds a new component to it, stipulating that the penalties for participating in a state-led boycott of Israel will also extend to participation in boycotts led by international governmental organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union.

Jay Michaelson, a legal affairs analyst for The Daily Beast, published a piece on Friday that reached a similar conclusion: The new bill only technically expands the 1977 anti-boycott law, in a way that would make it illegal for U.S. companies to cooperate with any boycotts of Israel and the settlements initiated by the UN or the EU. Michaelson accused AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israeli lobby which supports the legislation, of exaggerating its importance, thereby provoking a harsh response from the left that he says was not in keeping with the language of the draft law.

Not all of the bills critics are convinced. The language in the bill is confusing and doesnt clearly state what Cardin and Portman wrote in their letter, one Democratic staffer told Haaretz, adding that it wouldnt surprise me if a large number of Democrats will ask to amend this, making it much more clear that citizens expressing support for boycotts will not be punished for their political opinion. Organizations supporting the BDS movement are worried that even if the bill doesnt in fact include harsh penalties for supporting boycotts, it could be used to deter and frighten activists who support such boycotts from expressing their opinion.

Democratic members of Congress face a difficult decision on the bill, since many of them have pro-Israeli donors and constituents who would likely be pleased by the passage of a bill making it harder to boycott the country, but they also need the support of the progressive wing of the party, which is paying more and more attention to this legislation in recent days. A key Democratic politician to follow with regards to this bill is Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, the only Democratic co-sponsor of the bill who is considered a possible contender for the 2020 presidential election. Gillibrand was one of 43 senators who co-sponsored the legislation. An aide to Senator Gillibrand said: “We have a different read of the specific bill language, however, due to the ACLU’s concerns, the Senator has extended an invitation to them to meet with her and discuss their concerns.”

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Democrats in Congress rethink anti-boycott bill in wake of ACLU … – Haaretz

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US leaders want to punish people who boycott Israel with 20 years in prison – StepFeed

“The billwould punishbusinessesand individuals based solely on their point of view. Such a penalty is in direct violation of the First Amendment,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in an official statement, strongly opposing the legislation.

Proponents of the law argue that it helps fight discrimination and antisemitism toward Jews. But as those who boycott Israel reiterate over and over, they do not stand against Jews. In fact, many prominent Jewish individuals and organizations have thrown their support behind the BDS movement, becoming some of the staunchest critics of the Israeli state and Zionism.

“The ACLU has long supported laws prohibiting discrimination, but this bill cannot fairly be characterized as an anti-discrimination measure, as some would argue,” the ACLU said.

While the bill has garnered significant bipartisan support from Republicans and Democrats, it was crafted with the help of the immensely powerful Israeli lobby group, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

The staunchly right-wing Zionist organization is widely perceived to be one of the most powerful lobby groups in the U.S., with politicians seeing their careers rise and fall based on the organization’s approval.

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US leaders want to punish people who boycott Israel with 20 years in prison – StepFeed

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A fight over wine labels reveals a serious flaw in the Canada-Israel trade deal – iPolitics.ca (subscription)

An embarrassing flip-flop by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency over whether wines produced in the Occupied Palestinian Territories can be sold in Canada as a Product of Israel has exposed a curious omission in Canadas free trade agreement with Israel.

The issue goes well beyond a simple matter of misleading labelling, and raises serious legal issues about the status of that agreement itself.

On July 6, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario received a notification from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency indicating that Product of Israel is not an acceptable designation for wine products from the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

According to the LCBO, CFIA based its decision on established Canadian policy, noting that the Government of Canada does not recognize Israels sovereignty over the territories occupied in 1967 Wine products from those regions which are labelled as Product of Israel are not acceptable. CFIA accordingly directed LCBO to discontinue sales of the mislabeled products.

Bnai Brith Canada and other Israeli lobby organizations were shocked. This step by CFIA would send Canada in the same direction as other jurisdictions including the European Union, which already demands that West Bank Products be labelled as such.

Bnai Brith pointed to Article 1.4.1b of Canadas Free Trade agreement with Israel (CIFTA), first signed in 1997, claiming it allows products from the Occupied Territories to be labelled Product of Israel, notwithstanding existing Canadian official policy that the West Bank is not part of Israel.

CIFTA Article 1.4.1b states: For the purposes of this Agreement, unless otherwise specified, territory means with respect to Israel the territory where its customs laws are applied.

Since Israeli customs laws have been applied by its military regime in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for over 50 years, Bnai Brith would appear to have a point.

Based on the cited article, all goods produced by Israeli settlers in the West Bank ranging from wines to Ahava beauty products from the Dead Sea to the popular Soda Stream product (which was manufactured in the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim) should be treated as if they were in fact, products of Israel.

Faced with this legal argument, within 24 hours CFIA reversed its decision. In our assessment, we did not fully consider the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA), said a CFIA statement.

On examination however, it appears that similar wording appears in most of Canadas major free trade agreements, but always with a significant qualifier: in accordance with international law. This phrase is missing from the article in the agreement which defines territory. It is not known whether the omission was slipped past nave Canadian negotiators by clever Israeli lawyers, or whether there was political pressure to accept it.

However, the matter might not end there, as the CFIA flip-flop raises a number of difficult legal issues for the Canadian government.

The embarrassing West Bank wine imbroglio, which CFIA and the Canadian government would like to present as a simple labelling mistake, has revealed a serious weakness in the wording of the Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA). The current wording puts Canada out of step with the world community, conflicts with our other existing international agreements and could even hinder our hopes for being elected to the Security Council next year.

Perhaps it is time to take a new look at the Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement and bring its wording back in line with our 12 other free trade agreements.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by all iPolitics columnists and contributors are the authors alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of iPolitics.

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A fight over wine labels reveals a serious flaw in the Canada-Israel trade deal – iPolitics.ca (subscription)

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US-Israeli lobby seeks to damage Iran’s ties with neighbors: Cleric – Press TV

Senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami addresses worshipers during the weekly Friday Prayers in Tehran on July 21, 2017. (Photo by IRNA)

A senior Iranian cleric has warned that the US-Israeli lobby is making efforts to damage Irans relations with its neighboring countries amid a new rift in ties between the Islamic Republic and Kuwait.

Speaking in a sermon to worshipers at the weekly Friday Prayers in Tehran, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said the footprint of the US-Zionist lobby can be seenin the recent diplomatic rowbetween Tehran and Kuwait City.

Whether you want it or not, whether you accept it or not, Iran is the most powerful country in the region, Ayatollah Khatami said addressing certain neighboring countries.

He urged the regionalstates to maintainfriendly relationswith Iran because they”need it.”

Iran has proved that it would treat in the best waythose neighboring countries that have fostered friendly relations with the Islamic Republic, he said.

You need to know that friendship with Iran is beneficial to you, the cleric added.

Khatami also warned Iran’sneighboring states against cordial relations with the US and emphasized that Washington would treatthem in the same way it did with the executed Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein.

Kuwait on Thursday closed down the Iranian cultural mission along with other affiliate offices in the Persian Gulf country and ordered Irans Ambassador to Kuwait City, Ali Reza Enayati, and 14 other Iranian diplomats to leave the country in 45 days, the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.

The Iranian diplomatic mission will be reduced to charge d’affaires level and the activities of joint committees of Iran and Kuwait will be stopped.

Kuwaits move came following a court ruling last year that implicated some Iranians in a spying case, known as the Abdali cell.

Later on Thursday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned Kuwaits charge daffaires in Tehran for some explanations.

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According to IRNA, the summoning came following Kuwaits decision to expel Iranian diplomats and telling the Iranian embassy in Kuwait City to close down some of its technical offices.

The report added that Iran’s Foreign Ministry informed the Kuwaiti envoy of the Islamic Republics protest to the decision by Kuwait to reduce the number of Iranian diplomats in the country.

In August 2015, Kuwait said it had busted the 26-member cell and seized arms, ammunition and explosives from them.

Kuwaiti courts convicted members of the so-called Abdali cell of working for the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement. The defendants were also charged with possessing weapons, smuggling explosives, and planning “hostile actions” inside Kuwait.

They received sentences ranging from a few years in prison to, in one case, the death penalty, though the latter sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment.

The defendants were later acquitted on appeals and set free. Kuwaits Supreme Court, however, overturned their acquittal and sentenced them to between five and 15 years in prison.

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Tegenlicht The Israeli Lobby Documents

Dutch MSM investigating the truth as proposed by Mearsheimer and Walt and their book the Israel Lobby [amazon.com] Mearheimer & Walt: The Israel Lobby Like Loading… Related PublishedNovember 2, 2017November 2, 2017

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Progressive Policy Hits Middle East Bump | Atlanta Jewish Times – Atlanta Jewish Times

The Netroots Nation panel almost made it to the end of the discussion on a progressive foreign policy without any trouble. From the need to bring home the troops from Afghanistan to the bewilderment over President Donald Trumps approach to North Korea, the 40 or so people in the meeting room at the Hyatt Regency downtown mostly nodded, clapped and occasionally snapped in support of the anti-militarist policies promoted by the four speakers Friday, Aug. 11. Sure, former U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Hardy from Wyoming had an uncomfortable rant about how awful Venezuela was before Hugo Chavez, but that was easily glossed over by focusing on the United States staying out of the business of regime change. Then, the final question of the morning, one squeezed in as the session ran over its allotted time at the national progressive conference, crossed the line. I would like to point out one elephant in the room that we have not talked about, and thats Israel, said a man who introduced himself as Mickey Reese, a student at the University of North Georgia. He complained about a double standard toward Israel, which is believed to have nuclear weapons, compared with Iran. I dont want Iran to have a nuclear weapon, but as long as we have this double standard, I think that we are going to be hated in the Middle East, and I wonder how we can break the hold that the Israeli lobby and other voices have on the U.S. Congress. Freshman Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) serves on the House Armed Services Committee. Questions were taken in pairs, and the two U.S. House members on the panel, California Democrats Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee, answered the two parts of another question, regarding Twitters role in resisting President Donald Trump (Khanna represents Silicon Valley) and the psychological toll of growing up in a United States perpetually at war (Lee is a clinical social worker). That left Israel to Stephen Miles, the director of Win Without War. We need to not have double standards in our foreign policy. We need to not be hypocritical with our values, he said. Stephen Miles is the director of Win Without War. Without specifying the problem, Miles said the solution is speaking up and demanding that our voices be heard. He cited as a prime example the enactment of the Iran nuclear deal two years ago over the opposition of AIPAC and $8 million in paid phone calls to Congress by an organization AIPAC created, Citizens for a Nuclear-Free Iran. He did not mention that J Street and many pro-Israel individuals lobbied for that deal. That is the challenge we should take from here today, Miles said. We can drown out the other side. We can have a progressive foreign policy, but only if we speak up and make our voices heard. The Palestinians were never mentioned during the 75-minute session.

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Jagmeet Singh Isn’t The Palestinian Ally You Think He Is – Huffington Post Canada

Jagmeet Singh has been enjoying a great run in the NDP leadership race. His polished youthfulness has enabled him to reach out to, and engage with, a wide array of communities with an equally wide range of talking points. This has made him the candidate of choice for many. One of these talking points has been Jagmeet’s relentless support of Palestinian rights. Last December, he stood out as the only voice of opposition at Queen’s Park in the face of a motion aimed at rejecting BDS. The motion, which passed with the support of the Conservatives and Liberals, was aimed at rejecting “the differential treatment of Israel, including the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.” Speaking there, Jagmeet stated that “we cannot support a motion that in effect bans the right to dissent. That is one of the most fundamental rights in any society the right to criticize… is something we must protect. We can’t conflate anti-Semitism with a movement that seeks to influence a government to change its course of action.” This rhetoric is in line with the overall NDP stance, but has, in the context of this leadership race, earned Jagmeet the image of a campaigner for Palestinian rights. Enough so that he has been given a grade of A- from Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East who have questioned all NDP leadership candidates, placing Jagmeet second to Niki Ashton. Jagmeet and his team continue to polish this image with tweets on Palestinian issues, as well as talks around BDS as he tours Canada: However, Jagmeet’s criticism remains isolated externally. When it comes to the NDP’s own history with Palestinian rights and previous suppression of candidates who were vocally anti-occupation, Jagmeet has yet to take a stance. Most recently, he has accepted the endorsement of Helene Laverdire, an endorsement he is proudly touting, making him the only remaining leadership candidate with an endorsement from a sitting Quebec MP. Earlier this year, Laverdire, who is the NDP’s foreign affairs critic, accepted an expense-paid trip to the U.S. to speak at a conference held by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee America’s largest Israeli lobby. But it would seem that it’s not only Laverdire who may be accepting Israeli lobby money to travel. Jagmeet’s tweets claim that his trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories was in December; however, evidence would suggest that his trip took place in January 2017, a month after his impassioned speech on BDS. These media clippings, articles and tweets coincidentally seem to suggest that Jagmeet visited Israel and the Palestinian Territories as part of a seven-member MPP team that included Todd Smith (PC) and Michael Harris (PC), and that the trip may even have been sponsored by no other than the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). If this is indeed the trip Jagmeet was referring to in his tweets, it would’ve been a trip aimed at showcasing a specific narrative with minimal exposure to “the frustrating conditions” of occupation mentioned in his tweets. It’s possible the trip would not have allowed him to speak to stakeholders unless they were approved by the Israeli government, and certainly would not have given him the understanding he claims to have of the suffering of the Palestinian people. To add insult to injury, Jagmeet’s media team now seems intent on merging this trip into the narrative he has set in his BDS speech: a narrative of Jagmeet as a defender of human rights promoted on social media through posts like this: With all of this, it’s important to separate the facts from fiction. 1. Jagmeet has never endorsed the BDS movement, but has only spoken of its right to exist; that is, the right to free expression. 2. Jagmeet has never discussed the NDP’s previous conduct against its own members and candidates who have expressed anti-occupation views. 3. Jagmeet has gladly accepted the endorsement of an MP that has been associated with the AIPAC movement and has, without criticism, held onto the NDP’s current stance on the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. And finally, 4. After making his speech against the anti-BDS motion, it would seem that Jagmeet accepted a CIJA-sponsored tour of Israel and is now using that trip to relay parables of his understanding of the suffering of the Palestinian people. There is something queasily abhorrent around the thought of Jagmeet and his team using a potentially lobby-sponsored trip to garner the support of voters who have been the direct victims of a sustained occupation dating back to 1948 and their sympathizers. Is this what a human rights activist looks like? A person capitalizing on the suffering and victimization of the Palestinian population to garner votes? Is this what we want the leader of the NDP to look like? If Jagmeet was the activist he claims to be, he would have refused a trip to Israel, a trip he took with an ease unavailable to the more than 6-million Palestinian refugees living outside of Palestine Palestinians who have been expelled, and remain expelled, by the government that so graciously welcomed him. It’s strange to write a piece hoping that your findings are wrong. But if I’m right, it would point to an indefensible, petty and damning manoeuvre beyond any sort of political “bending of the truth.” Jagmeet Singh must come forward and clarify the facts. The Palestinian people have suffered enough and deserve more than having their cause and fight reduced to an empty talking point used to mislead the public. Also on HuffPost:

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August 11, 2017   Posted in: Israeli Lobby  Comments Closed

US sinking in Afghanistan – Press TV

These are the headlines we are tracking for you in this episode of On the News Line: US sinking in Afghanistan US president Donald Trump is notorious for making illogical statements about various issues. But he was definitely right when he recently criticized the US military for still being bogged down in Afghanistan after so many years of occupying the country. The president’s frustration was revealed by the US media which reported details of a tense meeting between the president and military officials at the White House last month. The report says Trump flatly said the US is not winning and that its actually losing in Afghanistan. He startled his advisers by suggesting they sack the US war’s top military commander. BDS movement Israel has defiantly violated international law for several decades. It has occupied Palestinian lands, forced out their residents and keeps building on them besides other flagrant violations of human rights. An embarrassing failure by governments and international bodies to force Israel into compliance with international law has led to the emergence of popular movements against the occupation. Perhaps the most successful of these popular movements is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement. The global campaign was launched in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian NGOs. The campaign has significantly piled pressure on Israel in different fields from trade to scientific areas. For instance it has targeted companied that are involved in Israeli settlement construction on Palestinian lands. The BDS has been rapidly growing in popularity and caused alarm in Tel Aviv and among members of the Israeli lobby in the United States.

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August 6, 2017   Posted in: Israeli Lobby  Comments Closed

Israel is making new foes around the world – Daily Sabah

The international hegemony established after the end of World War II did not end in the world peace. In fact, the new world order, which was represented by the United Nations, was by no means an order of peace. On the contrary, it was the continuation of the global colonial order, pioneered by the winners of the two world wars. Injustice has then become the rule of the world. After drawing the political map of the Middle East, the United Kingdom withdrew from the region by condemning related countries to strife and war. The Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan or Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait can be brought forward as notorious examples of innumerous problems caused by the colonial British Empire. Jerusalem holds special status in the world order. Established on May 14, 1948, the Zionist state of Israel gradually invaded Palestinian lands as a whole. After occupying the Arab lands parcel by parcel, Israel now dares to forbid religious worship in Jerusalem, which is a holy city for Islam, Christianity and Judaism. In the 1970s, when leftist movements were on the rise, the Palestinian issue had been one of the heated topics of political debates. Together with Muslim students, leftist intellectuals and university students were protesting against the Israeli persecution of Palestinians. Since the rise of political Islam after the 1980s and the weakening of leftist movements, the Palestinian cause has been embraced by the Muslim youth. Regarding the current prohibition of praying at Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israel, the Palestinian cause has come to the fore of world politics not only Muslims, but also many Westerners who respect human rights protest against Israel’s persecution of Palestinians. Thus, it is reasonable to argue that Israel continues to make new foes around the world. The Israeli lobby has always been influential U.S. politics. While conventional media organizations such as the CNN, the BBC and FOX News, have easily been controlled through lobbying activities, social media has relatively been out of control. Israel’s recent illegal and illegitimate moves at Al-Aqsa Mosque caused particular public outrage on social media. At a press conference, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said: “The days of the Ottomans are gone.” I think that he meant the age of justice is gone and the age of persecution has begun. The Ottoman Empire established a system of religious tolerance in Jerusalem by ensuring the freedom of worship for Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Indeed, the system of religious tolerance had been expanded by the Ottomans throughout the entire empire, including Istanbul, Sarajevo and Thessaloniki. The experience of continental Europe in living with the other involves only the Jewish culture. Living in ghettos in Europe, Jews have always been persecuted across European. Yet, they have always found tolerant asylum in Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire. In fact, the Jewish Museum of Turkey in Istanbul aims at informing society of the traditions and history of Turkish Jewry and celebrating the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Sephardic Jews to the Ottoman Empire. The rise of racism in Europe not only threatens Muslims, but also the Jewish community. Instead of committing crimes against humanity at al-Aqsa Mosque, they have to show their solidarity with Muslims against the rise of xenophobia and racism in Europe. It is our firm belief that if oppression continues in Palestine, it means that there is no justice in the world.

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July 29, 2017   Posted in: Israeli Lobby  Comments Closed

Democrats in Congress rethink anti-boycott bill in wake of ACLU … – Haaretz

Rep. Joe Kennedy is among the first of the bill’s co-sponsors to say he is reviewing his position on the draft law, which critics say would criminalize support for boycotts of Israel or the settlements WASHINGTON Democrats on Capitol Hill are reexamining their support for a bipartisan bill intended to fight boycotts against Israel and the settlements after the American Civil Liberties Union warned U.S. senators last week that it endangers free speech in the United States and could lead to citizens going to prison simply for expressing a political opinion. Two Democratic staffers who are involved in discussions over the legislation told Haaretz that over a dozen Democrats in both houses of Congress have already began to reconsider their positions in light of the letter the ACLU sent to U.S. senators. One of the first members of the House of Representatives to publicly announce such a review is Rep. Joe Kennedy III, a Democrat representing Massachusetts. Kennedy, a grandson of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, is considered a rising political star in the Democratic Party and is one of 240 co-sponsors of the bill in the House. The controversial Israel Anti-Boycott Act was proposed in the both the Senate and the House in March, but it only garnered national attention after the ACLU issued the letter last week expressing strong opposition to it. The leading civil rights organization warned that under the bills current language, U.S. citizens could face fines of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and potentially even go to prison for up to 20 years, simply for expressing support for boycotts of Israel and the settlements. Another organization that came out against the legislation last week was J Street, which opposes boycotts of Israel and the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement but warned that the bill caused serious concerns because of its potential for restricting free speech. J Street also noted that the legislation does not differentiate between boycotts targeting the entire State of Israel and those aimed specifically at settlements in the occupied West Bank. Criticism of the bill has not been limited to the political left. The American Interest, a magazine that is considered to have a centrist, pro-Israeli editorial line, wrote last week, Its true that the bill is probably not as blatantly unconstitutional as some of its opponents are arguing: it modifies a decades-old law that has been upheld in court, and legal scholars are still debating exactly how it would be enforced. But its not free-and-clear either. It seems possible, for example, that a person funding a student campaign for a university to enforce a UN or EU-backed Israel boycott could be exposed to criminal liability. Now, in fact the courts would quickly throw a case like that out the First Amendment easily trumps a piece of feel-good legislation that Congress whooped through to gain popularity points. But it is hard to base a case for supporting a legal proposal on the argument that some of its obvious applications to domestic circumstances would be dismissed out of hand. We’ve got more newsletters we think you’ll find interesting. Please try again later. This email address has already registered for this newsletter. These warnings have caused two of the bills original co-sponsors, Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland, and Rep. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, to publish a letter on Friday responding to accusations that the bill would endanger free speech. They wrote that the bills critics misunderstood its language and that despite the ACLUs warnings, no U.S. citizen will face legal penalties for supporting a boycott of Israel under the new legislation. The two congressman explained in their letter that the most controversial part of the bill the one detailing the criminal penalties for participating in boycotts of Israel was in fact an expansion of a law, enacted in 1977, prohibiting U.S. companies from taking part in state-led boycotts of Israel. That bill was adopted in order to counter the Arab boycott of Israel. The new bill adds a new component to it, stipulating that the penalties for participating in a state-led boycott of Israel will also extend to participation in boycotts led by international governmental organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union. Jay Michaelson, a legal affairs analyst for The Daily Beast, published a piece on Friday that reached a similar conclusion: The new bill only technically expands the 1977 anti-boycott law, in a way that would make it illegal for U.S. companies to cooperate with any boycotts of Israel and the settlements initiated by the UN or the EU. Michaelson accused AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israeli lobby which supports the legislation, of exaggerating its importance, thereby provoking a harsh response from the left that he says was not in keeping with the language of the draft law. Not all of the bills critics are convinced. The language in the bill is confusing and doesnt clearly state what Cardin and Portman wrote in their letter, one Democratic staffer told Haaretz, adding that it wouldnt surprise me if a large number of Democrats will ask to amend this, making it much more clear that citizens expressing support for boycotts will not be punished for their political opinion. Organizations supporting the BDS movement are worried that even if the bill doesnt in fact include harsh penalties for supporting boycotts, it could be used to deter and frighten activists who support such boycotts from expressing their opinion. Democratic members of Congress face a difficult decision on the bill, since many of them have pro-Israeli donors and constituents who would likely be pleased by the passage of a bill making it harder to boycott the country, but they also need the support of the progressive wing of the party, which is paying more and more attention to this legislation in recent days. A key Democratic politician to follow with regards to this bill is Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, the only Democratic co-sponsor of the bill who is considered a possible contender for the 2020 presidential election. Gillibrand was one of 43 senators who co-sponsored the legislation. An aide to Senator Gillibrand said: “We have a different read of the specific bill language, however, due to the ACLU’s concerns, the Senator has extended an invitation to them to meet with her and discuss their concerns.” Want to enjoy ‘Zen’ reading – with no ads and just the article? Subscribe today

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July 25, 2017   Posted in: Israeli Lobby  Comments Closed

US leaders want to punish people who boycott Israel with 20 years in prison – StepFeed

“The billwould punishbusinessesand individuals based solely on their point of view. Such a penalty is in direct violation of the First Amendment,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in an official statement, strongly opposing the legislation. Proponents of the law argue that it helps fight discrimination and antisemitism toward Jews. But as those who boycott Israel reiterate over and over, they do not stand against Jews. In fact, many prominent Jewish individuals and organizations have thrown their support behind the BDS movement, becoming some of the staunchest critics of the Israeli state and Zionism. “The ACLU has long supported laws prohibiting discrimination, but this bill cannot fairly be characterized as an anti-discrimination measure, as some would argue,” the ACLU said. While the bill has garnered significant bipartisan support from Republicans and Democrats, it was crafted with the help of the immensely powerful Israeli lobby group, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The staunchly right-wing Zionist organization is widely perceived to be one of the most powerful lobby groups in the U.S., with politicians seeing their careers rise and fall based on the organization’s approval.

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July 23, 2017   Posted in: Israeli Lobby  Comments Closed

A fight over wine labels reveals a serious flaw in the Canada-Israel trade deal – iPolitics.ca (subscription)

An embarrassing flip-flop by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency over whether wines produced in the Occupied Palestinian Territories can be sold in Canada as a Product of Israel has exposed a curious omission in Canadas free trade agreement with Israel. The issue goes well beyond a simple matter of misleading labelling, and raises serious legal issues about the status of that agreement itself. On July 6, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario received a notification from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency indicating that Product of Israel is not an acceptable designation for wine products from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. According to the LCBO, CFIA based its decision on established Canadian policy, noting that the Government of Canada does not recognize Israels sovereignty over the territories occupied in 1967 Wine products from those regions which are labelled as Product of Israel are not acceptable. CFIA accordingly directed LCBO to discontinue sales of the mislabeled products. Bnai Brith Canada and other Israeli lobby organizations were shocked. This step by CFIA would send Canada in the same direction as other jurisdictions including the European Union, which already demands that West Bank Products be labelled as such. Bnai Brith pointed to Article 1.4.1b of Canadas Free Trade agreement with Israel (CIFTA), first signed in 1997, claiming it allows products from the Occupied Territories to be labelled Product of Israel, notwithstanding existing Canadian official policy that the West Bank is not part of Israel. CIFTA Article 1.4.1b states: For the purposes of this Agreement, unless otherwise specified, territory means with respect to Israel the territory where its customs laws are applied. Since Israeli customs laws have been applied by its military regime in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for over 50 years, Bnai Brith would appear to have a point. Based on the cited article, all goods produced by Israeli settlers in the West Bank ranging from wines to Ahava beauty products from the Dead Sea to the popular Soda Stream product (which was manufactured in the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim) should be treated as if they were in fact, products of Israel. Faced with this legal argument, within 24 hours CFIA reversed its decision. In our assessment, we did not fully consider the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA), said a CFIA statement. On examination however, it appears that similar wording appears in most of Canadas major free trade agreements, but always with a significant qualifier: in accordance with international law. This phrase is missing from the article in the agreement which defines territory. It is not known whether the omission was slipped past nave Canadian negotiators by clever Israeli lawyers, or whether there was political pressure to accept it. However, the matter might not end there, as the CFIA flip-flop raises a number of difficult legal issues for the Canadian government. The embarrassing West Bank wine imbroglio, which CFIA and the Canadian government would like to present as a simple labelling mistake, has revealed a serious weakness in the wording of the Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA). The current wording puts Canada out of step with the world community, conflicts with our other existing international agreements and could even hinder our hopes for being elected to the Security Council next year. Perhaps it is time to take a new look at the Canada Israel Free Trade Agreement and bring its wording back in line with our 12 other free trade agreements. The views, opinions and positions expressed by all iPolitics columnists and contributors are the authors alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of iPolitics.

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July 23, 2017   Posted in: Israeli Lobby  Comments Closed

US-Israeli lobby seeks to damage Iran’s ties with neighbors: Cleric – Press TV

Senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami addresses worshipers during the weekly Friday Prayers in Tehran on July 21, 2017. (Photo by IRNA) A senior Iranian cleric has warned that the US-Israeli lobby is making efforts to damage Irans relations with its neighboring countries amid a new rift in ties between the Islamic Republic and Kuwait. Speaking in a sermon to worshipers at the weekly Friday Prayers in Tehran, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said the footprint of the US-Zionist lobby can be seenin the recent diplomatic rowbetween Tehran and Kuwait City. Whether you want it or not, whether you accept it or not, Iran is the most powerful country in the region, Ayatollah Khatami said addressing certain neighboring countries. He urged the regionalstates to maintainfriendly relationswith Iran because they”need it.” Iran has proved that it would treat in the best waythose neighboring countries that have fostered friendly relations with the Islamic Republic, he said. You need to know that friendship with Iran is beneficial to you, the cleric added. Khatami also warned Iran’sneighboring states against cordial relations with the US and emphasized that Washington would treatthem in the same way it did with the executed Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein. Kuwait on Thursday closed down the Iranian cultural mission along with other affiliate offices in the Persian Gulf country and ordered Irans Ambassador to Kuwait City, Ali Reza Enayati, and 14 other Iranian diplomats to leave the country in 45 days, the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported. The Iranian diplomatic mission will be reduced to charge d’affaires level and the activities of joint committees of Iran and Kuwait will be stopped. Kuwaits move came following a court ruling last year that implicated some Iranians in a spying case, known as the Abdali cell. Later on Thursday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned Kuwaits charge daffaires in Tehran for some explanations. Read more: According to IRNA, the summoning came following Kuwaits decision to expel Iranian diplomats and telling the Iranian embassy in Kuwait City to close down some of its technical offices. The report added that Iran’s Foreign Ministry informed the Kuwaiti envoy of the Islamic Republics protest to the decision by Kuwait to reduce the number of Iranian diplomats in the country. In August 2015, Kuwait said it had busted the 26-member cell and seized arms, ammunition and explosives from them. Kuwaiti courts convicted members of the so-called Abdali cell of working for the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement. The defendants were also charged with possessing weapons, smuggling explosives, and planning “hostile actions” inside Kuwait. They received sentences ranging from a few years in prison to, in one case, the death penalty, though the latter sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment. The defendants were later acquitted on appeals and set free. Kuwaits Supreme Court, however, overturned their acquittal and sentenced them to between five and 15 years in prison.

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July 22, 2017   Posted in: Israeli Lobby  Comments Closed


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