Palestinians left out of Israhell’s Vaccine Success Story

‘Israel’ discusses the new devil gov. in Tehran. US ‘better wake up’ and stay clear of resurrecting the JCPOA peace deal. Next, a discussion of Palestinians rejecting to be vaccinated, not mentioning that ‘Israel’ distributed old vaccines near expiration date. What were the Israelis waiting for, and why does it have to be their brutal occupiers to distribute the vaccines? The genocidal regime BENT ON ELIMINATING THEM, is going to save them?

Just to name a few


Feb 22, 2021 Doctors without borders

Matthias Kennes is a registered nurse and medical referent for the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) COVID-19 response in Hebron, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Here, he writes about the striking inequities in access to COVID-19 vaccines for Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israel is an occupying power, and has millions of vaccines.

Palestine is the occupied territory, and has barely a few thousand vaccines. As a medic, I don’t really care who sorts this out.

As a medic, I do care deeply that the most vulnerable are prioritized.

I am left with this shameful thought echoing in my mind—60 times more likely to be vaccinated in Israel than in Palestine, with the most vulnerable in Palestine still left unprotected.

As a medic, I am shocked.

The internationally acclaimed COVID-19 vaccination success of Israel has a dark side: the consequences of which are being felt cruelly in the West Bank Palestinian territory where I work, and in the blockaded Gaza Strip where my MSF colleagues work.

Israel has managed to vaccinate nearly 4.2 million people with a first dose—that’s around 50 percent of the population—and 2.8 million people with the full two doses, more than 30 percent of the population.

Meanwhile, only several thousand doses are available in the Palestinian West Bank, and a delivery of 20,000 reported to have arrived last weekend in Gaza scarcely scratches at the surface of the needs.

At a generous maximum, assuming that the 35,000 reported Sputnik and Moderna vaccines are all available, that would be around 0.8 percent of the Palestinian population.

To make that clearer, you are over 60 times more likely to have a vaccination in Israel than in Palestine.

According to the Geneva Conventions, Israel has a responsibility as an occupying power to ensure the medical supplies of the occupied population, including “adoption and application of the prophylactic and preventative measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics” to “the fullest extent of the means available to it.”

I came to Hebron with an MSF team specifically to help with the COVID-19 response.

In December last year, when the second wave of the pandemic hit the West Bank, the Dura hospital where we are supporting medical assistance was full of COVID-19 patients.

We had mostly elderly people, many with underlying conditions such as diabetes or other chronic diseases. Patients died.

Sick COVID-19 patients have died in hospitals around the world, but these patients died on my watch, and that pains me.

In eight of the 11 West Bank governorates, COVID-19 case numbers are on the rise again.

In Hebron, this increase has been slow and steady for the past four weeks.

I do not want to see any more patients dying of hypoxia. The vaccine is my hope to avoid this. It is also a source of despair.

A few kilometers away in Israel all the vulnerable groups have been vaccinated and they are planning to move onto vaccinating healthy adults and youths, who are less vulnerable, especially to severe complications.

Here in the West Bank there are around 10,000 doses, which is enough for 5,000 people to be vaccinated.

In the hospital where I work, staff have been offered the vaccine, but the available doses do not come close to covering the health care workers, let alone the elderly and people with medical conditions that make them susceptible to dying of COVID-19.

If asked why vulnerable people cannot be vaccinated in Palestine, I do not know how to answer. It is inexplicable and unbelievable. Worse than that—it is unjust and cruel.

As a medic, I don’t really care who sorts this out. As a medic, I do care deeply that the most vulnerable are prioritized.”

We hear information about additional vaccines coming to Palestine from various donation mechanisms, but they are not here now.

And a half-hour drive away, Israel has piles of vaccines and is moving onto vaccinating non-vulnerable groups.

I am outraged, but my colleagues in Gaza are even more so.

It has not always been easy, but the Dura hospital in Hebron where I have been working was able to get most of the supplies needed for COVID-19, and the MSF team was able to provide on-the-job coaching and training to boost the capacity of the staff to manage severely and critically ill patients, all of them needing oxygen.

But in Gaza they have much more severe shortages of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals because the blockade is so strict.

Their capacity for COVID-19 treatment is lower, so their need for the vaccine is all the higher.

And the recent delivery of 20,000 vaccines will not be sufficient to protect both the health care workers and the people most vulnerable to needing critical COVID-19 medical care.

Israel is an occupying power, and has millions of vaccines. Palestine is the occupied territory, and has barely a few thousand vaccines.

As a medic, I don’t really care who sorts this out. As a medic, I do care deeply that the most vulnerable are prioritized.

I am left with this shameful thought echoing in my mind—60 times more likely to be vaccinated in Israel than in Palestine, with the most vulnerable in Palestine still left unprotected.

Is the Shine Starting to Come Off Bill Gates’s Halo?

The billionaire’s role in perpetuating vaccine apartheid in the name of protecting intellectual property rights has begun to draw criticism.

The announcement earlier this week of Bill and Melinda Gates’s divorce was a bombshell headline, but it shouldn’t distract us from an even more interesting development in the news media in recent weeks.

Bill Gates, long heralded as a global hero in the pandemic response, is becoming an increasingly popular target of criticism for his role in the unfolding vaccine apartheid around the world.

News outlets from Salon to the Observer to The New Republic have taken aim at Gates’s efforts to defend Big Pharma’s monopoly controls over Covid vaccines—even in the face of growing humanitarian calls to suspend patents and to compel these companies to share the recipes and technological know-how needed to expand vaccine production and immunize the poor.

The reporting has highlighted the former Microsoft CEO’s hard-wired ideological commitment to patents, intellectual property, and the private sector, but may have understated the full scope of the Gates Foundation’s interests in this debate—like the sprawling array of intellectual property the charity has acquired access to through its grants and investments.

Or the fact that the foundation co-owns a vaccine company.

Last October, The Nation reported on a $40 million investment the Gates Foundation made in 2015 in a start-up company called CureVac, which is currently wrapping up clinical trials for its Covid vaccine. The Gates Foundation at one point was the second largest shareholder of the company and had the ability to nominate a member to CureVac’s supervisory board.

The foundation is no longer a leading shareholder, but its 2015 investment may be worth hundreds of millions of dollars today, as last November CureVac agreed to supply up to 405 million doses to the European Commission—a deal that seems to raise new questions about Gates’s role in perpetuating vaccine apartheid.

While the Gates Foundation currently stands to financially benefit from CureVac’s prioritizing sales to the wealthiest nations and preserving its intellectual property and patents, doesn’t the foundation’s charitable mission—and related tax benefits—require it to direct immunizations into the arms of the global poor? CureVac and the Gates Foundation both failed to respond to questions about if or how they plan to do so.

But the larger questions raised by their business partnership concerns how Bill Gates, one of history’s most storied monopolists, has found himself so deeply involved in what may be one of the most potent monopoly markets ever devised: a vaccine that virtually everyone on earth needs.

Beyond co-owning a vaccine company, the Gates Foundation has other far-reaching means to influence how vaccine markets work—or don’t.

This includes helping direct the WHO’s efforts to deliver Covid cures to the global poor, advising the G7 delegation on pandemics preparedness, meeting with the US Office of the United States Trade Representative to discuss intellectual property related to Covid vaccines, holding regular calls with pharmaceutical company CEOs and Anthony Fauci, and brokering vaccine deals between the University of Oxford, AstraZeneca, and the Serum Institute of India.

It is increasingly urgent to ask if Gates’s multiple roles in the pandemic—as a charity, a business, an investor, and a lobbyist—are about philanthropy and giving away money, or about taking control and exercising power—monopoly power.

“What we’re seeing is the accumulation of 20 years of very careful expansion into every aspect in global health—all of the institutions, all of the different companies that often have these early-stage technologies, as well as all of the advocacy groups that speak to these issue, and all of the research institutions,” notes Rohit Malpani, a global health consultant and board member of the global health initiative Unitaid.

“It also therefore reflects the failure of the Gates Foundation.

The fact that they exert so much influence and even control over so many aspects of the [pandemic] response…and the fact that we are seeing so much inequity speaks to the influence that they have, and [suggests] the strategies that they’ve set out have not worked. And they have to own that failure.”


Because the Gates Foundation’s investment in CureVac is considered part of its charitable activities—through a little-studied IRS provision governing “program related investments”—the Gates Foundation is required to ensure that its investment supports the foundation’s charitable mission “to help all people live healthy, productive lives.”

A partially redacted “global access commitments agreement” the Gates Foundation signed with the company in 2015—made public through Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings when CureVac became a publicly traded company last year—stipulated that CureVac was to use the foundation’s money to fund a manufacturing facility and develop its vaccine technology, and that CureVac was to make its vaccines “available and accessible at reasonable cost to people most in need.”

The agreement also appears to give the foundation legal rights to make sure this happens, including some claims to a “a worldwide, non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, fully-paid up, royalty-free license” to products and “background intellectual property” developed with the foundation’s money—for example if the company defaults on its charitable obligations or goes bankrupt.

Neither the Gates Foundation nor CureVac responded to questions about the agreement, leaving it unclear what additional leverage it may give the foundation—beyond its financial investment—over CureVac’s work in the pandemic.

Yet The Nation has also uncovered SEC documents from last July—in the middle of the pandemic—in which the Gates Foundation appears to release CureVac from some aspect of its charitable obligations.

Of Plutocrats and Oligarchs: Blackwater, Monsanto, Bill Gates: War Machines

Blackwater, Monsanto and Gates are three sides of the same figure: the war machine on the planet and most people who inhabit it, are peasants, indigenous communities, people who want to share information and knowledge or any other who does not want to be in the aegis of profit and the destructiveness of capitalism.

Buried in CureVac’s SEC filings is an agreement between the Gates Foundation, CureVac, and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), noting, “Subject to the other terms of this agreement, BMGF hereby releases CureVac of any and all Global Access Commitments” concerning the use of the company’s “mRNA technology platform” in developing one or more vaccines that are redacted.

The release stipulated that it would go into effect only when CureVac cemented its business relationship with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline—the two companies are working together to bring an mRNA Covid vaccine to market. GSK said the release doesn’t relate to Covid but rather to “five different pathogens,” the identities of which are confidential.

However the redactions, confidentiality and lack of transparency make it impossible to really see what the Gates Foundation has ceded in this release—or for the public to verify that the foundation’s work with CureVac is clearly serving a charitable mission.

‘These inside the cartel secret agreements are deeply problematic, with no assurance that…[charitable obligations] have been preserved nor that technology transfer to additional producers will be forthcoming,” notes Brook Baker, a professor of law at Northeastern University.

Bill Gates doubts FDA & CDC can be trusted on Covid & vaccines. Sure, let's trust a non-doctor ...

The “global access agreements” that the Gates Foundation signs with its charitable recipients, like CureVac, have long been the linchpin of Gates’s expansive charitable work with the private sector—serving as both a response to critics who say the philanthropy is too closely aligned with Big Pharma and a justification the foundation can offer to the IRS to rationalize the tax benefits it gets from donating money to multinational companies—like the tens of millions of dollars it has given to GlaxoSmithKline.

Broadly, the agreements give the foundation a tool to compel grantees to direct whatever products, tools, and technologies they develop with the aid of Gates’s funding to the developing world—to meet the Gates Foundation’s charitable goals.

When my reporting last year uncovered $2 billion in charitable donations the Gates Foundation had given to private companies, the foundation pointed to its global access policies and noted that its private-sector partnerships produce “public goods” and “yield products that are safe, effective, affordable, and accessible for communities in low- and middle-income countries.”

Yet some see these access agreements as designed less to promote equity or “global access” and more focused on promoting the Gates Foundation’s access to intellectual property. Securing IP rights has long been a central, if rarely scrutinized, part of how the Gates Foundation does business.

For example, in 2011, the Gates Foundation began a financial relationship with a company called Zyomyx, which was working on HIV diagnostics.

The Gates Foundation at one point held a 48 percent stake in the company, and also secured some rights to the company’s intellectual property.

When the company later went bankrupt, the foundation took over this IP, housing it in the “Global Good” arm of a business called Intellectual Ventures, run by a former Microsoft executive and widely viewed as a patent troll (a company that uses the threat of patent litigation as a principal source of revenue).

In September of 2020, the Global Good project was moved out of Intellectual Ventures and handed off to the Gates Foundation and Gates Ventures, Bill Gates’s personal office.

Given the tens of thousands of charitable grants and investments the foundation has made over the last two decades, the charity may have acquired access to or ownership of a stunning level of technology and intellectual property, which translates into the unprecedented level of influence Gates has not just over global health but also the pharmaceutical industry.

“Think of intellectual property as a bundle of sticks,” Malpani explains. “Nobody owns the entire bundle of sticks.

If there’s 10 sticks in the bundle, maybe the company owns seven, the NIH owns two sticks, and maybe the Gates Foundation owns one.

And that one stick might be march-in rights [like licensing the patent to a third party] or a limited license to exploit the technology for these countries.

So, for all of these investments the Gates Foundation has made over the years, they’ve acquired a lot of different forms of intellectual property.

And all of that intellectual property provides them with a certain amount of, not only visibility as to what the technology domain looks like, but also to exert control and influence over how that intellectual property is exercised.”

Malpani draws parallels to recent reports that Bill Gates is the single largest private farmland owner in the United States, saying that Gates and his private foundation may have quietly become one of the “most important owners of intellectual property for different therapeutics, diagnostics, and vaccines in the world today.”

“That gives them enormous responsibility and influence over how these technologies develop and evolve,” Malpani says, “That means a waiver of intellectual property rights [as is being called for in the pandemic]…affects their own holdings of intellectual property.

It also affects their ability to control how this intellectual property is developed and distributed around the world.

“In many ways, this mirrors very much the strategies that Microsoft had [which led to the company being sued by the Justice Department during the 1990s].

The whole basis of the company was based on the accumulation of intellectual property, so in some ways it’s not surprising the Gates has adopted this same approach, nominally for philanthropic ends, but ultimately still it’s about having certain level of control and influence.

It’s a recognition [by Gates], before many others, that intellectual property was going to have a very central role in how global health is managed.”


Guinea Pigs United

Not many countries are brave or reckless enough to execute a vast medical experiment on their entire population and put vulnerable people at risk. Britain and Israel did.

On December 8, Britain was the first Western country to start “immunising its population.”

Two weeks later, just a few days before Christmas, Britain grasped that it was in serious trouble.

Covid-19, the virus that was supposed to disappear from our lives, mutated into something else.

On December 19, PM Boris Johnson admitted that British scientists had identified a new Covid-19 mutant that is ‘70% more transmissible’ than its ancestors.

Britain introduced tighter local restrictions, yet despite these, along with the vast vaccination campaign, the numbers of Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths kept rising.

They are escalating exponentially on a daily basis.

 Israel launched its mass vaccination campaign a few days after Britain.

Within the next two weeks, Israel managed to vaccinate nearly 20% of its population.

Israel is by far the world winner when it comes to the mass vaccination contest, but the country is also in big trouble. 

Like Britain, Israel is facing a huge Covid-19 surge.

Its national health system is on the brink of collapse and the inevitable question is if these similar (if not identical) health crises are related to them both pioneering vast covid-19 vaccination campaigns.

Today, In the biggest Israeli news outlet News12, Israeli computer scientists revealed that the British Mutation is about to become the dominant Covid-19 strain in Israel.

You may wonder how the British mutant strain managed to make Aliya and settle so comfortably in the Jewish State.

The News 12 article may answer the question. “Cases in Israel aren’t rising uniformly: there is a significant slowdown in the (Israeli) Arab sector, which in the past was the main area of concern.

On the other hand, there is a major outbreak in the (Jewish) ultra-Orthodox sector.

This week 1.3% of all ultra-Orthodox came out verified, and the rate of increase in cases of children (63%) this week was almost double that of adults.

Among the ultra-Orthodox sector, there was a 16-fold increase in the number of verified people within four weeks: this is a doubling every week – from 100 verified people per day (per million people) to 1,600 verified people, and all within a month.

Such a growth rate is not seen throughout the plague and is probably due at least in part to the British mutant.

It is estimated that the British mutant is about 20% of all ultra-Orthodox verified.”

This must raise eyebrows. Why would the British mutant strain spread so vastly amongst orthodox Jews? Why doesn’t it spread as quickly in the Arab population?

We may be able to stumble upon a very crucial piece of information here. Israeli Arabs may be doing better on the Covid-19 front because many of them seem to be reluctant about the vaccine. 

The Israeli Marker’s headline on 27 December stated: “A cause for concern: (Israeli) Arabs do not come to get vaccinated.”

The Marker pointed out that Jewish citizens from all over Israel travel to Arab villages and cities to receive the vaccines that were designated to Arabs.

According to a duty manager of a vaccination centre in Nazareth, 70-80% of the those who come to receive the vaccine were Jewish. Some of them travel as much as 50 km to do so.

But the story doesn’t end here. On January 3, the Israeli news website Walla reported that  “the  ultra-Orthodox are leading the population vaccination campaign.” 

Walla confirmed that ‘the percentage of people vaccinated against corona among ultra-Orthodox society is higher than the rest of the population of all ages.’

It is beyond me why the Israelis decided to become guinea pigs in this reckless unscientific experiment in human lives.

One option that can’t be dismissed is that Israel is once again heading towards an election and it is more than likely that Israel’s leaders believed that a mass vaccination campaign may translate into an electoral success.

As things stand at the moment, it is hard to deny the possibility of a correlation between mass vaccination and a sharp spike in Covid-19 cases in both Israel and Britain.

It is hard to deny the fact that Israeli Arabs who at large avoid the vaccine are doing far better than the Jewish orthodox who seem to also believe in Pfizer. 

Alongside the revelations about the British strain, we also learned about a South African strain that is highly dangerous and possibly resistant to the current vaccines.

 It takes very little research to figure out that South Africa, together with Brazil and Britain, had been the testing ground for new vaccine trials since September. 

It is hardly a secret anymore that this was at roughly the same time that the new mutants were discovered in Britain at least.

I point here at the devastating possibility of a link between mass vaccinations and Covid-19 spikes.

I am not qualified to support or explain the science that may cause this correlation. My facts are supported by data that is available to the wider public through mainstream news outlets.

 I am not an epidemiologist or a virologist and I really hope that people with the appropriate scientific training can refute the issues raised above. 

Sometimes I really wish to be wrong.   

Bigger Pandemic Than COVID Is Coming


The World Health Organisation has warned that a worse pandemic than COVID could be around the corner and that what we’ve seen so far in 2020 is “not necessarily the big one”.

December 29th, 2020.

With global lockdowns, international stripping of freedoms, and the decimation of small businesses and the economy on the whole, it is difficult to imagine how it could get any worse.

Yet the WHO is predicting that could very well be the case.

The head of the WHO emergencies program, Dr Mike Ryan, said during a media briefing that “this pandemic has been very severe … it has affected every corner of this planet. But this is not necessarily the big one.”

As we reported two weeks ago, The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), based in Sweden, has found that the majority of nations across the globe have implemented COVID related restrictions that have severely eroded the liberties of their citizens.

The study revealed that 61 per cent of countries have used restrictions “that were concerning from a democracy and human rights perspective.”

‘These [restrictions] violated democratic standards because they were either disproportionate, illegal, indefinite or unnecessary in relation to the health threat,” the group declared in its report.

If a greater pandemic is coming, as the WHO promises, then it is clear to see that such erosions of freedom will be amped up even further, if the same pattern is followed.

Covid Alert: : IMF Gobbling Up Little Nations

Sibel Edmonds eye opening video report

The IMF has ceased to simply be a lender for troubled times in countries with cash-flow issues and became an instrument of the so-called “disaster capitalism complex”, where nations in trouble are forced to give away many state functions in exchange for their help, for the benefit of American and other western multinational companies.

This privatizing of non-concurrencial sectors invariably shifts structurally resources from the people to these companies, making the countries receiving the “help” invariably poorer and more foreign-dependent.*

Speaking of gobbling:
Israel’s largest lender bank expects UAE bank ties to follow normalization

Israel’s largest lender Bank Hapoalim expects to start working with banks in the United Arab Emirates once the two Middle East states sign a normalization agreement, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

The UAE and Israel are due to sign the agreement, brokered by the United States, on September 15 at a ceremony held by US President Donald Trump.

The three sides have talked up the economic opportunities that normalisation would bring and several business cooperation agreements have already been signed.

Hapoalim CEO Dov Kotler said a correspondent banking relationship facilitating direct money transfers between the countries would help develop trade and business ties.

“I believe that after the governments sign the agreement next week we will be able to work with the banking system here,” he told Reuters during a visit to the UAE.

In correspondent banking, a bank with no branch or network in a given country will typically channel payments there through a local bank that acts on its behalf.

Kotler is leading an Israeli business delegation on a two-day visit to the UAE as the two countries develop bilateral economic relations.

READ: Normalising ties with Israel helps promote its expansionism

“We are here to build trust before talking business. In order to build trust I believe we have to meet face to face and that is what we are doing,” he said.

Israel and the UAE on August 13 agreed to normalise relations, making the UAE the first Gulf country and the third Arab state to do so when a final accord is signed.

Kotler said he believed Hapoalim would establish relationships with the three largest lenders in the UAE, though declined to name the banks.

The UAE’s largest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank has said it would open discussions with Hapoalim and Bank Leumi, another Israeli bank.

Bank Leumi is to lead a delegation to the UAE on September 14.

Emirates BND, Dubai’s largest bank, declined to comment on the visit of Hapoalim this week.

With deal, UAE abandons Palestinian struggle - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

With deal, UAE abandons Palestinian struggle – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]


Covid-19: The New 9/11?

Cui bono?

With a $152B war chest and no shortage of political muscle, the investment giant sees big opportunities in the pandemic

From left: President Donald Trump with Blackstone Jews Jonathan Gray and Bill Mulrow with Jewish New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo

“This is the nature of growing oligarchy, [with] people and corporations that are so powerful they actually are more influential than the government is,” said Stephen Lerner, a labor and community organizer and fellow at Georgetown University.

“It’s a few individuals who have so much power, they don’t have to play by the same rules as everyone else — that’s Blackstone.”

Blackstone operates in leveraged buyouts, asset management, and real estate transactions.

It is the largest real estate private equity firm in the world, holding over $103b in assets.

After the housing bubble collapsed, Blackstone bought 43,000 single-family homes over a two-year period, at one point buying more than $100m worth of homes per week.

They converted most of these into rentals, becoming one of the largest landlords in the world.

Renters have sued Blackstone’s real estate unit, Invitation Homes, for renting out homes in shoddy condition.

They’ve also been accused of jacking up rents to satisfy investors, charging as high as 180% of the market rent value.

Nevertheless, Blackstone plans to spin off Invitation Homes with an initial public offering next year.

James’s company also benefits from taking business lines from regulated banks, such as one of the trading businesses of global firm Credit Suisse.

Blackstone then runs that company without government interference.

Assets in the Credit Suisse group have doubled since 2013.

Seated in the New York State Capitol’s Red Room, Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced the team that would restart the state’s economy. He knew them well.

“In some ways it’s like putting the band back together,” Cuomo said in late March, introducing Bill Mulrow, a senior executive at the Blackstone Group, and Steve Cohen, executive vice president at Ron Perelman’s holding company MacAndrews & Forbes.

“But it’s also the most competent group of professionals you could put together, and I’ve worked with these people for 30 years,” the governor added.

Mulrow has built a long career on Wall Street and in politics and has served as a senior advisor to both Cuomo and his father, Mario Cuomo.

He played a key role in both governors’ campaigns for re-election over a span of 30 years.

And Mulrow remained a top aide to Andrew Cuomo, who is known to keep a tight grip on his inner circle, until the investment banker and public servant was given a shot at returning to the private sector.

Mulrow, who had previously worked at Blackstone, rejoined the investment firm as a senior advisory director in 2017, while serving as chairman of Cuomo’s re-election campaign.

“Groups like Blackstone need government contact — they’re dead without the government working with them,” said one political insider. “When Bill Mulrow says, ‘I’m going to work for one of the biggest asset managers in the world,’ Cuomo thinks, what’s in it for me? The answer is campaign donations and access to some of the wealthiest people in the world.”

Now Mulrow has returned to Cuomo’s side to oversee the “how, when and where” of reopening New York, Albany insiders say.

Blackstone’s Jonathan Gray was also included in a 116-person council to advise on the state’s economic recovery, but a source on the council said his involvement has been limited.

Meanwhile, Blackstone’s political ties don’t stop at state government.

The company’s chair and CEO, Stephen Schwarzman, is one of Donald Trump’s top donors and remains one of his closest confidants, according to several sources, and the publicly traded investment firm has two seats on the president’s council to restart the U.S. economy.

As Blackstone executives advise governments on the best road to recovery from the crisis, the company is assuring investors that it’s well-equipped to profit during a downturn.

With $152 billion in dry powder at its disposal, the investment giant is primed to scoop up assets at a discount as waves of distress wash over hotels, malls and other asset classes, even as its competitors intensify their own efforts.

Blackstone’s top brass argue that the firm’s past performance and its size will ensure it prevails.

“For nearly 30 years, through a wide range of economic cycles, we have been high-conviction, thematic investors,” Kathleen McCarthy, Blackstone’s global co-head of real estate, told The Real Deal in May.

“We will continue to invest in scale where we see compelling opportunities across asset classes and geographies.”

The biggest fish

Blackstone, the world’s largest commercial landlord, holds roughly 10 percent of private equity’s $1.5 trillion in global dry powder, according to research firm Preqin.

As of its most recent earnings report, the company had $538 billion in total managed assets around the world — including billions from pensions funds, hedge funds, banks and other institutional investors.

And Blackstone’s investment strategy during a public health and economic crisis could alter the way real estate is bought, sold and developed, and determine what direction the U.S. economy will head in.

“People look to Blackstone as an indicator of where the market is going because they have some of the most successful and influential minds working for them,” said Brian G. Schwagerl, a clinical assistant professor at NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.

“When there is a movement with an 800-pound gorilla, the 60-pound chimp is looking to see where they are going,” he added.

The 35-year-old firm’s past successes have been fueled by Schwarzman’s warrior-like approach to seizing opportunities after crises and devising new ways to invest in real estate.

“I want war — not a series of skirmishes,” Schwarzman told the Wall Street Journal in 2007. “I always think about what will kill off the other bidder.”

In the early ’90s, Schwarzman tapped Gray, then a recent Wharton School graduate and now the company’s president, to buy up properties taken over by the U.S. government, according to the Journal.

Almost two decades later, Blackstone saw the housing market fall apart during the 2008 financial crisis and spent about $10 billion buying and renovating single-family homes in metro areas and turning them into rentals.

Now Blackstone is hungry for new opportunities. The company has invested $11 billion in public equities and liquid debt since the onset of the pandemic, is looking to provide rescue financing to companies in distress and is “well-positioned to do more,” Gray said on Blackstone’s most recent earnings call.

And while the investment giant reported net income loss of $2.6 billion in the first quarter, Blackstone highlighted the $27 billion in new capital it raised in the same period.

“The first year after the shock is pretty slow, then things start to pick up,” Gray said on the earnings call. “We have so much capital — that’s a great competitive advantage. We don’t need financing to get things done.”

Colossal fundraising

The firm’s real estate bets — including record purchases like Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village — have been largely fueled by money from public pension funds, which face immense pressure to pay for workers’ retirements through investment returns.

Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman with Donald Trump in 2017

The state of New Jersey first committed more than $1.8 billion to Blackstone in 2011, and Blackstone has since raised many billions more, including roughly $10 billion in commitments from seven of the top public pension funds in New York and California.

That figure includes a recent $400 million commitment from New York’s Common Retirement Fund — the nation’s third largest — after the coronavirus had already rattled markets.

Blackstone’s strong fundraising capabilities have put the company in a position to outbid most competitors as it gets ready to deploy its war chest under Gray’s watch.

Schwarzman’s comparison of doing deals to going to war stands in stark contrast to  Gray’s cool-headed temperament.

In a recent interview with CNBC, Gray said the firm’s strategy during the pandemic is to invest in businesses that are “cyclically depressed, not secularly challenged.”

For Blackstone, and its many stakeholders, that largely means one thing: investing in warehouse space. The firm’s largest focus in recent years has been acquiring industrial properties at a rapid pace.

In June 2019, Blackstone agreed to pay just under $19 billion for a 179 million-square-foot warehouse portfolio from the Singaporean holding company GLP — one the largest U.S. industrial deals ever.

Within weeks, the investment giant was already negotiating the sale of some of those assets to the logistics and industrial property REIT Prologis.

And before year’s end, Blackstone went into contract to acquire Colony Capital’s 60 million-square-foot national warehouse portfolio for $5.9 billion.

McCarthy told TRD that warehouse and logistics space now represents more than one-third of Blackstone’s global portfolio, “and is more critical than ever given the growing e-commerce demand in response to the Covid pandemic.”

In all the rooms

While Blackstone’s sheer size gives it a formidable edge, it also has the ear of policymakers.

Blackstone made that clear during a wave of rent reforms around the U.S., when it spent millions to defeat a 2018 ballot measure in California that would have advanced rent control.

Now Blackstone can play a key role in shaping the political and economic response to Covid-19 through positions its executives have on boards tasked with guiding the recovery process at both the federal and state levels.

Even as Trump and Cuomo publicly spar over the use of federal aid and where to place blame for the alarming spread of the virus, both agree on who to consult in a crisis.

The two leaders — both from Queens and both with long-standing ties to New York City real estate — have announced councils consisting of prominent business leaders tasked with restarting the economy since the pandemic hit. Gray, who Trump considered for Treasury secretary in 2016, sits on each council.

Though Gray is just one of several real estate executives Trump tapped for his council on reopening the economy, with the president’s inclusion of Schwarzman, Blackstone is the only real estate firm with two seats at the table — and some say it has too much influence over policy it can benefit from.

“This is the nature of growing oligarchy, [with] people and corporations that are so powerful they actually are more influential than the government is,” said Stephen Lerner, a labor and community organizer and fellow at Georgetown University.

“It’s a few individuals who have so much power, they don’t have to play by the same rules as everyone else — that’s Blackstone.”

In addition to the firm’s advisory roles, Blackstone disclosed in lobbying filings that it spent $560,000 on issues related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act — the $2 trillion package that provided direct assistance to individuals and “forgivable loans” to small businesses.

Also included in the final version of the bill was a payday for real estate companies in the form of a provision that allows firms to use losses from depreciation to offset future tax liabilities

. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated the provision would cost $160 billion over the next 10 years.

One lawmaker, Rep. Lloyd Doggett from Texas, called the tax breaks “an inside hit job” and decried the benefit to “real estate speculators” at the expense of taxpayers.

“Blackstone did not engage in any lobbying for the CARES Act loan programs or this real estate tax provision,” a spokesperson for the investment firm said. “The filings were for general monitoring and analyzing of legislation across Blackstone’s business units.”

Politics has shifted dramatically since the Great Recession, in which Blackstone performed spectacularly well.

The company’s success cemented its reputation as a cycle-tested fund manager, but also fueled anti-capitalist sentiment.

 A re-energized left has laid the blame for much of the housing affordability crisis and rising inequality at Blackstone’s feet.

So in April, when progressive standard-bearer Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposed a halt to mergers and acquisitions during the coronavirus crisis, Blackstone was ready to respond.

Later that month, Gray penned a fiery op-ed in the Financial Times, urging the government to ignore “cries that private equity, real estate funds and private lenders are vultures swooping in to profit from economic suffering.”

But the calls to rein in private equity have not diminished, as current unemployment levels rival those seen during the Great Depression.

“The people who work in these businesses — shops and stores — they are the ones who get left behind,” said New York City-based Morris DeFeo, chair of  law firm Herrick Feinstein’s corporate department.

“The truth is that we don’t live in a single country. It’s divided, substantially, and no more so than when it comes to money.”

“There are people who are well-intentioned who want to see that kind of division collapse,” DeFeo added.

“There are legitimate arguments for how to fix it, but you don’t fix it by eliminating mergers and acquisitions.”

Capital to the rescue

But Blackstone is not the only firm considering opportunistic strategies, and as its competitors promote their own funds, the private equity giant will have to distinguish itself.

Nearly all the large private equity firms investing in real estate and commercial real estate funds have launched distressed or opportunistic funds.

Brookfield Asset Management announced in May that it will invest $5 billion in struggling retailers.

And Pacific Investment Management, a subsidiary of European financial-services giant Allianz, plans to raise at least $3 billion for a new distressed-assets fund.

And this crisis is different from past crises.

When the housing market collapsed in the last cycle, homes went into foreclosure and securities backing residential mortgages imploded.

The ensuing liquidity crisis allowed private equity to come in as a white knight and provide rescue capital.

But since the pandemic hit the U.S. in mid-March, the Federal Reserve has acted promptly to provide liquidity to the market.

Among other efforts, the Fed has been lowering interest rates to near zero and buying hundreds of billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities — limiting distress opportunities in some markets.

As a result, there have been no major bank failures, and banks have yet to unload heavily discounted real estate assets to private equity firms.

“This is not a financial crisis. This is a health crisis,” Christopher Ailman, chief investment officer of CalSTRS, the country’s second-largest pension fund, said in a recent interview on CNBC.

“The Fed and Congress will soften the financial blow,” he added. “There will be investment opportunities in certain industries, but not the strong returns people saw in 2009 or 2010.”

Leaving nothing to chance

One place where Blackstone could see an immediate opportunity is in buying up loans from commercial mortgage lenders eager to sell some of their loans to increase liquidity and keep margin calls at bay.

In April, Blackstone was reportedly in negotiations to buy $1 billion or more of commercial real estate loans from the private equity firm TPG Capital’s struggling mortgage REIT, according to Bloomberg, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

In May, TPG Real Estate Finance Trust told its investors that it had sold off its debt, but did not disclose the buyer.

“In the near term, Blackstone can buy what should be good-money loans at a discount from shops that need liquidity, and take the upside when those loans eventually pay off at par,” said Michael Beckman, a managing director at New York-based Townhouse Partners, a real estate due diligence firm.

“As deals transfer to special servicing, there will be tremendous opportunity for distressed investors in the loan sale marketplace,” he added.

But as Blackstone hunts for new distressed opportunities, the firm is not immune to industry challenges.

And though the investment giant often touts the strength of its warehouse portfolio, it has exposure to nearly every sector of real estate.

Some of its less-touted holdings include hotels — which accounted for almost as much revenue for Blackstone’s REIT as its industrial portfolio.

Hotels brought in $441.8 million, or 26 percent of total real estate revenue, last year.

And in an April letter to shareholders, Blackstone reported that its REIT owns 72,000 multifamily apartments.

The latest SEC filing from Blackstone’s REIT notes that “delays in collecting accounts receivable from tenants could adversely affect our cash flows and financial condition.”

Every real estate firm will have to clear hurdles, but Blackstone is bolstered by a nearly endless supply of money and its fundraising capabilities.

During Blackstone’s latest earnings call, Schwarzman pointed to the company’s $6 billion equity investment in Hilton in 2007, when the investment was marked down to 31 cents on the dollar during the financial crisis.

It then recovered to 10 times its marked-down value.

But to triumph in a crisis marked by singular volatility, the firm isn’t leaving anything to chance.

“To effectively navigate a crisis of this magnitude, an investment firm needs two essential qualities: staying power to ride out the storm and firepower to take advantage of opportunities,” Gray told investors on the earnings call.

“Fortunately, Blackstone has both,” he said.

Israel Is Militarizing and Monetizing the COVID-19 Pandemic

Israel is one of the top ten weapons exporters in the world. But now, it’s also become a powerhouse in the field of black-hat cyber-security: selling tools used by the world’s most repressive regimes to exert social control.

By Richard Silverstein

As the number of Israeli victims and the first death from coronavirus was announced, Netanyahu saw an opportunity to revive his political relevance. Actually, Netanyahu acted even before the first death, which was on March 20.

Only a few days earlier, on March 16, he asked the Knesset intelligence committee to approve the use of a hitherto secret national database compiled by the Shin Bet and comprising private personal data on every Israeli citizen, both Jewish and Palestinian.

In the aftermath of 9/11, Israel’s Knesset secretly assigned its domestic intelligence agency the task of creating the database, which was ostensibly meant as a counterterrorism measure.

The data included puts Edward Snowden’s alarms about the NSA’s mass surveillance to shame.

It not only contains the names, addresses, and phone numbers of every citizen; it also records every phone call made, and the recipient of these calls, including name and phone number.

It uses geo-location to track where every citizen has traveled within the country, and it maintains records of all online activity, including internet searches.

The top-secret project was couched by Netanyahu as a powerful tool to monitor victims of the epidemic and all who had social contact with them.

Few Israelis, aside from privacy advocates and related NGOs, raised any alarms about the obvious violations of individual privacy and rights entailed in both the database itself, whose codename was “the Tool,” and its use to compel suspected coronavirus victims to self-quarantine.

They remained silent — even though health ministry officials urging them to approve use of the database suggested that the epidemic would force the state to “suspend personal freedoms.”

Few politicians, even in the opposition, questioned the prime minister’s exposure of a decades-long secret database touted as one of the Shin Bet’s most powerful counterterrorism tools.

They should have, because Netanyahu was clearly exploiting the existence of the Tool to highlight for the public his indispensability.

He wanted Israelis to view him as the strong, steady leader who could carry them through the threat posed by the epidemic.

Add the growing anxiety over the COVID-19 epidemic, which began to hit Israel in earnest, to the near panic over the country’s political crisis, and you have a perfect recipe for Netanyahu’s miraculous political comeback.

The geo-location function would track every known coronavirus victim, and not only while they had the illness.

It would go back in time two weeks to track every movement of the victim: where they went, who they met.

It would even identify anyone who stood within six feet of the individual for longer than twenty minutes.

Those bystanders, too, would be identified and placed under quarantine, whether they had the virus or not; whether they were tested or not.

Any health policy expert will tell you that the history of pandemics, including HIV and Ebola, indicates that victims must not be criminalized or ostracized.

They must be encouraged to cooperate with authorities in order to protect themselves, their family, and the public.

Given that Israeli police are now empowered to arrest anyone violating regulations and fine them $1,500, along with a six-month prison term, using the Tool as a law enforcement rather than a public health measure carries the nation very far in a direction no society should go.

The Israeli government also tasked the Mossad with purchasing hundreds of thousands of ventilators and respirators for its citizens to prepare for the full onslaught of the contagion.

Media reports deliberately omitted the source of the equipment, saying only that it might be a country with which Israel has no formal relations.

Other reports indicated that it was purchased in the United Arab Emirates.

In fact, Mossad officials interviewed for the TV nprogram Uvda boasted to Ilana Dayan, the host, that the agency had “stolen” the 100,000 face masks and respirators on the first shipment it brought to Israel.

No one notes that in every other democratic country, the health authorities do such a job.

But Israel, in a bit of political chicanery, appointed an ultra-Orthodox (“Haredi” in Hebrew) Jew who does not believe in science or medicine to take charge of the health ministry.

The minister violated his own ministry’s quarantine orders and joined in prayer services, where he promptly contracted COVID-19.

Were Israel a normal state instead of a mash-up of a theocracy and a garrison state, it would not need (or want) the Mossad to perform such duties.

Israel announced before any other country that its chemical and biological weapons lab at Nes Tziona had developed a vaccine (though the claim was later disputed).

While it’s certainly commendable for Israeli scientists to make such efforts to save lives, Nes Tziona has the expertise to develop such a vaccine because its research involves testing and developing lethal agents used against the country’s enemies.

The lab also develops agents to counteract such pathogens as COVID-19 in order to protect Israel’s soldiers and civilians.

But the preponderance of Nes Tziona’s work, at least what is known publicly, is used to develop deadly agents to kill Israel’s enemies.

The poison injected by two Mossad assassins into Khaled Mashal in Jordan in 1997 was developed by Nes Tziona, as was the antidote that King Hussein demanded in order to save Mashal’s life.

The poison used by the twenty-seven-strong Mossad hit team to assassinate Hamas weapons dealer Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in 2010 was similarly developed by Nes Tziona.

Any evaluation of the good that could come from such a COVID-19 vaccine must be weighed against the damage such a facility does in all its other work.

etanyahu is attempting to cast himself as the Indispensable Man during the health crisis.

He knows that when an entire nation is living in uncertainty and mass anxiety, they are willing to sacrifice even more of their rights in return for a leader with a firm hand.

This is how Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933 in the midst of a deep economic crisis. Similarly, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán arrogated to himself absolute power using the excuse of the epidemic to name himself dictator.

In a deft bit of dog-whistle racism, Bennett also noted that COVID-19 was spreading like wildfire through two different Israeli communities: the ultra-Orthodox and the Palestinian.

He told a TV interviewer that there were “three Israels.” Two were riddled with disease.

The third, presumably, was his own modern, well-educated, affluent, and relatively disease-free Ashkenazi sector.

He advocated treating the other two Israels as if beset by plague: sealing them off and letting them fend for themselves.

In fact, Israeli authorities have refused to provide any testing for Israeli Palestinian communities, which are already best by inferior medical care.

That is one of the reasons Israeli Palestinians in Jaffa rioted recently, throwing stones at police and firefighters.

Monetizing the Pandemic

he second half of the defense minister’s plan to combat COVID-19 urged the nation to adapt the Tool as a “civilian” product developed by Israel’s cybersecurity industry and marketed to foreign countries.

In fact, he suggested one particular company that was already doing so: NSO Group.

As I’ve written here before, it is the world’s most successful cyber-hacking firm, recently sold to a private venture capital firm in the UK for a $1 billion “unicorn” valuation.

NSO’s primary product is Pegasus, the most sophisticated malware on the market. It has been used by police agencies in scores of countries to spy on terrorist groups and drug dealers.

At least, that’s what the PR firms representing NSO will tell you. But there is a dark underbelly that NSO refuses to acknowledge.

It also sells Pegasus to some of the most repressive countries in the world, whose secret police use it to target political dissidents, rights activists, independent journalists, and public interest lawyers.

NSO’s products have been used as evidence in cases brought against human rights activists fighting for democracy in their own societies.

Ahmed Mansoor in the UAE was sentenced to ten years in prison for his activism. His cell phone was hacked, and all his emails and text messages were used as evidence in court against him.

Even more troubling is the case of Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered by Saudi intelligence agents.

They, too, used Pegasus to monitor Khashoggi’s contacts and even his physical location.

The malware enabled them to determine where he was, where he went, and where he intended to go, including to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where the murderers laid in wait for him.

Groups like Amnesty International and Citizen Lab are fighting back against these violations of basic human rights.

The former is suing in Israeli courts to force the defense ministry to revoke NSO’s export license to sell Pegasus abroad.

NSO may see the handwriting on the wall in terms of the pushback against its malware.

It may contemplate so much controversy that either the state will cease to permit its sale or the world will prohibit it.

That’s why NSO is getting ahead of the curve. It knows about the Tool and is already offering to sell countries a “civilian” (meaning less problematic) version.

Presumably, health ministries and government population registries would compile databases covering all citizens. Then, algorithms developed by the Shin Bet and/or NSO would manipulate the data to detect patterns among the population.

If you know who is already infected with COVID-19, you can trace their movements, who they’ve been in proximity to, and then spread a wider net to stop the circulation of the virus in the wider population.

But, of course, such a tool can be used for much more nefarious purposes.

If you’re a Saudi intelligence agent, you can target a specific state enemy — where they go, who they meet, who they email or text, what they say to each other.

You can go backward in time as long as you wish to follow such trails. It offers endless dragnet opportunities to ensnare targeted individuals and anyone who has any contact, whether benign or suspicious.

This saves such security agents the tedious process of hauling suspects in for interrogation and attempting to elicit from them, by persuasion or force, incriminating information.

Bennett is promoting this new NSO product as a way to monetize the COVID-19 epidemic.

Israel is one of the top ten weapons exporters in the world. But now, it’s also become a powerhouse in the field of black-hat cyber-security: selling tools used by the world’s most repressive regimes to exert social control.

It seems like human nature that grifters and con artists will exploit tragedy in order to cheat unwitting individuals.

Even major corporations advertise during such disasters in order to promote their brands.

But in this case, Bennett is using the power of his state office to promote not just an individual product, but the entire mass surveillance state it represents.

When a country buys Pegasus or the civilian version of the Tool, they are not just buying a discrete product.

They are, in fact, buying all of the social, political, and intelligence premises built into it.

Even if, for example, you have a national constitution or a set of regulations that govern surveillance and individual privacy, these tools are so powerful, so sweeping that they vacuum up massive amounts of data.

The data cries out to be used and manipulated, which is what intelligence agencies like the NSA and the IDF’s Unit 8200 do.

In the process, they far outstrip any protections that may be in place to prevent misuse of personal data or violations of privacy.

In that sense, Israel is exporting its own national security state alongside these cyber-tools: a state that sacrifices individual rights on the altar of security.

A state in which citizens defer to state authorities who act in their name. So, when another country implements Israeli cyber-ware, they too will absorb some of these assumptions and values embedded in their development.

In effect, these cyber-spying tools are outrunning the development of laws to regulate them.

There is no international code under which cyber-surveillance technology may be regulated. It is a Wild West out there.

These are conditions Israel finds ideal for pursuing both its geo-political and commercial interests, interests that thrive on confusion, division, and uncertainty — precisely the conditions we now face.

The Global Political Project Imposed on the Occasion of Covid-19

09-11-2001 Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld Laughing (mashup) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

They’re still winning

By Thierry Meyssan

Regardless of whether the Covid-19 epidemic is natural or has been provoked, it offers an opportunity for a transnational group to suddenly impose its political project without discussion or even exposure.

Within a few weeks we have seen so-called democratic states suspend fundamental freedoms: prohibiting people from leaving their homes, participating in meetings and demonstrations, under threat of fines or imprisonment.

Compulsory schooling for under-16s has been provisionally abolished. Millions of workers have been deprived of employment and automatically placed out of work. Hundreds of thousands of businesses have been forced to close down and will no longer be able to reopen.

Without preparation, governments encouraged companies to telework. All communications via the Internet were immediately recorded by the Echelon system.

This means that the “Five Eyes” (Australia/Canada/New Zealand/United Kingdom/USA) have in their archives the means to unlock the secrets of almost all European manufacturers. For that, it is already too late.

None of the societal transformations have a medical justification. No epidemiology book in the world has discussed, let alone advocated, “mandatory generalized containment” to fight an epidemic.

The political leaders of the European Union Member States have been stunned by delirious mathematical projections of a mass murder in their own countries [1] They were then comforted by the ready-made solutions of a powerful pressure group whose members they had met at the Davos Economic Forum and the Munich Security Conferences [2].

“Compulsory generalized containment” had been conceived fifteen years earlier, within the Bush administration, not as a public health tool, but to militarize US society in the event of a bioterrorist attack. And it is indeed this project that is applied today in Europe.

The initial plan, conceived more than 20 years ago around the head of the pharmaceutical laboratory Gilead Science, Donald Rumsfeld, planned to adapt the United States to the global financialisation of the economy. It was a question of reorganizing the planet by dividing the tasks of each person geographically.

Areas not yet integrated into the global economy would be deprived of a state and become mere reservoirs of raw materials; developed areas (including the European Union, Russia and China) would be responsible for production; and the United States alone would provide the world’s arms and police industry.

To do this, a group was created within a think-tank, the American Enterprise Institute, the “Project for a New American Century”. The latter announced a rather crude part of its program, but only part of it; that intended to convince major donors to support Gorge W. Bush’s election campaign.

On September 11 at 10 a.m., when two airliners crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, the “Continuity of Government” (CoG) program was declared, although the situation was not at all as foreseen in the texts. President Bush was taken to a military base.

Members of Congress and their teams were taken to a huge bunker 40 kilometers from Washington. And the top-secret Continuity Government, of which Rumsfeld was a member, assumed power until the end of the day.

Taking advantage of the emotional shock of that day, this group passed a voluminous anti-terrorism code drafted long in advance, the USA Patriot Act; created a vast domestic surveillance system, the Homeland Security Department; reoriented the mission of the armed forces according to the global division of labor (Cebrowski Doctrine); and began the “Endless War.

caption: Worse Than 9/11 and the Great Recession Combined

It is in the world they shaped that we have been living in a nightmare for the past two decades.

If we are not careful, the current group, of which Dr. Richard Hatchett is the visible element, will take this agenda from the United States to the European Union.

It will impose over time a mobile phone tracking application to monitor our contacts; it will ruin certain economies in order to transfer their production power to the arms industry; and finally it will convince us that China is responsible for the epidemic and must be contained (Containment).

If we are not careful, the NATO we thought was brain dead will reorganize. It will expand into the Pacific with Australia joining as a trading partner [3].

Morning Joe Rips Trump’s NATO Appearance: ‘We Should Be Frightened’ | Favorite cartoon character ...

If we are not careful, public schooling will be replaced by home schooling. Our children will become uncritical parrots, knowing everything but understanding nothing.

In the new world being prepared for EU Europeans, the big media will no longer be financed by the oil industry, but by Big Pharma.

They will convince us that all the measures taken have been the right ones. Search engines will rate the credibility of the non-compliant media on the headlines of the signatories of their articles, not on the quality of their reasoning.

There is still time to react.

“Misinformation” hampers fight for virus vaccine in Africa

The task of introducing a vaccine for the coronavirus faces an uphill struggle in Africa, where a flood of online “misinformation” is feeding on mistrust of Western medical research.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has flagged earning public trust as an urgent health challenge and warned of an “infodemic” – a deluge of information, including misinformation on social media – that is hampering the COVID-19 response.

The body says concerns that Africa could be abused as a vaccine testing ground are unfounded.

Irate social media users have slammed two French doctors Jean Paul Mira and Camille Locht for saying that treatment for COVlD-19 should first be tested in Africa

Meningitis testing in Nigeria: 1990s

The Pfizer drug Trovan was used in a clinical trial in Kano, Nigeria. The trial compared the new antibiotic (Trovan) against the best treatment available at the time (intravenous ceftriaxone). Eleven children died in the trial: five after taking Trovan and six after taking an older antibiotic used for comparison in the clinical trial. Others suffered blindness, deafness and brain damage, the cause of which is difficult to determine because these disabilities are relatively common outcomes of the disease itself. A panel of medical experts later implicated Pfizer in the incident, concluding the drug had been administered as part of an illegal clinical trial without authorization from the Nigerian government or consent from the children’s parents. This led to a lawsuit from the Nigerian government over informed consent.[2][3] Pfizer countered that it met all the necessary regulations.[2] The drug was approved for general use in the US, and eventually withdrawn due to hepatotoxicity.

HIV/AIDS testing in Zimbabwe: 1990s

AZT trials conducted on HIV-positive African subjects by U.S. physicians and the University of Zimbabwe were not performed with proper informed consent.[4] The United States began testing AZT treatments in Africa in 1994, through projects funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It included testing of over 17,000 women for a medication that prevents mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS. The subjects did not fully understand the testing methods, the effectiveness, the possible dangers, or the nature of a placebo in testing situations.[4] They were also told about the trials under duress.[4] Half of these women received a placebo that has no effect, making transmission likely. As a result, an estimated 1000 babies contracted HIV/AIDS although a proven life-saving regimen already existed.[4] The CDC ended the short course testing in 1998 after they announced they had enough information from Thailand trials.[4]

Forced sexual reassignment in South Africa: 1970s–1980s

In a project headed by Dr. Aubrey Levin during the 1970s to 1980s, the South African Defence Force forced lesbian and gay military personnel to undergo “sex-change” operations. This was part of a secret program to purge homosexuality in the army.[5] It included psychological coercion, chemical castration, electric shock, and other unethical medical experiments. An estimated 900 forced sexual reassignment operations may have been performed between 1971 and 1989 at military hospitals.[5] Most of the victims were males, young 16 to 24-year-old white men who were drafted into the army during the South African Border War. Women were also subject to the experimentation.[5][6]

Forced contraception in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe): 1970s

Depo-Provera was clinically tested on black Rhodesian (now Zimbabwean) women in the 1970s.[1] Once approved, the drug was used as a birth control measure. Women on white-run commercial farms were coerced into accepting Depo-Provera.[7] In 1981, the drug was banned in what was by then Zimbabwe.[7]

Sterilisation experiments in German South-West Africa (now part of Namibia): Late 1800s–1910s

Dr. Eugen Fischer conducted sterilisation experiments on Herero women in German South-West Africa (now Namibia, less Walvis Bay etc.) in the early 1900s.[1][8] His experimentation was largely done on mixed-race offspring in order to provide justification to ban mixed-race marriages.[9] He joined the Nazi party thereafter where he did similar experiments in the Jewish concentration camps. Late stage studies were later continued by Doctor Hans Harmsen, founder of the German branch of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) who is also associated with the compulsory sterilisation in Nazi Germany.


PNAC and the Age of Bioweapons: 20 Years of Psychological Terror

A little over 20 years ago, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) conducted a military exercise that involved a “hypothetical scenario” of hijacked planes flying into both the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.

One year later, on October 24-26, 2000, another “hypothetical” military exercise was played out featuring an airline crashing into the Pentagon killing 341 people followed by yet another May 2001 Department of Defense “hypothetical scenario” which saw hundreds of medical personnel training for a “guided missile in the form of a hijacked 757 airliner” crashing into the Pentagon.

What arose from the smoke and debris of September 11, 2001 was unlike anything the sleeping masses or international community expected.

The shock effect so traumatized the masses that quite suddenly, citizens found themselves willing to give up their liberties at home while acquiescing to any retaliatory action desired by their government abroad.

The scale of horror was so great that the international community banded together and showed their love and solidarity towards America in the wake of the tragedy with candlelight vigils across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Russia and South America.

Humanity’s natural tendency to embrace and aid our fellow man in times of crisis expressed itself like a bright light in a world of confused darkness and a hope for a durable peace awoke in the hearts of many.

Alas, as the world came soon to discover, that hope was short lived.

The Neocon Takeover of America

Police State measures grew swiftly with the Patriot Act and mass internal surveillance under the “crisis management” run by the neocon cabal in the White House.

While a new type of regime change war was created abroad, Dangerous protocols for Cheney’s “Continuity of Government” were set into motion and with these procedures, new mandates for Martial Law were created amplifying the powers, financing and deployment of U.S. Military capabilities both within the USA “under crisis conditions” and around the world.

Governments that had no connection to 9/11 were swiftly targeted for destruction using false evidence of “yellowcake” produced in the bowels of MI6, and a broader unipolar military encirclement of both Russia and China was set into motion which President Putin called out brilliantly in his famous 2007 Munich Security Conference Speech.

Of course this should not have been a surprise for anyone who took the time to read the Project for a New American Century manifesto published in October 2000 entitled Rebuilding America’s Defenses’ (RAD).

Under the Chairmanship of William Kristol (a neocon agent today leading the charge to impeach President Trump) and co-authored by John Bolton, Richard Perle, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams, and Donald Rumsfeld, RAD stated that to “further the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one-absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event- like a new Pearl Harbor”.

Going further to describe its Hobbesian agenda, the cabal stated that “the Cold War was a bipolar world; the 21st century world is- for the moment at least- decidedly unipolar with America as the world’s sole superpower”.

While much has been said about the “inside job” of 9/11, a lesser appreciated terrorist act occurred over several weeks beginning on September 18, 2001 killing five and infective 17 in the form of envelopes laced with bio-weaponized anthrax.

The Age of Bioweapons and PNAC

This anthrax attack led quickly into the 2004 Bioshield Act with a $5 billion budget and mandate to “pre-empt and defend further bioweapon attacks”. This new chapter of the revolution in military affairs was to be coordinated from leading bioweapons facility at the Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick. Since 2002, over $50 billion has been spent on Bioweapons research and defense to date.

The earlier October 2000 RAD document emphasized the importance which the neocon cabal placed on bioweapons (and other next generation war tech) stating: “Combat will likely take place in new dimensions: In space, cyber-space and perhaps the world of microbes… advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool”.

Lawyer and bioweapons expert Francis Boyle stated in 2007 that Fort Detrick’s mandate includes “acquiring, growing, modifying, storing, packing, and dispersing classical, emerging and genetically engineered pathogens for offensive weapon programs.”

These new post-9/11 practices fully trashed the 1975 UN Convention Against Biological Weapons ratified by the USA by establishing a vast international network of bioweapons labs coordinated from Fort Detrick which would be assigned the role of doing much of the dirty work that the U.S. was “officially” prevented from doing on its own soil.

Where Hitler used the burning of the Reichstag to justify his enabling Acts, the neocons had their 9/11.

The difference in the case of America was that Cheney failed to achieve the same level of absolute control over his nation as Hitler captured by 1934 (evidenced by pushback from patriotic American military intelligence circles against Cheney’s Iran war agenda). With this neocon failure, the republic lurched on.

The Rot Continues Under Obama

Obama’s rise was seen as a hopeful light to many naïve Democrats who still had not realized how a “false left” vs “false right” clash had been slowly constructed over the post WWII years.

Either camp increasingly found itself converging towards the same world government agenda through using somewhat dissimilar paths and flavors.

It didn’t take long for many of Obama’s more critically-minded supporters to realize that the mass surveillance/police state measures, regime change wars, and military confrontation of Russia and China begun under Cheney not only failed to stop, but even expanded at faster rates than ever.

In the months before Obama left office in July 2016, the classified Directive 40: National Continuity Policy was enacted creating a line of “Devolution authority” for all branches of the government to a “duplicate chain of individuals secreted outside Washington available in a catastrophic emergency”.

Days prior to Trump’s inauguration, Federal Continuity Directive 1 was issued to transfer authority to military forces who could be used to suppress “insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination or conspiracy.”

The Importance of Knowing This History

There are very clearly two diametrically opposing methods of analyzing, and solving the existential crisis threatening our world currently: Multipolar or Unipolar.

While Russia and China represent a multipolar/pro-nation state vision driven by large scale development projects that benefit all- rich and poor alike exemplified by the New Silk Road, Polar Silk Road, Space Silk Road and now Health Silk Road, something much darker is being promoted by the same financial oligarchy that owns both right and left sides of the deep state coin.

These later forces have provably positioned themselves to take control of western governments under crisis conditions and are not afraid to use every weapon in their arsenal to destroy their perceived enemies… including bioweaponry.

This latter uncomfortable reality was asserted quite candidly by leading officials of Iran and even the Chinese Foreign Ministry just weeks ago.

Admittedly, whether or not the current coronavirus pandemic is a bioweapon is not yet fully proven (although growing body of evidence asserts that it is, as seen here and here and here and here). What we know for certain are the following facts:

Numbers are being systematically misrepresented to convey much greater rates of death vs infections as dozens of leading medical experts have proven. Contaminated test kits have started showing up in the UK on March 30 and countless false results are showing up since covid test kits are often not differentiating between covid-19 and the typical coronavirus strains of the flu that average between 7-14% of flu cases every year.

This doesn’t mean that COVID-19 should not be taken seriously, but only that the reported numbers are being artificially falsified to generate heightened panic.

Wizard Of Oz GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The COVID-19 Task Force at London’s Imperial College has been found to be the singular source of the false “left” vs “right” debate poisoning the west’s response to the pandemic.

Teams working out of this British Intelligence nexus have generated BOTH the “do-nothing-and-wait-until-natural-resistance-evolves” herd immunity theory while simultaneously creating the “shut everything down one-size-fits-all” doomsday models being used by the WHO, UN, and leading Deep State assets like Michael Bloomberg, Steve Bannon, Bill Gates and George Soros.

In case you doubt the influence of the Imperial College on world policy, a March 17 New York Times article described them in the following terms: “With ties to the World Health Organization and a team of 50 scientists, led by a prominent epidemiologist, Neil Ferguson, Imperial is treated as a sort of gold standard, its mathematical models feeding directly into government policies.”

Investigative Journalist Whitney Webb’s February 2020 research demonstrated conclusively that DARPA had received funding in tandem with Fort Detrick since 2017 on genetic modification of novel coronaviruses (with a focus on bats) as well as the development of never before used DNA and mRNA vaccines which change the structure of DNA both for an individual and potentially for a whole race.

Lastly, and most importantly, the pre-9/11 military exercises were not merely hypothetical scenarios but exercises which led directly into a new “Pearl Harbor” that modified the behaviour of Americans under terror, panic and misinformation like nothing ever seen before.

The parallels to today’s coronavirus outbreak cannot be missed for anyone who has taken a serious look at the strange case of the Event 201 Global Pandemic Exercise on October 19, 2019 in New York.

Event 201 was sponsored by the Michael Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, and World Economic Forum which ran simulations under the “hypothetical” scenario of a novel coronavirus pandemic killing 60 million people.

Reviewing just one of Event 201’s many recordings openly available on their official site features some very disturbing parallels to the events unfolding today:

Kissinger foreshadows the world after Covid-19

The US has imposed economic sanctions against 39 countries.  In many cases, this denies them access to medicine and medical equipment as well as access to world markets for food and other necessities.  During the coronavirus crisis the US, with the highest death count in the world, has upped the sanctions against countries like Iran and Venezuela, and has tried to weaponize COVID-19 to bring down governments that will not follow the dictates of Washington and Wall Street.  The UN has asked that sanctions be loosened during this crisis but the US has done the opposite.  Many US allies have broken with them and sent medical aid to some of these countries. 

Coming after former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s article in the Financial Times [1], it was former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s to advocate through the Wall Street Journal [2] for a New World Order brought on by the Covid-19 crisis.

Both men follow the same logic: it will not be possible to restore the global economy after the epidemic without the required authority. Both belong to the same club, the very select Pilgrim’s, chaired by Queen Elisabeth II.

Dr. Kissinger had published a similar announcement on 11 September 2001 on the Washington Post online [3], just minutes before the transfer of power from General Ralph Eberhart to President George W. Bush and the latter’s “Endless War” speech.

Henry Kissinger and the man he controlled and eventually destroyed, President Richard Nixon. According to Robert Dallek, the author of “Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power,” the former President doubted that Kissinger, as a Jew, could be objective on Mideast policy.

Author Adam Bilzerian sheds light on a secret 1975 Memorandum of Understanding masterminded by Henry Kissinger, whereby the U.S. guaranteed all Israel’s oil needs in the event of a crisis, even at the risk of a domestic shortage.

Renewed, in principle, every five years and theoretically still in force, its potential impact in the current Middle East context does not need to be explained.

However, other examples of U.S. subservience to Israel’s interests abound, the latest one being the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, which ensures Israel’s “qualitative military edge” over all of its neighbors at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer.

With World Distracted by COVID, Netanyahu Bombs Syria, Prepares Seizure of West Bank

By Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D

Israel will become much bigger

Zionist Rahm Emanuel, up until recently the mayor of Chicago and before that a top advisor to the president in the Bill Clinton and Barack Obama White Houses and still earlier a volunteer in the Israeli Army, famously once commented that a good crisis should never be allowed to go to waste.

He meant, of course, that a crisis can be exploited to provide cover for other shenanigans involving politicians.

It was an observation that was particularly true when one was working for a sexual predator like Bill, who once attacked a “terrorist” pharmaceutical factory in Sudan to divert attention away from the breaking Monica Lewinski scandal.

To be sure, the United States government is focusing its attention on the coronavirus while also using the cover afforded to heighten the pressure on “enemies” near and far.

As the coronavirus continues to spread, the Trump White House and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have increased the ferocity of their sabre rattling, apparently in part to deter Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela.

Ironically, of course, none of the countries being intimidated are actually threatening the United States, but we Americans have long since learned that perceptions are more important than facts when it comes to the current occupant of the oval office and his two predecessors.

The latest bit of mendacity coming out of the White House was a presidential tweet targeting the usual punching bag, Iran. Based on an incident that occurred two weeks ago, Trump threatened “I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.”

Iran’s flying gunboats are clearly a formidable force but it is certainly reassuring to note that naval anti-aircraft fire has been directed to deal with them.

The U.S. Navy ships in question are, one might also observe, in a body of water generally referred to as the Persian Gulf, where they are carrying out maneuvers right off of the Iranian coast.

Meanwhile, Iranian flying gunboats have not yet been observed off of New Jersey, but they are probably waiting to be transported to the Eastern Seaboard by those huge trans-oceanic gliders that once upon a time were allegedly being constructed by Saddam Hussein.

Given the cover provided by the virus, it should surprise no one that Israel is also playing the same game. The Jewish state has been continuing its lethal bombings of Syria, with hardly any notice in the international media.

 In a recent missile attack, nine people were killed near the historic city of Palmyra. Three of the dead were Syrians while six others were presumed to be Lebanese Shi’ites supporting the Damascus government.

Israel de facto regards any Shi’ite as an “Iranian” or an “Iranian proxy” and therefore a “terrorist” eligible to be killed on sight.

But the bigger coronavirus story has to do with Israel’s domestic politics. Benjamin Netanyahu and his principle opponent Benny Gantz have come to an agreement to form a national government, ostensibly to deal with the health crisis.

The wily Netanyahu, who will continue to be prime minister in the deal, has thereby retained his power over the government while also putting a halt to bids from the judiciary to try and sentence him on corruption charges.

As part of the deal with Gantz, Netanyahu will have veto power over the naming of the new government’s attorney general and state prosecutor, guaranteeing the appointment of individuals who will dismiss the charges.

And more will be coming, with the acquiescence of Washington. U.S. elections are little more than six months away and Donald Trump clearly believes that he needs the political support of Netanyahu to energize his rabid Christian Zionist supporters, as well as the cash coming from Jewish oligarchs Sheldon Adelson, Bernard Marcus and Paul Singer.

Republicans, Christian Zionism and The Apocalypse | gettingonmysoapbox

So, it is time to establish a quid pro quo, which will be Israeli government behind the scenes approaches to powerful and wealthy American Jews on behalf of Trump while the White House will look the other way while Israel annexes most of the remaining Palestinian West Bank.

Pompeo has welcomed the new Israeli government and has confirmed that the annexation of the Palestinian land will be “ultimately Israel’s decision to make,” which amounts to a green light for Netanyahu to go ahead.

A vote on West Bank annexation will reportedly be taken by the Knesset at the beginning of July followed immediately by steps to incorporate Jewish settlements into Israel proper.

According to the Israeli liberal newspaper Haaretz, the planned annexation has raised some concerns among a few liberal American Jewish organizations because it will convince many progressives in the U.S. that Israel has truly become an apartheid state.

J Street warned that annexation “would severely imperil Israel’s future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people, along with the future of the U.S.-Israel relationship” and has even suggested cutting U.S. aid if that step is actually taken.

Most other ostensibly liberal groups have adopted the usual Zionist two-step, i.e. condemning the move but not advocating any effective steps to prevent it.

And it should also be noted that the largest and most powerful Jewish organizations like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) have not raised any objections at all.

Unaffiliated individual liberal Jews, to include those who consider themselves Zionists, have generally been concerned about the move, though their argument is quite hypocritical, based on their belief that annexation would pari passu destroy any possible two-state solution, damaging both Palestinian rights and “Jewish democracy.”

Some have even welcomed the change, noting that it would create a single state de facto which eventually would have to evolve into a modern democracy with equal rights for all. Such thinking is, however, nonsense.

Israel under Netanyahu and whichever fascist retread that eventually succeeds him regards itself as a Jewish state and will do whatever it takes to maintain that, even including dispossessing remaining Arabs of their land and possessions, stripping them of their legal status, and forcing them to leave as refugees.

That is something that might be referred to as ethnic cleansing, or even genocide.

And those Americans of conscience who are hoping for some change if someone named Joe Biden defeats Trump can also forget about that option. Biden has told the New York Times that “I believe a two-state solution remains the only way to ensure Israel’s long-term security while sustaining its Jewish and democratic identity.

It is also the only way to ensure Palestinian dignity and their legitimate interest in national self-determination.

And it is a necessary condition to take full advantage of the opening that exists for greater cooperation between Israel and its Arab neighbors. For all these reasons, encouraging a two-state solution remains in the critical interest of the United States.”

Unfortunately, someone should tell Joe that that particular train has already left the station due to the expansion of the Jewish state’s settlements.

Nice words from the man who would be president aside, Biden is bound to the Israel Lobby for its political support and the money it provides as tightly as can be and he will fold before AIPAC and company like a cheap suit.

He has famously declared that “You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist – I am a Zionist” and “My Name is Joe Biden, and Everybody Knows I Love Israel.”

His vice-presidential candidates’ debate with Sarah Palin in 2008 turned embarrassing when he and Palin both engaged in long soliloquys about how much they cherish Israel. Indeed they do.

Every politician on the make loves Israel.