The Main Cause of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Indian Point Energy Center

Nuclear power plant in Buchanan, New York

Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC) is a three-unit nuclear power plant station located in Buchanan, New York, just south of Peekskill. It sits on the east bank of the Hudson River, about 36 miles (58 km) north of Midtown Manhattan. The plant generates over 2,000 megawatts (MWe) of electrical power. For reference, the record peak energy consumption of New York City and Westchester County (the ConEdison Service Territory) was set during a seven-day heat wave on July 19, 2013, at 13,322 megawatts.[3] Electrical energy consumption varies greatly with time of day and season.[4]

Quick Facts: Country, Location …

The plant is owned and operated by Entergy Nuclear Northeast, a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, and includes two operating Westinghouse pressurized water reactors—designated “Indian Point 2” and “Indian Point 3″—which Entergy bought from Consolidated Edison and the New York Power Authority respectively. The facility also contains the permanently shut-down Indian Point Unit 1 reactor. As of 2015, the number of permanent jobs at the Buchanan plant is approximately 1,000.

The original 40-year operating licenses for units 2 and 3 expired in September 2013 and December 2015, respectively. Entergy had applied for license extensions and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) was moving toward granting a twenty-year extension for each reactor. However, after pressure from local environmental groups and New York governor Andrew Cuomo, it was announced that the plant is scheduled to be shut down by 2021.[5] Local groups had cited increasingly frequent issues with the aging units, ongoing environmental releases, and the proximity of the plant to New York City.[6]


History and design

The reactors are built on land that originally housed the Indian Point Amusement Park, but was acquired by Consolidated Edison (ConEdison) on October 14, 1954.[7] Indian Point 1, built by ConEdison, was a 275-megawatt Babcock & Wilcox supplied [8] pressurized water reactor that was issued an operating license on March 26, 1962 and began operations on September 16, 1962.[9] The first core used a thorium-based fuel with stainless steel cladding, but this fuel did not live up to expectations for core life.[10] The plant was operated with uranium dioxide fuel for the remainder of its life. The reactor was shut down on October 31, 1974, because the emergency core cooling system did not meet regulatory requirements. All spent fuel was removed from the reactor vessel by January 1976, but the reactor still stands.[11] The licensee, Entergy, plans to decommission Unit 1 when Unit 2 is decommissioned.[12]

The two additional reactors, Indian Point 2 and 3, are four-loop Westinghouse pressurized water reactors both of similar design. Units 2 and 3 were completed in 1974 and 1976, respectively. Unit 2 has a generating capacity of 1,032 MW, and Unit 3 has a generating capacity of 1,051 MW. Both reactors use uranium dioxide fuel of no more than 4.8% U-235 enrichment. The reactors at Indian Point are protected by containment domes made of steel-reinforced concrete that is 40 inches thick, with a carbon steel liner.[13]

Nuclear capacity in New York state

Units 2 and 3 are two of six operating nuclear energy sources in New York State. New York is one of the five largest states in terms of nuclear capacity and generation, accounting for approximately 5% of the national totals. Indian Point provides 39% of the state’s nuclear capacity. Nuclear power produces 34.2% of the state’s electricity, higher than the U.S. average of 20.6%. In 2017, Indian Point generated approximately 10% of the state’s electricity needs, and 25% of the electricity used in New York City and Westchester County.[14] Its contract with Consolidated Edison is for just 560 megawatts. The New York Power Authority, which built Unit 3, stopped buying electricity from Indian Point in 2012. NYPA supplies the subways, airports, and public schools and housing in NYC and Westchester County. Entergy sells the rest of Indian Point’s output into the NYISO administered electric wholesale markets and elsewhere in New England.[15][16][17][18] In 2013, New York had the fourth highest average electricity prices in the United States. Half of New York’s power demand is in the New York City region; about two-fifths of generation originates there.[19][20]


The currently operating Units 2 and 3 are each refueled on a two-year cycle. At the end of each fuel cycle, one unit is brought offline for refueling and maintenance activities. On March 2, 2015, Indian Point 3 was taken offline for 23 days to perform its refueling operations. Entergy invested $50 million in the refueling and other related projects for Unit 3, of which $30 million went to employee salaries. The unit was brought back online on March 25, 2015.[21]


Economic impact

A June 2015 report by a lobby group called Nuclear Energy Institute found that the operation of Indian Point generates $1.3 billion of annual economic output in local counties, $1.6 billion statewide, and $2.5 billion across the United States. In 2014, Entergy paid $30 million in state and local property taxes. The total tax revenue (direct and secondary) was nearly $340 million to local, state, and federal governments.[15] According to the Village of Buchanan budget for 2016–2017, a payment in lieu of taxes in the amount of $2.62 million was received in 2015-2016, and was projected to be $2.62 million in 2016–2017 – the majority of which can be assumed to come from the Indian Point Energy Center.[22]

Over the last decade, the station has maintained a capacity factor of greater than 93 percent. This is consistently higher than the nuclear industry average and than other forms of generation. The reliability helps offset the severe price volatility of other energy sources (e.g., natural gas) and the indeterminacy of renewable electricity sources (e.g., solar, wind).[15]

Indian Point directly employs about 1,000 full-time workers. This employment creates another 2,800 jobs in the five-county region, and 1,600 in other industries in New York, for a total of 5,400 in-state jobs. Additionally, another 5,300 indirect jobs are created out of state, creating a sum total of 10,700 jobs throughout the United States.[15]

Environmental concerns

Environmentalists have expressed concern about increased carbon emissions with the impending shutdown of Indian Point (generating electricity with nuclear energy creates no carbon emissions). A study undertaken by Environmental Progress found that closure of the plant would cause power emissions to jump 29% in New York, equivalent to the emissions from 1.4 million additional cars on New York roads.[23]

Some environmental groups have expressed concerns about the operation of Indian Point, including radiation pollution and endangerment of wildlife, but whether Indian Point has ever posed a significant danger to wildlife or the public remains controversial. Though anti-nuclear group Riverkeeper notes “Radioactive leakage from the plant containing several radioactive isotopes, such as strontium-90, cesium-137, cobalt-60, nickel-63 and tritium, a rarely-occurring isotope of hydrogen, has flowed into groundwater that eventually enters the Hudson River in the past[24], there is no evidence radiation from the plant has ever posed a significant hazard to local residents or wildlife. In the last year[when?], nine tritium leaks have occurred, however, even at their highest levels the leaks have never exceeded one-tenth of one percent of US Nuclear Regulatory Commission limits.

In February 2016, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo called for a full investigation by state environment[25] and health officials and is partnering with organizations like Sierra Club, Riverkeepers, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition, Scenic Hudson and Physicians for Social Responsibility in seeking the permanent closure of the plant.[citation needed] However, Cuomo’s motivation for closing the plant was called into question after it was revealed two top former aides, under federal prosecution for influence-peddling, had lobbied on behalf of natural gas company Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) to kill Indian Point. In his indictment, US attorney Preet Bharara wrote “the importance of the plant [CPV’s proposed Valley Energy Center, a plant powered by natural gas] to the State depended at least in part, on whether [Indian Point] was going to be shut down.”[26]

In April 2016 climate scientist James Hansen took issue with calls to shut the plant down, including those from presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. “The last few weeks have seen an orchestrated campaign to mislead the people of New York about the essential safety and importance of Indian Point nuclear plant to address climate change,” wrote Hansen, adding “Sanders has offered no evidence that NRC [U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission] has failed to do its job, and he has no expertise in over-riding NRC’s judgement. For the sake of future generations who could be harmed by irreversible climate change, I urge New Yorkers to reject this fear mongering and uphold science against ideology.”[27]

Indian Point removes water from the nearby Hudson River. Despite the use of fish screens, the cooling system kills over a billion fish eggs and larvae annually.[28] According to one NRC report from 2010, as few as 38% of alewives survive the screens.[29] On September 14, 2015, a state hearing began in regards to the deaths of fish in the river, and possibly implementing a shutdown period from May to August. An Indian Point spokesman stated that such a period would be unnecessary, as Indian Point “is fully protective of life in the Hudson River and $75 million has been spent over the last 30 years on scientific studies demonstrating that the plant has no harmful impact to adult fish.” The hearings lasted three weeks.[30] Concerns were also raised over the planned building of new cooling towers, which would cut down forest land that is suspected to be used as breeding ground by muskrat and mink. At the time of the report, no minks or muskrats were spotted there.[29]


Indian Point Energy Center has been given an incredible amount of scrutiny from the media and politicians and is regulated more heavily than various other power plants in the state of New York (i.e., by the NRC in addition to FERC, the NYSPSC, the NYISO, the NYSDEC, and the EPA). On a forced outage basis – incidents related to electrical equipment failure that force a plant stoppage – it provides a much more reliable operating history than most other power plants in New York.[31][32] Beginning at the end of 2015, Governor Cuomo began to ramp up political action against the Indian Point facility, opening an investigation with the state public utility commission, the department of health, and the department of environmental conservation.[33][34][35][30][36][37] To put the public service commission investigation in perspective: most electric outage investigations conducted by the commission are in response to outages with a known number of affected retail electric customers.[38] By November 17, 2017, the NYISO accepted Indian Point’s retirement notice.[39]

In 1997, Indian Point Unit 3 was removed from the NRC’s list of plants that receive increased attention from the regulator. An engineer for the NRC noted that the plant had been experiencing increasingly fewer problems during inspections.[40] On March 10, 2009 the Indian Point Power Plant was awarded the fifth consecutive top safety rating for annual operations by the Federal regulators. According to the Hudson Valley Journal News, the plant had shown substantial improvement in its safety culture in the previous two years.[41] A 2003 report commissioned by then-Governor George Pataki concluded that the “current radiological response system and capabilities are not adequate to…protect the people from an unacceptable dose of radiation in the event of a release from Indian Point”.[42] More recently, in December 2012 Entergy commissioned a 400-page report on the estimates of evacuation times. This report, performed by emergency planning company KLD Engineering, concluded that the existing traffic management plans provided by Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester Counties are adequate and require no changes.[43] According to one list that ranks U.S. nuclear power plants by their likelihood of having a major natural disaster related incident, Indian Point is the most likely to be hit by a natural disaster, mainly an earthquake.[44][45][46][47] Despite this, the owners of the plant still say that safety is a selling point for the nuclear power plant.[48]Incidents

▪ In 1973, five months after Indian Point 2 opened, the plant was shut down when engineers discovered buckling in the steel liner of the concrete dome in which the nuclear reactor is housed.[49]

▪ On October 17, 1980,[50] 100,000 gallons of Hudson River water leaked into the Indian Point 2 containment building from the fan cooling unit, undetected by a safety device designed to detect hot water. The flooding, covering the first nine feet of the reactor vessel, was discovered when technicians entered the building. Two pumps that should have removed the water were found to be inoperative. NRC proposed a $2,100,000 fine for the incident.

▪ In February 2000, Unit 2 experienced a Steam Generator Tube Rupture (SGTR), which allowed primary water to leak into the secondary system through one of the steam generators.[51] All four steam generators were subsequently replaced.[citation needed]

▪ In 2005, Entergy workers while digging discovered a small leak in a spent fuel pool. Water containing tritium and strontium-90 was leaking through a crack in the pool building and then finding its way into the nearby Hudson River. Workers were able to keep the spent fuel rods safely covered despite the leak.[52] On March 22, 2006 The New York Times also reported finding radioactive nickel-63 and strontium in groundwater on site.[53]

▪ In 2007, a transformer at Unit 3 caught fire, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission raised its level of inspections, because the plant had experienced many unplanned shutdowns. According to The New York Times, Indian Point “has a history of transformer problems”.[54]

▪ On April 23, 2007, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission fined the owner of the Indian Point nuclear plant $130,000 for failing to meet a deadline for a new emergency siren plan. The 150 sirens at the plant are meant to alert residents within 10 miles to a plant emergency.[55]

▪ On January 7, 2010, NRC inspectors reported that an estimated 600,000 gallons of mildly radioactive steam was intentionally vented to the atmosphere after an automatic shutdown of Unit 2. After the vent, one of the vent valves unintentionally remained slightly open for two days. The levels of tritium in the steam were within the allowable safety limits defined in NRC standards.[56]

▪ On November 7, 2010, an explosion occurred in a main transformer for Indian Point 2, spilling oil into the Hudson River.[57] Entergy later agreed to pay a $1.2 million penalty for the transformer explosion.[54]

▪ July 2013, a former supervisor, who worked at the Indian Point nuclear power plant for twenty-nine years, was arrested for falsifying the amount of particulate in the diesel fuel for the plant’s backup generators.[58]

▪ On May 9, 2015, a transformer failed at Indian Point 3, causing the automated shutdown of reactor 3. A fire that resulted from the failure was extinguished, and the reactor was placed in a safe and stable condition.[59] The failed transformer contained about 24,000 gallons of dielectric fluid, which is used as an insulator and coolant when the transformer is energized. The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that about 3,000 gallons of dielectric fluid entered the river following the failure.[60]

▪ In June 2015, a mylar balloon floated into a switchyard, causing an electrical problem resulting in the shutdown of Reactor 3.[61]

▪ In July 2015, Reactor 3 was shut down after a water pump failure.[citation needed]

▪ On December 5, 2015, Indian Point 2 was shut down after several control rods lost power.[62]

▪ On February 6, 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo informed the public that radioactive tritium-contaminated water leaked into the groundwater at the Indian Point Nuclear facility.[25]

Spent fuel

Indian Point stores used fuel rods in two spent fuel pools at the facility.[52] The spent fuel pools at Indian Point are not stored under a containment dome like the reactor, but rather they are contained within an indoor 40-foot-deep pool and submerged under 27 feet of water. Water is a natural and effective barrier to radiation. The spent fuel pools at Indian Point are set in bedrock and are constructed of concrete walls that are four to six feet wide, with a quarter-inch thick stainless steel inner liner. The pools each have multiple redundant backup cooling systems.[52][63]

Indian Point began dry cask storage of spent fuel rods in 2008, which is a safe and environmentally sound option according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.[64] Some rods have already been moved to casks from the spent fuel pools. The pools will be kept nearly full of spent fuel, leaving enough space to allow emptying the reactor completely.[65] Dry cask storage systems are designed to resist floods, tornadoes, projectiles, temperature extremes, and other unusual scenarios. The NRC requires the spent fuel to be cooled and stored in the spent fuel pool for at least five years before being transferred to dry casks.[66]

Earthquake risk

In 2008, researchers from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory located a previously unknown active seismic zone running from Stamford, Connecticut, to the Hudson Valley town of Peekskill, New York—the intersection of the Stamford-Peekskill line with the well-known Ramapo Fault—which passes less than a mile north of the Indian Point nuclear power plant.[67] The Ramapo Fault is the longest fault in the Northeast, but scientists dispute how active this roughly 200-million-year-old fault really is. Many earthquakes in the state’s surprisingly varied seismic history are believed to have occurred on or near it. Visible at ground level, the fault line likely extends as deep as nine miles below the surface.[68]

In July 2013, Entergy engineers reassessed the risk of seismic damage to Unit 3 and submitted their findings in a report to the NRC. It was found that risk leading to reactor core damage is 1 in 106,000 reactor years using U.S. Geological Survey data; and 1 in 141,000 reactor years using Electric Power Research Institute data. Unit 3’s previous owner, the New York Power Authority, had conducted a more limited analysis in the 1990s than Unit 2’s previous owner, Con Edison, leading to the impression that Unit 3 had fewer seismic protections than Unit 2. Neither submission of data from the previous owners was incorrect.[69]

According to a company spokesman, Indian Point was built to withstand an earthquake of 6.1 on the Richter scale.[70] Entergy executives have also noted “that Indian Point had been designed to withstand an earthquake much stronger than any on record in the region, though not one as powerful as the quake that rocked Japan.”[71]

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at Indian Point was Reactor 2: 1 in 30,303; Reactor 3: 1 in 10,000, according to an NRC study published in August 2010. reported based on the NRC data that “Indian Point nuclear reactor No. 3 has the highest risk of earthquake damage in the country, according to new NRC risk estimates provided to” According to the report, the reason is that plants in known earthquake zones like California were designed to be more quake-resistant than those in less affected areas like New York.[72][73] The NRC did not dispute the numbers but responded in a release that “The NRC results to date should not be interpreted as definitive estimates of seismic risk,” because the NRC does not rank plants by seismic risk.[74]

IPEC Units 2 and 3 both operated at 100% full power before, during, and after the Virginia earthquake on August 23, 2011. A thorough inspection of both units by plant personnel immediately following this event verified no significant damage occurred at either unit.

Emergency planning

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines two emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants: a plume exposure pathway zone with a radius of 10 miles (16 km), concerned primarily with exposure to, and inhalation of, airborne radioactive contamination, and an ingestion pathway zone of about 50 miles (80 km), concerned primarily with ingestion of food and liquid contaminated by radioactivity.[75]

According to an analysis of U.S. Census data for MSNBC, the 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Indian Point was 272,539, an increase of 17.6 percent during the previous ten years. The 2010 U.S. population within 50 miles (80 km) was 17,220,895, an increase of 5.1 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include New York (41 miles to city center); Bridgeport, Conn. (40 miles); Newark, N.J. (39 miles); and Stamford, Conn. (24 miles).[76]

In the wake of the 2011 Fukushima incident in Japan, the State Department recommended that any Americans in Japan stay beyond fifty miles from the area.[citation needed] Columnist Peter Applebome, writing in The New York Times, noted that such an area around Indian Point would include “almost all of New York City except for Staten Island; almost all of Nassau County and much of Suffolk County; all of Bergen County, N.J.; all of Fairfield, Conn.” He quotes Purdue University professor Daniel Aldrich as saying “Many scholars have already argued that any evacuation plans shouldn’t be called plans, but rather “fantasy documents””.[42]

The current 10-mile plume-exposure pathway Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) is one of two EPZs intended to facilitate a strategy for protective action during an emergency and comply with NRC regulations. “The exact size and shape of each EPZ is a result of detailed planning which includes consideration of the specific conditions at each site, unique geographical features of the area, and demographic information. This preplanned strategy for an EPZ provides a substantial basis to support activity beyond the planning zone in the extremely unlikely event it would be needed.”[77]

In an interview, Entergy executives said they doubt that the evacuation zone would be expanded to reach as far as New York City.[71]

Indian Point is protected by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, including a National Guard base within a mile of the facility, as well as by private off-site security forces.[78]

During the September 11 attacks, American Airlines Flight 11 flew near the Indian Point Energy Center en route to the World Trade Center. Mohamed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers/plotters, had considered nuclear facilities for targeting in a terrorist attack.[79] Entergy says it is prepared for a terrorist attack, and asserts that a large airliner crash into the containment building would not cause reactor damage.[80] Following 9/11 the NRC required operators of nuclear facilities in the U.S. to examine the effects of terrorist events and provide planned responses.[81] In September 2006, the Indian Point Security Department successfully completed mock assault exercises required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.[citation needed] However, according to environmental group Riverkeeper, these NRC exercises are inadequate because they do not envision a sufficiently large group of attackers.[citation needed]

According to The New York Times, fuel stored in dry casks is less vulnerable to terrorist attack than fuel in the storage pools.[65]


Units 2 and 3 were both originally licensed by the NRC for 40 years of operation. The NRC limits commercial power reactor licenses to an initial 40 years, but also permits such licenses to be renewed. This original 40-year term for reactor licenses was based on economic and antitrust considerations, not on limitations of nuclear technology. Due to this selected period, however, some structures and components may have been engineered on the basis of an expected 40-year service life.[82] The original federal license for Unit Two expired on September 28, 2013,[83][84] and the license for Unit Three was due to expire in December 2015.[85] On April 30, 2007, Entergy submitted an application for a 20-year renewal of the licenses for both units. On May 2, 2007, the NRC announced that this application is available for public review.[86] Because the owner submitted license renewal applications at least five years prior to the original expiration date, the units are allowed to continue operation past this date while the NRC considers the renewal application.

On September 23, 2007, the antinuclear group Friends United for Sustainable Energy (FUSE) filed legal papers with the NRC opposing the relicensing of the Indian Point 2 reactor. The group contended that the NRC improperly held Indian Point to less stringent design requirements. The NRC responded that the newer requirements were put in place after the plant was complete.[87]

On December 1, 2007, Westchester County Executive Andrew J. Spano, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, and New York Governor Eliot Spitzer called a press conference with the participation of environmental advocacy groups Clearwater and Riverkeeper to announce their united opposition to the re-licensing of the Indian Point nuclear power plants. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Office of the Attorney General requested a hearing as part of the process put forth by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.[citation needed] In September 2007 The New York Times reported on the rigorous legal opposition Entergy faces in its request for a 20-year licensing extension for Indian Point Nuclear Reactor 2.[87]

A water quality certificate is a prerequisite for a twenty-year renewal by the NRC.[citation needed] On April 3, 2010, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ruled that Indian Point violates the federal Clean Water Act,[88] because “the power plant’s water-intake system kills nearly a billion aquatic organisms a year, including the shortnose sturgeon, an endangered species.”[citation needed] The state is demanding that Entergy constructs new closed-cycle cooling towers at a cost of over $1 billion, a decision that will effectively close the plant for nearly a year. Regulators denied Entergy’s request to install fish screens that they said would improve fish mortality more than new cooling towers. Anti-nuclear groups and environmentalists have in the past tried to close the plant,[citation needed] which is in a more densely populated area than any of the 66 other nuclear plant sites in the US.[citation needed] Opposition to the plant[from whom?] increased after the September 2001 terror attacks,[citation needed] when one of the hijacked jets flew close to the plant on its way to the World Trade Center.[citation needed] Public worries also increased after the 2011 Japanese Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and after a report highlighting the Indian Point plant’s proximity to the Ramapo Fault.[citation needed]

Advocates of recertifying Indian Point include former New York City mayors Michael Bloomberg and Rudolph W. Giuliani. Bloomberg says that “Indian Point is critical to the city’s economic viability”.[89] The New York Independent System Operator maintains that in the absence of Indian Point, grid voltages would degrade, which would limit the ability to transfer power from upstate New York resources through the Hudson Valley to New York City.[90]

As the current governor, Andrew Cuomo continues to call for closure of Indian Point.[91] In late June 2011, a Cuomo advisor in a meeting with Entergy executives informed them for the first time directly of the Governor’s intention to close the plant, while the legislature approved a bill to streamline the process of siting replacement plants.[92]

Nuclear energy industry figures and analysts responded to Cuomo’s initiative by questioning whether replacement electrical plants could be certified and built rapidly enough to replace Indian Point, given New York state’s “cumbersome regulation process”, and also noted that replacement power from out of state sources will be hard to obtain because New York has weak ties to generation capacity in other states.[citation needed] They said that possible consequences of closure will be a sharp increase in the cost of electricity for downstate users and even “rotating black-outs”.[93]

Several members of the House of Representatives representing districts near the plant have also opposed recertification, including Democrats Nita Lowey, Maurice Hinchey, and Eliot Engel and then Republican member Sue Kelly.[94]

In November 2016 the New York Court of Appeals ruled that the application to renew the NRC operating licences must be reviewed against the state’s coastal management program, which The New York State Department of State had already decided was inconsistent with coastal management requirements. Entergy has filed a lawsuit regarding the validity of Department of State’s decision.[95]


Beginning at the end of 2015, Governor Cuomo began to ramp up political action against the Indian Point facility, opening investigations with the state public utility commission, the department of health and the department of environmental conservation.[33][34][35][30][36][37] To put the public service commission investigation in perspective, most electric outage investigations conducted by the commission are in response to outages with a known number of affected retail electric customers.[38] By November 17, 2017, the NYISO accepted Indian Point’s retirement notice.[39]

In January 2017, the governor’s office announced closure by 2020-21.[96] The closure, along with pollution control, challenges New York’s ability to be supplied.[citation needed] Among the solution proposals are storage, renewables (solar and wind), a new transmission cables from Canada [97][98] and a 650MW natural gas plant located in Wawayanda, New York.[99] There was also a 1,000 MW merchant HVDC transmission line proposed in 2013 to the public service commission that would have interconnected at Athens, New York and Buchanan, New York, however this project was indefinitely stalled when its proposed southern converter station site was bought by the Town of Cortlandt in a land auction administered by Con Edison.[100][101][102] As of October 1, 2018, the 650 MW plant built in Wawayanda, New York, by CPV Valley, is operating commercially.[103] The CPV Valley plant has been associated with Governor Cuomo’s close aid, Joe Percoco, and the associated corruption trial.[104] Another plant being built, Cricket Valley Energy Center, rated at 1,100 MW, is on schedule to provide energy by 2020 in Dover, New York.[105] An Indian Point contingency plan, initiated in 2012 by the NYSPSC under the administration of Cuomo, solicited energy solutions from which a Transmission Owner Transmission Solutions (TOTS) plan was selected. The TOTS projects provide 450 MW[106] of additional transfer capability across a NYISO defined electric transmission corridor in the form of three projects: series compensation at a station in Marcy, New York, reconductoring a transmission line, adding an additional transmission line, and “unbottling” Staten Island capacity. These projects, with the exception of part of the Staten Island “unbottling” were in service by mid-2016. The cost of the TOTS projects are distributed among various utilities in their rate cases before the public service commission and the cost allocation amongst themselves was approved by FERC. NYPA and LIPA are also receiving a portion. The cost of the TOTS projects has been estimated in the range of $27 million to $228 million.[107][108][109][110][111] An energy highway initiative was also prompted by this order (generally speaking, additional lines on the Edic-Pleasant Valley and the Oakdale-Fraser transmission corridors) which is still going through the regulatory process in both the NYISO and NYSPSC.

Under the current plan, one reactor is scheduled to be shut down in April 2020 and the second by April 2021.[112] A report by the New York Building Congress, a construction industry association, has said that NYC will need additional natural gas pipelines to accommodate the city’s increasing demand for energy. Environmentalists have argued that the power provided by Indian point can be replaced by renewable energy, combined with conservation measures and improvements to the efficiency of the electrical grid.[113] 

Pakistani Horn’s Nuclear Assets Are Under Pressure: Daniel 8

Pakistan's Nuclear Assets, PPP, Senator Raza Rabbani, Pakistan, China, Shehbaz Sharif, International Monetary Fund, IMF, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, TTP
Pakistan’s Nuclear Assets Are Under Pressure, Says Former Pakistan Senate Chairman

Pakistan’s Nuclear Assets Are Under Pressure, Says Former Pakistan Senate Chairman

The senator further pointed out that the government has failed to discuss the issues pertaining to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the increase in terrorism.

Published: March 7, 2023 12:06 AM IST

By Tahir Qureshi  |Edited by Tahir Qureshi  

    Pakistan’s Nuclear Assets: Senator Raza Rabbani, former Pakistan Senate chairman and senior PPP leader said on Monday that the people of Pakistan have a right to know if the country’s nuclear assets are under pressure, said media reports. Adding further, Senator Rabbani said that the country also needs to know “if our strategic relationship with China is under threat or we are being called up to play role in the region which will facilitate the military presence of an imperialist power,” reported The Express Tribune.

    “These and other questions require a policy statement by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on the floor of a joint sitting in the parliament,” added the Senator.

    Talking about the deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the senator furthered that the parliament needs to be taken into confidence on the issue as well as the matter of reluctance of friendly countries, except China, to help Pakistan sans the global lender.

    “The dragging of the feet by the IMF on signing the agreement and reluctance of friendly countries, except China, to help sans the IMF, Parliament needs to be taken into confidence. It appears Pakistan is being softened up to play a role which is against its national and strategic interests,” he added, reported Express Tribune.

    The senator further pointed out that the government has failed to discuss the issues pertaining to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the increase in terrorism.

    “It seems be it the PTI or present governments want azadi [freedom] from Parliament and the Constitution, 1973, the senator added.

    Violence outside the Temple Walls is a nightmare for Netanyahu: Revelation 11

    Amos Harel

    Violence in the West Bank is a nightmare for Netanyahu

    Amos Harel Monday, March 6, 2023

    In late February, a delegation of British security officials, led by MI6 chief Richard Moore, held a rare visit to the city of Ramallah in the West Bank. Moore met with 87-year-old Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, presumably to discuss how the United Kingdom could further assist the Palestinians to improve the security situation in the West Bank. Like their American counterparts, the British are heavily invested in the survival of the Abbas regime. A small group of British advisors is currently staying in Ramallah to help the PA’s security forces increase their effectiveness. A larger group of American experts, led by Lt. Gen. Michael Fenzel, has recently focused on trying to persuade Abbas to resume the PA’s security activity in two northern West Bank cities, Jenin and Nablus, where a series of recent lethal incidents with the Israelis have occurred. Despite all this outside help, it will be difficult for the embattled Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to restore calm to the West Bank.

    In 2006, after the second intifada gradually died down, the Americans were quite successful in helping the PA regain its police and intelligence capabilities in the West Bank. Abbas was criticized at the time for essentially becoming Israel’s security subcontractor in the West Bank, but it seemed that from his perspective, this situation easily beat the other alternatives. The Ramallah leadership was in a state of panic after Hamas managed to take control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 within six days, killing some Fatah members and deporting others (Hamas had won the 2006 elections, and it feared, with some justification, that Fatah was trying to engineer a coup). Abbas and his men were willing to cooperate with the Israeli security services in order to prevent more terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israeli targets, as long as Israel continued to supply them with information regarding Hamas’s plans for a military coup in the West Bank and other threats to Abbas’ leadership.

    In 2014, Israel discovered what it described as a huge Hamas conspiracy meant to violently overthrow the Abbas regime. Yoram Cohen, then the Shin Bet (Israel’s internal security services) chief at the time, met with Abbas in Ramallah and showed him transcripts of investigations of Hamas members, arrested by the Israelis. When Abbas learned of those plans by the enemy from within, he was appalled. A few weeks later, war broke out between Israel and Hamas in Gaza (Operation Pillar of Defense). That meeting with Cohen was one of the main reasons why Abbas chose to stay on the sidelines during the military conflict. The president continued, however, to attack Israel publicly.

    Yet, almost nine years later, it seems the West Bank has once again reached a boiling point. It is perhaps too soon to talk of a third intifada. There were many false alarms during the last few years when periods of violence were prematurely described as new uprisings and then suddenly died down. But the situation has seriously deteriorated recently. A period of increased terror attacks began in March 2022 and continued ever since. Since the beginning of this year, more than 60 Palestinians and 14 Israelis died in incidents in Jerusalem and the West Bank. The tension comes at a time of particular weakness for the Abbas regime. Though lucid, the Palestinian president has slowed down his schedule and seems to be less intent on a dialogue with his citizens, who haven’t voted in a general election since 2006. The battle for Abbas’ succession has, in fact, already begun. So much so that last month, Le-Figaro newspaper reported that French President Emmanuel Macron has appointed a team of 15 members to advise him on the identity of Abbas’s successor. The Palestinians, naturally, were furious.

    According to public opinion polls held by Palestinian scholar Professor Khalil Shikaki, the PA has hardly been so unpopular among West Bank residents. If, in previous decades, the West Bankers could at least tell themselves that their brethren in Gaza suffered much more economically, then this is slightly less relevant today. Last year, the previous Israeli government decided to allow 17,000 Gazans to work in Israel. A Palestinian worker in Israel could earn many times more than the salary in Gaza for an equivalent job. The Hamas regime, in return for maintaining relative calm in Gaza, is now perhaps as wealthy as it ever was. It is also considered, among a distinct majority of Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank, less corrupt than its competition in Ramallah — admittedly a low bar.

    The crisis in the West Bank has coincided with an unprecedented political and constitutional crisis in Jerusalem. Netanyahu, reinstated as prime minister last December, is quickly losing control of events. Netanyahu’s main concern, of course, is to avoid jail time — a rather realistic result waiting for him as he has been standing trial for three different cases of corruption at the Jerusalem District Court since May 2021. To avoid that punishment, Netanyahu is willing to fight by any means necessary. This is the background for his so-called legal reform, which is in truth an attempt to drastically change the judiciary, deeply damaging Israeli democracy along the way.

    In order to achieve this, Netanyahu has been willing to engage with some strange bedfellows. The most notable of them are two far-right politicians, Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich. Ben-Gvir, originally a follower of racist U.S.-born Rabbi Meir Kahane, has always been considered a political lightweight, a professional extremist troll. Suddenly, he is the man in charge of the police, as a minister for national security. Smotrich, slightly less extreme in his views and much more sophisticated, is both the minister of finance and a second minister in the Ministry of Defense, awarded unprecedented authority over civilian matters in the West Bank, in spite of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) serious warnings against such a move. He has already announced that he intends to change the West Bank map by adding more settlements and outposts. His “Plan for Decisive Victory” against the Palestinians, published in 2017 when he was a relatively new minister, makes for a frightening read. Smotrich not only preaches the destruction of the PA, but one gets the notion that if another war breaks and, say, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians lose their homes, he would not shed a tear.

    The Biden administration, which is perfectly aware of all this, called a rare conference in the Jordanian city of Aqaba on February 26, looking for ways to increase stability in the region. But while officials from Israel, the PA, the United States, Egypt, and Jordan were discussing confidence-building measures there, terror struck again. Two young men, brothers from an Israeli settlement near Nablus, were gunned down and killed in a nearby Palestinian village as they were driving to their yeshiva (religious school). The search for the killer continues. In response, hundreds of settlers rampaged through the village of Hawara (a pogrom, as one senior IDF officer described it). Dozens of houses, stores, and cars were torched; one Palestinian villager died, as the Israeli army and police mostly watched idly.

    That was the moment the Aqaba conference failed. To make matters even worse, both Smotrich and Ben-Gvir publicly attacked their boss, Netanyahu, for even sending a delegation to Jordan and accepting unnecessary American demands to slow down settlement construction. Smotrich went one dangerous step further and announced that Hawara should have been wiped off the face of the Earth by the Israeli army, earning himself a direct condemnation from the U.S. State Department.

    Netanyahu is now facing what may be an assembling perfect storm, combining economic unrest, huge protests against his reforms, and growing international criticism. Yet his greatest problem currently may lie in the West Bank. If the lethal attacks against settlers continue, Ben-Gvir will find it hard to remain in the government while his demands for tougher action against Palestinians are not met by Netanyahu, who fears a direct confrontation with the White House. For the Israeli leader, things are bad enough as they are — U.S. President Joe Biden has yet to invite him to Washington since his election victory last November. However, there is currently no coalition without Ben-Gvir. At the most critical point in his political career, Netanyahu is stuck in a deadlock. So far, it seems that the man often described by the Israeli media as a political magician hasn’t figured a way out.

    The South Korean Horn is Ready to Nuke Up: Daniel 7

    A supermajority of South Koreans want nukes: polls

    Seoul has long promised it wouldn’t pursue nuclear weapons, but public opinion threatens to change that.

    MARCH 6, 2023

    Written by
    Connor Echols

    Two-thirds of South Koreans want their country to develop its own nuclear weapons, according to a recent survey from South Korean newspaper Hankook Ilbo.

    The chastening finding comes amid years of rising tensions on the Korean peninsula that threatened to boil over into a crisis last year. North Korea carried out a record number of ballistic missile tests in 2022, a practice that South Korea and the United States responded to with unprecedented military drills of their own. 

    Now, Pyongyang is reportedly considering carrying out its first nuclear test since 2017, and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol recently suggested that Seoul could pursue nukes of its own.

    “It’s possible that the problem gets worse and our country will introduce tactical nuclear weapons or build them on our own,” Yoon said. “If that’s the case, we can have our own nuclear weapons pretty quickly, given our scientific and technological capabilities.”

    While Yoon’s comments may seem odd to an American audience, they reflect a growing trend in South Korean politics. Over the past decade, public support for acquiring nuclear weapons has hovered between 60 and 70 percent, hitting a high of 71 percent in a 2022 survey from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

    And the country’s political leaders are starting to catch up with public opinion. As Nathan Park recently noted in RS, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon — a leading member of Yoon’s conservative party and a possible future presidential candidate — said South Korea needs “an ‘active nuclear umbrella’ or its own nuclear weapons,” and Daegu mayor Hong Joon-pyo said that denuclearization of the peninsula has become “impossible.”

    For now, all this talk has yet to turn into a shift in policy. In an interview with CNN, Han Duck-soo, South Korea’s prime minister, acknowledged the broad public support for nuclear proliferation but said such a move is not “the right way” to deal with North Korea.

    “We have built up a quite adequate level of our deterrence capabilities in close cooperation with the United States,” Han said. “We would like to let North Korea know that developing and advancing nuclear capabilities will not guarantee the peace and prosperity in their country.”

    Notably, South Korean public opinion on nuclear weapons has largely followed the tone of U.S. policy in the region. When former President Donald Trump attempted a diplomatic opening with Pyongyang in 2018, only 55 percent of South Koreans reported wanting Seoul to pursue its own nuclear arms program — the lowest result since at least 2010.

    But tensions with China — a nuclear-armed neighbor and ally of North Korea — have also played a key role. South Koreans who support a domestic nuclear weapons program largely said it was necessary to deal with threats other than Pyongyang or to boost Seoul’s standing in the international community, according to a 2022 poll from the Chicago Council.

    Antichrist stays out of Shiite conflict

     andrewtheprophet Uncategorized March 2, 2023 4 Minutes

    Iraq Najaf

    Iraq’s religious authorities stay out of Shiite conflict

    Iraq’s top Shiite religious authority, Ayatollah Ali Sistani, remains influential in Iraqi politics, but is remaining silent at a dangerous time for the country amid high tensions among Shiite parties.

    Supporters of Iraqi Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr attend Friday prayers at the Great Mosque of Kufa outside the central holy city of Najaf, on Nov. 4, 2022. – QASSEM AL-KAABI/AFP via Getty Images

    Ali Mamouri

    February 28, 2023

    The top Shiite religious authority in the holy city of Najaf has remained silent despite increasing friction reported among Iraq’s Shiite political parties. Najaf has long avoided direct involvement in politics, but it is unprecedented for religious leaders to remain silent during a period of dangerous uncertainty. 


    Iraq has been experiencing political and societal division since the Tishreen movement protests began in late 2019. The demonstrations began in Baghdad but spread into the predominantly Shiite south. A state crackdown killed more than 600, and the escalation led to the Iranian and US military confrontations in Iraq in 2020

    The protesters demanded better services and an end to corruption and sectarian rule in Iraq. Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi resigned in 2020. The following government of Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi pledged to focus on reconciliation and political stabilityElections in late 2021, however, created more tensions, as Shiite politicians divided into two groups: supporters of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who formed the largest bloc with 74 seats, and the Coordination Framework, who gained about 56 seats. 

    The Sadrists refused to form a coalition with the Coordination Framework, and the conflict between them led to violence. Kadhimi’s house was targeted with a drone in late 2021. In August of last year, tensions boiled over into armed conflict between the two sides in Baghdad’s Green Zone, leaving more than 70 dead. 

    Sadr has since left politics, creating a dangerous imbalance in Iraq. The Sadrists have always been a part of successive governments, constituting a political dynamic which prevented intra-Shiite violent confrontation in Iraq. Their current seat on the sidelines poses a serious challenge to political stability in Iraq and might create new waves of violence any time.  

    At present, there is a three-way conflict in the Shiite community among the Sadrists, the Coordination Framework and the Tishreen Movement. Further division among Kurdish and Sunni political parties is pouring more gas on the fire. 

    Sistani silent

    Ayatollah Ali Sistani, Iraq’s top Shiite religious authority figure, used to comment on politics during a weekly Friday prayer in Karbala delivered by one of his two representatives, either Sayyed Ahmad al-Safi and Shaikh Abdulmahdi al-Karbalai. The event had two-part speech, first religious and then political. 

    The Friday prayer had a significant influence on the Tishreen Movement. Sistani encouraged the protesters to demand their rights from the government, thus imposing pressure on the governing coalition. Abdul-Mahdi’s resignation was in part due to the pressure imposed by Sistani via the Friday prayer. 

    Sistani, who is 92, stopped the Friday prayer in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He had already stopped the political part of the event months earlier. The Friday prayer did not return as the pandemic subsided, and Sistani spokesman Sayyed Ahmad al-Safi stated in April 2022 that it would not resume. “Some political entities did not respond to much of what the religious authority showed,” Safi said. 

    Sistani has thus remained silent since early 2020 despite the dangerous developments. 

    Sistani’s influence 

    Sistani still influences Iraqi politics in different ways, although he has shunned politicians since 2016 when his representative, Sheikh Abdulmahdi Karbalai, accused politicians of irresponsible governance and widespread corruption.

    This had a strong influence on the Iraqi public. Relatedly, the participation rate declined significantly in the last two elections in 2018 and 2021. These elections witnessed turnouts around just 20-30%. The previous elections in 2014 saw a rate of 60%.

    After leaving politics, Sadr has been the only political figure received by Sistani or prominent members of his office. This suggests that Sistani does not agree with Sadrists remaining outside of the government due to the resulting imbalance.  

    But Sadr has resumed his activities on Twitter, and recent reports indicate that he is planning to accept an invitation to visit Iran in preparation for his return to politics. 

    Najaf’s religious authority is not limited to passive reaction. Religious figures’ previous statements about different events were circulated widely on the relevant occasions. 

    For example, the Iraqi parliament is currently discussing an amendment to Iraq’s electoral law that would return the country to a Sainte-Lague method of allotting seats in parliament by political party. This method was previously rejected by Sistani as it favors larger political parties over smaller ones and independents. The current law, where votes go to individual candidates, was enacted in 2020 in response to the protests. 

    The parliament finalized the first reading of the new amendment, but failed to conduct the second reading last week, leading to the withdrawal of the draft law from the parliament. This followed an old video from Karbalai circulating in which he said the Shiite religious authority rejected the Sainte-Laguë method and demanded the continuation of the system installed in 2020. 

    Najaf’s religious authorities appear to still maintain influence in Iraqi politics despite Sistani’s lengthy silence. But his absence has the potential to leave the religious authorities without a long-term leader, thus weakening Najaf’s influence in Iraqi politics.  

    Is Israel Ready for War with Hamas? Because it’s coming. Revelation 11

    Because it’s coming.

    March 6, 2023 by Hugh Fitzgerald 

    Hamas is preparing for war with Israel. Israel is preparing for war with Iran. Is Israel also doing enough to prepare for war with Hamas, and not just in Gaza? That question is considered here: “Hamas Is Planning the Next War; Is Israel’s Current Government Ready?,” by Grisha Yakubovich, Algemeiner, February 24, 2023:

    For the past year, Israel and the Palestinians have been in escalation mode, a phase that began under the previous Israeli government.

    Ever since March 2022, after a period of relative quiet, the Palestinians have increased their terror attacks on Israeli civilians, and in response, the IDF has been much more aggressive in seeking out Palestinian terrorists in their lairs in the northern West Bank cities of Nablus and Jenin.

    The sparks that lit the current escalation are unrelated to whether a right-wing or center-left government is in power, but Hamas is prepared to use the new right-wing Israeli government as justification for further conflict and violence if it finds it necessary to do so.

    The upswing in Palestinian attacks began months before the “right-wing” Netanyahu government took power, and thus was unrelated to it. Nonetheless, Hamas has begun to suggest that any increase in violence between Israelis and Palestinians should be blamed solely on that “right-wing” government that has been anathematized by so many in the Western world, including the New York TimesThe Washington Post and, of course, the Bidenites.

    The escalation originates in a calculated strategy by Hamas, which envisioned, with considerable foresight, a Palestinian civil war — a scenario that appears to be around the corner — and a new opportunity to both weaken its rival, Fatah, in the West Bank, and ignite a regional explosion against Israel.

    The PA has lost a great deal of its authority. More young Palestinians in the West Bank are joining Hamas, which they regard as steadfast in maintaining the resistance against the Zionist enemy, while the PA is seen by many as positively treasonous because its security services are widely believed to be collaborating with the Israelis. Furthermore, Mahmoud Abbas is seen, rightly, as a despot. He canceled democratic elections in 2020, elections that he had originally called himself, when he realized he would lose, overwhelmingly. He deals ruthlessly with those opposed to his rule. He had his goons beat to death Nizar Banat, who had been the most effective of his critics on social media. Now entering the nineteenth year of his four-year term, Abbas is also famously corrupt, having amassed a family fortune with his sons Tarek and Yasser that amounts to $400 million. He allows his cronies to also help themselves to some of the aid money meant for ordinary Palestinians, albeit on a far smaller scale than he allows himself.Abbas also provides the relatives of his loyalists with well-paid jobs – sinecures — in the PA administration.

    While some observers have attributed the deterioration in the security situation to the power vacuum in the northern West Bank, where the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority (PA) is indeed losing control, the more significant catalyst driving it is the clash between the narratives promoted by Hamas and the PA, led by Mahmoud Abbas.

    Both Hamas and Fatah ultimately seek to rule the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, yet both are realistic in understanding that Israel will not vanish any time soon — and neither for that matter will the Palestinians. While Hamas believes that in the long run, it will succeed in destroying Israel, it still needs to answer the question of how it envisions the Palestinians living alongside Israel in the same land in this current phase of history.

    Hamas’ answer to this question is, first, to reject any possibility of a peace treaty. Due to this position, Abbas’ PA has felt unable to enter into any real substantial diplomatic process with Israel over the years, and Abbas has rejected Israeli two-state offers made in the past, such as the one put forward by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008.

    Hamas and Fatah share the same goal – the destruction of the Jewish state – but they differ on tactics and timing. Fatah believes in the constant use of terrorism, that will demoralize Israelis, and ultimately so weaken Israel that a united Palestinian force – under Hamas’ direction — will be able, with Arab allies, to defeat the Israelis and expel them from all the land “from the river to the sea.” Hamas has no interest in peace treaties, and its opposition to such agreements has caused Abbas to walk away even from the most generous offer of a territorial settlement that Ehud Olmert made him in 2008. Hamas is breathing down his back for being too accommodating with the Israelis, and he cannot appear to be willing to make a peace deal with the hated Zionist enemy that does not squeeze Israel back within the 1949 armistice lines.

    Abbas realizes that he will never be able to defeat Hamas. While Israel is powerful enough to deal with any threat posed by Hamas, Fatah’s existence as a ruling party is under direct threat from it, as the Hamas coup against Fatah in Gaza 2007 so clearly demonstrated.

    Abbas is afraid of Hamas. He remembers how his Fatah men were defeated so handily by Hamas in Gaza in 2007, with hundreds of Fatah members killed by Hamas, while many others were forced to flee the Strip for the safety of the West Bank. He also knows that Hamas men are now thick on the ground in the West Bank, where young Palestinians are choosing to join Hamas or PIJ rather than Fatah. Abbas has learned from public opinion polls that nearly 80% of Palestinians want him to resign. So he’s staying away from any peace overtures that could be criticized by Hamas.

    As a result, Abbas has settled for the vision of seeking a more comfortable existence for Palestinians in the West Bank. At the same time, he is resigned to the division of Palestinians between Gaza and the West Bank, and to the idea that he is not strong enough to reach an agreement with Israel.

    Abbas has lately been mostly a fund-raiser for the people in the West Bank, managing to persuade the Bidenites to contribute $940 million to UNRWA for the care and feeding of the Palestinians. He has persuaded Israel to allow 100,000 Palestinians in the West Bank to acquire permits so that they can work in Israel. Through an amelioration of the Palestinians’ economic situation, Abbas hopes to win back some of the support he has lost through the years because of his corruption and mismanagement. He knows that Hamas has entrenched itself in Gaza, and there is no possibility of healing the Hamas-Fatah division in a way that he would favor. Such a healing of the divide between Palestinians in Gaza and Palestinians in the West Bank could only come about in one way – if Hamas were to engineer a takeover of the West Bank. This is Abbas’ constant worry.

    Hamas, for its part, promotes the ukawama, the Arabic word for resistance, a word often misunderstood in the international community to mean resistance against occupation, when in fact it is resistance to acceptance of Israel — and the promotion of terrorism.

    Since Ismail Haniyeh left Gaza to become the head of Hamas’s political bureau (he is now based in Qatar), the organization has decided that it wishes to be the legitimate representative of all Palestinians at the global level.

    As Hamas navigates the region, reaching tense understandings with Egypt, while also moving closer once again to Syria’s Bashar Assad — after years in which it backed the anti-Assad rebels in Syria — it continually maintains its resistance narrative, claiming that it is leading Palestinians on the path to the destruction of Israel.

    Hamas has been patching things up with former enemies, as part of its campaign to be recognized as the sole leader of the Palestinians. Though Hamas is the Gaza representative of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Muslim Brotherhood is the arch-enemy of the El-Sissi regime in Egypt, Hamas has nonetheless held talks with Egyptian leaders that appear to have ended the fighting between the Egyptian army and Hamas in the Sinai; in return for an end to Egyptian attacks on Hamas, Hamas likely has pledged to end its alliance with the Egyptian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Similarly, in Syria Hamas – which for ten years had backed the Syrian opposition against Assad – has recognized that the Syrian dictator has essentially won his civil war, and that to protect the interests of Palestinians living in Syria, it ought to make its peace with Assad. And Hamas has done so, by restoring relations with Damascus.

    To market this narrative further, Hamas sparked an intense conflict in May 2021 in order to present itself as the defender of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Yet a little over a year later, in July 2022, it cleverly sat out a clash between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), as the IDF pulverized PIJ operatives and positions. Hamas was able to get the message across to Palestinians: Only Hamas can challenge Israel, fire rockets at Jerusalem, incite riots among Israeli Arabs, and create Palestinian unity. Only it can lead the fight against “the Zionist enemy.”…

    In May 2021, Hamas took part in a brief war against Israel for supposedly “endangering the sanctity” of Al-Aqsa Mosque. There was no such “endangerment,” but that did not stop some Palestinians from hysterically insisting that the Zionists were trying to take over all of the Temple Mount, in order to destroy Al-Aqsa and build a Third Temple in its place. The PA’s Fatah took no part in the fighting, and this allowed Hamas to present itself as the champion of the Palestinian causeA year later, however, Hamas itself stood back when Israel went to war against Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), allowing the IDF to crush the rival terror group. The PIJ’s defeat conveyed the message: Fatah won’t, and the PIJ can’t, fight the Zionists. Only Hamas has both the will, and the strength, to do so. Only Hamas, not Fatah nor PIJ, is able to summon Israeli Arabs onto the streets to riot. Only Hamas can unite the Palestinians and lead the fight against the Zionist enemy.

    In order to maintain the PA’s position vis-à-vis Hamas, Abbas has had to become more openly opposed to the Zionist enemy. He has allowed — though not encouraged — Fatah members to join other Palestinians fighting the IDF. And the PA now glorifies dead terrorists with ”martyr” posters. The PA also provides dead terrorists with state funerals. PA officials, to prove they are bonafide enemies of the Zionists, now declare that they will no longer continue any security coordination, no matter how limited, with the Jewish state.

    Hamas has set itself up as the “moderate” terror group, as opposed to the hotheads of the PIJ. It hasn’t joined in the recent rocket attacks on Israelis by the PIJ, and has instead stopped the PIJ – possibly by prearrangement — from continuing its attacks.

    Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, after routing Fatah, and killing or expelling many of its members. In May 2021, Hamas militants fought Israel. The violence was prompted birthed supposed Zionist threats to Al-Aqsa and to Palestinians in east Jerusalem, thus allowing Hamas to present itself as the Palestinian protector of Jerusalem and the Haram al-Sharif. Now, keenly aware of how unpopular Abbas has become – 80% of Palestinians want him to quit – Hamas has been recruiting new members in the West Bank. Once it can overthrow – by violence – the PA and its superannuated leadership, it will lay claim to being the sole representative of the “Palestinian people.”

    In order to keep Western aid flowing, once it is in charge in the West Bank, Hamas will have to work to end its designation as a terror group. Perhaps it really will be able to blame all Palestinian terror attacks on the PIJ, and prove sufficiently convincing to gullible Westerners that it really has decided to end its use of terrorism as a weapon. It could even do something very dramatic, like ending the PA’s “Pay-For-Slay” program that rewards past, and incentivizes future, terrorism, to prove it is no longer a terror group.

    Hamas wants to keep the Gazan front quiet as it tries to take power in the West Bank, but events could spiral out of its control. For example, the latest IDF raid into Nablus resulted in 12 dead and more than 100 wounded. It was impossible, under those circumstances, to prevent Hamas members from responding to those deaths by firing rockets into Israel from Gaza. So far that hasn’t led to a major conflict, but only because the Hamas rockets caused no casualties.

    Hamas understands that it can use to its advantage the widespread perception that Israel now has a “far-right” government. Even when Israel takes exactly the same actions now against Hamas terrorists that it took under the previous “moderate” government of Bennett and Lapid, Hamas can nonetheless claim that this “right-wing” Zionist government is out of control, and that it is Hamas that is trying to tamp down the violence. As usual, this will be a flat-out lie, but when has that ever stopped the Palestinian propagandists?

    Possibility Of Nuclear War Between The U.S. And Russia: Revelation 16

    Possibility Of Nuclear War Between The U.S. And Russia, Warns Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers Leaker

    in World — by Countercurrents Collective — 06/03/2023

    Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the ‘Pentagon Papers’ that revealed the U.S.’s covert attempts to ramp up conflict in Vietnam since the 1940s, has warned of the possibility of nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia. In a parting message to other activists, he made the warning. In the message Daniel Ellsberg has announced that he has terminal pancreatic cancer.

    “On February 17, without much warning, I was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer,” the 91-year-old activist wrote on Twitter on Friday.

    “I am sorry to report to you that my doctors have given me three to six months to live,” he continued, adding that he had chosen not to undergo chemotherapy.

    “The current risk of nuclear war, over Ukraine, is as great as the world has ever seen,” Ellsberg wrote, condemning both the US and Russia for refusing to follow the lead of India and China in declaring “no-first-use policies.” However, he added that any nuclear war plans, deployments, and exercises “are and always have been immoral and insane.”

    Regardless of who fires first, nuclear war and the ensuing nuclear winter would cause “death by starvation for most of the humans and other vertebrates on earth,” Ellsberg stated, lamenting the fact that “this scientific near-consensus has had virtually no effect on the Pentagon’s nuclear war plans or U.S./NATO (or Russian) nuclear threats.”

    Moscow has repeatedly warned the West that its continued involvement in the Ukraine conflict could potentially trigger a direct nuclear confrontation between Russia and the U.S. Russia’s long-standing nuclear doctrine allows for use of its atomic weapons in the event of a first strike on its territory, or if the existence of the Russian state is threatened.

    Before he was an anti-nuclear campaigner, Ellsberg was a military analyst with the RAND Corporation. In 1969, while participating in a government-ordered study on the runup to the Vietnam War, Ellsberg copied thousands of classified documents detailing the U.S.’s deepening involvement in the conflict long before it openly entered in 1964.

    The papers, which were published in part by the New York Times, also showed how multiple US administrations lied to the American public about battlefield losses in Vietnam, while enlarging the scope of the conflict without public discussion.

    Ellsberg was prosecuted for espionage by the Nixon administration, but the charges against him were dropped following a mistrial in 1972. Members of Nixon’s White House Special Investigations Unit illegally wiretapped Ellsberg, before going on to commit the Watergate break-in that ultimately resulted in Nixon’s resignation that same year.

    Russia Warns Of Nuclear Clash Risk

    A media report said:

    Washington’s efforts to add fuel to the Ukraine conflict could potentially trigger a direct nuclear standoff, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov warned on Thursday.

    Speaking on the sidelines of the Geneva Conference on Disarmament, Ryabkov said “the most acute strategic threat comes from” the policies of the U.S. and NATO, which seek to “further stoke the conflict in Ukraine and tensions around it which they deliberately initiated.”

    Against this backdrop, the senior diplomat warned that the “increased involvement” of the U.S. and NATO in hostilities was “fraught with the threat of a direct military clash of nuclear powers with catastrophic consequences.”

    Ryabkov said Moscow had alerted Western countries about these risks but that its warnings “are being distorted for propaganda purposes” and deliberately misinterpreted. He went on to add that such policies are at odds with nuclear states’ declaration that a nuclear conflict should never be fought.

    In January 2022, in a rare display of unity, five nuclear powers – Russia, China, the U.S., UK, and France – issued a joint statement saying that they “consider the avoidance of war between Nuclear-Weapon States and the reduction of strategic risks” as their foremost responsibilities.

    The diplomat added that the “destructive actions” by the U.S. and its allies are fomenting tension in several regions across the world, which suggests that “we can talk about the growing global struggle for a new world order,” Ryabkov added.

    All of these developments “make it harder and harder to deal with arms control and strategic risk reduction,” according to Ryabkov.

    His comments come after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last month that Moscow would suspend its participation in the New START treaty, the last remaining nuclear deal between Russia and the U.S., which puts restrictions on the number of nuclear assets deployed by the two sides around the world.

    Explaining the reason for the move, Putin said that the West had denied under formal pretexts Moscow’s requests to inspect Western nuclear facilities in accordance with the treaty. At the same time, he noted that NATO countries were demanding access to Russia’s strategic facilities.

    Earlier this week, Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., said that Washington must reconsider “its hostile anti-Russian policy” to “create conditions for a return to full-scale operation of New START.”

    U.S. ‘Doomsday Plane’ Flies To Europe

    Another media report said:

    The U.S. Navy’s key aircraft in case of nuclear war has landed in Iceland, the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) reported on Tuesday, shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law Moscow’s suspension of the New START nuclear treaty.

    According to a post on the command’s Twitter account, the crew of the E-6B Mercury, assigned to U.S. Strategic Command’s Wing One, met with the U.S. Ambassador to Iceland as well as other diplomatic and military leaders. The aircraft is conducting operations in the EUCOM area of responsibility, according to the statement.

    The E-6B Mercury aircraft is commonly referred to as a “doomsday plane” because it is designed to serve as an airborne command post in the event of an all-out nuclear war, disaster or other large-scale conflict.

    According to the Pentagon, the plane allows the U.S. command to communicate with both strategic and non-strategic weapons systems, making it possible to launch ground and submarine-based ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

    The news came just after Moscow sent Washington an official note on the suspension of Russia’s participation in the New START treaty – the last remaining nuclear arms reduction agreement between the U.S. and Russia. The treaty was supposed to limit both nations’ nuclear stockpiles and allow each to monitor the opposing arsenal to confirm compliance. However, both Moscow and Washington have accused the other of failing to adhere to the agreement to allow such inspections.

    Putin announced the temporary suspension of the treaty last week, accusing the U.S. of trying to “refashion the international order” to suit its “selfish interests,” and of demanding that Russia abide by treaties “while they do as they please.”

    The Russian President also pointed to statements made by Western leaders that they wished to “inflict a strategic defeat” on Russia while openly aiding attempted Ukrainian drone attacks on Russia’s strategic aviation bases.

    Before Moscow can resume observing the treaty, Putin said it must have “a clear idea” of NATO’s nuclear arsenal – including weapons held by the UK and France, who he said are welcome to join the pact.