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Facial recognition tech turns people into ‘waking ID cards,’ warn privacy activists

Police force use of facial recognition technology in public spaces risks turning people into “walking...

Will Theresa May impose ID cards on everyone ‘by the backdoor’ after EU migrants...

Three million EU citizens residing in the UK may be forced to carry an ID...

Mexican Gov’t To Hand Out ID Cards To Foreign Nationals – In North Carolina

Ami WorthenMountain ExpressOctober 19, 2013 More than 24,000 Mexicans live in Western North Carolina, according to...

National ID Cards To Make A Come Back?

After spending £5 billion on a controversial national ID card scheme that was eventually scrapped, it appears that ID cards could be making a come back.

Israel Uses Control of Birth Registry and ID Cards to Control Gaza Population

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Transcript

Yousef Al-Helou: Palestinians have been living in a state of limbo since the 1967 war, and even before 1948, the year when Israel was created on the land of historic Palestine, after forcing its indigenous population to leave to neighboring counties and elsewhere throughout the world, which made them become refugees and stateless dreaming of their right of return.

Since 1967, when Israel occupied the Gaza strip and the West Bank, it has been in control of the Palestinian population registry and all important cards required to enter Gaza and the West Bank.This system was designed to control and monitor the movement of all Palestinians and to curb the Palestinian population by denying their Diaspora the right to come home even if for a short visit.The Real News talked to Samah Sabawi, a Palestinian writer from Australia who managed to enter Gaza to visit her family for the first time in 17 years and after 7 hours of waiting at the Rafah crossing.It is virtually impossible for many cases for the majority of Palestinians like Samah who are actually from Gaza  and who were forced to leave after 1967 to actually come back for a visit because they do not carry the Palestinian ID or what is known among Palestinians  as "Haweyyah".Samah Sabawi, Palestinian Writer: There is great power in controlling the birth registry and the population registry .When you are a nation defines yourself  by a specific ethnic character  which is the Jewish character, you want to know how many non Jews are being born within your area of control, you want be able to control this population. So it is a great measurement of controlling not only the exit and entry and movement of the population but also to implement a kind of segregation, so you have people from the west bank who can not come to Gaza because they are confined by their ID's, and you got people from Gaza who dream of coming to the West bank for the same reason, but above the fragmentation and the implementation of this fragmentation by the Israeli authority,  you got also the power to curb the Palestinian populationAl-Helou: The Rafah crossing is Gaza's only gate that bypasses Israel and controlled by Egypt but only Palestinians with Israeli approved ID cards can use this crossing. Those who do not have ID's or what is known as Palestinian National Number Card  issued by Israeli interior ministry and wish to visit Gaza have to coordinate their visit with Egyptian authorities. In case their attempts failed, the alternative is to use underground tunnels between Gaza and Egypt.Islam Shahwan, Spokesperson of Gaza interior ministry: We have over 200,000 Palestinians registered in our database and who are living outside Gaza and do not have Palestinian ID's issued by Israeli authorities, they have applied for family unification, registration and residency this issue was stopped by Israeli authorities  some years ago. These people have either Egyptian or Lebanese or other travel documents and want to visit or live in Gaza, we have overcome this problem by coordinating this matter with Egyptian authorities by granting them identification cards issued from the Palestinian ministry of interior in Gaza.Al-Helou: With Israel controlling the Palestinian registry, the whole picture and the whole analysis becomes very clear, it is controlling every aspect of the lives of Palestinians from the moments they are born.This is one of the general civil affairs offices, Gaza residents come to such offices to issue new birth certificates for their new babies, or to issue passports or even to renew the old passports.Some have gone far, calling Israel's control of the Palestinian registry and residency as an apartheid system that was designed in order to keep an eye on the population growth of the Palestinian people and sever the Palestinian population either in the Gaza strip or the West Bank from the DiasporaAsad Abu Sharekh, Al-Azhar University: This is not violation against our sovereignty , this is violation of international humanitarian law , Israel is in total control of this registry, simply it wants to be in control of everything in Palestine, so that Israel is practicing an ethnic cleansing policy. Whenever Israel knows there is growth in population, it uses new strategy in order to de-Palestiniaze, de-arabize, and depopulate Palestine and to use this ethnic cleansing and it has has been doing that ever since 1967.Al-Helou: Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch said in its report, that the way Israel’s military has exercised its control over the Palestinian population registry – the list of Palestinians whom it considers to be lawful residents of the West Bank and Gaza territories – has separated families, caused people to lose jobs and educational opportunities, barred people from entering the Palestinian territories, and trapped others inside them.While, Israeli policies on Palestinian residency have arbitrarily denied thousands of Palestinians the ability to live in, and travel to and from, the West Bank and Gaza, the system of ID cards is used as a weapon to further cement the implementation of the fragmentation of the Palestinian population as it confines the Palestinians to their geographic Israeli-controlled Bantustans. For Thre Real News, Yousef Al-Helou, Gaza.


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“Smart Cards” in a Surveillance Society: The Implanted Radio-Frequency Identification Chip

The Implanted Radio-Frequency Identification Chip: "Smart Cards" in a Surveillance Society

If incorporating personal details into an RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip implanted into a passport or driver’s license may sound like a “smart” alternative to endless lines at the airport and intrusive questioning by securocrats, think again.

Since the late 1990s, corporate grifters have touted the “benefits” of the devilish transmitters as a “convenient” and “cheap” way to tag individual commodities, one that would “revolutionize” inventory management and theft prevention. Indeed, everything from paper towels to shoes, pets to underwear have been “tagged” with the chips. “Savings” would be “passed on” to the consumer. Call it the Wal-Martization of everyday life.

RFID tags are small computer chips connected to miniature antennae that can be fixed to or implanted within physical objects, including human beings. The RFID chip itself contains an Electronic Product Code that can be “read” when a RFID reader emits a radio signal. The chips are divided into two categories, passive or active. A “passive” tag doesn’t contain a battery and its “read” range is variable, from less than an inch to twenty or thirty feet. An “active” tag on the other hand, is self-powered and has a much longer range. The data from an “active” tag can be sent directly to a computer system involved in inventory control–or surveillance.

But as Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (CASPIAN), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) state in a joint position paper, “RFID has the potential to jeopardize consumer privacy, reduce or eliminate purchasing anonymity, and threaten civil liberties.” As these organizations noted:

While there are beneficial uses of RFID, some attributes of the technology could be deployed in ways that threaten privacy and civil liberties:

* Hidden placement of tags. RFID tags can be embedded into/onto objects and documents without the knowledge of the individual who obtains those items. As radio waves travel easily and silently through fabric, plastic, and other materials, it is possible to read RFID tags sewn into clothing or affixed to objects contained in purses, shopping bags, suitcases, and more.

* Unique identifiers for all objects worldwide. The Electronic Product Code potentially enables every object on earth to have its own unique ID. The use of unique ID numbers could lead to the creation of a global item registration system in which every physical object is identified and linked to its purchaser or owner at the point of sale or transfer.

* Massive data aggregation. RFID deployment requires the creation of massive databases containing unique tag data. These records could be linked with personal identifying data, especially as computer memory and processing capacities expand.

* Hidden readers. Tags can be read from a distance, not restricted to line of sight, by readers that can be incorporated invisibly into nearly any environment where human beings or items congregate. RFID readers have already been experimentally embedded into floor tiles, woven into carpeting and floor mats, hidden in doorways, and seamlessly incorporated into retail shelving and counters, making it virtually impossible for a consumer to know when or if he or she was being “scanned.”

* Individual tracking and profiling. If personal identity were linked with unique RFID tag numbers, individuals could be profiled and tracked without their knowledge or consent. For example, a tag embedded in a shoe could serve as a de facto identifier for the person wearing it. Even if item-level information remains generic, identifying items people wear or carry could associate them with, for example, particular events like political rallies. (“Position Statement on the Use of RFID on Consumer Products,” Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, November 14, 2003)

RFID under the skin

As the corporatist police state unfurls its murderous tentacles here in the United States, it should come as no surprise that securocrats breathlessly tout the “benefits” of RFID in the area of “homeland security.” When linked to massive commercial databases as well as those compiled by the 16 separate agencies of the “intelligence community,” such as the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) that feeds the federal government’s surveillance Leviathan with the names of suspected “terrorists,” it doesn’t take a genius to conclude that the architecture for a vast totalitarian enterprise is off the drawing board and onto the streets.

As last week’s mass repression of peaceful protest at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul amply demonstrated, the Bush regime’s “preemptive war” strategy has been rolled out in the heimat. As the World Socialist Web Site reports,

On Wednesday eight members of the anarchist protest group the Republican National Convention Welcoming Committee (RNCWC) were charged under provisions of the Minnesota state version of the Patriot Act with “Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism.”

The eight charged are all young, and could face up to seven-and-a-half years in prison under a provision that allows the enhancement of charges related to terrorism by 50 percent. …

Among other things, the youth, who were arrested last weekend even prior to the start of the convention, are charged with plotting to kidnap delegates to the RNC, assault police officers and attack airports. Almost all of the charges listed are based upon the testimony of police infiltrators, one an officer, the other a paid informant. (Tom Eley, “RNC in Twin Cities: Eight protesters charged with terrorism under Patriot Act,” World Socialist Web Site, 6 September 2008)

As the ACLU pointed out, “These charges are an effort to equate publicly stated plans to blockade traffic and disrupt the RNC as being the same as acts of terrorism. This both trivializes real violence and attempts to place the stated political views of the defendants on trial,” said Bruce Nestor, president of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. “The charges represent an abuse of the criminal justice system and seek to intimidate any person organizing large scale public demonstrations potentially involving civil disobedience,” he said.

An affidavit filed by the cops in order to allow the preemptive police raid and subsequent arrests declared that the RNCWC is a “criminal enterprise” strongly implying that the group of anarchist youth were members of a “terrorist organization.”

Which, as we have learned over these last seven and a half years of darkness, is precisely the point: keep ‘em scared and passive. And when they’re neither scared nor passive, resort to police state tactics of mass repression. While the cops beat and arrested demonstrators and journalists outside the Xcel Energy Center, neanderthal-like Republican mobs chanted “USA! USA!” while the execrable theocratic fascist, Sarah Palin, basked in the limelight. But I digress…

Likened to barcodes that scan items at the grocery store check-out line, what industry flacks such as the Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility (AIM) fail to mention in their propaganda about RFID is that the information stored on a passport or driver’s license is readily stolen by anyone with a reader device–marketers, security agents, criminals or stalkers–without the card holder even being remotely aware that they are being tracked and their allegedly “secure” information plundered. According to a blurb on the AIM website,

Automatic Identification and Mobility (AIM) technologies are a diverse family of technologies that share the common purpose of identifying, tracking, recording, storing and communicating essential business, personal, or product data. In most cases, AIM technologies serve as the front end of enterprise software systems, providing fast and accurate collection and entry of data. (“Technologies,” Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility, no date)

Among the “diverse family of technologies” touted by AIM, many are rife with “dual-use” potential, that is, the same technology that can keep track of a pallet of soft drinks can also keep track of human beings.

Indeed, the Association touts biometric identification as “an automated method of recognizing a person based on a physiological or behavioral characteristic.” This is especially important since “the need” for biometrics “can be found in federal, state and local governments, in the military, and in commercial applications.” When used as a stand-alone or in conjunction with RFID-chipped “smart cards” biometrics, according to the industry “are set to pervade nearly all aspects of the economy and our daily lives.”

Some “revolution.”

The industry received a powerful incentive from the state when the Government Services Administration (GSA), a Bushist satrapy, issued a 2004 memo that urged the heads of all federal agencies “to consider action that can be taken to advance the [RFID] industry.”

An example of capitalist “ingenuity” or another insidious invasion of our right to privacy? In 2006, IBM obtained a patent that will be used for tracking and profiling consumers as they move around a store, even if access to commercial databases are strictly limited.

And when it comes tracking and profiling human beings, say for mass extermination at the behest of crazed Nazi ideologues, IBM stands alone. In his groundbreaking 2001 exploration of the enabling technologies for the mass murder of Jews, communists, Roma and gays and lesbians, investigative journalist Edwin Black described in IBM and the Holocaust how, beginning in 1933, IBM and their subsidiaries created technological “solutions” that streamlined the identification of “undesirables” for quick and efficient asset confiscation, deportation, slave labor and eventual annihilation.

In an eerie echo of polices being enacted today against Muslims and left-wing “extremists” by the corrupt Bush regime in their quixotic quest to “keep America safe” in furtherance of capitalist and imperialist goals of global domination, Black writes:

In the upside-down world of the Holocaust, dignified professionals were Hitler’s advance troops. Police officials disregarded their duty in favor of protecting villains and persecuting victims. Lawyers perverted concepts of justice to create anti-Jewish laws. Doctors defiled the art of medicine to perpetrate ghastly experiments and even choose who was healthy enough to be worked to death–and who could be cost-effectively sent to the gas chamber. Scientists and engineers debased their higher calling to devise the instruments and rationales of destruction. And statisticians used their little known but powerful discipline to identify the victims, project and rationalize the benefits of their destruction, organize their persecution, and even audit the efficiency of genocide. Enter IBM and its overseas subsidiaries. (IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation, New York: Crown Publishers, 2001, pp. 7-8)

As security and privacy analyst Katherine Albrecht writes describing IBM’s patented “Identification and Tracking of Persons Using RFID-Tagged Items in Store Environments,”

…chillingly details RFID’s potential for surveillance in a world where networked RFID readers called “person tracking units” would be incorporated virtually everywhere people go–in “shopping malls, airports, train stations, bus stations, elevators, trains, airplanes, restrooms, sports arenas, libraries, theaters, [and] museums”–to closely monitor people’s movements. (“How RFID Tags Could Be Used to Track Unsuspecting People,” Scientific American, August 21, 2008)

According to the patent cited by Albrecht, as an individual moves around a store, or a city center, an “RFID tag scanner located [in the desired tracking location]… scans the RFID tags on [a] person…. As that person moves around the store, different RFID tag scanners located throughout the store can pick up radio signals from the RFID tags carried on that person and the movement of that person is tracked based on these detections…. The person tracking unit may keep records of different locations where the person has visited, as well as the visitation times.”

Even if no personal data are stored in the RFID tag, this doesn’t present a problem IBM explains, because “the personal information will be obtained when the person uses his or her credit card, bank card, shopper card or the like.” As Albrecht avers, the link between the unique RFID number and a person’s identity “needs to be made only once for the card to serve as a proxy for the person thereafter.” With the wholesale introduction of RFID chipped passports and driver’s licenses, the capitalist panoptic state is quickly–and quietly–falling into place.

If America’s main trading partner and sometime geopolitical rival in the looting of world resources, China, is any indication of the direction near future surveillance technologies are being driven by the “miracle of the market,” the curtain on privacy and individual rights is rapidly drawing to a close. Albrecht writes,

China’s national ID cards, for instance, are encoded with what most people would consider a shocking amount of personal information, including health and reproductive history, employment status, religion, ethnicity and even the name and phone number of each cardholder’s landlord. More ominous still, the cards are part of a larger project to blanket Chinese cities with state-of-the-art surveillance technologies. Michael Lin, a vice president for China Public Security Technology, a private company providing the RFID cards for the program, unflinchingly described them to the New York Times as “a way for the government to control the population in the future.” And even if other governments do not take advantage of the surveillance potential inherent in the new ID cards, ample evidence suggests that data-hungry corporations will.

I would disagree with Albrecht on one salient point: governments, particularly the crazed, corporate-controlled grifters holding down the fort in Washington, most certainly will take advantage of RFID’s surveillance potential.

In 2005 for example, the Senate Republican High Tech Task force praised RFID applications as “exciting new technologies” with “tremendous promise for our economy.” In this spirit, they vowed to “protect” RFID from regulation and legislation. Needless to say, the track record of timid Democrats is hardly any better when it comes to defending privacy rights or something as “quaint” as the Constitution.

Under conditions of a looming economic meltdown, rising unemployment, staggering debt, the collapse of financial markets and continuing wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. imperialism, in order to shore up its crumbling empire, will continue to import totalitarian methods of rule employed in its “global war on terror” onto the home front.

The introduction of RFID-chipped passports and driver’s licenses for the mass surveillance and political repression of the American people arises within this context.

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press.

HMV Collapse: Gift Cards And Vouchers Invalid

HMV has confirmed it will not be accepting gift cards or vouchers from customers as the retailer prepared to collapse into administration.

The company confirmed its intentions after a board meeting, as exclusively revealed by Sky's City Editor Mark Kleinman .

The chief executive of HMV - which employs 4,350 people - said it was "business as usual" at the chain's 238 stores, which will remain open while administrators Deloitte attempt to find a buyer.

Trevor Moore told Sky News he was "absolutely confident" about the future of the business, but added: "It does require a number of significant changes in the business, and those changes we’re very clear about."

He said: "We would hope to find a prospective buyer that could work with us to enable me to deliver those changes and ensure that HMV - which is one of the consumer's 10 most favourite stores in the UK remains on the high streets that we operate in."

A company statement said it had ultimately failed to meet the conditions of its bank loans, and trading in HMV's ordinary shares had ceased.

It said the business "faced material uncertainties" and would probably "not comply with its banking covenants" at the end of January.

Confirming the appointment of administrators "with immediate effect", the statement added: "The board regrets to announce that it has been unable to reach a position where it feels able to continue to trade outside of insolvency protection."

Mr Moore urged staff at the chain to support each other despite being faced with an uncertain future.

"My message is that it's critically important - even more now than ever before - that we remain focussed on the job at hand," he said.

"That we engage with our customers, we look after each other, support each other, and engage ... to ensure the business continues to trade successfully."

He added: "As far as I'm concerned, right now it's business as usual - HMV's doors are wide open, we have stock to sell, we have teams to staff our stores and we have a business to run."

Celebrities have been among those sharing their memories of the iconic chain.

BBC 6Music DJ Lauren Laverne tweeted: "Long time since i was in #HMV, but I remember it well… RIP."

Also on Twitter, rapper Professor Green posted: "hmv bankrupt. we may as well just give up on any medium that involves hard copy and get on with it. #sadtimes."

And fellow artist Sway added: "Just a thought. If all of the artists and labels in the UK all made a small donation do you think it would be enough to save #HMV?"

Retail expert Mary Portas posted: "HMV was a brilliant business that was a great part of our Highstreets. So sad to see this one go."

The retailer, which has struggled for several years in the face of online competition, had announced last week an additional sale at its stores in a last ditch effort to raise cash but its £176.1m debt pile was too great for the move to have much impact.

Last year, the company sold off its most profitable arm, its live music business, as it attempted to slash what it owed.

In January 2011, suppliers including Universal Music came to HMV's rescue with a deal that helped the retailer shed some of its debt, but they are understood to have dismissed requests for more financial help earlier this month.

Analysts suggest the business model was already doomed - squeezed by internet retailers and supermarkets whose scale enables them to offer CDs and DVDs at cheaper prices.

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Israel: Divide-and-conquer in Nazareth?

Al-Jazeera – 17 January 2014

Mounting efforts by Israel to divide its large Palestinian minority along sectarian lines have heightened fears that the Biblical city of Nazareth may be about to return to the scenes of violent clashes witnessed 15 years ago.

Tensions in the city, the hometown of Jesus and a destination for hundreds of thousands of tourists each year, have risen sharply in recent months after the Israeli government unveiled plans to encourage Christian school leavers to serve in the military.

Although Nazareth and its surrounding villages are home to the bulk of Israel’s 130,000 Palestinian Christians, the city itself has a Muslim majority.

The local leadership has accused the government of Benjamin Netanyahu of pursuing a “colonial policy of divide and rule” towards the country’s 1.5 million Palestinian citizens, who comprise one-fifth of the population. “Netanyahu is playing a very dangerous game, seeking to inflame tensions so that he can pit Christians against Muslims and weaken us as a community,” said Hanna Swaid, a Christian representative in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.

Swaid said the Israeli government was playing on fears sparked by the deteriorating situation for Christians in neighbouring states, especially in Syria and Egypt. About one-tenth of the Palestinians in Israel are Christian.

Christians in the military?

Of chief concern to Swaid and other community leaders is a plan announced last year by Netanyahu to end the exemption for Christians on serving in the military.

Christians and Muslims have long refused to enlist, arguing that they do not want to assist in what they regard as the oppression of fellow Palestinians in the occupied territories. In a special video message released on Christmas Eve, Netanyahu referred to the local Christian population as “loyal citizens” and urged the youth to enlist. Most controversially, he added that a political movement recently founded in Nazareth to lobby for Christian conscription would ensure “protection to supporters of enlistment and to the conscripts themselves”.

Swaid said: “The implication from Netanyahu is that he supports the establishment of Christian militias. He is trying to sell this to Christians with the idea that Israel will arm and train you to defend yourself against your Muslim neighbours.”

In a related move this month, it emerged that Yariv Levin, chair of Netanyahu’s governing coalition, had proposed a new classification of “Christian” on identity cards. That would effectively create a special Christian nationality, leaving only Muslims to be identified as “Arabs”. Levin has said he sees the move as a prelude to creating a special education system for Christians separate from the current Arab one.

Meanwhile, a small group of Christians in Nazareth allied with the government, and led by an Orthodox priest, has declared its intention to build a 30-metre-high statue of Jesus on a hill overlooking the city, in an effort to create an Israeli version of Rio de Janiero’s imposing figure of Christ the Redeemer.

Threatening to further strain relations is a recent agreement by the government to establish a branch of a US university in Nazareth, using funds raised by Christian Zionists. Their leader, John Hagee, who is known to be close to Netanyahu, has been a longtime financial supporter of settlements in the occupied territories.

Finally, Nazareth is still reeling from a mayoral contest in October in which the two front runners were separated by a handful of votes. Although Ramez Jeraisy, a Christian and the mayor for the past two decades, and his Muslim challenger Ali Salam represent non-sectarian parties, the highly contested result has exacerbated tensions.

Jeraisy is receiving police protection after gunshots were fired at his house last week. A short time later a Nazareth youth was arrested for incitement after posting a cartoon of Jeraisy being shot dead.

The sensitive relations between the two religious communities in Nazareth are in part a legacy of the 1948 war that established Israel. As the advancing Israeli army expelled Palestinians from villages in the Galilee, some refugees fled to Nazareth seeking sanctuary. The influx of Muslims permanently altered the demographic balance of the city.

Sectarian conflict

Today, Nazareth, the largest Palestinian city in Israel with 85,000 inhabitants, has a two-thirds Muslim majority. Although Israel has tightly limited the city’s room for expansion, Nazareth serves a surrounding population of a quarter million and is viewed as the unofficial capital of the Palestinian minority.

Sectarian conflict in Nazareth first came to public attention in the late 1990s, when Netanyahu was also prime minister. He was widely blamed at the time for inflaming tensions in the city. On that occasion, the government intervened in a dispute over an empty lot next to the Basilica of the Annunciation, the enormous church marking the spot where many Christians believe an angel told Mary she was carrying the son of God.

As the city prepared for a visit by Pope John Paul II to celebrate the millennium, a group of Muslims claimed the site was land belonging to an Islamic trust before 1948 and should be used to build a large mosque. In an unprecedented decision, two ministerial committees set up by Netanyahu agreed to the mosque project. Tempers flared, and by Easter 1999 street fights between Christians and Muslims made headlines around the world.

In the end, the government stopped the mosque from being built and instead developed it as a public square. Nonetheless, the site is still a source of simmering tension, with several hundred Muslims using it for midday prayers every Friday.

Many Nazareth residents have grown increasingly fearful that the city may be heading back to the dark days of the late 1990s. “Netanyahu has form on this issue,” said Mohammed Zeidan, the head of the Human Rights Association in Nazareth. “His fear is that we as a community, especially the youth, are becoming more organised and united, as well as more effective at exposing the discriminatory policies of the state.”

Zeidan highlighted the recent success of mass protests that forced Netanyahu to shelve a government scheme, the Prawer Plan, to expel tens of thousands of Bedouin from their homes in the Negev. “He sees the community as a problem and the best way to deal with us is to set us at each other’s throats.”

The issue of Christian enlistment first surfaced a year ago, when the defence ministry quietly staged a conference on the issue in the neighbouring Jewish city of Upper Nazareth. Christian Scout movements were invited – and to the consternation of many Christians, three local priests also attended.

Currently among the Palestinian minority, only young men from the small Druze community are conscripted, after its leaders signed an agreement with the state in the 1950s. A few hundred more Palestinian citizens, both Muslims and Christians, volunteer for military service. However, the overwhelming majority are Bedouin, needed by the army as trackers.

Officials have recently talked up claims that the enlistment drive has led to a spurt of Christian recruits. However, a defence ministry official told the Associated Press last month that Christian volunteers had risen only marginally, from 40 a year to between 50 and 55.

‘Israel takes care of us’

Leading Christian support in the city for the government’s initiative is Bishara Shlayan, a 58-year-old former merchant seaman and the brother of the defence ministry’s officer in charge of Christian recruitment. He has set up a Christian-Jewish political movement, called the Covenant of Flags, with a logo featuring an intertwined Cross and Star of David. Jeraisy, Nazareth’s longtime Christian mayor, has called Shlayan a “collaborator”.

But, according to Swaid and Zeidan, Netanyahu has been emboldened by his success in securing the support of a prominent Greek Orthodox priest in Nazareth. Gabriel Nadaf, aged 40 and a former spokesman for the Jerusalem Patriarch, recently stated: “Israel takes care of us, and if not Israel, who will defend us? We love this country, and we see the army as a first step in becoming more integrated with the state.”

However, Azmi Hakim, leader of the Greek Orthodox community council in Nazareth, said there was almost no support for Nadaf or Shlayan. “They are a tiny minority but they are able to make a big noise because the government is giving them a lot of support and trying to create the impression that they represent a trend.” He added that the danger was that this could be the trigger for deteriorating relations between the two religious communities.

Levin, who has proposed a new “Christian” nationality on ID cards, said he was responding to pressure from Christians. “This is the only place in the Middle East where they have security and freedom of worship,” he said. “Many Christians don’t want to be known as Arabs.”

Following their agreement to conscription, the Druze were assigned a separate nationality, as well as an education system designed to inculcate “Zionist values”.

Shlayan welcomed Levin’s proposal, saying: “We are not brothers with the Muslims; brothers take care of each other.”

‘Used by the government’

Swaid said, “These people are being used by the government. A few Christians like Shlayan have bought into the false promise that if they serve they will get special favours. But we only need to look to the situation of the Druze. Their youth have been conscripted for decades and yet their communities are in much worse state even than that of the Christians.”

Claims by Nadaf that he has been the target of a hate campaign in Nazareth, including an attack on his teenage son, have been widely reported in the Israeli media. Nadaf’s leading critics, including Nazareth Christians, have been called in for interrogation by the police and warned that they are under investigation for “incitement to violence”.

Hakim said he had been called for interrogation on three occasions since he and the Orthodox council originally denounced Nadaf last year. He was also phoned by the domestic intelligence service, the Shin Bet, two hours before the council met to issue a statement against Nadaf. “They warned me, ‘This is bigger than you or the council.’ They told me not to get involved.”

Swaid said Israel’s real attitude towards the local Christian population was revealed following a request he submitted to the Knesset Speaker last month to place a Christmas tree in the parliament building. His request was rejected, with the speaker arguing that the Christian symbol would cause “offence”.

“I saw this as a test of whether Israel was prepared to give a sign of goodwill towards its Christians and to behave like a tolerant, multicultural state – in the way it expects other states to act towards Jewish minorities. The truth was clear. Whatever it says, Israel has no special sentiments towards Christians.”

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Israeli Apartheid Ruthlessness


Israeli Apartheid Ruthlessness

by Stephen Lendman

Israel exceeds the worst of apartheid South Africa. Ninety-year-old Gush Shalom (Peace Bloc) founder, Uri Avnery, has many commendable attributes. Recognizing apartheid reality isn't one of them. More on that below.

He supports peace between Israel and all Arab countries. He calls Gush Shalom "resolute," "militant," "radical," and "consistent." He wants Israeli occupation ended. 

He endorses Palestinian self-determination inside pre-1967 Green Line borders. It represents 22% of historic Palestine. He's for minor territorial exchanges based on mutual consent.

He wants Jerusalem established as the East and West capitals of two states. He opposes the inviolable right of all diaspora Palestinians to return. He wants annual quotas. 

Establishing them violates international law. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13 states:

"(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."

UN Resolution 181 called for an Independent Arab state by October 1, 1948. It said:

"(A)ll governments and peoples (were) to refrain from taking any action" to delay it.

The Security Council was asked to take all "necessary measures" to implement it.

Resolution 242 called for an end to Israel's Six Day War and withdrawal of its armed forces from occupied territories.

Resolution 298 called territory acquired by military conquest inadmissible.

According to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, apartheid reflects unconscionable acts "committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over (another) or groups, and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime."

Israel's Law of Return applies only to Jews. It violates international law.

Palestine belongs to Palestinians. They're willing to settle for 22% of their historic land. They're entitled to it all. Perhaps Avnery never read international law. It's inviolable.

He doesn't understand apartheid. On October 26, he headlined "Taking Apartheid Apart."

"Is Israel an apartheid state," he asked? It's that and much more. It's an international crime. It's far worse than what South African Blacks endured. 

According to Avnery, "apartheid is often used purely for propaganda purposes." It's "rhetorical(ly) use(d) to denigrate one's opponents."

South Africa was based on "racial superiority," he said. True enough. "Racism was its official creed." Zionism isn't racist, he claims. It "mix(es) nationalism and religion."

Zionists claim anti-Semites are racist, he said. "On the whole, (Arabs) inside Israel (are) much like many national minorities in Europe or elsewhere."

"They enjoy equality under the law, vote for parliament, are represented by very lively parties of their own, but in practice suffer discrimination in many areas. To call this apartheid would be grossly misleading."

At age 90, perhaps Avnery is senile. His account of Arab life in Israel is polar opposite reality. Annual Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) reports assess conditions accurately.

Police state harshness targets Israeli Arabs. Their fundamental human and civil rights are denied. Tens of thousands of Bedouin citizens perhaps fare worst.

They're systematically dispossessed. Their homes are demolished. They’re ethnically cleansed from their own land. 

Those remaining are denied schools, healthcare, running water, electricity, paved road, postal service, and other vital services.

Fundamental rights of other Israeli Arabs don't matter. Inflicting harshness is longstanding Israeli policy.

In Occupied Palestine, Israeli apartheid way exceeds South African cruel and inhumane punishment. Independent observers of both systems say so.

It includes murder, extermination, enslavement, torture, arbitrary arrests, illegal imprisonments, denial of the right to life and liberty, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and other abusive acts imposed by Jews on Arabs.

Former UN Special Human Rights Rapporteur for Occupied Palestine, John Dugard, said:

"Israel is clearly in military occupation of the OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territories). At the same time, elements of the occupation constitute forms of colonialism and of apartheid, which are contrary to international law."

Current UN Special Human Rights Rapporteur for Occupied Palestine, Richard Falk, said "Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid in relation to the Palestine people should be taken with the utmost seriousness by all those who affirm human solidarity and care about making visible the long ordeal of a suffering and vulnerable people."

Karine MacAllister wrote about the crime of apartheid, saying:

It "involves or necessitates the denial of the other; of their presence, rights and existence on the land and reconstruction of the past, namely that the land was empty before the advent of Zionist settlement, hence the movement's slogan describing 'a land without people for a people without land.' "

Zionism's essence is "a sophisticated legal, social, economic and political regime of racial discrimination that has led to colonialism and apartheid as well as the dispossession and displacement of the Palestinian people."

Israeli apartheid separates indigenous Palestinians from their land and heritage. Doing so is lawless. According to Fourth Geneva's Article 49:

"Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportation of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of the motive." 

Nor shall "(t)he Occupying Power...deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies."

The Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (the Apartheid Convention) defines it as:

"similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practiced in southern Africa (for) the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them."

Apartheid is racism's worst form. Israeli apartheid is worst of all. It mirrors what Nazi Germany did to Jews.

Avnery denies reality. South African apartheid pass laws segregated blacks from whites.

Their movements were restricted. Carrying pass books at all times was required. They had to show them on demand or face arrest.

South Africa's law evolved from the 18th and 19th centuries. Entry into cities was restricted. Blacks were forcibly relocated.

Most were denied public amenities and many forms of employment. Pass books became apartheid's most hated symbol.

Israel's military occupation is far worse than South African repression. It's a sophisticated form social, economic, political and racial discrimination.

It combines suffocating strangulation and slow-motion genocide. It incorporates and worst elements of colonialism and apartheid.

It includes repressive dispossession, displacement and state terrorism. It separates Palestinians from their land, heritage and culture.

It denies them fundamental human and civil rights. It treats them like subhumans. It wants their resistance crushed. Ideally it wants them eliminated altogether.

It does so through violence, intimidation, land theft, home demolitions, targeted assassinations, murder, mass arrests, torture, destruction of agricultural land and isolation.

Israel's ID/permit system mirrors South African pass books. It requires all permanent residents and citizens over 16 to have color-coded ID cards. They're called te'udat zehut.

They're for West Bank and Gazan Palestinians, East Jerusalem ones, Israeli Arab citizens, and Jews solely to distinguish them from persecuted Arabs.

Palestinians are denied fundamental rights. They're constricted on where they may live, work, move, or be allowed through West Bank checkpoints. Less restrictive permits are extremely hard to get. 

Jews may come and go freely. Palestinians are treated worse than undesirable aliens.

ID cards and permits are part of Israel's Kafkaesque matrix of control. Jews only communities, commercial and other areas exclude Arabs. Bypass roads are for them alone. Checkpoints, roadblocks, barriers, and other impediments control movements. 

So do border crossings. Curfews are regularly imposed. Israel's Separation Wall is stealing 12% of post-1967 Palestine.

It has nothing to do with security. It further ghettoizes Palestinian communities. It isolates them. 

Gazans are besieged. Travel to and from the West Bank is nearly impossible. Rarely granted special permission is required to do so.

For most Palestinians, leaving or entering Israel freely is virtually impossible. So are ordinary activities most people take for granted.

About 2,500 military laws govern things. They cover virtually every aspect of daily life.

Permits are required to build, make home renovations, grow crops, open a factory or business, import equipment, export merchandise or crops, or conduct many other day-to-day activities. Freedom is a four-letter word. It's nonexistent.

Bureaucratic harshness imposes enormous burdens. Palestinians are virtual prisoners on their own land. Comparing Israeli apartheid to South Africa's is simple. 

It's far worse than what Blacks endured. It's over 46 years old and counting. It shows no signs of ending. 

Its worse than ever now. Institutionalized racism defines it. So does state terror ruthlessness.

Life under South African apartheid reflected cruel and unusual punishment. Israel upped the stakes to an unprecedented level. 

It's unrelenting. It's unforgiving. It reflects longstanding ruthlessness writ large. Police states operate that way. Israel is one of the world's worst. 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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As Foreign Aid Flows Amid Shutdown, Obama USDA to Stop Food Stamps

Despite the wildly over-hyped partial “shutdown” of the federal government, U.S. taxpayer dollars continue flowing to foreign lands and innumerable other unconstitutional schemes that are arbitrarily deemed “essential.” The Obama administration’s Department of Agriculture (USDA), however, sent a letter to states apparently ordering them to cut off food stamps for Americans by November 1, pending further notice. A welfare program for women, children, and infants known as WIC is also on the chopping block, and some analysts are forecasting potential disaster.

As part of the effort to extort funds for ObamaCare from the people’s representatives in Congress, the administration has already been caught deliberately trying to make the “shutdown” feel as "painful" as possibleclosing parks, evicting homeowners, shuttering businesses, harassing veterans, trying to shut down parts of the ocean, and more, often at additional expense to taxpayers. Suddenly cutting off funds to the food stamp “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” (SNAP) that some 50 million people have come to depend on, though, would take the obscene antics to a new level — especially doing it with no warning.

According to media reports appearing around the country, a letter from USDA “Food and Nutrition Service” (FNS) boss Audrey Rowe to SNAP state agency directors suggests food stamps will be cut off by next month unless Congress agrees to a funding bill that meets all of Obama’s demands. The USDA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The New American. (Update: a spokesman said he would send a comment by morning at the latest, as requested. TNA will update the article once the statement is received.) However, state officials confirmed the developments, and the USDA letter to states is now widely available online. 

“FNS understands that States are concerned about future operations stemming from the continuing lapse in Federal funding,” explained the document. “According to the information we have received, several States provide next month's issuance files as early as the 15th of the month. With that in mind, understanding the operational issues and constraints that States face, and in the interest of preserving maximum flexibility, we are directing States to hold their November issuance files and delay transmission to State electronic benefit transfer (EBT) vendors until further notice.”

On the USDA website, which has not been updated in two weeks due to the “shutdown,” an FNS document also explains some of the agency’s plans for dealing with the partial shutdown. “States may make the decision to continue operations (of FNCS) for some period, but they will be doing so at their own risk with the understanding that Federal funds may not be forthcoming,” the document explained.

For food stamps, though, the money runs out in about two weeks unless the “deal” to cave in to Obama’s demands goes through. “The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will continue operations and eligible households will still receive monthly benefits for October,” noted the document, dated October 1. After that, what happens was not explained, but analysts say the letter might offer the answer.

Separately, the WIC, which provides assistance to poor women and children, is also among the programs apparently set be cut off unless House Republicans agree to all of Obama’s demands. “Should a lapse extend through late October, federal WIC funding may not be sufficient to cover benefits,” explains the USDA’s “shutdown” plan. According to news reports citing officials, the program is expected to be one of the first to fold unless and until the full federal government — rather than the supposedly “essential” 83 percent currently in operation — is back up and running.      

State officials quoted in media accounts confirmed that the two unconstitutional federal welfare schemes providing food to the poor were in trouble. “The biggest programs affected by the shutdown will be food stamps, the Women, Infants and Children feeding program (WIC), the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance program and the school lunch program,” said State Budget Director John Nixon in Michigan, where some 200,000 women and children obtain WIC benefits.

In Utah, Juliette Tennert, chief economist for the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, also confirmed that the food stamp program “is scheduled to run out at the end of the month” if the shutdown continues. Officials in other states have come to similar conclusions, though it does not appear that food stamp recipients have been notified yet.  

In many areas, private charities and citizens are getting ready to step up to the plate, vowing to do what they can to help needy families if and when their food stamps run out. “It is important that Michiganders understand that the Food Banks will stretch their dollars and do whatever is needed to meet the demand that may arise from any loss of our public partners,” explained Kareemah El-Amin, executive director of The Food Bank Council of Michigan.

In other states, though, local food bank operators are warning that they may not be able to deal with the sudden explosion of demand. Idaho Foodbank President Karen Vauk, for example, said her network “cannot” replace the food stamp program. In Utah, Associate Director Bill Tibbits with the Crossroads Urban Center said: “We can’t, there’s no way we could deal with it.”

Of course, with just two weeks’ notice, it will certainly be hard to make up for the shortfall. That has more than a few analysts and commentators concerned about what could happen. A regular contributor to the financial analysis site ZeroHedge who goes by the name Tyler Durden noted that with “a massive portion” of the American people “now fully reliant on the welfare state for virtually every daily need, it is easy to see cutting off daily bread to tens of millions has a less than happy ending.” Citing recent, small-scale food stamp glitches that resulted in instant chaos, he said it “may be the most catalytic event in the history of the U.S. welfare state.”

Liberty-minded political activist Kristan Harris, writing for South Milwaukee Now, echoed increasingly widespread concerns about the potential for turmoil. “Could the SNAP EBT (Food Stamp) disaster that occurred across 17 states last weekend have been a planned drill rather than system failure?” he asked, referring to recent outages that led to some looting and disorder. The piece also criticized the fact that people have not been informed. 

“Let’s not forget other sensible cuts that could happen for example programs like the Department of  Homeland Security, The NSA, The TSA, fusion centers, unconstitutional spying programs, cameras on the street corners and armored vehicles for our local colleges are not happening,” Harris added. “I bet all those bills are still being paid. Why can’t we cut there?”

Indeed, under the almost ludicrous justification that showering taxpayer funds on foreign governments is a “national security” issue, the Obama administration’s foreign aid schemes are still going at full speed. Shortly before the shutdown began, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters that “the vast majority of normal functions and operations will continue.”

In addition to “foreign aid,” the food stamp program is just one of an ever-growing number of unconstitutional federal schemes that should eventually be phased out. The U.S. Constitution provides no authority whatsoever for the federal government to operate wealth-redistribution or welfare schemes — no matter how well-intentioned they may sound. Of course, if state governments wish to operate such programs, there is nothing to prevent them from doing so, constitutionally speaking at least.

However, studies and history consistently show the devastating consequences of creating dependence on government. Private charities are generally far more efficient, compassionate, and frugal in supporting those in need anyway. Americans can and will help their neighbors — especially if food stamps are cut off next month — regardless of what Big Government proponents claim.  

Still, threatening to cut off food stamps after deliberately creating a massive class of dependent citizens and attacking the economy from all angles — even as most of the out-of-control federal government continues squandering money on everything from foreign aid to harassing taxpayers — should be recognized for what it is: A cheap ploy to terrorize Americans into submission.

Such programs should eventually be phased out and replaced with private charity, preferably, or state-level initiatives if citizens in those believe government intervention must continue. However, to cut them off completely and without warning in an apparent bid to extort money for ObamaCare merits congressional investigations at the very least. Americans, meanwhile, should prepare themselves to feed and protect their families and fellow citizens in case the need arises suddenly.

Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, politics, and more. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Mac Slavo
October 12th, 2013
SHTFplan.com

Read by 25,843 people

ebt-outoforder

(Pictured: Grocery stores and retailers are posting signs for shoppers about the Electronic Benefits Outage)

The Electronic Benefits Transfer system responsible for providing 50,000,000 Americans the means to put food on the table has crashed.

The outage is reportedly affecting at least sixteen states.

Via The Organic Prepper:

Abandoned carts full of food were a frequent sight in grocery stores Saturday morning, as the EBT food assistance debit system stopped working without warning.

According to a Xerox spokesperson, a routine system check by the vendor resulted in system failure, leaving assistance recipients across the country with no way to buy food.

Xerox spokeswoman Karen Arena confirmed via email Saturday afternoon that some Electronic Benefits Transfer systems are experiencing temporary connectivity issues. She said technical staff is addressing the issue and expects the system to be restored soon. U.S. Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Courtney Rowe underscored that the outage is not related to the government shutdown. Xerox runs EBT card systems for 17 states and all were affected by the outage. (source)

Users of EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards in California, Ohio, Michigan and several other states are unable to make purchases due to connectivity issues.

But it gets worse…

Xerox is notifying retailers to revert to the manual system, meaning SNAP customers can spend up to $50 until the system is back online. SNAP recipients should call the 800 number on the back of their card, and Xerox will guide them through the purchase process. (source)

However, that system is not working either – it’s “closed for maintenance.”

Shoppers left carts of groceries behind at a packed Market Basket grocery store in Biddeford, Maine, because they couldn’t get their benefits, said fellow shopper Barbara Colman, of Saco, Maine. The manager put up a sign saying the EBT system was not in use. Colman, who receives the benefits, called an 800 telephone line for the program and it said the system was down due to maintenance, she said.

“That’s a problem. There’s a lot of families who are not going to be able to feed children because the system is being maintenanced,” Colman said. “No one should put maintenance in during the daytime.” (source)

Despite the fact that government workers report orders from the Obama administration to “make life as difficult for people as we can”, the nation is assured that the EBT failure is in fact due to server issues and NOT due to the government shutdown.

Hattip NinaO

If you ever wanted to know what the United States might look like and how people will react should the EBT system fail, then pay close attention

I go to the register and they ask me “how you going to pay.”

I said with food stamps.

“Oh, we’re shut down, you can’t pay with food stamps.”

I got kids to feed. You know?

And because the government’s down I can’t feed my family?

What’s going on with America? Now they trying to starve us to death?

…This is crazy

…I got six kids I have to feed.

I’m just trying to figure out how to get something to eat.

More from Zero Hedge via The Daily Sheeple:

This is six hours after the EBT system crashed.

It is reportedly a glitch that should be resolved soon, but what would happen if it doesn’t get resolved?

What if the system is down for 72 hours? How about 72 days?

Via Daisy Luther:

This is your 72 hour warning. If you don’t already have a two week supply of food and water, now might be a good day to go stock up, just in case this is the beginning of a bigger crisis. The first three days after a major event are your window of opportunity to get prepared, based on the just-in-time food supply in grocery stores and the amount of food most people store in their homes.

If the EBT failure continues, look for the situation to get progressively worse.

We’ve warned about this being a real possibility because the EBT system is directly connected to the internet and any number of events could cause the system to completely crash including a cyber attack, a natural disaster or the national power grids going out of service.

Look how people are reacting on the day of. They are wholly unprepared for such an event.

If it were to go on for three days or more, we could have pandemonium in the streets as hungry, angry and panicked individuals rush grocery stores for resources… And once those are cleaned out, they’ll come for your home food storage.

Please Spread The Word And Share This Post

Author: Mac Slavo
Views: Read by 25,843 people
Date: October 12th, 2013
Website: www.SHTFplan.com

Copyright Information: Copyright SHTFplan and Mac Slavo. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.shtfplan.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

Video: EBT System Crash: 16 States Out of Service: “How Am I Going to...

Mac Slavo
October 12th, 2013
SHTFplan.com

Read by 25,843 people

ebt-outoforder

(Pictured: Grocery stores and retailers are posting signs for shoppers about the Electronic Benefits Outage)

The Electronic Benefits Transfer system responsible for providing 50,000,000 Americans the means to put food on the table has crashed.

The outage is reportedly affecting at least sixteen states.

Via The Organic Prepper:

Abandoned carts full of food were a frequent sight in grocery stores Saturday morning, as the EBT food assistance debit system stopped working without warning.

According to a Xerox spokesperson, a routine system check by the vendor resulted in system failure, leaving assistance recipients across the country with no way to buy food.

Xerox spokeswoman Karen Arena confirmed via email Saturday afternoon that some Electronic Benefits Transfer systems are experiencing temporary connectivity issues. She said technical staff is addressing the issue and expects the system to be restored soon. U.S. Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Courtney Rowe underscored that the outage is not related to the government shutdown. Xerox runs EBT card systems for 17 states and all were affected by the outage. (source)

Users of EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards in California, Ohio, Michigan and several other states are unable to make purchases due to connectivity issues.

But it gets worse…

Xerox is notifying retailers to revert to the manual system, meaning SNAP customers can spend up to $50 until the system is back online. SNAP recipients should call the 800 number on the back of their card, and Xerox will guide them through the purchase process. (source)

However, that system is not working either – it’s “closed for maintenance.”

Shoppers left carts of groceries behind at a packed Market Basket grocery store in Biddeford, Maine, because they couldn’t get their benefits, said fellow shopper Barbara Colman, of Saco, Maine. The manager put up a sign saying the EBT system was not in use. Colman, who receives the benefits, called an 800 telephone line for the program and it said the system was down due to maintenance, she said.

“That’s a problem. There’s a lot of families who are not going to be able to feed children because the system is being maintenanced,” Colman said. “No one should put maintenance in during the daytime.” (source)

Despite the fact that government workers report orders from the Obama administration to “make life as difficult for people as we can”, the nation is assured that the EBT failure is in fact due to server issues and NOT due to the government shutdown.

Hattip NinaO

If you ever wanted to know what the United States might look like and how people will react should the EBT system fail, then pay close attention

I go to the register and they ask me “how you going to pay.”

I said with food stamps.

“Oh, we’re shut down, you can’t pay with food stamps.”

I got kids to feed. You know?

And because the government’s down I can’t feed my family?

What’s going on with America? Now they trying to starve us to death?

…This is crazy

…I got six kids I have to feed.

I’m just trying to figure out how to get something to eat.

More from Zero Hedge via The Daily Sheeple:

This is six hours after the EBT system crashed.

It is reportedly a glitch that should be resolved soon, but what would happen if it doesn’t get resolved?

What if the system is down for 72 hours? How about 72 days?

Via Daisy Luther:

This is your 72 hour warning. If you don’t already have a two week supply of food and water, now might be a good day to go stock up, just in case this is the beginning of a bigger crisis. The first three days after a major event are your window of opportunity to get prepared, based on the just-in-time food supply in grocery stores and the amount of food most people store in their homes.

If the EBT failure continues, look for the situation to get progressively worse.

We’ve warned about this being a real possibility because the EBT system is directly connected to the internet and any number of events could cause the system to completely crash including a cyber attack, a natural disaster or the national power grids going out of service.

Look how people are reacting on the day of. They are wholly unprepared for such an event.

If it were to go on for three days or more, we could have pandemonium in the streets as hungry, angry and panicked individuals rush grocery stores for resources… And once those are cleaned out, they’ll come for your home food storage.

Please Spread The Word And Share This Post

Author: Mac Slavo
Views: Read by 25,843 people
Date: October 12th, 2013
Website: www.SHTFplan.com

Copyright Information: Copyright SHTFplan and Mac Slavo. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.shtfplan.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

Video: EBT System Crash: 16 States Out of Service: “How Am I Going to...

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The tiny island nation has seen near-daily protests and skirmishes between demonstrators and security forces since the regional Arab Spring protests in 2011, and the US-allied monarchy has responded with draconian measures that ban public demonstrations in the capital, Manama. The ongoing protest movement, which has been secular and largely peaceful, brought more than half the country’s 535,000 citizens onto the streets at its peak, but attracted minimal levels of attention from international media outlets. The scant coverage of the subsequent crackdown by Bahraini authorities, which included the military occupation of a public hospital and the arrest of doctors who treated injured protesters, has led many to suggest that Western and Gulf media outlets have been complicit in the monarchy’s efforts to suppress news of protests coming out of the country.

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