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Fact checking Benjamin Netanyahu’s General Assembly speech

The speech was full of downright lies and “alternative facts”. Here is the reality.

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Yesterday, Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before the United Nations in a speech that served as a kind of appendix to Donald Trump’s controversial, bellicose declaration that was delivered hours earlier.

Both speeches predictably focused on Iran and both leaders told a great deal of untruths and half-truths about the situation. Here are some of the most glaring untruths, followed by a factual explanation of the situation.

1. Iran is “devouring nations”. 

The full quote from Netanyahu is as follows:

“Well as you know, I strongly disagreed. I warned that when the sanctions on Iran would be removed, Iran would behave like a hungry tiger unleashed, not joining the community of nations, but devouring nations, one after the other. And that’s precisely what Iran is doing today.

From the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean, from Tehran to Tartus, an Iranian curtain is descending across the Middle East. Iran spreads this curtain of tyranny and terror over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere, and it pledges to extinguish the light of Israel”.

In reality, Iran occupies zero countries and has not occupied any country in its modern history. By contrast, Israel has occupied part of Syria, the Golan Heights, since 1967. This occupation is condemned by the United Nations and all five permanent members of the Security Council, including the United States.

The other country on Netanyahu’s list that has been occupied by Israel and not Iran is Lebanon. After invading Lebanon in 1982, Israel set up a permanent occupying force in southern Lebanon between 1985 and the year 2000. Israel maintained a presence in the country until 2006, when Israeli forces retreated in the face of strong Hezbollah defences.

Israel continues to occupy Palestine according to the UN and most impartial observers. It previously occupied Egypt, the Jordanian West Bank and in 1981, illegally bombed Iraq.

Iran by contrast has done no such things. The Iranian assistance provided to Syria during the conflict in the country has been done under a legal agreement with Damascus based on mutual friendship and a common cause against Salafist terrorism. Iran’s training of some Iraqi volunteers has been conducted on a similar basis.

By no logical stretch of the English language, could this been seen as “devouring nations”.

2. “We will act to prevent Iran from establishing permanent military bases in Syria for its air, sea and ground forces”

This statement while designed to sound like a defensive measure is actually an admission of a premeditated war crime. No foreign country can use the threat of force to blackmail its neighbours or anyone else when it comes to internal affairs.

If Syria invites Iran to establish some sort of permanent presence in the country, that is a matter which is strictly between Syria and Iran. To use this as a pretext for an act of war, is put simply, a war crime.

3. “Syria has barrel-bombed, starved, gassed and murdered hundreds of thousands of its own citizens and wounded millions more, while Israel has provided lifesaving medical care to thousands of Syrian victims of that very same carnage. Yet who does the World Health Organization criticize? Israel”.

This one is full of outright lies. First of all, prior to the conflict, not only were all Syrisns feed, but food prices were subsidised by the government, making nutritious foodstuffs more affordable in Syria than in most parts of the region.

Even today, Syrians are not starving, but due to western backed sanctions, food is more expensive and medicine is both more expensive and more scarce than they were prior to the conflict with Salafist terrorism. None of this has to do with the Syrian government nor its partners who continue to deliver aid.

Syria has not possessed any chemical weapons since 2013. In a joint effort by both Russia and the US, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons certified that by early 2014, there were no chemical weapons left in the Syrian governments hands.

Syria did develop a chemical weapons program in the 1970s in response to intelligence about Israel’s secretive nuclear weapons program.

In spite of this, Syria has never used chemical weapons, not on a foreign power and not internally.

The only chemical weapons in Syria today, are those in the hands of terrorists who are fighting Syria.

In respect of the Israeli hospital program. These hospitals have not been open to ordinary Syrians, let alone to the Syrian soldiers fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Instead, the hospitals have perversely been used to give medical treatment to al-Qaeda and ISIS fighters who are known as some of the most violent terrorists in the world.

4. “Two years ago, I stood here and explained why the Iranian nuclear deal not only doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb, Iran’s nuclear program has what’s called a sunset clause”.

Not only does the JCPOA (aka Iran nuclear deal) prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, but Barack Obama’s administration admitted this openly. The EU and Russia continue to express their support of the deal and the US State Department, EU and UN have all agreed that Iran is in full compliance with the deal.

The only country in the Middle East to develop and maintain nuclear weapons is Israel. Furthermore, Israel obtained its nuclear weapons without international sanction and to this day, refuses to admit to having nuclear weapons. As such, Israel is not a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Israel is one of only four nations in the world to have never signed the treaty.

Israeli historian Avner Cohen as well as the award-winning US journalist Seymour Hersh have confirmed the existence of the so-called ‘Samson Option’, wherein Israel will deploy its nuclear weapons if it feels its security is threatened.

During his speech at the UN, Netanyahu alluded to the ‘Samson Option’ in saying,

“Those who threaten us with annihilation put themselves in mortal peril. Israel will defend itself with the full force of our arms and the full power of our convictions”.

In this sense, Iran has much more to fear form Israel than Israel has to fear from Iran, yet ironically it is Israel that continually protests about its own fears.

CONCLUSION: 

While Iran hasn’t invaded another country in its modern history, nor has it occupied a single country, Israel has occupied five: Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan. Unlike Iran, Israel has nuclear bombs, unlike every other country in the Middle East.

With this record, it becomes clear who should be afraid of whom.

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seby
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seby

This slimeball could not talk straight if a pipe was coming out of his mouth.

What has the world come to, when people elect scumbags like these to “lead” them.

Norman
Guest
Norman

Only if they’re scumbags themselves?

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

You ignore the fact that most Jews are brainwashed, from birth, into believing that they are a “chosen” master race. Americans are brainwashed almost as thoroughly.

Norman
Guest
Norman

Not ignoring anything, fact or otherwise. At some level you’d have to be in agreement with the scumbag to elect same, weither brainwashed or not. You walk away when you wake up?

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

Brainwashed people have to be awakened. In IsraHELL’s case that awakening may take a couple of nuclear weapons. America will require more work – like a dollar that suddenly will buy what it’s worth…………nothing.

Norman
Guest
Norman

America and Israel both are more than aware of everything that awaits them hence their plans and efforts to divert, forestall, avoid and or change the outcomes.

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

The rulers of America and Israel are aware. The people are definitely NOT.

Norman
Guest
Norman

Not knowing the full implications of one’s support for whatever cause does not absolve you from any and all of it’s consequences. Call to mind the adoration of the German people for Hitler and realise their complicity to later beg they did not know? How disingenuosly horrible and disgusting. Ultimately there could be reasons why many would not publicly voice their disapproval, but, to put it down to being brainwashed is laying it on too thick.

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

Possibly, you may wish to learn about the conditions that led to the rise of Hitler. If you have been taught, for your entire life, that the sky is “pink” and finally learn that seven billion people call it “blue”, you are not at fault for the error. You’re making unreasonable assumptions about the ability of people to reason through issues. Many, many millions of Americans and others are TAUGHT that thought is wrong or a waste of time. They have to be taught otherwise. You can’t just tell them that they’re “stupid” or “bad” and expect results.

Norman
Guest
Norman

It’s precisely the conditions that led to the rise of Hitler and his answers / solutions to all of it that found a home in the hearts and minds of most. They had , initially, no idea of the real intentions and horrors that would unfold but they stayed the course with Hitler didn’t they? Americans and the rest of the world are no different. Those few that are different is shouting in the wind. I wouldn’t plead the innocence of the “brainwashed” not when it comes down to making choices?

harris
Guest
harris

“Many sincere Christians, ignorant of the facts, believe present-day
Jews to be “people of the Book” returning as “chosen of God” to their
Israel homeland. This is totally false. In fact, the whole theory that
God’s Chosen People return to Palestine before the reign of the Messiah
is unsupported by a line in the New Testament, which foretells only that
the Anti-Christ forces will be centered in and defeated in Palestine
before His Coming. They are there now.”

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

You are entirely correct – except for the part about the anti-Christ being defeated in Palestine.

There’s no real reason for such an assumption. The battle-ground is Washington, London, Moscow and Beijing. BRICS will defeat the evil empire in those places, hopefully economically and not through nuclear war.

Don’t fantasize that humans can “interpret” what God wants. Be good and fight against evil. That is enough for us to think about. God’s going to do what God’s going to do.

Norman
Guest
Norman

Entirely true. The battles and wars between nations is an entirely different matter than the battle between Christ and Satan. Not saying the one has nothing to do with the other. The one is designed to divert attention away from the other and just how near we are to the end of everything. Even so, we have time to disagree and fight one another on the details. Hilarious?

harris
Guest
harris

exactly, it’s an apostate state.

AmeliaCCalvillo
Guest
AmeliaCCalvillo

Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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lickeyleaks
Guest
lickeyleaks

Netbigobyu went to the same prep school as Trump,McCain,Obama,Bush,The Clintons and then 3 months in Hollywood as a finishing school..

Rastislav Veľká Morava
Member
Rastislav Veľká Morava

Pathetic Polish-Lithuanian Turd, who changed his surname in order to pretend to be part of the artificially created “Israeli Identity”.
Deception and lies from day one, it’s the Khazarian way of life. No honour, no morals, the ends justify the means.

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

Although of Jewish background, I am starting to turn anti Semitic.

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

If you are of “Jewish background” the odds are 95% that you are Khazar (Polish-Ukrainian background) and have nothing to do with any Semitic culture or genes. Merely having ancestors who adopted Judaism 1400 years ago, even if you speak a dead language, doesn’t make you “Semitic”. Semites are ARABS.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

Sorry Tapatio. I posted my sage advice before reading yours. I like Vera so that is probably OK.

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

Ms Gottlieb seems nice and sensible. It doesn’t matter about both posting the same basic message. It happens all the time.

Norman
Guest
Norman

Both Ishmael and Isaac are the sons of Abraham from different mothers. Abraham is a descendant of Arphaxad and Arphaxad a descendant of Shem which makes both Ishmael and Isaac to be Shemites. In time the word Shemites changed to Semites. The meaning did not however change.

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

That’s nice. Everyone in the Middle East was Semitic. However, at tel Megiddo, Rome made the Hebrew version functionally extinct. Sadly, they didn’t do a thorough job. As to who begat whom 3000 to 4000 years ago (according to the cult that gave new meaning to prevarication), I couldn’t care less. If a Jew said the sky was blue, I would check to make sure that it hadn’t turned pink. I’ve read and compared the teachings of the BUddha, Jesus and Mohammad and concluded that Jesus and Mohammad intended to cure the world of the disease that was the old… Read more »

Norman
Guest
Norman

“.. Jesus and Mohammed intended to cure the world of the disease that was the old Abrahamic cult.”? What on earth are you talking about. I cannot speak for Mohammed since I’m not absolutely familiar with his teachings but to assert that Jesus intended to do as you concluded is not true at all. Consider that Jesus has come and gone( to come again) and yet the disease as you call them remains to this day. The cult /disease as you call them has grown and multiplied. They’re still here. Your conclusion is faulty then.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

You are probably not a Semite but a Turkic Khazar. Ease into it by reading The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler, righteous Jew.

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

As I just answered above…I want NO part of any religion.

Constantine
Guest
Constantine

Opposing this Zionist supremacist slimeball doesn’t make you an anti-Semite or a self-hating Jew, it makes you a self-respecting Jew. Oliver Stone, Seymour Hersh and numerous others don’t have any personal issues when criticizing Israel and neither should you.

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

Please!!! Spare me this ‘self hating Jew’ crap! Those Germans who fought Hitler…would you have called them ‘self hating Germans’??? I have no use for Zionists – giving Judaism a bad name. I have become an atheist and want absolutely NO part of any religion.

Constantine
Guest
Constantine

I am totally with you, Vera. That was precisely my point. Leaving aside personal religious convictions, I am in full agreement with your comment. The ”self-hating Jew” canard is used to denigrate the most ”dangerous” critics of Zionism: anti-Zionist Jews.

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

I like the way you put it.

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

IsraHELL, like the US and other Rothschild puppet states, is an outlaw state. It should be Boycotted-Divested-Sanctioned and Blockaded until it can either obey international law or collapses completely.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

Quarantine.

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

Exactly.

harris
Guest
harris

Do you know that in France, they have passed laws wherein people get heavy fines and even are sentenced to prison terms ( ie Vincent Reynouard) for criticizing publicly Israel and history. Similar laws are being prepared in the UK and I think Congress in US is preparing some laws to tackle businesses who refuse to accept Israeli made goods…

tapatio
Guest
tapatio

Those laws passed in France because their Parliament is just as corrupt as the US Congress.

I doubt that such laws can pass in the US or UK, though it’s possible that something similar to Germany’s laws could pass. That’s a more general restriction on public expression.

Doesn’t really matter. I’m going to say what I believe/know.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

Fuckoff Bibi you asshole. Strangely enough, this monster gestated in Nazi Lithuania and Fascist Canada before going to Nazi finishing school – Israel – AKA The Jewish State.

Constantine
Guest
Constantine

Netanyahu playing tough with other people’s backs. Let the US stop endlessly backing trash like him and then one may listen to a different tune coming from Tel Aviv.

GIVVO6_B
Guest
GIVVO6_B

At least the kosher fascist did not have another childish cartoon to try and demonise Iran this time.

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Trump’s wish to take the US out of NATO leaves NeoCons seething

The US President has seen the truth of the irrelevance of NATO, but there is enormous resistance to change.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Tucker Carlson, Fox News and Russian and American news outlets alike have picked up the story that US President Donald Trump has on numerous occasions, opined that the United States would do well to depart from the North Atlantic Military Organization, or NATO.

This wish caused enormous fury and backlash from those opposed, which, oddly enough include both Democrats and Republicans. Their anger and alarm over this idea is such that the media networks through much of the US are alive with the idea of impeaching the President or bringing 25th Amendment proceedings against him for insanity!

Take a look:

Tucker Carlson, as usual, nailed it.

NATO was formed to make Western Europe secure in the face of a perceived Soviet threat. In 1991, the USSR collapsed and the threat of Ivan the Communist bad guy collapsed with it.

But 28 years later, NATO is still here. And, why?

Well, many “experts” continue to point at Russia as a threat, though after that statement no one seems honestly able to elucidate precisely how Russia would, in fact, threaten any nation, take over it, or conquer the world. Indeed, if anyone seems to understand the perversity of being in charge of the whole world, it seems to be Russia, as expressed by politician and LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky (see how this is so here).

Zhironovsky observed that China is the other nation that is running at full force, but viewing the problems the US is having with being the leader of the world, China stops short of trying to attain this position itself. The question becomes “What does a nation that rules the world actually do then?”

President Trump appears to be seeing the same question, or some similar variant based on the same theme. NATO serves no constructive purpose anymore. Despite the conflicts in Ukraine and Saudi Arabia and Yemen, Israel and Syria, there simply are no great threats in the world as it stands today. While there are certainly still wars, none of these wars represents an existential threat to the United States.

Why wouldn’t a US leader want out? In fact, there is further no existential threat to Europe from any present war, nor is there a threat from Russia itself. In fact, Russia has been entering into business relations with many European countries who wish to buy cheap and easily available Russian natural gas. Turkey purchased an S-400 antimissile system in addition to its US made Patriot battery.

There would seem to be very little in the way of concrete and reliable reasoning for the alliance to continue.

But the American Deep State and liberal establishment have come together to resist the US President in a truly furious manner, and it is revelatory of the hypocrisy of anti-Trump politics that American liberals, typically the “sing Kum-ba-yah peacenik” crowd, displays paroxysms of outrage and horror that NATO might be disbanded.

As the result of that, the American media is determined to choke off any possibility of one thinking, “well, what if we were to disband NATO?”

Why is this?

Simple. A lot of people make their living by preparing for the Russian “threat”, and it would mean the end of their work, the end of their money, and a great disruption in life. It does not matter that while this is true, these same people could conceivably apply their considerable skill sets to deal with real problems that face a world that no longer has a dipolar alignment, or to help prevent a real problem from arising from real situations, such as the recent and current Islamization of many European cities.

One of the great afflictions of American politics and policy has been that so much of it appears to be focused on “short term” or “no term” matters. We see this with the problems related to border security, the coming advent of AI-based automated processes that may furlough low-skilled workers in tremendous amounts in a short period of time. Rather than solve real problems, the elected representatives and media seem more content to oppose Donald Trump when he, as a businessman ought to do, makes a federal case out of what he sees on the horizon.

The Border Wall, for example, is a highly logical part of a properly handled set of immigration policies. But the very direct behavior of President Trump helped amplify the resentment the Democrats still hold against him for defeating Hillary Clinton in 2016, and so, the Democrats have effectively said “nuts!” to the needs of the nation and they take out their resentment on the nation by refusing to negotiate with the President about how to close the border.

NATO is another example. The alliance served its purpose. It is time for the alliance to end, or to be radically restructured in terms of new goals based in real, and not just flimsy rhetorical, needs.

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BREXIT storm deepens, as parliamentary coup may be forming against May and Corbyn

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 166.

Alex Christoforou

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Emboldened by Theresa May’s lack of leadership and will to deliver the Brexit that UK citizens voted for in a democratic referendum, remain MPs are now mobilizing to do the EU’s bidding in forcing Britain to nullify the Brexit process and eventually stay a part of the European Union.

After yesterday’s thumping of May’s Brexit plan in parliament, The Times’ Matthew Parris is now openly floating the idea that “it’s time for parliament to wrest control from the zombies, stating that “Theresa May isn’t any good” and “Jeremy Corbyn is equally useless”…

There exists no leadership in either the government or the opposition capable of taking us through this mess. No hidden strengths, no unexpected qualities; no whizzbang new thinking, no magic. Forget May. Forget Corbyn. Salvation is not coming from these directions.
So it’s up to parliament. MPs are coming to understand that they have to act. It has been stealing on parliamentarians for months now and close contacts between leading members of both parties have been made and have been deepening.
From within the Commons a shadow executive must emerge, and is beginning to. Labour’s Yvette Cooper talks to the Tories’ Dominic Grieve. Around them is a cluster of senior parliamentarians who are getting used to talking.
A common purpose unites them: rescuing the country from a no-deal Brexit that only a small minority actually want. Whether this is to be done by seeking a better deal than May’s or by a new referendum, or both, they need to find a way soon. An “indicative” vote of the House of Commons may help guide them.
And however speedily the House can find its leadership and direction, it’s hard to imagine this can be done without an extension to the Article 50 negotiating period.
Overwhelmingly, the conclusion to be drawn from last night’s vote is that parliament must wrest control from a zombie prime minister, a zombie cabinet and a zombie opposition. I heard in May’s response to the result the hint of the straw at which she may now clutch: a Labour-style Brexit under a Tory nominal prime minister. I would be amazed if her party would accept it.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the turbulent and uncertain road ahead in the Brexit saga as a March deadline looms.

Shifting sands, and betrayal at the highest level is now crystallizing, as hints of a possible parliamentary coup against May and Corbyn is being floated as a possible solution to the impasse that will ultimately steer the UK back under EU control, and cancel the Brexit referendum.

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Via Straits Times

The words “humiliated” and “crushed” featured prominently in British newspaper headlines following Parliament’s massive rejection of a divorce deal with the European Union on Tuesday (Jan 15).

Dailies said Prime Minister Theresa May’s grip on power was waning after the huge vote against the agreement struck between her government and Brussels, as she prepared to fight a no-confidence motion on Wednesday.

“May humiliated by 230 votes,” The Daily Mirror tabloid said.

The Daily Telegraph wrote: “Humiliation for Prime Minister as MPs overwhelmingly reject deal and Labour tables no confidence vote.”

The broadsheet’s parliamentary sketchwriter Michael Deacon said Mrs May had somehow defied the odds by making a historic event an anticlimax.

“Her speech had all the brio of a mouldy gym sock,” he wrote.

“She sounded as winningly persuasive as a mother snapping at her children to eat up their cabbage or go to bed hungry.”

The vote itself “was as if Agatha Christie has allowed Miss Marple to solve the murder half way through and spend the rest of the novel pottering about in the garden”.

‘ZOMBIE PM’

The Times columnist Matthew Parris said it was time for senior MPs to take over the Brexit process.

“There exists no leadership in either the government or the opposition capable of taking us through this mess,” he wrote following the vote.

“Theresa May isn’t any good; she doesn’t have a fiendish, secret strategy; she’s careless with the truth and will say anything to get her through another week. She doesn’t know what to do.

“Overwhelmingly, the conclusion to be drawn… is that Parliament must wrest control from a zombie Prime Minister, a zombie Cabinet and a zombie opposition.”

The Daily Mail said the defeat left Mrs May’s power “hanging by a thread”, calling it a “devastating result, which threatens to plunge the Brexit process into chaos”.

The Sun, Britain’s biggest-selling newspaper, said: “Crushed PM dares MPs to vote for general election after record Brexit defeat.”

“The crushing defeat – which saw 118 Tories turn against the PM – is the worst since the advent of full democracy and suggests Mrs May will never win enough support for her strategy,” said the tabloid.

The Financial Times newspaper ran a headline reading: “May’s defeat spells trouble for the EU’s Brexit approach.”

“Huge loss leaves PM in race against time,” the broadsheet said.

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Ukraine’s Cult of Stepan Bandera: Not a Detail, but a Cornerstone

Unlike Poroshenko with his aerial bombings of the Russian-speaking Donbass in 2014 and 2015, Bandera killed the “wrong” victims, the representatives of those nations that are valued even by the modern Western media.

Dmitry Babich

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Authored by Dmitry Babich via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


During the recent years of the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, there has been one issue where the Western mainstream press simply cannot fully ignore or reject the Russian arguments. This issue concerns the life and actions of Stepan Bandera (1909-1959) and his followers from what is known as the “Banderite” faction of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN, a far-right organization that took terrorist actions against Polish and Soviet officials from the 1920s to the 1950s and which is now legally protected from any criticism in Ukraine).

THE “WRONG” AND “RIGHT” VICTIMS

Because Bandera was born on January 1, 1909, celebrations of his birthday have become disgusting New Year’s rituals in Ukraine in recent years, with thousands participating in Nazi-style torch-lit marches that include shouted protests against “Putin’s Russia” and rants such as, “Jews out!” which are heard by everyone except the police. This New Year was no exception, since the current Ukrainian government under President Petro Poroshenko (who publicly identified himself as a Banderite after taking office in 2014) officially added Bandera’s 110th birthday to the list of Ukraine’s most important anniversaries. This time, there were several quiet voices of condemnation heard in Poland, Israel, and even the US. Why? In truth, torches, masks, political murders, and mob attacks against “pro-Russian” public figures are nothing new in post-Maidan Ukraine. And these things usually pose no problem for the mainstream press of the US and its allies. So, why is Bandera an exception?

The answer is ethnic, as awful as that may sound. Unlike Poroshenko with his aerial bombings of the Russian-speaking Donbass in 2014 and 2015, Bandera killed the “wrong” victims, the representatives of those nations that are valued even by the modern Western media, with its double and triple standards. In the 1930s Bandera killed Polish officials, in the 1940s his people killed civilian Jews and Polish peasants, and these are groups whose plight even the New York Times cannot ignore today. If Bandera’s infamous slogan “Death to enemies!” had been directed only against “disloyal” Russians and anti-Banderite Ukrainians (the groups currently persecuted by Poroshenko), Bandera would have been no different from his modern admirers in the Ukrainian government. But Bandera’s followers from the OUN decimated the Jewish population of Lvov and Kiev in 1941, trying to curry favor with the advancing Germans. And between 1943 and 1944, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), taking its orders from Bandera’s OUN officers, ethnically cleansed his native Western Ukraine of ethnic Poles, killing from 70,000-100,000 of them (the infamous “slaughter of Volhynia”). The aim was to create an “ethnically pure” Ukraine before the arrival of the Red Army in late 1944. Documents published by the Polish historian Grzegorz Motyka indicate that Bandera and the OUN hoped that the Red Army would soon be replaced by Anglo-American domination. “His strategy was to clean up the house before the arrival of the real master,” Motyka concludes in his book.

THE LADY OF THE RADA VS. ISRAEL’S PRESIDENT

The American domination took another 70 years, but it did come. And now the Banderites’ (and Poroshenko’s) only historic disagreement with the West is over the infamous “ethnic cleansing,” to which Bandera’s “glorious heroes” subjected Ukraine in 1941-1944. When Israeli President Reuven Rivlin dared to raise the issue during his visit to Ukraine in 2016, he got a scolding from the vice speaker of the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada), Irina Gerashchenko: “The Israeli president allowed himself some incorrect and undiplomatic words about the OUN’s tragic history,” Gerashchenko said at the time. “It was highly inappropriate, especially now, when Ukraine is fighting for its independence.” Gerashchenko forgot to mention the fact that Babi Yar, the burial site of some 30,000 Jews killed by German and Ukrainian Nazis in Kiev in 1941, was vandalized nine times between 2015 and 2016, according to data provided by the Ukrainian Jewish Committee.

WHY THE WEST WANTS TO FORGET, BUT CANNOT

In the immediate aftermath of the Maidan coup in 2014, the mainstream press was ready to forget even that, since an honest account of Bandera’s activities between 1939 and 1959 could rekindle memories of the undesirable parallels to the “resistance to Russian occupation” by Poroshenko’s army in the Donbass in 2014 and 2015. Between the summer of 2014 and the winter of 2015, about 10,000 people died there, victims of the aircraft and tanks sent by Poroshenko (just months earlier, the US and the EU had been unable to abide the use of truncheons by the police of the ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych). At the time, the NYT called Bandera the “Ukrainian nationalists’ hero.” Obviously, the NYT’s authors were taking their cues from the Washington Post’s Anne Applebaum, with her Banderite headline, “Nationalism is exactly what Ukraine Needs” in the once-glorious New Republic.

But here the mainstream press tried to kill off a memory that will never die — the memory of how Hitler’s East European Nazi allies participated in the destruction of the region’s Jewish population in the early 1940s. This was something not even Anne Applebaum could make people forget.

In his articles in the American press, the director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, Eduard Dolinsky, tried to explain to the American public that Bandera’s cult is not an isolated, unpleasant phenomenon: Stepan Bandera never acted alone, he represented a crudely nationalist ideology. Unfortunately, this ideology reigns triumphant in modern Ukraine behind the “liberal” façade displayed for the West. For example, Dolinsky notes that Poroshenko’s hypocritical speeches memorializing Jewish victims can be heard next to, say, a memorial to OUN activist Ivan Rogach, whose newspaper called Jews “the greatest enemy of the people” in 1941. “The Ukrainian leadership set itself on the course of rehabilitating anti-Semitism and introducing censorship of history,” concludes the official statement of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human-rights group, famous for its work to bring Nazi criminals to justice.

THE RUSSIAN QUESTION BEHIND THE JEWISH ONE

If the West cannot afford to be completely silent about Bandera’s participation in the Holocaust, it is willingly ignoring another huge injustice that is inseparable from Bandera’s cult in modern Ukraine — the erasure of the Russian and anti-Banderite component of Ukraine’s historic memory. In 2017, Kiev’s Vatutin Avenue was renamed Bandera Avenue, resulting in an outcry in Russia and complete silence in the West. This avenue, a major thoroughfare in the Ukrainian capital, had originally been named in honor of General Nikolai Vatutin, who liberated Kiev from Nazi occupation in 1943 and died in a shootout with the OUN’s guerillas in 1944. At the time, there was no question about where America’s sympathies lay: the fight against Hitler was not yet over, and Vatutin, born in 1901 to a peasant family living immediately adjacent to the future Russian-Ukrainian border, was a useful ally for the United States. Will Bandera and his modern followers be a good replacement? Only someone with Poroshenko’s plans for Ukraine or with Anne Applebaum’s views on history could agree.

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