Articles from Juan Cole

Israel PM Netanyahu’s Wife Goes on Trial for Corruption and Fraud

Jerusalem (AFP) – The wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went on trial Sunday for allegedly using state funds to fraudulently pay for hundreds of meals, part of a list of legal troubles facing the family.

The start of Sara Netanyahu’s trial was the latest chapter in a saga intensely scrutinised in Israel but dismissed by the Netanyahus as another “absurd” attempt to discredit them.

Further Trump Admin. Descent into Lawlessness if it rejects Int’l Court of Justice Ruling on Iran

Co-Author: Charlotte VAN OUWERKERK

The Hague (AFP) – The United States will confront Tehran at the UN’s top court on Monday over billions in frozen assets, in a case that could deepen the Trump administration’s rift with international justice.

Iran had dragged Washington before the International Court of Justice in June 2016 to oppose a US Supreme Court ruling that the $2 billion should go to victims of terror attacks blamed on the Islamic republic.

Plutocratic Coup: Top Six Ways a Kavanaugh Court will Take us back to the Dark Ages

Despite the considerable cloud over his head, Brett Kavanaugh was put on the Supreme Court on Saturday, in what may best be described as a plutocratic coup by the ruling-but-minority Republican Party. Since Kavanaugh succeeds Justice Anthony Kennedy, who often served as a swing vote on those occasions when a decision veered to the left, we can expect the Court to veer to the far right. Given that we have a racist, authoritarian demagogue in the White House, the gutting of the Supreme Court comes at the most perilous possible time for what’s left of our democracy.

Turkey says Saudi Authorities Murdered Dissident Khashoggi in Istanbul Consulate

Istanbul (AFP) – Turkish police have concluded that prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi mission in Istanbul after going missing Tuesday, an unnamed government official said Saturday.

“Based on their initial findings, the police believe that the journalist was killed by a team especially sent to Istanbul and who left the same day,” the official told AFP.

Iran Calls on Saudi Arabia for Regional Security Cooperation in face of Trump Insults

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday called for cooperation with Saudi Arabia to face the “repeated insults” made by US President Donald Trump, Arabi 21 reported.

Zarif wrote on Twitter: “The US President [Donald] Trump has repeatedly insulted the Saudis through saying they are unable to sustain [themselves] for two weeks without his support”.

What’s Behind the Rise of 784 Influential Hate Groups in the US? Depends on Where

(Yes! Magazine) – Organized hate groups span all geographic areas of the United States, from White nationalists in Washington state to neo-Nazis in Alabama to radical traditionalist Catholics in New Hampshire. While persecution of classes of people happens everywhere, the drivers that push people to join hate groups are unique to specific places. In this way, hatred can be a study in geography as much as anything else.

Irony: Nobel Peace Prize for anti-Rape Activist, as US Senate puts Alleged Abuser on Highest Court

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – If the allegations of Professor Christine Blasey Ford against Brett Kavanaugh are true, then he was a juvenile criminal. He and a friend plotted out how to get girls inebriated, force them into an upstairs side room, turn up the music to drown out screams, jump on top of them, and have their way with them. If they did this once, they almost certainly did it more than once. There is not any difference between this criminal repertoire and what Cosby did except that he knocked his victims all the way out.

At Least Heidi Heitkamp refused to Vote for Kavanaugh: Why I’m not Surprised

(Informed Comment) – On October 4, Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) announced that she was going to vote “no” on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Unlike her colleague Jeff Flake who is quitting the Senate, Heitkamp is taking a grave political risk. North Dakota, which had had a 40-point lead for Trump in 2016, is a solidly red state and may vote out this Democrat. She may lose her seat partly because of her stance on Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault.

Israeli Squatters Busted Stealing Olives from Palestinian Farm

Palestinian farmers are only given four days to tend to hundreds of trees and harvest their crops, while settlers are free to access the land at their will

A group of settlers have been filmed stealing olives from Palestinian farms near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.

In the video, the pair can be seen working together to cut and bag the olives from the groves which lie in an area which leaves them inaccessible to their Palestinian owners without Israeli permission.