Leaked Scenes from Censored Documentary Reveal Israel Lobbyist Noah Pollak Astroturfing an Anti-Palestinian Protest

Exclusive leaked scenes from Al Jazeera’s “The Lobby – USA” documentary show how Emergency Committee for Israel Executive Director Noah Pollak and the Hoover Institution astroturfed an inflammatory protest against the 2016 Students for Justice in Palestine national conference.

By Max Blumenthal

The Grayzone Project has released scenes from an investigative Al Jazeera undercover documentary, “The Lobby – USA,” whose publication was blocked by the government of Qatar under Israel lobby pressure.

The footage reveals how Emergency Committee on Israel Executive Director Noah Pollak and the right-wing Hoover Institution organized an astroturfed a protest aimed at disrupting the 2016 Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) national conference.

According to one Hoover Institution campus fellow, “This is the first foot soldier activity that I think we’ve been forced to do.”

Continue reading “Leaked Scenes from Censored Documentary Reveal Israel Lobbyist Noah Pollak Astroturfing an Anti-Palestinian Protest”

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, The Fifty One Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza, and The Management of Savagery, which will be published later this year by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie and the forthcoming Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded the Grayzone Project in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

Big Tech Corporations Are Now Banning Iranian Social Media Accounts – A Censored Student Journalist Speaks out

Google, Facebook, and Twitter are removing social media accounts of real life Iranians who are falsely dubbed as “government trolls.” Student journalist Sayed Mousavi warns “this is just the tip of an iceberg.”

By Ben Norton

Under apparent government pressure, big tech corporations in the United States have tightened their social media grip, censoring accounts that criticize the US government and its allies.

Under the spell of Russiagate hysteria promoted incessantly by the US government and corporate media, social media accounts that were identified by shady private cybersecurity firms as supposed “Russian trolls” were targeted first. Then pro-Venezuelan government websites like the state-funded media outlet TeleSUR English and even the independent Venezuela Analysis had their Facebook pages temporarily removed.

Now Silicon Valley has set its sights on Iran. While the Donald Trump administration is banning Iranians from traveling and imposing suffocating sanctions on their country, Big Tech is banning them from using social media.

Google (which owns YouTube), Facebook (which owns Instagram), and Twitter have removed hundreds of Iranian social media accounts that have been accused — without any evidence — of being linked to the government in Tehran. These suspensions were based on a questionable, thinly sourced report by the American cybersecurity firm FireEye, which is led by former US military officers.

But contrary to what numerous corporate media reports are claiming, some of the Iranian accounts being banned are in fact not operated by the government. In fact, many are average Iranians whose opinions do not fit into the tightly managed, pro-war Washington consensus.

Continue reading “Big Tech Corporations Are Now Banning Iranian Social Media Accounts – A Censored Student Journalist Speaks out”

Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a producer and reporter for The Real News, and a contributor to the Grayzone Project and FAIR. Ben co-hosts the Moderate Rebels podcast with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com, and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.

No, the UN Did Not Report China Has ‘Massive Internment Camps’ for Uighur Muslims

Media outlets from Reuters to The Intercept falsely claimed the UN had condemned China for holding a million Uighurs in camps. The claim is based on unsourced allegations by two independent commission members, US-funded outfits and a shadowy opposition group.

By Ben Norton and Ajit Singh

Numerous major media outlets, from Reuters to The Intercept, have claimed that the United Nations has reports that the Chinese government is holding as many as 1 million Uighur Muslims in “internment camps.” But a close examination of these news stories, and of the evidence behind them — or the lack thereof — demonstrates that the extraordinary claim is simply not true.

A spokesperson from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) confirmed in a statement to the Grayzone that the allegation of Chinese “camps” was not made by the United Nations, but rather by a member of an independent committee that does not speak for the UN as a whole. That member happened to be the only American on the committee, and one with no background of scholarship or research on China.

Moreover, this accusation is based on the thinly sourced reports of a Chinese opposition group that receives funding from foreign governments and is closely tied to exiled pro-US activists. There have been numerous reports of discrimination against Uighur Muslims in China. However, information about camps containing one million prisoners has originated almost exclusively from media outlets and organizations funded and weaponized by the American government to turn up the heat on Beijing.

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ajit singh

Ajit Singh is a Canada-based writer, lawyer and activist. He tweets at @ajitxsingh.

Who’s Behind Canary Mission’s Anonymous Anti-Palestinian Blacklisting Website?

Canary Mission has exploited its anonymity to smear college students with impunity. The Grayzone is investigating the forces behind the malicious anti-Palestinian organization’s web domain.

By Hamzah Raza and Max Blumenthal

Editor’s note #1: An attorney for Howard David Sterling has asserted that Sterling “does not own the website” of CanaryMission.org, “did not engage in any of the conduct” committed by Canary Mission, and “had never even heard of that website until he was asked about it by a reporter earlier this year.” Sterling’s attorney stated, “GoDaddy specifically informed us that Howard Sterling is not and never has been the owner of that domain registration.”

Editor’s note #2: The Grayzone has continued to investigate the forces behind Canary Mission. We have obtained a bank statement recording a November 21, 2018 donation to CanaryMission.org that was accompanied by a cellphone number that was registered in Sterling’s name until at least March 15, 2015 — a month after the Canary Mission domain was registered.

Editor’s note #3: As Ali Abunimah and Asa Winstanley first reported, the censored Al Jazeera documentary, “The Lobby – USA” identified pro-Israel oligarch Adam Milstein as “Canary Mission funder.” 

Since it first registered its website in February 2015, Canary Mission has been a source of mystery and menace. Dedicated to blacklisting students involved in Palestine solidarity activism, intimidating them and denigrating their public reputations, Canary Mission’s administrators have gone to great lengths to conceal their identities. The secrecy has enabled them to target legally defenseless students – who are mostly members of minority and immigrant groups — with total impunity.

A document supplied to the Grayzone identifies the person who was at least the initial owner of Canary Mission’s domain name as a wealthy lawyer who has been a fervent supporter of Israel. According to document provided to the Grayzone, his name is Howard David Sterling.

Continue reading “Who’s Behind Canary Mission’s Anonymous Anti-Palestinian Blacklisting Website?”

Hamzah Raza studied Religious Studies and Economics at Vanderbilt University and has contributed to the Grayzone Project since its inception.

Inside America’s Meddling Machine: The US Funded Group that Interferes in Elections Around the Globe

Filmed inside the Capitol, this Grayzone special explores the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a taxpayer-funded organization that has interfered in elections, mobilized coups, and orchestrated public relations campaigns against nations that resist Washington’s agenda.

By Max Blumenthal

Continue reading “Inside America’s Meddling Machine: The US Funded Group that Interferes in Elections Around the Globe”

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, The Fifty One Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza, and The Management of Savagery, which will be published later this year by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie and the forthcoming Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded the Grayzone Project in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

Una respuesta a la desinformación sobre Nicaragua: fue un golpe, no una ‘masacre’

Por: Charles Redvers

Para un resumen de la historia de trabajo de Mary Ellsberg con las agencias del gobierno de los Estados Unidos promoviendo activamente el cambio de régimen en Nicaragua y su participación con elementos tóxicos que promueven una campaña similar de desestabilización contra Siria, vea la nota del editor que sigue a esta pieza.

Hay tanta información errónea en los principales medios corporativos sobre los recientes acontecimientos en Nicaragua que es una pena que el artículo de Mary Ellsberg para Pulse haya sido agregado a él con una crítica aparentemente izquierdista. Ellsberg afirma que los artículos recientes, incluso de este sitio web, a menudo “pintan una imagen de la crisis en Nicaragua que es peligrosamente engañosa”.

Desafortunadamente, su propio artículo hace precisamente eso. Analiza la situación completamente desde la perspectiva de aquellos que se oponen al gobierno de Daniel Ortega mientras blanquea su comportamiento malévolo y minimiza los niveles de apoyo de los Estados Unidos en los que han confiado. Su pieza es una descripción incompleta de lo que sucede en el terreno, ignorando muchos hechos destacados que han salido a la luz y que han quedado obsoletos por los acontecimientos recientes.

La siguiente es una breve respuesta a los puntos principales de Ellsberg de alguien que vive en Nicaragua y ha observado la situación directa e íntimamente.

Continue reading “Una respuesta a la desinformación sobre Nicaragua: fue un golpe, no una ‘masacre’”

Charles Redvers is a Canadian who has known and lived in Nicaragua at different times over the last three decades, currently in León. He is the author of ‘Nicaragua’s failed coup’ (https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/charles-redvers/nicaragua-s-failed-coup).

How Nicaragua’s ‘Left-Wing’ Opposition MRS Are NGO Opportunists Lobbying the West for Regime Change

The Sandinista Renovation Movement (Movimiento Renovador Sandinista – MRS) is the intellectual, left-sounding arm of reactionary politics in Nicaragua. Its popular base is minuscule, but it has been adept at courting Western support.

By Max Blumenthal and Nils McCune

On a recent episode of my Moderate Rebels podcast with Ben Norton, I asked Nils McCune about the role of the Sandinista Renovation Movement (Movimiento Renovador Sandinista – MRS) party in marketing the recent coup in Nicaragua as a progressive popular mobilization.

McCune, a longtime resident of the Nicaraguan city of Tipitapa, has worked closely with the country’s rural campesino movement and observed the coup from the ground. He is also an astute observer of the country’s politics and history.

Below is audio of our discussion and a transcript of McCune’s comments on the MRS, its collaboration with right-wing elements inside Nicaragua, and its importance in selling the coup to the Western liberal-left.

Continue reading “How Nicaragua’s ‘Left-Wing’ Opposition MRS Are NGO Opportunists Lobbying the West for Regime Change”

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, The Fifty One Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza, and The Management of Savagery, which will be published later this year by Verso. He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie and the forthcoming Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded the Grayzone Project in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

A Response to Misinformation on Nicaragua: It Was a Coup, Not a ‘Massacre’

Mary Ellsberg’s latest is a collection of tropes and distortions with little connection to the current reality. A longtime resident of Nicaragua who witnessed the coup from the ground responds.

By Charles Redvers

For a summary of Mary Ellsberg’s history of work with the US government agencies actively promoting regime change in Nicaragua, and her involvement with toxic elements advocating a similar destabilization campaign against Syria, see the editor’s note that follows this piece.

There is so much misinformation in mainstream corporate media about recent events in Nicaragua that it is a pity that Mary Ellsberg’s article for Pulse has added to it with a seemingly leftish critique. Ellsberg claims that recent articles, including from this website, often “paint a picture of the crisis in Nicaragua that is dangerously misleading.”

Unfortunately, her own article does just that. It looks at the situation entirely from the perspective of those opposing Daniel Ortega’s government while whitewashing their malevolent behavior and downplaying the levels of US support they have relied on. Her piece is an incomplete depiction of what is happening on the ground, ignoring many salient facts that have come to light and which have been outdated by recent events.

The following is a brief response to Ellsberg’s main points from someone who lives in Nicaragua and has observed the situation directly and intimately.

Continue reading “A Response to Misinformation on Nicaragua: It Was a Coup, Not a ‘Massacre’”

Charles Redvers is a Canadian who has known and lived in Nicaragua at different times over the last three decades, currently in León. He is the author of ‘Nicaragua’s failed coup’ (https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/charles-redvers/nicaragua-s-failed-coup).

Pakistan’s ‘Russiagate’ Elections: Imran Khan and the Rational ‘Villains’ the West Loves to Hate

The post-election despair of Pakistan’s Western-oriented elites echoes the American establishment’s moral panic over Russian meddling.

By Junaid S. Ahmad

The fever-pitched aura around this year’s elections in Pakistan was for good reason: a palpable feeling of transition from the old to the new was in the air. Meanwhile, the Western mainstream (and alternative) media, as well as much of the native elite English media, advanced an atmosphere of hysteria and moral panic at what they called “Pakistan’s dirtiest elections” ever.  We were told to believe that the Pakistani military, which undoubtedly has been involved in the political life throughout the country’s history, indeed directly ruling the country directly for half of its history, was the sole factor for which the corrupt and ruthless politicians of the two parties, who believe it is their birthright to play a game of musical chairs with each other, looting and plundering as much as possible before they are removed and get their next turn – were rejected in these elections. 

Pakistan-Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), or the “Movement for Justice,” the political party of the iconic cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan, has swept this year’s national elections. They are the single largest political party in the country’s National Assembly, the unquestioned victor as the party that will continue to govern the province of KPK in the Northwest of the country (PTI governed the province for the past five years), and has even made inroads in Pakistan’s major city of Karachi, where they have displaced the once all-powerful Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), which operated in a semi-fascist, mafioso-style, with rampant intimidation, ransoms, and murders. The MQM ran the streets and political life of Kararchi since their inception in the 1980s. MQM’s declining fortunes was of course facilitated by a relatively popular demand that the Pakistani military come to the city and deploy rangers to ‘clean up’ the vigilantes of the MQM. The bulging urban youth of Pakistan’s financial heartland seemed to have voted for PTI en masse.

Imran Khan, who founded his PTI political party in 1996, had developed an impeccable reputation in both his leadership of Pakistan’s cricket victory in the World Cup of 1992, as well as his widely-respected social welfare activities in the country, including a cancer hospital for the poor in the name of his late mother. But Khan made a sharp turn in his life, and decided that to truly transform Pakistan, structurally and systemically so that the same rut does not keep reappearing with different (dynastic, feudal, or clan) names, political engagement was essential. Though there are other smaller political parties, including provincial ones as well as a few national religious parties, the national civilian political life of the country has been dominated by two political parties: the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) of the Bhutto family, formed amidst the anti-military dictatorship mass popular movement in the late 1960s, on the one hand, and the Sharif family – who effectively were created out of thin air by the rightwing Zia-ul-Huq military dictatorship. The Sharifs and their Pakistani Muslim League (PML) was established by the military high command to counter and undermine the renewed anti-dictatorship opposition emerging from the PPP. 

Continue reading “Pakistan’s ‘Russiagate’ Elections: Imran Khan and the Rational ‘Villains’ the West Loves to Hate”

Junaid S. Ahmad is secretary-general of the International Movement to Create a Just World (JUST-Kuala Lumpur); a PhD candidate in decolonial thought at the School of Sociology, University of Leeds; a fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA-Istanbul); and the director of Center for Global Studies at the School of Advanced Studies, University of Management and Technology (UMT), Lahore, Pakistan.

“We Don’t Want To Lose Anymore”: Inside the Complex Peace Process That Helped Syrians Find an End to the Fighting

In war torn areas across Syria, a series of reconciliation deals overseen by the secret fixer of Damascus, Khaled al Ahmad, has given residents a respite from the bloodshed.

By Rania Khalek

This is part 2 of a two part series on the reconciliation process in Syria. You can read part 1 here.  

BEIRUT, LEBANON – Since the Syrian government’s reconquest of its southernmost regions, only two zones remain outside its control. Turkey still occupies parts of Idlib, Latakia and Aleppo in the northwest of the country, relying on proxy militias including the Al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, which has changed its name several times. Meanwhile, the US and its allied Kurdish militias occupy the northeast. Khaled al Ahmad, Assad’s secret emissary introduced in part 1 of this series, seems to have played a key role in influencing the final outcome in the latter region.

According to American officials, a series of meetings al Ahmad convened with Kurdish leadership in Moscow last year convinced the Kurds to adopt a more conciliatory posture towards Damascus. American officials who had been working with the Kurds had also pushed them towards pragmatism, urging them to reach their own agreement with the Syrian government to avoid the fate of the rebels of southern Syria, who were abandoned by their foreign sponsors ahead of their defeat in June 2018.

When Trump announced in March 2018 that he wanted to withdraw from Syria “very soon“, it became clear to Kurdish negotiators that they needed to plan for the day after. The Americans told them to see the statement the US issued to the southern rebels, which bluntly informed them that “you’re on your own,” as a message to the Kurds as well.

Continue reading ““We Don’t Want To Lose Anymore”: Inside the Complex Peace Process That Helped Syrians Find an End to the Fighting”

Rania Khalek is an independent journalist living in Beirut, Lebanon. She is the co-host of the Unauthorized Disclosure podcast.