Tim Giago: Remember the victims of massacre at Wounded Knee

English (US)  December 28th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

The victims of the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee are loaded up on carts for burial. Photo from Wikpedia


Remembering the massacre at Wounded Knee
Notes from Indian Country
By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji – Stands Up For Them)

Fifty-one years before the Japanese carrier strike force dropped their deadly bombs on Pearl Harbor, another “Day of Infamy” that will live forever in the minds of the Lakota (Sioux) people, occurred.

On December 29, 1890, the troops of the U.S. Seventh Cavalry slaughtered nearly 300 men, women and children at the Pine Ridge Reservation community of Wounded Knee. The people of Sitanka (Big Foot) were traveling from the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation under a white flag of truce. They were stopped at Wounded Knee and surrounded. And then the slaughter started.

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Eight Not to Be Forgotten Stories from 2014

English (US)  December 27th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn

Gale Courey Toensing

This past year was filled with stories that pushed government-to-government and tribal sovereignty forward for Indian country. The year was filled with ups and downs across Turtle Island as well, with a handful of stories that made headlines and should not be forgotten moving into 2015. Below are eight topics to watch as 2015 nears:

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/12/26/eight-not-be-forgotten-stories-2014-158455

Read the full story at: Indian Country Today Media Network

Palestine Marks 6th Anniversary of 2008-9 Israeli Assault on Gaza

English (US)  December 27th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

United Nations school in Gaza (UNRWA)

Palestinians around the world on Saturday commemorated the sixth anniversary of the beginning of Israel’s 22-day offensive on the Gaza Strip in 2008-9 that left more than 1,400 dead.

This year’s commemorations take place in the shadow of another Israeli offensive over summer — the third major assault in six years — that left nearly 2,200 Palestinians dead and 110,000 homeless.

Until this year, the 2008-9 assault was the bloodiest sustained Israeli assault on Palestinians since 1967, with more than 80 percent of victims thought to have been civilians.

The offensive, known by its Israeli moniker “Cast Lead,” began on Dec. 27, 2008 around 11:30 a.m., when Israeli warplanes launched more than 100 airstrikes on Gaza simultaneously.

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Hamas leader condemns Abbas UN draft resolution

English (US)  December 27th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Hamas leader Mahmoud al Zahhar

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Hamas leader on Saturday said that the draft resolution in favor of Palestinian statehood presented to the UN Security Council was "disastrous," and that it has "no future in the land of Palestine."

The leader's statements come amid growing criticism at home of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' push for the UN to recognize Palestine as a state, as some have called the move a symbolic gesture that distracts from the larger struggle to end the Israeli occupation.

Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahhar, however, took a different approach, saying in a statement that Hamas would not accept the resolution because of its focus on the 1967 borders, and not on the entirety of historic Palestine, which includes the lands where Israel today sits.

He said that the movement will only accept the complete borders of the 1948 lands and that the movement refuses to consider allowing to be Jerusalem a capital for both Palestinian and Israeli states.

The statement points to the uphill battle Abbas has at convincing the Palestinian public that pushing the resolution is a useful move, even as he is confronted by pro-Israeli pressure abroad.

Hamas has long maintained that the Israeli occupation must be dated to 1948, when Israel was created through the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in what became Palestine.

Abbas' Fatah party, however, has focused instead on building a state in the remaining lands of historic Palestine that Israel occupied in 1967 -- the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Maan News

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Winter Solstice: Welcoming the Return of the Light Across Turtle Island

English (US)  December 21st, 2014 by admin ( Email )

On December 21, just as the evening news is beginning, winter will be upon us.

It’s the shortest day of the year, and at 6:03 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Turtle Island, Mother Earth will arrive at that point in its orbit that puts the sun as far south on the horizon as it gets, portending winter here but summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

Up in Inuit territory, of course, no one will see this, because the sun will never rise. The South Pole will get all the sun, bathed in light for 24 straight hours. This is what happens when the North Pole is tilted at a 23.5-degree angle away from the sun. At noon, our shadows will be their longest of the year.

For a bit of perspective and a look at Earth’s seasons from space, check out this time-lapse NASA video, courtesy of Earthsky.org.

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Are American Indian Nations ‘Wards of the Federal Government’?

English (US)  December 21st, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Gale Courey Toensing

Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar got himself into a heap of trouble recently for saying American Indian Nations are “wards of the federal government.” The remark offended tribal members and prompted a former United States attorney to call it “race-baiting.” But the good news is that Gosar’s comment provides the opportunity for a public conversation about the contradictory status of the country’s original nations, a legal expert said.

“What’s most intriguing about Gosar’s statement is it brings the subject of trustship/wardship out as a clear issue so it becomes possible to analyze it,” said Peter d’Errico, a consulting attorney on indigenous issues and ICTMN columnist. Technically, Gosar can point to case law to support his statement that American Indian Nations are wards of the government, but the politics of the world has changed and the court has not caught up with it, d’Errico told ICTMN.

“One of the main things to do now is write about it and talk about it. Isn’t Gosar’s comment strange? Where does it comes from? What does it mean? How did we get here? Isn’t it odd that we can have this outmoded doctrine still legal when we’ve moved so far in the direction of the government-to-government relationship and the internationalization of Indigenous Peoples’ rights? It’s a very contradictory moment,” d’Errico said.

Read the full story at Indian Country Today Media Network

In the fight against apartheid, Christian Palestinians defy Israel's propaganda

English (US)  December 21st, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Ben White
Saturday, 20 December 2014 14:21

By Ben White

In 2012, then-Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren penned an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal in which he claimed that "Christians in [Gaza and the West Bank] suffer the same plight as their co-religionists throughout the region."

While the diplomat was looking to capitalise on more recent developments in the Middle East – like Netanyahu did at the UN, with his "Hamas is ISIS" mantra – Oren's claim that Christian Palestinians are being driven out by Muslims is a familiar one.

Israel and its supporters have tried to use Christian Palestinians for propaganda point-scoring for some time. For example, back in 1997, and during Netanyahu's first stint as prime minister, Israeli media cited government sources for reports about the alleged "brutal and relentless persecution" facing Christians in Palestinian Authority-controlled areas.

Assessing the coverage in an article for Arab Studies Quarterly the following year, Donald Wagner claimed that Christian Zionists were cooperating with the prime minister's spokesperson "to exaggerate and politicize accounts of Christians being persecuted and circulated it to the international press."

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Rosebud Leader on Keystone: ‘Test Us – You’ll See an Indian Uprising’

English (US)  November 22nd, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Gale Courey Toensing

It’s not often that you see moments of genuine human drama in the Senate or get a glimpse of the imperial mindset of America’s political elite. This week the world was treated to both.

The moment of genuine human drama came just after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) announced the defeat of a bill that would have launched construction of the controversial $8 billion Keystone XL Pipeline that would carry oil from tar sands in Canada through Indian county and American states all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. “The yays were 59, the nays are 41,” Warren said, incomprehensibly changing tenses from “were” to “are.” “The 60 vote threshold having not been achieved, the bill is not passed,” she continued, referring to the 60 votes needed to clear a filibuster. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill with a 252–161 vote on November 14.

A few moments later Greg Grey Cloud, an enrolled member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe who was standing in the gallery of the Senate hall, began to sing an honor song to celebrate the defeat of the Keystone XL Pipeline. People were talking and milling about on the Senate floor when Grey Cloud began to sing but, transfixed by the soulful sound of a human voice in full-throated song, all heads turned to find its source and the business of American politics stopped for one fleeting moment.

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

Brian Cladoosby Lays Out NCAI’s Priorities in Time for Lame Duck Session

English (US)  November 20th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Brian Cladoosby Lays Out NCAI’s Priorities in Time for Lame Duck Session

Gale Courey Toensing

The National Congress of American Indians members passed more than five dozen new resolutions at its annual meeting recently, but one of the first things the organization will deal with during the lame duck session – the period of time between Election Day and when the new legislators enter Congress in the new year – is a three-year-old resolution opposing the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline.

“As Congress opens the lame duck one of the first issues will be the Keystone XL Pipeline,” Brian Cladoosby, NCAI president and chair of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, told ICTMN following NCAI’s 71st Annual Convention & Market held this year in Atlanta. “NCAI has a resolution opposing Keystone as tribes in that region are concerned about the potential impact to their aquifer.”

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

Where to From Here, Palestine?

English (US)  November 20th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

November 20, 2014

Talk of a Third Intifada


When a journalist tries to do a historian’s job, the outcome can be quite interesting. Using history as a side note in a brief news report or political analysis oftentimes does more harm than good. Now imagine if that journalist was not dependable to begin with, even more than it being “interesting”, the outcome runs the risk of becoming a mockery.

Consider the selective historical views offered by New York Times writer Thomas Freidman – exposed in the book “The Imperial Messenger” by Belen Fernandez for his pseudo- intellectual shenanigans, contradictions and constant marketing of the status quo.

In an article entitled, The Third Intifada, published last February, Friedman attempts to explain two of the most consequential events in the collective history of the Palestinian people, if not the whole region: “For a while now I’ve wondered why there’s been no Third Intifada. That is, no third Palestinian uprising in the West Bank, the first of which helped to spur the Oslo peace process and the second of which – with more live ammunition from the Israeli side and suicide bombings from the Palestinian side – led to the breakdown of Oslo.”

Ta-da, there it is: Palestinian history for dummies, by, you know .. Friedman. Never mind that the consequences that led to the first uprising in 1987 included the fact that Palestinians were rebelling against the very detached elitist culture, operating from Tunisia, which purported to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people. It was a small clique within the PLO-Fatah leadership that were not even living in Palestine at the time who signed a ruinous, secret agreement in Olso in 1993. And, at the expense of their people’s rightful demands for freedom, this arrangement won them just a few perks. The uprising didn’t help “spur the Oslo peace process”; the ‘process’ was rather introduced, with the support and financing of the United States and others, to crush the intifada, as it did.

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Who Won the War on Gaza?

English (US)  September 3rd, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Hamas was able to establish deterrence, displaying an incredible level of resilience and strength. (Video still)

By Samah Sabawi

The Palestinian people, who have shown incredible patience, steadfastness and sacrifice in the pursuit of their freedom, won the war on Gaza

Robust and complex discussions are being centred on one simple question: who can claim victory in the war on Gaza? The terms of the ceasefire reveal that neither Hamas nor Israel got what they wanted. So how much was lost and how much was gained and who – if anyone – has emerged a winner?

Hamas was able to establish deterrence, displaying an incredible level of resilience and strength, even when equipped with primitive weapons. It was able to force Israel to agree to ease the siege by allowing for the easier flow of goods, humanitarian aid and reconstruction equipment, narrowing its security buffer zone to allow Palestinians more access to their farmland, and extending the fishing limit off Gaza’s coast to 9.6 km. Egypt is said to have agreed to open the Rafah crossing, on the condition that Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas take over responsibility for administering it. Above all, Hamas’s biggest and most significant gain was an increase in popular support and admiration from Palestinians across the political and factional divide, as it became the epicentre of Palestinian resistance. Needless to say, it is hard to tell if this support will be maintained in the days and months to come.

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Netanyahu vs. Abu Ubaydah: On Victory and False Victory

English (US)  September 3rd, 2014 by admin ( Email )

The resistance victory statement was different from that of Netanyahu's.
Sep 3 2014 / 10:29 pm

By Ramzy Baroud

In the rush to analyze the outcome of Israel’s 51-day war in Gaza, dubbed Operation Protective Edge, some may have neglected an important factor: this was not a war by traditional definitions of warfare, thus the conventional analyses of victory and defeat is simply not applicable.

That being the case, how can we explain Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s triumphant statement on 28 August, and the massive celebrations on the streets of Gaza regarding the resistance ‘victory’ over Israel? To be truly fathomed, they must be understood in context.

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Fearing Political Islam: Why Arabs Betrayed Gaza

English (US)  August 26th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Some Arabs wish to see Israel crush any semblance of Palestinian resistance. (Video footage still)
Aug 26 2014 / 1:49 pm

By Ramzy Baroud

Ask any Arab ruler, and they will tell you of the great sacrifices their countries have made for Palestine and the Palestinians. However, both history and present reality are testaments, not only to Arab failure to live up to the role expected of them and stand in solidarity with their own oppressed brethren, but also to the official Arab betrayal of the Palestinian cause. The current war on Gaza, and the dubious role played by Egypt in the ceasefire talks between Hamas and Israel are cases in point.

Read this comments by Aaron David Miller, a scholar at the Wilson Center in Washington to appreciate the depth of the unmistakable Arab betrayal. “I have never seen a situation like it, where you have so many Arab states acquiescing in the death and destruction in Gaza and the pummeling of Hamas,” Miller told the New York Times. “The silence is deafening.”

Miller explains Arab silence in relations to their loathing of political Islam which rose to prominence following the so-called Arab Spring. Such rise saw the advent of movements like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and al-Nahda in Tunisia to the centers of power. The ‘Arab Spring’ challenged and, at least temporarily, disabled the hegemony over power by corruption-ridden, pro-western Arab elites, unleashing the energies of civil societies that have been historically marginalized.

Political Islam, especially that which is affiliated with moderate Islamic ideology known as al-Wasatiyyah (roughly translated as ‘moderation’) swept-up the votes in several democratic elections. Like Hamas’s victory in the Palestinian elections in 2006, other such Islamic movements followed suit the moment the ‘Arab Spring’ pushed open a small margin for democracy and freedom of expression.

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Israeli War on Gaza: Deafening Silence of the World

English (US)  August 26th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

By Dr. Siri Gamage – Armidale, Australia

On again and off again ceasefires, rocket launches, bombings and killings involving Israel and Gaza dominate television news at this time. When the indirect talks between the two sides fail in Cairo, the military campaigns restart and the destruction caused by Israeli bombings in Gaza is there for all of us to see. Buildings with several stories, UN schools, civilian areas, shops, electricity generating facilities or any other civilian facility is not out of bound for the Israeli military forces if they believe there are Hamas fighters in them. By now over 2000 casualties and over 10000 injured have been reported in Gaza whereas the Israeli casualty figure is less than 70, overwhelming majority being military personnel. In the meantime, rockets from Gaza keep coming to Southern Israel and other parts but they are ineffective and crude creations as the US funded and provided Dome shield is capturing and destroying them once in the air. These rockets fall largely in vacant areas of land causing no major injury to the civilians in Israel. The casualty rate from such rockets has been remarkably low. Yet the fear caused by these rockets seems to be vey high among the population in Israel subjected to such attacks. Fear –real and constructed- is an important weapon in modern warfare.

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Free Speech Firestorm Follows American Indian Studies Professor’s Firing

English (US)  August 26th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Gale Courey Toensing

The firing of Dr. Steven Salaita before ever teaching one class at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has provoked a backlash of opposition from thousands of scholars over free speech and academic freedom and promises to boycott the university.

Dr. Steven Salaita Fired for Speaking His Mind on Israel and Gaza

Around 70 faculty in Chicana/o and Latino/a departments across the country expressed “outrage” at Salaita’s firing, calling it “a flagrant violation of academic freedom and an affront to our colleagues in American Indian Studies.”

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

Salaita’s Background Is What the College Wanted, Not His Free Speech

English (US)  August 26th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Gale Courey Toensing

The move from Virginia to Illinois was already in the works when Dr. Steven Salaita, a Palestinian American scholar in Native American studies, was informed on August 1 by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Phyllis Wise that the school would not be needing his services.

RELATED: Dr. Steven Salaita Fired for Speaking His Mind on Israel and Gaza

The firing came 15 days before Salaita was to address his first class at UIUC and came amidst him sharing his position on the current attacks by Israel in Gaza.

His extensive body of work speaks volumes about what he offers in the classroom and shows why the faculty search committee selected him.

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

Dr. Steven Salaita Fired for Speaking His Mind on Israel and Gaza

English (US)  August 20th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Dr. Steven Salaita

Gale Courey Toensing


The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has fired a tenured professor in the American Indian Studies program after he tweeted comments criticizing Israel and its actions in Gaza.

Dr. Steven Salaita is a Palestinian American scholar in Native American studies, who has done groundbreaking work in comparative analysis of the Native American and Palestinian peoples’ experiences. He was scheduled to begin work at UIUC on August 16. But on August 1, UIUC Chancellor Phyllis Wise e-mailed that he would not have the job after all, according to the Chicago Tribune, which received university documents under the public records law. Wise said that the board of trustees was unlikely to approve Salaita’s appointment so she would not forward it to them, the Tribune said.

Read more at Indian County Today Media Network

Hashtag Genocide: Why Gaza Fought Back

English (US)  August 13th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Al-Qassam mosque of Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza, destroyed in Israeli strikes. (Ahmed Al-Tawil)

By Ramzy Baroud

My old family house in the Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza was recently rebuilt by its new owner, into a beautiful three-story building with large windows adorned by red frames. In Israel’s most recent and deadliest war on Gaza, the house sustained significant damage. A large hole caused by Israeli missiles can be seen from afar, in a part of the house where our kitchen once stood.

It seems that the original target was not my house, however, but that of our kindly neighbor, who had spent his entire working-life toiling between manual jobs in Israel, and later in life as a janitor for UN-operated schools in Gaza. The man’s whole lifesavings were invested in his house where several families lived. After “warning” rockets blew up part of his house, several missiles pulverized the rest.

My entire neighborhood was also destroyed. I saw photos of the wreckage-filled neighborhood by accident on Facebook. The clearance where we played football as little kids was filled with holes left by missiles and shrapnel. The shop where I used my allowance to buy candy, was blown up. Even the graveyard where our dead were meant to “rest in peace” was anything but peaceful. Signs of war and destruction were everywhere.

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Unionists Say Stop the Attack on Gaza -- Support BDS!

English (US)  August 13th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Below is a statment signed by 300 U.S. unionists against Israel's Gaza rampage. Maybe we have missed it, but the statements of SUPPORT for Israeli attacks usually produced by TOP U.S. labor officials seem to be missing. Have there been any?

Stop the War on Gaza: No Arms for Apartheid Israel — Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions!
July 28, 2014

"We call on the UN and governments across the world to take immediate steps to implement a comprehensive and legally binding military embargo on Israel, similar to that imposed on South Africa during apartheid." Palestinian Trade Unions and Civil Society, Stop Arming Israel, July 20, 2014

"For the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent." Beyond Vietnam, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., April 4, 1967

Read the full statement at The Struggle

George Clooney’s Fiancée Rejects UN Gaza War Crimes Commission

English (US)  August 12th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

AP Images
George Clooney and fiancée Amal Alamuddin

Gale Courey Toensing

Amal Alamuddin, actor George Clooney’s fiancée, has turned down a United Nations appointment to a commission investigating possible war crimes in the occupied Gaza Strip during Israel’s military offensive.

The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council announced Monday that Alamuddin, a Lebanese-born British human rights attorney, would join two other experts on a special commission to investigate looking into possible violations of the rules of war during the Israeli offensive against Hamas. The council is a 47 member-state body elected by the member states of the U.N. Its mission is to promote human rights.

But just hours after the HRC announcement, Clooney’s Hollywood agent, Stan Rosenfield, issued a statement on Alamuddin’s behalf saying she had pulled out of participating in the probe, The Guardian reported.

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

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Keith Harper on Indigenous Rights, Redskins and the Israel/Hamas Conflict

English (US)  August 12th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Courtesy U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva
Keith Harper, Cherokee Nation, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council

Gale Courey Toensing

Keith Harper, a Cherokee Nation citizen, was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as the United State ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 3, 2014. Harper is the first citizen of a federally recognized tribe to reach the rank of U.S. ambassador. He arrived in Geneva a week after his Senate appointment and has been on the job non-stop since then.

RELATED: Keith Harper, Cherokee Nation Citizen, Confirmed as Ambassador

Harper’s ambassadorship caps two decades of legal work on behalf of Native Americans, including a partnership at the law firm of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, where he was chair of the Native American Practice Group; senior staff attorney for the Native American Rights Fund; Supreme Court Justice on the Supreme Court of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians; and appellate justice on the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court.

ICTMN was pleased for the opportunity to conduct this interview. “This will be my first on-the-record interview since assuming my position so I wanted to be sure we did it with [a publication from] Indian country,” he said.

What is your mission as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Council?

Read the full story at
Indian Country Today Media Network.


English (US)  August 2nd, 2014 by admin ( Email )

By Gulamhusein A. Abba

The thud of Hamas rockets landing in Israel is the voice
of Palestinian resistance. The current war by Israel on Gaza
is its desperate attempt to silence this voice.

Hamas is resisting the long drawn, nearly half a century long
brutal occupation. And Israel, the occupier has been trying
to snuff out this sole source of resistance. Its present carnage
in Gaza is its desperate attempt to realize this goal once and for all.

In justifying Israel’s current war on Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims that Gazan terrorists led by Hamas are raining thousands of rockets on Israel in an attempt destroy it, to wipe it off the map, in accordance with their charter. This poses an ‘existential threat’ to Israel and it is the duty of the government to protect its people and defend Israel. It is with this goal in mind Israel has launched the current operation to find and destroy the tunnels Gazans use to infiltrate into Israel and kill its soldiers, and, to locate and destroy the manufacturing, storage and launching sites of the rockets, the training centers and ‘command centers’ of Hamas. (Israel includes homes of Hamas militants and leaders under the term .command centers’)

On the face of it, this seems a perfectly valid explanation.

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The Palestinians’ Right to Self-Defense

English (US)  July 26th, 2014 by admin ( Email )


Chris Hedges

If Israel insists, as the Bosnian Serbs did in Sarajevo, on using the weapons of industrial warfare against a helpless civilian population then that population has an inherent right to self-defense under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. The international community will have to either act to immediately halt Israeli attacks and lift the blockade of Gaza or acknowledge the right of the Palestinians to use weapons to defend themselves.

No nation, including any in the Muslim world, appears willing to intervene to protect the Palestinians. No world body, including the United Nations, appears willing or able to pressure Israel through sanctions to conform to the norms of international law. And the longer we in the world community fail to act, the worse the spiral of violence will become.

Israel does not have the right to drop 1,000-pound iron fragmentation bombs on Gaza. It does not have the right to pound Gaza with heavy artillery and with shells lobbed from gunboats. It does not have the right to send in mechanized ground units or to target hospitals, schools and mosques, along with Gaza’s water and electrical systems. It does not have the right to displace over 100,000 people from their homes. The entire occupation, under which Israel has nearly complete control of the sea, the air and the borders of Gaza, is illegal.

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HRW Whitewashes Israel, The Law Supports Hamas: Some Reflections on Israel’s Latest Massacre

English (US)  July 26th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, speaking at the Münich Security Conference in 2012.

HRW Whitewashes Israel, The Law Supports Hamas: Some Reflections on Israel’s Latest Massacre

[The analysis and data in this article refer to the period prior to the Israeli ground invasion.]

On 7 July 2014, Israel unleashed Operation Protective Edge against Gaza. When it launched a ground invasion on 18 July 2014, Israel had already killed 230 Gazan Palestinians, of whom seventy-five percent (171) were civilians and twenty percent (forty-eight) children, wounded more than 1,700, and destroyed or rendered uninhabitable hundreds of homes leaving more than ten thousand Gazans without shelter. On the other side, according to daily updates Palestinian projectiles had killed one Israeli civilian, wounded eighteen, and damaged three Israeli homes. It is hard to conceive of a more disproportionate balance sheet in an alleged “war.”

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Revealed: the Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces

English (US)  July 26th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Revealed: the Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces

More children than Palestinian fighters are being killed in Israel's offensive on Gaza, according to the UN. Shown here are the name, age, and sex of 132 of those children, recorded by the Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights

See graphics at THE TELEGRAPH

Senator, Could You Have the Decency to Condemn the Shelling of the UN School?

English (US)  July 26th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Stan Heller, chair of the Middle East Crisis Committee, confronts Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy on his unconditional obsequious support of Israel:

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Do American Indians celebrate the forth of July?

English (US)  July 4th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Dennis Zotigh

(The following was originally posted on July 3, 2013 by the National Museum of American Indian and has been updated with more readers’ comments and descriptions. Follow the discussion on the museum's Facebook page.)

How do Indians observe the 4th of July? Do we celebrate? To answer, let’s turn back the pages of time. A reasonable chapter to begin in is July 1776, when the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence and 13 colonies became the United States of America. With the emergence of a nation interested in expanding its territory came the issue of what to do with American Indians. History tells us that as the American non-Indian population increased, the indigenous population greatly decreased, along with their homelands and cultural freedoms.

From the beginning, U.S. government policy contributed to culture and land loss. Keeping our focus on the 4th of July, however, let’s jump to the early 1880s, when Secretary of the Interior Henry Teller developed what has come to be called the Religious Crimes Code—regulations at the heart of the Department of Interior, Office of Indian Affairs, Code of Indian Offenses that prohibited American Indian ceremonial life.

Teller's general guidelines to all Indian agents were to end tribal dances and feasts. Enforced on reservations, the code banned Indian ceremonies, disrupted religious practices, and destroyed or confiscated sacred objects. Indian ceremonial activities were prohibited under threat of imprisonment and/or the withholding of treaty rations.

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

Working on Acknowledgment – Interior’s New Hawaiian Recognition Initiative

English (US)  June 25th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Gale Courey Toensing
On June 18, the Interior Department issued a press release announcing it is taking “a first step to consider reestablishing a government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian community.” The purpose, the release says, “would be to more effectively implement the special political and trust relationship that currently exists between the Federal government and the Native Hawaiian community.”

Interior issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) – a sort of notice of a possible coming notice of a proposed new rule – that lays out a series of public meetings and consultations in Hawaii and Indian country over the next 60 days, beginning June 23 in Honolulu. The meetings are to solicit comments to help Interior decide if it will move ahead and develop a formal, administrative procedure for “reestablishing” an official government-to-government relationship with the Native Hawaiian community and if so, what that procedure should be.

The issue is fraught with complexities, including a growing Hawaiian sovereignty movement that wants its country back. While Interior considers “reestablishing” a government-to-government relationship with Hawaii, the last time one existed was before the U.S. government's illegal military-backed regime change in Hawaii, a sovereign independent state, in 1893 and its backing of a U.S.-controlled ''provisional government'' in violation of treaties and international law.

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

Vets Seek to Honor and Be Honored by Bald Eagle

English (US)  June 24th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Gale Courey Toensing

Two Vietnam War veterans are hoping that Wisconsin’s statewide observance of American Eagle Day on Friday, June 20, will become an annual event honoring veterans at military posts through the country.

Jim Overman, a citizen of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, and Larry Kutschma, a member of the state’s Board of Veterans Affairs, and past Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) State Commander, took the first step toward their goal by asking Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to issue a proclamation declaring June 20 American Eagle Day throughout the state of Wisconsin. The date is significant: It was on June 20, 1782, that Congress proclaimed the bald eagle as America’s national emblem.

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

What Is US Ambassador Keith Harper Calling a ‘Global Scourge’?

English (US)  June 24th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Gale Courey Toensing
Describing violence against indigenous women and girls as a “global scourge,” Keith Harper, the United States ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council, called on the world peace organization to use everything in its toolbox to address the problem and urged the upcoming World Conference on Indigenous Peoples to raise awareness of it throughout the U.N. system.

“As we prepare for the upcoming World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, we express great concern that indigenous women and girls often suffer multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and poverty that increase their vulnerability to all forms of violence. We also stress the need to seriously address the high and disproportionate rates of violence, which takes many forms, against indigenous women and girls worldwide,” Harper said on Tuesday (June 24) at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. ”Indigenous women and girls have the same human rights and fundamental freedoms as everyone else, and a common recognition of those rights must underpin efforts to address violence against indigenous women and girls.

Read more at Indian County Today Media Network

Epic Paskenta Dispute Continues, Despite BIA Cease and Desist Letter

English (US)  June 15th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Gale Courey Toensing

A nine-week leadership and disenrollment fight in the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians of California that threatened to spiral out of control into violence abated for a brief moment when the Bureau of Indian Affairs issued a cease and desist letter on June 9. That message ordered one faction to stop illegally operating the tribe’s Rolling Hills Casino, and stated that the agency recognized the elected tribal council as the tribe’s legitimate governing body, and would continue to do so until the tribe resolves its internal dispute according to its own laws and practices. But the BIA’s intervention did not end the dispute: an appeal of the cease and desist order was filed almost immediately and the conflict continues.

Troy Burdick, the superintendent of the BIA’s Sacramento office, issued the administrative cease-and-desist order in a letter based on information received from the State Attorney General's Office and the Tehama County Sheriff's Office.

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

Velky to Washburn: Third Party Fed Rec Veto is Unconstitutional

English (US)  June 9th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Schaghticoke Tribal Nation Chief Richard Velky

Gale Courey Toensing
A proposal granting a third party veto power over a tribe’s effort to re-petition for federal recognition is unconstitutional, according to the chief of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation.

In a May 27 letter to the Interior Department’s Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs (ASIA) Kevin Washburn, Schaghticoke Tribal Nation (STN) Chief Richard Velky said that the discussion draft of changes to the federal recognition regulations issued last spring was well received in Indian country. But not so with the proposed regulations announced in May, which included a new supplemental provision giving third parties that have been involved in litigation against tribes veto power over those tribes’ right to re-petition. Tribes would have to go to the same third party that fought its federal recognition at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Interior Board of Indian Appeals and/or in federal court to get their consent before re-petitioning. In Connecticut, which has fought indigenous sovereignty for almost 400 years, the likelihood of that happening is slim to none, Indian leaders say.

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

The Books That Brought Bad Luck

English (US)  June 8th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Johnny Rustywire

“She had some children. A boy named Yagah, one called Moav, and Voo-muw-watch. In the English way of speaking she is called Maggie.”

“Are those children still living?”

It was winter. The snows were deep and Tagah was going to have a baby.
It was a bad time to have a small one. Those looking for gold were pushing Nuche back deep into the forest, away from the hot springs they loved, their winter camp

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

Video: The Invasion of America—Watch the Indigenous Land Base Shrink

English (US)  June 8th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Steve Russell

American Indians in the United States know there was a time when we represented 100 percent of the population and owned 100 percent of the land. When we think of how we got where we are, the date that matters is 1492, because the Norse settlements that steal Columbus’s thunder were well north of the U.S.

Of course, there was no U.S. in 1492, and there would not be for almost 300 years. Columbus kicked off the greatest treasure hunt in human history, and the Spanish royalty he represented hauled off the lion’s share of precious metals.

Gold and silver were not the whole story. If they had been, the colonists could have been bought off with mining concessions. Europe was feudal when the Americas beckoned, and the basis of wealth in a feudal society is land. Every tract, or fief, belonged to some warlord, and the right to the labor of the actual occupants “ran with the land.”

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

St. Regis Land Rights Lawsuit Nears Settlement

English (US)  June 3rd, 2014 by admin ( Email )

St. Regis Land Rights Lawsuit Nears Settlement

Gale Courey Toensing

From the left: Tony Arquiett, Legislator Representing District 13, Jonathan Putney, chairman of St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators Representing District 15, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Tribal Chief Ron LaFrance Jr., Tribal Chief Beverly Cook, Tribal Sub-Chief Eric Thompson and Tribal Sub-Chief Michael Conners.

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe has entered into an agreement with the State of New York and St. Lawrence County that would settle a decades old land rights lawsuit, clarify jurisdictional matters, and finalize the resolution of a dispute over gaming revenues in the tribe’s exclusivity zone. But a final settlement cannot be enacted without support and sign-on from Franklin County.

On May 28, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT) chiefs and leaders from New York state and St. Lawrence County signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will allow the tribe to buy 4,800 acres of identified aboriginal lands from willing sellers and restore the acres to the reservation

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

Holy Land Visit: Palestinian Christians Need a Political Pope Too

English (US)  May 30th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Pope Francis at Israel's Separation Wall in Bethlehem

By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth

When Pope Benedict XVI visited the Holy Land five years ago, Israel heightened its security, gladly emphasizing the potential threat he supposedly faced in Israel from Muslim extremists.

As his successor, Pope Francis, arrived in Israel late on Sunday, security was no less strict. Some 9,000 police had been drafted in to protect him, Christian institutions were under round-the-clock protection, and the intelligence services were working overtime. According to a Vatican official, Israel’s preparations had turned “the holy sites into a military base”.

On this occasion Israel was less keen to publicize the source of its fears, because the most tangible threat came not from Islamists but Jewish fanatics linked to Israel’s settler movement.

=> Read more!

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Anthony Bourdain: Palestinians Have Been Robbed of their Basic Humanity

English (US)  May 30th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Anthony Bourdain

It is a measure I guess of how twisted and shallow our depiction of a people is that these images come as a shock to so many. The world has visited many terrible things on the Palestinian people, none more shameful than robbing them of their basic humanity….Anthony Bourdain

Chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain was awarded the Voices of Courage and Conscience in media award by the Muslim Public Affairs Council for the episode he did on Palestine on Parts Unknown, his new show on CNN.

In the episode he travels to the Gaza Strip, Jerusalem and the West Bank to explore and experience Palestinian cuisine.

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Bay Mills Beats Michigan; Tribal Sovereign Immunity Upheld

English (US)  May 27th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Rob Capriccioso


Tribal sovereign immunity trumps Michigan’s desire to sue the Bay Mills Indian Community over issues stemming from an irksome off-reservation casino that’s been non-operating almost since the day it opened in 2010.

So ruled the U.S. Supreme Court May 27 in a 5 - 4 decision in a case that a plethora of national and legal tribal law experts had warned the tribe from the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan not to take to the high court.

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

Pope Francis' Visit to Palestine

English (US)  May 26th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

By Richard Falk

Pope Francis’ visit to the Holy Land raises one overwhelming question: ‘what is the nature of religious power in our world of the 21st century?’ ‘can it have transformative effects’?

Media pundits and most liberal voices from the secular realm approve of this effort by Francis to seek peace through the encouragement of reconciliation, while dutifully reminding us that his impact is only ‘ceremonial’ and ‘symbolic’ and will not, and presumably should not, have any political consequences beyond a temporary cleansing of the political atmosphere.

The June 6th prospect of Mahmoud Abbas and Shimon Peres praying together in the Vatican as a step toward a peaceful end of the long struggle is, I fear, an ambiguous sideshow. For one thing, Peres as President of Israel is about to leave the office, and in any event, his position exerts no discernible influence on the head of state, Benjamin Netanyahu, or the approach taken by Israel in addressing Palestinian concerns. It has long been appreciated that Peres is less than he seems, and beneath his velvet globe is a steel fist. Also, Abbas, although the formal leader of the Palestinian Authority and Chair of the PLO, is a weak and controversial leader who has yet to establish a unity government that includes Hamas, and finally provides political representation for the long suffering population of the Gaza Strip within global venues.

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Mashpee Chair Receives Honorary Law Degree; Mashpee Woman Goes to Law School

English (US)  May 26th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Mashpee Wampanoag Chairman Cedric Cromwell and his wife Cheryl at Suffolk University Law School where he received an honorary law degree.

By Gale Courey Toensing

The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has two law-related reasons to celebrate: its chairman has received an honorary law degree from a prestigious east coast university and one of its citizens has been accepted at the university some say provides the best Indian law education in the country.

On Saturday, May 17, Mashpee Chairman Cedric Cromwell received an honorary law degree from Boston’s Suffolk University while 467 students received juris doctor and master of law degrees at the Law School commencement exercises. And in a few weeks, Mashpee citizen Stephanie Sfiridis will travel to Albuquerque to attend the Arizona State University’s Pre-law Summer Institute Program before jumping into the full Indian Legal Program at ASU’s main campus in Tempe, Arizona, in the fall.

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

Federal Recognition Proposal Praised -- Except for CT's 'Third Party' Veto

English (US)  May 25th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

By Gale Courey Toensing
Indian country has welcomed a set of proposed regulations to reform the federal recognition process, but a provision that would hand third parties veto power to quash a tribe’s request for reconsideration of its petition is raising an outcry that political influence from Connecticut politicians is once again tainting the process.

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/05/25/federal-recognition-proposal-praised-except-cts-third-party-veto-155024

Q&A: Kevin Washburn on New Proposed Federal Recognition Rules

English (US)  May 25th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

By Gale Courey Toensing
On Thursday, Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn announced the publication in the Federal Register of proposed new regulations that will reform the 35-year-old process by which the federal government acknowledges Indian tribes and enters into a nation-to-nation relationship with them – a much-needed upgrade of a process that’s been described by both tribes and their opponents as broken and unfair. The publication of the proposed new rules follows the release last June of a draft of the proposed changes and, after another period of consultations and comments, will lead to final regulations being published and implemented. Washburn talked about the substance and process of the proposed new rules in an exclusive interview with ICTMN.

Read more at:


Internalized Oppression: Yet another Loss for an Occupied Nation

English (US)  April 15th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Sacrifices must be made and sometimes risks must be taken to snatch our life from the jaws of death. (Photo: Activestills.org)

By Samah Jabr – Jerusalem, Palestine

The chronic tyranny brought by the Israeli occupation has had a devastating effect on the wellbeing of the Palestinian community. But one of the worst effects is the internalization of oppression and the undermining of Palestinian’s collective self-concept. I have observed that since the 2006 elections in Palestine—which were followed by an arrest of the elected parliamentarians and an international boycott of the elected government—the vigorous spirit of the Palestinian community that had previously evolved during long years of resistance has finally been reduced to a state of demoralization.The undermining of this election represented an additional bitter blow after the more subtle impact of the Oslo’s Accords, which had been originally promoted as part of the Palestinian liberation project. However, reports published on the Accord’s 20th anniversary showed that during this period the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank had doubled and the area controlled by settlements had expanded to 42 % of Palestinian land; furthermore, a system of restrictions on Palestinian movement and trade had continued its division of Palestinian families and its decimation of the economy. No mention the infamous collaboration between Palestinian and Israeli security forces that has secured for Israelis a profitable trade and tourism through bed and breakfast hotels overlooking the magnificent hills of the West Bank, dismantled resistance, and incarcerated more Palestinians in prisons.

=> Read more!

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Heated Jerusalem Peace Talks End in Impasse

English (US)  April 4th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Erekat reportedly told the Israeli side that “we are here to negotiate in the name of the UN-recognized State of Palestine, not in the name of a Palestinian Authority whose inputs and outputs are controlled by Israel.”

A long and heated meeting between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators in Jerusalem ended early Thursday without any signs of bringing both sides back to the negotiating table.

Palestinian sources told Ma’an that the nine-hour meeting with US Special Envoy Martin Indyk was attended by PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat, Head of Palestinian intelligence Majid Faraj, and Israeli negotiators Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molcho.

The sources described the meeting as a “fierce political battle”, with Martin Indyk struggling to control heated exchanges between both sides.

Erekat reportedly told the Israeli side that “we are here to negotiate in the name of the UN-recognized State of Palestine, not in the name of a Palestinian Authority whose inputs and outputs are controlled by Israel.”

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Palestinians Must Abandon the ‘Peace Process’

English (US)  April 4th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

The Palestinian leadership, for too long timid and self-serving, finally has a chance to redeem itself. (Photo: WAFA)

By Ghada Karmi

No term in the Israeli-Palestinians political lexicon has been so abused or so denuded of meaning as the “peace process”. It was set up after the Oslo Accords in 1993, to settle the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians by peaceful negotiations, but has led nowhere.

Yet it is still ongoing, its latest manifestation launched in August 2013, when US Secretary of State John Kerry put forward an ambitious plan to resolve all the major issues that have bedevilled the conflict within the space of nine months. The result he envisaged was a “final-status agreement” over borders, security, Jerusalem and refugees, which when resolved, would supposedly end the conflict for good

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Kerry’s Looming Deadline and the Peace Process Industry

English (US)  April 4th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

In the last four decades, the 'peace process' became an American diplomatic staple in the region. (Photo: WH)

By Ramzy Baroud

As the US-imposed April 29 deadline for a ‘framework’ agreement between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority looms, time is also running out for the American administration itself. The Obama administration must now conjure up an escape route to avoid a political crisis if the talks are to fail, as they surely will.

Chances are the Americans knew well that peace under the current circumstances is simply not attainable. The Israeli government’s coalition is so adamantly anti-Arab, anti-peace and anti any kind of agreement that would fall short from endorsing the Israeli apartheid-like occupation, predicated on colonial expansion, annexations of borders, land confiscation, control of holy places and much more. Ideally for Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies in the right, far-right and ultranationalists, Palestinians would need to be crammed in disjointed communities, separated from each other by walls, Jewish settlements, Jewish-only bypass roads, checkpoints, security fences, and a large concentration of Israeli military presence including permanent Israeli control of the Jordan Valley. In fact, while politicians tirelessly speak of peace, the above is the exact ‘vision’ that the Israelis had in mind almost immediately following the 1967 war – the final conquest of all of historic Palestine and occupation of Arab lands.

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Israel Cancels Palestinian Prisoner Release

English (US)  April 4th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Israel had promised to free 104 veteran Palestinian prisoners in four tranches. (Photo: Tamar Fleishman)
Apr 3 2014

Israel will not release the fourth batch of Palestinian prisoners because of renewed Palestinian efforts to join international organizations.

A spokesman for Tzipi Livni, Israel’s justice minister and the government’s chief negotiator, said on Thursday that the Israeli government had been working to finalize an agreement to free the prisoners when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed letters of accession to 15 international conventions.

Abbas said it was a response to Israel’s failure to release prisoners as promised, according to the Associated Press news agency.

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Abbas agrees to extend peace talks

English (US)  March 24th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas has agreed to extend peace talks with Israel if certain conditions are met, a Palestinian official said Monday.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Ma'an that during a recent meeting with US President Barack Obama Abbas agreed to extend peace negotiations if Israel pledged to freeze settlement construction and release more prisoners.

A good test to see if Israel is serious about making concessions, the official said, will be whether it releases the last of the four groups of prisoners it agreed to free before talks began in July.

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The Man, the Lad and the Boy: Each Person is in Himself a Sea

English (US)  March 24th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

By Tamar Fleishman

I decided to talk about the detainment of Palestinians by the army through the story of three people; I attempted to portray the larger picture by using personal stories.

These people aren’t heroes nor are they warriors, provocateurs, protestors or people who had made names for themselves.

A man, a lad and a boy, they are just three among the thousands that are crushed under the violent and vicious boot of the executors of the policy that aims to break the spirit and daily life of the Palestinian people, of thousands of people who don’t know what the future holds. Each one of their hopes and dreams is accompanied by doubt, since this everlasting and advancing terror that is used against the civil population is like a sword that dangles over all of them, men as well as women, children as well as adults, and they never know from where shall evil break and what will bring upon them the next disaster.

Statistics show that there are thousands of detainees.

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Internalized Oppression: Yet another Loss for an Occupied Nation

English (US)  March 24th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Mar 23 2014 / 7:35 pm

Sacrifices must be made and sometimes risks must be taken to snatch our life from the jaws of death. .

By Samah Jabr – Jerusalem, Palestine

The chronic tyranny brought by the Israeli occupation has had a devastating effect on the wellbeing of the Palestinian community. But one of the worst effects is the internalization of oppression and the undermining of Palestinian’s collective self-concept. I have observed that since the 2006 elections in Palestine—which were followed by an arrest of the elected parliamentarians and an international boycott of the elected government—the vigorous spirit of the Palestinian community that had previously evolved during long years of resistance has finally been reduced to a state of demoralization.The undermining of this election represented an additional bitter blow after the more subtle impact of the Oslo’s Accords, which had been originally promoted as part of the Palestinian liberation project. However, reports published on the Accord’s 20th anniversary showed that during this period the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank had doubled and the area controlled by settlements had expanded to 42 % of Palestinian land; furthermore, a system of restrictions on Palestinian movement and trade had continued its division of Palestinian families and its decimation of the economy. No mention the infamous collaboration between Palestinian and Israeli security forces that has secured for Israelis a profitable trade and tourism through bed and breakfast hotels overlooking the magnificent hills of the West Bank, dismantled resistance, and incarcerated more Palestinians in prisons.

=> Read more!

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US Desperate to Keep Futile Peace Process Show on the Road a Little Longer

English (US)  March 24th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Obama and Abbas in the Oval Office. (Photo: WAFA)

By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth

For the first time since the US launched the Middle East peace talks last summer, the Palestinian leadership may be sensing it has a tiny bit of leverage.

Barack Obama met the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Washington last week in what Palestinian officials called a “candid and difficult” meeting. The US president hoped to dissuade Abbas from walking away when the original negotiations’ timetable ends in a month.

The US president and his secretary of state, John Kerry, want their much-delayed “framework agreement” to provide the pretext for spinning out the stalled talks for another year. The US outline for peace is now likely to amount to little more than a set of vague, possibly unwritten principles that both sides can assent to.

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OMAR: Uncovering Occupied Palestine

English (US)  February 12th, 2014 by admin ( Email )


By Richard Falk

OMAR is the second film directed by Hany Alu-Assad to be a finalist among foreign language films nominated to receive an Oscar at the 2014 Academy Awards ceremony on March 2nd. The earlier film, PARADISE NOW (2005), brought to life the preoccupation at the time with suicide bombing as the principle tactic of Palestinian resistance by exposing the deep inner conflicts of those who partake, the tragic effects of such terror on its Israeli targets, and the hardened manipulative mentality of the leaders who prepare the perpetrators. Alu-Assad born in 1961 in Nazareth, emigrated to the Netherlands in 1980, writes the screen plays for his movies as well as directs. He has a profound gift for story telling that keeps an audience engaged with the human drama affecting the principal Palestinian characters while illuminating broader issues of profound moral and political concern without stooping to didactic means of conveying ‘the message.’ So understood, Alu-Assad’s achievement is artistic in the primary sense, yet attunes us to the dilemmas of oppression and servitude.

In these respects OMAR is superior even to PARADISE NOW, telling the story of what life under Israeli occupation means for the way Palestinian lives are lived, the normalcy’s of romantic attraction contrasting with the abnormalities of humiliating lives lived behind prison walls. The film opens with Omar climbing the high domineering security wall to overcome the separation of Arab families living on either side, being detected by the Israeli guards who sound sirens and fire a shot. Omar manages to clamor back down and leap to safety. Israeli police on foot and in cars pursue Omar through the alleyways and streets of an impoverished Palestinian neighborhood. The underlying poignancy of Omar’s situation is to be at once ‘a freedom fighter’ and a sensitive young man deeply in love with Nadia, the younger sister of Tarek, his militia commander. In an unspoken realism, Omar is unconditionally bound to both causes, jeopardizing his chance to live a shadow life of acquiescence to the realities of occupation by his choice to dedicate himself at great risk and little hope to the liberation of the Palestinian people and their land.

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BDS, ‘Lawfare’ Big Winners at South African Parliamentary Conference

English (US)  February 12th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

People gathered in the same parliamentary halls where Apartheid politicians once sat, to attend the Parliamentary Solidarity Conference. (Photo: Supplied)
People gathered in the same parliamentary halls where Apartheid politicians once sat, to attend the Parliamentary Solidarity Conference. (Photo: Supplied)

By Suraya Dadoo

Feb 12 2014 / 12:52 pm

2014 was declared the year of solidarity with the Palestinian people, and nowhere is this being taken more seriously than in South Africa. From ordinary individuals, to civil society, and those in the highest echelons of power, South Africa’s message to the Palestinian people is: “Your struggle is our struggle.” In successive State of the Nation addresses since 2010, and during a press conference last year with US president Barack Obama, President Zuma openly stated: “We are with the Palestinians.”

Actions, however, speak louder than words, and on Thursday 6 Feb, people from all walks of life gathered in the same parliamentary halls where Apartheid politicians once sat, to attend the Parliamentary Solidarity Conference. The conference, hosted by the South African Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Co-operation, is the first of its kind in Parliament. The aim of the conference was to produce a practical, action-oriented strategy that could be suggested to the South African Parliament, so that the solidarity campaigns for Palestine, Western Sahara and Cuba could be taken forward.

Following messages of solidarity by anti-apartheid icon Ahmed Kathrada and various parliamentarians and civil society representatives, breakaway groups discussed the key question of how to intensify the struggle for self-determination and bring about a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Marthie Momberg of Kairos Southern Africa, an ecumenical voice on local and international issues of justice from within the broader Christian community, called on the South African government to adopt complete military, diplomatic and financial sanctions against Israel until it complies with all applicable United Nations (UN) resolutions and international law, and ends the occupation.

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Federal Recognition Process: A Culture of Neglect

English (US)  January 27th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

By Gale Courey Toensing

The Shinnecock Indian Nation was petitioner number 4 on the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ list of tribes seeking federal recognition in 1978 soon after the agency established the seven criteria for recognition.

Thirty-two years and $33 million later in June 2010, the BIA acknowledged the Shinnecock Nation as an American Indian tribe with a government-to-government relationship with the United States’ and whose members are eligible to receive health, education, housing and other services provided to federally recognized tribes – services the federal government is obligated to provide as a debt owed to the Indigenous Peoples in exchange for the loss of their lands.

Three or four days after receiving federal recognition, the tribe got another letter from the BIA, Lance Gumbs, former Shinnecock council chairman, said. “It was an internal memo from inside the Office of Federal Acknowledgement and this memo said the Shinnecock Tribe is indeed a tribe and they should be recognized expeditiously in this process,” Gumbs said. “And that letter was dated from 1979.”

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

Osage Blanket

English (US)  January 27th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Blanket (T809); Osage, Oklahoma; ca. 1890; wool, silk ribbon, beads, thread; Collection of the Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York. Gift of Eugene Victor Thaw Art Foundation.

Inherent Sovereignty Declaration Sets Tone for Federal Recognition Conference

English (US)  January 27th, 2014 by admin ( Email )

Leaders and representatives of 29 indigenous nations that are not acknowledged by the federal government participated in a pipe ceremony and signing of a Declaration on the Exercise of Inherent Sovereignty and Cooperation on the first day of a conference called Who Decides You're Real? Fixing the Federal Recognition Process at Arizona State University.

By Gale Courey Toensing

A unique direct action took place on the first morning of a recent conference on federal recognition: The panel discussions stopped for almost two hours while everyone participated in a ceremony for the signing and witnessing of a declaration asserting the inherent sovereignty of indigenous nations.

The conference, called “Who Decides You’re Real? Fixing the Federal Recognition Process,” was held January 16-17 at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Close to 200 tribal leaders and representatives of both federally recognized and “unrecognized” indigenous nations, attorneys and consultants specializing in the Federal Acknowledgement Process (FAP), and federal officials attended. The discussion focused on the challenges faced by unrecognized tribes under what everyone agrees is a “broken” federal recognition process and ways to fix it.

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

New York Times Fiction: On Obama’s Letter to Rouhani

English (US)  September 26th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran, addresses the general debate of the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly, Sep 24, 13. (Photo: UN)
Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran, addresses the general debate of the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly, Sep 24, 13. (Photo: UN)

By Ramzy Baroud

Mark Landler is a White House correspondent for The New York Times. Under the title “Through Diplomacy, Obama Finds a Pen Pal in Iran”, Landler wrote of President Barack Obama’s deep “belief in the power of the written word,” and of his “frustrating private correspondence with the leaders of Iran.” (NYT, Sep. 19)

What is also frustrating is the unabashed snobbery of Landler’s and the NYT’s narrative regarding Iran: that of successive US administrations trying their best and obstinate Iranian leaders – stereotyped and derided – who always fail to reciprocate. This is all supposedly changing though since the new Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, who they present as different and approachable, decided to break ranks with his predecessors.

This is of course hardly an appropriate framing of the story. While a friendly exchange of letters between Rouhani and Obama is a welcomed development in a region that is torn between failed revolutions, civil wars and the potential of an all-out regional conflict, it is not true that it is Rouhani’s personality that is setting him apart from his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Rouhani’s ‘charm offensive’ as described by the times is a ‘process’ that ‘has included the release of 11 prominent political prisoners and a series of conciliatory statements by top Iranian officials.’ It is natural then, we are meant to believe, that Obama would make his move and apply his writing skills in earnest. Israel was not mentioned in the story even once, as if the fact that Israel’s decade-long advocacy of sanctioning and bombing Iran has not been the single greatest motive behind the deteriorating relations between Washington and Tehran, long before Ahmadinejad was painted by US media, NTY included, as the devil incarnate.

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Eastern Cherokee Opposition to Catawba Casino Fuels US Senate Race

English (US)  September 26th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Courtesy Cawtaba Indian Nation
An artist's rendering of the proposed casino on 16 acres located in Cleveland County, North Carolina.

By Gale Courey Toensing/Indian Coountry Today Media Network
September 25, 2013

The South Carolina-based Catawba Indian Nation wants to build a casino just over the state line in North Carolina in a county that is within its federal service area and part of its aboriginal lands. But the Nation faces fierce opposition from the North Carolina-based Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, who own and operate the successful Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort some 130 miles away as the crow flies.

The Catawba’s casino plan is also opposed by North Carolina legislators who have received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI). Recently, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis and more than 100 House legislators wrote to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell asking her to block Catawba’s land into trust application, which was filed September 4. Nearly every legislator who signed the letter received campaign donations from the EBCI in 2012 ranging from $500 to $4000, the amount Tillis received, according to Follow the Money.

Read the full story at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/09/25/eastern-cherokee-opposition-catawba-casino-fuels-us-senate-race-151437"

Connecticut Governor Joins Blumenthal’s Anti-Indian Campaign

English (US)  August 30th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

By Gale Courey Toensing
August 30, 2013

With the Connecticut governor joining Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s racist anti-Indian campaign against reforming the federal recognition process, the circle of opposition is almost complete.

The Republican American newspaper reported August 16 that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy “is lining up to oppose the latest efforts to grant federal recognition to three Connecticut Indian tribes.”

There are no “latest efforts” underway to grant federal recognition to Connecticut’s three remaining state recognized tribes – the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation, the Golden Hill Paugusetts, and the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation. But Blumenthal has succeeded in stirring up fear and trembling in Connecticut’s local, state, and federal elected officials over Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn’s “Preliminary Discussion Draft” of potential changes to the federal acknowledgment regulations.


The Path to Peace Lies in Rejecting the "Pece Process"

English (US)  August 30th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

For as long as the injustices continue, there can be no peace. (Photo: ActiveStills.org)

By Jeremy R. Hammond

Palestine’s illegitimate president, Mahmoud Abbas, is doing incredible damage to the cause of his people.

It is betrayal enough that he has decided to return to the U.S.-led so-called “peace process”—which is the process by which the U.S. and Israel block implementation of the two-state solution—despite Israel refusing to show even a modicum of good faith. Under threats of punishment for disobedience and promises of financial reward for compliance, Abbas agreed to return to talks “without preconditions”, meaning while Israel’s illegal colonization of the West Bank and East Jerusalem continue unabated.

But his betrayal goes much further. He has also expressed his willingness to surrender the Palestinians’ national sovereignty and right to self-defense by agreeing to the Israeli demand that the state of Palestine must be “demilitarized”. Abbas has tried to justify this decision by reasoning, “We don’t need planes or missiles”. But whether having the means to defend the state of Palestine is necessary or not is not the question. It may or may not be necessary, as a practical matter, but by agreeing to Israel’s demand to a “demilitarized” state, Abbas is surrendering, as a matter of principle, that Palestine might have the means by which to exercise its right to self-defense if it ever became necessary to do so—such as if Israel were to do what it often does and launch airstrikes or ground invasions against the state of Palestine.

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10 Scariest NSA Secrets Exposed by Snowden; Why Natives Need to Know

English (US)  August 23rd, 2013 by admin ( Email )

By Gale Courey Toensing
August 23, 2013

The scariest revelation to come out of whistleblower Edward Snowden’s National Security Agency leaks is that everything you’ve ever known or suspected about government spying, including the use of sinister-sounding code-names, is true -- and then some.

In early June, The Guardian began publishing articles by journalist Glenn Greenwald about the United States government’s top-secret spying on US citizens through their phones and internet use. News of the mass surveillance programs set off an ongoing international storm of controversy over security and the ethics around the idea of the federal government acting like the government in George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel 1984, where “Big Brother is watching you.”
The menacing Big Brother poster from the 1956 film adaptation of '1984.'
The menacing Big Brother poster from the 1956 film adaptation of '1984.'

Greenwald soon disclosed that it was Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old American computer specialist and former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, who had downloaded a trove of top secret documents from NSA systems concerning several top-secret US and British government surveillance programs. The disclosure of Snowden’s identity was made at his request. "I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong," he said.

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network"

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Egypt: Polarizaton nd Genocide

English (US)  August 23rd, 2013 by admin ( Email )

By Richard Falk

In retrospect, Tahrir Square was “a revolution” that never was, which has now been superseded by “a counter-revolution” that was never possible. The dislodging of a Mubarak dynasty in 2011 did not even achieve “regime change”, much less initiate a transformative political process. There was no revolution to counter. Even more modest hopes for political reform and humane governance were doomed from the start.

What then was Tahrir Square? Part project (getting rid of Mubarak and sons), part fantasy (hoping that the carnivalistic unity of the moment would evolve into the sustained pursuit of a just society), and part delusional experiment (believing that the established order of Mubarak elites and their secular opponents would be willing to rebuild a more legitimate political and economic order even if it meant that would be losing significant power and status).

The turn to “democracy” in Egypt always contained a hidden condition: the Muslim Brotherhood was welcome to participate so long as it wouldn’t come to dominate. What was anticipated in forthcoming Egyptian national elections was 25-35 percent MB support, with the related assurance that the next president of Egypt would not be associated with the Brothers or be seen as a representative of political Islam, but would be drawn from the ranks of liberal seculars (that is, anti-Mubarak, but also fearful of Islamic influence in governing circles).

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A Peek Inside Kerry's "Peace" Process or Propaganda?

English (US)  August 23rd, 2013 by admin ( Email )

By Sam Bahour

The first proclaimed leak from Secretary John Kerry’s efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as it is so often called, were published last week in the reputable London-based daily Arabic newspaper, Al-Hayat. The source is said to be from a posting from the website of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, who claim the information was leaked to them by someone attending the tightly closed negotiating sessions. The validity of this claim and the contents of the leak are unverifiable and the infighting between Hamas and Fatah give both a vested interest to publicly damage the other, however, a read through the supposed leaked information makes anyone familiar with this issue take a worrying note.

The Al-Hayat article on the leak states that Secretary Kerry obtained Palestinian President Abbas’ approval on general parameters for the restart of negotiations, at meetings between the two in Amman on 17-18 July 2013, prior to Secretary Kerry’s announcement that negotiations would restart. According to the leaked document, “Kerry set a maximum period of time ranging from 6 to 9 months would be dedicated to bilateral Palestinian-Israeli negotiations … without any preconditions,” beyond the principles listed below and whereby Jordan participates in meetings on refugees, Jerusalem and borders where necessary:

1. “The Separation Wall will serve as the security borders of the ‘Jewish’ state, and the temporary border of the ‘Palestinian’ state… Both parties will acknowledge and announce this.”

2. There will be “an exchange in disputed territories within the plan of the Separation Wall noted above, as agreed to by both parties and with the blessing of the Arab League Follow-up Committee, as specified by this Committee to Mr. Kerry during their last visit to Washington, ranging in size from eight to ten percent of West Bank lands.”

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Reviving the Israel-Palestine Negotiations: The Indyk Appointment

English (US)  August 2nd, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Martin Indyk, former ambassador to Israel and onetime AIPAC employee.

By Richard Falk

It was to be expected. It was signaled in advance. And yet it is revealing.

The only other candidates considered for the job were equally known as Israeli partisans: Daniel Kurtzer, former ambassador to Israel before becoming Commissioner of Israel’s Baseball League and Dennis Ross, co-founder in the 1980s (with Indyk) of the AIPAC backed Washington Institute for Near East Policy; handled the 2000 Camp David negotiations on behalf of Clinton.

The winner among these three was Martin Indyk, former ambassador to Israel (1995-97; 2000-01), onetime AIPAC employee, British born, Australian educated American diplomat, with a long list of pro-Israeli credentials.

Does it not seem strange for the United States, the convening party and the unconditional supporter of Israel, to rely exclusively for diplomatic guidance in this concerted effort to revive the peace talks on persons with such strong and unmistakable pro-Israeli credentials?

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Once More into the Peace Process Dead End

English (US)  August 2nd, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Saeb Erekat had dared to give away far more than observers had ever imagined possible.

By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth

It may not have reached the level of fevered expectation unleashed by that famous handshake between Israeli and Palestinian leaders on the White House lawn in 1993, but the sense of hope inspired by the long-awaited revival of peace talks is both tangible and deeply misplaced.

The talks, which it was agreed this week will begin in earnest in the region in mid-August, are taking place not because either Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, or the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, believe a deal is in reach. The two sides are talking each to avoid being blamed for embarrassing John Kerry, the US secretary of state.

The mistaken mood of “change is in the air” was illustrated last week by a much-touted poll showing that 55 per cent of Israelis would vote for an agreement if presented with it, with 25 per cent opposed. Overlooked was the fact that many more Israelis – 70 per cent – believe an agreement cannot be reached, while 60 per cent say the reason is that Netanyahu will never partition the land.

Palestinians are no more sanguine. A recent poll revealed a measly 8 per cent had any degree of trust in the US as mediator.

But if ordinary Israelis and Palestinians are either despondent or uninterested, their leaders and many observers are talking up the chances of a breakthrough.

In part, this optimism is underpinned by the European Union’s unexpected and largely symbolic decision recently to penalize the settlements. From next year, the EU is supposed to deny funding to Israeli institutions in the occupied territories.

This is a bitter pill for Israel to swallow, and it is already seeking to punish Europe. Last weekend it emerged that the Israeli military was denying EU staff access to Gaza, and blocking European projects in Area C, the nearly two-thirds of the West Bank exclusively controlled by Israel.

But while Europe’s move has infuriated Israel, it looks suspiciously like it paved Netanyahu’s way to the negotiating table.

Israel and its supporters have long cultivated the idea that strong-arm tactics, such as boycotts and sanctions, only serve to push the Israeli public and politicians further to the right. This has been the US and Europe’s rationale for treating Israel with kid gloves since the Oslo process began two decades ago.

And yet the EU’s anti-settlement initiative suggests the opposite to be true. Both Netanyahu and Abbas hurried into the talks in the wake of the EU announcement – and for much the same reason.

For Netanyahu, Europe’s move was a stick he wielded to frighten into compliance those to his right in the government. He could argue persuasively that continuing Israeli intransigence on talks would only intensify the country’s isolation – the substance of his opaque references to “Israel’s strategic interests”.

Israel has much more to fear from the Palestinians outside the confines of a bogus peace process. There is the threat of the Palestinians building the momentum for further sanctions from bodies like the EU, or of their again taking their case for statehood to the United Nations, or of their referral of Israel to the International Criminal Court at the Hague for war crimes.

For Abbas, the same EU decision was a carrot used to disarm critics who have been warning that the revival of futile negotiations will damage the Palestinian national cause. Claiming the Europeans had forced Israel on to the backfoot, Abbas could argue that the moment had finally arrived to negotiate.

Uncharacteristically, the US has not appeared overly troubled by Israel’s patent displeasure at the sudden stiffening of EU resolve. Or as a senior US official told the Israeli media: “The Europeans are giving us the time and allowing us to try and get the talks going.”

But while the US, Europe, Netanyahu and even Abbas will gain some breathing space from months of empty talk about peace, there is no sign that the pressure bringing Israel to the table will continue once it is seated.

The most worrying indication that the US is heading down the same failed path is the announcement of Martin Indyk’s return as mediator. Indyk, a long-time Israel lobbyist, has been intimately tied to previous diplomatic failures.

In addition, the negotiators themselves are the same compromised figures who have been down this route before. The Palestine Papers, leaked by Al-Jazeera in 2011, revealed that in earlier talks Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat had dared to give away far more than observers had ever imagined possible, while even these generous concessions had failed to satisfy Israel’s Tzipi Livni.

There is also something puzzling about a peace process driven by a nine-month timetable rather than the logic of the negotiations. A possible motivation for the White House’s desire to drag out the talks was suggested by an official on Wednesday: the US desperately wants to avoid the “train wreck” of the Palestinians returning to the UN.

Another barometer for judging the chances of a breakthrough are the relaxed smiles of Netanyahu’s far-right ministers, who are clearly undisturbed by thoughts that the settlements are in imminent jeopardy.

In fact, quite the reverse. Israel has announced it will build 1,000 settler homes over the coming months, in addition to continuing private construction. A train line linking the settlements to Israeli towns, making them even more accessible and attractive, has also been unveiled.

Regarding the peace process, Kerry has previously warned that there is “a year, a year-and-a-half, or two years and it’s over”. But what would “over” actually entail?

For one thing, someone will have to be blamed and all past evidence suggests that the someone in question will be the Palestinians. For another, Netanyahu will be able to argue that, just as Kerry feared, the peace process is dead. No Palestinian leadership, he will claim, will ever be capable of making peace.

That may prove a tempting moment for Israel to carry out the much-longed-for annexation of Area C, the bulk of the West Bank and the site of the settlements. With as few as 100,000 Palestinians left in Area C after decades of ethnic cleansing, Israel can offer them citizenship without threatening the state’s hallowed Jewishness.

Not only would such a move satisfy Netanyahu’s hunger for more Palestinian land, but it would solve another problem, this time for Europe and the US. They would no longer have to fret about boycotting the settlements; annexation would mean there were no more settlements to oppose.

- Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilizations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). Visit: www.jonathan-cook.net. (A version of this article first appeared in The National, Abu Dhabi.)

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Henry A. Giroux | The Violence of Organized Forgetting

English (US)  July 27th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

"People who remember court madness through pain, the pain of the perpetually recurring death of their innocence; people who forget court another kind of madness, the madness of the denial of pain and the hatred of innocence." - James Baldwin

Violence of Organized Forgetting(Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)

By Henry A. Giroux, Truthout | Op-Ed

Learning to Forget

America has become amnesiac - a country in which forms of historical, political, and moral forgetting are not only willfully practiced but celebrated. The United States has degenerated into a social order that is awash in public stupidity and views critical thought as both a liability and a threat. Not only is this obvious in the presence of a celebrity culture that embraces the banal and idiotic, but also in the prevailing discourses and policies of a range of politicians and anti-public intellectuals who believe that the legacy of the Enlightenment needs to be reversed. Politicians such as Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich along with talking heads such as Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck and Anne Coulter are not the problem, they are symptomatic of a much more disturbing assault on critical thought, if not rational thinking itself. Under a neoliberal regime, the language of authority, power and command is divorced from ethics, social responsibility, critical analysis and social costs.

These anti-public intellectuals are part of a disimagination machine that solidifies the power of the rich and the structures of the military-industrial-surveillance-academic complex by presenting the ideologies, institutions and relations of the powerful as commonsense.[1] For instance, the historical legacies of resistance to racism, militarism, privatization and panoptical surveillance have long been forgotten and made invisible in the current assumption that Americans now live in a democratic, post-racial society. The cheerleaders for neoliberalism work hard to normalize dominant institutions and relations of power through a vocabulary and public pedagogy that create market-driven subjects, modes of consciousness, and ways of understanding the world that promote accommodation, quietism and passivity. Social solidarities are torn apart, furthering the retreat into orbits of the private that undermine those spaces that nurture non-commodified knowledge, values, critical exchange and civic literacy. The pedagogy of authoritarianism is alive and well in the United States, and its repression of public memory takes place not only through the screen culture and institutional apparatuses of conformity, but is also reproduced through a culture of fear and a carceral state that imprisons more people than any other country in the world.[2] What many commentators have missed in the ongoing attack on Edward Snowden is not that he uncovered information that made clear how corrupt and intrusive the American government has become - how willing it is to engage in vast crimes against the American public. His real "crime" is that he demonstrated how knowledge can be used to empower people, to get them to think as critically engaged citizens rather than assume that knowledge and education are merely about the learning of skills - a reductive concept that substitutes training for education and reinforces the flight from reason and the goose-stepping reflexes of an authoritarian mindset.[3]

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Minister: Israel Ready to Build 10,000 New Settler Homes

English (US)  July 14th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Israel is ready to “immediately” build 10,000 homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to lower housing costs, Housing Minister Uri Ariel was quoted as saying on Thursday.

“To immediately alleviate the housing crisis we must massively build in (East) Jerusalem and the settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria,” the Yediot Aharonot newspaper quoted Ariel as telling a parliamentary committee.

“Settlements like Beit Arye, Ofarim, Elkana are in the center of the land,” he said, “and we are prepared to launch 10,000 units there immediately.”

On his Facebook page, pro-settler Ariel noted that “For an entire year there has been no state marketing in Judea and Samaria (the biblical term for the West Bank) and east Jerusalem.”

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Samih Al Qasim and the Arab Men of Letters

English (US)  July 14th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Samih al Qasim: There is no blood-stained shred ..of a shirt our upright brothers wore."

By Talal Alyan

Arab poetry has, in some circles, become regarded as being synonymous with political resistance. The role of the written word has been fundamental in reinforcing our commitment to assorted causes and marginalized groups. It has also been irreplaceable in emboldening our cultural links, a political act to be sure in the context of the region. However, there seem to be aspects of Arab political verse that tend to be eclipsed by the more traditional slogans of resistance. By that I mean that sometimes the most commanding works are not those that espouse unwavering nationalism, but instead those that reflect the uncertainty and grief of the landscape. And much akin to the subject of their work, these poets are commonly fated to the same devastation and end.

It is hard to find Arab writers whose perspectives remained linear throughout their literary careers. There lie in the writing of even the most renowned political poets an evolution of ideology, a fluctuation of faith. It stands as testament to the veracity of Arab poetry that we find in it such a heavy presence of doubt, skepticism, and disillusion. “We wear the masks of living people,” proclaims Abdul Wahab Al-Bayati, the wandering Iraqi poet, after the 1967 war “We are half men/In the garbage dump of history.”

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Egypt in Year Three

English (US)  July 14th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

by The Editors | published July 10, 2013
Middle East Research and Information Project

Was the gathering of millions in Egypt on June 30 the continuation of a revolution or the occasion for a coup d’état? The answer is “both,” but the question is not the right one to ask.

There is, first of all, no necessary contradiction between the two terms. All of the revolutions in human history have involved the overthrow of heads of state by force or the threat thereof. The revolutionaries, whether they wield weapons themselves or not, must commandeer a portion of the state’s army or persuade the soldiers to lay down their arms. The French Revolution -- the canonical model -- took nearly a century to complete, during which period there were three republics with three different constitutions, two empires, two restored monarchs and plenty of interceding events that might be called “coups” and “counter-revolutions.” The Iranian revolution -- closer to the Egypt of 2013 in space and time -- has been “hijacked” by authoritarian elements (or thus declared) several times over. Yet the upheavals in Iranian society that began in 1979 proceed apace.

In Egypt on July 3, the army deposed an elected president, arrested him and several other members of his party, closed down the media outlets sympathetic to him and set about installing a new government. On July 8, the army fired live ammunition on the ex-president’s demonstrating supporters, killing more than 50. These actions were flagrantly anti-democratic, and no one with a pluralist vision for Egypt can applaud them. As during its direct misrule in 2011-2012, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has torn a hole in the national fabric and set back the development of “normal” participatory politics. Yet there remains ample reason to believe that their coup is a moment in a long process of social and political transformation that will continue for years to come.

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‘I’m Not Loving It’: Furor as McDonald’s Refuses to Open in Israeli West Bank Settlement

English (US)  July 1st, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Screenshot from facebook.com/MyIsrael.

Israeli settlers are up in arms about McDonald’s refusal to build an outlet in the West Bank, calling to boycott the company’s entire operations in Israel. The chain cited a policy of “staying out of occupied territories” with other businesses joining in.

McDonald’s stated that its refusal to operate in the West Bank “had always been the restaurant chain’s policy” and that its decision was not coordinated with McDonald’s headquarters in the US.

The co-owner of the new mall in the town of Ariel located in central West Bank admitted that some other international companies which were asked to open up businesses in the mall have also declined. He refused to specify which ones.

“The mediators told us that branches operating abroad and other companies holding rights in Israel for international brand names are worried about the potential negative response toward their businesses [from consumers] abroad if they open shops in the mall,” Tzahi Nahmias told Calcalist newspaper.

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Stamping Impunity on Israel’s War Crimes

English (US)  June 27th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Friday, June 28, 2013 Last Update: 3:56 PM GMT

Australia Post and Israel Post collaboratively issued two stamps. (Photo: Supplied)

By Vacy Vlazna

Israel and Australia’s joint projects normalizing Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity has sunk deeper in the degenerate mire of hasbara (propaganda & lies);

“So projects that constitute normalization are not about freedom, justice or liberation, but about numbing our minds to the horror of the occupation, so we accept it as normal, as permanent, as an unchangeable fixed reality”! (1)

In May, Australia Post and Israel Post collaboratively issued two stamps commemorating the Australian Light Horse and the WWI Battle of Beersheba in Palestine. The $2.60 stamp features contemporary images of Australian Light Horsemen. The 60c stamp features the statue of an Australian Light Horseman in the Park of the Australian Soldier, funded by the Pratt Foundation, at Beersheba.

ANZAC heroic courage and endurance warrants commemoration but the issue of the stamps entailed a cynical rewriting of Australian war history that deflects ANZAC honor to deodorize Israel’s stinking reputation around the world; the recent BBC’s 2013 Country Rating Poll places Israel squarely amongst North Korea and Pakistan as the world’s most negatively viewed nations.

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Unattainable Peace

English (US)  June 27th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

The deceptive 'freeze' may force Abbas to succumb to American pressure.

By Jamal Kanj

But for the chap from Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza who emerged earlier this week as the winner of the “Arab Idol,” the news from Palestine is grim.

The newly appointed Palestinian Prime Minister resigned and Israel still insists it should be able to negotiate over dividing the pie while it continues to eat it.

By the end of April, US Secretary of State John Kerry succeeded in tailoring another peace plan to entice Israel. Arab ministers supposedly agreed to amend a decade-old peace plan to satisfy Israeli demand for legalizing major illegal Jewish colonies in the West Bank.

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Maids for sale: Child exploitation bonanza

English (US)  June 19th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

By Ramzy Baroud

Last night at the hotel lobby of an Arab Gulf country, a family walked in aiming for the westernized café that sells everything but Arabic coffee. The mother seemed distant as she pressed buttons on her smart phone. The father looked tired as he buffed away on his cigarette, and a whole band of children ran around in refreshing chaos that broke the monotony of the fancy but impersonal hotel setting.

Chasing behind the children for no other reason but to be constantly vigilant to any unexpected harm was a very skinny Indonesian teenager wearing a tightly wrapped headscarf, worn out blue jeans and a long shirt. She was the maid, or khadama as maids are called here, meaning a servant.

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Inter-American Court Hears Mapuche Human Rights Case against Chile

English (US)  June 3rd, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Gale Courey Toensing / Indian Country Today Media Network
June 03, 2013

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has held hearings on several cases against the state of Chile concerning human rights abuses of land rights activists who were imprisoned under a controversial anti-terrorist law that dates back to the reign of former dictator, the late August Pinochet.

The court held hearings on May 29 and 30 in San Jose, Costa Rica, on the various cases, which were consolidated under the title Narín Catrimán vs. Chile. Two years ago, the affected families petitioned the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an autonomous part of the Organization of American States (“OAS”), whose mission is to promote and protect human rights in the American hemisphere. In August 12, 2011, the commission submitted the complaint to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for review.

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

Open Letter from Alice Walker to Alicia Keys

English (US)  May 31st, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Alice Walker. (Photo: Wikimedia commons)

Dear Alicia Keys,

I have learned today that you are due to perform in Israel very soon. We have never met, though I believe we are mutually respectful of each other’s path and work. It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists. You were not born when we, your elders who love you, boycotted institutions in the US South to end an American apartheid less lethal than Israel’s against the Palestinian people. Google Montgomery Bus Boycott, if you don’t know about this civil rights history already. We changed our country fundamentally, and the various boycotts of Israeli institutions and products will do the same there. It is our only nonviolent option and, as we learned from our own struggle in America, nonviolence is the only path to a peaceful future.

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Thanking Bradley Manning

English (US)  May 31st, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Afghan Peace Volunteers with a sign that thanks Bradley Manning. (Photo: Hakim/supplied)

By Kathy Kelly – Kabul

A few evenings ago, as the sky began to darken here in Kabul, Afghanistan, a small group of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, (APVs), gathered for an informal presentation about WikiLeaks, its chief editor Julian Assange, and its most prominent contributor, Bradley Manning. Basir Bita, a regular visitor to the APV household, began the evening’s discussion noting that June 1st will mark the beginning of Bradley Manning’s fourth year in prison. Two days later his trial will begin, a trial which could sadly result in his imprisonment for a life sentence. June 1st also begins an international week of support and solidarity, aimed at thanking Bradley Manning. #ThankManning!

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Mubarak-era Cruelty Continues at Rafah Crossing

English (US)  May 31st, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

By Ayah Bashir – Gaza Strip

Since 2006 — when Hamas unexpectedly won Palestinian parliamentary elections — the situation at the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt has been a source of extraordinary confusion.

For 1.6 million Palestinians in Gaza, the Rafah crossing has been the main gateway to the outside world. There are no other routes for entering or leaving our besieged territory — though there were until the late 1990s when Palestinians could travel here via Erez crossing, which separates Gaza and Israel.

Lately, the Egyptian government of President Mohammed Morsi has been following the trends set by the regime ousted following mass protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square two years ago. Morsi’s predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, carried out Israeli orders at Rafah, which meant the crossing was frequently closed.

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American exceptionalism is a dangerous myth

English (US)  May 26th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Move beyond Tea Party lies and phony patriotism. This Memorial Day, let's remember our history honestly

By Patrick Smith

At one end of the Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C., in the expanse between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, the Bush administration authorized a memorial to World War II. This was a matter of months before the events of September 11. It seemed a strange design when it was first shown in the early summer of 2001, and so it proved when the monument was finished and open to the public in 2004. It consists of fifty-six granite pillars arranged in two half-circles around a pool, each pillar standing for a state or territory, each endowed with a bronze wreath. Each side of the entranceway—graceful granite steps down to the level of the pool—is lined with a dozen bas-relief bronzes depicting important moments in either the European or the Pacific war. At the opposite end of the small circular pool, a “freedom wall” commemorates the 400,000 American dead with 4,000 gold stars.

This message, chiseled into a stone tablet, greets the visitor to the World War II Memorial:

Here in the presence of Washington and Lincoln, one the eighteenth-century father and the other the nineteenth-century preserver of our nation, we honor those twentieth-century Americans who took up the struggle during the Second World War and made the sacrifices to perpetuate the gift our forefathers entrusted to us, a nation conceived in liberty and justice.

One must spend a certain time at the memorial to grasp the message it is conveying.This has to do with the monument’s style, as the bas-relief bronzes and the welcoming inscription suggest. This is not a memorial built by people of the early twenty-first century. Part of its purpose, indeed, is to erase all that Americans did between 1945 and 2001 so that we might insert ourselves into the morally pure era (supposedly, as we have reimagined it) of the Second World War. It functions, then, a little like Williamsburg or Sturbridge Village: It is history that is not-history, or not-history dressed up as history. It is history, in short, for those who are devoid of memory. The architect—Friedrich St. Florian, whose studio is in Rhode Island— accomplished this by designing in the style sometimes called modern classical. The modern classical style was popular in the 1930s and forties. It is characterized by mass and volume in its forms and simplified articulations of minimal detail. Roosevelt might have built in this style, as Stalin or Mussolini might have.

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When Nazis Were Pro-Zionists: The Last of the Semites

English (US)  May 23rd, 2013 by admin ( Email )


Jewish opponents of Zionism understood the movement since its early age as one that shared the precepts of anti-Semitism in its diagnosis of what gentile Europeans called the “Jewish Question”. What galled anti-Zionist Jews the most, however, was that Zionism also shared the “solution” to the Jewish Question that anti-Semites had always advocated, namely the expulsion of Jews from Europe.

It was the Protestant Reformation with its revival of the Hebrew Bible that would link the modern Jews of Europe to the ancient Hebrews of Palestine, a link that the philologists of the 18th century would solidify through their discovery of the family of “Semitic” languages, including Hebrew and Arabic. Whereas Millenarian Protestants insisted that contemporary Jews, as descendants of the ancient Hebrews, must leave Europe to Palestine to expedite the second coming of Christ, philological discoveries led to the labelling of contemporary Jews as “Semites”. The leap that the biological sciences of race and heredity would make in the 19th century of considering contemporary European Jews racial descendants of the ancient Hebrews would, as a result, not be a giant one.

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Pushing Al Qaeda to Take on Hezbollah

English (US)  May 5th, 2013 by admin ( Email )



“This is one damn fine idea, what took us so long to see a simple solution
that was right in front of our eyes for Christ’s sake”, Senator John McCain
of “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” and “no-fly zones for Syria” notoriety,
reportedly demanded to know from Dennis Ross during a recent Washington
Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) brain storming session in Washington

Ross, a founder of WINEP with Israeli government start up cash (presumably
reimbursed unknowingly by American taxpayers) and currently WINEP’s
“Counselor”, reportedly responded to the idea of facilitating Al Qaeda to
wage jihad against Hezbollah with the comment: “Shiites aren’t the only ones
seeking death to demonstrate their ‘resistance’ to whatever. Plenty of other
Muslims also want to die as we saw last week in Boston. Let ‘em all go at it
and Israel can sweep out their s— when it’s over.”

One Congressional staffer attending the WINEP event emailed me, “Dennis
spoke in jest — well I assumed he did — but who knows anymore? Things are
getting ever crazier inside some of these pro-Israel think-tanks around here.”

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Israel’s ethnocentric experiment…

English (US)  May 5th, 2013 by admin ( Email )


ISRAELI leaders are masters at muddling the international community with trivial issues while turning the peace negotiations into a temporizing process “to end all peace.”

Assured by US subservient backing, and for more than 15 years prior to current Sisyphean process, Israel rejected Palestinian’s peace overtures insisting on impossible chameleon terms to be fulfilled even before agreeing to talk with Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). The first – which became later a US law – was to renounce “terrorism” and recognise Israel without reciprocity. The PLO submitted to the American demand to start the current peace marathon in 1988.

After the signing of the Oslo Accord between the PLO and the Labour party government of Isaac Rabin, rightwing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the Palestinian recognition as incomplete insisting on the PLO to annul its charter, specifically sections calling for establishing a bi-national nonsectarian democratic state on all of historical Palestine.

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Human Rights: Canada in the Dock

English (US)  May 2nd, 2013 by admin ( Email )

By Eric Walberg

The world is taking note of the ruling Conservatives’ shameful betrayal of Canada’s once admirable reputation as a fair country, sincerely working on the world stage to improve the lot of the disadvantaged and suffering. In the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review, Canada was criticized to such an extent that the Council decided to send the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and representatives of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, to investigate.

Minister of Foreign Affairs spokesman Joseph Lavoie dismissed complaints by
*China of “widespread racial discrimination”,
*Iran of “child sexual exploitation and trafficking, the right to food, discriminatory law and regulation against indigenous people and minority groups including Muslim, Arab and African communities”,
*Pakistan of “increased poverty and unemployment rate among immigrant communities”,
Egypt of “racial profiling in law-enforcement action”, and
*Cuba of “racism and xenophobia” in Canada,
insisting that “Canada has a track record of being a human rights leader, at home and around the world.”

The visits come at an awkward moment for the Conservatives, as it makes a public display of victimizing Muslims as part of a campaign to ram through the “Combating Terrorism Act” (Bill S-7), which gives the state extraordinary powers to detain suspects without any charges and without any legal protections for up to a year.

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Israel PM Says ‘Conflict Not about Territory’

English (US)  May 2nd, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Israeli wall built on Palestinian land occupied since 1967. (Photo: Tamar Fleishman)

Israel’s prime minister says the conflict with the Palestinians is not about territory, rather the Palestinians’ refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland, appearing to counter a modified peace proposal from the Arab world.

Benjamin Netanyahu has not commented directly on the Arab League’s latest initiative, but his words on Wednesday questioned its central tenet, the exchange of captured land for peace.

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Palestinians Fight Unlawful Deportation

English (US)  April 24th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Sisters Doha Ibrahim Abeyat (left) and Hind Ibrahim Abeyet hold a framed photo of their father, Ibrahim Abeyet, who was deported from the West Bank to Italy in 2002. Credit: Jillian Kestler-D’Amours/IPS.

"This is our homeland, our land. It is our right. The situation is very, very hard for me."

By Jillian Kestler-D'Amours

ABEYAT, Occupied West Bank, Apr 24 2013 (IPS) - Hind Ibrahim Abeyat has spent most of her life separated from her father. “Every house in Palestine has something – someone in prison, a martyr,” the 19-year-old told IPS from her family home in Abeyat village, near Bethlehem.

“For us, our father isn’t here. My friends ask me, ‘How can you live without your father?’”

Israel exiled Hind’s father, Ibrahim Abeyat, from the West Bank at the height of the Second Intifadah, after the Israeli army’s infamous siege of the Nativity Church in Bethlehem in 2002.

At the time, Israel was carrying out a large-scale military operation in major Palestinian cities across the West Bank. In the midst of the Israeli assault on Bethlehem in April 2002, a group of Palestinian fighters and civilians took refuge in the Nativity Church, believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the city centre.

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Israeli Cloud Hovers Over Green Energy

English (US)  April 24th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Eliad Orian from Comet inside a cave that is the electricity headquarters for the Masafer Yatta area. Credit: Mel Frykberg/IPS.

MASAFER YATTA, Occupied West Bank, Apr 23 2013 (IPS) - A quiet diplomatic war is being waged by several European governments against the Israeli authorities, specifically the Israeli Civil Administration which controls the Israeli occupied West Bank.

At stake is the destruction of a humanitarian project funded by a number of European governments, international organisations and foundations, worth approximately half a million euros and years of voluntary manpower hours put in by Israelis and Palestinians. Should the destruction go ahead more than a thousand Palestinians will be without electricity, and their livelihood would be decimated.

Community Energy Technology in the Middle East (Comet) has been providing free hybrid solar and wind renewable energy services to off-grid Palestinian communities in the southern West Bank since 2006.

The joint Palestinian-Israeli organisation was founded by two Israeli physicists, Elad Orian and Noam Dotan, who wanted to do something to counter the destructive nature of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian West Bank.

To date Comet has built 22 electricity installations in 22 communities, providing electricity to more than 1,500 Palestinian farmers, shepherds and their families who live in the arid southern West Bank eking out a living with non-mechanised agriculture and herding.

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Israeli PM’s advisor “bullish” Israel will benefit from Boston bombing - just like Netanyahu after 9/11

English (US)  April 21st, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Sun, 04/21/2013 - 19:00
Ron Dermer: Netanayhu Is A Hell Of A Captain At The Helm

In comments reminiscent of Benjamin Netanyahu’s own on 11 September 2001, a senior advisor of the Israeli prime minister has expressed confidence that Israel will benefit from the 15 April Boston Marathon bombing.

Speaking to US Jewish leaders, Ron Dermer, a senior advisor to the Israeli prime minister, praised Netanyahu’s leadership before stating:

I’m pretty bullish about the prospects for strengthening cooperation with the United States. Support for Israel – you all can tell me yourselves – I see polls that show that its almost at record highs… The American people stand firmly with Israel. I think they identify with Israel. I think if you look historically, there’s a big change after 9/11. I’m sure that after the bombing, the tragic bombing in Boston, I believe that people will identify more with Israel’s struggle against terror and I think we can maintain that support.

I think there’s strong bipartisan support in the United States for Israel. I think it’s a critical asset for Israel that that support remain bipartisan and I think there’s very important things this president [Obama] has done for Israel these last four years….

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A hundred Deir Yassins and counting

English (US)  April 21st, 2013 by admin ( Email )

How many massacres of Palestinians are hidden beneath the fact that unless they are recognised as such by Israeli historians, to Western audiences they never happened, asks Ramzy Baroud

Few with any sense of intellectual or historical integrity would still question the bloody massacre that took place in the village of Deir Yassin 65 years ago, claiming the lives of over 100 innocent Palestinians. Attempts at covering up the massacre have been dwarfed by grim details unearthed by well-respected historians, including some of Israel’s own.

Even narratives offered by historians such as Benny Morris — an honest researcher who remained committed to Zionism despite the ghastly history he had himself uncovered — presented a harrowing version of the events that unfolded on that day: “Whole families were riddled with bullets… men, women, and children were mowed down as they emerged from houses; individuals were taken aside and shot. Haganah intelligence reported ‘There were piles of dead. Some of the prisoners moved to places of incarceration, including women and children, were murdered viciously by their captors…’”

It was the Irgun Zionist militias of Menachem Begin and the Stern Gang (Lehi) lead by Yitzhak Shamir that took credit for the infamy of that day, and both were rewarded generously for their “heroism”. The once wanted criminals rose to prominence to become Israeli prime ministers in later years.

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English (US)  April 21st, 2013 by admin ( Email )

By Gulamhusein Abba.

As I write this (morning of Tuesday, April 16) my thoughts, my heart, my sympathies, my condolences, my everything is with the people of Boston, especially those families who have lost a loved one and those who lie injured.

What a terrible tragedy. A day of rejoicing was reduced to a day of death and mourning. What could be more despicable than to launch an attack on such a day, a day designated as Patriots Day, and target those who were running to raise thousands if not millions of dollars for worthy causes, including those related to the recent Sandy Hook tragedy?

The noise of the explosions; the smoke billowing upwards; nails, pellets and shrapnel flying all over; those who had come to cheer others running, themselves running as they had never run in their lives before; dismembered limbs littering Boylston Street; blood all over; frightened people running helter-skelter trying to find escape routes, entering stores and exiting from backdoors into an adjoining street.

Family members attempting to contact those who had gone to the Marathon, to ascertain if they were safe, only to find that cell phones were dead.

First responders rushing in to tend to the injured. Medical workers treating patients with severed limbs and children with severe burns in a temporary medical tent at the road race. Mayhem. Complete chaos. A bustling scene of cheers, hope, joyous victory, rejoicing suddenly turned into a war zone.

Imagine the fear of those on the scene. The anxiety of their loved ones. The desperation of those trying to contact them.

Two people, one of them an eight year old boy, dead; 160 injured, 16 critically; several with a limb missing, at least 4 with their legs amputated in the hospital; nails sticking out of a girl’s body.

There was no need to imagine all this. Videos being projected round the clock on TV screens showed the unimaginable horror and tragedy in stark detail. Watching, I felt I was there. Having suffered tragedy and fear myself, the whole scene became very personal and palpable.

I was glued to the TV till well past midnight. Had a very disturbed sleep and was back watching TV as soon as I woke up the next morning.

A myriad thoughts and emotions ran through me.

One of the things I greatly appreciated was that President Barack Obama lost no time in going on the air and telling the nation that the authorities did not yet know who is behind the Boston Marathon bombing and urging caution in assigning blame. "We still do not know who did this, or why, and people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts," he said.

Another fact that struck me was the contrast between what was happening here and what was happening in other parts of the world.

In Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere around the world, such horror and tragedy did not occur once in a blue moon. They were a daily occurrence, routine. Drones buzzed overhead in the skies 24 hours a day. The people huddled in fear, not knowing when a bomb or a missile would swoop down on them, obliterating their home and killing or paralyzing them or their loved ones. When it did and all hell broke loose, no first responders rushed to tend to them.

And not just two or twenty six died but hundreds did.

In fact, just a few days before the Boston bombing, a NATO air attack in the Shigal district of restive Kunar province, Afghanistan , killed at least 18 people, including as many as 11 innocent children. There was no ambiguity as to who had killed them and how. They were killed by a NATO air-strike.

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Boston’s interfaith memorial deflection

English (US)  April 21st, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Obama at the interfaith memorial service in Boston, by CJ Gunther, EPA

By Marc H. Ellis

This post is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.

With Boston’s lock-down over and the city picking up the pieces of its collective psyche, my thoughts return to the interfaith memorial service held there a few days ago.

Private mourning and collective mourning are different. Public memorial services are scripted and function in certain ways. They need to be analyzed.

You may have noticed that the number of these memorials is increasing. They are becoming definitive markers of our political – and religious – culture. What’s spoken and unspoken in these memorials is politically important.

So many “political” realities go unmentioned in our public tributes to the victims of violence. The politics we “rise” above may be at the heart of the very horrific situations being memorialized.

Questions need asking. Are we memorializing the victims of furthering our own interests? Are we reaching out to others or are we feathering our own nest?

Political leaders are liable for such examination. Religious leaders are as well.

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To Throw or Not to Throw a Stone

English (US)  April 14th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Amira Hass: 'Throwing a stone is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule.' (Photo: Tamar Fleishman)
Amira Hass: 'Throwing a stone is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule.' (Photo: Tamar Fleishman)

By William A. Cook

A debate rages in Israel today on the truth of Amira Hass’s words “Throwing a stone is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule. Throwing stones is an action as well as a metaphor of resistance” (Amira Hass, Haaretz, 4/3/13).

The day after Hass’ comment, Dr. Rosenberg offered these objections: a. throwing stones after all can result in death and Hass does not mention that consequence, b. justifying stone throwing “grants legitimacy to the activities of the government she condemns; and c. stone throwing is “a natural right of every human being is futile and invalid, certainly in ethical terms.” Conveniently, Rosenberg does not mention that the Palestinians have no army, no air-force, no navy, no comparable military ordinance of any kind to throw at the fourth largest state of the art military in the world, only stones; can the stone kill, yes, but so can $300,000 missiles and phosphorus bombs. Do we justify death by missiles and phosphorus but damn death by stoning? Does the throwing of a stone justify the carnage of the Israeli IDF against the defenseless Palestinians? Where is the argument here? Is throwing a stone a birthright as Amira states or is that “futile and invalid” as Rosenberg claims? Given the reality of the Israeli military power versus the feeble efforts of the Palestinians, children and teenagers hurling stones, the debate on birthright avoids the obvious: not to throw a stone.

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G8 and Abbas Still Block Road to Middle East Peace

English (US)  April 14th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

For the last five months Abbas did nothing to bring matters forward. (Photo: UN)

By Stuart Littlewood

Yesterday (April) the G8 Foreign Ministers meeting in London issued the following statement on the British government’s website:

Middle East Peace Process

“G8 Foreign Ministers confirmed their commitment to a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. They agreed on the urgent need to make progress on the Middle East Peace Process towards this goal and underscored the need for a major international effort, involving all relevant parties, including the Quartet, to drive the peace process forward.

“The Ministers welcomed President Obama’s visit to the region and his statement that peace between Israelis and Palestinians is necessary, just and possible. They urged both sides to show the bold political leadership needed to achieve peace, to take the necessary steps to build trust and to work towards the resumption of negotiations without preconditions.

“The Ministers stressed that a long term solution to this conflict can be achieved only through direct negotiations [my emphasis], taking note of the 23 September 2011 statement of the Middle East Quartet. Ministers called on parties to refrain from unilateral actions and to create an atmosphere conducive to peace. They strongly reaffirmed that unilateral actions by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations.

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Two Obamas, Two Classes of Children

English (US)  April 14th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Afghan villagers sit near the bodies of children killed during an air strike in Kunar province April 7, 2013. (Photo: Reuters via RT)

By Ralph Nader

A photograph brought the horror of little children lying dead outside of their home to an American Audience. At least 10 Afghan children and some of their mothers were struck down by an airstrike on their extended family household by order of President Barack Obama. He probably decided on what his aides describe as the routine weekly “Terror Tuesday” at the White House. On that day, Mr. Obama typically receives the advice about which “militants” should live or die thousands of miles away from drones or aircraft. Even if households far from war zones are often destroyed in clear violation of the laws of war, the president is not deterred.

These Obama airstrikes are launched knowing that very often there is “collateral damage,” that is a form of “so sorry terrorism.” How can the president explain the vaporization of a dozen pre-teen Afghan boys collecting firewood for their families on a hillside? The local spotter-informants must have been disoriented by all those $100 bills in rewards. Imagine a direct strike killing and injuring scores of people in a funeral procession following a previous fatal strike that was the occasion of this processional mourning. Remember the December 2009 Obama strike on an alleged al-Qaida training camp in Yemen, using tomahawk missiles and – get this – cluster bombs, that killed 14 women and 21 children. Again and again “so sorry terrorism” ravages family households far from the battlefields.

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Nooksack Indian Tribe in Disenrollment Fight

English (US)  April 14th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

By Gale Courey Toensing

Ethnic cleansing – the forced removal of a population from a designated piece of territory – is nothing new in America. The earliest example was the forced transfer of upward of 46,000 Indigenous Peoples from their homelands in the south during the seven years following the passage of Andrew Jackson’s 1830 Indian Removal Act. The forced removal of tens of thousands of people an odious act by the dominant white settler society that was eager to grab indigenous lands. (Related story: The Battle for Hickory Ground)

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

The inner syntax of Palestinian stone-throwing

English (US)  April 7th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

It would make sense for Palestinian schools to give classes in resistance: how to build multiple 'tower and stockade’ villages in Area C; how to behave when army troops enter your homes; how to identify soldiers who flung you handcuffed to the floor of the jeep, in order to submit a complaint.

By Amira Hass

A Palestinian protester throwing stones during clashes with Israeli soldiers in Hebron after Jaradat's funeral, Feb. 25, 2013. Photo by Reuters

Throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule. Throwing stones is an action as well as a metaphor of resistance. Persecution of stone-throwers, including 8-year-old children, is an inseparable part − though it’s not always spelled out − of the job requirements of the foreign ruler, no less than shooting, torture, land theft, restrictions on movement, and the unequal distribution of water sources.

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The inner syntax of Palestinian stone-throwing

English (US)  April 7th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

homes; how to identify soldiers who flung you handcuffed to the floor of the jeep, in order to submit aIt would make sense for Palestinian schools to give classes in resistance: how to build multiple 'tower and stockade’ villages in Area C; how to behave when army troops enter your complaint.
By Amira Hass
Stone throwers

A Palestinian protester throwing stones during clashes with Israeli soldiers in Hebron after Jaradat's funeral, Feb. 25, 2013. Photo by Reuters

Throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule. Throwing stones is an action as well as a metaphor of resistance. Persecution of stone-throwers, including 8-year-old children, is an inseparable part − though it’s not always spelled out − of the job requirements of the foreign ruler, no less than shooting, torture, land theft, restrictions on movement, and the unequal distribution of water sources.

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Indigenous Scholars Oppose Navajo President 'Becoming Partners' With Israel

English (US)  April 7th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly and his wife visited Israel last December.

"The Israeli government's courting of Shelley is a form of 'Redwashing' – the promotion of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas as a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of the Palestinian people." -- J. Kehaulani Kauanui (Kanaka Maoli), associate professor of American Studies and Anthropology at Wesleyan University

By Gale Courey Toensing
April 06, 2013

A group of prominent scholars has written to Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly expressing disappointment at his support for Israel and urging him to pursue international relationships that mirror indigenous values and justice.

Robert Warrior, an Osage Nation citizen and Director of American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is professor of American Indian Studies, English, and History, signed an April 3 letter to Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly on behalf of a group of American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and other indigenous scholars, taking Shelly to task for his recent trip to Israel.

“As indigenous educators, we find your support for the state of Israel to be in complete contradiction to our values and sense of justice. Israel has illegally occupied Palestine for decades,” the group wrote. “Your public and political engagement with [Israeli] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials sends a message that you endorse the continued occupation of the West Bank, including construction of new Jewish settlements there, as well as the ongoing settler colonial situation for Palestinians residing within the 1948 boundaries asserted by the Israeli state, and exclusion of Palestinian refugees from reclaiming their homes and homeland after being violently expelled during the nakba (catastrophe) when Israel was founded.”

Read the whole story at Indian Country Today Media Network


English (US)  April 7th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

by Ilene Cohen

For any active colonial enterprise, the answer is that no one may resist, not violently, not nonviolently—not in any way, because the business of a colonial power is to maintain itself as a colonial power. To that end, it demands the passivity, compliance, and collaboration of the colonized people. When, historically, compliance is not forthcoming, the colonial power responds with repression and violence.

Israel—with its relatively small (by the numbers; think India, by contrast) but still very real colonial occupation—is no different. Colonial powers do not acknowledge that there’s anything wrong with what they’re doing; indeed, they defend their actions as legal and just. Thus, it is the resistance that is the crime. Think about American slavery: it was the “lawful” status quo. Violence against slaves (and abolitionists) was the acceptable norm. Escaped slaves—property gone missing—were hunted down and brought back in shackles. A slave uprising (as with a colonial uprising) was the crime; John Brown is the terrorist, not the slave owners.

This is a schematic presentation, I know, but I think it holds.

Read the full story at Desrtpeace

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Assessing Obama's Middle East trip

English (US)  March 23rd, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Marwan Bishara answers three questions on Obama's recent trip to the Middle East.

Despite multiple embarrassments during his first term, Obama is determined to improve relations with Israel [AP]

What got your attention most about the visit of President Obama's to Israel and Palestine?

I am amazed by how much he spoke and how little he said that is new or actionable in terms of the diplomatic process and the two-state solution, particularly since Obama said quite firmly last October, "When I go to Israel, I want to make sure that we are actually moving something forward."

With all that's happening right now with Iran, Syria and overall tension in the greater Middle East, I wonder how Obama can talk for so long and say absolutely nothing. On this visit, all we've seen are long speeches with dreamy language and no concrete substance.

Of course, this is not entirely a surprise. Last week, US Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes emphasised, "We've been very clear that this visit [to Israel] is not about trying to lay down a new initiative or complete our work on a particular issue." No, it's all about face.

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Hasbara tourism in Israel

English (US)  March 23rd, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Belen Fernandez is the author of The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work, published by Verso. She is a contributing editor at Jacobin Magazine.

Hasbara tours want to "excise every bit of Palestinian reality from the landscape" to showcase a fantastic Jewish state.

The Taglit-Birthright Israel programme offers 10-day, all-expenses-paid trips to Israel for international youth in possession of at least one Jewish grandparent [AFP]

One of the mainstays of Israel's international propaganda efforts is its tourism industry, which comprises an array of specially designed excursions catering to visitors with varying backgrounds, needs and interests.

As long as you're not Palestinian, Lebanese, or some other undesirable entity, chances are there's a tour for you.

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‘It’s Not Your Homeland’: An Interview with Shlomo Sand

English (US)  March 20th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Shlomo Sand. (Photo: Olivia Grabowski-West)

By Lewis Turner

Shlomo Sand shot to prominence and controversy with his 2008 book The Invention of the Jewish People. His follow-up, The Invention of the Land of Israel, examines a nationalist mythology of land which forms a crucial part of the Zionist story of, and justification for, the Jewish State. In this interview Shlomo talks to Lewis Turner about his journey re-discovering his country’s history, his hopes for Israel’s future and the role of historians in social change.

What has the reaction been like to the second book within Israel?

First of all it was a bestseller for ten weeks. Secondly, a few weeks after it was a bestseller one of my colleagues, a historian from Haifa University, attacked me very strongly, but it wasn’t serious so I decided not to respond. I was covered nicely by Ha’aretz, in a long interview. But it’s not so easy for a lot of people to read these books, I know that. I respect them, but I don’t respect the fact that people don’t want to accept what I think is true about the past and true about the present. I started this voyage five years ago, when I decided that I have to deal with Zionist and Israeli history because it was too easy for me to be occupied only with European history. But when I started to touch Jewish history, some people became crazy. Historians today in Israel, I can compare them to British historians a hundred years ago.

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Israel and the politics of boycott

English (US)  March 20th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Zionism and Israel will continue to support any boycott that seeks to institutionalise racism and racial separatism.

Israel's expertise in separation fences and walls was put to productive use with the massive "Apartheid Wall" it built on Palestinian lands [EPA]

By Joseph Massad

"Boycott" is a term as old as political Zionism. As is commonly known, it came into circulation in 1880, starting out as an Irish peasant action to prevent peasant evictions from the land by landlords and their agents - in that inaugural case an agent named Charles Boycott. This is not to say that this was the first time such a tactic had been used. Indeed, half a century earlier, in 1830, in the United States, the National Negro Convention supported a boycott of slave-produced goods, a movement which had started among White Quakers at the end of the 18th century and which would spread among White and Black abolitionists during the 19th century until the American Civil War.

These auspicious beginnings of the boycott to restore the land and freedom of peasants and slaves would inspire movements in the 20th century that would range from anti-colonial tactics (as in the Indian boycott of British goods beginning in 1919 to end the British occupation of India) to anti-colonial-settler tactics (including the Arab League boycott of the Jewish settler-colony since the mid-1940s and the anti-South African Apartheid boycott beginning in the 1960s) to anti-racist tactics (including the anti-Nazi Jewish boycott of 1933 to end Nazi racial separatism and the Montgomery Bus Boycott by African Americans in the mid-1950s to end American white colonial settler apartheid in Alabama and the rest of the American South).

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Iraq war costs U.S. more than $2 trillion: study

English (US)  March 16th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

By Daniel Trotta

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said.

The war has killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and may have contributed to the deaths of as many as four times that number, according to the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.

When security forces, insurgents, journalists and humanitarian workers were included, the war's death toll rose to an estimated 176,000 to 189,000, the study said.

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Israel’s New Coalition: To the Victor, the Spoils

English (US)  March 16th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

The Future has arrived, and it looks suspiciously like the past.

By Uri Avnery

In the days following the recent Israeli elections, Ya’ir Lapid, the major winner, let it be known that he wanted to be the next Foreign Minister.

No wonder. It’s the hell of a job. You can’t lose, because the Foreign Minister is responsible for nothing. Serious foreign fiascos are always laid at the door of the Prime Minister, who determines foreign policy anyway. The Foreign Minister travels around the world, stays in luxury hotels with gourmet cuisine, has his picture taken in the company of royalty and presidents, appears almost daily on TV. Sheer paradise.

For someone who declares publicly that he wants to become Prime Minister soon, perhaps in a year and a half, this post is very advantageous. People see you among the world’s great. You look “prime ministerial”.

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President Chavez: A 21st Century Renaissance Man

English (US)  March 16th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Hugo Chavez, renaissance figure for the 21st century.

By James Petras

President Hugo Chavez was unique in multiple areas of political, social and economic life. He made significant contributions to the advancement of humanity. The depth, scope and popularity of his accomplishments mark President Chavez as the ‘Renaissance President of the 21st Century’.

Many writers have noted one or another of his historic contributions highlighting his anti-poverty legislation, his success in winning popular elections with resounding majorities and his promotion of universal free public education and health coverage for all Venezuelans.

In this essay we will highlight the unique world-historic contributions that President Chavez made in the spheres of political economy, ethics and international law and in redefining relations between political leaders and citizens. We shall start with his enduring contribution to the development of civic culture in Venezuela and beyond.

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Is Any Hope Left for Mideast Peace?

English (US)  March 16th, 2013 by admin ( Email )


WHAT should Barack Obama, who is to visit Israel next Wednesday for the first time in his presidency, do about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

First, he must abandon the stale conventional wisdom offered by the New York-Washington foreign-policy establishment, which clings to the crumbling remnants of a so-called peace process that, in the 34 years since the Camp David accords, has actually helped make peace less attainable than ever.

When the most recent iteration of this process began with high hopes at the Madrid peace conference in 1991, which led to the Oslo accords two years later, there were 200,000 Israelis illegally settled in the occupied Palestinian territories: today, there are more than twice as many.

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IOF attacks female students in Al-Aqsa Mosque

English (US)  March 6th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage said in a statement on Wednesday that a student in Al-Aqsa Mosque has been attacked by an Israeli soldier, and was taken to the medical clinic inside Al-Aqsa to receive treatment.

According to eyewitnesses, a group of Jewish settlers have stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque in the morning, which angered the female students who tried to chase and expel the settlers, when the occupation policemen intervened and dispersed the girls then tried to arrest one of them.

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UNRWA Deplores Brutal Killing of Two Palestine Refugees in Yarmouk

English (US)  March 6th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

By UNRWA – Damascus

It has come to the attention of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) that late on 1 March 2013, two Palestinian men were hanged in public on Palestine Street in Yarmouk, a suburb in the south of Damascus city. Prior to the Syria conflict, Yarmouk and its neighboring areas were home to over 150,000 Palestine refugees living alongside approximately one million Syrians.

In December 2012, intense fighting triggered large scale displacement of Palestinians and Syrians living in Yarmouk. Since then, armed opposition groups have maintained a presence in residential areas, with government forces positioned at the northern entrance of Yarmouk.

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Israel accused of abusing detained Palestinian children

English (US)  March 6th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Many youths are taken into custody for allegedly throwing stones at soldiers. (Photo: Tamar Fleishman)

Palestinian children detained by Israeli authorities face systematic abuse that violates international law, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has said in a report.

UNICEF estimated that 700 Palestinian children aged between 12 and 17 were arrested by Israeli security forces every year in the occupied West Bank.

The world organization said it had identified some examples of practices that “amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention against Torture”.

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Boycotting Israel Galloway-style

English (US)  February 26th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

British MP George Galloway.

By Stuart Littlewood

A big fuss blew up last week when British MP George Galloway, invited to Oxford University to debate the motion “Israel should withdraw immediately from the West Bank”, walked out of the chamber when he heard that the student opposing the motion was an Israeli.

At Oxford, something Eylon Aslan-Levy said prompted Galloway to ask, “Are you an Israeli?”

“Yes,” came the reply.

“I don’t debate with Israelis. I have been misled, sorry,” said Galloway putting on his coat. “I don’t recognise Israel and I don’t debate with Israelis,” he added and left.

The following message then appeared on Galloway’s Facebook: “The reason is simple: no recognition, no normalization. Just boycott, divestment and sanctions, until the apartheid state is defeated. I never debate with Israelis nor speak to their media. If they want to speak about Palestine – the address is the PLO.”

The PLO, of course, is recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

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The Disappearing Frontiers of US Homeland Security: Mapping the Transit of Security across the US and Israel

English (US)  February 26th, 2013 by admin ( Email )


By Alex Lubin

[Members of an Israeli police SWAT team perform during a training exercise organized by the Anti-Defamation League as part of a exchange program between Israel and US security officials in Holon, Israel on 10 September 2008. A delegation of over a dozen chiefs of police from major cities in the United States observed the training exercise by the Israeli SWAT team. Image by Bernat Armangue via Associated Press.]

In the wake of the 1995 Israeli bombing of the UN refugee camp at Qana in Lebanon, a videotape of the massacre was distributed across global media. The African American poet June Jordan, who had participated in US-based Palestine solidarity movements and would visit Lebanon in 1996, thought that the video would be a turning point in global opinion of Israel. Writing in the Progressive magazine, Jordan linked the Qana bombing to military and police violence she had witnessed in urban Black communities in the United States. “Here was the Rodney King video of the Middle East. At least, here was incontrovertible evidence of Israeli lies and Israeli savagery that no one could now refute.” (Jordan was referring to a videotape of King being savagely beaten by Los Angeles police.)

The Qana video did not provide the catalyst Jordan hoped would focus public attention on Israeli violence against Lebanese and Palestinians. “Arab life is less than and lower than African-American life, and so nothing happened.”

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The Disappearig Frontiers of US Homeland Security: Mapping the Transit of Security across the US and Israel

English (US)  February 26th, 2013 by admin ( Email )


In the wake of the 1995 Israeli bombing of the UN refugee camp at Qana in Lebanon, a videotape of the massacre was distributed across global media. The African American poet June Jordan, who had participated in US-based Palestine solidarity movements and would visit Lebanon in 1996, thought that the video would be a turning point in global opinion of Israel. Writing in the Progressive magazine, Jordan linked the Qana bombing to military and police violence she had witnessed in urban Black communities in the United States. “Here was the Rodney King video of the Middle East. At least, here was incontrovertible evidence of Israeli lies and Israeli savagery that no one could now refute.” (Jordan was referring to a videotape of King being savagely beaten by Los Angeles police.)

The Qana video did not provide the catalyst Jordan hoped would focus public attention on Israeli violence against Lebanese and Palestinians. “Arab life is less than and lower than African-American life, and so nothing happened.”

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Palestinian Gov’t: Re-arresting freed captives blatant violation of the agreement

English (US)  February 18th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Palestinian government in Gaza lashed out at the Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) for re-arresting Palestinian ex-prisoners who were freed in the prisoners’ exchange deal.

Dr. Attala Abul Sabh charged in a statement on Monday that the IOA act was an atrocious violation of the exchange agreement and an additional proof of its constant breaches of international doctrines and agreements.

He said that the IOA decision that allows the re-arrest of those captives at the pretext of secret files against them, then forcing them to complete their former sentences constituted a grave atrocity.

Abul Sabh noted that the IOA had re-arrested 14 prisoners who were freed in the Wafa Al-Ahrar deal and is still holding 8 of them behind bars including Samer Al-Issawi who has been on hunger strike for 210 days and Ayman Sharawne who has been on hunger strike for 220 days protesting their detention.

The minister urged the world community to pressure Israel into ending its repeated violations against Palestinian captives.


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In the Name of Oppression: Two Babies at Checkpoint

English (US)  February 18th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Everything is done in the holy name of oppression. (Photo: Tamar Fleishman)

Feb 19 2013 / 12:55 am

Two back-to-back procedures at the same time and at the same place. It was cold. The air was polluted. But the harmful and cruel regulations were more polluted. The victims: two babies.

Two babies with no connection to each other apart for their health condition that required them to be hospitalized in East Jerusalem, and for the fact that they were part of the Palestinian people and as such were declined their basic rights even before coming into the world.

It was impossible to see the babies’ faces. Like tiny bundles each covered in wholly and colorful blankets that reached over their heads, they lied quietly. Not a cry was heard, no movement was made. It was as though they knew their lives or deaths were on the line. Only a bunch of black intractable hair peeped out from one of the blankets.

In less than five minutes two ambulances from the west bank arrived at the entrance to the checkpoint and were ordered to wait.

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Muscogee Man Held on Terrorist Threat Charge for Attempted Prayer at Hickory Ground

English (US)  February 18th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

By Gale Courey Toensing
February 18, 2013

When Andrew Jackson’s illegal and heavily censured actions during the First Seminole War in 1817 were used two years ago to support a controversial provision in the National Defense Authorization Act that allows the indefinite detention without charge or trial of anyone suspected of “terrorism,” Native Americans were alarmed that the federal government could use the legislation against them for asserting their right to self-determination, sovereignty and the protection of their lands and resources against exploitation by governments or corporations. They never imagined that a tribal government would do the same.

But now Wayland Gray, a Muscogee (Creek) Nation citizen, has been arrested by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians at the Muscogee sacred site at Hickory Ground in Wetumpka, Alabama, which is currently owned by the Poarch Band, and charged with an alleged “terrorist theat.” The Poarch authorities have not revealed the details of the charges.

Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network

In Memory of Mahmud Darwish – A Poem

English (US)  February 16th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Mahmoud Drwish

By Manash Bhattacharjee

I learnt from your poems how
To wait upon death
And how waiting is a game as
Treacherous as death.

I learnt from you how the root
Of waiting is grasped in despair
And that there is no despair
More deceitful than hope.

Waiting helped you gather those
Roses along the way
Which grow only for travellers
Who walk the loneliest road.

You kept those roses as mementos
Of your nights when gunshots
Would remind you of the difficulty
To make love under the moon.

As you carried the landscape on
Your shoulders and looked
For your address in the clouds
The enemy laughed.

They thought you will grow weary
From repeating the same lines of loss
But they didn’t know those without a home
Are always hungry for memory.
Manash Bhattacharjee

- Manash Bhattacharjee is a poet, writer and scholar from New Delhi, India. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com

Robbery of Books and Ownership of Narrative

English (US)  February 16th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

By Susan Abulhawa

I finally watched The Great Book Robbery at the University of Pennsylvania this weekend with some friends. It’s a film documenting Israel’s systematic looting of over 70,000 books from Palestinian public and private libraries after Jewish gangs in Palestine proclaimed the state of Israel and ethnically cleansed the native population.

The film itself is excellent and I have a lot of good things to say about it. But I was bothered by a certain element, at the very end, which was repeated by the Director, Benny Brunner, who was at the showing to answer questions. So I raised my hand and asked a question about it. Mr Brunner became very defensive.

His reaction made me think and re-think on a topic that already preoccupies me on a near daily basis – namely, the Palestinian narrative: who tells it, in what context is it told, how is it told, and, ultimately, who owns it. The importance of such a discussion regarding a people’s narrative should not be underestimated, particularly in instances of oppression and ethnic cleansing.

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One Occupation

English (US)  February 11th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

By J. Kēhaulani Kauanui

When reflecting on the week-long visit to Occupied Palestine and Israel - the delegation organized by the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) - in some ways, the meeting that was the most provocative was with the Palestinian academics who hosted us at a public policy research center in Haifa called Mada al-Carmel: Arab Center for Applied Social Research. There we encountered critical and incisive perspectives on the academic boycott by Palestinian citizens of Israel that showed how the politics look different from their social location. Their penetrating critiques and our productive dialogue ultimately strengthened my understanding of the situation of fragmentation on the ground in Palestine, and of the need to grapple with this complexity to address what is, after all, one occupation.

This meeting took place on the second day of our trip. To reach the Center, we left the West Bank for Haifa in a taxi van with our host Magid Shihade on a journey that itself demonstrated the situation of apartheid. Haifa is a historically fraught city located in Israel. To get there, we had to go through one of the more than 500 police and military checkpoints that regulate Palestinian movement between the occupied West Bank and the state of Israel-- referred to by the hosts of the delegation and many Palestinians as "'48" as an insistent reminder that Israel's history as a state dates back only to 1948 and involves Palestinian dispossession. We first made our way through an inspection, which included six Israeli soldiers surrounding the van with automatic rifles ready to shoot as they peered in through the windows of the van, then rode on a segregated highway - part of an intricate network of settler roads, bridges and tunnels that continue to surround Palestinians villages and towns to break up territorial contiguity by separating them from each other.

Haifa sits along the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea, and as we entered it, on what happened to be the day of the Orthodox Christmas, the tree in the middle of town with numerous Stars of David and Israeli flags hanging on it stood as a reminder of the violence through which the city was claimed as part of Israel. The 1947 UN Partition Plan designated Haifa as part of the proposed Jewish state. Since it was the major industrial city and oil refinery port in "British Palestine", control of the city was critical in the ensuing Arab-Israeli war. As Ilan Pappé explains in The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, on April 21, 1948, British forces in Haifa redeployed and withdrew from most of the city while still maintaining control over the port facilities. Very soon after, Moshe Carmel led a brigade of the Haganah (a paramilitary organization that was the precursor to the Israeli Defense Forces) in Operation Bi'ur Hametz (also known as the Battle of Haifa), which caused a massive displacement of Haifa's Palestinian population. The refugees' flight in the wake of mass evacuation was via the port of Haifa. After the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948 Haifa became the gateway for Jewish settlers into Israel, where, after the war, they were resettled in vacated Palestinian houses enabled by the violent "de-Arabization" of Haifa.

Read the full story at Social Text

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Rebuilding in Gaza between War and Peace

English (US)  January 31st, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Ashraf hopes rebuilding work can start soon. (Photo: IRIN)


Ashraf Azzam, 33, stands in the ruins of his house in Zeitoun Area, Eastern Gaza City, destroyed in an Israeli bombing attack two months ago.

“Everything went so fast. In the beginning, a warning rocket fell on our house and adjacent houses as well; we rushed out of the house, running for safety – we didn’t have the time to think,” he told IRIN.

“The Israeli attack targeted a nearby house in front of ours – it was like an earthquake, everything was shaking; dust and smoke were all over the place with devastating consequences,” he said.

In the morning light, they discovered their house had been destroyed. No one from the family was injured though some of their neighbors had been killed.

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UN inquiry says Israel must end settlements

English (US)  January 31st, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Investigators conclude all Israeli settlement activity in West Bank is unlawful and must cease "immediately".

Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank violate international law, and the country must "immediately" withdraw all settlers from such areas, UN human rights investigators have said.

Israel has not co-operated with the inquiry, set up by the Human Rights Council (HRC) last March to examine the impact of settlements in the territory, including East Jerusalem.

The settlements contravene the 1949 Geneva Conventions forbidding the transfer of civilian populations into the occupied territory, which could amount to war crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), it said.

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“Grand Waffle” in the Middle East

English (US)  January 25th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Amb. Chas Freeman (ret.) spoke to a Middle East Policy Council (MEPC) forum on U.S. Grand Strategy — or, in his words “Grand Waffle” — in the Middle East on Capitol Hill yesterday (January 16) and has graciously agreed to have the text posted on Lobe Log. Readers of the blog are already well acquainted with Freeman, a victim for 4 years, when he was appointed to chair the National Intelligence Council (NIC), of a McCarthyite-like campaign driven by many of the same neo-conservatives and Israel lobby activists opposed to Chuck Hagel’s nomination. Indeed, some of Hagel’s opponents, among them Bill Kristol, have tried to discredit the SecDef-designate through their alleged mutual association on the Atlantic Council board of directors, which Hagel has chaired since he left the Senate in 2009. (Paula Dobriansky, like Kristol, a second-generation neo-conservative, also served on that board at the same time, but Kristol conveniently omitted that fact.)

Freeman’s remarks point to, among other problems, fundamental contradictions in U.S. policy throughout the region, noting that those contradictions have become increasingly difficult to contain as public opinion has become increasingly relevant to the foreign policy of key states in the region as a result of the Arab Awakening, particularly in regard to relations with Israel and the continuing staunch support it receives from the U.S. He identifies his own “bottom line:”

The bottom line is this. U.S. policies of unconditional support for Israel, opposition to Islamism, and the use of drones to slaughter suspected Islamist militants and their families and friends have created an atmosphere that precludes broad strategic partnerships with major Arab and Muslim countries, though it does not yet preclude limited cooperation for limited purposes. The acceptance of Israel as a legitimate presence in the Middle East cannot now be achieved without basic changes in Israeli attitudes and behavior that are not in the offing.

Readers may want to watch the whole forum, which also included a slightly more optimistic Bill Quandt. The video is available at this link. Here are Freeman’s prepared remarks:

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Two Versions of a Ghazal from Ghalib

English (US)  January 21st, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Translations by M. Shahid Alam

Ghalib, pen name of Mirza Asadullah Khan, a poet of nineteenth-century India, wrote in Urdu and Persian. He is widely regarded as the greatest poet of the Urdu language.


You say I cannot have it if you find my heart.
It was once mine: now I know who has it.

Love is by far the best thing in life. It took
All my sorrows: but has me hooked to it.

She is coy & cunning, sweet, exacting too.
She is playing you when you do not know it.

The heart can tell its story: what I know is this,
Every time I look for it, you say you have it.

My mentor likes to rub salt in my wounds.
Sir Tormentor, I ask, what do you take from it?


She keeps a store for hearts lost and stolen.
Should I lose one I know where to look for it.

Life’s longest epic is a day in love. I gave up
All my cares for one that takes no cure.

In life, she is laid back, in love enigmatic.
What if she plays cool, she is aching for you.

For many years now, I have polished this heart.
I will get its value when she puts a price on it.

I know you like to rub salt in my wounds.
This cauterizes me: what does it do for you?

To hear M. Shahid Alam read these translations go to Kenyon Review

M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University, Boston. His poetry and translations of Ghalib have appeared (or will appear) in TriQuarterly Online, Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Chicago Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Sufi, Marlboro Review, Critical Muslim, Paintbrush, West Coast Review, etc

Girl from Gaza Takes First Prize in International Math Competition

English (US)  January 20th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Areej El Madhoun, a student at UNRWA’s school in Jabalia camp. (Photo: via UNRWA)

Gaza’s children affirmed their place at the forefront of creativity and innovation last week, as a 14-year-old girl from Jabalia refugee camp, northern Gaza, took first place in an international math competition featuring the best young brains from all around the world.

In recent years in Gaza, creativity and achievement has grown and flourished against extraordinary odds; a blockade and the rubble of many conflicts, the last of which was eight-day war on Gaza in November 2012.

14-year-old Palestine refugee Areej El Madhoun, a student at UNRWA’s school in Jabalia camp received the first prize in this year’s Intelligent Mental-Arithmetic Competition, held in Malaysia every two years.

The Intelligent Mental-Arithmetic program, which targets children between the ages of 4 and 12, works on developing the mental capacity and performance of children by adopting a technique called the “Both-Hand Abacus Mental-Arithmetic” teaching method. Using the fingers of the left and right hands to compute simultaneously, the program works to create stimulation in both the left and right sides of the brain. This enables children to solve various mathematical questions with speed, accuracy and skill, in addition to improving their thinking abilities.

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Amayreh: Extremists to win solid Israeli poll victory

English (US)  January 20th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

The Israeli right wing looks set to sweep general elections as the political left in the country fails to get its act together, writes Khaled Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem

Al Ahram

With less than a week before Israeli general elections and with nearly 20 per cent of Israeli voters undecided, most opinion polls give right-wing political parties — both secular and religious — the solid victory.

A joint list comprising Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, and the “Russian party” of former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Israel Beitinu (Israel is Our Home), is expected to win more seats in the Knesset than any other electoral list.

Lieberman resigned as foreign minister two weeks ago after he was indicted for breach of trust, among similar charges. However, his indictment is not expected to have a drastic impact on the former Moldovan immigrant’s popularity, especially among supporters, who mainly hail from the one million strong Russian immigrant community who arrived in Israel amid the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s.

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No longer a sacred site

English (US)  January 20th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

The residents of Ezbet Dahshour are continuing to encroach on the famous neighbouring archaeological site even though legal procedures have been taken to remove a new cemetery, Nevine El-Aref reports

Al Ahram

When King Senefru, the founder of the Fourth Dynasty, decided that he would build the first ever complete pyramid in the world to be his resting place for eternity, he chose the remote area of Dahshour as the perfect location.

Eventually several pyramids were built at Dahshour: the Red and Bent pyramids of Senefru, father of the Great Pyramid builder King Khufu; the White and Black pyramids of the Middle Kingdom kings Amenemhat I and III; and the mud-brick pyramid of King Senowsert III of the 12th Dynasty. Alongside these were smaller monuments to minor rulers, nobles and officials that tell of a fairly stable and peaceful period of Egypt’s history.

Until recently Dahshour managed to retain an atmosphere of quiet, even regal tranquillity. Now, however, more than 4,500 years after the first pyramid was built there, the serenity of the necropolis has been shattered.

Until 1996, when it was proclaimed one of Egypt’s major tourist destinations, the archaeological site was part of a military zone. While the area is not as commercially developed as the Giza Plateau, it is most noteworthy for being a site that best demonstrates the transition from the Step Pyramid at Saqqara to the true pyramid.

Regrettably, however, the lack of security on archaeological sites during and after the January 2011 Revolution has had a bad affect on Dahshour. The spiritual and archaeological environment has been desecrated, with plundering and destruction by vandals, thieves and neighbouring residents.

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Iraq: A Twenty Two Year Genocide

English (US)  January 20th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

A UN team called the devastation 'near-apocalyptic.' (Photo: Zoriah.net)

By Felicity Arbuthnot

Incredibly it is twenty two years to the day since the telephone rang in the early hours and a friend said: “They are bombing Baghdad.”

It was not alone Baghdad, of course, Iraq was being systematically destroyed, from ancient southern Basra to haunting, historic Mosul in the north – in the West destruction was such that it was not even noticed by the outside world that about seventy miles of Iraq had been entirely illegally donated to Jordan, the border was simply “moved.” Kuwait, bordering of Iraq’s southern border benefited similarly illegally.

Then Secretary of State James Baker’s vow to: “reduce Iraq to a pre-industrial age” was being minutely executed over what was to become a forty three day blitz, which morphed in to a thirteen year, vicious, murderous, one sided war of attrition and ultimately illegal invasion and occupation.

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English (US)  January 20th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

The decline of the left has hastened "colonial" divisions within Israel's citizenry.

By Chris Arsenault

Occupied East Jerusalem - For David Kazanovich, the growing popularity of far-right political parties in Israel is just a sign of the times.

"There is no way to end the conflict [with the Palestinians]," the healthcare worker told Al Jazeera as he shopped for toys less than a week before Israel's parliamentary election. "You can only manage the conflict."

"More than 500,000 Jews now live in colonial situations in settlements. As their numbers grow there will be more of a shift to politicians who support the project. This makes it very difficult to secure the long term peace and security that both Jews and Palestinians deserve." - Oren Yiftachel, Ben Gurion University

The "peace process" is basically non-existent; construction of illegal settlements continues unabated and support for a Palestinian state among Israelis seems lower than it has been in two decades. Meanwhile, leading candidates for positions in the January 22 Knesset elections are advocating policies that would have been considered "extreme" not long ago.

Neftali Bennett, millionaire-leader of the Jewish Home Party and the rising star of this election campaign, heads a lobby group for illegal settlers, and says there should never be a Palestinian state.

Former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, whose Yisrael Beiteinu party is campaigning in alliance with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's governing Likud, has demanded that Arab citizens of Israel swear an oath of loyalty to the Jewish state.

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Amayreh: What’s in a name?

English (US)  January 13th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

The PA moves to rebrand itself the “State of Palestine” ahead of Israeli elections likely to bring in the most right wing government yet seen, writes Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah

Al Ahram

The Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership seems to have backed away from earlier threats to dissolve the Ramallah regime if Israel goes ahead with announced plans to build an additional 75,000 settler units in Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank.

Instead, the PA leadership has decided to officially change name of the Palestinian Authority to the “State of Palestine”.

The (settler party, the Jewish Home0 rejects any peace deal with the Palestinians involving “territorial concessions”. The Talmudic-indoctrinated party calls for the annexation of the West Bank, reoccupation of the Gaza Strip, and subjugation or expulsion of Palestinians.

The move comes in the aftermath of the November resolution by the UN General Assembly to upgrade the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s (PLO) status to that of a non-member observer state.

According to instructions from the PA chairman’s office, all communications, stamps, stationary and official documents will now bear the new name. A PA statement said the move was intended to enhance Palestinian sovereignty on the ground and constituted a step forward to real independence.Israel has rejected the largely symbolic Palestinian step, calling it “unilateral” and in violation of the Oslo Accords.

Israeli officials said Israel wouldn’t deal with Palestinian documents bearing the name of “state of Palestine”. In the past, Israel rejected and “returned to sender” documents bearing the name “Palestinian National Authority”. Israeli officials argued then that the word “National” was an unacceptable addition since it was not contained in the original agreement.

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History of the People: Articulating ‘Palestine’ Despite Israeli Hasbara

English (US)  January 10th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

General view of Haifa From Mt. Carmel looking west , 1934-1939. (Photo: Maston Collection.)

By Ramzy Baroud

What does a Palestinian farmer who is living in a village tucked in between the secluded West Bank hills, a prisoner on hunger strike in an Israeli jail and a Palestinian refugee roaming the Middle East for shelter all have in common? They are all characters in one single, authentic, solid and cohesive narrative. The problem however, is that western media and academia barely reflect that reality or intentionally distort it, disarticulate it and when necessary, defame its characters.

An authentic Palestinian narrative – one that is positioned within an original Palestinian history and articulated through Palestinian thought – is mostly absent from western media and to a lesser degree, academia. If such consideration is ever provided, everything Palestinian suddenly falls into either a side note of a larger Israeli discourse, or at best, juxtaposed to a pro-Israeli plot that is often concealed with hostility. Palestinian news stories are often disconnected, disjoined news items with seemingly no relation to other news items. They are all marred with negative connotation. In this narrative, a farmer, a prisoner and a refugee barely overlap. Due to this deliberate disconnect, Palestine becomes pieces, ideas, notions, perceptions, but nothing complete or never whole.

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Gaza: Left in the Dark

English (US)  January 10th, 2013 by admin ( Email )

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‘The Iranians Are Coming’: The Imagined, ‘Sinister’ Iranian Threat in Latin America

English (US)  January 3rd, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Israeli-Western propaganda presents Iran as a country ruled by villains whose main hobby is to assemble bombs and threaten western civilization. (Photo: via Aljazeera)

By Ramzy Baroud

Reading the text of a bill that was recently signed into law by US President Barack Obama would instill fear in the hearts of ordinary Americans. Apparently, barbarians coming from distant lands are at work. They are gathering at the US-Mexico border, cutting fences and ready to wreak havoc on an otherwise serene American landscape.

Never mind that crazed, armed to the teeth, homegrown American terrorists are killing children and terrorizing whole cities. It is the Iranian menace that we are meant to fear according to the new law. When compounded with the other imagined threats of Hezbollah and Hamas, all with sinister agendas, then the time is right for Americans to return to their homes, bolt their doors and squat in shelters awaiting further instructions, for evidently, “The Iranians are coming.”

It is as comical as it is untrue. But “The Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act”, which as of Dec. 28 is an official US law, is not meant to be amusing. It is riddled with half-truths, but mostly complete and utter lies.

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A Short Tour of the Zionist Sewers

English (US)  January 3rd, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Sumud is the invincible Palestinian rock that will bring down the Zionist Leviathan. (Photo: Zoriah)

By Vacy Vlazna

The Parisian sewer system is famous. Victor Hugo described it as such: ‘Paris has another Paris under herself; a Paris of sewers; which has its streets, its crossings, its squares, its blind alleys, its arteries, and its circulation, which is slime, minus the human form.’

Israel too has a sewer system that is spread internationally… a system of interconnected corporations in the USA, Australia, Canada, and Europe with subterranean links to Israel’s Leviathan- ‘slime minus the human form’ – the savage Zionist illegal occupation of Palestine.

Just as Paris offers tours of its sewers, let us descend into the visceral underground (Here, no more false appearance, no possible plastering, the filth takes off its shirt, absolute nakedness, rout of illusions and of mirages, nothing more but what it is . . . The last veil is rent. A sewer is a cynic. It tells all. Hugo) of corporate interconnections to Israel and its military that violate international law which declares ‘occupation must only be temporary; the Israeli settlements [colonial cities] are in direct violation of this principle’… For instance, the colonial cities on Palestine land with their 500,000 illegal colonizers, ‘violate Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention, which forbids an occupier from transferring its own civilians into the territory it occupies. Additionally, according to Article 55 of the Hague Regulations, the occupying power’s role is to safeguard occupied properties and maintain the status quo.’(Global Exchange) There is also the UN Global Compact, Principle Two “Businesses should make sure they are not complicit in human rights abuses.”

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Haniyeh: ending siege, reconstruction and reconciliation our priorities

English (US)  January 2nd, 2013 by admin ( Email )

GAZA, (PIC)-- The Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said that his government will work in the current year on strengthening its relations with the Arab and Islamic surroundings which have positively changed after the revolutions, particularly Egypt.

Haniyeh's statements came during a speech he delivered at the graduation ceremony of a course in security and protection today in Gaza.

"The government's priorities with the beginning of the new year lie in continuing the construction of the government buildings, within the projects of the reconstruction of Gaza, as well as ending the siege and working on achieving the national reconciliation based on our people's constants and choices, according to clear bases and a strategic fixed vision", Haniya said.

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Abbas Too Weak to Make Transition from PA to Functioning State

English (US)  January 2nd, 2013 by admin ( Email )

Through all his political life, Abbas has been a concessionist.

By Hasan Afif El-Hasan

After wasting twenty years of negotiations in which basic Palestinian rights were squandered while Israel was colonizing the West Bank and Jerusalem and millions of Palestinians rot in refugee camps, Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority (PA), decided to ask the UN General Assembly to recognize Palestine as non-member state. The vast majority of the world governments especially in Asia, Africa and South America have been always supportive of the Palestinian cause and direction. The UN vote was substantial: 138 votes in favor, 9 against and 41 abstentions. The euphoria among the Palestinians created by the vote reminds us with the sense of relief and optimism among the Palestinians when the Oslo Accords were signed and sold to the Palestinians by their self-appointed leaders as the road to “the peace of the brave.” Twenty years later, the Oslo Agreements proved to be catastrophic.

Many UN resolutions favoring the Palestinians are collecting dust on UN shelves rather than being enacted. Israel ignored countless resolutions issued by UN General Assembly, the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice. Israel rejected the Arab Peace Initiative, endorsed by the 2002 Beirut Arab summit, because colonizing the West Bank and Jerusalem outweigh the benefits of formal normalization with the Arab and Muslim nations. Israel has peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, and it has established low-profile trading and cultural relations with other Arab and Muslim nations without having diplomatic relations, mostly after the signing of the Oslo Agreements. According to Haaretz newspaper issue of last Dec. 28, “Israeli business quietly thrives in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and in far-off countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, too.”

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Palestinians Endorse Idle No More

English (US)  December 31st, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By Gale Courey Toensing
December 29, 2012

American Indians and Palestinians have supported each other’s struggle since at least the 1970s when the American Indian Movement hosted a delegation of leaders from the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

“What the American Indian Movement says is that the American Indians are the Palestinians of the United States, and the Palestinians are the American Indians of the Middle East,” the late great Indian leader Russell Means said many times. So it is no surprise that Palestinian activists are coming out in support of Idle No More.

In little more than two weeks since the December 10 launching of the Idle No More movement by First Nations in Canada oppose a Senate omnibus budget bill that leaves them with no power over their lands and resources, dozens of organizations and hundreds of individuals supporting Palestinian liberation and human rights have endorsed the Palestinians in Solidarity with Idle No More and Indigenous Rights statement of support of the continuing Native protest that has spread across Canada, the U.S., some European countries and into the Middle East. Palestinians in Solidarity with Idle No More and Indigenous Rights calls for justice, dignity, decolonization and protection of the land, waters and resources.

Read the full story at Indian Country Today Media Network

Nations don’t live by F-16s alone

English (US)  December 30th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By Khalid Amayreh

Binyamin Netanyahu and Avigdor leiberman are the perfect fascist couple that will shape Israeli policy and lead the Zionist entity for the next few years. Netanyahu is a notorious-propagandist turned politician, who is indoctrinated in Zio-Nazism. His views, political behaviors and especially his actions testify to this prognosis.

Not only does Netanyahu believe in the “inherent superiority” of Jews over non-Jews, but he seems to be a firm believer in the Nazi doctrine of Lebensraum. This is why he wastes no time trying to seize additional Arab land to incorporate into Israel. This is exactly what Nazi Germany did when it sought territorial aggrandizement at the expense of its neighbors, which ignited the Second World War.

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Gaza’s Only Fisherwoman Continues to Sail

English (US)  December 28th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Madleen Kulab. (Photo: Guerrilla Radio/file)

By Joshua Brollier – Gaza

“The problems started for me at eighteen,” Madleen Kulab said quietly, sitting just meters from the shore of the Mediterranean. “The police and port authorities did not want me to sail as a woman.” Though Madleen has emerged from this recent challenge, receiving a permanent permission to fish from the Gazan Interior Ministry, this is not the first hardship she has stared down and overcome in her lifetime.

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O Little Town in Occupied Territory

English (US)  December 27th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Eileen Fleming Salem-News.com

Bethlehem at the birth of Jesus was a besieged city. Today Bethlehem is again a besieged city surrounded from three sides by a 25-foot high concrete wall.
Santa in Bethlehem

(BETHLEHEM, Occupied Palestine) - "In a procession calling for 'peace on earth starting with peace in the Holy Land,' Santa led the march to where the confiscation of land and the construction of the Wall were taking place. The Israeli army, in its normal response, used violence and heavy arms to block the peaceful procession." - Sami Awad, American Palestinian, Founder and Executive Director of Holy Land Trust. [1]

Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, was born in Bethlehem and has been the Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Christmas church in Bethlehem since 1988.

My July 2007 interview with him follows his December 2012 sermon:

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Palestinians in Solidarity with Idle No More and Indigenous Rights

English (US)  December 27th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Poster design by Guevara de la Serna

“You who come from beyond the sea, bent on war,
don’t cut down the tree of our names,
don’t gallop your flaming horses across
the open plains….
Don’t bury your God
in books that back up your claim of
your land over our land,
don’t appoint your God to be a mere
courtier in the palace of the King”

– Mahmoud Darwish, The Penultimate Speech of the “Red Indian”

Palestinians in Solidarity with Idle No More
Indigenous people have risen up across Canada in the Idle No More movement, a mass call for Indigenous sovereignty, self-determination and rights, against colonization, racism, injustice, and oppression. As Palestinians, who struggle against settler colonialism, occupation and apartheid in our homeland and for the right of Palestinian refugees – the majority of our people – to return to our homeland, we stand in solidarity with the Idle No More movement of Indigenous peoples and its call for justice, dignity, decolonization and protection of the land, waters and resources.
(Please note that you can sign on by emailing PalestiniansIdleNoMore@gmail.com or using the form: http://bit.ly/PalIdleNoMore. Endorsements are welcome from Palestinian and Palestine support organizations; Palestinians and Arabs; and solidarity signatures in support.)

Read the full story and sign the petition at US Palestinian Community Network

Firmly Backing Idle No More, Atleo Says Indigenous Peoples' Moment Has Come

English (US)  December 27th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By Gale Courey Toensing

As Idle No More protests rolled out across Canada on Friday December 21, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo promised that the growing movement of demonstrations and protests would continue until the federal government takes concrete, credible steps to honor the treaty rights and international human rights of the country’s estimated one million indigenous people.

“We will not stand down as this country seeks to attempt to develop $650 billion in natural resources,” Atleo told reporters in a conference call on Friday morning. “Our people are saying that we will stand up for the waters, for the air, for the medicines, for the animals, for the land and the plants; that despite legislative efforts that we have an inherited responsibility and in the case treaty, treaty is paramount over parliament, over laws that Canada might pass.”

He promised that aboriginals would “carry out coordinated legal challenges and responses, but we will also take this to the Canadian public as well as on the international level to the United Nations and the Organization of American States to see the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ recognition of our right to free prior and information consent and the implementation of Section 35 [of the Canadian Constitution, which protects aboriginal and treaty rights] are upheld as well as the commitments articulated at the Crown-First Nations Gathering last January.”

Read the full story at Indian Country Today Media Network

Chief Theresa Spence Resolute in Hunger Strike, as Her Body Weakens

English (US)  December 27th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By David P. Ball
December 24, 2012

As Attawapiskat First Nation chief Theresa Spence enters her 13th day of a hunger strike protest on December 24—surviving on only medicine tea and fish broth in a tipi near Parliament Hill—supporters say her strength is ebbing, but her resolve is not.

Spence began her fast on December 11, one day after the Idle No More indigenous rights movement sprouted across Canada. The Ontario chief is demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and a representative of the Queen to fix the broken relationship with Indigenous Peoples. Though she spends much of her time resting, surrounded by traditional drummers, singers and fire-keepers, Spence insists she is willing to die.

“She's lying down or sitting, and she goes out for walks in the yard around the fire,” missing-women activist Gladys Radek told Indian Country Today Media Network after visiting Spence on December 22. “Right now she's doing a lot of resting. She is getting weaker, but her stance hasn't wavered. She's got no fear of death. You could see it and feel it: She is not afraid to die. She's a real stubborn woman. I feel very proud of all our First Nations people for standing up and saying, 'No more!' I feel very honored that it took one little woman to move the world.”
Read the full story at Indian Country Today Media Network

Haniya: Gaza's victory is the victory of the whole nation

English (US)  December 21st, 2012 by admin ( Email )

GAZA, (PIC)-- Gaza Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya, received on Thursday the leader of the Turkish Great Union Party, Mustafa Dastagi, and his accompanying delegation.

Haniyeh hailed the Turkish positions supporting the Palestinian cause and the Gaza Strip, and pointed out that the victory of Gaza represents a victory for Turkey and for the whole Islamic nation.

The Palestinian Premier welcomed the grandson of the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II, who came to visit Gaza within the Turkish delegation, recalling the positions of the Sultan and his commitment to defend Palestine, and stressed on the Palestinian people adherence to their land.

For his part; the Turkish Great Union Party leader thanked Haniya and the Palestinian people for the warm reception, emphasizing that his party as well as all the Turkish people will always continue to support the Palestinian people and their cause.


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5 farmers injured by Israeli fire in Gaza

English (US)  December 21st, 2012 by admin ( Email )

GAZA, (PIC)-- Israeli troops, deployed in the east of the Shouhada cemetery and east of the town of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian farmers, injuring five of them on Friday, locals said.

Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, told Quds Press Agency that five Palestinians were hospitalized with moderate wounds after being shot by Israeli occupation troops.

This incident is to be added to the ongoing occupation breaches of the truce signed on 21st of November between Palestinian resistance and the occupation under Egyptian auspices.

The IOF killed two Palestinians, injured dozens of others, arrested about 30 fishermen and bombed and confiscated a number of fishing boats in Gaza Sea, after signing the truce.


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Beware the Trap: Politics of Partition of Historic Palestine

English (US)  December 21st, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Let the Palestinian people decide. (Photo: Tamar Fleishman)

Even if we manage to elect a national council that represents all Palestinians, the leadership of the factions and the managerial class cannot be entrusted with making a decision regarding the partition of historic Palestine. They are so desperate to have an entity to manage no matter how insignificant that may be. They very well realize that such an entity will be a collection of reservations, a human warehouse. The leaders of the factions are bickering about who will be the administrator of the prison, and they have brought with them over eighty thousand prison guards. With an equivalent population to the West Bank and Gaza, the cities of Chicago and Los Angeles, with much higher crime rates, each has less than nine thousand police. The factions are leading their people into a trap, using the flag as bait.

By Mahmoud N. Musa – Paris

“At some point, Mr. Abbas must admit to his people that most of the refugees will never return to Israel: that is the price of partition”. This statement appeared on page 14 of the issue of the Economist dated September 24th to 30th, 2011. The Economist is a weekly British journal that distributes over one million copies of every issue and to a large extent represents the mainstream of Western political and economic thought.

The logic of partition is that it is two sides of the some coin. If there is going to be a Palestinian state, this means that there is going to be a Jewish state. The partition of the land means the separation of the people who live on it. For Palestinians to have a separate state and also having their people return to Israel is seen as having one’s cake and eating it at the same time. It is true that Palestinians have the legal and moral right to return to their original homes, but one gives up one thing to get another. Palestinians would be giving up their right of return in exchange for getting a state. To think otherwise would be eccentric logic and self-deception.

The politics of partition does not end there: it affects Palestinians in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Upon formation of such a state, Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria will become citizens of the new state. This means that in Jordan they will lose what little political rights they currently have, something that is being openly discussed by influential groups such as the retired military organization. Surplus people and the malcontent will be pressured to move to their state. In Lebanon and probably also in Syria, refugees will be moved from their temporary camps to permanent ones in the West Bank or Gaza.

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Why Washington Post Killed Story of Murdoch’s Bid to Buy US Presidency

English (US)  December 21st, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Rupert Murdoch

By Jonathan Cook

Carl Bernstein, of All the President’s Men fame, has a revealing commentary in the Guardian today, though revealing not entirely in a way he appears to understand. Bernstein highlights a story first disclosed earlier this month in the Washington Post by his former journalistic partner Bob Woodward that media mogul Rupert Murdoch tried to “buy the US presidency”.

A taped conversation shows that in early 2011 Murdoch sent Roger Ailes, the boss of his most important US media outlet, Fox News, to Afghanistan to persuade Gen David Petraeus, former commander of US forces, to run against Barack Obama as the Republican candidate in the 2012 presidential election. Murdoch promised to bankroll Petraeus’ campaign and commit Fox News to provide the general with wall-to-wall support.

Murdoch’s efforts to put his own man in the White House failed because Petraeus decided he did not want to run for office. “Tell [Ailes] if I ever ran,” Petraeus says in the recording, “but I won’t … but if I ever ran, I’d take him up on his offer.”

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Video: Where should the birds fly?

English (US)  December 17th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Dec 17 2012 / 11:36 pm

Palestinian filmmaker Fida Qishta.
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Where Should the Birds Fly? is a powerful new film about Gaza by Palestinian filmmaker Fida Qishta. It is the moving story of two young Palestinian women struggling for normalcy in the cruel abnormality of Gaza. This story reveals the resilience of the human spirit, as the farmers, fisherman, merchants, school children, teachers, and medical workers find ways to snatch a semblance of normality from this insanity. But what happens when the abnormal becomes normal? What happens when children grow up among the rubble of their homes and cities, when they face the future as orphans colored by the memory of their parents’ violent deaths?

Palestinian filmmaker FIda Qishta describes her reasons for documenting the 23 day Israeli invasion and bombing of Gaza in December 2008 and the powerful film that recounts the impact on the people of Gaza.

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Gaza is the New Wounded Knee

English (US)  December 13th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Israeli strikes on Sunday, November 19, 2012, killed 23 Palestinians including 14 women and children in the bloodiest day of its Gaza bombing campaign, the health ministry said. Nine children, five of them babies and toddlers, and five women were among the victims in violence that raised the overall number of Gazans killed to 69 in around 100 hours of relentless Israeli air strikes

By L. Janelle Dance and Selma Hedlund*

On December 29, 1890, the U.S. Calvary opened fire on Lakota Indians who had been rounded-up like animals into a refugee camp. The U.S. Calvary killed 300 persons, two-thirds of whom were women and children. This atrocity happened at Wounded Knee Creek located within the once vast territories of the Lakota Indians, territories that have been reduced today to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in the Midwest of the United States. At the time of the massacre, the Lakota territories were under the protection of Chief Red Cloud. A group of Lakota had been led to Wounded Knee Creek by their Chief, Big Foot, in order to find a safe haven away from U.S. soldiers. [1] Sadly, instead of a safe haven, Wounded Knee became the site of one of the bloodiest massacres ever committed against the Lakota by the United States government.

This atrocity was a continuation of earlier and ongoing brutalities committed against the Lakota as the U.S. government relentlessly occupied Lakota territory, took Lakota lands, allowed the bison upon which the Lakota depended to be hunted to near extinction, facilitated the theft and desecration the Lakota’s sacred Black Hills, murdered many Lakota in the name of “self-defense”, and illegally opened Lakota lands for White settlers. Chief Red Cloud had once lamented, “When we first had this land, we were strong. Now our nation is melting away like snow on the hillsides where the sun is warm; while the white people grow like blades of grass when summer is coming.” [2]

Now in November of 2012, as was also the case in December of 2008, the Israeli military opened fire upon Palestinians in Gaza. Since Israel occupied Gaza in 1967, Palestinians in Gaza have been rounded-up into one of the largest refugee camps of the 20th and 21st centuries. Quantitatively larger than the population of Lakota at Wounded Knee Creek, Gaza has an estimated population of 1.7 million [3] However, qualitatively similar to the Lakota at Wounded Knee, the civilians of Gaza are entrapped: The Israeli government and military have placed Gaza in a blockade, controls the airspace, determines what people can go in and out of Gaza, what goods can go in and out of Gaza, and even how far out to sea Palestinian fishermen can venture. Like the U.S. Calvary killed Lakota at Wounded Knee Creek, the Israeli Military has been indiscriminately killing Palestinians in Gaza [4]. Similar to Wounded Knee, the dead include women, children, elders, and other civilians.

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Palestinian Trail of Tears: Joy Harjo’s Missed Opportunity for Indigenous Solidarity

English (US)  December 11th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By Sa’ed Adel Atshan

December 11, 2012

Ever since my childhood, I have always felt a deep connection with Native Americans. At the Ramallah Friends School, a Quaker institution established in Palestine over a century ago, we learned about our shared history as indigenous peoples who have faced ethnic cleansing by European colonists and the importance of nonviolent resistance for freedom and dignity.

Many Palestinians and those in solidarity with our struggle had hoped that Joy Harjo would be principled in heeding the calls of another subjugated people. We have been profoundly dismayed by her recent decision to accept funding from Tel Aviv University, an Israeli state institution, and to not only perform there on Monday but also to serve as a Writer-in-Residence. Soon after hearing this disappointing news, Native American peers of Harjo, including Robert Warrior, called on her to boycott the event. The Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) sent an open letter to Harjo imploring her to honor the boycott. A USACBI petition generated over 2,000 signatures within 36 hours. Harjo disregarded these requests and announced that she would proceed with the performance. Her statement expressed sympathy for Palestinian and Jewish suffering without acknowledging that many American settlers—like their Israeli counterparts—had also faced persecution in Europe, and that Jewish and Israeli voices have been invaluable to the BDS movement. Harjo crossed the picket line. She helped provide legitimacy to an institution that sits above the ethnically cleansed Palestinian village of Shaykh Muwannis while supporting the Israeli military occupation which is illegal under international law.
Read the full story at Indian Country Today Media Network

Hamas chief Meshaal makes historic Gaza visit

English (US)  December 7th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

First visit to Palestinian land in 45 years seen as demonstration of new confidence after conflict with Israel.

Ismail Haniya, Hamas prime minister of Gaza, was among the Palestinian officials who greeted Meshaal on Friday [Reuters]

The leader of Hamas has arrived in the Gaza Strip, ending 45 years of exile from the Palestinian Territories with a visit that underscored the armed group's growing confidence.

Khaled Meshaal said on his first-ever visit to the Gaza Strip on Friday that he hoped to become a "a martyr" in the Palestinian territory.

"I hope God will make me a martyr on the land of Palestine in Gaza," Meshaal said shortly after crossing from Egypt into Gaza via the southern Rafah crossing.

After passing through the Egyptian border crossing, Meshaal knelt on the ground to offer a prayer of thanks and was then greeted by dozens of officials from an array of competing Palestinian factions lined up to meet him.

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Emergency Delegation to Gaza Winds Up Week of Witness to War’s Devastation, Gazans’ Resilience

English (US)  December 6th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Medea Benjamin, 415-235-6517, medea@codepink.org
Alli McCracken, 860-575-5692, alli@codepink.org
Henry Norr, 510-841-5035, henry@norr.com

December 6, 2012

An emergency delegation of peace activists, lawyers, and journalists that hurried to the Gaza Strip just days after the end of Israel’s recent assault on the territory has wound up up a week of bearing witness both to the war’s devastation and to the Gazan people’s determination to rebuild their society and seek a more peaceful and just future.

Consisting of 20 U.S. citizens, two from the UK, one from Spain, and one from Germany, and ranging in age from 23 to 82, the group entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing from Egypt on Nov. 26 and 27, following the ceasefire brokered by Egypt and finally announced on Nov. 21. Over the last week members of the group have traveled throughout the Strip, meeting with the families of some of the more than 160 people killed, visiting hospitals and bombed-out homes, joining farmers and fishermen in their efforts to ensure that the terms of the ceasefire agreement are implemented fully, and exchanging views with local human-rights advocates, professors and students, young bloggers, and people on the streets.

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English (US)  December 5th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

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Of ‘Symbolic’ Victories and Real Defeats

English (US)  December 5th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Wednesday, December 05, 2012 (Image: Niño Jose Heredia/Gulf News)

By Ramzy Baroud

A small group of students affiliated mostly with leftist Palestinian factions meandered through the streets of the small town of Birzeit near Ramallah in the summer of 1993. It was an impromptu political rally.

They denounced what they understood as the relinquishing of basic Palestinian rights in exchange for meagre returns: Self-autonomy governed by some Palestinian political body, future negotiations without any guarantees and a hollow Israeli recognition of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The hastily organized protest was prompted by earlier news that an agreement — Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements — was reached in Oslo and that an official signing ceremony would soon be held at the White House.

The agreement had hallmarks of what promised to be a mockery that merely attempted to reintroduce an Israeli-American version of self-autonomy — as opposed to real independence. Many such shams were introduced and soundly defeated by the Palestinian people and their leadership.

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Roger Waters UN Address - Nov 29, 2012

English (US)  December 5th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

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Empire : Palestine: State of play

English (US)  December 5th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

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Calls for Trade Sanctions: Hague Says EU Has ‘No Enthusiasm’

English (US)  December 5th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By Stuart Littlewood

Earlier this week, in a sham show of ‘get tough’ diplomacy, UK foreign minister Alistair Burt announced that the Israeli ambassador had been formally summoned to the Foreign Office following Israel’s decisions to build 3,000 new housing units in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, unfreeze planning in the area known as E1 and withhold tax revenues from the Palestinian Authority.

“I set out the depth of the UK’s concern about these decisions and I called on the Israeli government to reverse them. The settlements plan in particular has the potential to alter the situation on the ground on a scale that threatens the viability of a two state solution.”

He said the British response “stems from our disappointment that the Israeli Government has not heeded the calls that we and others had made for Israel to avoid reacting to the UN General Assembly resolution in a way that undermines the Palestinian Authority or a return to talks.”

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Israel’s Doomsday E-1 Settlement

English (US)  December 5th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Dec 5 2012 / 8:23 pm E-1 settlement,, Israel's answer to recognition of Palestine at UN.
E-1 settlement,, Israel's answer to recognition of Palestine at UN.

By Nicola Nasser – Bir Zeit, West Bank

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has definitely crossed an international red line to vindicate a swift and firm rejection from Israel’s closest allies when he announced plans recently to build a new settlement on a corridor of occupied Palestinian land in East Jerusalem, which will render any prospective Palestinian contiguous state territorially impossible. Daniel Seidemann, the Israeli founder of Terrestrial Jerusalem, has condemned it as “the doomsday settlement” and “not a routine” one.

Netanyahu risks a diplomatic confrontation that will not develop into a diplomatic isolation of Israel because Israel’s allies have decided to pressure him to backtrack by “incentives and disincentives” instead of “sanctions,” in the words of the British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

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Palestine Wins Status of State in Vote by U.N. Assembly

English (US)  November 29th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority spoke at the United Nations before the General Assembly voted on Palestine's status as a “nonmember observer state” on Thursday.

Published: November 29, 2012 214 Comments

UNITED NATIONS — More than 130 countries voted on Thursday to grant Palestine the upgraded status of nonmember observer state in the United Nations, a stinging defeat for Israel and the United States and a boost for President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, who was weakened by the recent eight days of fighting in Gaza.

The new ranking could make it easier for the Palestinians to pursue Israel in international legal forums, but it remained unclear what effect it would have on attaining what both sides say they want — a two-state solution.

Still, the vote offered a showcase for an extraordinary international lineup of support for the Palestinians and constituted a deeply symbolic achievement for their cause, made even weightier by arriving on the 65th anniversary of the General Assembly vote that divided the former British Mandate of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and the other Arab — a vote that Israel considers the international seal of approval for its birth.

The tally, in which 138 members voted yes, 9 voted no and 41 abstained, took place after a speech by Mr. Abbas to the General Assembly, in which he called the moment a “last chance” to save the two-state solution amid a narrowing window of opportunity.

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How Israel threw Barack Obama 'under the bus'

English (US)  November 28th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Contrary to Romney's claim, it was Obama who was thrown under the bus by Israel, not vice versa, Mark Perry writes.

While US President Barack Obama toured Thailand's Wat Pho monastery, his foreign policy staff was providing him hourly updates of the Gaza fighting [REUTERS]

Remember Barack Obama's "pivot to Asia"? Announced during his first term, then reinforced by Hillary Clinton's detailed monograph on the subject one full year before his re-election, the "Pivot to Asia" was seen as Obama's signature second term foreign policy initiative.

The pivot was not simply an acknowledgement of Asia's growing economic power (it accounts for 25 percent of US exports and 35 percent of its imports - and supports 2.4 million jobs). It marked a break with the United States' decade-long engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan - a hapless budget sapping adventure that yielded few benefits. So while Obama would never publicly say so, the message to the Arab world - and Israel - was clear: We have other priorities.

Or maybe not.

Just days before Obama embarked on a high profile trip to Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia, which was intended to symbolise this "pivot", Israel assassinated Ahmed Jabari, the head of Hamas' military wing. The eight-day conflict that followed not only pushed Obama's three-day Asia tour off the US' front pages, it sent ripples of exasperation through the administration's foreign policy establishment.

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Experts set to exhume Yasser Arafat's body

English (US)  November 26th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

The move is part of a renewed probe into his death after Swiss scientists found traces of polonium on his clothing.

By Gregg Carlstrom

Scientists have completed final preparations to exhume the body of Yasser Arafat, whose tomb will be opened on Tuesday to test for radioactive polonium.

Three teams of international investigators traveled on Monday to the muqat’aa, the Palestinian Authority headquarters, where Arafat is buried. They could be seen bringing equipment to the site throughout the day.

A nine-month investigation, the results of which were broadcast earlier this year, found elevated levels of polonium on Arafat’s final personal effects, raising new questions about what killed the longtime Palestinian leader.

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English (US)  November 25th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Will the truce last?

By: Gulamhusein Abba

On Wednesday, November 12, Israel deliberately provoked Hamas by breaking a two day long truce, carrying out some 20 airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, the heaviest barrage on the Palestinian territory in four years, and, for good measure, to make sure the provocation worked, assassinating Gaza’s supreme military commander Ahmed Jabari.

It killed him even though it was he that was mainly responsible for arranging the release of Shalit, even though his interest in entering into a long-term truce agreement had been communicated to Israeli authorities.

When Gaza expectedly responded with a fresh barrage of rockets, Israel used that as an excuse to continue its murderous attack on Gaza and launched its Operation Pillar of Defense.

It pummeled Gaza – again, barely four years after it infamous Operation Cast Lead – for eight straight days, day and night, launching well over 1500 deadly airstrikes, shelling targets from tanks and gunboats, killing 161 Palestinians, including a large number of innocent men, women, children and even babies, wiping out families, injuring at least 840, flattening residential buildings, Hamas leader’s he4adquarters, police stations, several other infrastructures, targeting and damaging dozens more, including a hospital and the international media center.

Then, on Wednesday , November 21, under intense international pressure, Israel signed with Hamas a truce agreement.

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What Really Happened at the First Thanksgiving? The Wampanoag Side of the Tale and What’s Done Today

English (US)  November 22nd, 2012 by admin ( Email )

This is a popular image of the first Thanksgiving, a painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris. But this is definitely NOT what happened.

By Gale Courey Toensing November 22, 2012

When you hear about the Pilgrims and “the Indians” harmoniously sharing the “first Thanksgiving” meal in 1621, the Indians referred to so generically are the ancestors of the contemporary members of the Wampanoag Nation. As the story commonly goes, the Pilgrims who sailed from England on the Mayflower and landed at what became Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620 had a good harvest the next year. So Plymouth Gov. William Bradford organized a feast to celebrate the harvest and invited a group of “Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit” to the party. The feast lasted three days and, according to chronicler Edward Winslow, Bradford send four men on a “fowling mission” to prepare for the feast and the Wampanoag guests brought five deer to the party. And ever since then, the story goes, Americans have celebrated Thanksgiving on the third Thursday of November. Not exactly, Ramona Peters, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s Tribal Historic Preservation Officer told Indian Country Today Media Network in a conversation on the day before Thanksgiving 2012—401 years since that mythological “first Thanksgiving.”

We know what we’re taught in mainstream media and in schools is made up. What’s the Wampanoag version of what happened?

Yeah, it was made up. It was Abraham Lincoln who used the theme of Pilgrims and Indians eating happily together. He was trying to calm things down during the Civil War when people were divided. It was like a nice unity story.So it was a political thing?

Yes, it was public relations. It’s kind of genius, in a way, to get people to sit down and eat dinner together. Families were divided during the Civil War.

So what really happened?

Read the full story at Indian Country Today Media Network

Gaza ceasefire a critical moment for US

English (US)  November 22nd, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By Kimberly Halkett

The ceasefire between Hamas and Israel is now in effect. In Washington speak, the agreement is being hailed as an important "first step" toward "de-escalating" tensions and working toward a more "durable" solution for peace.

That more durable solution has, so far, not included any specifics on how the siege on Gaza might be lifted - only that the blockade is to be eased.

This ceasefire, however, is even more striking, given that the agreement, brokered by the US, involved Hamas, a group the US has no direct diplomatic relations with and has labeled a "terrorist" organisation. Never mind the fact that Hamas, which controls Gaza, was democratically elected in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections.

Still, this agreement is significant. Not only does it hopefully bring an end to the conflict of the past eight days, which resulted in the deaths of more than 160 Palestinians and at least five Israelis, but it also signals a new chapter of diplomacy in the region.

The ceasefire is, in essence, an agreement accepted by Israel and brokered by the US with a largely untested Egyptian government on the issue of foreign policy. This is a unique partnership in a post Arab Spring reality. The efforts of Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian president, in bringing about this agreement, have most certainly raised his standing as a partner and ally for a nervous Washington.

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The Bigger They Are The Harder They Fall

English (US)  November 22nd, 2012 by admin ( Email )

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Israel has just suffered a historic defeat, Norman Finkelstein writes.
Thursday, November 22, 2012

Chanting victory slogans and shouting “the resistance has triumphed,” jubilant residents flooded the streets of the Gaza Strip on Wednesday night to express their joy over the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire deal, which came into effect at 21:00 (1900 GMT), AFP reported. One only had to watch the international news coverage.

BBC persisted in its typically awful reportage on the Israel-Palestine conflict during Israel’s latest rampage. But tonight it had to acknowledge that the people of Gaza were out in the streets celebrating. It desperately sought some “balance” by positing that “some people in Israel are probably also celebrating.”

Fat chance.

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ANONYMOUS: Operation Israel

English (US)  November 19th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

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Mass cyber-war on Israel over Gaza raids

English (US)  November 19th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Officials say there have been more than 44 million hacking attempts
on government websites since Gaza airstrikes began.

The image appeared on numerous Israeli websites that were reportedly hacked by Anonymous

More than 44 million hacking attempts have been made on Israeli government websites since Israel began its air raids on the Gaza Strip almost a week ago.

The figures, released by the Israeli government, indicated that attempts on defence-related sites had been the highest, while 10 million attempts had been made on the site of Israel's president, seven million on the country's foreign ministry and three million on the site of the prime minister.

Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said just one hacking attempt was successful on a site he did not want to name, but it was up and running after 10 minutes of downtime.

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Hamas more potent

English (US)  November 18th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

The resistance fighters are facing a clash with Israel reminiscent of the murderous 2008 assault on Gaza, reports Saleh Al-Naami

Egyptian protesters shout slogans during a protest against Israel's ongoing military operation in the Gaza Strip, after Friday prayers at Al-Azhar Mosque in old Cairo. President Mohamed Morsi denounced Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip as "a blatant aggression against humanity" and said Cairo "would not leave Gaza on its own" (photo: Reuters)

Heba Al-Meshherawi, 19, rushed up the stairs of her home on Wednesday night to grab her 11-month-old infant brother Omar after Al-Sabra district in central Gaza City came under attack. She picked him up and as she headed to the door, another missile was dropped by an Israeli warplane on the house, tearing her and her brother to pieces.

Heba and Omar are two of the 20 victims killed so far, along with dozens injured, on the second day of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip, specifically targeting the leaders and members of Ezz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing. The most senior ranking victim is deputy general commander of the Brigades Ahmed Al-Jaabari.

A Palestinian Hamas militant walks in the rubble of the destroyed house of Hamas militant Mohamed Abu Shmala, following an Israeli air strike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Friday (photo: AP)

A wounded Palestinian girl lies on a hospital bed after an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip, Friday. Israel's Cabinet authorised the mobilisation of up to 75,000 reservists, preparing the ground for a possible invasion into Gaza. (photo: Reuters)

Israeli terrorists air strike the densely populated in Gaza City, Saturday (photo: Reuters)

Israeli operations are also targeting training camps and rocket depots, as well as areas where rockets are being launched especially from the frontline area on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Israel is also targeting purely civilian targets as well, claiming they are being used by the resistance. Seven homes, two mosques and agricultural land were also bombed.

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Ways to halt Gaza attack probed

English (US)  November 18th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

The Egyptian ambassador to Israel was recalled to protest against the killing of a Hamas leader during the strikes on Gaza, reports Reem Leila

A Palestinian man kisses the body of one of his children during their funeral in the northern Gaza Strip. Jumana Abu Sefan, 18 months old, and her brother Tamer, three and a half years old, were killed in an Israeli air strike on Sunday (photo: Reuters)

November 18, 2012

Turkish Prime Minister Rajab Erdogan arrived in Cairo this morning to discuss with President Mohamed Morsi the Israeli assault on Gaza. Erdogan and Morsi met for 40 minutes to study all the means available to find a cease-fire in Gaza.
Last night, Erdogan also signed several investment contracts with Egypt, reflecting mutual economic cooperation between the two countries.

Smoke rises during an explosion from an Israeli forces strike in Gaza City, Saturday (photo: AP)

Meanwhile, “President Morsi made several phone calls to the leaders of the US, France, Italy, Britain, and Argentina to pressure Israel into halting its attacks on Palestinian territories,” presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said.
On Friday 16 November Prime Minister Hesham Kandil traveled to Gaza at the head of a high-ranking delegation in an unprecedented step to support the Palestinians against the Israeli onslaught. The delegation included Health Minister Mohamed Mustafa as well as a number of President Morsi’s aides. During the visit, Kandil discussed a possible cease-fire as well as a stop to the firing of missiles from the Gaza Strip to Israeli territories. Kandil, who visited Al-Shefaa medical centre in Gaza, condemned the Israeli attacks “against innocent Palestinians”.

An Israeli soldier prays atop a tank -- presumably to the God of War -- near the border with the central Gaza Strip, Sunday (photo: Reuters)

Israel and the Palestinians have been exchanging fire for close to a week, leading to the killing of 29 Palestinians and three Israelis. The number of Palestinians injured is over 270.

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Israel PM vows to 'expand' Gaza operation

English (US)  November 18th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Britain warns a ground invasion can cost Israel much international sympathy as troops are massed along the border.

Israel has called in thousands of reservists as troops are deployed along the border [Reuters]

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said that his country is ready to "significantly expand" its operation against fighters in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

"The operation in the Gaza Strip is continuing, and we are preparing to expand it," Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.

His announcement came as at least five people in the Palestinian enclave were killed in bombardment from air and sea on Sunday.

"We are extracting a heavy price from Hamas and the terror organisations," he said.

His remarks came as thousands of Israeli troops backed by armour massed along the border, fuelling fears that Israel is poised to expand its relentless aerial bombing campaign into a ground operation.

Netanyahu said he was holding ongoing talks with world leaders, "and we appreciate their understanding of Israel's right to self defence."

Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel-Hamid, reporting from Sderot in southern Israel, said Netanyahu has a lot of support for a ground operation, especially in the southern parts of the country.

But a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip would lose Israel much international sympathy and support, British Foreign Secretary William Hague warned on Sunday.

Hague told Sky News television it was much more difficult to limit civilian casualties in a ground assault and it would threaten to prolong the conflict.

"A ground invasion of Gaza would lose Israel a lot of the international support and sympathy that they have in this situation," Hague said.

"A ground invasion is much more difficult for the international community to sympathise with or support - including the United Kingdom."

Mediation efforts

He said Britain would like to see an agreed ceasefire, with an end to the rocket attacks being an essential component of any peace deal.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said there were "some indications" a ceasefire could be reached soon, but he had no firm guarantees.

Morsi told reporters in Cairo his government was in "vigorous" communication with both Israel and the Palestinians.

Egypt, which brokered an informal truce in October that had since collapsed, has said it is working for a new deal after its Prime Minister Hesham Qandil visited Gaza on Friday.

Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal was in Cairo for talks, a senior Hamas official said.

A Palestinian official told Reuters the truce discussions would continue in Cairo on Sunday, saying "there is hope", but that it was too early to say whether the efforts would succeed.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius left Paris on Sunday for Israel "to call on all the parties to stop the escalation and offer France's help to reach an immediate ceasefire," his ministry said.

During his one-day trip, the minister will meet the Israeli authorities and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, his ministry said in a statement.

Al Jazeera and agencies

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Israel pounds Gaza Strip from air and sea

English (US)  November 18th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Three children killed and media centres hit as Israel keeps up bombardment for fifth straight day.

Israel is continuing its assault on the Gaza Strip for a fifth straight day, bombarding the Palestinian enclave from both the air and sea.

Medical sources said three children were killed on Sunday. One of them was an 18-month-old killed in a air raid east of Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza.

Meanwhile, fighters in Gaza fired rockets into Israel. Two of them, aimed at the commercial hub of Tel Aviv, were shot down by Israel's anti-missile system, police said.

An air raid before dawn in Gaza City targeted a building housing the offices of local Arab media, wounding several journalists from al-Quds television, a station Israel sees as a mouthpiece of the Hamas movement which rules the Gaza Strip.

"At least six journalists were wounded, with minor and moderate injuries, when Israeli warplanes hit the al-Quds TV office in the Showa and Housari building in the Rimal neighbourhood of Gaza City," health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told the AFP news agency, adding that one journalist lost his leg.

Witnesses reported extensive damage to the building, and said journalists had evacuated after an initial strike, which was followed by at least two more on the site.

A second media centre was targeted later on Sunday morning. Sky News, al-Arabiya, and the official Hamas-run channel al-Aqsa TV have offices in the building. Qudra said two journalists were injured in the attack.

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Analysts fear wide-reaching fallout from Israeli strikes on Gaza

English (US)  November 15th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Gazans try to extinguish fire following an Israeli air strike. (Mohammed Abed — AFP/Getty Images)

As the Israeli air force launches airstrikes against the Gaza Strip in what it’s calling Pillar of Defense, some analysts are already worrying about the potential implications for the region of renewed Israel-Gaza violence.

Middle East watchers are by temperament a cynical bunch, and their assessments are just predictions, so take them with a grain of salt. But it’s worth considering them, both to examine the wider risks should violence increase (the Israeli military has signaled its readiness for a ground invasion “if necessary”) and as a reminder of how closely connected these disparate Middle Eastern security and political issues can be.

Egypt’s reaction to the violence could be particularly significant as a test of how the new, Muslim Brotherhood-allied government will respond to renewed Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some analysts have worried that the more populist, democratically elected government now in Cairo could feel compelled to take a tougher line against Israel and on behalf of Palestinians. Egypt’s foreign minister has condemned the strikes, as has the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party, which announced in a statement, “the state of occupation [Israel] should learn that the changes in the region including Egypt won’t allow for putting Palestinians under the brunt of Israeli aggression like in the past.”

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Bloodbath in Gaza

English (US)  November 15th, 2012 by admin ( Email )


For days now, Israel has been launching aerial attacks on Gaza, resulting in many dead and many injured. The attacks are part of a larger and massively depressing spectacle of a usurping colony forcing a population into a wall-enclosed ghetto and bombing them in the name of Judaism and the Jews.

A New York Times article, published November 14th, reports on the death of Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari, killed by one of Israel’s recent (“pinpoint,”* according to the article) airstrikes. Naturally, the article makes sly non-mention of the others—including the children—killed in the strikes. One phrase in the article reflects the Israeli government’s logic regarding the matter: “The ferocity of the airstrikes, in response to what Israel called repeated rocket attacks by Gaza-based Palestinian militants…”

The article goes on to bolster this logic when considering the always-tenuous ceasefire between Hamas, the governing body of Gaza, and Israel:

“Since [2008-2009] Hamas has mostly adhered to an informal, if shaky, cease-fire and at times tried to enforce the smaller militant groups to stick to it. But in recent months, under pressure from some of the Gaza population for not avenging deadly Israeli airstrikes, it has claimed responsibility for participating in the firing of rockets.”

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Fatah's mediocre victory: What if you throw an election and no one shows up?

English (US)  November 10th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

the U.S.-Israeli-backed leader of Fatah Mahmoud Abbas

With conspicuous low turnout, Fatah won in lacklustre fashion in largely uncontested local elections, writes Khaled Amayreh in occupied Hebron
Al Ahram

In the absence of Hamas and with visibly low voter turnout, Fatah, the political backbone of the Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) and the party of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, won an uneasy victory in partial local and municipal elections in the West Bank.

Nonetheless, Fatah leaders hailed "the huge victory", saying it amounted to a referendum on Chairman Abbas's policies, especially with regard to the moribund peace process with Israel.

The group's mediocre achievement was marred by a drastically low participation, especially in large towns such as Hebron, Nablus and Ramallah where no more than 35 per cent of registered voters cast their votes.

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Haniyeh, Meshaal face off

English (US)  November 10th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

With two big names dropping out of the running, it would appear that the way is clear for Ismail Haniyeh to take over as Hamas head, unless Khaled Meshaal demurs, writes Saleh Al-Naami

Haniyeh and Meshaal

Al Ahram

At first glance it seems that there's a significant chance that Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh will succeed Khaled Meshaal as head of Hamas's politburo, especially after Moussa Abu Marzouq, the politburo's deputy chief, and member Saleh Al-Aruri, who had a better chance to succeed Meshaal, announced they will not run for the position. But Haniyeh's election -- something he really wants -- faces opposition on principle and for personal reasons.

On principle, several members of Hamas's General Shura Council, which is expected to pick the next politburo chief within two months, still believe that the person in the top job should be based overseas, not inside Gaza. The reasoning is that current conditions require the group's leadership to have freedom of movement, to be able to visit other countries and meet with officials. This is a key task for the Hamas chief, in order to secure political and financial support for the group.

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On the anniversary of Kristallnacht: Could the Boycott Have Won?

English (US)  November 9th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

by Stanley Heller

November 9, 2012. Today is the anniversary of Kristallnacht and the Zionists, of course, will misuse its meaning to bash Palestinian human rights. But we have a perfect answer to throw back at the Zionists, their awful record of betraying Jews by making deals with the Nazis. The story was told by anti-Zionist Lenni Brenner in 1984, but it was also told by Zionist Edwin Black who focused on how the Transfer Agreement of 1933 destroyed the boycott against the Nazis. My article below is based on Black's work

Besides refuting the Zionists, the facts in Black's book show 1) how boycott is legitimate and how Jews used it several times 2) the power of the 1933 boycott and its limitations.

One can argue that the Holocaust began with the November 9-10, 1938 Kristallnacht when 1,000 synagogues were burned, 30,000 Jews thrown into concentration camps and around 100 killed outright. From discrimination and violent outrages the Nazis had moved on to mass murder.

Could they have been stopped? What could have stopped them?

Recently I finished Edwin Black's "The Transfer Agreement", a proud Zionists account of how Palestinian and German Zionists dealt with the new Nazi government of the '30's and used German Jewish money to build up Jewish Palestine. (The Transfer Agreement, First Dialog edition 2009) For a Zionist the book is as respectable as they come. It has an "Afterwords" by the head of the ADL, Abraham Foxman.

Black thinks the deal was a grand achievement, but he also knows full well that the "Transfer", as it was called, completely undermined the first serious attempt to stop Hitler, the worldwide boycott of German goods. He ends the book, "Was it madness or was it genius"?

I knew about the "Transfer" from the books of Lenni Brenner, "Zionism in the Age of the Dictators" and "The Iron Wall". He uncovered the whole sorry history of Zionist appeasement of anti-Semitism and their willingness to make deals with Nazis and Fascists. Black's book came out in 1984 around the same time as Brenner first book.

It's well written and well documented, but what is really impressive is how powerful the anti-Nazi boycott actually was. Six weeks after Hitler became Chancellor thousands of war veterans marched down the streets of New York City demanding a boycott of German goods and were received by the mayor. A few weeks later 20,000 people filled Madison Square Garden and an estimated 35,000 more surrounded it, demanding an end to anti-Jewish attacks in Germany. Boycotts began around the world from Poland to Egypt.

And who came throw to a cold wet blanket on all this? The Zionists. They made a deal with the Nazis in which German Jewish money was used to buy German goods which Zionists in Palestine sold in the Middle East as a way of building up Palestine and partially compensating German Jews for Nazi theft of their wealth. The Zionists scabbed on the boycott and broke it.

This betrayal of the Jews by this maneuver has already been exposed by Brenner and others. The Zionist answer (and Edwin Black agrees) was that German Jewry was a lost cause and the best that could be done was to get Jewish money and refugees out of Germany. But was it? Could the boycott have succeeded?

The question is not just of historical curiosity, a what if? It's important now when we work to use the boycott to oppose Israeli apartheid. How strong can a boycott be? What can it accomplish?

Read the rest of Stan's important article at The Struggle

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Impressions of Gaza

English (US)  November 7th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By Noam Chomsky
November 4, 2012

Even a single night in jail is enough to give a taste of what it means to be under the total control of some external force. And it hardly takes more than a day in Gaza to begin to appreciate what it must be like to try to survive in the world’s largest open-air prison, where a million and a half people, in the most densely populated area of the world, are constantly subject to random and often savage terror and arbitrary punishment, with no purpose other than to humiliate and degrade, and with the further goal of ensuring that Palestinian hopes for a decent future will be crushed and that the overwhelming global support for a diplomatic settlement that will grant these rights will be nullified.

The intensity of this commitment on the part of the Israeli political leadership has been dramatically illustrated just in the past few days, as they warn that they will “go crazy” if Palestinian rights are given limited recognition at the UN. That is not a new departure. The threat to “go crazy” (“nishtagea”) is deeply rooted, back to the Labor governments of the 1950s, along with the related “Samson Complex”: we will bring down the Temple walls if crossed. It was an idle threat then; not today.

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After the Floods: Come Home, America

English (US)  November 5th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By MJ Rosenberg

I would be the last person to find something good to say about the hurricane that devastated the East Coast this week. Just the thought (I can't read the news stories) of that young mother in Staten Island whose two little ones slipped out of her arms into the raging flood makes me feel ill.

And then there is this: my mother's home in Rockaway Park, N.Y., looks like a total loss. It may not be if FEMA and the insurance all come through but after 60 years in the big old stucco house, my 94-year-old mother will almost surely never sleep there again.

And our family, which has been connected to the Rockaways since the 1930s, may lose the repository of all our memories and our personal ties to a wonderful, beautiful place. But that is nothing compared to what some of the neighbors are enduring.

No, no tangible good can come out of this, but a transforming change might.

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What's in the Stars on Election Day? Mercury in Detriment or Stationary means "No Result"

English (US)  November 2nd, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By Patrick Cloutier

With the presidential election only days away, Democrats and Republicans are eager to know how well their candidates might perform. Which candidate is most likely to win on November 6 - Barack Obama or Mitt Romney? Pollsters and analysts attempt to gauge the probable winner with a number of factors: the economy, national defense, voter demographics, and so on. Timing is also a factor. The most ancient of probability tables - the stars above - offer clues about the outcome on Election Day.

Looking only at the raw astrological data, we can see that on Tuesday, November 6, the Moon will be in the constellation of Leo, which is a fire sign. This omen would seem to favor Barack Obama, since he is a Leo. However, on that day the planetary ruler of Leo, the Sun, forms a 90-degree angle to the Moon - a square, which is an unfavorable aspect.

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Gaza flotilla drives Israel into a sea of stupidity

English (US)  October 31st, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Of course the peace flotilla will not bring peace, and it won't even manage to reach the Gaza shore. The action plan has included dragging the ships to Ashdod port, but it has again dragged us to the shores of stupidity and wrongdoing

By Gideon Levy | May.30, 2010 |

The Israeli propaganda machine has reached new highs its hopeless frenzy. It has distributed menus from Gaza restaurants, along with false information. It embarrassed itself by entering a futile public relations battle, which it might have been better off never starting. They want to maintain the ineffective, illegal and unethical siege on Gaza and not let the "peace flotilla" dock off the Gaza coast? There is nothing to explain, certainly not to a world that will never buy the web of explanations, lies and tactics.

Only in Israel do people still accept these tainted goods. Reminiscent of a pre-battle ritual from ancient times, the chorus cheered without asking questions. White uniformed soldiers got ready in our name. Spokesmen delivered their deceptive explanations in our name. The grotesque scene is at our expense. And virtually none of us have disturbed the performance.

The chorus has been singing songs of falsehood and lies. We are all in the chorus saying there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. We are all part of the chorus claiming the occupation of Gaza has ended, and that the flotilla is a violent attack on Israeli sovereignty - the cement is for building bunkers and the convoy is being funded by the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood. The Israeli siege of Gaza will topple Hamas and free Gilad Shalit. Foreign Ministry spokesman Yossi Levy, one of the most ridiculous of the propagandists, outdid himself when he unblinkingly proclaimed that the aid convoy headed toward Gaza was a violation of international law. Right. Exactly.

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Israel reckons with unraveling Gaza policy

English (US)  October 31st, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By Joel Greenberg

JERUSALEM — When the emir of Qatar paid the first visit by a head of
state to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip last week, there were two
different reactions from the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

In one statement, Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for the ministry, accused
the emir, Sheik Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani, of backing a terrorist
organization and having “thrown peace under the bus.”

But an Arabic-language spokesman for the ministry, Lior Ben Dor, told
Radio Sawa, a U.S.- funded station heard across the Middle East, that
Israel welcomed the visit of the emir, who pledged generous financial

“Since our withdrawal from Gaza, the goal has been that Arab states
come and help the residents of Gaza,” Ben Dor said, referring to the
Israeli pullout in 2005.

The double message was a symptom of the unraveling of an Israeli
policy toward Gaza that was put in place after Hamas, which is
considered a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States,
seized control of the territory in June 2007.

The Israeli government adopted measures to isolate Gaza, sharply
restricting supply shipments at border points, tightening bans on
movement out of the territory, and promoting an international
diplomatic boycott of the Hamas government.

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Democracy denied: Millions of Americans blocked from voting

English (US)  October 28th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Voter suppression efforts today echo 19th century efforts to block urban immigrant working class from casting vote.

28 Oct 2012 12:53
By Paul Rosenburg

"Habitual non-voters are more Democratic and more social democratic than habitual voters are, so the GOP has a vested interest in keeping the electorate as limited as possible," says author [EPA]

The US Presidential race is being fought out most visibly in its "air war" - the barrage of TV ads concentrated in swing states, and the televised debates reaching tens of millions of viewers at once. But in the end, the outcome may well be determined by its trench warfare, a crucial component of which, for the GOP, consists in an intensively-fought effort to prevent as many Democrats as possible from voting.

It's a throwback to a bygone era, when similar efforts throughout the North - stopping short of the blood-stained mass terror favoured in the South - were employed to suppress the votes of thousands, perhaps millions of naturalised working class voters.

With roughly seven million voters effectively prevented from voting in 2008, according to the Co-operative Congressional Election Study, and perhaps five million more imperiled by new voter-suppression measures, according to another study in 2011, this should be a dominant campaign story.

Instead, it's marginalised, partly because it can't be squeezed into the US media's sacred "both sides do it" frame, and partly because those most impacted are primarily poor, low-income, and/or young. In 2005, for example, figures showed that only 59 per cent of citizens in households earning $15,000 or less were registered, compared to 85 per cent in house' earning over $75,000.

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Palestine olive farmers cultivate resistance

English (US)  October 28th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Attacks against Palestinian farmers by Israeli settlers have been on the rise since the olive harvest began in October.

"Cultivating our land is an act of steadfastness and peaceful resistance. Helping has always been a part of our culture and it is slowly being depleted. We are trying to revive it through acts like these."
- Mahmoud Hriebat, Ramallah resident

By Dalia Hatuqa 28 Oct 2012 12:49

Al-Lubban Ash-Sharqiya, West Bank - With a canvas tarp and a bucket in tow, the Daraghmehs surround one of the many olive trees dotting the family’s small parcel of land, plucking the green fruit in the early morning hours. For this Palestinian family of seven, the olive harvest has become a seasonal ritual passed down from one generation to the next.

Perched on one of its branches, 17-year-old Jalal freed a handful of olives and dropped them onto the tarp, each making a thumping sound as it hit the earth. The day moves by quietly. But the family said the serenity marking this fall morning in the village of Al-Lubban Ash-Sharqiya is an anomaly. For weeks on end, Khalid Daraghmeh, the family’s patriarch, and his eldest son, Jamal, have been in and out of Israeli prisons, following a series of attacks by Israeli settlers.

“We have been beaten and wrestled to the ground by settlers on numerous occasions,” said Khalid Daraghmeh, also known as Abu Jamal. “When they come, they don’t spare us or the plants or animals.” Abu Jamal said the settlers have thus far killed four of his dogs, uprooted 350 seedlings, and removed the irrigation system of pipes used to water the plants. On one occasion, settlers stripped naked and dipped themselves in another well used for drinking, he said.

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Israel asks UN to block ship headed for Gaza

English (US)  October 17th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

(AFP) – 13 hours ago

UNITED NATIONS — Israel's UN envoy asked the world body to try to persuade a Swedish ship carrying rights activists not to try to break the Jewish state's blockade of the Gaza Strip.

"I call on the Secretary-General, the Security Council, and all responsible members of the international community to take immediate action to end this provocation," the envoy, Ron Prosor, said in a letter Tuesday to UN chief Ban Ki-moon, and the council's president for October, Guatemalan envoy Gert Rosenthal.

Prosor said the sailing vessel Estelle, which left the Italian port of Naples on Saturday, was expected to arrive near Gaza in about a week.

He added that the Gaza blockade was solely for security purposes, saying: "There is not a single civilian good that cannot enter Gaza."

"I want to stress that Israel is not interested in confrontation, but remains determined to enforce its naval blockade of the Gaza Strip -- and will take all lawful actions to this end," Prosor wrote.

"Their clear provocation raises tensions and could easily spark a serious escalation of the conflict."

The Israeli ambassador to the United Nations said the rights activists aboard the Estelle should instead head for Syria to deliver goods much-needed to address the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.

He noted, however: "They understand that it is much easier to face news cameras in Tel Aviv than bullets in Damascus."

The Estelle, whose voyage was organized by an international pro-Palestinian coalition, is carrying humanitarian goods to the Gaza Strip.

The 17 activists on board include passengers and crew from Canada, Israel, Norway, Sweden and the United States.

Israel says the blockade -- imposed in June 2006 -- is necessary to prevent weapons from entering the coastal territory, which is run by the Islamist movement Hamas.


304 words posted in Israel, Apartheid StateLeave a comment

A School Girl's Odyssey

English (US)  October 15th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Al Jazeera’s 2009 documentary about the courageous Swati girl Malala Yousafzai who was critically injured in a cowardly assassination attempt by the Pakistani Taliban.

On October 9, 2012, masked gunmen ambushed a van carrying schoolgirls home in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. They shot 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai at point blank range in the head and neck leaving her in critical condition. The Taliban in Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack and vowed to “finish the chapter” in Malala’s story. Bringing and end to education for girls has long been one of their goals. The young activist was only 11 when she first stood up to the Taliban and despite numerous threats she continued to speak out against them.

This documentary filmed in 2009 follows the journey of Malala and her father as the deteriorating security situation forces them to leave not just their home in Swat Valley but their life’s passion.

153 words posted in Af-Pak warLeave a comment

Israel seeks Al-Aqsa Mosque

English (US)  October 15th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Israeli forces stormed the Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem this week, part of a plan to take control of the Muslim sanctuary, writes Khaled Amayreh in East Jerusalem

Israeli forces detain a Palestinian youth during clashes at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, after firing tear gas at Muslim worshippers

Palestinian leaders have warned that the extreme right-wing government in Israel is seeking gradually to seize control of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in order to meet demands to that effect by Messianic millenarian Jewish fanatics.

The Islamic sanctuary is considered one of the holiest Islamic shrines, third after the Kaaba in Mecca and the Prophet Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia.

This week, dozens of Israeli paramilitary soldiers stormed the Haram Al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), which houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, also known as the Mosque of Omar, beating, chasing and harassing Muslim worshipers.

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1088 words posted in Israel, Apartheid StateLeave a comment

US Deploys Military Task Force in Jordan: Wider War?

English (US)  October 15th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By Bill Van Auken

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Wednesday confirmed the existence of the task force, which was first reported by the New York Times.

Speaking to the media at the close of a two-day NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels, Panetta stated, “We have a group of our forces there working to help build a headquarters there and to insure that we make the relationship between the United States and Jordan a strong one so that we can deal with all the possible consequences of what’s happening in Syria.”

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1083 words posted in American Empire, Western AsiaLeave a comment

Shaden in Our Hearts: On the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Shaden Abu Hijleh . . .

English (US)  October 11th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

. . . the world still mourns the loss of this beautiful human being at the hands of the brutal, soul-less Zionist entity.

The obituary below appeared in the Hartford Courant on October 16, 2002, and launched worldwide media coverage of the martyrdom of Shaden Abu Hijleh. Her assassination by a Zionist death squad so clearly symbolizes the horror of the Zionist enterprise. For the full story of Shaden Abu Hijleh's murder, newsclips, pictures and to sign a guestbook go to Shaden Remembered

Shaden Abu Hijleh

Condolences are offered to the family and friends of Shaden Abu Hijleh, 50, who was shot dead in her home in Nablus, Palestine, by an Israeli occupation soldier on Friday, (October 11, 2002). Shaden Abu Hijleh was sitting in front of her glass balcony inside her house with her husband, Dr. Jamal Abu Hijleh, and her son Saed, a professor of social geography at Najah University in Nablus, when she was shot. According to her family members, an Israeli jeep stopped in front of the family's house, a soldier got out, went to the back of the jeep, picked up a weapon and opened fire at the Abu Hijlehs. Shaden Abu Hijleh died on the spot when two bullets struck her heart and neck. Her husband and son suffered shrapnel wounds and were rushed to the hospital. Shaden Abu Hijleh was famous for her love of gardening and for her meticulous embroidery. She was elected and served on the executive committee of the Women's Social and Cultural Association, Women's Affairs Center, and a number of social justice groups in Nablus. In 1967, Shaden Abu Hijleh resigned her post as a school teacher to protest the Israeli decision to alter the curriculum in Palestinian schools. Instead, she dedicated her time to activism, getting involved in grassroots organizing on a host of issues ranging from opposition to house demolitions and land confiscations, to literacy campaigns and income-generating projects for women. Shaden Abu Hijleh co-founded the Palestinian Society for the Protection of the Environment. Family members, friends and neighbors fondly remember her reprimanding people regardless of their age, gender, or social standing, for smoking cigarettes. She provided family members and friends with "No Smoking" signs in Arabic and English. More recently, Shaden Abu Hijleh was active in distributing food to the hungry in Nablus, dividing the donated flour, sugar, rice and milk into small packages and taking them to needy families who lost their livelihood due to high unemployment rates exacerbated by the Israeli-imposed 24-hour-a-day house arrest of the entire population that has continued since June 22. In addition to her husband and son Saed, Shaden Abu Hijleh leaves behind her daughter, Lana, chief engineer with the United Nation's Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People and board chair of the Palestinian Popular Arts Ensemble, and sons Raed and Rami, who are living abroad. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family by e-mail to amerhadi@tmfm.net.

489 words posted in IsraelLeave a comment

English (US)  October 7th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Photos: Inspired by US, Palestine solidarity billboards go up across South Africa (Wissam Nassar / Maan Images)

Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Sun, 10/07/2012 - 22:19

Twelve billboards have gone up across South Africa showing how Israeli colonization has gradually taken away Palestinian land.

According to an emailed statement from the group BDS South Africa, whose name appears on the ads:

A local black businessman from Johannesburg was inspired by a similar campaign initiated by Henry Clifford in the USA and decided to embark on the same initiative here in South Africa. Earlier on this year Clifford personally backed a campaign with more than R200,000 [$22,000] of his own money to have adverts explaining the Israeli occupation put up in New York metro stations.

The ads sponsored by Clifford in the New York area earlier this year caused a considerable reaction and controversy.

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The PA's desperate UN feat

English (US)  October 7th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

In New York, Mahmoud Abbas renewed the Palestinian bid for statehood recognition. Whether anything will come of it remains to be seen, writes Khaled Amayreh in occupied Ramallah

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 67th United Nations General Assembly in New York

There is a broad agreement within the Palestinian political class that the road to obtaining UN recognition for a Palestinian state, even with borders yet to be designated, with or without agreement with Israel, is going to be anything but smooth sailing.

Nonetheless, the Palestinian Authority (PA) seems intent on walking the "extra mile" in order to receive such recognition, irrespective of the risks of failure.

Some PA officials have warned that UN failure to grant the PA full non-member status would send an unmistakable message to the Palestinians that they have to remain under Israel's racist military occupation for eternity, and that it would be better for them to come to terms with this reality.

But the PA seems in no mood to be affronted, once again, with this sort of argument.

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Rethinking Columbus: Towards a True People's History

English (US)  October 7th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Textbook depictions of Columbus are often filled with misinformation and distortion or are justified with references to manifest destiny. The bottom image is a woodcut by Theodor De Bry, in the 16th century, based on the writings of Bartolome de las Casas. (Photo collage: Zinn Education Project)

by Bill Bigelow

This past January, almost exactly 20 years after its publication, Tucson schools banned the book I co-edited with Bob Peterson, Rethinking Columbus. It was one of a number of books adopted by Tucson’s celebrated Mexican American Studies program—a program long targeted by conservative Arizona politicians.

The school district sought to crush the Mexican American Studies program; our book itself was not the target, it just got caught in the crushing. Nonetheless, Tucson’s—and Arizona’s—attack on Mexican American Studies and Rethinking Columbus shares a common root: the attempt to silence stories that unsettle today’s unequal power arrangements.

For years, I opened my 11th-grade U.S. history classes by asking students, “What’s the name of that guy they say discovered America?” A few students might object to the word “discover,” but they all knew the fellow I was talking about. “Christopher Columbus!” several called out in unison.

“Right. So who did he find when he came here?” I asked. Usually, a few students would say, “Indians,” but I asked them to be specific: “Which nationality? What are their names?”


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Who are the true savages?

English (US)  September 26th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By Khalid Amayreh

A recent advertisement in a New York subway station, placed by Jewish fanatics, claimed that Israel represented civility and enlightenment while the Palestinians and other Muslims in general represented savagery, bestiality and primitiveness.

"In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad," read the advertisement.

The claim that Israel represents civility is actually no less than a fornication with truth, history and even language.

Historically, Israel was created by East European savages who invaded Palestine with the help of western powers. The invading Jewish savages murdered the native Palestinians, destroyed their homes, bulldozed their fields and then expelled them to the four winds.

According to Alfred Lillienthal, the late Jewish American writer and author of the Jewish Connection, the early Zionists who originated in Eastern Europe adopted the same fascist traditions that had prevailed in large parts of Europe, including Germany.

Hence, one would exaggerate very little by saying that Israel is a crime against humanity. What else one could say about a state that superimposed itself right upon another people and another nation?

What Israel did to the Palestinians, the original people of the region, is not much different from what the White American settlers did to millions of Native Americans. The white settlers exterminated untold numbers, probably more than ten millions, of these helpless American Indians and then called the genocide "manifest destiny."

In fact this argument was used by Israeli leaders and spokesmen to ward off criticisms of Israeli ethnic cleansing of native Palestinians by some conscientious Americans.

The Americans would retort by arguing that the extermination of the Native Americans was a sorry chapter in American history just like the issue of slavery. However, the US at least sought to rectify some of these unchangeable historical crimes by introducing equality among all US citizens, irrespective of religion and race, something that Israel is yet to do for its citizens.

In fact, despite the striking similarities between America's and Israel's stories, there are notable differences.

Generally speaking, in North America, white settlers didn't build cities, villages and hamlets on the ruins of Native American towns, villages and hamlets. But in Israel, nearly every Jewish town, village or Kibbutz was built on the site of a destroyed and depopulated Palestinian town, village and hamlet.

The full extent of the Palestinian Nakba, or extirpation of the Palestinian people from their ancestral homeland at the hands of barbaric Jewish invaders from Easter Europe was meticulously documented in Walid Khalidi's marvelous work "All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948."

I have been living under the Israeli rule for more than 45 years and I honestly fail to see any particular sign indicating that Israel is more civilized than other peoples. In fact, there are tons of evidence proving that Israel can be and often is more savage than other nations.

I am not going to cite the biblical code of ethics which most Israeli Jews subscribe to. In the final analysis, it is probably unfair to blame or hold contemporary Jews responsible for "religious" books written more than 3,000 years ago.

However, when these manifestly criminal and nefarious laws are readily adopted and promoted by the Israeli society, there is then more than just a catch-22.

A few years ago, a settler leader came to Hebron to boost the morale of local settlers. She told them that the best way to deal with Palestinians was to murder every man, woman and child.

There are many examples one can cite to prove that the distance between Israel and civility is measured not in kilometers and miles, but rather in light years.

Forget about Jewish and Zionist propaganda, especially in North America, where the black is changed into white, the white into black, the criminals into victims and the big lie into a truth glorified by millions of unsuspecting Americans who consume Jewish lies in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening.

The truth of the matter is that as far as ideology is concerned, Israel and Nazi Germany are like tweedledum and tweedeldee.

The Germans thought they were the "Master Race" whereas Zionist Jews think of themselves as the "Chosen people" which is another way of saying "the master race." Don't get me wrong. Jews and everyone else have a perfect right to think of themselves as the Almighty's children. They may even consider themselves mini-gods. This is not the problem.

The problem arises when these supremacist Jews seek to translate their morbid vagaries and convictions into a venomous political ideology and then act on it.

I recently watched a you-tube featuring a Jewish rabbi, probably affiliated with the influential Chabad cult, saying that it would be perfectly possible for a Jew to murder a gentile in order to harvest his or her organ if the Jew needed one.

The man was not hallucinating or imagining things. He knew what he was saying. According to some interpretations of Halakha or Jewish religious law, the lives of non-Jews have no sanctity.

This is by no means a merely theoretical religious conviction. A few years ago, a Jewish murderer, actually an immigrant from France, decapitated an Arab taxi driver from Eastern Jerusalem. And when the murderer was prosecuted, he told the judge that his neighborhood rabbi told him that he could kill an Arab just like he would kill an animal since the life of a gentile has no sanctity.

Another example of Israeli Zionist Jewish civility is a statement made by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef during a Sabbath homily in West Jerusalem a few years ago.

Yosef, the religious and spiritual mentor of one of the largest political parties in Israel, was quoted by the Israeli press as saying that non-Jews were very much like donkeys and other beasts of burden which the Almighty created solely in order to serve the master race, the Chosen people.

Unfortunately, such statements no longer raise eyebrows in Israel, neither among the political class nor among intellectuals and the intelligentsia, which shows the extent to which fascism and racism are permeating through the Israeli society.

In fact, we could speak hours and hours and hours about Israeli and Jewish savagery, both in theory and practice. A few years ago, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu was quoted as saying that "If the Palestinians don't stop after we kill 100, then we must kill a thousand." And, "if they do not stop after 1,000 then we must kill 10,000. If they still don't stop we must kill 100,000, even a million. Whatever it takes to make them stop."

The same rabbi, who died a few years ago, demanded that the children of Palestinian freedom fighters be hanged in order to inflict maximum emotional pain on their parents.

Now is this Hitlerian nefariousness an expression of civility on the part of Israel and the Jews? Remember Elyahu was a messianic Jew affiliated with the movement known as Gush Emunim as well as a prominent mentor at the Talmudic College in Jerusalem, known as Merkaz Ha'rav. He was by no means a marginal figure.

Rabbis in Israel are considered the crème de la crème of society, so if this is their standard of humanity and morality, one can imagine the type of ethics and civility harbored by the non-religious sectors in Israel.

Unfortunately, in many cases secularist Jews happen to display more humanness and civility in comparison to gung-ho religious Jews who advocate total genocide of Palestinians in what they call "Yeretz Yisrael."


1260 words posted in Israel, Anti-ZionistLeave a comment

Living Under Drones: A New Report from Stanford International Human Rights & Conflict Resolution Clinic

English (US)  September 26th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Executive Summary and Recommendations

In the United States, the dominant narrative about the use of drones in Pakistan is of a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the US safer by enabling “targeted killing” of terrorists, with minimal downsides or collateral impacts.[1]

This narrative is false.

Following nine months of intensive research—including two investigations in Pakistan, more than 130 interviews with victims, witnesses, and experts, and review of thousands of pages of documentation and media reporting—this report presents evidence of the damaging and counterproductive effects of current US drone strike policies. Based on extensive interviews with Pakistanis living in the regions directly affected, as well as humanitarian and medical workers, this report provides new and firsthand testimony about the negative impacts US policies are having on the civilians living under drones.

Read the full report here.

141 words posted in American EmpireLeave a comment

A Defining Moment: Anti-Muslim Films, Cartoons and My Gaza Neighbor

English (US)  September 26th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Insulting Islamic symbols represents a breaking point for many. (Via OnIslam)

By Ramzy Baroud

A neighbor of mine, of many years ago from a Gaza refugee camp, was a sacrilegious person par excellence. Unemployed like most inhabitants of the camp, he was extremely poor. His family responsibilities were daunting, yet prolonged Israeli military curfews made it impossible for him to find a job, let alone venture outside his miserable one-bedroom house to puff on cheap brand cigarettes, which he often borrowed from some other neighbor.

When life pushed Ghassan beyond his ability to cope, he would go to his house’ courtyard and begin to shout, shrieking most imaginative profanities against everything sacred. His howls would often end with muffled cries and tears, especially once he realized that he had crossed every sacred line there was to cross, including those pertaining to God, the Prophets (no one in specific) and all the holy books.

But when Israeli soldiers dragged Ghassan out of his house and ordered him to curse at Allah and to insult the Prophet Mohammed - otherwise they would have beaten him senseless - he obstinately refused. It’s not that the man would not compromise, for he had already walked on all fours, barked like a dog and spit grudgingly at a poster of Yasser Arafat. But Allah and the Prophet is where he drew the line. Ghassan retold the story many times, even long after the scars on his face healed, and his broken arm was once again useful. And in no time, he resumed his regular blasphemy whenever life pushed him passed that dreadful, breaking point.

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Amayreh: Islam and the West: A historical background

English (US)  September 24th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

By Khalid Amayreh

The latest anti-Islam "film," concocted by a pathological hater of Islam, has raised many questions as to whether the sleazy feat was merely an isolated act done by a lunatic individual or represented a deep-rooted anti-Islamic discourse, which has persisted for many centuries, defying enlightenment and the modern traditions of tolerance.

A reader from the United States recently wrote that he couldn't understand why of all adherents of religions, only Muslims have an almost innate tendency to protest any offense against their religion and Prophet.

But, then, we haven't seen many movies done specifically to malign and vilify Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, or, indeed Judaism? For example, atrocities and orgies of sex are a consistently explicit feature throughout the Old Testament, so why is it that we haven't seen a movie or a work of "art" about Biblical genocidalism?

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Demise of the Racist Two-State Solution in Palestine

English (US)  September 24th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

The 2 state solution will demarcate inequality.(Activestills.org)

By Haidar Eid - Gaza

Racism is the belief that a particular race (or religious group) (my insert) is superior or inferior to another, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. Racial separatism is the belief, most of the time based on racism, that different races (or religious groups) (my insert) should remain segregated and apart from one another. (as qtd. on ADL website)

Much has been said and written about the Oslo Accords and the Geneva initiative. The signatories claim that these much debated documents in principle opened up new possibilities for ‘cooperation’ between what has for so long seemed to be irreconcilable positions. Yasser Abed Rabo and Youssi Beilin, the signatories of the Geneva Initiative, for example, believe that ‘the only solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the establishment of two-states.” And, in what sounds like a warning, the latter adds that the window for a two-state solution will not be available indefinitely and Israel will be forced to deal with the “demographic threat” imposed on it by the Palestinians in historic Palestine.

This article, on the contrary, maintains that the two-state solution under present conditions denies the possibility of real coexistence based on equality. This is because both the Geneva document and the Oslo accords accept the Zionist consensus and, for the first time in the history of the conflict, seek to legitimize Israel as a Jewish state in historic Palestine. In both of these documents, therefore, Israel would appear to have been confirmed as the ‘state of all the Jews” and never ‘the state of all of its citizens’. The logic of separation implicit in these documents implies some fundamental contradictions and begs certain serious questions.

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1949 words posted in Apartheid State, IsraelLeave a comment

Appeals Judge Grants Stay of Injunction on NDAA’s Indefinite Detention

English (US)  September 24th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba
AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File

By Gale Courey Toensing

The federal government can once again seize and detain anyone, including Americans, suspected of “terrorism” and hold them indefinitely – at least until September 28.

On Monday, September 18, appeals court Judge Raymond J. Lohier granted the government’s request to put on hold a permanent injunction ordered by federal court Judge Katharine Forrest’s in Hedges v. Obama, which bans a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012 that gives the government power to seize “terror suspects” and detain them indefinitely in military custody without charge or trial, including United States citizens on American soil. Lohier granted the interim stay against the indefinite detention provision – Section 1021(b)(2) – until September 28 when a panel of judges will hold a hearing on the matter.

President Obama signed the controversial $662 billion NDAA last New Year’s after a year-long controversy that centered on the vagueness of the language that gave the U.S. president unprecedented and unlimited authority to order the military to seize anyone suspected of “terrorism” or “providing aid to terrorists” or “associated forces” anywhere in the world. The Act nowhere gave specific indications of what kind of activities might land someone in indefinite detention without being charged or tried.

Read the whole story at Indian Country Today Media Network

224 words posted in American Empire, Law, , Human RightsLeave a comment

Conspiracies of convenience: what’s behind the film fracas?

English (US)  September 20th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

by Hani Shukrallah

On both sides of the ongoing clash of bigotries and stupidity, the Prophet Mohamed is incidental to the true motives of the antagonists

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I strongly sense conspiracy in the whole sordid “film maligning the prophet” fracas, which, in a few hours, claimed the lives of four American diplomats and delivered a devastating blow to the Arab revolutionary upsurge, and to the new democratic and pluralistic awareness that both lay behind that upsurge and was its most precious product.

What I really mean by “conspiracy” here is that the Prophet Mohamed is in fact wholly secondary to the real motives of the various parties to the ugly and bloody brawl. Yet, somewhat like the conspiracy theorist, I base my argument more on a reading of the events and their context, rather than on concrete, tangible facts.

To use detective story parlance, what I present below is largely “circumstantial” evidence, leaving it to the readers to judge for themselves whether such evidence is sufficiently compelling.

=> Read more!

Palestinians demand Oslo cancelled

English (US)  September 20th, 2012 by admin ( Email )

As Israel and the US jump to shore up the Palestinian Authority, many — if not most — Palestinians are ready to see it collapse, writes Khaled Amayreh in the West Bank

Israeli policemen detain a Palestinian protester during clashes. Israeli police, some on horseback, used stun grenades and made a number of arrests outside Jerusalem’s Old City

As protests continue throughout the occupied territories against the high cost of living, growing numbers of Palestinians are openly demanding the cancellation of the Oslo Accords.

Signed between the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Israel in August 1993, the accords allowed for the creation of the autonomous Palestinian Authority (PA) under the Israeli military occupation. The Palestinians hoped the accords would eventually liberate them from Israeli domination and lead to the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

=> Read more!

1161 words posted in PALESTINE, Israel, , Apartheid StateLeave a comment

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