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Aletho News
25 Sep 2022 | 10:35 pm

Don Quixote… de la Left!


By Jordan Henderson | OffGuardian | September 25, 2022

The pull of Right vs Left Politics is still so strong, at least here in the USA, that I feel the need to state at the outset that my motivation here is not to score any points for the Right. This painting – Don Quixote de la Left – is a picture of the Woke Left.

A few months ago I painted a similarly unflattering and honest portrait of the Christian Right. The intent of these paintings is to serve as open windows presenting clear views of dissenting perspectives.

Critically portraying both wings of the ruling class, makes it evident, I hope, that these works are not part of the Right/Left trap.

Early this year, lines of heavy trucks rumbled across Canada's frozen north and converged on Ottawa to protest vaccine mandates for cross-border truckers. The protest swelled in number, expanding in scope to a protest against the Medical Police State in general.

The Ottawa Freedom Convoy was sufficiently monumental that even the mainstream "news" was eventually forced to acknowledge its existence whereupon they began slandering it. This coverage did not last long: the current thing changed, the Ukraine War was brought to the front of the world stage, and most everything else was shoved off the stage.

I'm revisiting the Freedom Convoy. I wish to spark additional conversation about it. So I created this artwork. I intend it as a tribute befitting the valorous deeds of the . . . counter protesters and Canadian police; I'll immortalize their symbiotic relationship.

Like the knights of old, the counter protesters and police sallied forth to subdue the rabble of unruly peasants, putting them back in their proper place firmly under the thumb of the authorities.

The slander against the Freedom Convoy was not particularly sophisticated; it amounted to ignoring that the protest was obviously a protest against the Medical Police State, and instead making up stories about it being a vaguely racist/fascist/Nazi event where the racist/fascist/Nazis inadvertently brought anti-vax signs and forgot the racist/fascist/Nazi signs that they were supposed to bring.

The logic goes like this: If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is definitely a racist/fascist/Nazi.

If they look like, act like, and sound like, people protesting the Medical Police State, then they must really be racist/fascist/Nazis disguised as freedom advocates.

Any evidence that supported the racist/fascist/Nazi narrative was widely trumpeted, and any evidence that contradicted this narrative was discounted – if it was acknowledged at all.

For example: The Nazi flag guy at the Ottawa Trucker Protest, whoever he was, fits the Establishment Narrative, so he represents the Freedom Convoy.

However, Sikhs at the Freedom Convoy, some of whom brought the Sikh flag, were an inconvenient reality that directly contradicted the Establishment Narrative. So according to those who wish to see the Freedom Convoy in a negative light, the Sikh protesters do not represent the Freedom Convoy.

Apparently the Sikh protesters do not represent anything at all; they are just "a Token."

1 Nazi Flag Guy = Emblematic of the Freedom Convoy.

100 Sikhs = Token/Not Emblematic of the Freedom Convoy.

How does Candice Sero, an Indigenous woman at the protest who was trampled by the RCMP, fit the narrative?

…Well let's just pretend that didn't happen; ignore her, ignore tens of thousands of other protesters, ignore why they were there, and what they were about, and let's get back to focusing on that Nazi Flag Guy.

As a counter-protester helpfully explained:

I tried really hard to de-emphasize issues of vaccination/COVID restrictions that were being used, in my mind, as cynical 'wedge' issues, and to emphasize opposing the convoy as a political vehicle of the far-right,"

This determination to see the Freedom Convoy as a racist/fascist/Nazi event, reality be damned, reminded me of the Ingenious Knight Don Quixote de la Mancha.

I built my painting around that famous knight, because tilting at windmills was the principal activity of the Counter Protesters and Police who suppressed the Freedom Convoy.

I present – Don Quixote…de la Left!

Don Quixote de la Left – Oil Painting by Jordan Henderson – 36×52 inches / 91×132 centimeters
Aletho News
25 Sep 2022 | 10:23 pm

Hated by the woke: The conservative woman who could be Italy’s leader tomorrow


By Dr Campbell Campbell-Jack | TCW Defending Freedom | September 25, 2022

According to the BBC 'Italians are deciding whether to choose their most right-wing government since World War Two' in their elections today.  Giorgia Meloni, the woman at the helm of The Brothers of Italy party, has had pretty much everything flung at her. All but called facist by the BBC for her 'embrace' of 'God, Fatherland and Family' her sins include condemning the world of LGBTQ and a tough stance on unfettered migration from Africa. Comparisons with Mussolini abound. Yesterday in the Telegraph David Selbourne put another slant on it, writing 'that at the heart of Meloni's strength in the poll ratings is the rejection by many people, decent and indecent alike, of today's "progressive" orthodoxies, whether in Italy, Poland, Hungary, Sweden or elsewhere'.

In June, TCW's own Campbell Campbell-Jack tracked Meloni's rise and the reasons for it. He concluded that the woman who shouts out 'I am Giorgia, I am a woman, I am a mother, I am an Italian, I am Christian, and you cannot take that away from me!' is a principled anti-globalist conservative. No wonder the media smear and hate her. We republish his considered article here.

THE Left is worried so be prepared to hear a great deal more about the 'far-Right', 'hard-Right', 'Right-wing extremist' Giorgia Meloni. Press mentions of Italy's rising centre-Right star almost always include a reference to Mussolini or assertion of her Brothers of Italy party's 'neo-fascist origins'. She is characterised as a figurehead who 'threatens to send Italy down a dangerous authoritarian path'. The Guardian warns, 'Success of far-Right Brothers of Italy raises fears of fascist revival.' It is clear that the prospect of her party gaining ground in Italy's next general election is sending shock waves through the mainstream media.

Named after the opening words of Italy's national anthem, the Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d'Italia) is a national conservative party which is growing in prominence and is being touted as having a good chance of leading the government after the election, which must take place next year. Meloni also chairs the European Conservatives and Reformists Party, an alliance of centre-Right parties in the EU.

In recent local elections the Brothers of Italy took 10.3 per cent of votes in nearly 1,000 local contests, significantly more than the 6.7 per cent won by the rival League party led by Matteo Salvini. This reverses the result of the 2019 European elections in which Salvini took 34 per cent and Meloni just 6 per cent.

Meloni is now in the driving seat in a Right-wing coalition alongside Salvini and former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Polls make their Right-wing alliance favourite to win the 2023 election and if the Brothers of Italy takes more votes than the League, Salvini has agreed she will become prime minister.

Meloni is not the type of conservative to whom we have grown accustomed. She is a national conservative and this frightens the Euro-elites because her aim is to put conservatism back into its traditional sphere of national identity. She sees the nation state as the sole means of combating globalism and protecting freedom. 'The Nation is the place where our values are safeguarded and transmitted.'

Globalism takes power from the people and transfers it to supra-national organisations run by and in the interests of the elites. Globalists thus see national identity as a hindrance to their totalising ambitions which has to be overcome. We see this in the continuing media and political stress on diversity with its consequent fracturing of communities through identity politics pitting one single identity group against another, each fighting for its own rights and caring little for the good of all. National identity is being continuously eroded throughout Europe.

National conservatism is the opposite of what we have fed to us by the mainstream parties of Right as well as Left. Most centre-Right parties favour liberal conservatism with free-market economic policies, deregulation and controlled spending the overriding priorities. Most European parties nominally of the Right, such as the UK's Conservatives, are run by economically liberal conservative elites who have deliberately marginalised the social and cultural issues which concern their electorate. We are used to continual promises to cut immigration to 'the tens of thousands' yet it keeps growing, as this suits the economic interests of the establishment by keeping wages low and weakening opposition to globalist aims. What the people want is sidelined or ignored.

Meloni has gained support by demanding that the EU leaves the global compact on migration. Whilst welcoming immigrants who would be able and willing to integrate into a European country with a Christian heritage, she is staunchly opposed to taking in any more migrants and refugees who cross the Mediterranean from North Africa. The party advocates a naval blockade of North Africa to stop illegal immigration.

National conservatism emphasises patriotism, nationalism, cultural conservatism and monoculturalism. Meloni sees national conservatism as the only real democracy because only by defending the nation state do we defend the political sovereignty of the people who belong to that state. Nations composed of people sharing the same historical and cultural memory are the bedrock of democracy.

Meloni is quite clear on the dangers of political correctness. 'You see, political correctness is a shockwave, a cancel culture that tries to upset and remove every single beautiful, honourable and human thing that our civilisation has developed. It is a nihilistic wind of unprecedented ugliness that tries to homogenise everything in the name of One World. In short, political correctness – the Gospel that a stateless and rootless elite wants to impose – is the greatest threat to the founding value of identities.'

Meloni sees the protection of 'religious and moral values, the noblest purpose of all political action'. Democracy without cultural values degenerates into a free-for-all plunge into decadence, something we can see around us in 'Pride Month' where a Pride march can be little more than a celebration of perversity.

Meloni is dedicated to the freedom of the individual. Although she had a Covid vaccination herself, she was vehemently opposed to the Green Pass scheme by which all Italians over the age of 12 were banned from most enclosed public spaces and many open-air ones as well, unless they could prove they had received at least one jab.

'The idea of having to use this Green Pass to be able to participate in communal life is chilling, and the ultimate step towards the realisation of an Orwellian society,' she tweeted when Mario Draghi, Italy's technocratic non-elected Prime Minister, announced the policy. 'It is an unconstitutional act of madness that Fratelli d'Italia rejects outright. For us individual liberty is sacred and inviolable.'

National conservatives are painted as obtuse nationalists, thinking only of the good of the home nation. Modern national conservatism defends the identities of nations as the basis for new forms of co-operation. It does not want to impose its own interests at the expense of other nation-states. What it actually wants is co-operation between independent nation-states once again able to defend the freedom, identity and sovereignty of their peoples. Brothers of Italy defends Viktor Orban's Hungary and Kaczynski's Poland, nations under attack from the European progressive mainstream. The aim is to build a true, real Europe of peoples and identities, not an abstract Europe run by nameless bureaucrats.

Meloni sees Europe facing challenges today that will shape the future and the very survival of our shared civilisation, challenges which we have to face together. No wonder the established elites vilify her.

Aletho News
25 Sep 2022 | 9:59 pm

Ottawa cop charged with donating to civil liberties protests


By Ken Macon | Reclaim The Net | September 21, 2022

An officer of the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) is facing discreditable conduct charges because she donated to the Freedom Convoy protest in February. If found guilty, Constable Kristina Neilson could be demoted or fired.

According to a report by the CBC, the OPS claims that on February 5 Neilson donated to the Freedom Convoy, a protest against Covid mandates in February. According to the OPS, the donation was an act of "disorderly manner," and that she did it knowing that the OPS was against the "illegal occupation."

In March, the OPS announced that it would investigate any member of the force who contributed to the protest.

Last week, Neilson was summoned to a disciplinary hearing and was charged with one count of disorderly conduct.  She did not make a plea and she awaits another hearing later this month.

The Freedom Convoy protest was brought to an end after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act. The act gave the government the authority to target anyone who contributed to the protest. Ottawa sued to shut down the protest's donation pages on GoFundMe and GiveSendGo, and Chrystia Freeland, the finance minister, froze the accounts of all those linked with the protest.

Aletho News
25 Sep 2022 | 7:40 pm

Fact-checkers complain they’re constantly hit with lawsuits


By Christina Maas | Reclaim The Net | September 20, 2022

Online fact checkers have great authority over what speech gets suppressed on mainstream social media platforms and a fact-check of a post on Facebook can result in that post being suppressed by as much as 95%.

Yet, despite their great power over what people can say, fact checkers are also increasingly frustrated at calls for more transparency about the way they operate and say they are being bombarded with freedom of information act (FOIA) requests and lawsuits.

The fact checkers say these requests and lawsuits are meant to drain the resources of climate change researchers and to discourage them from doing their work which is, in turn, an attempt to shut down their own speech.

"They make a point of going after the fact-checkers because, in addition to stopping regulation, they also want to prevent or discourage climate scientists from doing things that might educate the public," said Lauren Kurtz, Climate Science Legal Defense Fund's executive director to Bloomberg.

Kurtz's organization provides climate researchers with legal assistance. They assist about 40 researchers annually. But this year has been busier, as they have already assisted 35 people.

One of the beneficiaries of the fund is Doug MacMartin, who was sued by Dane Wigington after he fact-checked his documentary "The Dimming," which, according to MacMartin, is filled with conspiracy theories.

On the science fact-checking website Climate Feedback, used by social media companies to flag what it sees as science misinformation, MacMartin described Wigington's documentary as "pure fantasy." The plaintiff sought $75,000 in damages from MacMartin, arguing that the fact-check reduced the visibility of his documentary on Facebook, hurting its revenue.

"I mostly felt disbelief," MacMartin recalled to Bloomberg. "A bit of shock combined with, 'I just don't have time for this.'"

Earlier this month, a federal court dismissed Wigngton's lawsuit, but he plans to appeal.

Daniel Swain, a climate researcher at University of California, Los Angeles, had to deal with a FOIA request filed by a group called Energy Policy Advocates. Swain is vocal about droughts and fires in Western US. The requests sought text messages, encrypted messages, and emails related to a fact-check written by Swain and others about the book "Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn't, and Why It Matters," by Steven Koonin, who worked in the Department of Energy during Obama's era.

Swain challenged the requests using a university lawyer, arguing that it had the "presumptive intent of disrupting primary research and outreach activities by inundating climate scientists." The records department said that the motivations of the requester were irrelevant, but was bound by law to provide the information requested.

"I spend nights and weekends compiling and going through thousands and thousands of emails because these requests are extremely broad," he said. "In some cases they're essentially open ended: they're asking about multiple years, multiple keywords and multiple platforms."

The group filing most of the requests are Government Accountability and Oversight, and Energy Policy Advocates. The two groups go by the acronyms GAO and EPA, the same acronyms used by federal agencies Government Accountability Office and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Climate Feedback and Meta are facing a $2 million lawsuit filed by Libertarian commentator John Stossel who was censored on Facebook as a direct result of a post by the fact-checker.

Climate Feedback flagged Stossel's video "Government Fueled Fires" about the wildfires in California in 2020. The fact-check resulted in Facebook limiting the visibility of the video and we have more information on that case here.

Aletho News
25 Sep 2022 | 6:11 pm

From Exodus to Marvel: A brief history of Hollywood’s justification of Israeli war crimes


By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | September 24, 2022

The introduction of an Israeli Mossad agent as the latest Marvel movie character crosses the line, even by Hollywood's poor moral standards. However, the Israeli superhero, Sabra, must be understood within the rational progression of the Israelification of Hollywood, a phenomenon that is surprisingly new.

Sabra is a relatively old character, dating back to Marvel comic The Incredible Hulk in 1980. On 10 September, however, it was announced that the Israeli character would be included in an upcoming Marvel film, Captain America: New World Order.

Expectedly, many pro-Palestine activists in the US and around the world fumed. It is one thing to introduce an ordinary Israeli character with the mere aim of normalising Israel, an unrepenting apartheid state, in the eyes of Marvel's impressionable young audiences. However, it is far more sinister to normalise a state intelligence agency, Mossad, known for its numerous bloody assassinations, sabotage and torture.

By adding Sabra to its cast of superheroes, Marvel Studios has shown its complete disregard for the massive campaign by millions of fans around the world who, in 2017, protested the inclusion of former Israeli soldier Gal Gadot as Marvel's Wonder Woman. Gadot is a vocal supporter of the Israeli government and military.

In response to the news, many rightly highlighted Hollywood's inherent bias, starting in the 1960s movie Exodus by Otto Preminger, with Paul Newman as the lead actor. The film provided pseudo-historical justification for the colonisation of Palestine by the Zionists. Ever since, Israel has been elevated, celebrated and included in an ever-positive context by Hollywood, while Muslims, Arabs and Palestinians continue to be vilified.

Although Israel was represented in a positive light by Hollywood filmmakers, the Israelis themselves were quite marginal in the content creation process. Until recently, the Israeli construct was mostly built on behalf of Israel, not by Israel itself. "Things began to change in 1997," wrote Brian Schaefer in Moment Magazine. It was then that the LA Federation's Entertainment Division and the Jewish Agency launched the project, the Master Class, which: "For nearly 15 years… brought countless actors, directors, producers, agents, managers and top studio and network executives to Israel, introducing many of them to the country for the first time, and taught Israelis how to pitch their projects."

The indoctrination of American actors and filmmakers through these visits and the introduction of many Israeli actors and filmmakers to Hollywood paid dividends, leading to a major change in the narrative on Israel. Instead of simply communicating Israel to American and international audiences using references to historical victimisation, positive association or even humour, Israelis began to make their case through Hollywood directly. And, unlike the haphazardness of past messages – good Israel, bad Arabs – the new messages are far more sophisticated, tailored around specific ideas and designed with full awareness of the politics of each era.

Steven Spielberg's movie Munich (2005) was released within the cultural context of the US invasion of Iraq as part of Washington's so-called "war on terror", where human rights were violated on a global scale. Munich was a selective "historical" account of the supposedly difficult choices that Israel, namely Mossad, had to make to fight its own "war on terror". That was the era when Tel Aviv tirelessly underscored its affinity to Washington, now that both countries are purportedly victims of "Islamic extremists".

Unlike Munich, the popular TV series Homeland was not just another pro-Israel American argument that justifies Israeli wars and violence. The series itself, one of the most racist, Islamophobic shows on television, was entirely modelled on the Israeli show HaTufim. The writer and director of the Israeli show, Gideon Raff, has been included in the American version, serving as an executive producer.

The change in the ownership of the narrative may seem superficial – as pro-Israel Hollywood propaganda is being replaced by organic Israeli propaganda. However, this is not the case.

The pro-Israel agenda of the past – the romanticisation that followed the creation of Israel in 1948 – did not last long. The Israeli defeat of Arab armies in 1967 – thanks to the massive US military support of Tel Aviv – replaced the image of nascent, vulnerable Israel with that of the brave Israeli army, capable of defeating several militaries at once. It was then that Israeli soldiers toured US colleges and schools, talking about their heroism on the battlefield. The Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the subsequent massacres, like that of Sabra and Shatila, forced a rethink.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Israel largely existed in Hollywood as comic relief, from shows like FriendsFrasier and, more recently, The Big Bang Theory. References to Israel were often followed by laughter – a clever and effective way of linking Israel with positive, happy associations.

The "war on terror", starting in 2001, coupled with the creation of the Master Class project, allowed Israel to return to the Hollywood universe, not as an occasional reference, but as a staple, with Israeli shows or joint US-Israeli productions, defining a whole new genre: making difficult choices to fight terrorism and ultimately save the world.

The exploitation of Israeli women on magazine covers, for example, Maxim, was an entirely different shady business, catering to a different audience. The half-naked Israeli army girls have succeeded, in the minds of many, in justifying war through sexual imagery. This genre became particularly popular following the bloody Israeli wars on Gaza, which killed thousands.

Israel's growing influence on Marvel movies is a combination of all of these elements: the sexualisation of the supposedly strong, empowered woman, the normalisation of those who carry out Israeli crimes – Gadot, the soldier, Sabra, the Mossad agent – and the direct injection of Israeli priorities as part of everyday American reality.

Yet, there is a silver lining. For decades, Israel has hidden behind false, romanticised historical notions, making its case to the US and other Western public, often indirectly. The wars on Gaza, the exponential growth of the Palestinian boycott movement and the proliferation of social media have, however, forced Israel out of hiding.

The new Hollywood Israel is now a warrior, often forced to make difficult moral choices, but it is, like its American counterpart, ultimately a force for good. Whether Israel will succeed in maintaining this image will depend on several factors, including the pro-Palestinian communities' ability to counter such falsehood and hasbara.

Aletho News
25 Sep 2022 | 5:49 pm

Soldiers Kill A Palestinian Whose Car Accidentally Collided With With Empty Police Vehicle


IMEMC | SEPTEMBER 24, 2022

On Saturday, Israeli soldiers fatally shot a Palestinian whose car accidentally collided with an empty police vehicle near Nablus, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

Media sources said the slain Palestinian, Mohammad Ali Hussein Abu Kafia, 36, was from Beit Ijza village, northwest of occupied Jerusalem.

He was a teacher, an education counselor, and a married father of three children; the youngest is only six years of age.

The Israeli army and various Israeli media outlets justified the fatal shooting by describing the traffic accident as a "deliberate ramming attack."

Some Israeli media sources claimed the two officers were injured, but the Israeli police later released a statement denying the reports.

The Israeli police said its officers were interrogating a Palestinian when the other driver, Mohammad, was reportedly driving fast and crashed into an empty Police vehicle.

The Israeli army issued a brief statement claiming that the officers opened fire at the Palestinian car when the "driver tried to run them over," however, it added that "there was no way to verify this allegation immediately."

It is worth mentioning that many Palestinians, including several women, have been killed or seriously injured after Israeli soldiers or police officers opened fire at them in similar traffic accidents, simply because they are Palestinians, and the other party of the accident was an Israeli soldier, officer, or colonialist settler.

Mohammad's cousin, Ramadan Abu Kafia, said Mohammad was driving back home from Qalqilia, in the northern West Bank, when he had a traffic accident with an empty police vehicle parked at the side of the street near Havat Gilad illegal colony, southwest of Nablus.

He added that the soldiers immediately decided that he was carrying out a ramming attack" and opened fire at him even though their lives were not in any danger, and they could have easily arrested him to investigate the incident.

A week ago, the soldiers shot and seriously injured a young Palestinian man in a traffic accident in Huwwara town, south of Nablus.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates issued a statement denouncing the killing of Mohammad Abu Kafia and said it is yet another Israeli crime against the Palestinian civilians in occupied Palestine.

It added that the Israeli political and military leaderships issued various legislations and laws allowing the soldiers and the police to resort to fatal means against the Palestinians merely if they suspect the Palestinians "intended to carry an attack out."

The Foreign Affairs Ministry called on the International Community to act on providing the needed protection for the Palestinian people and called on the International Criminal Court to immediately start investigating Israeli crimes against Palestinian civilians.

Aletho News
25 Sep 2022 | 5:15 pm

Chile’s Boric wasted an opportunity for Palestine at the UN General Assembly


By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | September 24, 2022

Chilean President Gabriel Boric may currently be the most outspoken leader in Latin America on Palestinian rights and Israeli violations. However, his rhetoric leaves much to be desired. It, in turn, raises questions about how Chile – the country with the largest Palestinian community in the region – can differentiate itself from other countries to become a model to follow, rather than following international consensus over the two-state compromise and Israel's security narrative.

In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Boric spoke about Palestine's right to freedom and sovereignty while mangling his message by including a false equivalence with Israel that eliminates the colonial context. "[Palestinian people] should yield to their inalienable right to establish their own free and sovereign state. In the same way, [let's] guarantee Israel's legitimate right to live within secure and internationally recognised borders," Boric asserted.

Boric's speech was pronounced "politically correct", while noting that Chile's stance has always advocated for the recognition of Palestinian people's rights and Israel's rights while promoting the two-state compromise, like the rest of the international community. In which case, Boric's activist stances as president are unlikely to leave any impact on Chilean diplomacy. Under Boric, the Chilean government is advocating for the same stance that his predecessor Sebastian Pinera adhered to, which is a bonus for Israel, despite the grievances Israeli media aired upon Boric's electoral victory.

Days before his UNGA speech, Boric postponed accepting the credentials of the new Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, in response to the Israeli forces' killing of 17-year-old Palestinian Odai Trad Salah in Kufr Dan near Jenin. However, his stance, which made headline news in major media outlets worldwide, was diminished by the UNGA speech that attempted equivalence between the coloniser and the colonised while simplifying, to the point of obliteration, the reason why Palestinians are deprived of a state, possibly permanently.

Boric is not unaware of the Palestinian plight as a result of Zionist colonisation. Neither is he oblivious to the fact that Palestinians and the indigenous people of Chile – the Mapuche – have suffered similar forms of aggression because of governments criminalising their struggle for land reclamation and political autonomy. Yet, it is possible that, as president, Boric's activist stances will be mellowed by diplomatic requirements, such as abiding by the two-state compromise, which has failed Palestinians and become defunct in all but international rhetoric.

Prior to the presidency, Boric stood out as one of the most vocal activists in Chile. As president, Boric is navigating a complex reality that includes the legacy of Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship and ties to Israel during that period, as well as the country's reliance on securing military and surveillance equipment from Palestine's oppressors.

To cast Israel and legitimacy together is an aberration, particularly when using such descriptions to balance advocating for Palestinian rights. Boric wasted an opportunity at his first UNGA speech to call out Israel's colonial violence and how it invalidates legitimacy. It is not up to the international community to guarantee Israel's existence, but Boric knows that Chile can play a pivotal role in ensuring that the international community gravitates towards the legitimacy of the Palestinian people's political demands.

Aletho News
25 Sep 2022 | 4:12 pm

Russia Backs India’s Bid to Become Permanent Member of United Nations Security Council


Samizdat – 25.09.2022

Russia has come out in support of India's bid to become one of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) – the all-powerful global body which is responsible for taking key decisions about maintaining peace and security in the world.

At present, it comprises the United States, France, Russia, China, and Great Britain.

During his speech at the UNGA, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov called for wider representation of Asian, African, and Latin American countries in the Security Council, making particular mention of New Delhi and Brazil.

"We see an opportunity to make the Security Council more democratic by having representation from African, Asian and Latin American countries. India and Brazil, in particular, are major international players and should be included as permanent members of the council," Lavrov said in his address to the 77th United Nations General Assembly.

Earlier, in a joint statement, India and 31 other nations urged the UN to expand both the permanent and non-permanent membership of the UNSC.
Besides, New Delhi said that reforms in the UN were necessary to make it more effective and representative.

At another meeting in which foreign ministers from India, Japan, Germany, and Brazil took part, reforms of the Security Council were discussed at length.

The four nations together are known as the G4 and after the meeting they released a joint statement, saying that "today's conflicts around the globe and the interconnected global challenges have brought to the fore the urgency to carry out reforms in the Security Council as well as expand the membership of other decision-making groups so that they are more representative of the interests of the developing nations."

At present, India is a non-permanent member of the UNSC.

New Delhi's two-year term on the Council ends on 31 December this year.

Aletho News
25 Sep 2022 | 4:04 pm

UK to double military spending amid cost-of-living crisis


Samizdat | September 25, 2022

Britain will boost its military spending considerably in the coming years, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has revealed, despite the fact the nation is facing an economic crisis stemming from Covid-19 measures and London's sanctions on Moscow.

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph published on Sunday, Wallace said the British government will shell out at least £52 billion ($56.5 billion) to shore up the military, which is "actually going to grow." The plans are in keeping with Prime Minister Liz Truss' campaign promise to boost defense spending.

According to the official, Britain's annual defense budget will amount to £100 billion by 2030.

Wallace also took aim at former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and the Treasury for what he described as a "corporate raid" of the armed forces which started back in the 1990s. He claimed that the Treasury had even tried to "stipulate the size of the Army."

"My department has been so used to 30 or 40 years of defending against cuts or reconciling cuts with modern fighting, they're going to have to get used to a completely different culture," the defence secretary noted.

Wallace expressed confidence, however, that Sunak's successor in the office, Kwasi Kwarteng, would show more understanding toward the military's needs.

The defence secretary, who retained his post after Liz Truss defeated Sunak in the race to become prime minister in early September, told journalists that the new leader's willingness to spend more on the military was one of the key factors for him in deciding which candidate to back for prime minister.

"The reason I supported Liz Truss was that the risks we were prepared to tolerate in the middle of the decade are not risks I want to tolerate any more in light of Russian aggression," Wallace said.

Addressing world leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York, Truss reiterated her campaign pledge to spend 3% of GDP on defense by 2030.

According to Bloomberg, the new prime minister reversed former PM Boris Johnson's plans to slash the military by 9,500 personnel.

Commenting on the changes, which are expected to be unveiled by the end of 2022, Downing Street clarified that they were needed to "stand firm against coercion from authoritarian powers like Russia and China."

The decision comes despite the UK government's interest payable on debt hitting the highest level on record, as reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) earlier this week. Inflation, food, and energy prices have also soared, while the British pound and consumer confidence have hit the lowest levels in decades.

Aletho News
25 Sep 2022 | 3:26 pm

EU farmers warn of food shortages


Samizdat | September 25, 2022

Vegetable producers across northern and western Europe are considering halting operations, thus further threatening food supplies, as a result of the energy crisis hitting the continent, Reuters reported this week.

According to the report, skyrocketing power and gas prices are the biggest cost facing vegetable farmers employing greenhouse cultivation. Two French farmers renewing their electricity contracts for 2023 told the media outlet they were being quoted prices more than ten times higher than in 2021.

"In the coming weeks I will plan the season but I don't know what to do," said Benjamin Simonot-De Vos, who grows cucumbers, tomatoes and strawberries south of Paris. "If it stays like this there's no point starting another year. It's not sustainable."

Johannes Gross, deputy sales manager at the German cooperative Reichenau-Gemüse, told Reuters : "We face an overall increased production cost of around 30%. Some colleagues are thinking about leaving their greenhouses empty to keep the costs as low as possible. Nobody knows what will happen next year."

The soaring costs of fertilizer, packaging and transport have also been adding to the pain. Even in countries with abundant sun, such as Spain, fruit and vegetable farmers are grappling with a 25% jump in fertilizer costs.

As farmers across the EU warn of shortages, supermarkets may switch to sourcing more goods from warmer countries such as Morocco, Turkey, Tunisia, and Egypt, the report says.

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