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German supermarket chain busted airbrushing Greek cross from yogurt packaging

German supermarket chain, Lidl, edits Christian symbols from Greek product packaging.

Alex Christoforou

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Santorini’s beautiful blue domed Greek churches seem to offend German low cost supermarket chain Lidl.

The German discount chain has been busted airbrushing Christianity out of Greek churches.

According to The Gateway Pundit, the controversy arose when Belgian media outlet, RTL, was contacted by a Lidl customer annoyed that the brand would choose to erase, on its packaging, such an important part of the Greek landscape and culture.

Lidl responded to the negative publicity with the standard “respect for diversity” message. We wonder if Lidl would dare to airbrush crescent moons from photos of minarets.

A spokesperson for Lidl explained to RTL…

“We are a company that respects diversity and this explains the concept behind the packaging.’’

The spokesperson added that the company avoids the use of religious symbols on its packaging to remain neutral. The chain sells halal products, however, which bear Islamic symbols as part of their packaging.

Via The Gateway Pundit

The iconic image is known the world over; brilliant white stone buildings atop a cliffside village on the volcanic Greek Isle of Santorini, the bright blue domes of an orthodox church contrasting with the dark volcanic rock of this ‘’honeymoon’’ island in the Aegean Sea.

No surprise then that the emblematic image is used in the marketing of Greek tourism and products around the world, from cruise lines to Greek yogurt.

One such enterprise using the famed Santorini landscape to market its products is European supermarket giant, Lidl. The German discount chain uses the image on packaging for a range of Greek products, with one difference from reality – the crosses have been deliberately removed from the blue-domed church in Lidl’s version of the iconic image.

Known for its competitor-beating prices, the no-frills brand is a hit with bargain hunters, having become a staple of the retail landscape in recent years.

Operating 10,000 stores in Europe, Lidl has recently expanded to the United States, with supermarkets opening at multiple East Coast locations this summer. An initial 100 US stores are in the pipeline.

If the image of a tiny cross atop a church is so offensive that it would need to be erased by a marketing department, perhaps those who respect the cross – and its centuries old presence on the historical landscape – should start voting with their pocketbooks?

Contacted by The Gateway Pundit this afternoon, Lidl UK’s Press Office expressed regret for the controversy and stated that all feedback received on the matter would be taken into consideration ahead of future redesigns.

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Terry Ross
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Terry Ross

What about Christians who may be offended by “halal” marking on meat products signifying a cruel religious method of killing the animal?

christianblood
Guest
christianblood

Christians are not offended by the name “halal” on products and they shouldn’t be. Did you ever see supermarkets rubbing the word “halal” off their products so as not to offend Christians??? The fault belongs to Germans and the rest of the politically-correct Western societies who sees the holy Cross as offensive while they are promoting all kinds of other religious symbols and other cultures and even glorifying the moral perversion they know as “LGBTQ”. The West is Evil and Anti-Christ to core!

Rastislav Veľká Morava
Member
Rastislav Veľká Morava

Čistá pravda. Sláva Bohu!

christianblood
Guest
christianblood

Thank you! Glory to Christ!

Mr. Costelol
Guest
Mr. Costelol

In 1998, Klaus Kinkel told a Serbian religious delegating that they will continue chopping up Yugoslavia, and that Christianity has no role in future Europe. Today we bear the results of these elite scumbags.

schmenz
Guest
schmenz

Somehow I think that your average Muslim could care less if a cross was depicted on the package. I see two other possibilities at play here: one, the general hatred of global corporations against Christianity and, two, pressure from another powerful lobby that has been successfully erasing the Cross from the public square for over seventy years. One of those two, or both, would seem to be the main culprits.

christianblood
Guest
christianblood

Good point! I agree!

Tim Webb
Guest
Tim Webb

Please explain this reference to “another powerful lobby” for “Pantpurlais”‘s benefit, should he be reading. I wonder if Lidl’s will also erase the kosher sign from their products, so as to avoid offending EVERYBODY. Somehow, I doubt. For the avoidance of doubt, nothing bearing the “729” bar code should be bought, unless you agree with the murder and brutalization of Palestinians by this antichrist nation of thieves and liars. And I confirm that Lidl’s are hated by their employees; my friend who is a manager at the gym I go to started off working for them, and took more money… Read more »

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

And maybe the way they are handling their employees, they might also handle their suppliers in a comparable way.

Tim Webb
Guest
Tim Webb

It will all be very brutal, behind the scenes.
But I see they are expanding with 1000 new stores to the US.

ubon thai massage
Guest
ubon thai massage

I do not believe it is the “Germans”, but some “Germans” in management that have been
given a mandate.
If these self proclaimed “enlightened ones” wanted to show their diversity, they should
discard their Mercedes, Bentleys, Rolls Royces, Porsches and BMWs, and start driving to work and play in vehicle based on patents and engieering out of the Maghreb. They should
not be climbing into such Western Manufactured Vehicles. It is disrespectful to those in African lands that deliver products of an equal or even superior quality.

RR.

Tim Webb
Guest
Tim Webb

Most of those vehicles have green teeth, bad breath, and a very nasty attitude.

John R. Nolan
Guest
John R. Nolan

Religion, especially that of the Fatican, is straight out of hell. Christianity is an individual relationship betwixt man or woman and their Creator, not a man controlled, religious hierarchy, whose main aim is to make lots of money, by imposing man made doctrines and dogma, Spiritual slavery, on their congregations. It is suggested that the muslim religion was started by the Jesuits, only about 4-500 years ago. Homosexual acceptance, physically, which types the Spiritual, is portrayed through the evil increase of worship of Mary, rather than Jesus, and how the denominations have replaced Jesus Christ, God, man, with a female… Read more »

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

IMO, not a religion but a big money exercise. The Fatican Company is the richest and one of the most powerful business organizations on this planet. I do not know the situation on the other planets but it is for sure on this one.
Buying your seat in “heaven”, or “make your reservation” for a place in “heaven”.

John R. Nolan
Guest
John R. Nolan

Absolutely accurate.
Religions, all of them, are power hungry control mechanisms, using FEAR of the afterlife as a means to subjugate ignorant masses, and has been utilized thus since the beginning of time.
People who buy “seats in Heaven”, may be in for a nasty surprise once they step out of this dimension, into the next, which is a faster frequency. The concept of Heaven, for many, is a state of mind, sold to the suckers, for cash, when, in fact, it is without price, made available to all who are predestinated, according to the Bible.

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

Much appreciated. Thanks, John

John R. Nolan
Guest
John R. Nolan

It is encouraging to see how many citizens are finally standing up, for Truth, who are realizing that ‘RELIGION’ is the enemy’s greatest weapon against Believers.
Historically, going back to the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, it was replacing God’s Word with doctrines of the Beast, through his hybrid crop, that caused all the problem.
One little word, NOT, which deceived Eve. Gen.3:1-4
One can’t add to God’s Word, nor take from It, Eccl.3:14-18; Rev.22:18-19.
Satan, through his hybrid son, Cain, replaced God’s Word with teachings of man, the son of the beast.

John R. Nolan
Guest
John R. Nolan

Appreciate your accurate, relevant thoughts here, and what we are witnessing is an attack on our society, which originally was Christian. America was invaded by Christians fleeing persecution, martyrdom, particularly in Europe, at the hands of the Fatican, who admits to killing over 68,000,000 Christians, during the dark ages. (Facts of Our Faith) These saints, who refused to accept the pope as head of the Church, instead of Jesus Christ, were slaughtered in horrific ways, and a reading of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, especially, will reveal that to the reader. Sadly, Christianity was quickly infiltrated by satan and his hordes,… Read more »

Le Ruscino
Guest
Le Ruscino

How many Christian Suicide Bombers have there been lately ?

Put simply there are two different levels of not being able to take a joke going on here……..offending Islam, “The Religion of Peace” is bad for your health.

ubon thai massage
Guest
ubon thai massage

Have you ever peeked under the orange robes of those Buddhist Monks???
The majority are carrying at least 10 kilos of explosives.
R.

Tim Webb
Guest
Tim Webb

You’re forgetting the kosher sign, Terry.
I am realising more and more that islam is simply the uneducated scion of judaism, from whence all evil springs.
All their attitudes are the same.
Dare one say; islam was created by the jew to foster ill-will between the Gentiles.
Which he has succeeded in doing, beyond his wildest dreams.

englishvinal
Guest
englishvinal

I do SO agree~!!!! There is about as much deep difference between the Muslims & the Jews as there is between Democrats & Republicans….
The INTENT is exactly the same…. pretend to fight each other and keep everybody occupied with the clashing of swords….. and undermine the REAL enemy of both ugly factions… those heritics, infidels, unbelievers…
And it is all about the “unbelievers”/infidels… not about “christianity”…

(As old Smirky Bush said “If you-all ain’t WITH us you-all is AGAINST us”….. )

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

Not bad!. And maybe very true.

John R. Nolan
Guest
John R. Nolan

Islam is not the enemy, it is the Fatican.
The muslim mercenaries, trained armies, are just doing what they are told, behind the limelight, by those planning the One World Religion, one world government, cashless society, the Beast who sits on seven hills, professing to be God.

Tim Webb
Guest
Tim Webb

Pre-dating the Vatican; of course, the eternal jew.
And post-dating it, the children of Ishmael, who spent a thousand years attacking its empire of darkness.

John R. Nolan
Guest
John R. Nolan

Correct, the children of Ishmael, who was of their father, the devil, through Cain.
Cain was of his father, the devil, not, as most believe, of Adam.
True Israel, the lineage genetic through Isaac, will number the 144,000 who make up the small remnant, all the rest are cannon fodder.

John R. Nolan
Guest
John R. Nolan

Just as a matter of interest, as we consider the end of Gentile time, how do you see the fulfillment of Mal.4:5-6?
Few ministers have been heard ministering on this Scripture, and most are confused about the difference betwixt Mal.3:1, which is fulfilled through John’s witness, of Jesus’ first coming, and the Angel who precedes His Second Coming?
It is to the Gentiles, not Israel, and how can such an important Scripture be ignored for so long?

Tim Webb
Guest
Tim Webb

You are way ahead of me on these things, John. My knowledge of scripture, especially prophetic scripture, is very poor, and I have never really got to grips with it, except in the simplest of ways. There seem to be as many interpretations of it as there are ministers elaborating upon it. But I adore Malachi 4, and in fact committed it to memory. All I get from this is that there is coming a great Judgement on the children of men, and the wheat will be separated from the chaff, and the chaff burned up with unquenchable fire. Dramatic… Read more »

John R. Nolan
Guest
John R. Nolan

We are all in a learning curve; there is none of us that can do more than encourage each other to observe and partake of the ever unfolding Word. As John the Baptist’s ministry preceded Christ’s First coming, Mal.3:1, the ministry of Mal.4:5-6 precedes His second coming. “Jesus the Christ, the same, yesterday, today and forever.” Heb.13:8 Mal.4:5-6 refers to the coming of a prophetic ministry, in the Spirit of Elijah, which will be used, of God, Amos3:7, to fore-run His Second coming. The Lord Jesus, identified John as fulfilling Mal.3:1, that John had the Spirit of Elijah on him.… Read more »

John R. Nolan
Guest
John R. Nolan

Yes, behind all the global grief we find the Fatican, and, even deeper, the children of Ishmael, the Kazarian Jews, who believe they are the chosen race, who should run the world. What will be interesting is how the K.Jews and the Fatican sort out who is really boss!

Tim Webb
Guest
Tim Webb

I think you will find that behind the cassocks and the Dagon fish hats, we have a collection of circumcisees.

John R. Nolan
Guest
John R. Nolan

Yes, that is some regard as Serpent Seed, the children of the devil, as the Lord Jesus described the Pharisees and Sadducees, to which they responded they were not illegitimate, which seems a strange response, unless they already knew who their father was?

John R. Nolan
Guest
John R. Nolan

Clever pun, bro. Tim, love it!

John R. Nolan
Guest
John R. Nolan

What we find is that the muslims are descendants of Abram, through his concubines, who have been striving to destroy the pure seed, the children of Isaac, ever since. Isaac was, by inheritance, the only one to receive the inheritance from Abraham. Gen. 21:12; 24:36; “But to the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave them gifts and sent them away from Isaac, his son.” 25:5 There can never be peace betwixt true Israel and the other children of Abraham, which explains why there is such a mess in the Middle East; it can never be resolved in… Read more »

Tim Webb
Guest
Tim Webb

It goes deeper. The promise was not to a worldly seed, but to a spiritual. The jews made the mistake of thinking that they were the true children of Abraham, through the flesh, as you say. But the Lord Jesus Christ told them that God was “able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” They didn’t like hearing this. This led them to understand that they were nothing special. Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, were none of them justified through their blood lineage, but through faith alone. Abraham is not spoken of as being the Father of the… Read more »

John R. Nolan
Guest
John R. Nolan

You display a depth of Revelation not common amongst many calling themselves Christians. Thank you for your lucid explanation of the separation betwixt the Spiritual Seed, through Isaac, and the children of the wicked one, who were fathered through Cain. Jesus told the Pharisees and Sadducees they were of their father, the devil, didn’t He? Yes, the true Church is the temple of the living God, clearly shown in Col.1:27, “Christ IN you, the hope of glory.” The Bride of Jesus Christ is the Word manifest in this day, called out for the catching away of 1Thes,4:15-16, before the Tribulation,… Read more »

John R. Nolan
Guest
John R. Nolan

FAITH, “We are saved through FAITH, not works, lest any man should boast.” Totally agree with you on that statement. Israel, who are under a different dispensation, are waiting still for their Messiah, but, what they get is two prophets, Moses and Elijah, who will preach Christ and Him crucified, to call out the Jewish elect. They will be martyred for their Faith, as the reality of Jesus being their Messiah, who they, for the sake of the Gentiles, murdered, and will weep, every family alone, as they realize they completely missed His first coming. Their eyes were blinded, that… Read more »

Tim Webb
Guest
Tim Webb

The problem is many-fold.
They may have a red heifer, but they do not have the Ark of the Covenant.
And even if they do have this, as Ron Wyatt implied they might; then they do not have the genealogies of the Levites, which were destroyed in 70 AD; so nobody is legally qualified to carry out the sacrifices; which as already stated, were ended with the perfect sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary anyway.
All is confusion, as we expect when we follow the traditions of men, instead of the eternal and abiding Word of God.

John R. Nolan
Guest
John R. Nolan

Appreciate your thoughts on the Word.
Yes, what you state here is spot on, but, fortunately, as a Gentile, a member of God’s very elect, according to His Word, I, as the others, will not be here to witness what happens once the catching away takes place.
For, then, the Word goes back to Israel, as God does not deal with Israel and the Gentiles at the same time.
That is what the Gentile dispensation is all about, and, once the Word goes back to Israel, there is no Grace available for the foolish virgin.

Tim Webb
Guest
Tim Webb

The theology, I feel, is quite confused on this matter. In God’s eyes, there is only one Elect, ie that of the believers. Now these can be either jew or Christian; all are one; and as such, I do not consider that a differentiation is made between them; either today, or indeed, during the OT times. “But he is a Jew that is one inwardly”. All were, and still are, judged entirely on their faith, or lack thereof. The old dispensation, which appeared to rest on blood and race and land; but never did, has been thrown aside. Paul also… Read more »

John R. Nolan
Guest
John R. Nolan

Some suggest that it is the theology, the scholars, the religious experts, which have really missed the mark, as did the Pharisees, and are the core of the problem, where man has striven to out think God, because, as the point was made by you, previously, we are saved by FAITH, not works, lest any man should boast. Check Rom.3:1-29 to see there are two, one under Law, the other under Grace. Scripture forbids personal interpretation, doesn’t IT, 2Pet.1:20? Has it not been changing the Word of God by which we have accumulated the grief, chaos, the coming Judgement? Eccl.3:14-18;… Read more »

John R. Nolan
Guest
John R. Nolan

One little aside on that statement, bro. Tim.
Each of the Gentile church ages had an elect, those called out to follow the freshly unfolding Word, in each of the six church ages.
But, in this, at the end of the Laodicean age, Christ returns, opens the seven seals on His Book, and here, in Mat.24:24, is the only Scriptural reference to the VERY Elect.
The bride for this day, are typed with Enoch, do not taste death, and is caught away, to meet our Lord, in the air, whilst the foolish virgin have to die for their Faith.

John R. Nolan
Guest
John R. Nolan

Well said, Mr. Ross. The barbaric methods of animal slaughter for meat is cruel, should not allowed in any nation, particularly one which is supposed to be “CIVILIZED”, and why are we, the citizens, letting such practices invade our nations? Talk about religious persecution, it is we, the Christian nations, which are being persecuted, victimized, perverted by those who are intent on forcing us all to accept and live under Sharia Law. Is that what you want for your children? Why, curiously, do we, the white fellas, allow any invading forces, of the muslim religion, to destroy our culture, our… Read more »

Dot
Guest
Dot

If one reads the reviews submitted by employees, this company is absolutely one of those you never want to work for. Not a single positive review from employees.

Luboš Motl
Guest

Here in Czechia, where the crosses were also erased during the Greek week – and they were actually missing at products’ packages at least since Summer 2013 (and at big photographs of Santorini in the fliers since 2014) – the revelation caused a huge scandal. All major media ran several stories about it, thousands of angry comments were posted. Search for “Lidl supermarket chain desecrated churches† in Greece” for some info, links, parodies etc.

ubon thai massage
Guest
ubon thai massage

Ahoj Luboš,
My daughter’s Czechish is much more fluent than her English.
(My daughter is from my last marriage. I also met my present wife in
Czechia) (Nemecke Doma)
a Dobry Vecer,
RR.

Constantine
Guest
Constantine

What the hell is wrong with these people? Political correctness has become a pathological mental condition. And the most ridiculous thing of all in this fiasco is that very few non-Christians who would buy the product would be bothered by the natural presence of crosses on top of a church.

Almost certainly a case of projection by PC freaks.

englishvinal
Guest
englishvinal

BOYCOTT… do not purchase. VOTE with the only thing that matters to these reptilian sods.. MONEY.

Great Expectations
Guest
Great Expectations

Boycott? No problem. As I’ve said in my comment 5 minutes ago, their products are a sham and god knows what they are really selling you. I couldn’t eat a thing bought from there.

Tim Webb
Guest
Tim Webb

I always remember an amusing incident from a few years ago.
I said I shopped at Lidl; someone said they couldn’t possibly eat their products.
I had brought in a particularly good bar of chocolate they used to sell; it was dark chocolate with one side being coffee flavoured.
I left it on the desk, half eaten.
When I came back, the rest had gone.
Guess who.

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

Ah, that is not good enough. Their products is not the problem, they are according their German standards which are quite high in quality. It is the weakness of their management be oppressed by a CDU Green Red government to get away with chistian signs. It is the logical path of Merkel who is pretty busy to get rid of the nation “Germany” for SHE wants to merge the five EU Euro Zone countries (the more or less rich ones) as one nucleus european area. (NOT as a new State!), as a starter. Later on if this succeeds and she… Read more »

Great Expectations
Guest
Great Expectations

I visited a Lidl for the first and last time a few weeks ago, not to shop for myself. I am aware of the Lidl adverts on RT, that promote the very cheap prices of products. I was horrified to see that not one product I picked up disclosed where in the world it had been produced or grown. If you’re interested in the quality of what you eat and where it has come from, I wouldn’t shop there. The shop is a con. And much of their packaging is designed to look like well-known brands, which they are not.… Read more »

Tim Webb
Guest
Tim Webb

I buy their stuff all the time.
It is very good in every respect.
They have big instore bakeries now; and their croissants are particularly good.
But I despise them for erasing crosses from Greek churches.
This is really quite despicable.

Great Expectations
Guest
Great Expectations

Lidl is a heap of crap that sells rubbish and their PC rot isn’t going to affect me. I am devastated, however, to discover that John Lewis (which includes Waitrose) is to remove ‘boy’ ‘girl’ labels from children’s clothing to make them gender neutral! That boycott is going to affect me badly.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4845676/John-Lewis-ditches-boys-girls-labels-clothes.html#newcomment

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

About your excitement about the “Lidl”. IMO. a) First was the campaign against VW, Audi, Mercedes Benz and a little later against Porsche. This is obvious, isn’t it? Economical Warfare against Germany. b) We are in the middle of the Energy Warfare. This is obvious, isn’t it? Ecomical Warfare against Germany. c) Now it is time for the Evil Tongues to attack the German Food chain Lidl? Suddenly Lidl is “in a silence war” against christianity? Lidl is a billion Big Business, people. Do you think the Lidl Management is so stupid to use “taking away crosses from pictures” on… Read more »

Latest

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

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 166.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

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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Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

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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Latest

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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Entering a Major Regional Re-set – The Syria Outcome Will Haunt Those Who Started This War

It should be obvious now that we are entering a major regional re-set.

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Authored by Alastair Crooke via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The Middle East is metamorphosing. New fault-lines are emerging, yet Trump’s foreign policy ‘hawks’ still try to stage ‘old movies’ in a new ‘theatre’.

The ‘old movie’ is for the US to ‘stand up’ Sunni, Arab states, and lead them towards confronting ‘bad actor’ Iran. ‘Team Bolton’ is reverting back to the old 1996 Clean Break script – as if nothing has changed. State Department officials have been briefing that Secretary Pompeo’s address in Cairo on Thursday was “ slated to tell his audience (although he may not name the former president), that Obama misled the people of the Middle East about the true source of terrorism, including what contributed to the rise of the Islamic State. Pompeo will insist that Iran, a country Obama tried to engage, is the real terrorist culprit. The speech’s drafts also have Pompeo suggesting that Iran could learn from the Saudis about human rights, and the rule of law.”

Well, at least that speech should raise a chuckle around the region. In practice however, the regional fault-line has moved on: It is no longer so much Iran. GCC States have a new agenda, and are now far more concerned to contain Turkey, and to put a halt to Turkish influence spreading throughout the Levant. GCC states fear that President Erdogan, given the emotional and psychological wave of antipathy unleashed by the Khashoggi murder, may be mobilising newly re-energised Muslim Brotherhood, Gulf networks. The aim being to leverage present Gulf economic woes, and the general hollowing out of any broader GCC ‘vision’, in order to undercut the rigid Gulf ‘Arab system’ (tribal monarchy). The Brotherhood favours a soft Islamist reform of the Gulf monarchies – along lines, such as that once advocated by Jamal Khashoggi .

Turkey’s leadership in any case is convinced that it was the UAE (MbZ specifically) that was the author behind the Kurdish buffer being constructed, and mini-state ‘plot’ against Turkey – in conjunction with Israel and the US. Understandably, Gulf states now fear possible Turkish retribution for their weaponising of Kurdish aspirations in this way.

And Turkey is seen (by GCC States) as already working in close co-ordination with fellow Muslim Brotherhood patron and GCC member, Qatar, to divide the collapsing Council. This prefigures a new round to the MB versus Saudi Wahhabism spat for the soul of Sunni Islam.

GGC states therefore, are hoping to stand-up a ‘front’ to balance Turkey in the Levant. And to this end, they are trying to recruit President Assad back into the Arab fold (which is to say, into the Arab League), and to have him act, jointly with them, as an Arab counter to Turkey.

The point here is obvious: President Assad is closely allied to Iran – and so is Moscow and Turkey. To be fashionably Iranophobic – as Pompeo might wish the GCC to be – simply would spoil the GCC’s anti-Turkey ‘play’. Syria indeed may be (justly) skeptical of Turkey’s actions and intent in Syria, but from President Assad’s perspective, Iran and Russia are absolutely crucial to the managing of an erratic Turkey. Turkey does represent an existential Syrian concern. And trying to lever President Assad – or Lebanon or Turkey – away from Iran, would be absurd. It won’t happen. And the GCC states have enough nous to understand this now (after their stinging defeat in Syria). The Gulf anti-Iranian stance has had ‘the burner’ turned sharply down, (except when their need is to stroke US feathers).

They can see clearly that the Master of Ceremonies in the Levant – putting together the new regional ‘order’ – is not Mr Bolton, but Moscow, with Tehran (and occasionally Ankara), playing their equal part ‘from behind the curtain’.

Presumably, America’s intelligence services know, (and Gulf states certainly are aware), that in any case, Iranian forces are almost all gone from Syria (though of course Syria’s ‘Iranian connection’ remains as firm, as ever) – even as Pompeo and Israel say the precisely the opposite: that they are pushing-back hard at the ‘threatening’ Iranian military ‘footprint’ in Syria. Few in the region will believe it.

The second notable emerging regional fault line then, evidently is the one that is opening between Turkey and the US and Israel. Turkey ‘gets it’: Erdogan ‘gets it’ very clearly: that Washington now deeply distrusts him, suspects that Turkey is accelerating into Moscow and Beijing’s orbit, and that DC would be happy to see him gone – and a more NATO-friendly leader installed in his stead.

And it must be clear to Washington too ‘why’ Turkey would be heading ‘East’. Erdogan precisely needs Russia and Iran to act as MCs to moderate his difficult relations with Damascus for the future. Erdogan needs Russia and Iran even more, to broker a suitable political solution to the Kurds in Syria. He needs China too, to support his economy.

And Erdogan is fully aware that Israel (more than Gulf States) still hankers after the old Ben Gurion ideal of an ethnic Kurdish state – allied with Israel, and sitting atop major oil resources – to be inserted at the very pivot to south-west and central Asia: And at Turkey’s vulnerable underbelly.

The Israeli’s articulated their support for a Kurdish state quite plainly at the time of Barzani’s failed independence initiative in Iraq. But Erdogan simply, unmistakably, has said to this ‘never’ (to Bolton, this week). Nonetheless, Ankara still needs Russian and Iranian collaboration to allow Bolton to ‘climb down his tree’ of a Kurdish mini-state in Syria. He needs Russia to broker a Syrian-led buffer, vice an American-Kurdish tourniquet, strapped around his southern border.

It is unlikely however, that despite the real threat that America’s arming of the Kurds poses to Turkey, that Erdogan really wants to invade Syria – though he threatens it – and though John Bolton’s ‘conditions’ may end by leaving Turkey no option, but to do it. Since, for sure, Erdogan understands that a messy Turkish invasion of Syria would send the delicately balanced Turkish Lire into free-fall.

Still … Turkey, Syria, Iran and Russia now all want America gone from Syria. And for a moment, it seemed it might proceed smoothly after Trump had acquiesced to Erdogan’s arguments, during their celebrated telephone call. But then – Senator Lindsay Graham demurred (against the backdrop of massed howls of anguish issuing from the Beltway foreign policy think-tanks). Bolton did the walk-back, by making US withdrawal from Syria contingent on conditions (ones seemingly designed not to be met) and not tied any specific timeline. President Erdogan was not amused.

It should be obvious now that we are entering a major regional re-set: The US is leaving Syria. Bolton’s attempted withdrawal-reversal has been rebuffed. And the US, in any event, forfeited the confidence of the Kurds in consequence to the original Trump statement. The Kurds now are orientated toward Damascus and Russia is mediating a settlement.

It may take a while, but the US is going. Kurdish forces (other than those linked with the PKK) are likely to be assimilated into the Syrian army, and the ‘buffer’ will not be directed against Turkey, but will be a mix of Syrian army and Kurdish elements – under Syrian command – but whose overall conduct towards Turkey will be invigilated by Russia. And the Syrian army will, in due time, clear Idlib from a resurgent al-Qaida (HTS).

The Arab states are returning to their embassies in Damascus – partly out of fear that the whipsaw of American policy, its radical polarisation, and its proclivity to be wholly or partially ‘walked-back’ by the Deep State – might leave the Gulf unexpectedly ‘orphaned’ at any time. In effect, the GCC states are ‘hedging’ against this risk by trying to reconnect a bifurcated Arab sphere, and to give it a new ‘purpose’ and credibility – as a balance against Turkey, Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood (Syria’s old nemesis).

And yet – there remains still another layer to this calculus, as described by veteran Middle East journalist, Elijah Magnier:

“Indeed the Levant is returning to the centre of Middle East and world attention in a stronger position than in 2011. Syria has advanced precision missiles that can hit any building in Israel. Assad also has an air defence system he would have never dreamed of before 2011 – thanks to Israel’s continuous violation of its airspace, and its defiance of Russian authority. Hezbollah has constructed bases for its long and medium range precision missiles in the mountains and has created a bond with Syria that it could never have established – if not for the war. Iran has established a strategic brotherhood with Syria, thanks to its role in defeating the regime change plan.

NATO’s support for the growth of ISIS has created a bond between Syria and Iraq that no Muslim or Baathist link could ever have created: Iraq has a “carte blanche” to bomb ISIS locations in Syria without the consent of the Syrian leadership, and the Iraqi security forces can walk into Syria anytime they see fit to fight ISIS. The anti-Israel axis has never been stronger than it is today. That is the result of 2011-2018 war imposed on Syria”.

Yes. This is the third of the newly emergent fault-lines: that of Israel on the one hand, and the emerging reality in the Syrian north, on the other – a shadow that has returned to haunt the original instigators of the ‘war’ to undermine Syria. PM Netanyahu since has put all the Israeli eggs into the Trump family ‘basket’. It was Netanyahu’s relationship with Trump which was presented in Israel as being the true ‘Deal of the Century’ (and not the Palestinian one). Yet when Bibi complained forcefully about US withdrawal from Syria (leaving Syria vulnerable, Netanyahu asserts, to an Iranian insertion of smart missiles), Trump nonchalantly replied that the US gives Israel $ 4.5 billion per year – “You’ll be all right”, Trump riposted.

It was seen in Israel as an extraordinary slap to the PM’s face. But Israelis cannot avoid, but to acknowledge, some responsibility for creating precisely the circumstances of which they now loudly complain.

Bottom line: Things have not gone according to plan: America is not shaping the new Levantine ‘order’ – Moscow is. And Israel’s continual, blatant disregard of Russia’s own interests in the Levant, firstly infuriated, and finally has provoked the Russian high command into declaring the northern Middle East a putative no-fly zone for Israel. This represents a major strategic reversal for Netanyahu (and the US).

And finally, it is this repeating pattern of statements being made by the US President on foreign policy that are then almost casually contradicted, or ‘conditioned’, by some or other part of the US bureaucracy, that poses to the region (and beyond) the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question. The pattern clearly is one of an isolated President, with officials emptying his statements of executive authority (until subsequently endorsed, or denied, by the US bureaucracy). It is making Trump almost irrelevant (in terms of the setting of foreign policy).

Is this then a stealth process – knowingly contrived – incrementally to remove Trump from power? A hollowing out of his Presidential prerogatives (leaving him only as a disruptive Twitterer) – achieved, without all the disruption and mess, of formally removing him from office? We shall see.

And what next? Well, as Simon Henderson observes, no one is sure – everyone is left wondering:

“What’s up with Secretary Pompeo’s extended tour of the Middle East? The short answer is that he is trying to sell/explain President Trump’s “we are leaving Syria” policy to America’s friends … Amman, Jordan; Cairo, Egypt; Manama, Bahrain; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE); Doha, Qatar; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Muscat, Oman; Kuwait City, Kuwait. Wow, even with his own jet and no immigration hassles, that’s an exhausting itinerary … The fact that there now are eight stops in eight days, probably reflects the amount of explaining that needs to be done.”

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