Marek Edelman

Marek Edelman: Jewish hero, anti-Zionist

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


Belarus: dissident rock band gets correctional labor

A district court in Minsk sentenced a dissident Belarusian rock band to two and a half years of correctional labor after members were convicted of participation in group actions that violated “public order.” The three members of the band, Nizkiz, have been behind bars since their arrest in January for their participation in anti-government protests in 2020. On top of their sentence of correctional labor, the three were also added to the Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs’ list of extremists. The 2020 protests erupted after President Alexander Lukashenko secured his sixth term in office through evident fraud. Nizkiz released a song entitled “Rules,” which became an anthem of the protest movement. The band also filmed a music video at one of the demonstrations. Belarusian rights organizations have declared the band members political prisoners. (Image via Bandcamp)

Extinction Rebellion

Climate protesters shut down The Hague

Climate protestors who attempted to create a road blockade at The Hague were detained by Dutch police. Among those detained was prominent climate activist Greta Thunberg. Protestors took to the streets to oppose fossil fuel subsidies, and especially the Dutch government’s tax concessions for companies such as Royal Dutch Shell. Hundreds of demonstrators marched from The Hague city center to a field next to the A12 highway, a main artery through the Netherlands, which some then tried to block with their bodies. The protest, organized by Extinction Rebellion, was part of an international campaign against fossil fuel subsidies in Europe. Simultaneous demonstrations also took place as part of the campaign in Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Poland, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the UK. (Photo: Extinction Rebellion)


Mysterious drone strikes on Transnistria

The Russian Foreign Ministry has called for an investigation into a new drone strike on Moldova’s breakaway Transnistria region, condemning the attack as “yet another provocation” in the enclave. The “kamikaze” strike targeted a Transnistrian defense ministry unit, resulting in damage to a radar station. The targeted facility is six kilometers from the border of Ukraine. This attack was the second to occur in Transnistria in less than a month. The region was similarly hit with a drone strike in March, causing a fire and resulting in damage to military property. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Pridnestrovian Moldovian Republic, as the breakaway government is called, condemned the strikes as “terrorist” attacks. Moldova’s Bureau of Reintegration Policy denies that Ukraine was involved in the incidents. The largely Russian-speaking breakaway region has been supported by Russia since the 1990s. The enclave hosts approximately 1,500 Russian troops. (Image: Wikipedia)

Central Asia

Tajikistan denies Moscow claim of mercenary recruitment

Tajikistan’s Foreign Ministry denied claims by Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev that Ukraine has been recruiting mercenaries for its military in the country’s territory. Patrushev charged that Kyiv’s embassy in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital, has been recruiting Tajikistan nationals to join the International Legion of the Ukrainian army, in return for a pathway to Ukrainian citizenship. The allegations come as relations between Tajikistan and Russia are under strain following the deadly attack on the Crocus Music Hall outside Moscow, which was claimed by ISIS. The four suspected gunmen arrested in Russia are said to be Tajikistan nationals, and nine others were detained in connection with the attack in Tajikistan. Some Russian officials have alleged that several of those involved in the attack were recruited through the Ukrainian embassy in Dushanbe. Ukraine has denied any involvement in the attack. (Map: CIA via PCL Map Collection)


Slovakia: protests over government’s authoritarian tilt

Slovakia has seen mass protests in recent weeks over new authoritarian measures by the ruling populist government of Prime Minister Robert Fico. The government has dissolved the Special Prosecutor’s Office, which had indicted Fico’s chief of staff and imprisoned his former prosecutor general for corruption. The government is also proposing to dissolve the state broadcaster Slovak Television & Radio, and replace it with a new official media body that would be under closer government control. Critics see the move as facilitating propaganda for the ruling coalition, as well as disinformation and Russian influence. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)


Crimea: 10 years of illegal occupation

Amnesty International states in a new report that during 10 years of illegal occupation, Russia has attempted to reshape the demography of the Crimean Peninsula. It has also suppressed Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar identities through “restrictions on education, religion, media, representative institutions, the judicial system, and cultural celebrations.” Amnesty called for Russia to cease its violations of international humanitarian law in all of Crimea. In Moscow, meanwhile, celebrations were held commemorating the 10 years of Crimea’s annexation. (Map via Wikimedia Commons)

Watching the Shadows

Podcast: conspiracy theory and the Moscow terror

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

Watching the Shadows

Moscow terror: ISIS, Ukraine or ‘false flag’?

A group of armed men opened fire at a concert hall in a Moscow suburb, killing at least 133 people and injuring scores more. ISIS-K, the Islamic State network’s Afghanistan franchise, quickly took credit for the attack. But just as quickly, the Russian and Ukrainian intelligence services accused each other of being behind it—the latter saying it was organized as a “provocation” to expand Moscow’s war in Ukraine. Putin’s rise to power, including his recent rise to outright autocratic power, as well as his various military adventures, have indeed been lubricated every step of the way by terror attacks. But who was actually behind the Crocus City Center attack does not really matter overmuch. Just as 9-11—whoever was behind it—served the hyper-interventionist aims of Dubya Bush and his administration, we may be reasonably certain that the concert hall carnage will serve the war aims and totalitarian domestic agenda of Vladimir Putin. (Image: Wikipedia)


UN report sees ‘crimes against humanity’ in Belarus

The UN Human Rights Council released a report on the situation in Belarus during and since the country’s presidential election in 2020. It concludes that the crime against humanity of “persecution” may have been committed in the country. The report presents evidence on a wide range of issues, including arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearance, torture, and discrimination on grounds of political opinion. In particular, the report highlights the wave of arrests in the period from Aug. 9-14, 2020, when contested presidential election results sparked mass protests. The report says that at least 550 civil society organizations have been forced to close for fear of persecution or violence. (Photo

Noon Against Putin

Russia: protesters detained amid ‘farce’ election

Russian human rights monitor OVD-Info reported that at least 65 people in 16 cities were detained in connection with the “Noon Against Putin” protest, an initiative organized by the opposition, calling for voters to cast their ballots against incumbent President Vladimir Putin at noon. Russians gathered at the appointed time on election day outside several polling stations. Independent news outlet Mediazona also reported attacks on polling stations, with protesters setting fire to ballot boxes or spilling paint over them. Two women were jailed in connection with these acts. Additionally, a protestor was arrested for allegedly writing the slogan “NO TO WAR” on her ballot, while an election monitor was detained for wearing a t-shirt with the image of late opposition leader Alexei Navalny. (Image via Twitter)


Germany: RAF fugitive remanded in custody

A former member of the Red Army Faction (RAF) arrested in Berlin after 30 years on the run has been remanded in custody. Daniela Klette was apprehended following an informant’s tip, prosecutors announced. A second suspect was also detained in the operation, although authorities later determined that he is not tied to the group. Popularly known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang, the RAF has carried out a series of bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, robberies and shoot-outs with the police since the 1970s. Fugitive members of the group are on the EU’s most wanted list. (Image via Janus)