What Can Humanity Learn From The Great Law of Peace?

The Great Law of Peace predates European colonization of North America by centuries and has endured for far longer than the settler states that were brutally imposed upon the indigenous peoples of North America. In this interview for The Real News, I discuss the Great Law of Peace with Stuart Myiow of the Mohawk Traditional Council.

As Stuart explains, an enduring peace depends on our respect for the laws of creation. Stuart’s comments on European conceptions of democracy are particularly interesting. He states: “So today you may look and think that democracy means freedom and equality for all. Well, let’s go back to early Greece and we’ll see that that’s not, in fact, what existed there. And that’s not what I am saying based on what I think. I examined the non-Native history. The non-Native history identifies the circumstances that were in place at the time when the early Greeks formed democracy. In that place they were entirely based upon slavery. They were entirely based upon war. The women were not citizens. The women were basically subjects of the men, owned by the men. The majority of the women were slaves also except from the ones that were allowed or permitted to come into the ranks of basically being, or holding the role of basically being baby factories to bring more soldiers into their war. So when people think of democracy as, the way people think of it today, the people are exactly going in the diametrically opposite direction than what they believe. Whereas within the Great Law of Peace, this is the only place on earth that actually acknowledged an adopted Constitution of what actually takes place within creation; how creation is created from some step one. In order to know the Great Law of Peace that people must know the creation story. When you know your creation story, then you know what you are. And when you know and realise what you are, then your ways, everything that you adopt, will be in accordance with what we are.”

My discussion with Stuart can be seen and heard here:

https://therealnews.com/stories/what-can-humanity-learn-from-the-great-law-of-peace-1-2

The True ‘Troika of Tyranny’ In Today’s World Is The United States, Saudi Arabia And Israel

Yesterday, in an interview on RT America, I argued that the U.S. government’s sanctions on Iran have nothing to do with the human rights of the Iranian people, and that, to borrow John Bolton’s phrase, the true ‘troika of tyranny’ in today’s world is the United States, Said Arabia and Israel.

My interview on RT America can be seen and heard here:

New York Attorney General Launches Groundbreaking Fraud Suit Against Exxon

In late October, New York State’s Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed a massive fraud suit against fossil fuels giant Exxon. The suit alleges that Exxon engaged in a “longstanding fraudulent scheme to deceive investors by providing false and misleading assurances that it was effectively managing the economic risks posed by increasingly stringent policies and regulations it expected to be adopted to address climate change.”

The attorney general’s office also alleges that Exxon’s former chairman and CEO, and later United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, knew about direct misrepresentations for years.

For the Real News, I speak to attorney Todd Paglia, executive director of Stand Earth, about the New York Attorney-General’s prospects for success. My discussion with Todd can be seen and heard here:

https://therealnews.com/stories/new-york-attorney-general-launches-groundbreaking-fraud-suit-against-exxon.

Legal Battle over Falsely Labelled Wines From Israel’s Illegal Settlements Heats Up

In January 2017, Dr. David Kattenburg of Winnipeg, Canada filed a complaint with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) about two wines produced in Israel’s illegal settlements. Those wines are sold in Canada bearing labels which falsely proclaim them to be “Product of Israel”. As such, they plainly violate Canadian law, including section 5 of the Food and Drugs Act and section 7 of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act.

Dr. Kattenburg, who is Jewish and the son of Holocaust survivors, reminded the CFIA that the Canadian government itself declares Israel’s settlements to be on occupied Palestinian territory and therefore a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. It is beyond reasonable dispute that those settlements form no part of Israel. As stated on the website of Global Affairs Canada:

Canada does not recognize permanent Israeli control over territories occupied in 1967 (the Golan Heights, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip). The Fourth Geneva Convention applies in the occupied territories and establishes Israel’s obligations as an occupying power, in particular with respect to the humane treatment of the inhabitants of the occupied territories. As referred to in UN Security Council Resolutions 446 and 465, Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The settlements also constitute a serious obstacle to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace…

Canada recognizes Israel’s right to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks, including through the restriction of access to its territory, and by building a barrier on its own territory for security purposes. However, Canada opposes Israel’s construction of the barrier inside the West Bank and East Jerusalem which are occupied territories. This construction is contrary to international law under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Canada not only opposes Israel’s construction of a barrier extending into the occupied territories, but also expropriations and the demolition of houses and economic infrastructure carried out for this purpose.

After months of careful consideration by at least seven CFIA analysts, including five specialists and a senior compliance officer, CFIA staff properly concluded that the wines violated Canadian law and that Dr. Kattenburg’s complaint was well-founded.

The CFIA then instructed the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) to remove the wines from the shelves of LCBO vendors until a proper action plan for rectifying the false labels had been formulated and implemented.

On July 12, 2017 – before Dr. Kattenburg himself was apprised of the CFIA’s decision – the main pro-Israel lobby groups in Canada somehow learned of the CFIA’s ‘disturbing’ decision and intensely lobbied the Canadian government to reverse it. They relied on article 1.4.1b of the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA), an obscure provision that has nothing to do with product labelling. Nonetheless, the Canadian government quickly capitulated to the lobby’s demands and pressured the CFIA’s president into reversing his staff’s carefully considered decision.

Less than 24 hours after the lobby attacked the CFIA’s decision, the CFIA announced that it had reversed itself on the basis of “further clarification” of article 1.4.1(b), which CFIA staff had already considered before rendering its initial decision that the labels on these settlement wines violated Canadian law.

Canada’s pro-Israel lobby was aided in its efforts to circumvent Canadian law by Liberal MP Michael Levitt, the Chair of the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Group. On the day of the CFIA’s self-reversal, Levitt issued a statement in which he boasted about his advocacy for Israel and professed to have been “shocked and deeply concerned” by the CFIA’s enforcement of Canadian law.

Shortly after the CFIA’s lightening-speed self-reversal, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and Michael Levitt celebrated their victory for injustice by travelling to the illegal Psagot settlement in the West Bank and visiting one of the wineries that is the subject of Dr. Kattenburg’s complaint.

In October 2017, I commenced a judicial review application in the Federal Court of Canada on Dr. Kattenburg’s behalf. Dr. Kattenburg is asking the court to declare unlawful the CFIA’s decision to allow these wines to be sold in Canada bearing false “Product of Israel” labels. Dr. Kattenburg’s application is scheduled to be heard in the Toronto courthouse of the Federal Court on May 21 and 22, 2019.

On November 2, 2018, I filed with the Federal Court a copy of Dr. Kattenburg’s Memorandum of Fact and Law in support of his application. A complete copy of the Memorandum can be viewed at the end of this post.

Dr. Kattenburg stands to gain nothing from his extraordinary efforts to ensure that the Canadian government enforces Canadian law. As stated in his Memorandum of Fact and Law, he has commenced this legal proceeding “to help ensure respect for Canada’s consumer protection and product labelling laws, to help ensure that he and other Canadian wine consumers be provided truthful and accurate information about the wine products that they purchase and consume, and to ensure both Canada’s and Israel’s respect for international human rights and humanitarian law.” Although I am acting for Dr. Kattenburg on a pro bono basis, this legal proceeding requires him to incur significant expenses. We encourage you to help Dr. Kattemnburg to shoulder these expenses by contributing to his gofundme campaign here.

Dr. Kattenburg’s Memorandum of Fact and Law, filed with the Federal Court of Canada on November 2, 2018:

Applicant’s Memorandum of Law – FINAL

 

 

 

Arms Races Increase Atomic Arsenals, Raising the Risk of Nuclear Winter

For the Real News, I speak to Professor Alan Robock, a climate scientist who specializes in the climactic effects of nuclear weapons.

As Professor Robock explains, nuclear blasts produce massive fires, and the smoke from those fires blocks sunlight and can thereby precipitate a “nuclear winter” that would have catastrophic effects on agriculture and cause mass starvation.

Professor Robock’s view is that even a limited nuclear war has a high potential to precipitate a nuclear winter, yet his interactions with the Pentagon lead him to believe that Pentagon planners are utterly ignorant of the potential for a nuclear conflict to precipitate mass starvation.

As he states, “I have no evidence that anybody in the Pentagon knows anything about nuclear winter. I’ve never seen them state that this is a concern of theirs. I went to a meeting last year and talked to some military people, and they said, ‘Look, we understand the effects of blast from nuclear weapons, we understand the effects of radio activity, but we don’t understand the effect of fires, and so in our current planning, we just ignore them.’”

My discussion with Professor Robock can be seen and heard here:

https://therealnews.com/stories/arms-races-increase-atomic-arsenals-raising-the-risk-of-nuclear-winter

European Parliament Bans Single-Use Plastics in Historic Vote

For the Real News, I speak to Dr. Jonathan Latham about the European Parliament’s historic decision to adopt a broad ban on single-use plastics.

As Dr. Latham explains in our interview, the crisis of plastics pollutions in the oceans has become so severe that 95% of table salt contains plastic:

https://therealnews.com/stories/european-parliament-bans-single-use-plastics-in-historic-vote. 

McGill University Should Withdraw Its Honorary Doctorate To Hillel Neuer

Following his recent appearance on the far-right Rebel Media, during which he vilified Justin Trudeau’s government for showing a modicum of compassion to Palestinian refugees, Hillel Neuer of UN Watch has launched a mendacious attack on me and Professor Michael Lynk.

Professor Lynk is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). He has meticulously documented Israel’s severe human rights abuses in the OPT, and has therefore drawn the ire of the relentlessly pro-Israel UN Watch.

Apparently, Neuer’s prodigious ego remains bruised after this past summer’s convocation at McGill University. For reasons that no one in the Palestinian solidarity movement can fathom, McGill University decided earlier this year to confer an honorary doctorate on this shameless apologist for Israeli apartheid. In protest, I and two other Palestinian solidarity activists, Yves Engler and Paul Tetrault, disrupted Neuer’s acceptance speech during McGill’s convocation:

 

Now, Neuer and UN Watch, the pro-Israel propaganda organ that Neuer leads, are calling for Professor Lynk to denounce me after Professor Lynk and I shared a stage at a recent Symposium on Israel/Palestinein Winnipeg.

Continue Reading ›