Germany

Marek Edelman: Jewish hero, anti-Zionist

In Episode 222 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg marks the 81st anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising by reviewing the new documentary on Jewish armed struggle against the Nazis, Resistance—They Fought Back. A nearly forgotten element of this struggle was the consciously anti-Zionist politics of some of the resistance leaders—most notably Jewish Combat Organization subcommander Marek Edelman, who was the last surviving leader of the Ghetto Uprising when he died in his native Poland in 2009. Edelman was a follower of the General Jewish Labor Bund, which rejected the colonization of Palestine in favor of fighting for a dignified and secure place for Jews within Europe. This history is especially critical at this moment in light of credible accusations that the self-proclaimed Jewish State is committing genocide in Gaza, and propagandistic efforts to cynically conflate anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

Germany: ISIS suspect arrested for war crimes

The German Federal Criminal Police on April 11 arrested a suspect identified as Sohail A, said to be a former member of the Syrian insurgent group Liwa Jund al-Rahman and the Islamic State. Both are designated "terrorist organizations" by the German government, making membership an offense under Section 129a of the Criminal Code. Sohail A is also accused of participating in war crimes incuding forced displacement, breaching Section 8 of the International Criminal Code.

Climate protesters shut down The Hague

Climate protestors who attempted to create a road blockade at The Hague were detained April 6 by Dutch police. Among those detained was prominent climate activist Greta Thunberg. Protestors took to the streets to oppose fossil fuel subsidies, and especially the Dutch government's tax concessions for companies such as Royal Dutch Shell. Hundreds of demonstrators marched from The Hague city center to a field next to the A12 highway, a main artery through the Netherlands, which some then tried to block with their bodies.

Pressure mounts for arms embargo on Israel

The UN Human Rights Council on April 5 adopted a resolution, A/HRC/55/L.30, reiterating the Security Council's call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza—and further calling for an embargo and prevention of the supply of weapons to Israel by UN Member States.

Podcast: conspiracy theory and the Moscow terror

The deadly terror attack in a concert hall outside Moscow was immediately claimed by ISIS-K, the Islamic State network's Afghanistan franchise. But just as quickly, the Russian and Ukrainian intelligence services accused each other of being behind it—the latter saying it was organized as a "provocation" to expand Moscow's war in Ukraine. Putin's rise to power, including his recent rise to outright autocratic power, as well as his various military adventures, have indeed been lubricated every step of the way by terror attacks. But who was actually behind the Crocus City Center attack may not really matter overmuch. If 9-11 was a "Reichstag Fire" for the hyper-interventionist aims of Dubya Bush, that analogy may prove to apply even more closely to the concert hall carnage serving the war aims and totalitarian domestic agenda of Vladimir Putin. Bill Weinberg discusses in Episode 219 of the CounterVortex podcast.

Moscow terror: ISIS, Ukraine or 'false flag'?

A group of armed men opened fire at a concert hall in a Moscow suburb on the night of March 22, killing at least 133 people and injuring scores more. Video footage posted online showed at least two masked men in camo entering the Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, repeatedly firing assault rifles as they advance. Another graphic video appears to show four men firing into the crowd in the seating area before a fire breaks out. The crowd was waiting for the popular Russian rock band Piknik to take the stage. After a few minutes of shooting, a grenade or an incendiary bomb was apparently thrown, and the venue was engulfed in flame. Footage published by the official TASS news agency showed a column of smoke billowing from the roof of the venue. 

Germany: RAF fugitive remanded in custody

A former member of the Red Army Faction (RAF) arrested in Berlin last week after 30 years on the run has been remanded in custody. Daniela Klette was apprehended following an informant's tip, prosecutors announced Feb. 27 A second suspect was also detained in the operation, although authorities later determined that he is not tied to the group. Popularly known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang, the RAF was founded by Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof in the 1970s, and has carried out a series of bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, robberies and shoot-outs with the police.

Italy detains rescue ship after confrontation with Libya

At least one person drowned March 2 after a group jumped overboard from a migrant boat as the EU-supported Libyan coast guard fired shots into the water to stop an NGO vessel from carrying out a rescue operation. The rescue vessel Humanity 1 was subsequently seized and ordered detained for 20 days by Italy—over the protests of the German non-governmental organization that operates it, SOS Humanity. Italian authorities invoked the Piantedosi Decree, a new legal provision that imposes a stricter set of requirements for charities that rescue migrants at sea, with potential penalties of stiff fines and impoundment of ships. The Humanity 1 is currently being held at Crotone, a port in Italy's southern region of Calabria.

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