Fears for the future of Cantonese as China urges Hong Kong to legally recognise Mandarin – ABC News

Comment: China is an expansionist empire. Peking is the seat of this expansion. Many neighbouring countries have been occupied: (Inner) Mongolia, Tibet, Xinjiang, Manchuria, various remnants of ancient kingdoms in Southern China. Many other neighbours are still resisting this expansion: Japan, Taiwan, India, Philippine, Malaysia, Vietnam, … The war is now moving to territorial encroachment and cultural erasure (, posted .).

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-13/hong-kong-china-mandarin-simplified-chinese-education/100206266

… Professor Lee added that overseas Hong Kong diasporas would help preserve the language, but it still needed “generous support”.

He said unlike Mandarin, which has the Confucius Institute, neither Cantonese nor Hong Kong studies would receive funding from the state…

£1 billion compensation for genocide ‘too little too late’, Namibian tribes tell Germany | Ukraine Today .org

https://ukrainetoday.org/2021/06/03/1-billion-compensation-for-genocide-too-little-too-late-namibian-tribes-tell-germany/

By Justin Huggler

BERLIN 2 June 2021

Namibian tribes have rejected Germany’s ‘offensive’ offer of €1.1bn (£950m) in recognition of an early 20th century genocide, throwing into doubt an agreement through which Berlin hoped to atone for the colonial atrocity. 

Germany for the first time officially recognised the systematic murder of tens of thousands of Herero and Nama men, women and children by its forces between 1904 and 1908 as genocide last week.

(BERLIN) JUST IN: The German government formally recognized colonial-era atrocities against the Herero and Nama people in modern-day Namibia for the first time, referring to the early 20th century massacres as “genocide” on Friday and pledging to pay a “gesture to recognize the immense suffering inflicted.” #AceNewsDesk report | Ace News Services

https://acenewsservices.com/2021/06/01/berlin-just-in-the-german-government-formally-recognized-colonial-era-atrocities-against-the-herero-and-nama-people-in-modern-day-namibia-for-the-first-time-referring-to-the-early-20th-century-mas/

#AceNewsReport – June.01: In light of the historical and moral responsibility of Germany, we will ask Namibia and the descendants of the victims for forgiveness,” said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in a statement, adding that the German government will fund projects related to “reconstruction and the development” of Namibia amounting to €1.1 billion ($1.3 billion). The sum will be paid out over 30 years and must primarily benefit the descendants of the Herero and Nama, Agence France-Presse reported:

GERMANY: Officially Recognises Colonial-Era Atrocities in Namibia. But For Some, Reconciliation Is a Long Way Off after German government formally recognized colonial-era atrocities against the Herero and Nama people in modern-day Namibia for the first time, referring to the early 20th century massacres as “genocide” on Friday and pledging to pay a “gesture to recognize the immense suffering inflicted.”

Caitlin Johnstone: Israel narrative management is getting incredibly desperate and brazen — RT Op-ed

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/525165-israel-narrative-management-palestinian/

By Caitlin Johnstone, an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is here and you can follow her on Twitter @caitoz More people are becoming conscious of the Palestine issue and politicians and pundits can no longer get away with painting themselves as progressive-minded humanists without acknowledging the brutal nature of Israeli occupation.

The National Director Emeritus for the Anti-Defamation League has announced on Twitter that he is cancelling his subscription to The New York Times, claiming that a front-page story featuring the photos of children killed in Israel’s assault on Gaza this month constitutes “blood libel” against Jews.

I am cancelling my subscription to NYTimes,” tweeted Abraham Foxman. “I grew up in America on the NYT – I delivered the NYT to my classmates – I learned civics – democracy and all the news ‘fit to print’ for 65 years but no more. Today’s blood libel of Israel and the Jewish people on the front page is enough.

Foxman’s statement drew criticism from all corners, including from loyal establishment pundits like Jonathan Chait, for his ridiculous assertion that merely humanizing Palestinian children killed by Israel is the same as promoting the ancient antisemitic canard known as blood libel.

Supporters of Israeli apartheid and mass murder are losing control of the narrative, which has led to redoubled perception-management efforts, ranging from the cringey to the iron-fisted. In the former category we’re seeing them pen entire articles attacking Seth Rogen for tweeting a fart emoji at virulent Israel apologist Eve Barlow and claiming that putting “fart” in Barlow’s name is the same as a literal pogrom. In the latter category they’re blowing up entire press offices and arresting Palestinian journalists. This is narrative management at its least subtle.

From a new statement titled “Israel now holding 13 Palestinian journalists” by Reporters Without Borders:

Two Palestinian journalists were arrested by Israeli security forces in Jerusalem yesterday and were placed in administrative detention today, bringing the total now held administratively by the Israelis to 13. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns Israel’s misuse of administrative detention to hound Palestinian reporters.

Administrative detention” is one of the many apartheid abuses which Israel has come under criticism for employing, as Israel-based +972 Magazine explained last year:

According to human rights group B’Tselem, as of September 2020, Israel is holding 376 Palestinians, including two minors, in administrative detention. Israel uses administrative detention to indefinitely detain Palestinians (and on extremely rare occasions Jewish extremists) without charge or trial. Administrative detention orders, handed down by the IDF commander in charge of the occupied West Bank, are reviewed every six months, but the detainees are not told what crimes they are being accused of, nor shown the evidence against them.

According to lawyers who defend Palestinian detainees, administrative detentions are almost always based on “confidential material” handed over ex parte to the courts by the Shin Bet, to which the detainees themselves and their lawyers have no access. As a result, it is virtually impossible to defend oneself against an administrative detention order.

Before the Gaza ceasefire last week Israel managed to deliberately blow up over 20 offices for Palestinian media outlets, as well as the tower hosting the international outlets AP and Al Jazeera.

The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today,” AP president and CEO Gary Pruitt said in a statement after the building was destroyed.

Which, of course, is the whole idea: for the world to know less about what happens in Gaza. The Israeli government has a decades-long history of threatening and targeting journalists in order to exert control over the public narrative about what happens under its rule, and as that narrative slips from its grip we are seeing this pattern ramp up with greater and greater aggression.

Rather than reduce the cruelty, the Israeli government keeps trying to reduce accurate news coverage,” author and activist Norman Solomon writes. “The approach is a mix of deception and brutality. Blow up the cameras so the world won’t see as many pictures of the atrocities. Also on rt.com Israel is deliberately obliterating media buildings in Gaza to cover up the war crimes that will follow

As Alan MacLeod wrote in Mintpress News, the Overton window has shifted on Palestine. During 2014’s far more deadly Israeli attack on Gaza we saw a low-level local Democratic official sparking outrage and scandal by merely posting “Palestine <3” on Facebook, now you have words like “apartheid” being routinely used by mainstream media outlets and national US political figures to describe Israeli abuses of the Palestinian people.

People are simply becoming too conscious of the Palestine issue to tolerate its existence as a taboo subject anymore, even in the most mainstream circles of discussion. The old tactics of silencing and marginalizing Palestinian rights advocates simply do not work anymore, and politicians and pundits can no longer get away with painting themselves as progressive-minded humanists without acknowledging the brutal and unjust nature of Israeli occupation. Also on rt.com ‘My youngest son has seen nothing but violence’ – Palestinian activist on life in West Bank village where Israelis killed a child

Palestine is simply not a third rail anymore, and it’s been this way for a while now. By the time I started doing commentary in late 2016 people were still saying you’ll be smeared as an antisemite and dragged through the mud if you criticize Israel, but my experience this entire time has been that I get a lot more vitriol and attacks coming my way by criticizing US imperialist agendas toward nations like Russia, China, Syria and Venezuela than by criticizing the Israeli government. There’s pushback to be sure, but it’s not nearly as vituperative as what I’m used to.

This last attack on Gaza was just the ignition of a powder keg in shifting public sentiment that had been building for several years, and it hasn’t been due to any top-down effort at perception-steering by the establishment narrative managers, but by ordinary people sharing ideas and information and moving the Overton window of acceptable debate through sheer force of will.

The fact that this can be done makes one wonder in what other ways we can collectively move the narrative in a way that benefits ordinary people instead of the oligarchic empire of the US and its allies. This is an exciting time to be alive.

Israel’s Assault on Gaza Left 400,000 Without Regular Access to Clean Water | Justice4Poland.com

https://justice4poland.com/2021/05/29/israels-assault-on-gaza-left-400000-without-regular-access-to-clean-water/

by Jake Johnson

Israel’s deadly 11-day assault on the Gaza Strip left an estimated 400,000 of the occupied territory’s roughly two million people without access to a regular supply of clean water, a humanitarian nightmare that is driving calls for immediate international aid and an end to the 14-year Israeli blockade.

In addition to killing more than 240 Palestinians—including dozens of children—and displacing tens of thousands, Israel’s aerial and artillery bombardment further devastated Gaza’s infrastructure, from sewage systems to electricity lines that power the coastal enclave’s water desalination plants.

Debate over the Israel-Palestine issue has changed forever, but here’s why the fabled ‘two-state solution’ is no solution at all — RT Op-ed

Comment by tonytran2015: The Two State Proposition was a fraud from its inception. There had been nothing like that in history and its was clearly designed to be unstable and unsustainable. It was only part of a great fraud against local Palestinians, to unfairly force them paying for European misdeeds.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/524473-israel-palestine-two-state-solution/

The recent fighting has revealed two new realities: the US’s once-automatic backing of Israel is fraying, and the much-parroted resolution for the conflict is a non-starter. Are we approaching seismic change in the Middle East?

After more than a week of fighting and hundreds dead, mostly Palestinians, Israel and the militant group Hamas agreed on Thursday to a ceasefire. Even though this is cause for celebration since it will mean an immediate end to hostilities, it hardly means an end to the conflict. But much has now changed in the dynamic of this problem, objectively the region’s most polarizing subject, in terms of the public discussion.

For starters, the conversation on this subject in the United States – Israel’s largest benefactor – has changed forever. As Ryan Grim of The Intercept described in a recent piece, this is the first time ever that members of the United States Congress have expressed disapproval against Israel. What we’re seeing is a generational change over how the public sees the conflict and I think it has to do with the fact that this is the most diverse Congress in history, in a country that is becoming more and more racially diverse. Also on rt.com Whose Israel and whose Palestine? Extremists are running amok as leaderships fail

Minorities in the United States, which have been mistreated and abused for centuries, feel a natural sympathy for the Palestinian cause since it reflects their own struggle. And unsurprisingly, for example, some of the largest Black Lives Matter personalities on social media, like activist Shaun King, are coming out against Israel’s aggression in Gaza. It’s clear that the public perception of the Israeli-Palestinian issue has changed along with a much wider public-perception shift over the issue of race. 

Even though much of the mainstream media is highly sympathetic to Israel (if not actually reflecting Israeli PR campaigns in some cases), we’ve seen once-rare sympathy for the Palestinians and condemnation against Israel’s war crimes break through into cable news networks like MSNBC and, most strikingly, on John Oliver’s popular show Last Week Tonight

Because of how this conversation is shifting, it requires us to not only call out the reality of the situation, but to also be more realistic in the solutions put forward. The most common one proposed for the situation, the one we hear about all the time from politicians and which is supported by virtually every major country, is the so-called two-state solution. We need to have a serious talk about why this hasn’t worked and why it can’t work under the status quo. 

The two-state solution sounds nice in principle, but, as it stands, it can’t work – because of the Israeli government’s actions. For Israel, rhetorically supporting the two-state solution is essentially only a means for Israel to buy time for more illegal settlements that encroach on Palestinian sovereignty.

Without dismantling the settlements and holding Israel accountable for violating international law, the international community cannot guarantee a genuine two-state solution, since a Palestinian state would, by this point, have almost no effective sovereignty over its legal territory. There’s pretty much no chance that Israel will give up its settlements under the current situation. Also on rt.com Slavoj Zizek: Israelis’ SHAME over what their state is doing in West Bank would be sign of truly belonging to Israel

That’s why the conversation needs to change, because it means either the international community needs to give Palestinian land back to Palestinians, which would require a complete U-turn in US foreign policy, or a one-state solution with equal rights for Palestinians is the only way forward – and that would spell even more complications. 

As the American side has made clear, Israel faces a fundamental dilemma over whether it can simultaneously exist as a democracy and a Jewish state. If Palestinians were allowed equal rights, it would mean that Israel as a Jewish state would probably cease to exist, since there would be more Palestinians than Jewish Israelis under a single democratic state.  

This is precisely the reason why Israel has essentially reduced its Arab population to less than second-class citizens and treats Palestinians in a way that has been described by many, including members of the US Congress, as an apartheid system, because its entire existence as a Jewish ethnostate relies on artificially separating out the people who lived there prior to its existence, whether that means literally keeping them out or keeping them out of any serious political project within Israel. 

It is, to clearly define it, a settler-colonial project that carries with it the same classic contradictions seen through history, e.g., the displacement of the native population, ethnic cleansing, cultural appropriation and so on.  Also on rt.com China’s humanitarian intervention in Gaza may be motivated by its PR war with the US – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t welcome

But just because Israel as a unified democratic state would not exist as a state where Jews have sole political and social rights does not mean it would not fulfill the intention behind its creation by the United Nations in 1948, e.g., being a refuge for the Jewish nation. Israel could be a peaceful, democratic and inclusive society if – and only if – its apartheid system is brought to an end. 

The US under President Joe Biden is extremely unlikely to make any seismic policy shift, but public opinion is changing and the prevailing narrative that this is a “complicated” issue where “both sides” need to figure it out is quickly being rejected by new generations. What’s becoming clearer everyday to more people is that getting to the heart of this polarizing issue means addressing contradictions perpetuated by Israel since it’s Israel that wields most of the power, not Palestinians.

F-35s Bombing Gaza – Global Research

https://www.globalresearch.ca/f-35s-bombing-gaza/5745665

Israeli Forces spokesman Zilberman announced the start of the bombing of Gaza, specifying that “80 fighters are taking part in the operation, including the advanced F-35s” (The Times of Israel, May 11, 2021). It is officially the baptism of fire for the US Lockheed Martin’s fifth-generation fighter, whose production Italy also participates in as a second-level partner.

Israel has already received twenty-seven F-35s from the US, and last February decided to buy no longer fifty F-35s but seventy-five. To this end the government has decreed a further allocation of 9 billion dollars: 7 were granted by a US to Israel free military “aid” of 28 billion, 2 were granted as a loan by the US Citibank.

While Israeli F-35 pilots were being trained by the U.S. Air Force in Arizona and Israel, the US Army Engineers built in Israel special hardened hangars for the F-35s, suitable for both fighters’ maximum protection on the ground, and their rapid take-off on attack. At the same time, the Israeli military industries (Israel Aerospace and Elbit Systems) in close coordination with Lockheed Martin enhance the fighter renamed “Adir” (Powerful): above all its ability to penetrate enemy defenses and its range of action which was nearly doubled.

These capabilities are certainly not necessary to attack Gaza. Why then are the most advanced fifth-generation fighters used against Palestinians? Because it serves to test F-35s fighters and their pilots in real war action using Gaza homes as targets on a firing range.


It does not matter if in the target houses there are entire families.

The F-35s, added to the hundreds of fighter-bombers already supplied by the US to Israel. are designed for nuclear attack particularly with the new B61-12 bomb. The United States will shortly deploy these nuclear bombs in Italy and other European countries, and will also provide them to Israel, the only nuclear power in the Middle East with an arsenal estimated at 100-400 nuclear weapons. If Israel doubles the range of F-35 fighters and is about to receive eight Boeing Pegasus tankers from the US for refueling the F-35s in flight, it is because it is preparing to launch an attack, even nuclear, against Iran.

The Israeli nuclear forces are integrated into the NATO electronic system within the “Individual cooperation program” framework with Israel. Although not a member of the Alliance, Israel is integrated with a permanent mission in the NATO headquarters in Brussels. In the same framework, Germany supplied Israel with six Dolphin submarines. modified for launching nuclear missiles (as Der Spiegel documented in 2012).

Italy’s military cooperation with Israel has become a law of the Republic (Law No. 94 of May 17, 2005). This law establishes comprehensive cooperation, both between armed forces and military industries, including activities that remain secret because they are subject to the “Security Agreement” between the two parties.

Israel has supplied Italy with the Opsat-3000 satellite, which transmits very high-resolution images for military operations in distant war theaters. The satellite is connected to three centers in Italy and, at the same time, to a fourth center in Israel, as a proof of the increasingly close strategic collaboration between the two countries.

Italy supplied Israel with thirty Leonardo Aermacchi fighters for pilot training. Now it can provide Israel with a new version of the M-346 FA (Fighter Attack), which – Leonardo Industry specified – serves at the same time for training and for “ground attack missions with 500-pound drop ammunition, and precision-guided ammunitions capable of increasing the number of targets to hit at the same time “. The new version of the fighter – Leonardo Industry underlined – is particularly suitable for “missions in urban areas”, where heavy fighters “are often used in low-paying missions with high operating costs”. The ideal for the next Israeli bombings of Gaza, which can be carried out with “a cost per flight hour that is reduced by up to 80%”, and will be very ” cost-effective “, that is, they will kill many more Palestinians.

“Blood On Your Hands”: Erdogan Issues Worst Rebuke To Biden Since Taking Office

https://www.nationandstate.com/2021/05/18/blood-on-your-hands-erdogan-issues-worst-rebuke-to-biden-since-taking-office/

… Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday blasted the Joe Biden administration for standing idly by while the civilian body count piles up in Gaza after one week of unrelenting Israeli airstrikes. And even more than this Turkey is outraged over new…

The Latest: China calls for UN council action, slams US

https://news.yahoo.com/latest-palestinians-gather-displacement-anniversary-084931669.html

BEIJING — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has called on the U.N. Security Council to seek an early de-escalation of violence between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers. He also blamed the U.S. for the council’s lack of action so far.

“Regrettably, the council has so far failed to reach an agreement, with the United States standing on the opposite side of international justice,”

the state-run Xinhua News Agency quoted Wang as saying in a phone conversation Saturday with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.