It has certainly been another week, that much we can almost be certain of. Though how much is made public is another matter entirely. With that, we present you with a sampling of this week’s occurrences.
- An Israeli embassy official in the UK has been filmed discussing “taking down¹” UK politicians who are critics¹ of Israel¹. Although an apology has been issued¹, questions can only remain as to the sincerity of the apology¹ knowing this. The UK Labour party have since called for an investigation¹ into the “extremely disturbing¹” influence of Israel in UK politics.
The Israeli official had been exposed through an undercover Al Jazeera¹ report on the Israeli consulate and their activities in student unions and “grass roots” groups which all share a pro-Israel stance. The situation is made somewhat more disturbing knowing that the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson (discussed in the video as “an idiot”) has rejected¹ calls for Israel to be punished in any way.
- This is not the only incident involving Israel this week. At the time of writing, Israel is said to have bombed¹ a Syrian¹ airport¹ last night (13th January), a military¹ airport¹ not under the control of ISIS or rebel groups, but under the control of Assad. The Syrian army has since warned of repercussions¹ as the base is also a significant strategic point in the fight against radical groups.The international situations continue as the US and NATO have continued moving tanks across Germany and into Poland¹, the final deployment will be across several countries along the Russian border¹. The move is said to be to “prevent a Russian invasion of Poland”, however, Russia sees this move as a potential¹ threat¹. The deployment includes at least 3-4000 US troops and hundreds of tanks is part of “Operation Atlantic Resolve”.
The movement of tanks, heavy weapons and US special forces is the biggest such American action in Europe seen since the cold war¹ and will potentially see US military vehicles stored in the Netherlands¹. Some German¹ politicians¹ have voiced concern over the movement of US military materials so close to Russia, while others are wondering if Trump¹ will maintain the buildup when he enters office, or if it will end when Obama¹ leaves. It seems there may be more than one thing waiting for the current US administration to depart¹.
- A gunman opened fire in a Spanish supermarket in the district of Ourense. Although early reports stated the gunman was wearing a suicide vest¹ and screaming “allah ackbar¹“, police have since claimed that they believe¹ this is not the case¹. As many as six shots were fired by the attacker before an off-duty police officer intervened. The attacker stopped and was arrested when he saw that the off-duty officer was armed¹, a luxury not often seen in Western Europe. No injuries or fatalities were reported.
Spain, and many countries across the EU have been on alert for terrorist¹ activities for some time, with security for “soft targets¹” being tightened for the Christmas¹ and New Year¹ period. Spain itself is no stranger¹ to terrorism¹ either, with both foreign¹ and domestic¹ attacks in situations like the Madrid¹ bombings¹ and groups like ETA¹ (which has been in a ‘ceasefire’ with Spain but is still ‘underground¹‘), grounds for alert are usually well founded. And that is not to mention the security issues brought about through Spain’s¹ African¹ territory¹ which is regularly flooded with “migrants¹“.
- In Germany and throughout the EU, a recurring issue is being found in regards to removing¹ illegal¹ migrants¹ and failed asylum seekers¹ -Their own countries¹ are refusing¹ them entry¹ (an issue that has been ongoing¹). This is not exclusive to governments, there have been protests¹ in places like Tunisia who say “Tunisia is not for the garbage of Germany¹*”. Certainly an interesting way to see their fellow countrymen who illegally entered the EU. This includes individuals like the Berlin attacker¹, Anis Amri¹.
The “refugee crisis” has continued to be an issue¹ all over Europe¹, however in Germany there are suggestions that “refugees” who are the ‘victims’ of “right wing” attacks be safe¹ from deportation¹. The “right wing” has often been used by media outlets as being the ones benefiting¹ most from refugee crimes, despite frequent protests and increased¹ refugee crime¹.
- Fake news is in the spotlight once more, for various reasons. As usual, the problem is conservative or “right wing” news outlets which should be destroyed¹ and not an issue of integrity of lack of fact checking. However, some outlets are calling for the term “fake news¹” to be retired because, it’s now being “corrupted¹” as it’s being applied more and more to “left inclined” outlets.
The call comes at around the same time as BuzzFeed¹ released a supposed intelligence report about Donald Trump, Russia and prostitutes urinating on a bed. The report**, which went through what appears to be little to no fact checking¹ and was alluded to as true (and directly reviewed by Trump¹ and intelligence services) by CNN¹, has been widely¹ denounced¹ by other¹ news¹ outlets¹, WikiLeaks¹ and naturally, Donald Trump¹ himself. It seems very possible there will be legal repercussions regarding these assertions. There have been claims that a British¹ Intelligence¹ officer is responsible for the leak, but also claims it was part of an elaborate prank from the website¹ 4chan¹.
The US is not alone in fake news though. As elections loom on the horizon in Europe, Germany has expressed concerns that Russia is spreading anti-Merkel propaganda¹, may try to hack¹*** the elections¹ or is planning to use groups like Pegida to fight against the German government¹***. At the same time, some have suggested that Russia and Syria are destabilizing¹ Germany by orchestrating¹ migrant sex attacks¹. The group which helped to come to this conclusion is one of George Soros’ organizations, some of which have already been kicked¹ out of Russia¹ due to national security¹ concerns and may soon be kicked¹ out of Hungary¹.
Perhaps for a change of pace, a more light hearted look at the struggles of news presenters in Australia via youtube channel NewsNow.
This has been week 2.
*As translated from protest banner “Tunesien ist nicht die abfall von Deutschland”.
**Direct link to document cloud source.
***Alternate language source.