Material Evidence – Learn More About What’s Going On

Materialevidence

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New York City – Art Beam Chelsea – 540 West 21 Street- New York 10011

Admission Free

Sept 21 – October 11

See below list of exhibition dates in other countries

Learn The Truth About What Is Going On

During several years we have been observing the devastating consequences of the civil war in Syria. A terrible conflict which broke out in 2011 turned the country into ruins with a horrific number of victims and dividing the society into different factions. Late last year similar events (in regard to civil war mechanism) took place in Ukraine. The bloody collisions on the Maidan Nezalezhnosti (The Independence Squ are) in Kiev resulted in an upsurge of nationalists-banderovtsy groups on the ground who where the main force behind the overthrow of the last president. This uprising could not be ignored by the Eastern parts of Ukraine, which are mostly populated with Russian-speaking people. The civil war in Ukraine has not finished yet and its daily events are a stark reminder of the pain caused in the middle of Europe. But what will happen now to Ukraine due to the ongoing fighting in the East? What will happen to Crimea? And will this conflict have the same devastating impact like the War in Yugoslavia, which was also massively fueled by outside benefactors of the war. To all these questions the current exhibition “Material Evidence” tries to give answers. It brings together concerned Journalists who went into the midst of the military conflicts, thus risking their own lives to show also the “other” side of these wars and conflicts, often neglected by the western media. To Damascus and its destroyed suburbs; Kiev, Kharkov, Simferopol, Sevastopol. They worked in these dangerous spots, preserving for the history the unique evidences of the dramatic events taking place there.

Exhibition

1. Russia. Moscow 24.11.13 – 24.12.13
2. Russia. Ufa 14.02.14 – 27.02.14
3. Russia. Grozniy 04.03.14 – 18.03.14
4. Russia. Moscow 8.04.14 – 22.04.14
5. Belgium, Brussels 16.05.14 – 21.05-14
6. Germany. Berlin 27.05.14 – 01.07.14
7. USA. New York 21.09.14 – 11.10.14
8. Russia. Moscow 28.09.14 – 18.10.14

Ukraine: French Military Adviser Gaston Besson in Charge of “Foreign Fighters” in the Neo-Nazi National Guard Azov Battalion

By Damir Marinovic
Global Research, September 15, 2014
Russia Insider

Region: Russia and FSU
Theme: US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: UKRAINE REPORT

gaston-bessonImage: Biography of Gaston Besson, “French volontary against the Serbs”.

So we already reported on the American Nazi who was fighting in Ukraine until he got killed, the neo-Nazi Azov battalion he was fighting with, and the reports of war tourism, or, European right wingers joining in the fighting just for fun.

Now here’s another one, Gaston Besson. This guy seems to be a war afficionado or professional mercenary. He has a reputation going back to the Yugoslav wars where he was accused of war crimes. He’s also served in Laos and Myanmar. Apparently he enjoys going berserk in battle and being “excessively cruel”.

Like the American Nazi, Paslawsky, he also fights with the Azov battalion, the one with the Nazi swastika on its coat of arms which runs around bravely punishing civilians. He’s in charge of coordinating foreign volunteers.

We’ve got a backlog of video and material about the neo-Nazi presence in Ukraine. Its much bigger than has been reported so far in the western media.

This stuff will eventually get out, and when it does, it will be a major political problem in Europe, especially in Germany.

azov-besson-add

Meet Gaston, Another Foreign Nut Fighting With a Neo-Nazi Battalion in Ukraine

Syrian “Moderate” Rebels and Islamic State Jihadists “Make Peace”. What Will Obama do Now?

By Timothy Alexander Guzman
Global Research, September 14, 2014
Silent Crow News

Region: Middle East & North Africa, USA
Theme: US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO’S NEXT WAR?

Well, Well, Well, what do we have here?

Syria-mapAccording to a new report by Agence-France Presse (AFP) “Syrian rebels and jihadists from the Islamic State have agreed a non-aggression pact for the first time in a suburb of the capital Damascus, a monitoring group said on Friday.”

What will the Obama administration do now? Originally President Obama said in a televised speech that he will support “military assistance to the Syrian opposition.” Here is what he said:

Across the border, in Syria, we have ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition. Tonight, I again call on Congress to give us additional authorities and resources to train and equip these fighters. In the fight against ISIL, we cannot rely on an Assad regime that terrorizes its people; a regime that will never regain the legitimacy it has lost. Instead, we must strengthen the opposition as the best counterweight to extremists like ISIL, while pursuing the political solution necessary to solve Syria’s crisis once and for all.

This is an interesting development since Washington wants to authorize airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or ISIS on Syrian territory. It is a move ISISthat the Assad government and Russia say that would be an act of aggression and a breach of International law. Will the mainstream media report this peace agreement between these two organizations? Washington would welcome this development because both groups consider the Assad government a common enemy. Online news organization Middle East Eye reported that both moderate Syrian rebels and the Islamic State’s common enemy is the Assad government:

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that moderate and Islamist rebels had signed a ceasefire deal for the first time in a suburb of the capital Damascus. “The two parties will respect a truce until a final solution is found, and they promise not to attack each other because they consider the principal enemy” to be Assad’s government and his forces.

They forgot to mention that the U.S. and other Western allies consider the Assad government their enemy as well. Although this truce is a new development, it should not surprise anyone. The U.S. has been supporting the Syrian rebels’ right from the start to remove Assad. Many of them joined the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra and other terrorist groups in the region including those in Iraq. Washington would welcome a truce between both groups because they will target the Syrian government. Washington will most likely launch airstrikes against these same terrorists in Syria as a justification to enter Syrian territory.

The AFP detailed exactly what was agreed upon between both groups:

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the ceasefire deal was agreed between IS and moderate and Islamist rebels in Hajar al-Aswad, south of the capital.

Under the deal, “the two parties will respect a truce until a final solution is found and they promise not to attack each other because they consider the principal enemy to be the Nussayri regime.”

Nussayri is a pejorative term for the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs.

The world needs to stop this war. If the U.S. does launch airstrikes into Syria to target these terrorist organizations, it will be considered an aggression against the Assad government. If innocent civilians or Syrian government forces are killed in the airstrikes, the Assad government would most likely respond with military action. Russia, China and most nations around the world would condemn U.S. actions on Syria’s sovereign territory. The U.S. wants Assad out of power. ISIL was created by the U.S. and its allies in the region. Is this the start of World War III? I hope not. The Syrian government can defeat ISIL on their own if Washington would stop sending arms into the region. The question we must ask is who will receive U.S. arms shipments now. ISIL?

United Nations Reveals Close Links Between Israel and Al Qaeda Affiliated Terrorist Organizations in Syria

By Global Research News
Global Research, September 15, 2014
SANA 14 September 2014

Region: Middle East & North Africa
Theme: US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO’S NEXT WAR?

israeli-prime-minister-benjamin-netanyahu-next-to-a-wounded-mercenary-israeli-military-field-hospital-at-the-occupied-golan-heights-border-with-syria-18-february-2014The United Nations (UN) has stressed that there are strong links and contacts between the armed terrorist organizations in Syria and the Zionist entity.

The UN remarks came in a report by its Secretary General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) during the period from May 29th to September 3rd 2014.

 

The report said that members of the so-called “armed opposition” transported 47 of its wounded members through “the ceasefire line” and handed them to the “Israeli army”, indicating that the “Israeli army” handed 43 of the wounded who were treated at the Israeli hospitals to the armed terrorist organizations.

The report talked about the attack of the terrorist organizations including Jabhat al-Nusra against the positions of the UNDOF personnel and how they seized a number of their vehicles and equipment and how they used the UN uniform.

It added that the UNDOF Commander was in constant and regular contact with the Syrian Arab army in the area as the army provided all types of support to guarantee the evacuation of the UNDOF personnel.

The report affirms what Syria has always mentioned about the close relations between the armed terrorist organizations and the Israeli occupation authorities which shows how much the Israeli occupation is participating in the sinister conspiracy hatched against Syria.

The cooperation between the terrorist organization of Jabhat al-Nusra which has been designated as a terrorist group by the UN and the Israeli occupation authorities shows that Israel supports a terrorist organization which requires a response from the international community.

R. al-Jazaeri/ Ghossoun

Rasmussen Sings a Different Song: “Russia ‘Not an Imminent Threat’ to NATO Members”

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during a news conference at the Residence Palace in Brussels September 1, 2014.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during a news conference at the Residence Palace in Brussels September 1, 2014.

MOSCOW, September 15 (RIA Novosti) – NATO does not consider Russia an ‘imminent threat’ to its members, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Monday.

“I do not think Russia poses an imminent threat to the NATO allies for the very reason that Russia knows that we have an Article 5 in our NATO treaty that protects any allies against attack, and an attack on one would be an attack on the whole alliance. Russia knows that and that is why I do not think Russia poses an imminent threat to the alliance,” Rasmussen told reporters.

“However, to keep our deterrence credible, we have taken steps, as you know, to reinforce our collective defense,” he added.

The NATO chief also said that the international community should prevent by all means necessary a “frozen conflict” in Ukraine, the scenario Russia wants, according to Rasmussen.

“We should never accept a new frozen conflict in eastern Europe. Of course, we should do all we can to encourage a peaceful solution to this conflict.”

An armed confrontation in eastern Ukraine began in mid-April, when Kiev launched a military operation against independence supporters who refused to acknowledge the new government that was instated after the February 22 coup.

On September 5, the Contact Group on Ukraine, comprising the representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), held a meeting in Minsk, which resulted in a ceasefire agreement between Kiev and independence supporters in eastern Ukraine.

Russia has been accused by Kiev and the West of providing Donbas independence supporters with military assistance. Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in the internal Ukrainian conflict.

Rasmussen: NATO Ready to Welcome Putin’s Peace Plan for Ukraine if It Is Genuine

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says he is ready to welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin’s peace plan for Ukraine in case it is genuine.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says he is ready to welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin’s peace plan for Ukraine in case it is genuine.

MOSCOW, September 5 (RIA Novosti) – NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen expressed his readiness to welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin’s peace plan for Ukraine in case it is genuine.

“If recent statements from President Putin represent a genuine effort to find a political solution, I would welcome it, because that is exactly what we need, a constructive political process,” Rasmussen said during joint press conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in the course of NATO summit in Wales.

On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin outlined a seven-point plan for the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine, calling on Kiev to withdraw troops from southeastern regions of the country and militia to cease military advances. The plan also includes proposals for an international monitoring force, the establishment of a humanitarian corridor, a ban on the use of combat aircraft over urban areas, an exchange of prisoners in an “all for all” formula and direct repair-crew access to destroyed infrastructure in the war-ravaged areas.

The outlined plan will be further discussed at the meeting of contact group on Ukrainian reconciliation, comprising Russia, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Ukrainian government and eastern Ukraine’s independence supporters. The meeting is to be held on September 5 in Belarussian capital, Minsk.

Rasmussen: NATO Not Involved in Member States’ Decisions on Military Aid to Ukraine

NATO Secretary – General Anders Fogh Rasmussen comments on the cooperation with Ukraine: “NATO as an alliance is not involved in delivery of equipment because we do not posess military capabilities”.

NATO as an alliance is not involved in member states’ decisions regarding military assistance to Ukraine, as the alliance does not possess military capabilities, according to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

«NATO as an alliance is not involved in delivery of equipment because we do not posess military capabilities. This are possessed by individual allies. So such decisions are national decisions and we are not going to interfere with that,» Rasmussen said ahead of Ukraine-NATO commission consultations.

On Thursday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated that NATO member states have proposed military cooperation on bilateral basis to Ukraine.

During the NATO Summit, which is currently being held in Wales, the heads of the alliance also decided to allocate about 15 million euro ($19.4 million) in financial aid for Ukraine.

Apart from that, the alliance has established a comprehensive package of measures to help Ukraine better provide for its security, focusing on cyber defense, logistics, command control and communications, Rasmussen said.

NATO leaders gathered in Wales on Thursday for two days of talks focused on situation in Ukraine.

 

 

 

For Vogue Magazine, Palestinian Is the New Israeli

vogue-gigi

Palestinian Gigi Hadid eyes Israeli Michaela Bercu on Vogue’s 1988 November issue / Vogue

 

There’s a long history in the US of people wanting to promote their own. But when you reach out to a group and provide an opportunity to someone in the “out” group, you are indeed sending a message. The message is “The party’s over” where only your privileged ones are promoted. An instance of affirmative action perhaps? I am happy to see that so many of Jewish people I most admire, some of the greatest artistic talents, are making a statement that they think the crushing of so many opportunities for Palestinians (as well as snuffing out their children’s lives) is to be condemned, even if it brings some measure of shame to their own people. From Anthony Bourdain to Theodore Bikel to Anna Wintour and more — art seeks universality and symmetry, and it does not bottle up its sympathies with a pre-set group someone imposes on you through birth. It is free-range, but also ameliorative.

Blacks are discriminated in fashion. Those few black models used by the top fashion giants are simply tokens. Who gets interviewed?  The white models.  Rarely there’s a black model on the cover of a magazine, or interviewed.  Most worrisome, the smaller fashion companies striving to survive follow the example of the big fashion companies, ignoring the black models. Their excuse is that there’s no enough black models in the market.  The shame of stupidity!

The story:

When Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour was preparing the cover shoot for her very first issue back in 1988, she chose an Israeli model — Michaela Bercu — to grace the front of the glossy magazine. This summer, as Wintour prepared for the relaunch of the magazine’s website, she chose a Palestinian-American model — Gigi Hadid — to recreate the iconic cover.

Coincidence?

Over at Haaretz, Shahar Atwan says it’s “interesting to wonder how much thought Wintour and Co. gave to Hadid’s family background when they mulled placing her in Bercu’s shoes,” but concludes that it “wouldn’t be fair on Hadid” if she was selected because of her Palestinian roots. Besides, Atwan says, Wintour had “more than enough reason to choose Hadid regardless of the political connotations.”

Atwan seems eager to toss off the possibility that Hadid’s Palestinian background helped her land this photoshoot — but from where I’m sitting, that possibility looks more than likely. In fact, I’d be surprised if the model’s background did not play a significant role in her selection. And I don’t think that’s “unfair” — to Hadid, or anyone else — at all. Just the opposite.

For starters, given the wealth of models Vogue has to choose from, what are the odds that a Palestinian woman was randomly chosen to recreate an Israeli woman’s look?

And given that the new Vogue.com goes out of its way to contrast Bercu’s Israeliness with Hadid’s Palestinianness — even though Hadid was born and raised in California — what are the chances that the latter wasn’t purposefully chosen to supplant the former?

Oops, did I say “supplant”? I meant “pay tribute to.” Or, well, at least that’s how Vogue.com is (delicately) putting it.

Vogue Michaela Bercu’s 1988 Vogue cover.

Vogue
Michaela Bercu’s 1988 Vogue cover.

Maybe it’s just the Gaza war hangover talking, but I find it hard to read Hadid taking Bercu’s place as anything but supplanting — as anything but Vogue using a bold fashion statement to make an even bolder political statement along the lines of “Palestinian is the new Israeli.” It reminds me, actually, of “Maus” artist Art Spiegelman’s controversial new illustration for The Nation; titled “Perspective in Gaza (The David and Goliath Illusion),” the comic turns familiar biblical imagery on its head, showing a giant David facing off against a tiny Goliath. On Facebook, Spiegelman glosses this comic by saying, “Israel is like some badly battered child with PTSD who has grown up to batter others.” In other words, what Israelis once were, the Palestinians now are.

It may be giving Wintour too much credit (or too little — depending on your political orientation) to read this much into her choice of model. But then again, Wintour isn’t just known for her ruthless aesthetic; she’s also known for her political activism. I’m not just talking about that $40,000-a-plate dinner she hosted to raise funds for Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign. Under her leadership, Vogue’s editorial content has been, shall we say, not unfriendly toward Palestinians — to the point where groups like CAMERA have accused the magazine of “presenting Israel as a ruthless occupier victimizing helpless Palestinians.” More broadly, the British edition of Vogue has featured the likes of actor Tilda Swinton modeling a scarf into which the word “Palestine” was prominently knitted. Suffice it to say the magazine isn’t shy about sympathizing with Palestinians.

And if that’s what’s happening now with the Hadid “tribute” — is that unfair to the model? I don’t think so. These days, models are often used to make political points (think of Bar Refaeli and Scarlett Johansson) and it seems naive to expect that it would be otherwise.

Besides, I actually think there’s a nice and subtle political point being made here — aside from the starker Spiegelmanesque point. Explaining their choice of model, the Vogue editors note that they “couldn’t help but recognize the resemblance between Michaela [Bercu] and Gigi Hadid.” You can say that again. The two women share the same wavy blonde hair, squinty smile and golden skin. When you pause to reflect on that visual similarity, you’re struck by the thought that this Israeli woman here and this Palestinian woman there could so easily be in one another’s place — Hadid could so easily have been born to Bercu’s parents and vice versa — which only makes the consequences of being born Palestinian as opposed to Israeli all the more glaring.

Israeli Budget Fight Raises Questions About Defense Spending

Israelis reservists

Israelis reservists

 

Demands for billions of dollars of extra funding for Israel’s military have set the scene for a bruising political battle over the budget, as the country tries to balance the needs of a weakening economy with security threats from Gaza to Iran.

The defense ministry is seeking nearly 70 billion shekels ($20 billion) in the 2015 budget, an increase of $3 billion over 2014, as it settles the bills from its Gaza war and draws up plans to confront enemies on other borders.

Having already requested an extra $2.5 billion from the 2014 budget, other government departments are saying “maspik” – enough – aware that they are likely to see their budget lines cut to accommodate the military’s demands.

The most agitated is Finance Minister Yair Lapid, whose party campaigned on a platform of social spending and is now suffering in the polls. The Israeli media is full of rumors that Lapid could quit if defense gets the money it wants or if taxes rise to make the numbers add up.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tried to tread a middle line, calling defense spending a critical priority while emphasizing that nothing will be done that risks blowing out the budget deficit or jeopardizing Israel’s credit rating.

“The state of Israel needs a responsible budget that answers the security threats directed at us and which will not adversely affect the Israeli economy,” he said on Sunday.

“I think that it is within our power to meet all of these challenges as long as we do so responsibly and do not lead Israel into an out-of-control deficit, with an out-of-control international overdraft,” he added.

With growth slowing as a result of the war and slumping tourism, everyone is aware that the pie is not growing as rapidly as before, making allotments harder.

The problem for Lapid is two-fold: not only does the momentum appear to be with the defense chiefs and their demands for billions more, but he is under pressure from Netanyahu and the central bank to keep the deficit down.

The showdown will intensify over the coming days and weeks as Lapid, a former TV journalist, prepares to present the budget to parliament, which must approve it by March next year.

HOW MUCH DOES DEFENSE NEED?

Yet an overriding question is whether the military really needs as much as money as it says it does, a question that is all the harder to answer because there is very little clarity over where defense spending ultimately goes.

“There’s no way of making a serious public discussion over our priorities because the defense budget is entirely intransparent,” said Stav Shaffir, a member of parliament’s finance committee and a campaigner for social spending.

“With no transparency, it is impossible to decide how much money is really needed, how much of it is efficiently spent and how much can be moved to better use.”

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, a close ally of Netanyahu’s, says one of the most costly areas is intelligence, where the budget has doubled over the past 16 years.

“Even if it had tripled, I wouldn’t have wasted one shekel,” a combative Yaalon said this month, adding that the cost of weapons and communications systems had also jumped.

Israel already spends more on a defense as a proportion of GDP – around six percent – than every other country in the world aside from Saudi Arabia, Oman and Afghanistan.

Yaalon’s proposed increase for 2015 – which exceeds the legally permitted annual budget increase – would raise the level to around 6.6 percent of GDP, while swallowing about a quarter of all 2015 spending before debt-servicing costs.

“The finance ministry doesn’t understand anything about military threats,” said Shmuel Even, a researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, who says there is very little fat to cut from the defense budget.

Yet less than half of defense spending actually goes to military equipment, operations and intelligence – a large portion goes to finance generous pensions paid to officers who often retire in their 40s before starting second careers.

The finance ministry is keen to clamp down on those benefits and “streamline” what it sees as inefficient spending.

“Israel’s economy cannot bear all of that 11 billion in the budget,” a senior finance ministry official said, referring to the defense ministry’s requested spending increase.

“We try to do more with less,” the official said. “Our job as the finance ministry is to make sure we save some money for other purposes of the government.”

Yet the battle appears to be going the other way, with Yaalon convincing Netanyahu that the country, which has fought four wars in the past eight years and faces multiple threats, cannot afford to take its foot off military spending.

As a result, either taxes will have to be increased or spending on education, welfare and health will have to be trimmed to keep the deficit around 3 percent of GDP.

“Healthcare, education, public transportation, police forces – they are all needed for Israelis’ security too,” said a frustrated Shaffir, the finance committee member.