Colorful rock art of domesticated cattle decorates a wall at Wadi Imha in the Tadrart Acacus Mountains in the Libyan Sahara. Images like this reveal the importance of cattle to Neolithic African people. CREDIT: Roberto Ceccacci, © The Archaeological Mission in the Sahara, Sapienza University of Rome
By Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
The sandy dunes of the Sahara may seem an unlikely place for a dairy farm, but about 7,000 years ago, herders tended and milked cattle in what is now desolate desert, new research shows.
About 10,000 years ago, the Sahara desert went through a phase called the Holocene African Humid Period. Fossilized bones show that by the sixth millennium B.C. (or about 7,000 years ago), cattle, sheep and goats roamed over green savanna, and rock art depicts cows with full udders. The occasional image even shows milking, said study researcher Julie Dunne, a doctoral student at the University of Bristol. But it's difficult to get a firm date for those images.
Pulitzer-prize winner, Alice Walker and former Anishanaabek Chief Robert Lovelace aboard the Freedom Flotilla in protest of Israel’s illegal sea blockade of Gaza.
By Gale Courey Toensing
Author, poet and human rights activist Alice Walker has declined an offer to publish her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Color Purple in Israel because the country is “an Apartheid state,” she said.
In a June 9 letter to Yediot Books, Walker thanked the publisher for wanting to issue her novel but said she would wait for “a just future.” Walker said that last fall the Russell Tribunal on Palestine in South Africa, on which she served as a jurist, “met and determined that Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories. The testimony we heard, both from Israelis and Palestinians … was devastating. I grew up under American apartheid, and this was far worse. Indeed, many South Africans who attended, including Desmond Tutu, felt the Israeli version of these crimes is worse even than what they suffered under the white supremacist regimes that dominated South Africa for so long.”
Read the full story at Indian Country Today Media Network
Julian Assange requested asylum in Ecuador and is sheltering in the South American country's London embassy [EPA]
Julian Assange's attempt to gain asylum in Ecuador is just the latest turn in one of the biggest media stories of our time. The WikiLeaks co-founder is currently in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, which issued this statement on June 19:
"This afternoon Mr Julian Assange arrived at the Ecuadorean embassy seeking political asylum from the Ecuadorean government. We have immediately passed his application on to the relevant department in Quito. While the department assesses Mr Assange's application, Mr Assange will remain at the embassy, under the protection of the Ecuadorean government."
986 words posted in Resistance, revolution, fight for demoracy, justice, American Empire • Leave a comment
By Donald MacIntyre
The front office of Kamal Ashour's small family clothing factory in Gaza City opens on to Izzedine al-Qassam Street, named, like Hamas's military wing, in honour of the Islamist mujahid who led the anti-Zionist, anti-Mandate, Black Hand gang and was shot dead by British police in 1935.
Which makes it serendipitous to see the mannequins on one of its shelves triumphantly displaying four samples of the 2,000 acrylic cardigans and polo sweaters Ashour has just shipped off to the UK firm of JD Williams in the first clothing exports to leave Gaza for five years. And a lot more so to be talking on Ashour's landline to a Jewish-Israeli clothier in Tel Aviv about how fast, if he had half a chance, he would revert to buying his goods from here, as he once did.
Having made the call, Ashour, a short, spry septuagenarian who used to export at least 80 per cent of his clothing to Israel, has thrust the phone into my hand to demonstrate just how highly his most favoured customer values his business. Sure enough, the Israeli trader explains that, since the blockade imposed in Gaza by his own government in 2007, he has been forced to find a Chinese supplier instead of Ashour; that, yes, the sweaters may be slightly –though "not much"– cheaper, but that he would still prefer Ashour every time. "Look, I've been working with Gaza for 30 years and with this guy for 11 or 12. The overall quality is high, better than China. He's very, very good to work with. I trust him completely. If he says he will do something, he does it. He never changes his mind."
7 words posted in PALESTINE, Resistance, revolution, fight for demoracy, justice • Leave a comment
Mubarak's Egypt backed Fatah against Hamas. Now, the shoe is on the other foot as Egypt goes to the polls to choose a president, writes Khaled Amayreh in Hebron
The trial and conviction of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his interior minister, Habib El-Adli, earlier this week have reverberated through the Palestinian political street, drawing conflicting reactions from Palestinian factions, each according to its ideological and political orientation.
Palestinians have been following up rather closely on developments in Egypt ever since the start of the 25 January Revolution that toppled the Mubarak regime, which was widely considered at Israel and America's beck and call.
A clear polarisation is noticed between the Islamist and secular nationalist camps, particularly Hamas and Fatah.
In an unprecedented move, Israeli officials own up to a cyber attack targeting Iran. But why, asks Saleh Al-Naami
A Palestinian woman sits with her wounded grandsons in a hospital in Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, after an Israeli airstrike, Sunday; a Palestinian protester holds a flag in front of Israeli soldiers and border police during a protest outside Ofer prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah, marking the anniversary of the 1967 Middle East War, Tuesday
Recently a large number of retired Israeli generals volunteered to give interviews to local and foreign media to clearly state that Israel is behind the recent cyber offensive on sensitive Iranian computer systems. The Russian cyber security software maker Kaspersky Lab was the first to leak the attack, in which the "Flame" virus was used. In a detailed report, the company said that the goal of the attack was to gather intelligence about Iran's nuclear intentions, not as an attack like the "Stuxnet" virus in 2009 that disrupted centrifuge equipment for uranium enrichment at Iranian nuclear facilities.
What was surprising is that Moshe Yaalon, deputy prime minister and strategic affairs minister, openly declared that Israel was behind the cyber attack.
Members of Mahmoud al-Sarsak's family walk past a poster demanding his release (5 June 2012) Mahmoud al-Sarsak was once regarded as a star player in the Palestine national football team
Human rights groups have warned that a Palestinian footballer who has been on hunger strike for 80 days in an Israeli prison faces imminent danger of death.
"The Israeli Prison Service refuses
to transfer him to a civilian hospital for proper treatment” -- Physicians for Human Rights-Israel who was once a star player in the Palestinian national team, was arrested as he left the Gaza Strip en route to a match in 2009.
Mr Sarsak has since been held without trial or charge.
He is one of a handful of Palestinian prisoners who have rejected a deal that ended a mass hunger strike on 14 May.
Under the deal, Israel agreed to end solitary confinement for 19 prisoners - held in isolation for up to 10 years - and lifted a ban on family visits for prisoners from Gaza.
Mr Sarsak has not eaten solid food since mid-March. Although he has taken fluids and some vitamin supplements, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel said on Wednesday that he could die at any time.
"Despite the urgency of his condition, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) has denied Mahmoud access to independent doctors from PHR-Israel until today," a statement said.
"The IPS also refuses to transfer him to a civilian hospital for proper treatment."
603 words posted in Israel, Zionist aggression, warmongering, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements,, , Zionist illegal military occupation, blockade, , Zionist war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international law, , Apartheid State, , Zionist lawlessness • Leave a comment
Would it not be better to admit the wrong that was done to the native people, do some restorative justice, and begin to discuss among ourselves how we Christians, Muslims, Jews, atheists, and others can live TOGETHER in a country in full equality?
By Mazin Qumsiyeh
June 6, 2012
It seems like yesterday that we watched Israeli tanks rolling down the hills towards our sleepy town of Beit Sahour 45 years ago today. As a child it was the most frightening sight. The second stage of the Zionist expansion on the land of Palestine unleashed terror that our generation had not experienced but my parents’ generation had during the Nakba when between January 1948 and the end of 1949, some 530 villages and towns were ethnically cleansed.
The changes I witnessed the 45 years since the "6 day" invasion of 1967 have been nothing short of monumental. Those hills that the tanks rolled down on are all now filled with colonial settlements that scar the ancient landscape. The Israeli quarries have literally dug up other hills and trucked stone and soil away to build the "Jewish state" while destroying Palestinian lives.
In a conflict of this nature, there are no winners. (BBC)
By Ramzy Baroud
The conflict in Syria is giving way to a troubling phenomenon of hastily drawn sectarian lines throughout the Middle East. A perpetual and repugnant war is likely to replace the collective aspirations for equality, freedom and democracy that fuelled the non-violent uprising nearly 15 months ago.
Between May 25 and 26, 108 civilians were remorselessly butchered in the central town of Al Houla. The majority of them were women and children. The massacre was not the first, and is unlikely to be the last in what has become a Syrian bloodbath with no end in sight. The nature of the dreaded battle is already being defined in sectarian terms. Even carefully-worded statements by UN chief Ban Ki-moon have acknowledged the worrying situation. “The massacres of the sort seen last weekend could plunge Syria into a catastrophic civil war, a civil war from which the country would never recover,” he warned at a forum in Istanbul.
While intellectuals and political analysts may contend with definitions of ‘civil war’, ordinary Syrians have no other option but to recognise the horrifying reality. “The civil war has begun,” a Syrian activist told BBC correspondent, Paul Wood, who is reporting undercover in Syria. “We will look back at this time, and say this was when it started,” the activist reportedly said.
Instead of embracing a Mubarak throwback, the Zionist lobby is warming to Mohamed Mursi in Egypt's presidential race, sure he will fail miserably and carry the blame, writes Franklin Lamb from Beirut
Washington, according to Israel, must insist that Egypt not only maintain its peace treaty with Israel, but Obama must tell the Brotherhood that any referendum on the Camp David Accords will be interpreted by the US as an attempt to destroy that agreement. According to Israeli government water carrier Dennis Ross, "In recent conversations, Brotherhood leaders have expressed their belief that they would not be blamed if the treaty were revoked by a nationwide vote, as seems likely. They need to be told otherwise."
The results of the opening round of the historic Egyptian presidential elections, the first ever in Mother Egypt where the results were not known in advance, present an encouraging snapshot of a "new democratic Egypt". The two candidates that will face each other in the 16-17 June final round of voting will be the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi (who got 25 per cent of the first round vote) and Mubarak-era prime minister Ahmed Shafik (who took 24 per cent).
Mursi and Shafik represent very different strands of Egyptian society. Shafik will continue to draw his support from people fearful of an Islamist takeover, and those exhausted by the upheavals of the past 16 months.
President Obama in the Oval Office with Thomas E. Donilon, left, the national security adviser, and John O. Brennan, his top counterterrorism adviser.
By JO BECKER and SCOTT SHANE
New York Times
Published May 29, 2012
WASHINGTON — This was the enemy, served up in the latest chart from the intelligence agencies: 15 Qaeda suspects in Yemen with Western ties. The mug shots and brief biographies resembled a high school yearbook layout. Several were Americans. Two were teenagers, including a girl who looked even younger than her 17 years.
President Obama, overseeing the regular Tuesday counterterrorism meeting of two dozen security officials in the White House Situation Room, took a moment to study the faces. It was Jan. 19, 2010, the end of a first year in office punctuated by terrorist plots and culminating in a brush with catastrophe over Detroit on Christmas Day, a reminder that a successful attack could derail his presidency. Yet he faced adversaries without uniforms, often indistinguishable from the civilians around them.
“How old are these people?” he asked, according to two officials present. “If they are starting to use children,” he said of Al Qaeda, “we are moving into a whole different phase.”
It was not a theoretical question: Mr. Obama has placed himself at the helm of a top secret “nominations” process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical. He had vowed to align the fight against Al Qaeda with American values; the chart, introducing people whose deaths he might soon be asked to order, underscored just what a moral and legal conundrum this could be.
Mr. Obama is the liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war and torture, and then insisted on approving every new name on an expanding “kill list,” poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre “baseball cards” of an unconventional war. When a rare opportunity for a drone strike at a top terrorist arises — but his family is with him — it is the president who has reserved to himself the final moral calculation.
Sandra Tamari, right, at the 2012 United Methodist General Conference, alongside Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
By Philip Weiss
Sandra Tamari is a Palestinian-American Quaker who lives outside St. Louis. She is is a member of the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee and has worked on divestment, as you can see in the picture above.
Last week she was deported from Israel and the American embassy asked if she was Jewish and then said it couldn't help her.
The press release from her supporters:
by M. Shahid Alam
A night reading Rumi fills ancient wineglasses.
By day speed & freeway suck God out of me.
I have stayed up all night thinking of you.
Wall Street & City leech love out of me.
Who is my brother if the world is a village?
Jet and internet pluck my roots out of me.
If earth goes toxic, let’s move out to Mars.
This devil optimism takes the heart out of me.
When blue sky and sun wrap me in their arms,
Shähid, this friendship takes the dread out of me.
M. Shahid Alam teaches economics at Northeastern University in Boston. He is the author of Israeli Exceptionalism (Palgrave, 2010). His poems and Ghalib translations have appeared in Kenyon Review(forthcoming), Critical Muslim (forthcoming), Clapboard House, Prairie Schooner, Chicago Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Paintbrush, Black Bear Review, West Coast Review, Marlboro Review, Journal of South Asian Literature, Kimera, Sufi, Swan, Chowk, Blanket and Pulse.
By Steven Salaita
The Electronic Intifada
31 May 2012
Scholars of Palestine have long discussed the hazardous act of bringing up Israeli colonization in American classrooms (secondary and post-secondary). This act of informing students about a monumental conflict in which a colonial aggressor visits various forms of oppression on an indigenous population is perceived as hazardous for good reason. In the vast majority of secondary schools, mentioning Palestine in a favorable light is strictly taboo. The same, unfortunately, is true of university instruction, despite academia’s self-image as a place where free ideas can be exchanged.
In the past decade, dozens of university instructors have battled for their jobs amid pressure from fanatical Zionist groups seeking to have them fired, sometimes succeeding. Within university structures themselves, too much advocacy on behalf of Palestine (or too little subservience to Israel) has also led to controversy for academics — and in some cases their dismissal.
The reality is rarely stated in formal policies or in review committees, but it is clear, known to anybody even remotely interested in the “Israel-Palestine conflict”: anti-Zionism, of the vocal or furtive variety, is a career killer. Teaching Palestine, then, entails material consequences.
The New York Times revealed this week that President Obama personally oversees a "secret kill list" containing the names and photos of individuals targeted for assassination in the U.S. drone war. According to the Times, Obama signs off on every targeted killing in Yemen and Somalia and the more complex or risky strikes in Pakistan. Individuals on the list include U.S. citizens, as well teenage girls as young as 17 years old. "The President of the United States believes he has the power to order people killed — in total secrecy, without any due process, without transparency or oversight of any kind," says Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional law attorney and political and legal blogger for Salon.com. "I really do believe it’s literally the most radical power that a government and president can seize, and yet the Obama administration has seized [it] and exercised it aggressively with little controversy." [Includes rush transcript]
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Glenn, I want ask you about another subject. On Tuesday, the New York Times published a major exposé about how President Obama personally oversees a "secret kill list" containing the names and photos and of individuals targeted for assassination in the U.S. drone war. According to the Times, Obama signs off on every targeted killing in Yemen and Somalia and the more complex or risky strikes in Pakistan. Individuals on the list include U.S. citizens as well as teenage girls as young as 17 years old. Glenn, can you comment on that?
We follow a Sesame Street composer as he learns how his music has been used to torture detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
"It is music's capacity to take over your mind and invade your inner experience that makes it so terrifying as a potential weapon." - Thomas Keenan, the director of the Human Right's Project at Bard College
Award-winning musician Christopher Cerf has composed music for the famous children's television show Sesame Street for 40 years. During this time, he has written more than 200 songs intended to help children learn how to read and write.
But these innocent children's songs were abused for inhumane purposes.
WOMAN: “I have heard about him [Obama]. He’s an Arab.”
MCCAIN: “No ma’am, no ma’am, he’s a decent family man, citizen .. .
Submitted by Ali Abunimah | Electronic Intifada
US President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has just released a blatantly anti-Arab video ad on its official YouTube channel.
The Hill reported:
An Obama campaign Web ad released Tuesday looks to tie Mitt Romney to the controversial assertions held by real estate mogul and reality show host Donald Trump, who has become one of the Romney campaign’s most visible surrogates.
The ad, called “Two Republican Nominees,” aims to do so by contrasting presumptive 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney negatively when compared to the supposedly more moderate Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee Obama defeated in 2008.
Blatant anti-Arab racism
But The Hill fails to note the blatant anti-Arab racism in the ad. It features a clip of an 11 October 2008 exchange at a Minnesota town-hall style campaign event between McCain and a woman in the audience. The exchange can be seen starting 15 seconds into the ad:
WOMAN: “I have heard about him [Obama]. He’s an Arab.”
MCCAIN: “No ma’am, no ma’am, he’s a decent family man, citizen, whom I just happen to have disagreements with.”
If the bigotry contained in the exchange is not obvious, try replacing the word “Arab” with “Jew” and then imagine what the response would have been to how McCain handled it then, and to Obama using it now.
Few speak out
The exchange caused outrage among Arab Americans during the 2008 campaign, but very few other public figures, especially not Obama, spoke up against this kind of racism – which also routinely conflates Arabs and Muslims.
In 2008, actor Ben Affleck was one of the few celebrities who spoke out against McCain’s bigoted response, that Obama is now lauding.
One of the few who did was former Bush administration Secretary of State Colin Powell who told NBC’s Meet The Press on 19 October 2008:
By Stephen Zunes | Antiwar
Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed a dangerous piece of legislation, H.R. 4133, which would undermine the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, weaken Israeli moderates and peace advocates, undercut international law, further militarize the Middle East, and make Israel ever more dependent on the United States.
The margin was an overwhelming 411-2, with eight abstentions.
House minority leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joined House Majority leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) in co-sponsoring the bill, an indication of how closely the Democratic Party leadership aligns with the most right-wing Republicans when it comes to U.S. Middle East policy.
Indeed, the way the Democratic Party is now allied with the Republican right could not be more obvious than the fact that the resolution passed on a “suspension of the rules,” a legislative procedure reserved for legislation on noncontroversial topics requiring little debate and allowing for a quick vote.
A former Likud activist who has become a critic of Netanyahu explains, “Bibi is a messianist. He believes with all his soul and every last molecule of his being that he—I don't quite know how to express it—is King David.”
Warmongering Zionist Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
By Paul Pillar | The National Interest
We have a comparative lull at the moment in what has been saturation attention to Iran and its nuclear program. The lull comes after the concentrated warmongering rhetoric associated with the recent visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the AIPAC conference in Washington, and before the opening in mid-April of the only channel offering a way out of the impasse associated with the Iranian nuclear issue: direct negotiations between Iran and the powers known as the P5+1. It is a good time to reflect on how much the handling of this issue underscores the gulf between Israeli policies and U.S. interests. The gulf exists for two reasons. One is that the Netanyahu government's policies reflect only a Rightist slice of the Israeli political spectrum, with which many Israelis disagree and which is contrary to broader and longer-term interests of Israel itself. The other reason is that even broadly defined Israeli interests will never be congruent with U.S. interests. This should hardly be surprising. There is no reason to expect the interests of the world superpower to align with those of any of the parties to a regional dispute involving old ethnically or religiously based claims to land.
Israel is pushing through additional sanctions on Iran, even as everyone admits Iran has no weapons program
By John Glaser | Antiwar
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday condemned world powers engaged in nuclear talks with Iran for allegedly softening the demands on the Islamic Republic, as he pushed through additional economic sanctions.
“After a few rounds of talks – I am sorry to say that the demands from Iran are not enough,” Netanyahu said during a speech at the Institute for National Security Studies.”I hoped the P5+1 will demand that Iran halt all enrichment – but instead they are lowering their demands from Iran.”
The P5+1 – Russia, China, France, Britain, the United States and Germany – failed to come to an agreement with Iran in the last round of talks in Baghdad. They demanded Iran stop 20 percent enrichment of uranium, despite being offered wider access to non-nuclear sites in Iran and despite the authoritative consensus of the U.S. intelligence community that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons and has demonstrated no intention to do so.
By Vacy Vlazna
Every time Israel bans Palestinians from leaving Israel's West Bank-Gaza Prison, and every time a well-meaning foreigner is refused entry to give humanitarian assistance to Palestinians, Israel is consolidating its reputation as a global pariah, now, according to the BBC poll, on par with North Korea for having the highest negative influence on the global stage.
Like Pavlov's dog, Israel rabidly salivates and attacks in response to any association with human rights and human decency. All compassionate attempts by the flotillas to bring aid to alleviate the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza were confronted with Israeli violence, piracy, looting, and imprisonment peaking in the shocking Mavi Marmara massacre through which Israel recruited the whole of Turkey to the pro-Palestinian cause.
Ordinary Greeks were focused on their nation's economic woes until Israel alerted them to Palestine's and their own loss of sovereignty when Israel closed Greek ports to deter the 2011 Gaza flotilla.
714 words posted in Israeli hasbara (propaganda), Israel, , Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements,, , Zionist illegal military occupation, blockade, , Zionist war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international law, , Apartheid State, , Zionist lawlessness • Leave a comment
PalFest: A celebration of the power of culture. (Activestills)
By Ayah Bashir - Gaza
Amid the focus on the economic hardships caused by Israel's ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip, it has been easy for many to overlook the fact that the territory's 1.6 million people have been kept under a cultural siege as well.
This is ironic because much international debate has emphasized the rights and wrongs of cultural boycott of Israel in the context of the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign.
For years, the Palestine Festival of Literature — PalFest — has been trying to break this siege.
PalFest began in 2008 in the West Bank, and tried its best to come to Gaza in 2009 with the clear objective of connecting international writers with Palestinian writers and audiences in Gaza. However, Israeli occupation forces denied organizers entry permits through the Erez crossing in the north of the Gaza Strip. In 2010, PalFest organizers tried again to enter Gaza via the Rafah crossing — along the Strip’s border with Egypt — but were also denied entry by the regime of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who was deposed in February 2011.
By Khalid Amayreh
Thanks to the fact that much of the western media deliberately avoids exposing Israeli criminality, probably for fear of being accused of anti-Semitism, much of the brutal ugliness of the Jewish state remains unknown to millions of Europeans and North Americans.
This is the reason that many people in the west are still buying the big, obscene lie that Israel is a western democracy which upholds basic human rights and civil liberties. But the facts on the ground are much uglier than many people think, irrespective of how vociferous and dogged Israeli hasbara operatives get when defending and justifying Israeli misdeeds and crimes.
The truth of the matter is that institutionalized oppression, racism and terror against the native Palestinians have always constituted and continue to constitute Israel's modus operandi.
1145 words posted in Israel, Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment, , Zionist aggression, warmongering, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements,, , Zionist illegal military occupation, blockade, , Zionist war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international law, , Israeli hasbara (propaganda), , Apartheid State, , Zionist lawlessness • Leave a comment
Recent internal elections in Hamas have greatly strengthened the hand of Khaled Meshaal, who but a few months ago was set to leave his position as Hamas head, writes Saleh Al-Naami
For over one month, internal elections were held in Hamas to choose the group's senior leadership, especially members of the politburo and the group's General Shura Council, which represents the group in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, diaspora and prisons. Members were also choosing representatives to branch Shura councils and leadership positions in various regions. The pressing question on the eve of elections was: how will the results affect the group's political and strategic choices in the coming phase, especially regarding resistance against occupation, reconciliation and other key issues? Also, what is the future of Khaled Meshaal's leadership of the group?
Contrary to general perception, the results bolstered Meshaal's position as head of the group's politburo and leader of Hamas. Sources told Al-Ahram Weekly that the most important outcome was the re-election of Meshaal, which empowered his supporters in central and branch leadership positions. Surprisingly, the elections increased the number of Meshaal supporters in branch leadership institutions in the Gaza Strip, especially branch politburos.
The mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israel ends with a deal brokered by Egypt. Only some of their demands will be met, writes Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah
Hundreds of Palestinian political and resistance prisoners in Israeli jails have ended a mass hunger strike protesting against cruel and inhuman prison conditions following the conclusion of a compromise deal with Israel brokered by Egyptian Intelligence.
Israel refuses to grant the prisoners the legal status of "prisoners of war" and insists on considering them "terrorists" or "security prisoners" even though many of them were never involved in violent acts against the Israeli occupation.
Legislation introduced that would no longer require Israelis to obtain visas to visit the United States for tourism or business purposes.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
US Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) introduced legislation on Friday that would no longer require Israelis to obtain visas to visit the United States for tourism or business purposes.
The Visa Waiver Program allows nationals from certain countries to enter the US as temporary visitors for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa from a US consulate abroad.
For obvious reasons, Israel's image is deteriorating worldwide. (Activestills)
By Jamal Kanj
In response to questions rating which country '… is having a mainly positive or mainly negative influence in the world?' Israel was tie with N Korea for third place with highest negative influence on the global stage.
The 2012 BBC Country Ratings Poll was conducted jointly by GlobeScan, an international opinion research consultancy, and The Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, USA.
Respondents were asked to rate 16 countries for their “mostly positive” or “mostly negative” influence on the world. A total of 24,090 citizens in 22 countries were interviewed in late 2011 and early 2012. People’s perception was based on the world’s view of the country’s foreign and domestic policies.
Palestinian history is now evolving in two opposing directions. (Activestills)
By Ramzy Baroud
The commemoration of the Nakba needs to be more than a ritualistic event; the remembrance should be integrated into a clear and comprehensive national project aimed at offsetting the harm wrought to generations of Palestinians.
There is no question that Israel has repeatedly failed in distancing or erasing the memory of those ominous months in 1947-48 when hundreds of Palestinian villages and towns were destroyed and their people expelled.
Israel made incessant attempts to redefine the legal, spatial and even psychological boundaries of the conflict to another date — its occupation of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza in June 1967.
The signing of the Oslo Peace Accord made any mention of pre-1967 events somehow a form of political ‘extremism’ tantamount to calling for the ‘destruction’ of Israel as a Jewish state. Worse, demanding a return to the 1967 border eventually became too much for Palestinians to expect as Israel began haggling over small spaces within that already shrinking area — barely 22 per cent of 1948 Palestine.
Published on May 17, 2012 by FreedomSailors
38 words posted in Arts, Culture & Entertainment, Resistance, revolution, fight for demoracy, justice, , Gaza • Leave a comment
By Ray McGovern, May 19, 2012
With the 45th anniversary of the Six-Day War of June 1967 coming early next month, pro-Israel pundits like syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer are again promoting Israel’s faux narrative on the reasons behind Israel’s decision to attack its neighbors.
The Krauthammers of our domesticated, corporate media seem bent on waging pre-emptive war against an accurate historical rendering of the actual objectives behind that Israeli offensive that overwhelmed Arab armies and seized large swaths of Arab territory, land that hard-line Zionists refer to as "Greater Israel," i.e. rightly theirs.
With its surprise attacks on June 5, 1967, Israel rapidly defeated the armies of its Arab neighbors. It gained control of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.
The Sinai was returned to Egypt in 1979 as a result of the Camp David peace accord, a land-for-peace swap that U.S. President Jimmy Carter demanded and that then-Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin deeply resented.
1411 words posted in Zionist aggression, warmongering, Israel, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements,, , Zionist illegal military occupation, blockade, , Zionist war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international law, , American Zionism, , Apartheid State, , Zionist lawlessness • Leave a comment
Thursday, 17 May 2012 15:06 By Congressman Dennis Kucinich, The Office of Dennis Kucinich | Speech
Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s (D-OH) prepared speech to Congress follows. See video here. Congressman Kucinich is also distributing this flyer to Congressional colleagues. Additionally he recently spoke about Iran on the House Floor. See that video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FycJHGtrvH4&feature=youtu.be and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nU9C_v6c6ls&feature=youtu.be. Kucinich will be back on the House Floor today (May 17) at noon for a “one minute” speech. "We must not stumble into another war," he said.
"This week, Congress is considering two pieces of legislation relating to Iran. The first undermines a diplomatic solution with Iran and lowers the bar for war. The second authorizes a war of choice against Iran and begins military preparations for it.
H.Res.568: Eliminating the Most Viable Alternative to War
The House is expected to vote on H.Res. 568. Read the resolution. Section (6) rejects any United States policy that would rely on efforts to contain a nuclear weapons-capable Iran. Section (7) urges the President to reaffirm the unacceptability of an Iran with nuclear-weapons capability and opposition to any policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to Iranian enrichment.
The old may die but the young will never forget.
By Ramzy Baroud
Many Palestinians remember and reference al-Nakba, also known as the Catastrophe, on May 15 every year. The event marks the expulsion of nearly a million Palestinians, while their villages were destroyed. The destruction of Palestine in 1947-48 ushered in the birth of Israel. Older generations relay the harsh and oppressive memory of their collective experience to younger Palestinians, many of whom live their own Nakbas today.
In covering al-Nakba, sympathetic Arab and other media play sad music and show black and white footage of displaced, frightened refugees. They rightly emphasize the concept of Sumud, steadfastness, as they show Palestinian of all ages holding unto the rusty keys of their homes and insisting on their right of return. Other, less sympathetic media discuss al-Nakba, if at all, as a side note – a nuisance in the Israeli narrative of a nation's supposedly miraculous birth and its progression to an idyllic oasis of democracy. What such reductionist representations often fail to show is that while al-Nakba started, it never truly finished.
I do not recall any reference to the refugees in Peace Now publications.
The [Nakba] law is actually an amendment to the Budget Foundation Law, and states that the minister of finance is entitled to reduce funds to any public institution, such as a school or university, if it commemorates "Independence Day or the day of the establishment of the state as a day of mourning..."
By Neve Gordon
I first heard about the Nakba in the late 1980s, while I was an undergraduate student of philosophy at Hebrew University. This, I believe, is a revealing fact, particularly since, as a teenager, I was a member of Peace Now and was raised in a liberal home. I grew up in the southern city of Be'er-Sheva, which is just a few kilometres from several unrecognised Bedouin villages that, today, are home to thousands of residents who were displaced in 1948. I now know that the vast majority of the Negev's Bedouin population was not as lucky, and that, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, most Bedouin either fled or were expelled from their ancestral lands to Jordan or Gaza.
How is it possible that a left-leaning Israeli teenager who was living in the Negev during the early 1980s (I graduated from high-school in 1983) had never heard the word "Nakba"?
How, in other words, is collective amnesia engendered?
Pressure is building on Israel as an open-ended hunger strike by thousands of Palestinian prisoners continues, writes Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah
The mother of Palestinian prisoner Bilal Diab holds a poster of her son, who is on a hunger strike for 67 days. About 5,000 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel are on a hunger strike, demanding an end to imprisonment without trial as well as better conditions
With a massive open-ended hunger strike observed by thousands of Palestinian prisoners languishing in Israeli jails entering a "crucial phase", as inmates are being force-fed, Palestinian militant leaders have warned that the death of even one prisoner as a result of Israeli intransigence in face of the strike would trigger an all-out Intifada -- or uprising -- in the occupied territories.
The warning came from militant leaders affiliated with Islamist groups, saying the Palestinian people wouldn't allow Israel to break the will of helpless prisoners demanding simple human decency and a semblance of acceptable treatment.
1040 words posted in Resistance, revolution, fight for demoracy, justice, Israel, , Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment, , Zionist aggression, warmongering, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements,, , Zionist illegal military occupation, blockade, , Zionist war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international law, , Apartheid State, , Zionist lawlessness • Leave a comment
By Frank Barat
Before I start, I’d like to make it clear that not all views/takes on the subject will be mentioned in this piece. I will not talk about the 'views from Mars' (actually if there is 'people' on Mars they will probably be offended by the comparison. So if you do indeed exist, please forgive me) of certain 'Palestinian People deniers' US politicians that manage to be lunatic and mainstream at the same time. The fact that those views are hardly challenged and condemned in mainstream US politics and media says a lot about the 'land of the free'.
The easiest way to define Palestinian is to say that 'a Palestinian' is either someone coming from historical Palestine, born from a Palestinian mother or a Palestinian father or someone born from a Palestinian father and mother but living outside of Palestine. A land, in its historical sense, extending from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River.
A land full of history, conflicts and occupations.
Without going too far back in history, the land of Palestine has been, throughout the 20th century, occupied by the Ottoman Empire, followed by the British (the Brits did not like the word occupation much so found a nicer name to describe it: A mandate.), the Kingdom of Jordan and Egypt. From 1948, something else happened with the creation, on top of ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages, of the State of Israel.
By Vacy Vlazna
On May 15, 1948 the unilateral proclamation of the State of Israel which erupted into the brutal Palestinian Nakba or Catastrophe was also catastrophic for United Nations (UN) ringing the death knell for its stature and authority.
Like medieval kings, the US and Israel employed the UN to be its fool running around with a cap o' bells and sceptre (rendered useless by US veto) beginning with the 1947 Resolution 181, passed on 29 February by members (under coercion) recommending the partition of the British Mandate of Palestine into Jewish and Palestinian states which was understandably rejected by Palestine but accepted by Israel as a step toward its Zionist expansionist goal for the full realisation of a Jewish Eretz Israel.
In Beirut speech, Hezbollah leader also says his movement can accurately hit targets throughout Israel in case of war.
The speech marked the rebuilding of Beirut's southern suburbs, badly damaged in a 2006 war with Israel [Reuters]
Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, has accused the US, Israel and some Arab states of stoking "terrorism" in Syria during a speech broadcast to thousands of his supporters in southern Beirut.
"Who wants the destruction of Syria? America and Israel and some Arab countries," said Nasrallah, whose Shia movement is close to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.
"They want to destroy Syria because it is the main ally of the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine."
By Ramzy Baroud
A critical shift in the Palestine-Israeli conflict is now underway. The shift promises an endgame for the Israeli plot in Palestine, and a possible collective response from the Palestinian people.
Every Palestinian uprising in the past — from as far back as the late 1920s to the second Intifada in 2000 — has been sparked by a single event, which was a critical accumulation of numerous prior events that forced Palestinians to act en masse. Such a moment is now approaching.
Current developments in Palestine include the complete bankruptcy of the Palestinian leadership, futile unity talks between major Palestinian factions, Israeli attempts to finalise its long-orchestrated colonial designs in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem, and a failure of the international community to impose any real pressure on Israel. The high hopes some Palestinians pinned on Arab revolutions — and their sense of political clarity — have also been dissipating.
By Jonathan Cook
Israelis barely had time to absorb the news that they were heading into a summer election when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu yesterday pulled the rug from underneath the charade. Rancorous early electioneering had provided cover for a secret agreement between Netanyahu and the main opposition party, Kadima, to form a new, expanded coalition government.
Rather than facing the electorate in September, Netanyahu and his hardline rightwing government are expected to comfortably see out the remaining 18 months of his term of office. Not only that, but he will now have the backing of more than three-quarters of the 120-seat Israeli parliament, leading one commentator to crown him the “King of Israel”.
Akile Ch'oh (Edward John)
AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito
Grand Chief Edward John was elected by acclamation to oversee the annual meeting of Permanent Forum.
By Gale Courey Toensing
A First Nations chief has been named chairman of the 11th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Grand Chief Edward John was elected by acclamation to oversee the annual meeting of Permanent Forum which takes place each May at the United Nations in New York. John’s chairmanship was announced on the morning of May 7 when the session opened. The forum runs through May 18 this year.
“For first time in history of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues we have a chair elected from North America – Grand Chief Ed John!” Jessica Danforth, founder and director of Native Youth Sexual Health Network, wrote on her Facebook page. “And as he visited with our Youth Caucus today and told us the story of how they tried to beat the Indian out of him in residential school, all I could think of is if those school officials only knew he would grow up to be an official member of the UN Permanent Forum and tell the truth on an international human rights level so no other child’s story of abuse goes unrecognized.”
John is a Hereditary Chief of Tl’azt’en Nation located on the banks of the Nak’al Bun (Stuart Lake) in northern British Columbia, according to a biographical sketch on the First Nations Summit website. A lawyer for 30 years, John has long pursued social and economic justice for Canada’s indigenous people. He participated in the development of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In January, 2011, he was appointed to a three-year term as North American Representative to the Permanent Forum.
Read the full story at Indian Country Today Media Network
By Gale Courey Toensing May 8, 2012
Ask Donna Loring if the Maine legislature’s endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has helped the Wabanaki people and she says, “Ha! You have to ask? You know the answer to that.”
When Loring, the former Penobscot Nation representative to the Maine legislature, entered a legislative resolution to adopt the Declaration, she didn’t expect it to pass. But on April 15, 2008, members of the Maine House and Senate voted unanimously without discussion or debate to support the resolution.
“That was not my intention!” Loring told Indian Country Today Media Network. “I expected them to turn it down because of all the stuff that was going on (in the legislature). We didn’t get anything that we had worked on that year and they (the legislators) were pretty nasty about things.” Some legislators were very supportive of the tribes, but didn’t have the political will to make the changes that were needed, Loring said.
The year 2008 was indeed a contentious one for tribal-state relations. The legislature had disemboweled amendments to the implementing act of the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act, which would have reiterated the sovereignty of the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseets and Micmac tribes. It slashed the Maine Indian-Tribal State Commission’s budget by $40,000 and stopped a bill to convert 700 acres of Penobscot trust land into reservation land for tribal housing saying the Penobscots might use the land for gaming – an illogical fear since the Penobscots have never been allowed to offer anything more than bingo. A few weeks after the legislature endorsed the Declaration, Penobscot Chief Kirk Francis took the unprecedented step of severing relations with the state after then Gov. John Baldacci thwarted a bill approved by a legislative supermajority that would have allowed the tribe to operate slot machines at its bingo facility on Indian Island.
Read the full story at Indian Country Today Media Network
UN Photo/Ryan Brown
This year’s UNPFII (seen here in 2007) will follow up on work on the doctrine presented two years ago.
By Gale Courey Toensing
Indigenous delegates will come away from the 11th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) with a deeper understanding of the centuries-old ideology that continues to deprive them of full human rights, freedom and self-determination.
The Doctrine of Discovery, a 500-year-old Christian dogma that justified the genocide of millions of non-Christian peoples around the world—and continues to justify the expropriation of their lands and the domination of their societies—is the special theme for UNPFII this year. The forum will take place at the U.N. headquarters in New York City from May 7 to 18. Around 2,000 indigenous delegates from around the world are expected to attend the annual meeting.
The forum includes 16 independent experts, who serve up to two three-year terms. Half are nominated by governments, and the others by indigenous organizations in several regional groupings—Africa; Asia; Central and South America and the Caribbean; the Arctic; Central and Eastern Europe, Russian Federation, Central Asia and Transcaucasia; North America; and the Pacific—that encompass the world’s 370 million Indigenous Peoples.
Read the full story at Indian Country Today Media Network
Keystone XL Pipeline Protest
Environmental activists gather outside the White House in Washington, Monday, August 22, 2011
By Gale Courey Toensing / Indian Country Today Media Network
One might think from the name – the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act – that this legislation is meant to spruce up federal buildings and beautify their grounds with landscaping.
But the bill does none of that. Instead, H.R. 347, which President Barack Obama quietly signed into law on March 8, has the potential to criminalize protests and clamp down on the First Amendment rights of free speech and freedom to assemble. With recent and possible future indigenous protests against tar sands pipelines, with the Occupy movement springing back with the season, with demonstrations expected at the NATO Conference in Chicago this month and at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in September, the new bill gives the government the power to bring charges against Americans engaged in peaceful political protest.
Read the full story at Indian Country Today Media Network
The BDS movement is not asking for anything heroic from people of conscience. It is merely asking them to desist from complicity in oppression.
By Omar Barghouti
The Palestinian right to equality is neither negotiable nor relative; it is the sine qua non of a just peace in Palestine and the region. As Edward Said once said, “Equality or nothing!”
Anyone who supports Palestinian self-determination while calling only for ending the forty-five-year-old Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is only upholding most of the rights of just 38 percent of Palestinians while expecting the rest to accept injustice as fate. According to 2011 statistics, of 11.2 million Palestinians, 50 percent live in exile, many denied their UN-stipulated right to return to their homes of origin, and 12 percent are Palestinian citizens of Israel who live under a system of “institutional, legal and societal discrimination,” according to the US State Department. More than two thirds of Palestinians are refugees or internally displaced persons.
Equal rights for Palestinians means, at minimum, ending Israel’s 1967 occupation and colonization, ending Israel’s system of racial discrimination and respecting the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their lands from which they were ethnically cleansed during the 1948 Nakba. The 2005 Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) call was endorsed by an overwhelming majority of Palestinians because it upholds all three. By appealing to people of conscience around the world to help end Israel’s three-tiered system of oppression, the BDS movement is not asking for anything heroic. It is merely asking people to desist from complicity in oppression.
A boycott of Israel's settlements makes sense, but a broader boycott will most hurt those forces inside Israel that are best poised to change Israeli state policy.
by Bernard Avishai
The American response to Peter Beinart’s New York Times op-ed calling for an economic boycott of Israel’s West Bank settlements—what he calls, usefully, “non-democratic Israel”—will strike Israeli liberals as just a little melodramatic. Not very much is produced in the settlements, which are largely bedroom communities. Most liberal Israelis have been boycotting products from the settlements for years: Dead Sea creams, organic eggs, boutique wines and spices.
Recently, various scholars, artists and scientists signed statements announcing our refusal to cooperate with, or even visit, the college established in the settlement of Ariel, between Ramallah and Nablus; a college originally established by Bar-Ilan University, but now applying—with the support of Netanyahu’s government, and in the face of considerable opposition from the Council of Higher Education—to be upgraded to an independent university. A couple of years ago, writing against the BDS movement against Israel as a whole in these pages, I called for just such a boycott myself.
College elections results spur doubts as to the possible fairness of general elections in the West Bank due this year, writes Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah
While a nearly euphoric Fatah celebrated the results of recent student elections in the West Bank, Hamas dismissed the results as being the outcome of falsification and manipulation by the Fatah-dominated security agencies.
Hamas also accused Israeli occupation authorities of launching a witch-hunt campaign against suspected Islamist students, thus discouraging them from taking part in the elections lest they get arrested by the Israeli army, which still controls every nook and cranny in the West Bank.
Israel doesn't deny the charge and says openly it won't allow Hamas to rebuild its power base in occupied territory. The Israeli army did arrest a number of students affiliated with the Islamic Student Bloc (ISB) for indulging in activities deemed illegal.
The expansionist Zionist project continues to enjoy immunity before Israeli law as settlers grab daily more Arab land, writes Khaled Amayreh in the West Bank
Palestinian protesters with their hands chained during a protest outside Ofer prison near Ramallah in solidarity with hunger striking Palestinian prisoners
Resorting to a combination of legal tricks, repeated procrastination and brazen deceitfulness, the Israeli government of Binyamin Netanyahu has been trying to legalise dozens of colonial outposts built on private Arab lands.
The manifestly malicious measures have raised the eyebrows of jurists and judges as well as media figures in Israel who have complained that the Netanyahu government is not only destroying the peace process with the Palestinians but also the rule of law in Israel.
Last week, the government petitioned the High Court of Justice to postpone the evacuation of Jewish squatters from a small colonial outpost named Ulpana near Ramallah. The evacuation ought to have taken place long time ago. However, heavy political pressure and intervention by government officials and influential Knesset members repeatedly delayed evacuation as the issue moved from the judicial to the political realm.
Horowitz seems to liken supporters of the BDS campaign against Israel to those who would support Nazi attacks on Jews.
People from all walks of life, and from all around the world, make up the supporters of the BDS campaign [EPA]
It's been too long. I was a little surprised that I was not part of your just published list of dangerous, Jew- (self-) hating, Nazi-loving supporters of Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions against Israel. Maybe I'm not good - sorry, evil - enough to have made the A-list of Israel-bashers featured in your April 24 New York Times ad . But not even your full list, with 1,004 professors, journalists, artists, activists and organisations? Was there really no room for me, one of your original 101 most dangerous professors?
Indeed, the new list, like the old one, is much longer than the sample you've presented. You've only scratched the surface; you should hire more interns. Let me help you a bit; you can add me now.
While adding my name, perhaps you might consider the implications of so many people from all walks of life joining the BDS movement: they have decided that decades of illegal Israeli occupation, massive settlement construction, the destruction and theft of much of the natural resources of the West Bank and Gaza - from olive trees to precious water resources - and the systematic detention, torture and murder of tens of thousands of Palestinians, have done grave harm to Palestinian society. These crimes against the Palestinians involve such a wide spectrum of Israeli society and government that calling for the boycott of Israeli institutions, divestment from the Israeli economy and sanctions against the government is both a necessary and moral response to this situation.
See the following story for a response from Mark LeVine
NABLUS, (PIC)-- Jewish settlers uprooted 200 olive trees near Aqraba village, Nablus, on Wednesday morning, local sources said.
Hamza Deiriya, a member of the committee for the defense of Aqraba land, said that the settlers came from Etamar settlement and chopped off the trees planted in an area of six dunums.
He noted that the settlers were attacking this same area for the sixth time, recalling that olive trees and water wells in it were destroyed at their hands.
He charged that the Jewish settlers want to terrorize the Palestinian landowners and to annex their land.
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM/ NABLUS (PIC)-- The Arab member in the Israeli Knesset, Ahmed Teibi affirmed that four hunger striking prisoners’ lives in the occupation’s jails are in danger and that the occupation authorities are fully responsible for their lives.
This was mentioned in his letter addressed to Isaac Aheronovic the Israeli Minister of Internal Security in which he asked him to transfer the captive Thaer Halahla to the hospital due to his deteriorating health condition.
Tibi expressed in a statement on Wednesday his fear that the occupation authorities might actually want some hunger strikers to die as a way of foiling the hunger strike.
By Ralph Nader
(The imagined conversation between the Ghost of Osama bin Laden and President Barack Obama)
The Ghost of Osama bin Laden swirled into the Oval Office where Barack Obama was spending the evening going over a pile of requested sign-offs for drone missions.
Osama’s Ghost: “Mind if we have a conversation one year after you dispatched my body to the ocean sharks?”
With curiosity reigning supreme, President Obama replied, “Ok, so long as you remain hovering and do not alight to defile this solemn room.”
Osama’s Ghost: “Thank you. After your SEALs bravely shot, rather than captured, me while I was defenseless in my bedroom, you told your nation that ‘for the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country.’”
“Correct, the form of your presence now attests to that fact,” the President curtly declared.
By Felicity Arbuthnot
'There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women.' (Madeleine Albright, 1937 - )
As the anniversary of probably one of the most infamous responses in broadcasting history approaches, the woman who uttered it is shortly to be awarded “the highest honour” that America bestows upon civilians: the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Madeleine Albright, Iraq’s “Grim Reaper”, of course confirmed on “Sixty Minutes” (12th May 1996) that the deaths of half a million children as a result of the absolute, all-embracing deprivations of the UN embargo were: “A hard choice, but the price, we think the price is worth it.”
Human rights groups say 2,000 are on hunger strike against indefinite detention without charge and alleged ill-treatment
Palestinian women hold photos of people imprisoned in Israeli jails at a protest in Ramallah. Photograph: Mahmoud Illean/Demotix/Corbis
By Harriet Sherwood, Ramallah
The number of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails has grown to 2,000, with more preparing to join the protest next week, according to human rights groups in the West Bank.
The Israeli prison service is taking punitive measures against hunger strikers, including solitary confinement, the confiscation of personal belongings, transfers and denial of family visits, say Palestinian organisations.
Seven prisoners have been transferred to a prison medical centre, including Tha'er Halahleh, 34, and Bilal Diab, 27, who by Thursday had been on hunger strike for 58 days. Their appeals against imprisonment without charge – known as administrative detention – were dismissed by a military court earlier this week.
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UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay lists Israel along with countries such as Belarus, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Ethiopia and Venezuela.
By Barak Ravid
A senior UN official in Geneva last week listed Israel among the countries that she says are restricting the activities of human rights groups.
The statement, issued on Wednesday by UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay, lists Israel along with countries such as Belarus, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Ethiopia and Venezuela.
Shredi Jabarin, Palestinian actor and citizen of Israel
In a recent interview with Israel's Haaretz, Palestinian actor Shredi Jabarin tells the paper of how, despite being an Israeli citizen, he was refused boarding for a flight to Tel Aviv by Israeli airline security and told not to call Israel home. The following is a translation of two paragraphs of the article:
Jabarin spoke with Haaretz last night about his conversation with the security officer at the airport. "He asked me why I'm traveling to Israel, and I said that I have to attend filming for a movie. He asked if I have a contract to show him, and I said I don't have it with me," said Jabarin. "Regardless of that, I told him that I'm an Israeli citizen and you can refer to me as an Israeli citizen who is going back home."
By Paul Klee
I haven’t been writing about Syria at my previous pace. The time is not right.
This is a time for Syrian internet activists, those still surviving, to send us their videos. It’s a time for gathering evidence – although no more evidence is needed.
It’s a time for reporters to write, for committed foreign journalists to smuggle themselves inside and tell the tale. (You could call the murdered journalists martyrs, because they chose to go to a place where they knew they might die, and they did so for the sake of the truth.)
People who have specific human stories to tell should tell them. I hear the occasional story, and I might relay some of them; but I am not there. I am observing from Scotland.
This time is the beginning of a long process of creative mulling for those who will eventually produce novels and films concerned with the tragedy.
Most of all it’s a time in which people scream and suffer and die, a time to wait for the next explosion, or the next kick at the door, or for the return of the rapists, or for the next shriek of pain and humiliation from the neighbouring cell. It’s a time for burying children at night, hastily, in silence. And the suffering continues with glacial inevitability. Fate doesn’t seem to plan an end to it, not yet.
AL-KHALIL, (PIC)-- A number of Jewish settlers, on Thursday, raised the Israeli flag on the Ibrahimi Mosque in the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil, something which has not been done since the occupation of the city in 1967.
The director of Awkaf in al-Khalil, Zeid al-Ja’bari said that a group of settlers climbed on the mosque and raised the flag under the protection of the Israeli occupation forces.
Ja'bari said that what happened is "an aggression on the sanctity of the Ibrahimi Mosque and its historic and religious place in the hearts of Muslims. The occupation has not done this since occupying the city of al-Khalil. This aggression provokes the Muslim feelings, as this is a dangerous provocative act that we were surprised with today. The occupation must remove its flags from above our mosques as this is a provocation to all Muslims around the world."
Saeb Erakat condemns an Israeli hiking book that makes the West Bank as part of Israel ahead of the country's 'independence day' celebrations
An Israeli settlement in the West Bank seen through barbed wire, (Photo: AP).
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat has condemned an Israeli hiking book that he said makes the West Bank a part of the Jewish state and incites violence against Palestinians.
The guidebook "considers the occupied West Bank part of Israel and incites... violence against Palestinians," Erakat said in a statement issued Thursday by the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
His remarks came after Haaretz newspaper reported Israel's defence ministry had given the book to thousands of families ahead of the country's memorial and independence day celebrations.
Palestine Telegraph) - Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren not only called the head of CBS news in an attempt to quash a report on the displacement of Palestinian Christians by the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, but he briefed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of the far right wing Likud Party on his attempt.
Here are the top ten reasons Israel’s Likud Party would have wanted to censor American television news on this occasion (and of course we don’t know all the occasions they have successfully done so):
By: Special Correspondent | April 25, 2012 | 0
UNITED NATIONS - A senior Pakistani diplomat said Monday the UN Security Council's failure to hold Israel accountable for denying the Palestinian people's right to self-determination carried the risk of a conflict in the Middle East.
"The Security Council continues to evade its responsibility of maintaining international peace and security at peril to its credibility," Ambassador Raza Bashir Tarar, the acting Pakistani permanent representative to the UN, told the 15-member body.
“Flying in the face of the international community’s will, Israel continues to implement policies in defiance of international law, and work towards undermining the basis of the two-state solution," he said in a debate on the situation in the Middle East.
"Its (Israel's) efforts to redraw the map of Palestine through continuation of illegal settlement activity, continued persecution of Palestinians, and reluctance to accept the 1967 borders as the basis for negotiations, is taking the region to a state akin to a powder keg," he said in a debate on the Middle East situation.
484 words posted in Israel, Zionist aggression, warmongering, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements,, , Zionist illegal military occupation, blockade, , Zionist war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international law, , Israeli hasbara (propaganda), , Apartheid State, , Zionist lawlessness • Leave a comment
Palestinian Authority communications minister Mashour Abu Daka attends the
opening of a technology company in Nablus. (MaanImages/Rami Swidan, File)
By George Hale
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority has quietly instructed Internet providers to block access to news websites whose reporting is critical of President Mahmoud Abbas, according to senior government officials and data analyzed by network security experts.
As many as eight news outlets have been rendered unavailable to many Internet users in the West Bank, after technicians at the Palestinian Telecommunications Company, or PalTel, tweaked an open source software called Squid to return error pages, a detailed technical analysis indicates. Several small companies are using a similar setup.
The decision this year to begin blocking websites marks a major expansion of the government's online powers. Experts say it is the biggest shift toward routine Internet censorship in the Palestinian Authority’s history. Aside from one incident in 2008, Palestinians have generally been free to read whatever they wanted.
By Susan Abulhawa
Roses are red
and Israel is Semitizing:
So Equality is anti-Semitic
So International Law is Anti-Semitic
So Justice is anti-Semitic
So Freedom is anti-Semitic
So Peace is anti-Semitic
Violets are blue
- Susan Abulhawa is the author of Mornings in Jenin (Bloomsbury 2010) and the founder of Playgrounds for Palestine (www.playgroundsforpalestine.org). She contributed this poem to PalestineChronicle.com.
67 words posted in Israel, Arts, Culture & Entertainment, , Zionist aggression, warmongering, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements,, , Zionist illegal military occupation, blockade, , Zionist war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international law, , Israeli hasbara (propaganda), , Apartheid State, , Zionist lawlessness • Leave a comment
Khader Adnan recounts his 66-day fast in Israeli jail that has made him a symbol of Palestinian resistance.
By Linah Alsaafin
Adnan's 66-day hunger strike inspired others in Israeli prison to do the same [EPA]
When Palestinian hunger striker Khader Adnan called his mother at 11:30pm on Tuesday night, she burst into tears. "He told me, 'Mother I am on my way home,'" she said. “For the first time in months my heart was at ease again." For Palestinians, Khader Adnan has become a symbol of resistance and steadfastness, or sumoud, after he waged a 66-day hunger strike against the Israeli prison service. He began his hunger strike immediately after his violent arrest by Israeli soldiers on December 17, 2011. He was detained under what Israel calls "administrative detention", a policy adopted from the era of the British mandate. Under administrative detention, Israel can detain a prisoner for up to six months, renewable indefinitely, without ever charging the prisoner or presenting any evidence against them.
1343 words posted in Resistance, revolution, fight for demoracy, justice, PALESTINE, , Israel • Leave a comment
Israel's projected "limited war" against Iran threatens to become an all-out regional conflict, with fatal consequences for the Middle East and beyond, writes James Petras*
Cartoon by Latouff
The mounting threat of a US-Israeli military attack against Iran is based on many factors including: the recent military history of both countries in the region; public pronouncements by US and Israeli political leaders; recent and on- going attacks on Lebanon and Syria, prominent allies of Iran; armed attacks and assassinations of Iranian scientists and security officials by proxy and/or terrorist groups under US or Mossad control; the failure of economic sanctions and diplomatic coercion; escalating hysteria and extreme demands for Iran to end legal, civilian use-related uranium enrichment; provocative military "exercises" on Iran's borders and war games designed to intimidate and be a dress rehearsal for a preemptive attack; powerful pro- war pressure groups in both Washington and Tel Aviv, including the major Israeli political parties and the powerful AIPAC in the US; and lastly, the 2012 National Defense Authorisation Act, US President Barack Obama's Orwellian Emergency Decree of 16 March 2012.
The recent scandal arising from Gunter Grass's poem calling Israel a danger to the world is a welcomed gesture. But the real scandal is who pays for German guilt, argues Susan Abulhawa*
No matter who you are, no matter what greatness you've achieved in your life or what gifts you've given to the rest of humanity, if you criticise Israel, you must expect to become a persona non grata. You should expect an utter onslaught of attacks. Otherwise all "decent" people will, one by one, genuflect and sign onto the stupid clichés and tiresome accusations that question your character, integrity and even sanity. You will be called an anti-Semite (or a self-hating Jew if you happen to be Jewish). The Holocaust will be invoked. You'll be reminded of Hitler, Himmler and Goebbels, and perhaps likened to Nazis (or Capos if you're Jewish). You'll be accused explicitly or implicitly of secretly supporting the genocide of Jews and having a deep-seated desire for it.
It happened to moral authorities like Nobel laureates Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter, both of whom were called anti-Semites, crazy old fools, and worse, for daring to criticise Israel's criminal policies towards Palestinians -- the natives of the Holy Land. It happened to renowned scholars like John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt for publishing a well-documented and supported audit of Israel's manipulation of US foreign policy through their domestic proxy lobby. Richard Goldstone was so chastised, shunned, and punished by his own community for reporting his findings that Israel had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza that he utterly discredited himself as a jurist by retracting his well-reasoned legal conclusions, which were nonetheless upheld by all his colleagues and by the international legal community. Among many abuses, they called him a capo and a self-hating Jew and he was prevented from attending his grandson's bar mitzvah. Those labels too have been hurled at intellectuals like Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky -- the latter actually banned by Israel from entering the West Bank to speak at Bir Zeit University. The list is too long for one article, but it stretches the full breadth of international thinkers, artists, intellectuals, clergy, moral authorities, and political figures. No one is immune from this insanity.
1177 words posted in Israel, Zionist aggression, warmongering, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements,, , Zionist illegal military occupation, blockade, , Zionist war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international law, , Anti-Zionist, , Zionist lawlessness • Leave a comment
Against systematic persecution, Palestinian prisoners in Israel resort en masse to the only power they have left: putting their lives in the balance by refusing food, writes Khaled Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem
A masked Palestinian demonstrator throws back tear gas at Israeli troops during a protest in Bilin, near Ramalla
Thousands of Palestinian prisoners languishing in Israeli jails and detention camps have begun an open-ended hunger strike to protest a raft of grievances, including notorious administrative detention, solitary confinement, humiliating late- night searches and keeping inmates in jail after their prison terms have ended.
On Tuesday, as many as 2300 inmates reportedly returned their meals as part of the hunger strike which coincides with "Prisoners' Day".
There are as many as 4700 Palestinians languishing in Israeli jails, many of them purely political prisoners Israel is punishing for peacefully opposing Israel's brutal and decades-old occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Israel is to establish an unprecedented spy centre to eavesdrop on, and meddle with, post-revolutionary Egypt, writes Saleh Al-Naami
Demonstrators sit as pro-Palestinian activists stage a protest in Brussels. Palestinian supporters throughout Europe had bought plane tickets to visit Palestine as part of a campaign called "Welcome to Palestine"
Although more than one month has passed since the recommendations of the Arab Affairs Committee in Egypt's People's Assembly were issued, 12 March, regarding Egypt's foreign policy in the coming phase, the impact of these recommendations continues to echo in statements by Israeli commentators and experts. They view the statement read by the committee's chairman, Mohamed Idris, as a clear indicator of the changes that have occurred in Egypt -- most significantly, that the committee statement avoided using the name "Israel" and instead used the term "Zionist entity", and that the parliamentary committee asserted that Israel is "the primary enemy that threatens Egypt's national security". It also called on the Egyptian government to support and assist the Palestinian people in their armed struggle against Israeli occupation forces.
Yehuda Halevi, an expert at the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, said that if the new regime in Egypt adopts the committee's recommendation that Israel is "the primary enemy that threatens Egypt's national security" this would mean that Egypt would be required to rebuild its military power to confront this threat. This includes in the nuclear domain, which would make Egypt's actions an existential threat for Israel. Halevi suggested that Tel Aviv should consider the transformations taking place in Egypt and prepare and take necessary precautions to confront any action by Egypt in the future that threatens Israel.
Al-Ahram Weekly Online 19 - 25 April 2012
After much build-up, the Abbas letter to Netanyahu has been delivered, its impact likely negligible, writes Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah
The much-heralded and long anticipated letter Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to send to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has finally reached its destination.
A high-level PA delegation, led by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and including a number of high- ranking Palestinian officials met with Netanyahu in his office in West Jerusalem, delivering the missive, which many Palestinians refer to -- somewhat sarcastically -- as the "mother of all letters".
While PA-affiliated media paid disproportionate attention to the letter, as if it would usher in a turning point in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, PA leaders sought to downplay its importance.
PA negotiator Saeb Ereikat was quoted as saying, "The letter is just a letter; nothing less and nothing more." "The only purpose of our meeting with Netanyahu is to deliver a letter. Neither the letter nor the meeting with Netanyahu is a goal in itself, especially given the fact that both sides have commitments to uphold."
But does "delivering a letter" really warrant dispatching Prime Minister Fayyad and two other key officials to occupied Jerusalem to meet with a notoriously recalcitrant Netanyahu? Couldn't the letter have been delivered by any other means?
By Ramzy Baroud
'My Lords, I was in Gaza six weeks ago,' began Baroness Tonge, when she spoke at the House of Lords in January 2009. 'Now, as a result of the impotence of the international community, not just in Gaza, but…over 40 years of occupation of Palestine by Israel, those institutions that I visited are rubble and many of the children with whom I played are dead.'
Jenny Tonge, then a member of the UK’s Liberal Democrat party, was a dangerous British politician as far as Israel was concerned. She not only dared to use strong language while referencing Israeli actions in the occupied territories, she also demanded action from her government
For this she was subjected to the same, predictable verbal abuse by Israeli officials and media, by the pro-Israeli British lobby, and even by some of her peers. However, calling Tonge ‘anti-Semitic’ was never going to be convincing. The formidable woman has spent years of her life serving her community – as a doctor, MP and spokesperson for Health for Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords – and has amassed far too much credibility to be shaken by defamatory accusations.
Moreover, very few will agree that calling for “the immediate—and I mean immediate—establishment by the United Nations Security Council of an independent fact-finding commission to Palestine to investigate all breaches of international law” constitutes anti-Semitism in any way.
By Ilan Pappe
The Electronic Intifada
The US continues to indulge Netanyahu’s manufactured hysteria.
(Pete Souza / White House Photo)
Spending a week in Israel these days is like being trapped within a scene from the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Like Jack Nicholson in the lead role of that classic film, you might not be insane but the doctors and nurses who run the psychiatric ward manufacture every few minutes a collective hysteria to keep everyone in the grip of fear and hatred. Everyone is an enemy, every a visitor an existential threat.
A retired French activist in her sixties — part of the most recent Welcome to Palestine fly-in — is met in the airport by a military brigade and massive police force that left much of Israel at the mercy of its petty criminals who had a field day while the officers of the law went to arrest the invading aliens who came from Europe.
A week earlier, a poem by an 85-year-old honest and noble Nobel laureate, Günter Grass, which warned against an Israeli attack on Iran and pleaded with the Israelis to show compassion towards the occupied Palestinians, was depicted as a text that is not only worse than Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf but one that could have a similar impact on history. Hence, the national response was entrusted to the hands of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of the Interior Eli Yishai who banned the entry of the ageing bard.
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Organizers of the Welcome to Palestine campaign said Sunday that the first day of the initiative has been a success, despite the fact that only two activists have been able to enter the West Bank.
"It was a success at a media level, but it was not a success at a human level in the sense that we were not able to have our friends with us," coordinator Abdul-Fatah Abu Srour told reporters in Bethlehem.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that 45 people had been refused entry at Ben Gurion airport by the evening and would be deported.
Nine Israeli supporters, some holding "Welcome to Palestine" signs, were also detained as they waited to greet the arrivals.
Organizer Mazin Qumsiyeh said that two participants had arrived on Sunday via Ben Gurion airport, but were not asked where they were going by Israeli authorities.
Shalom Eisner has been suspended from duty.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Israel's military suspended a senior officer who struck an activist in the face with a gun, an army spokesman said on Monday, after video of the incident was put on the Internet.
The video showed Lieutenant-Colonel Shalom Eisner holding his M-16 rifle in both hands and shouting at a group of demonstrators taking part in a bicycle rally in the occupied West Bank, before suddenly striking a man in the face.
The demonstrator, a Danish national, fell to the ground and was carried away by activists. Israeli military spokesman Yoav Mordechai told Army Radio the incident happened on Saturday.
The protester, named as Andreas Ias, was treated in a Palestinian hospital for light injuries and told Israeli media on Monday that he was well.
"We were just walking slowly towards the soldiers, we were chanting Palestinian songs calling for the liberation of Palestine. I don't believe that is a provocation," he told Israel's Channel 10 television.
Argentina's Kirchner walks out as summit unravels amid differences between US and Latin America over Cuba and Falklands.
A summit of nearly 30 leaders of Americas nations has ended without a joint declaration due to divisions over Cuba and the Falkland Islands which prompted the Argentinian and Bolivian presidents to walk out.
The two-day Summit of the Americas in the Colombian city of Cartagena, which ended on Sunday, saw the US and Canada at odds with Latin American nations calling for Cuba to attend future meetings and over Argentina's claim to the British-controlled South Atlantic islands it calls Las Malvinas.
The Palestinian Authority was supposed to be the stepping-stone to a Palestinian state, but nearly 20 years later nothing like it is in sight, writes Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah
Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas, right, with U.S. President Barack Obama and Zionist state Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahoo
As the Israeli government of Binyamin Netanyahu is striving hard to make sure that any prospective Palestinian entity would be unviable, highly truncated and territorially discontinuous, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is trying to explore ways to overcome Israeli intransigence.
However, in doing so, the PA seems to be trying only old and familiar measures, all of which have proven utterly useless.
For weeks now, PA President Mahmoud Abbas has been vowing (some PA operatives use the term threatening), to send a "a final letter" warning the Israeli prime minister that the Palestinians are thoroughly fed up with Israeli stalling tactics and that they might abandon the two-state solution once and for all.
It is not clear why Abbas has not delivered the letter so far, but the Palestinian media has been relating to it as if it was a secret weapon the PA would unleash to bring the Hebrew state to its knees.
Security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel has scuppered a national unity government and in turn Palestinian general elections, writes Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah
Hard political realities in the occupied territories seem to have dashed all hopes for organising Palestinian general elections next month, the erstwhile designated date for holding the polls according to an agreement reached in Doha between Fatah and Hamas a few months ago.
Palestinian leaders representing various political factions have described the previously designated date as "impossible" and "clearly unrealistic".
"It is obvious that we can not hold elections in May or even June. The preparations necessary for organising the elections are yet to be made," said Mustafa Barghouti, who heads the Freedom Committee set up to facilitate the reconciliation process between Fatah and Hamas.
Isolated by the Arab Spring, Tel Aviv is reaching out to Putin for support, writes Saleh Al-Naami
Palestinian Christians light candles during an Easter mass at the Saint Porfirios church in Gaza City
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was generous in his praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin, expressing admiration for his "extraordinary leadership skills" and his "great" joy for Putin's return as Russia's president. "With Putin as president of Russia, the world is safer and more stable," Lieberman told Israeli television. "In Israel, we will exert all efforts to strengthen our relations with Russia. Putin is a model leader."
At first glance, it seems that Israel's exaggerated happiness over Putin's re-election is in bad taste, since most world countries denounced and criticised flagrant vote rigging in Russia's parliamentary and presidential elections. It seems that Tel Aviv's intent on appeasing Moscow and improving ties with Putin's administration is a strategic cornerstone for Binyamin Netanyahu's government, and that is why the government unabashedly declared "great joy" when Putin's office announced that the returning president will visit Israel soon.
The 3,300-year-old cartonnage mask of the noblewoman Ka-Nefer-Nefer is not likely to return to Egypt unless new evidence emerges, Nevine El-Aref reports
Ka-Nefer-Nefer's mask on display at SLAM
After a six-year controversy over the ownership of the 19th-Dynasty mummy mask of Ka-Nefer-Nefer, a noblewoman from the court of Pharaoh Ramses II, a United States federal judge has ruled that it should stay at the St Louis Art Museum where it has been exhibited since 1998.
The US government had claimed the mask was being held illicitly and should be returned to Egypt.
According to the stltoday website, US District Judge Henry Autry vindicated his ruling that the US government failed to prove that the ancient Egyptian mask had been stolen and smuggled abroad after it went missing from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo about 40 years ago.
The US government "does not provide a factual statement of theft, smuggling or clandestine importation", Autry recorded in the 31 March ruling. "The government cannot simply rest on its laurels and believe that it can initiate a civil forfeiture proceeding on the basis of one bold assertion that because something went missing from one party in 1973 and turned up with another party in 1998, it was therefore stolen and/or imported or exported illegally," the judge wrote.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama leads a prayer session in remembrance of Khalka Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoche, the Buddhist spiritual head of Mongolia, in Dharmsala, India, Saturday, March 3, 2012. Rinpoche, who was 80, died in Ulan Bator on March 1.
By Gale Courey Toensing April 13, 2012
The Kumeyaay Nation has issued a proclamation to welcome His Holiness the Dalai Lama to its homeland when he makes a historic visit to San Diego during a spiritual journey across the United States, Canada and Europe to bring messages of compassion and world peace.
In addition to his public talks during his two-day visit in San Diego, the Dalai Lama will hold a private audience with a small number of members of the 12 bands of the Kumeyaay Nation. His Holiness initiated the meeting with the Kumeyaay through the sponsoring university, said Paul Cuero, a member of the Kumeyaay Nation’s executive committee.
“He wanted to meet with the indigenous people of the area,” Cuero said. “We’re really excited about it. We feel there are some things we can exchange with His Holiness in the sense of what his people are going through right now in Tibet.”
Full story at Indian Country Today Media Network
This account accompanying the video provided by the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee:
Israeli Border Police Violently Attack Palestinians and Internationals in Hebron
Twelve were detained and Three were injured after Israeli forces attacked participants of the Bilin Conference on the Popular Struggle who toured Hebron.
Israeli Border Police officers attacked a group of Palestinians and Internationals who participated in the 7th International Bilin Conference on the Palestinian Popular Struggle this afternoon. The incident took place during a tour of the Old City of Hebron.
Eight Palestinians and four internationals were arrested and at least three people were injured by the blows they suffered at the hands of police. One Italian woman suffered an injury to her shoulder that required hospitalization.
About 200 Palestinians and Internationals attended the second day of the Bilin Conference, which today took place at the old city of Hebron. After lunch, which was held at a school off of Shuhada Street, participants began to gather at the entrance of the Old City to begin a tour of the area. Settlers who passed by in their cars noticed the gathering and aggressively honked their horns at the group, but continued without incident.
Two minutes later, Israeli Border Police officers arrived in the area and arbitrarily detained a three of the Palestinians. A second group of settlers then arrived at the scene in large numbers and began inciting the police against the conference participants, calling on the police officers to “eliminate” the them. the Border Police officers, now joined by regular police, then began pushing and beating the conference participants - men and women alike.
During the attack, the officers arrested eight Palestinians and four internationals. While most were released without charge shortly after, two Palestinians and two internationals are still held at the Hebron police station. Among those still held are two Italians and Issa Amro, a well known grassroots activist from Hebron, who was clearly arrested for who he is rather than anything he’s done.
Amro has only recently spent nearly a week in detention after the army evicted Palestinians from a house in the city. The eviction took place despite the fact that the activists had legal claim to the house, which eventually forced the authorities to release Amro unconditionally.
379 words posted in Israel, Zionist aggression, warmongering, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements,, , Zionist illegal military occupation, blockade, , Zionist war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international law, , Apartheid State, , Zionist lawlessness • Leave a comment
by BILL QUIGLEY
Privacy is eroding fast as technology offers government increasing ways to track and spy on citizens. The Washington Post reported there are 3,984 federal, state and local organizations working on domestic counterterrorism. Most collect information on people in the US. Here are thirteen examples of how some of the biggest government agencies and programs track people.
One. The National Security Agency (NSA) collects hundreds of millions of emails, texts and phone calls every day and has the ability to collect and sift through billions more. WIRED just reported NSA is building an immense new data center which will intercept, analyze and store even more electronic communications from satellites and cables across the nation and the world. Though NSA is not supposed to focus on US citizens, it does.
Two. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Security Branch Analysis Center (NSAC) has more than 1.5 billion government and private sector records about US citizens collected from commercial databases, government information, and criminal probes.
Say it, Mr. Grass
by Stanley Heller
Grass writes "It Must Be Said"
Israeli twits go for his head
Tom Segev say it's pathetic
Netanyahu says anti-Semitic
Grass insists all nukes be inspected
So Israel wants Günter rejected
Israel, as all know, has no nukes
Those who say so: brown-shirt kooks
Grass wonders why much stained Germany
Sells subs to Israel's naval fraternity
He cries it's material for a big crime
So Zionists say he's Hitler slime
"Blood libel" say Israel diplomats
Israel bombs won't make much splat
Grass has Nobel Prize for lit
But NY Times thinks poem not fit
Don't let the screamers
Make you silent again
The tales of compulsive liars
are not reasons for massacre in Iran
Poets ** Mobilize Your Vowels and Consonants *** Defend Günter Grass
Support Grass with a poem of your own.
For full story and where to send your poem go to The Struggle
By Khalid Amayreh
German poet and Nobel literature laureate Guenter Grass deserves to be applauded for his moral courage, intellectual honesty, and audacity to challenge some of the established taboos pertaining to Israel and Jews.
In a piece of poetry published by a German newspaper last week, Grass, 84, condemned his country's arm sales to Israel, saying the Jewish state must not be allowed to threaten its neighbors with overwhelming conventional and nuclear weapons.
Thanks to a decades-old western policy of ignoring the development and possession by Israel of weapons of mass destruction, Israel has effectively become the Nazi Germany of the Middle East.
Israel cuts fuel deliveries to Gaza
GAZA, (PIC)-- Gaza municipality has warned that a humanitarian disaster might soon befall the Gaza Strip due to stoppage of its services especially sewage treatment due to lack of fuel.
Municipality head Rafiq Mikki said in a TV interview on Wednesday that if no fuel was provided to his municipality in the course of one week it would be forced to stop pumping water from wells to people’s houses.
He said that the municipality had partially shut down sewage pumps and would be forced to stop carrying away garbage for the same reason of lack of fuel
Mikki said that the municipality, which basically provides services to inhabitants, operates its services depending on special tools and vehicles that need fuel to function.
By Ramzy Baroud
Last week Marwan Barghouti, the prominent Palestinian political prisoner and Fatah leader, called on Palestinians to launch a 'large-scale popular resistance' which would 'serve the cause of our people.'
The message was widely disseminated as it coincided with Land Day, an event that has unified Palestinians since March 1976. Its meaning has morphed through the years to represent the collective grievances shared by most Palestinians, including dispossession from their land as a result of Israeli occupation.
Barghouti is also a unifying figure among Palestinians. Even at the height of the Hamas-Fatah clashes in 2007, he insisted on unity and shunned factionalism. It is no secret that Barghouti is still a very popular figure in Fatah, to the displeasure of various Fatah leaders, not least Mahmoud Abbas, who heads both the Palestinian Authority and Fatah.. Throughout its indirect prisoners exchange talks with Israel, Hamas insisted on Barghouti’s release. Israel, which had officially charged and imprisoned Barghouti in 2004 for five alleged counts of murder – but more likely because of his leading role in the Second Palestinian Intifada - insisted otherwise.
German Nobel laureate Günter Grass has stirred up a debate on Israel with a new poem.
A View on Günter Grass
Why We Need an Open Debate on Israel
A Commentary by Jakob Augstein
Is Israel a threat to world peace? German writer Günter Grass has been blasted as an anti-Semite this week for making just such a claim in a new poem (see below). But while the verse may not win any awards, Grass has kicked off an important -- and long overdue -- debate. And, he's right.
A great poem it is not. Nor is it a brilliant political analysis. But the brief lines that Günter Grass has published under the title "What Must Be Said" will one day be seen as some of his most influential words. They mark a rupture. It is this one sentence that we will not be able to ignore in the future: "The nuclear power Israel is endangering a world peace that is already fragile."
It is a sentence that has triggered an outcry. Because it is true. Because it is a German, an author, a Nobel laureate who said it. Because it is Günter Grass who said it. And therein lies the breach. And, for that, one should thank Grass. He has taken it upon himself to utter this sentence for all of us. A much-delayed dialogue has begun.
It is a discussion about Israel and whether Israel is preparing a war against Iran, a country whose leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has threatened Israel, referring to it as a "cancer" that must be "wiped off the map." Israel, a country that has been surrounded by enemies for decades, many of whom believe that Israel has no right to exist -- even independent of its policies.
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign is a global message against Israeli oppression, not a political platform
By Ramzy Baroud, Special to Gulf News
Image Credit: Illustration: Luis Vazquez/©Gulf News
A few years ago, after I spoke at a conference in South Africa, Ronnie Kasrils, then the country's Minister for Intelligence Services, leaned towards me and said, "I agree with everything you said, but in order for the boycott of Israel to become adopted by world governments, the call has to be initiated by those who represent the Palestinian people in Palestine, not outside groups."
I was not actually purporting to represent any group, inside or outside Palestine. A few days later I received more counsel from a leading South African official. "A representative from Mahmoud Abbas's office was here few days ago," he said. "He seemed to have different priorities from yours. He asked me to ensure that the South African government continues to isolate Hamas, not Israel."
Kasrils, a legendary member of the African National Congress (ANC), was, of course, right. It was the decisive call of academic boycott made by the ANC in the 1960s which started a process that eventually succeeded in isolating the apartheid regime and speeding up its demise.
Alas, those who are recognised as the representatives of the Palestinians stand on the wrong side of history. Their political fate is now intrinsically linked to that of the very Israeli occupation that continues to torment Palestinians. Ensuring dominion over an occupied nation has proved to be more urgent to them than isolating Israel for its crimes.
By Gulamhusein Abba
“It is all very well for us, sitting in the comfort and security of our homes, to be purists. We do not live with drones flying over our heads 24/7,we do not experience any difficulty travelling from one place to another, we do not live in fear of bombs falling on our homes.”
“Neither I nor the talking heads nor the pundits and pen pushers and keyboard warriors operating from the comfort and security of their homes, nor the Finkelsteins of this world, nor anyone else can tell the Palestinians what they should do or not do. It is for them to decide how to shape their destiny.”
Dr. Norman Finkelstein
UPDATE: This article was sent to Dr. Norman Finkelstein with a request that if there be any statement, argument, belief attributed to him in the article to be untrue or incorrect, he should let me know. He has responded and made only the following clarifications:
He has stated: “I am not aware of any authoritative statements by jurists or legal bodies that equate Israeli policies vis-a-vis its own Palestinian-Israeli citizens as constituting Apartheid. No sane person denies the discriminatory nature and policies of the Israeli state, but Apartheid under the Rome Statutes constitutes a ‘crime against humanity’, and so it requires crossing a very high threshold before one equates a State's discriminatory policies with Apartheid.”
With regard to my suggesting that he urges the Palestinians to accept a two state solution and agree to swap about 1.9 per cent of existing West Bank for a land equal in size and value, he has stated categorically: “I do not believe that Palestinians should accept anything less than the full 100% of their territory.”
The article refers to a map he showed at the lectures with the 1.9 percent of West Bank that was being asked for a land swap. The implication was that this was a map drawn up by Finkelstein. With regard to this he has clarified that the map was actually a map that had been presented by the Palestinians in 2008.
About Palestinians recognizing Israel, while not denying what he said at the lectures that Israel was not entitled to insist on the Palestinians recognizing its right to exist as a state, much less entitled to insist that they recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, he has stated, “If one wants to anchor a resolution of the conflict in international law, I do not agree that the decision is the Palestinians to make whether or not they recognize Israel. The law is the law; and according to the law Israel is a member state of the United Nations and has the same rights and duties as any other state.”
It must be emphasized that the purpose of this article is neither to endorse or reject any of the statements, claims, arguments, beliefs, suggestions presented by Dr. Finkelstein in his recent UK lectures but merely to present a true and correct picture of what was said.
The Palestinians are farther from having a state then they have ever been, writes Hasan Afif El-Hasan
Nineteen years after the signing of Oslo agreements that laid the ground for the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and for negotiations to resolve the conflict, the time has come to sum up what has been accomplished based on the facts as they are on the ground rather than as they ought to be.
During the period since Oslo, Israel has been ruled by governments that while declaring their willingness to reach a negotiated peace agreement, have pursued policies that made the likelihood for such an accommodation even more remote. Negotiations and the signing of more interim agreements including Oslo II 1995, Wye Plantation Memorandum 1998, Sharm El-Sheikh Memorandum 1999, and the Annapolis Conference declaration 2007 have led nowhere. The PA leadership has been sidetracked into unending and futile negotiations.
The Oslo agreements gave Israel's Ministries of Interior and Defence control over the Palestinian population registry and validate it for the PA. The collected biometric data includes hand- prints, finger-prints coded into magnetic card that any Palestinian must present when applying for a permit to travel through parts of the West Bank. The registry gives the Israelis the power to deny residency rights to Palestinians in the West Bank or Jerusalem and the occupation administrators use the biometric data to monitor the West Bank Palestinians' daily activities.
A vignette of modern Palestine shows the invidious strategy Israel uses to ethnically cleanse while playing by the rules, describes Tamar Fleishman* from the West Bank
This March marked the fiftieth anniversary of Algeria's liberation from the French occupation that lasted 162 years. Throughout the years of French rule, tens of thousands of immigrants from France and its neighbouring countries settled on Algerian land and were granted French citizenship, while the original residents of the land were granted no rights under the apartheid rule.
On 18 March 1962, after nearly eight straight years of guerrilla warfare led by the National Liberation Front (FLN), the French army withdrew and as a result approximately a million European settlers fled.
And on the very week which marks this historic event, in which the rule of one people over another ended, thousands of victims and thousands of bristling arms gave witness to the fact that in Palestine the occupation forces were still invading and destroying the land and people of Palestine, Britain's one-time colony.
Men and women in uniforms under the lead of people from the Civil Administration came busting out of the side gate of Qalandiya checkpoint. They flanked the peddlers in the neighbouring squares and along the main road, confiscating their merchandise, throwing the content of carts into the garbage, spreading fear in the hearts of the people and causing financial damage to each one of the victims without any remorse.
Unity Coalition for Israel is spearheading Armageddon in the Middle East with Jews apparently as the first victims. But it's in their interests. Really. Stuart Littlewood* marvels from faraway London
Cartoon by Latuff
If you are as puzzled as I am how a true Christian could possibly be taken in by Zionism, a short paper on the phenomenon is available from Sadaka:
"The destiny of the Jewish people is to return to the land of Israel and reclaim their inheritance promised to Abraham and his descendants forever. This inheritance extends from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates. Within their land, Jerusalem is recognised to be their exclusive, undivided and eternal capital, and therefore it cannot be shared or divided.
"At the heart of Jerusalem will be the rebuilt Jewish temple, to which all the nations will come to worship God. Just prior to the return of Jesus, there will be seven years of calamities and war known as the tribulation, which will culminate in a great battle called Armageddon, during which the godless forces opposed to both God and Israel will be defeated.
"Jesus will then return as the Jewish Messiah and king to reign in Jerusalem for a thousand years, and the Jewish people will enjoy a privileged status and role in the world."
The US-based Unity Coalition for Israel (UCI) brings together more than 200 partners claiming to represent more than 40 million Americans in the largest network of pro-Israel groups in the world. Their mission is "to focus the efforts of secular and religious organisations and individuals for whom the existence of the State of Israel is central and essential to the future of the free world. We educate these organizations and individuals on security issues and radical ideologies, including global Islamic terrorism... UCI reaches millions of people through more than 200 Christian and Jewish organisations, including churches, synagogues, prayer networks, think tanks and thousands of individuals."
Sunday, 08 April 2012
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has urged nations negotiating with Iran to set strict conditions on Tehran or risk watching the Islamic republic continue with its nuclear program.
By Al Arabiya with Agencies
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday warned the six-power group negotiating with Iran to set stringent limits on its nuclear enrichment at forthcoming talks.
“If the P5+1 will set a much lower threshold, like just stop reaching 20 percent it means that basically the Iranians at a very cheap cost bought their way into continuing their military programs, slightly slower but without sanctions,” Barak said in an interview aired on Sunday by CNN.
“That would be a total change of direction for the worse,” he added.
The so-called P5+1, comprising the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, is scheduled to begin talks with Iran in coming weeks, though no date has been set and Tehran has rejected at least one proposed venue.
PM slammed for declaring country in great shape minus Arabs, Haredim.
By Zvi Zrahiya, Moti Bassok and Hila Weisberg
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's declaration that Israel is in fine shape if you ignore the ultra-Orthodox and Arab communities drew fire from critics, who noted that this is precisely where the country's problems lie.
The State of Israel is doing "not badly" compared to other countries, and "if you deduct the Arabs and ultra-Orthodox from inequality indexes, we're in great shape," Netanyahu told TheMarker in a pre-holiday interview published Thursday.
Netanyahu: Without Arabs, Haredim, we’re in great shape.
In an exclusive holiday interview, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blames 'monopolies and cartels' - and government - for the increases in food prices.
By Moti Bassok and Sami Peretz
The State of Israel is doing "not badly" compared with other countries, and, "if you deduct the Arabs and ultra-Orthodox from inequality indexes, we're in great shape," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told TheMarker on Wednesday in a special interview for the Passover holiday.
Equal opportunity is key, in the prime minister's view. "Populism is dangerous. It contravenes the complex truth of managing a free economy," Netanyahu said. "The right combination is between a free economy and social policy that addresses the needs of society and creates equal opportunity. The State of Israel can be proud of what we're doing," he said, then qualified that if the ultra-Orthodox and Arab communities are set aside from the calculation of inequality, "we're in great shape."
Emma Thompson is one of three dozen British artistes calling for the Shakespeare global festival to withdraw its invitation to an Israeli theater group over its involvement with illegal settlements in Palestine. (AP)
Emma Thompson is one of three dozen British artistes calling for the Shakespeare global festival to withdraw its invitation to an Israeli theater group over its involvement with illegal settlements in Palestine. (AP)
By Al Arabiya
Actress Emma Thompson’s decision to join a group of 35 artistes protesting the inclusion of an Israeli theater in a Shakespeare festival this summer in London has sparked controversy.
The two time Oscar winner Thompson joined a list of 35 people from arts – playwrights, actors, film makers – who wrote a letter published in The Guardian on March 29 to regret that Israeli theater Habima would perform “The Merchant of Venice” at the Globe to Globe festival in London in May.
Habima, they argue, has “a shameful record of involvement with illegal Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory. Last year, two large Israeli settlements established ‘halls of culture’ and asked Israeli theatre groups to perform there. A number of Israeli theatre professionals – actors, stage directors, playwrights – declared they would not take part.”
As the world celebrates the centennial of its discovery, Nevine El-Aref asks who actually owns the iconic bust of Queen Nefertiti?
Asking or a loan of the bust had weakened Egypt's argument for recovering its priceless objects because it indirectly declared that Egypt admitted Germany's ownership of the bust and that Egypt wanted to borrow it. No one borrows something he owns
It seems that there is no foreseeable resolution to the long conflict between Germany and Egypt over ownership of the 3,400-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti, wife of the monotheistic pharaoh Akhenaten. Now, a century after its discovery, the dispute over ownership is stepping from one level to another, and with no concrete solution in sight it has become one of the best-known international cases of stolen antiquities that Egypt wants back.
The magnificent painted stucco and limestone bust of Nefertiti was discovered in 1912 by an archaeological team led by German Egyptologist Ludwig Borchardt and sponsored by the German Oriental Society (DOG), the treasurer of which was the German Jewish wholesale merchant James Simon. The bust was unearthed while the German team was excavating the workshop of the ancient Egyptian court sculptor Tuthmosis in Akhenaten's capital city of Al-Amarna. Along with it were other unfinished artefacts, including a polychrome bust of the queen and plaster casts representing other members of Akhenaten's family and entourage. It meant that bust, as well as the other objects, never went on display and was damaged during its creation or was used as a model and was never indented for view.
GAZA, (PIC)-- A young Palestinian man was killed on Friday afternoon after participating in the Global March to Jerusalem at the Gaza borders near the Beith Hanoun crossing into 1948 occupied Palestine.
Dozens of Palestinian young men managed to draw close to the border fence at the Beit Hanoun border crossing in the north and Kissufim military post in the south and threw stones at IOF soldiers stationed at the two positions. The IOF troops responded by firing live bullets.
Adham Abu Selmeyyah, spokesman for Emergency Services, said that Mahmoud Zakout, 20 years, was killed by IOF fire at the Beit Hanoun crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.
He added that the number of wounded people rose to 37, mostly from the northern Gaza Strip.
Eyewitnesses also said that amongst the wounded is journalist Yousef Hammad, who works as a correspondent for al-Watan local radio station, And who was wounded in his foot as he covered the events at Beit Hanoun crossing.
A Palestinian protester hurling stones at Israel Defense Forces soldiers and Border Police on Land Day at the Qalandiah checkpoint, March 30, 2012. Photo by: Gili Cohen Magen
Today, with no resolution in sight to the historic injustices inflicted upon them, Palestinians in Israel and elsewhere use this day to remember and redouble their efforts for emancipation.
By Sam Bahour and Fida Jiryis
Every year since 1976, on March 30, Palestinians around the world have commemorated Land Day. Though it may sound like an environmental celebration, Land Day marks a bloody day in Israel when security forces gunned down six Palestinians, as they protested Israeli expropriation of Arab-owned land in the country’s north to build Jewish-only settlements.
The Land Day victims were not Palestinians from the occupied territories, but citizens of the state, a group that now numbers over 1.6 million people, or 20.5 percent of the population. They are inferior citizens in a state that defines itself as Jewish and democratic, but in reality is neither.
On that dreadful day 36 years ago, in response to Israel’s announcement of a plan to expropriate thousands of acres of Palestinian land for “security and settlement purposes,” a general strike and marches were organized in Palestinian towns within Israel, from the Galilee to the Negev. The night before, in a last-ditch attempt to block the planned protests, the government imposed a curfew on the Palestinian villages of Sakhnin, Arraba, Deir Hanna, Tur’an, Tamra and Kabul, in the Western Galilee. The curfew failed; citizens took to the streets. Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as those in the refugee communities across the Middle East, joined in solidarity demonstrations.
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Our land, our soil. Despoiled, scarred, wounded .. (Activestills)
By Stephen Williams
We climbed the hill at Al Khader, overlooking Bethlehem, and marvelled at the view of the city and, to our right, the extensive Israeli settlement of Gilo.
Reaching the summit, Mohammed and I paused. Ahead was the building-site that marked the progress of the Annexation Wall; the scarred landscape, the bulldozers, the watchtower, the fences. A hundred metres away was a Palestinian house hemmed in on three sides by the worksite; for its inhabitants, life would never be the same. Mohammed was staring at the ugliness with infinite sadness.
“This is our land,” he said. “Part of me is lost.”
Each stolen duram, each burnt olive grove , every racially-segregated road, each fence, barrier, wall cutting through the landscape denying access to crops, dividing families, each scar on the landscape is mirrored by the scar on the soul of a Palestinian.
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U.S. officials believe that the Israelis have gained access to airbases in Azerbaijan. Does this bring them one step closer to a war with Iran?
BY MARK PERRY | MARCH 28, 2012 Foreign Policy
In 2009, the deputy chief of mission of the U.S. embassy in Baku, Donald Lu, sent a cable to the State Department's headquarters in Foggy Bottom titled "Azerbaijan's discreet symbiosis with Israel." The memo, later released by WikiLeaks, quotes Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev as describing his country's relationship with the Jewish state as an iceberg: "nine-tenths of it is below the surface."
Why does it matter? Because Azerbaijan is strategically located on Iran's northern border and, according to several high-level sources I've spoken with inside the U.S. government, Obama administration officials now believe that the "submerged" aspect of the Israeli-Azerbaijani alliance -- the security cooperation between the two countries -- is heightening the risks of an Israeli strike on Iran.
In particular, four senior diplomats and military intelligence officers say that the United States has concluded that Israel has recently been granted access to airbases on Iran's northern border. To do what, exactly, is not clear. "The Israelis have bought an airfield," a senior administration official told me in early February, "and the airfield is called Azerbaijan."
Haneen Zoabi, an MK from the Balad party, speaks to Elsa Rassbach about Land Day and her relationship as a Palestinian to Zionism and citizenship.
By Elsa Rassbach
Since the 1980s, Palestinians have marked every March 30 with protests to celebrate Land Day. The day commemorates the first widespread struggle of Arab Israelis against processes of land confiscation intended to create Jewish majorities in certain communities. The marches and general strikes began in the Galilee in 1976, and resulted in the killings of six unarmed Arab citizens of Israel. Solidarity protests spread to the occupied West Bank, Gaza and the refugee camps in Lebanon. Since then, the day has marked the first common struggle for a Palestinian national cause following the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, an event Palestinians call the Nakba. This year on Land Day, worldwide Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activities will take place against Israeli policies, as well as the Global March to Jerusalem, which will call attention to the continuing Judaization and ethnic cleansing in the city that was supposed to be the multi-ethnic, multi-religious capital of a future Palestinian state.
Haneen Zoabi, 43, became a Knesset member in 2009, as the first Palestinian woman elected on an Arab party’s list. She is a member of the Balad party, which seeks to transform Israel into a democracy for all of its citizens, irrespective of national, ethnic or religious identity. Zoabi was born in Nazareth to a Muslim family. In 2010, she participated in the Gaza flotilla on board the Mavi Marmara. I spoke with her recently by Skype.
What does Land Day mean to you?
To me, Land Day is a day of ongoing and a continuous struggle around the issue of “land property.” This is still the crucial issue between us and the state. The core of the Zionist project is a continuous stealing of land from the Palestinians and transferring it to the Israeli Jews. Renaming the places, the junctions, the villages, the streets, and giving Jewish names to the landscape is part of this “confiscation.” It’s a way to steal from us and confiscate our historical relation with our homeland. This is the meaning of Ariel Sharon’s famous statement in the Knesset in 2002 when he said that the Palestinians inside Israel, whom he called “Israeli Arabs,” in effect have only temporary “rights in the land,” the land not yet confiscated, but “all the rights over the Land of Israel are Jewish rights.”
During the 63 years since 1948, Israel has confiscated 85 percent of our land and turned it over to the exclusive use of the Jews. It has developed and built 1,000 towns, cities and villages, all of them only for the Jews. And zero for the Palestinians. We live now on 2 percent of our land. We don’t even have permission to build our own houses on our own land and thus have no rights to use our land that hasn’t been confiscated.
When will the Palestinians revolt? (Photo: Johnny Barber)
By Ramzy Baroud
When will the Palestinians revolt?
The answer, according to an Israeli official: not this year (as quoted by Agency France Press).
An internal Israeli Foreign Ministry report last month also concluded that a third Palestinian intifada or uprising was ‘unlikely’ this year. According to the unnamed official, “This report, which is more than 100 pages long, judges that an explosion of generalized violence in the form of a third intifada is unlikely.”
Instead, it was resolved that Palestinians would “continue to seize all opportunities to isolate Israel on the international stage” (AFP, Feb 28).
Battling against administrative detention, Hana Al-Shalabi has refused food for over a month, her health rapidly deteriorating, reports Khaled Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem
Palestinians chant slogans during a protest in Nablus in solidarity with Hana Al-Shalabi, depicted in poster, right, who has been on hunger strike for 32 days. The Arabic writing on the placard reads, "administrative detention is a violation of human rights" and "freedom for Hana Al-Shalabi"
Hana Al-Shalabi, 24, was released from Israeli jails several months ago as part of the so-called Shalit deal. However, the young Palestinian woman was rearrested two months ago "on secret charges" and sent for administrative detention without charge or trial, ostensibly in order to make her suffer.
This, says Eissa Qaraki, the Palestinian Authority (PA) official in charge of the prisoner portfolio, is a deliberate Israeli policy aimed at hounding and harassing the released prisoners and destabilising their lives.
But Hana Al-Shalabi wouldn't succumb to the unjust detention order. She resorted to the only means available to her and other inmates to voice their grievances: hunger strike.
NSA chief General Keith Alexander, Courtesy NSA
By James Bamford
In a rare break from the NSA’s tradition of listening but not speaking, NSA chief General Keith Alexander was grilled Tuesday on the topic of eavesdropping on Americans in front of a House subcommittee.
The questioning from Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) was prompted by Wired’s cover story this month on the NSA’s growing reach and capabilities, but leaves Americans with as many questions about the reach of spy agency’s powers as they had before Alexander spoke.
Alexander denied, in carefully parsed words, that the NSA has the power to monitor Americans’ communications without getting a court warrant.
But Alexander’s comments fly in the face of people who actually helped create the agency’s eavesdropping and data mining infrastructure. Few people know that system as well as William Binney, who served as the technical director for the agency’s M Group, which stood for World Geopolitical Military Analysis and Reporting, the giant 6,000-person organization responsible for eavesdropping on most of the world.
He was also the founder and co-director of the agency’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center, which helped automate that eavesdropping network. Binney decided to leave after a long career rather than be involved in the agency warrantless eavesdropping program, a program he said involves secret monitoring facilities in ten to twenty large telecom switches around the country, such as the one discovered in San Francisco’s AT&T installation a few years ago.
Iron Dome: 'authentic Israeli brilliance'. (Wikicommons)
By Neve Gordon
Recent raids on Gaza were not just about allocating more money to defense - they were also about war with Iran.
In response to the recent assassination of Zuhair al-Qaisi, the Secretary General of the Popular Resistance Committees in the Gaza Strip, along with another fighter, Palestinians fired rockets at southern Israel and the Israeli military launched air strikes at targets throughout the Strip.
Within hours, the media fanfare began. Israeli news outlets began glorifying the interception missiles by repeatedly showing images of an Iron Dome battery, often with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak standing in front of the defense system. Reporters continuously emphasized the Iron Dome's high rate of success in intercepting the short-range rockets launched from Gaza towards Israel. One columnist characterized it as a "system that provides the goods, authentic Israeli brilliance, true pride", while another columnist stated that this "weekend Israel took its hat off [to salute] Iron Dome".
By Stuart Reigeluth
Sporadic violence in Gaza is a way for Israel to test its latest military gadgets. As depicted last week in a very real way, Gaza is a large petri dish for Israeli security experiments. The most recent is called ‘Iron Dome' — like something out of Star Wars.
Iron Dome is a mobile air defence system designed to intercept rockets. Or according to Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, ‘comets' — which by definition reveals an indifference to what they actually are: small home-made rockets (like firework comets) or large astronomical comets orbiting our solar system. In either case, the supposed threat is coming from ‘out there', beyond the gates.
Gaza is now so entirely disconnected and disregarded by Israel that rockets or comets might as well as be coming from outer space. To create an impermeable shell against these alien southern or northern threats, Iron Dome was conceived in the aftermath of the 2006 July War.
Israel's unprovoked attack on Gaza had several aims, writes Khaled Amayreh from occupied Jerusalem
The latest round of Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, which started on 9 April and lasted for five days, began with the assassination of Sheikh Zuheir El-Qaisi, chief of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC).
El-Qaisi was riding a civilian car with a bodyguard when an Israeli Apache helicopter gunship hit the vehicle with a hellfire missile, incinerating it and instantly killing them both. The assassination brought to an abrupt end the uneasy truce that had lasted several weeks. Hamas, the largest military force in Gaza, had successfully convinced other resistance groups, including the PRC and Islamic Jihad, to observe the tacit ceasefire reached in coordination with Egypt.
Israel subsequently concocted a statement claiming that the PRC Chief was "involved in the final stages of planning a major resistance attack on Israel's border with Egypt", which even the Israeli media did not take seriously. The Palestinians viewed the murder of El-Qaisi and his aide, recently released in the Shalit prisoner swap, as deliberate provocation. The reassertion of Israeli deterrence vis-Ã-vis the Palestinian resistance also achieved several of Tel Aviv's political, operational and tactical goals, including testing the Iron Dome anti-missile missile system which the Israeli army has recently deployed outside the Gaza Strip.
They will never colonize our minds! (Photo: Tamar Fleishman)
By Samah Sabawi
(Full Transcript. Excerpts from this speech were presented at the University of Sydney Australia during Israeli Apartheid Week 2012.)
I would like to talk about normalization. I found the best definition of the word normalization on the Palestinian Campaign for Cultural and Academic Boycott’s website:
“Normalization is the colonization of the mind, whereby the oppressed subject comes to believe that the oppressor’s reality is the only “normal” reality that must be subscribed to, and that the oppression is a fact of life that must be coped with.”
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!
A typical normalization project brings Palestinians and Israelis together to talk about acceptance of one another to reduce the ‘hate’ that drives the conflict! But without taking action of any sort to change the environment that creates the animosity. As if Palestinian resistance is driven by emotions of hate not acts of oppression, by irrational anger and not dispossession, by senseless loathing and not acts of ethnic cleansing!
Cemalettin Damlaci, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of the Economy of the Republic of Turkey, said the administration of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is eager to develop trading partnerships with sovereign indigenous nations.
By Gale Courey Toensing
Think of Turkey, the country, and what images come to mind? Turkish delight – that exquisite powdery sugar-covered, pistachio-stuffed confection. Golden Zildjian cymbals with the crisp, clear sound favored by jazz drummers and percussionists in orchestras. The Blue Mosque in Istanbul with its six delicate minarets. Sweet succulent dried apricots.
Now there’s a cluster of other images for Turkey: World’s 16th largest economy and 16th largest manufacturer of cars and spare parts. A major world producer and exporter of steel, pasta, dried fruits and candy. A nation with a burgeoning tourism industry. A major donor of development aid to emerging economies. A potential investor and trading partner in Indian country.
Namik Tan, Turkey’s Ambassador to the United States, and a delegation of officials from Turkey’s Ministry of Economy attended the Reservation Economic Summit and American Indian Business Trade Fair (RES 2012), seeking business partners among the tribal nations’ government officials. For enterprise-minded individuals, companies and countries, the annual business conference was the place to be. This year’s RES took place at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas from February 27 – March 1 and drew more than 4,000 participants, according to Margo Gray-Proctor, a member of the Osage Nation and chairwoman of the National Center for American Indian Economic Development (NCAIED), which organizes and hosts the annual RES conference.
Read more at at Indian Country Today Media Network
Wikileaks says founder, currently fighting extradition from UK to Sweden, plans to stand for Australian upper house.
Julian Assange is on bail awaiting a UK court decision on his appeal against extradition to Sweden [Reuters]
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, plans to run for the Australian senate in elections next year, despite being under virtual house arrest in the UK and facing extradition to Sweden over sexual assault allegations, according to the whistleblowing website.
"We have discovered that it is possible for Julian Assange to run for the Australian Senate while detained. Julian has decided to run," Wikileaks said in a posting on the social networking site Twitter.
The senate is the upper house of the Australian parliament and is made up of 76 senators representing Australia's six states and two mainland territories.
To Rachel with love - A Poem
[From the point of view of Rachel Corrie (April 10, 1979 - March 16, 2003) killed day by an Israeli army bulldozer.]
By Zahra Pilavdzic
First they came for the land
ripping roots like teeth
from the smiling faces of children.
They come for the mothers
who cry for yesterday's trees
and the memories of destroyed villages.
Bleeding women who clutch the air
for stolen children and mourn
the martyrs of tomorrow.
They come for the fathers
who cling to hope like an anthem
on a broken record of sumoud,
repeating the most urgent of prayers.
Then they come for the tears..
which multiply at night like distant screams,
left unchecked and deafening.
I tried to stop them!
My small lone frame,
my large, loud voice;
flattened by the invaders fears,
so foreign and menacing.
Enough to turn
my yellow hair...
They came for me,
until I was as dead,
as the flag I was wrapped in...
The flag I burned only yesterday!
They came for Palestine;
and took my life, my warrior blood!
I, not of bombs and bullets
but JUSTICE and MERCY-
So foreign and menacing...
My blood: American!
My heart: Palestinian!
- Zahra Pilavdzic contributed this poem to PalestineChronicle.com.
Gaza. Everything as usual. (Al Jazeera)
By Uri Avnery
'What have you learned in school today, my son?'
'There was no school today. There is an emergency!'
'And what have you learned from that, my son?'
Actually, quite a lot.
This week’s “round”, as the army likes to call it, followed a well-established pattern, as formal as a religious ritual.
It started with the assassination (or “targeted elimination”) of a hitherto unknown Palestinian resistance (“terrorist”) leader in the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinians responded with a rain of missiles, which lasted for four whole days. More than a million Israelis around Gaza stopped working and stayed with their children near their shelters or “protected areas” (meaning nothing more than relatively safe rooms in their homes.) One million Israelis roughly equate to 10 million Germans or 40 million Americans, in relation to the population.
A proportion of these rockets were intercepted in their flight by the three batteries of the “Iron Dome” anti-missile defense. There were some Israeli injured and some minor material damage, but no Israeli dead.
Israeli manned and unmanned aircraft struck and there were 26 Palestinian dead in the Gaza Strip.
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No justification for war or sanctions on Iran
By: Gulamhusein A. Abba
The hysteria over Iran’s nuclear capabilities having reached such a stage as to call for immediate bombing of its nuclear facilities – this hysteria is a red herring, a smokescreen deliberately and insidiously being whipped up by Israel to turn away the world’s gaze from its vicious ethnic cleansing and land grabbing activates in Palestine, especially in the Jerusalem region, and to find an excuse for attacking Iran, for which it has been itching ever since Iraq was neutered, leaving Iran the only country in the region that can be expected to stand up to Israel.
The extent of its success can be gauged from the fact that, according to a recent Pew poll, 58% of Americans favor preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons even if it means taking military action.
More important is the success Benjamin Netanyahu scored when he met Obama at the Whitehouse. One would have thought that the most burning question requiring urgent attention in the region, namely restoring peace between Israelis and Palestinians and the creation of a Palestinian state, would have been the central topic. But it was not. There was hardly any mention of the issue!
A map of U.S> military bases surrounding Iran.
by David Morrison
(1) According to the US intelligence community
*Iran hasn’t got an active nuclear weapons programme
*Israeli intelligence agrees with this view
(2) The US intelligence community set out this view in a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) in November 2007. It remains the view of the US intelligence community today.
(3) The November 2011 IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear activities did not state that Iran has an active nuclear weapons programme, contrary to the impression given in much of the media commentary on it.
(4) Iran has declared to the IAEA 15 nuclear facilities (including its uranium enrichment plants at Natanz and Fordow) and 9 other locations where nuclear material is customarily used. These sites are all being monitored by the IAEA. In its February 2012 report, the IAEA confirmed for the umpteenth time that there was no diversion of nuclear material from these facilities.
(5) After the publication of the November 2007 NIE, US military action against Iran was off the agenda. President George Bush wrote in his memoir Decision Points: “How could I possibly explain using the military to destroy the nuclear facilities of a country the intelligence community said had no active nuclear weapons program?”
6) Today, President Barack Obama should be asking himself the same question, since the US intelligence community is still saying that Iran has no active nuclear weapons program.
Iran hasn’t got an active nuclear weapons programme, says US intelligence
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If US intelligence believes Iran hasn't got an active nuclear weapons programme, why are Western politicians so keen to promote war against the country, asks Stuart Littlewood*
Obama tells AIPAC the only way to solve this problem and end the sanctions pain is for the Iranian government to forsake nuclear weapons, although, as he must have been told time and time again, they don't have any while Israel is bristling with them.
Is this what we voted for? Is this what Western diplomacy has come to in the 21st century? Thank heaven for David Morrison's very timely briefing document entitled "Iran hasn't got an active nuclear weapons programme, says US intelligence" (see the next story). Morrison is a noted political researcher from Northern Ireland. He sets out the position in easy-reading form so that even our dimmest politicians can understand.
As he points out in a covering note, US intelligence believes Iran hasn't got an active nuclear weapons programme and Israeli intelligence agrees. "When this became the view of US intelligence in 2007, President Bush had to abandon any thought of taking military action against Iran's nuclear facilities. As he wrote in his memoir Decision Points, 'how could I possibly explain using the military to destroy the nuclear facilities of a country the intelligence community said had no active nuclear weapons programme?' Today, President Obama should be asking himself the same question, since US intelligence is still saying that Iran has no active nuclear weapons programme."
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In his trip to Washington, Israel's premier acted more like the US president than his host, Barack Obama, writes Khaled Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem
Obama meets with Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington
The hypocrisy was highlighted when Obama bestowed the Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honour, on Israeli President Shimon Peres.
But Peres is a war criminal. In 1996, as prime minister following the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, he ordered the Israeli army to bombard a UN peacekeeping force headquarters in Southern Lebanon where hundreds of Lebanese civilians had sought refuge from Israel's bombing of their villages. The bombardment, which according to the UN was carried out deliberately and with forethought, killed over 100 civilians, mostly children and women.
Despite Barack Obama's desperate efforts to retain a semblance of American national dignity in the face of encroaching Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, it seems that the latter succeeded in getting most if not all of what he wanted from a visibly insecure president who appears convinced that it will be hard for him to stay in the White House without grovelling at Israel's feet.
Netanyahu went to Washington in a pugnacious, even insolent mood, to achieve two main goals: first, to cajole and if necessary bully the Obama administration to take more proactive measures against Iran; second, to see to it that the Palestinian issue is put on the back burner for many months, if not years, to come.
As expected, Netanyahu praised the wide-ranging sanctions imposed so far on Iran. However, he told his host that Israel was her own master. His unspoken meaning was, "If you don't bomb Iran, we will."
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A new, comprehensive poll illuminates Arabs' opinions on democracy, corruption, Palestine/Israel, and the US.
A poll of Arabs in 12 countries found that by a 15-1 ratio, Israel and the US are seen as more threatening than Iran [EPA]
The first of its kind - a poll conducted in 12 Arab countries, representing 84 per cent of the population of the Arab world, in an attempt to gauge the region's political mood - has arrived at some interesting results.
Organised by the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS), face-to-face interviews by Arab surveyors with 16,731 individuals in the first half of 2011 revealed majority support for the goals of the Arab revolutions and notably, for a democratic system of government.
The countries surveyed included Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Sudan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania, with the help of local institutions and research centres.
While people seem generally split on the question of separation of state and religion, a majority supports the non-interference of religious authorities in politics.
And by a 15-1 ratio, Israel and the US are seen as more threatening than Iran. However, this ratio is lower among those living in proximity to Iran.
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of women marched in Gaza and the West Bank on Thursday marking International Women's Day with a call for national unity and the release of Hana Shalabi.
Women marched from the Square of the Unknown Soldier in Gaza City to the UN headquarters before heading to tents set up in solidarity with Shalabi, who has been on hunger strike in an Israeli prison for 22 days.
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JENIN (Ma'an) -- As the world marks International Women's Day, the mother of hunger-striking detainee Hana Shalabi appealed to the international community to save her daughter.
"I demand that the world stands by her now. My daughter is dying in prison. We are also dying here. This is my appeal to the world," Badiya Shalabi told Al-Haq human rights organization.
Hana Shalabi has been on hunger strike since Israeli forces detained her from her home in the northern West Bank on Feb. 16. She was beaten, blindfolded and forcibly strip-searched and assaulted by a male Israeli soldier, the Palestinian Council of Human Rights Organizations said.
Shalabi's lawyer Mahmoud Hassan told Ma'an she is determined to maintain the strike until she is released. On Wednesday an Israeli military judge postponed a decision on her appeal.
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Dozens of homes damaged in Gaza after Israel opened dam.
Power cuts and lack of fuel hampered rescue operations.
By Ashraf Shannon, Press TV, Gaza
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Gaza's poor infrastructure and lack of building material and equipments due to the blockade has led the war battered infrastructure to deteriorate.
Dozens of homes were flooded in central Gaza by untreated sewage water after Israel opened a dam located in the eastern side of the impoverished territory which leads to the Gaza Valley off the Mediterranean .
With Egypt's refusal to allow fuel into the blockaded coastal enclave, it was extremely difficult for rescue crews to tackle the problem.
Families in the flooded area have been struggling since the early hours of the morning trying to retrieve their belongings .Some area residents described the flooding of as another Israeli aggression demanding international protection.
Israeli attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque and attempts to Judaise Jerusalem are risking the outbreak of violence across the region, writes Khaled Amayreh in the occupied Palestinian territories
Palestinians push a garbage bin containing a fire to block a road during clashes with Israeli security forces at a protest against the closure of Shuhada street to Palestinians, in Hebron (above); Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is carried by supporters following his speech after Friday prayers at Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo
Undeterred by the Arab world's reactions to repeated Israeli provocations in Jerusalem, particularly the recurrent encroachments by Jewish millenarians, the Israeli government has accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) of "inciting Muslims against Israel".
Israeli criticisms of the PA were stepped up this week following a one-day conference in Qatar that discussed Israeli measures to Judaise occupied East Jerusalem and obliterate its traditional Arab-Islamic identity.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lashed out at PA President Mahmoud Abbas, describing him as a "threat to Israelis and Israel" and claiming that the Palestinian leader was adopting "extremist attitudes that are harmful to peace".
In Doha, Abbas had reiterated the longstanding Palestinian position that the PA would never sign a peace treaty with Israel that did not include full Israeli withdrawal from the occupied city.
Ehud Barak, the Israeli defense minister, on right, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
By MARK LANDLER
New York Times
WASHINGTON — On the eve of a crucial visit to the White House by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, that country’s most powerful American advocates are mounting an extraordinary public campaign to pressure President Obama into hardening American policy toward Iran over its nuclear program.
Obama Says Iran Strike Is an Option, but Warns Israel (March 3, 2012)
For Obama and Netanyahu, Wariness on Iran Will Dominate Talks (March 2, 2012)
Peres Says U.S. Must Put All Iran Options on Table (March 2, 2012)
Will Israel Attack Iran? (January 29, 2012
From the corridors of Congress to a gathering of nearly 14,000 American Jews and other supporters of Israel here this weekend, Mr. Obama is being buffeted by demands that the United States be more aggressive toward Iran and more forthright in supporting Israel in its own confrontation with Tehran.
While defenders of Israel rally every year at the meeting of the pro-Israel lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, this year’s gathering has been supercharged by a convergence of election-year politics, a deepening nuclear showdown and the often-fraught relationship between the president and the Israeli prime minister.
By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine
On the 25th of February, 1994, as hundreds of Muslim worshipers were performing the dawn prayer at the Ibrahimi Mosque in downtown Hebron, a Jewish-American terrorist by the name of Baruch Goldstein descended onto the mosque from the nearby settlement of Kiryat Arbaa, spraying the worshipers with machinegun bullets, killing at least 29 people and injuring many others.
The terrorist, who used his army-issued Galilion rifle, wanted to kill as many innocent people as possible in order to create mass terror throughout the city, the largest in the West Bank. His motive was to thoroughly terrorize the Arabs, who constitute 99.5% of the city's population.
The Israeli occupation authorities, who had to tackle a public relations disaster, denied any complicity or collusion with the perpetrator.
Full and complete domination of Palestinians is the aim. (Activestills)
By Graham Peebles
Within the catalogue of criminality that is Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the destruction of Palestinian homes must rank as one of the most cynical and heinous.
"Some 90,000 people are currently reported to be at risk of displacement as a result of Israeli policies such as restrictive and discriminatory planning, the revocation of residency rights, the expansion of settlements and the construction of the West Bank Separation Wall." (Internal-displacement.org)
Let us note and explore further, with the tacit engagement of America, who bank-roles the entire operation.
Home, a refuge from the world, safe and secure, somewhere to relax with family and friends, and breath easy, free from fear. This simple image of normality is unknown to many Palestinians living under the brutal illegal occupation by Israel.
“The Israeli practice of demolishing homes, basic infrastructure and sources of livelihoods continues to devastate Palestinian families and communities in East Jerusalem and the 60 per cent of the West Bank controlled by Israel, known as Area C. Many of the people affected already live in poverty, and demolitions are a leading cause of their on-going displacement and dispossession in the West Bank.” (Unrwa.org)
By Kathy Kelly - with research by the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers
Fazillah, age 25, lives in Maidan Shar, the central city of Afghanistan’s Wardak province. She married about six years ago, and gave birth to a son, Aymal, who just turned five without a father. Fazillah tells her son, Aymal, that his father was killed by an American bomber plane, remote-controlled by computer.
That July, in 2007, Aymal’s father was sitting in a garden with four other men. A weaponized drone, what we used to call an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or UAV, was flying, unseen, overhead, and fired missiles into the garden, killing all five men.
Now Fazillah and Aymal share a small dwelling with the deceased man’s mother. According to the tradition, a husband’s relatives are responsible to look after a widow with no breadwinner remaining in her immediate family. She and her son have no regular source of bread or income, but Fazillah says that her small family is better off than it might have been: one of the men killed alongside her husband left behind a wife and child but no other living relatives that could provide them with any source of support, at all.
Aymal’s grandmother becomes agitated and distraught speaking about her son’s death, and that of his four friends. “All of us ask, ‘Why?’” she says, raising her voice. “They kill people with computers and they can’t tell us why. When we ask why this happened, they say they had doubts, they had suspicions. But they didn’t take time to ask ‘Who is this person?’ or ‘Who was that person?’ There is no proof, no accountability. Now, there is no reliable person in the home to bring us bread. I am old, and I do not have a peaceful life.”
Hamas might be reinventing itself. (Via Aljazeera)
By Ramzy Baroud
Despite all of Hamas' assurances to the contrary, a defining struggle is taking place within the Palestinian Islamic movement. The outcome of this struggle – which is still confined to polite political disagreements and occasional intellectual tussle – is likely to change Hamas’ outlook, if not fundamentally alter its position within a quickly changing Arab political landscape.
The current Hamas is already different from the one initially set up by a local Gaza leadership in December 1987 in response to the first Palestinian uprising. One of the very first statements circulated by their newly established ‘military wing’ (masked men armed with wooden clubs and cans of spray paint) expressed the nature of that political era:
“What has happened to you, O rulers of Egypt? Were you asleep in the period of the treaty of shame and surrender, the Camp David treaty? Has your national zealousness died and your pride ran out while the Zionists daily perpetrate grave and base crimes against the people and the children?”
Although the power discrepancy between Israel and the Palestinians has remained largely unchanged, Hamas has morphed from a local Palestinian branch of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood into a tour de force within Palestinian society. It has also become an important regional player, long designated by the US and Israel as a member of the radical camp in the Middle East (the other members being Iran, Syria and Hezbollah). While Iran and Syria were demonized for aiding and enabling Palestinian and Lebanese resistance to Israel, Hamas and Hezbollah successfully resisted Israel’s military adventures in Gaza and Lebanon.
AP / Vahid Salemi
A pro-government Iranian demonstrator holds a poster showing pictures of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, right, and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, at the conclusion of an annual demonstration in front of the former US Embassy in Tehran.
By Robert Scheer
Given my own deep prejudice toward religious zealotry, it has not been difficult for me to accept the conventional American view that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme theocratic ruler of Iran, is a dangerous madman never to be trusted with a nuclear weapon. How then to explain his recent seemingly logical and humane religious proclamations on the immorality of nuclear weapons? His statement challenges the acceptance of nuclear war-fighting as an option by every U.S. president since Harry Truman, who, in 1945, ordered the deaths of 185,000 mostly innocent civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
“We do not see any glory, pride or power in the nuclear weapons—quite the opposite,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Tuesday in summarizing the ayatollah’s views. Salehi added, “The production, possession, use or threat of use of nuclear weapons are illegitimate, futile, harmful, dangerous and prohibited as a great sin.”
Of course, the ayatollah’s position will be largely interpreted by the media and politicians in the United States as a devious trick to lull critics, but words of such clarity will not be so easily dismissed by his devout followers. They are words that one wishes our own government would embrace to add moral consistency to our condemnation of other countries we claim might be joining us in holding nuclear arms.
img src="http://www.thecornerreport.com/media/blogs/links/boycottnow8.gif" alt="" title="" width="200" height="200" />
By Dallas Darling
It was on this day, February 29, 1948, that 28 British soldiers were killed as a mine exploded under the Cairo-Haifa train. Lehi, also known as Stern Gang, a Zionist terrorist group, claimed responsibility. But the Cairo-Haifa attack was only one of several acts of terrorism that Israeli Zionists employed. And the Stern Gang was just one of several terrorist organizations working to establish a Jewish-Israeli state in Palestine. Israel, then, was born on a wave of Zionist terrorism.
Some the West would like to see Palestinians and Palestinian statehood quietly go away, to suffer in silence and to die in darkness. But even now as electricity is slowly being cut from the Gaza Strip, not to mention a harsh economic blockade that for years has caused immense suffering, terror comes to mind. And even now as the West collaborates with Israel on how to sabotage a Palestinian state, displaced guilt from events and mistakes during and after World War II becomes even more apparent.
This is a dignified family with deep conviction. (Via Samidoun)
By Mahmoud El-Yousseph
Hanaa Shalabi is on hunger strike. She is a Palestinian female political prisoner from the village of Burgin near Jenin. She was kidnapped from her home on February 16, 2012 by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) in the middle of the night.
Hanna’s family was ordered outside the house, she was blindfolded and handcuffed. All cell phones and computers in the house were confiscated and a photograph of her brother hanging on the wall, who was killed by IOF in 2005, was torn up and stepped upon by one of the soldiers. Hanaa was also beaten and sexually harassed by the IOF.
Her attorney stated, "she is demanding the end of administrative detention and that the soldiers who beat her up and undressed her to carry out a body search be put on trial."
by Jonathan Cook
A little more than a decade ago, in a brief interlude of heady optimism about the prospects of regional peace, the Israeli Supreme Court issued two landmark rulings that, it was widely assumed, heralded the advent of a new, post-Zionist era for Israel. But with two more watershed judgments handed down over the winter of 2011-2012 the same court has decisively reversed the tide.
Palestinians, both in the Occupied Territories and inside Israel, will pay the biggest and most immediate costs of the new decisions. In one, the Supreme Court has created a new concept of “prolonged occupation” to justify further Israel’s denial of basic protections to the Palestinian population living under belligerent military rule. In the other, it has upheld the right of the Israeli state to strip the Palestinian minority inside Israel of one of its fundamental rights of citizenship.
Both of these new rulings threaten to unleash a torrent of more aggressive legislative and administrative measures against Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line that separates the Occupied Territories from Israel proper, as the center of political gravity in Israel drifts steadily rightward.
'There is no one to replace him.' (charlierose.com)
By Ralph Nader
Anthony Shadid, called the 'most gifted foreign correspondent in a generation' by his then Washington Post colleague, Rajiv Chandrasekaran (author of the widely heralded book "Imperial Life in the Emerald City"), didn't really need a byline. For anyone who knew of his peerless, unique reports from the Middle East would read them and just know they were a Shadid special.
Alas, there will be no more Shadid reports and features from the streets, alleys, souks, homes, hospitals, workplaces and cultures of the Arab countries. For on an assignment from The New York Times in a dangerous, mountainous area of Syria last week, this humble, brilliant, nuanced, generous, honest, brave double-Pulitzer-Prize winner (with another one likely on the way) died from an apparent asthma attack together with severe allergic reactions and exhaustion.
Mr. Shadid, only 43, with by a wife and two children, never wanted to be a war correspondent embedded in the U.S. military invasions and attacks of these countries. Fluent in Arabic, he wanted to be free to find out what was going on in the Arab communities throughout the Middle East and communicate the truth to the American people and the world.
Since then, nothing ... (UN)
By John V. Whitbeck
Dear President Abbas,
There was visible and audible euphoria at the UN General Assembly in September when you announced Palestine's application for UN membership, at UNESCO's Paris headquarters in October when Palestine was admitted as a member state and at UNESCO again in December when the Palestinian flag was formally raised in your presence (and mine).
Since then, nothing ...
It is understood that you agreed with the Quartet to freeze Palestine's diplomatic initiatives until January 26 to permit a final effort to initiate meaningful negotiations with Israel. Predictably, that effort failed. However, January 26 has long passed. Still, nothing ...
I shared your surprise that, with nine of the states on last year's UN Security Council having already extended diplomatic recognition to the State of Palestine, you could not line up even the nine affirmative votes for Palestine's admission as a member state necessary to force the United States to choose between a veto (infuriating the Muslim world and much of mankind) and an abstention (infuriating Israel and its American supporters).
However, even though the turnover of five non-permanent members on January 1 does not appear to have changed the eight-affirmative-votes-only reality, this does not mean that there is nothing that Palestine can constructively do to recover the initiative and positive momentum of last fall.
Israel agrees to free Khader Adnan on April 17 as part of a deal to end his 66-day fast over his illegal detention.
A Palestinian detained by Israel, Khader Adnan, has agreed to end his 66-day hunger strike as part of a deal under which he will be released without charge, sources tell Al Jazeera.
Al Jazeera's Nisreen El-Shamayleh, reporting from Adnan's hometown of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, quoted officials as saying on Tuesday that "Adnan has informed his lawyers that he has suspended his hunger strike and agreed to the offer to serve his sentence until April 17".
A spokesperson for the Israeli Supreme Court earlier told Al Jazeera that based on the deal reached between Adnan's lawyers and the Israeli justice ministry, he would end his fast in return for the court's decision to "erase" his file and release him on April 17, ending his "administrative detention".
504 words posted in ( / ), Human Rights, , Israel, , Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment, , Zionist aggression, warmongering, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements,, , Zionist illegal military occupation, blockade, , Zionist war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international law, , Apartheid State • Leave a comment
Here is an example of a subsidy that should be ended. (White House)
As part of its budget request, the White House released a 205-page document detailing the cuts, consolidations, and savings the Obama Administration is proposing... Yet, instead of reducing or even just freezing levels of U.S. military aid to Israel, President Obama wants to provide Israel with $3.1 billion of U.S. taxpayer-funded weapons next year, an increase from $3.075 billion in 2012, making the State Department’s claim that this budget request "maintains last year's record funding levels" for Israel both immodest and inaccurate.
By Josh Ruebner
Speaking before students at Northern Virginia Community College on February 13, President Obama unveiled his 2013 budget request, in which he proposed "some difficult cuts that, frankly, I wouldn’t normally make if they weren't absolutely necessary. But they are." These budget cuts are unavoidable, the President argued, because "the truth is we're going to have to make some tough choices in order to put this country back on a more sustainable fiscal path." In a sad commentary on the misplaced priorities of the Obama Administration, however, these "tough choices" will affect the delivery of basic services to U.S. citizens while the Israeli military hits the jackpot at taxpayer expense.
As part of its budget request, the White House released a 205-page document detailing the cuts, consolidations, and savings the Obama Administration is proposing. These proposed cuts include $5 million to the USDA to analyze food-borne pathogens, potentially making the U.S. food supply even less safe than it already is after 30 people died last year after eating listeria-infected cantaloupe; a $359 million cut to the EPA to provide grants to states for water infrastructure projects when an estimated 1.7 million Americans shockingly lack access to basic water and sanitation services according to the Water Infrastructure Network; and a whopping $360 billion cut over ten years in Medicare, Medicaid, and other health programs even though the World Health Organization rates the U.S. health system as only 37th globally in health care performance.
By Carl Bloice, BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board
An alarming headline appeared in the English language Jerusalem Post February 8: "Washington Watch: banging the war drums." The article below it, written by Douglas Bloomfield, president of Bloomfield Associates Inc., a Washington lobbying and consulting firm, noted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, "who has a penchant for dabbling in American politics," will be in Washington to speak March 3 at the annual policy conference of the American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) and meet with President Obama.
"Look for him to whip up the activists long schooled in lobbying for a get-tougher Iran policy," wrote Bloomfield. "They'll take the message to Capitol Hill with enthusiasm."
Bloomfield knows of what he speaks. He served nine years as AIPAC's legislative director and chief lobbyist.
Official Israeli archaeology is legitimating the ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem in defiance of basic precepts of international law, writes Vacy Vlazna
"De-Arabising the history of Palestine is another crucial element of the ethnic cleansing. 1,500 years of Arab and Muslim rule and culture in Palestine are trivialised, evidence of its existence is being destroyed, and all this is done to make the absurd connection between the ancient Hebrew civilization and today's Israel. The most glaring example of this today is in Silwan, (Wadi Hilwe) a town adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem with some 50,000 residents. Israel is expelling families from Silwan and destroying their homes because it claims that king David built a city there some 3,000 years ago.
"Thousands of families will be made homeless so that Israel can build a park to commemorate a king that may or may not have lived 3,000 years ago. Not a shred of historical evidence exists that can prove king David ever lived, yet Palestinian men, women, children and the elderly along with their schools and mosques, churches and ancient cemeteries and any evidence of their existence must be destroyed and then denied so that Zionist claims to exclusive rights to the land may be substantiated." -- Miko Peled, Israeli dissident.
Indeed, Israeli archaeology has become a state apparatus for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the Zionist fairyland, aka the "City of David Archaeological Park" located in the Palestinian village of Silwan in East Jerusalem.
East Jerusalem is the capital of the proposed Palestine state. It was illegally annexed by Israel in the 1967 War. Prohibiting the annexation of territories gained by military conquest is one of the major principles of international law. The international community does not recognise Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem, but nevertheless over 50,000 illegal premises have been built for 250,000 illegal Israeli colonists in the city.
Nazi Germany/Zionist Palestine
The goal of the archaeological judaisation of Jerusalem is to transform Jerusalem into the "City of David", the capital of Greater Israel, by eradicating the mixed ethnic composition of the Palestinian and Jewish population of East Jerusalem to make the city have a solely Jewish identity and unify East and West Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty.
1657 words posted in Israel, Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment, , Zionist aggression, warmongering, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements,, , Zionist illegal military occupation, blockade, , Zionist war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international law, , Apartheid State • Leave a comment
By Uri Avnery
After the founding of Israel, God appeared to David Ben-Gurion and told him: 'you have created a state for my chosen people in my holy land. This merits a great reward. Tell me what you wish, and I will grant it.'
Ben-Gurion answered: “Almighty God, I wish that every person in Israel shall be wise, honest and a member of the Labor Party.”
“Dear me,” said God, “That is too much even for the Almighty. But I decree that every Israeli shall be two of the three.”
Since then, if a wise Israeli is a member of the Labor party, he is not honest. If an honest Israeli is a member of the Labor party, he is not wise. If he is wise and honest, he is not a member of the Labor Party.
The joke was popular in the 1950s. After 1967, another much less funny formula took its place.
It goes like this: many Israelis ask God for their state to be Jewish and democratic, and that it will include the entire country between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. That is too much even for the Almighty. So he asks them to choose between a state that is Jewish and democratic but only in part of the country, or a state in all the country that is Jewish but not democratic, or a state in the entire country that is democratic but not Jewish. To which I would add a fourth option: A Jewish and democratic state in the entire country, but only after driving out all the Arabs – some 5.5 million at this point, and growing quickly.
This is the choice facing us today as it did almost 45 years ago. It has only become more sharply defined.
The Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA) accuses Seacret of stealing Palestinian resources to make its products.
By Matt Buckley
Rundle Mall is an open-air shopping mall in the heart of the Australian city of Adelaide. It has shops, cafes, a tavern and sculptures. On any given day in Rundle Mall one can find tourists, shoppers, street performers, families, and young people.
The presence of an Israeli cosmetics shop in Adelaide’s shopping district Rundle Mall has caused clashes between Palestinian rights activists and Christian Zionists.
The atmosphere of Rundle Mall on Fridays in the early evening is no longer only of Adelaide’s night-life just awakening, but also of tension and anger.
Seacret is an Israeli company that sells cosmetics made from minerals extracted from the Dead Sea.
Its products are labelled, “Made In Israel”.
By Eric Walberg – Cairo
Salafist (excuse me, 'deeply Catholic') Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum appears back in the race for chief elephant after trouncing Mitt Romney in Minnesota and Colorado. But beware: Minnesotans are an unpredictable lot, with the only black Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison, their own Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, and of course 9/11 Truther and wrestler-governor Jesse Ventura (1999-2003).
But Santorum also won in Colorado (Romney won in 2008) and Missouri, riding a wave of distrust of Mitt’s conservative credentials and showing Romney’s one-percenter Achilles heel. Romney’s win in Maine last week was Pyrrhic, as there were no delegates, and he just edged out maverick Ron Paul. Romney and Santorum have each won four states, while Newt Gingrich has won only a measly South Carolina.
While handshakes remain fresh on the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation track, economic conditions could soon derail the Palestinian Authority entirely, writes Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah
Although he is more than 65 years old and was busy as a manager of an economic firm, the Israeli army recalled Shay Avital, a retired general who left the army more than a decade ago. This unusual move in Israeli military tradition is seen as vital as army leaders believe Avital would guarantee the success of a new army leadership unit, known as Depth Corp, in charge of special military operations deep in the Arab world.
Fast-paced developments in the Arab world in the wake of revolutions for democratic change will result in numerous threats for Israel, which requires it to prepare plans to face these threats. This includes preparing for operations in the heart of the Arab world. Military leaders believe that despite Avital's advanced age he is the best qualified to head Depth Corp because of his unique expertise.
During his service in the army, Avital led many elite units in the army specialising in unique operations in the heart of the Arab world, most prominently the Sayeret Matkal unit that specialised in assassination and kidnapping operations. The formation of Depth Corp is part of restructuring the Israeli army to ensure Israel's freedom of manoeuvre when necessary.
A new special operations unit in the Israeli army, to be led by a general adept at kidnappings and assassinations, is being formed to counter the repercussions of the Arab Spring, writes Saleh Al-Naami
Palestinian demonstrators take a break after clashes with Israeli soldiers during a protest against the expansion of the nearby Jewish settlement of Halamish in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah
Despite the dramatic signing in Doha of the latest power-sharing accords between Fatah and Hamas, economic woes and worsening living conditions continued to be the main immediate preoccupation for the bulk of Palestinians, hard-hit by hyper-inflation, high consumer prices, rampant joblessness and dwindling incomes.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad [Note: Fayyad is an appointed, not elected, "prime minister"]admitted this week that the Palestinian Authority (PA) was thoroughly fettered with Israeli restrictions to the point that the PA was unable to function properly and meet its obligations towards its own citizens.
However, Fayyad, who was speaking during a celebration marking the Prophet Mohamed's birthday at An-Najah National University in Nablus, said the Palestinian people would have to maintain their steadfastness and resilience no matter what the Israelis did to thwart the "Palestinian nation enterprise".
By Najla Said
Engleman Hall, C112
Southern Connecticut State University
501 Crescent Street, New Haven
Sat. March 3 at 2 p.m.
First Connecticut Performance
PALESTINE, written and performed by Najla Saïd, was produced Off-Broadway by Twilight Theatre Company in association with New York Theatre Workshop. It was performed at the The Fourth Street Theatre, 83 East 4th Street, New York City, in the winer and spring of 2010. PALESTINE attracted worldwide attention. 40 of the 49 performances were sold out.
Najla Saïd was raised in a privileged environment on the Upper West Side. Her father was the eminent Palestinian Edward Saïd. Her mother is Lebanese. Her best friends growing up were Jewish.
PALESTINE is a personal journey from the “toniest private schools”, to the “stench of Gaza,” through two wars, the horrors of 9/11, encounters with the likes of Yasir Arafat, “cheeky” photographers and, of course, her esteemed family.
Rich, honest, and very funny, PALESTINE is a compassionate look at the Middle East from another point of view.
"[PALESTINE] offers no remedies for Mideast tensions or blanket assessments of a complex situation. Ms. Said just tells her tale (with generous helpings of humor)" - New York Times
"In PALESTINE, Ms. Saïd provides a unique passage into one of the most volatile and historic corners of the earth. With compassion, humor and honesty she makes a case for Palestinian and Arab points of view in ways that truly allow them to be heard." - BroadwayWorld.com
TO SEE AN IN DEPTH INTERVIEW WITH NAJLA SAID AND PURCHASE TICKETS click on THE STRUGGLE
The stark choice between a fascist or an imperialist course in Syria should be discarded for a third and better course.
Syria's exile opposition has hijakced the uprising against the Assad dynasty by calling for intervention [GALLO/GETTY]
New York, NY - In the context of the US invasion of the Gulf in 1991, British academic Fred Halliday announced his new right-wing affiliations in the British newspaper the New Statesman by declaring: "If I have to choose between imperialism and fascism, I choose imperialism." It never occurred to Halliday that he could have opposed both and supported home-grown democratic struggles instead.
This was indeed a watershed moment for Arab, American, and European anti-imperialist leftists who would become turncoats, moving from a principled opposition to imperialism to a principled and financially more rewarding support of it. Like much of the scholarly and journalistic output of turncoats, Halliday's sober and academically valuable studies, written before his transformation into a pro-imperial apologist, were followed by forgettable and mediocre studies after it, so much so that he did not publish a single study after 1991 that had academic merit or even a shelf life beyond a few weeks (though his Arab turncoat comrades saw fit to translate these later studies to Arabic!).
Second double veto of Syria resolution draws condemnation from rights groups and US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, exercising her well-honed diplomatic skills, calls it "unforgivable".
The vote came a day after activists reported the deaths of more than 200 people in an army assault on Homs [AFP]
Russia and China have vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning the Syrian government's deadly crackdown on protests for the second time.
Thirteen countries on Saturday voted for the resolution proposed by European and Arab nations to give strong backing to the Arab League's plan to end the crackdown.
But Russia and China made a repeat of their rare double veto carried out on October 5.
The move was immediately condemned by New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) as "diplomatic cover" for the Syrian government.
Susan Rice, the company she keeps.
In a statement, the rights group said: "Vetoes by Russia and China are not only a slap in the face of the Arab League, they are also a betrayal of the Syrian people."
The HRW statement continued: "The death toll had more than doubled in the last four months, and the risk is high that the Assad regime will see this double veto as a green light for even more violence."
Israel Defense Forces claimed woman wounded by rock thrown by protesters in village of Nabi Saleh, while Palestinian sources said she was hit by grenade; IDF says incident now under "investigation."
By Gili Cohen and Nir Hasson Tags: West Bank IDF
Protesters from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh released video footage on Saturday showing that the French woman wounded during the weekly protest on Friday was hit by an Israel Defense Forces gas grenade
Palestinian sources reported on Friday that the French citizen was seriously wounded on Friday after being hit by a gas grenade. According to the reports, the grenade was fired at a demonstration by IDF forces. The French woman was taken to the hospital.
Nabi Saleh - AP - December 2, 2011, An Israeli border policeman fires tear gas at Palestinian protesters during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah, Friday.
The IDF spokesperson published a statement on Friday, however, saying that the woman was wounded by rocks that were thrown by other protesters.
“A border police officer and a French citizen were lightly wounded by rocks that were thrown at them during a disturbance of the peace,” the statement said.
548 words posted in Zionist illegal military occupation, blockade, Human Rights, , Israel, , Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment, , Zionist aggression, warmongering, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements,, , Zionist war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international law, , Zionism, , Apartheid State • Leave a comment
By Felicity Arbuthnot
'... the enduring power of our moral example, America is back.' -- President Obama, State of the Union address, 24 January 2012
First the world was sold imaginary weapons of mass destruction in Iraq with General Colin Powell, at the United Nations in February 2003, asserting:
“My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence.”
Now it seems the world is sold a withdrawal from Iraq which was not quite what it seemed as presented by the Panetta-Obama-fest in the Baghdad, Fort Bragg speeches of just six weeks ago. At Fort Bragg: “The war in Iraq will soon belong to history …” said the President.
Well, not quite.
By Eric Walberg – Cairo
The Third Annual BDS Conference opened 17 December at Hebron's Children's Happiness Centre, 'to expand Palestinian civil society's active implementation of BDS that is deeply rooted in the Palestinian struggle.' European BNC coordinator Michael Deas affirmed, 'BDS is now the main framework for solidarity. We are very close to closing the European market to Israel.'
A boycott bombshell in January was dropped by an 11th-grade American Jewish teenager, Jesse Lieberfeld, who won Dietrich College’s 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr Writing Award for his essay about his moral awakening when he realised his American Jewish culture was unavoidably identified with supporting Israel.
“I once belonged to a wonderful religion,” says young Jesse. “I routinely heard about unexplained mass killings, attacks on medical bases, and other alarmingly violent actions for which I could see no possible reason. ‘Genocide’ almost seemed the more appropriate term... Whenever I brought up the subject, I was always given the answer that there were faults on both sides... I felt horrified at the realisation that I was by nature on the side of the oppressors. I was grouped with the racial supremacists.” Finally, at the synagogue, he asked, “I want to support Israel. But how can I when it lets its army commit so many killings?” and was told by the rabbi, “It is a terrible thing, isn’t it? But there’s nothing we can do. It’s just a fact of life.” “I thanked him and walked out shortly afterward. I never went back.” When American youth like Jesse are forced to give up being Jewish because of Israeli crimes, it cannot be long before Israel crumbles under the weight of its accumulated crimes.
1532 words posted in Anti-Zionist, Human Rights, , Israel, , Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements,, , Zionist illegal military occupation, blockade, , Zionist war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international law, , Apartheid State • Leave a comment
Hanin Zoabi, a well-known Palestinian civil rights leader. (Xinhuanet)
By Ramzy Baroud
In a recent article, columnist Yaniv Halili described British author Ben White as 'anti-Semitic'. He also denounced Arab Knesset member Hanin Zoabi for writing a forward to White's latest book, Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy.
Those of us who can see through such distorted thinking know that White is a principled writer who has never displayed a shred of racism in his work. Zoabi is very well-known civil rights leader with a long-standing reputation of courage and poise.
How could anti-racist endeavors themselves become the subject of accusation by Halili and others like him?
It goes without saying there should be no room for any racist discourse - Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, or any other - in the Palestine solidarity movement, which aims at achieving long-denied justice and rights for the Palestinian people. A racist discourse is predicated on racial supremacy, which is exactly what Palestinians are resisting in Israel and the occupied territories.
Israel's propaganda machine carefully chooses its words to assert illegal ownership over Jerusalem and Palestine.
Israel maintains only "administrative control" over Jerusalem - illustrated by the fact that embassies, even the US embassy, are in Tel Aviv - although the government assert they "possess" the city [GALLO/GETTY]
The words which people use, often unconsciously, can have a critical impact upon the thoughts and attitudes of those who speak and write, as well as those who listen and read. Dangerously misleading terminology remains a major obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace.
It is normal practice for parties to a dispute to use terminology which favours them. In this regard, Israel has been spectacularly successful in imposing its terminology not simply on Israeli consciousness and American usage but even on many Arab parties and commentators. It has done so not simply in obvious ways like use of the terms "terrorism", "security", "Eretz Israel" or "Judea and Samaria" but also in more subtle ways which have had and continue to have a profound negative impact on perceptions of legal realities and other matters of substance.
The current initiative by Palestine to upgrade its status at the United Nations from "observer entity" to member state or, temporarily failing that, "observer state" is commonly referred to, by both supporters and opponents of this initiative, as an effort to "achieve statehood" or "recognition of statehood" through the United Nations. It is nothing of the sort.
By Gulamhusein Abba
“The conflict is due to Jewish nationalism- Zionism, which pre-dates
the holocaust ….. my relatives who were murdered by the Nazis
did not die to give cover to Zionist crimes in Palestine, and did not die
to give him (Lerner) his ridiculous argument” ….Rich Siegel
Rabbi Michael Lerner's book discussion event on January 22 for his new book, "Embracing Israel/Palestine” went horribly wrong when it took a completely unexpected and shocking turn near the end.
Sponsored by Riverside Church Israel/PalestineTask Force, and Co-Sponsored by: Brooklyn For Peace, Jewish Voice For Peace,Tree of Life Education Fund, NY, Friends of Sabeel, North America, NY, and The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, USA, it was meant to be a dialogue between Rabbi Lerner and David Wildman, with a Special appearance by Rich Siegel, a former Zionist turned a peace activist, singing songs from his new CD “The Way to Peace”.
Everything went smoothly as planned. Rich sang one of his songs. Rabbi Lerner and David Wildman discussed the book and the topics it dealt with.
By Sam Bahour
The human body is an amazing creation. It's not only the most complex system known to mankind, but it embodies within it signals that tell its owner that something has gone wrong. A similar signaling system exists in political bodies. Those tasked with reading the signals--be they individuals, physicians or politicians--can choose to consciously ignore the warning signs. The Middle East peace process between Palestinians and Israelis has been emitting SOS signals for decades, but only recently are those signals being received and analyzed for what they are transmitting--a clear and irreversible message that the entire paradigm of "two states for two peoples" has collapsed.
1155 words posted in PALESTINE, Israel, , Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment, , Zionist aggression, warmongering, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements,, , Zionist illegal military occupation, blockade, , Zionist war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international law, , Anti-Zionist, , Apartheid State • Leave a comment
Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich (L) and Mitt Romney
US Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has once again defended his statement about Palestinians being an “invented” people amid a wide-scale anti-Palestinian campaign by American presidential candidates.
During a debate in Florida on Thursday night, Gingrich reiterated his earlier comment on Palestinians and said,"It was technically an invention of the late 1970s," adding, "Prior to that they were Arabs."
Last month, Gingrich claimed that "we have had an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs, and who were historically part of the Arab community."
The struggle of the Palestinians is a struggle against Zionism.
By Tariq Shadid
The essence of the Palestinian struggle is the battle against Zionism. It is a battle against its racism, against its murderous war crimes, against its insatiable territorial hunger, against its disdain for non-Jewish human rights, and against its devoted attempts to destroy Palestinian national identity. As voices of normalization are on the rise, and social media is invaded by paid pro-Zionist bloggers, there is an increased need for anti-Zionists to draw attention to the crimes committed by 'Israel', and to speak up against the ongoing media silence and the apologist activities of those misleadingly portraying themselves as 'peace doves'. Let us first look briefly at the history of the anti-Zionist struggle, and then see where we stand today.
2212 words posted in Anti-Zionist, Human Rights, , Israel, , Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment, , Zionist aggression, warmongering, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements,, , Zionist illegal military occupation, blockade, , Zionist war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international law, , Israeli hasbara (propaganda), , Apartheid State • Leave a comment
Five faculty from U.S. universities who recently completed a week-long visit to Occupied Palestine and Israel are calling on academic colleagues everywhere to support the United States Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI).
The professors, J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, Wesleyan University; Robin D. G. Kelley, University of California Los Angeles; Bill V. Mullen, Purdue University; Nikihl Pal Singh, New York University, and Neferti Tadiar, Barnard College/Columbia University met with Palestinian scholars, university administrators, citizens, activists, and officials in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Haifa. They also visited the 5,000 person Aida Refugee Camp near Bethlehem.
Media speak of right, left, center .. (Creative Commons)
By Ramzy Baroud
Regardless of who may rule Israel, little change ever occurs in the country's foreign policy. Winning parties remain obsessed with demographics and retaining absolute military dominance. They also remain unfailingly focused on their quest to initiate racist laws against non-Jewish residents of the state, and continue to hone the art of speaking of peace, while actually maintaining a permanent state of war.
Every few years the media become captivated by Israeli democracy. Commentators speak of right, left, center, and anything in between. Despite Israeli elections still being a year and a half away, media pundits are already discussing possible outcomes of the vote against the peace process, economic reforms, social equality, and so on.
In a recent article, Israeli columnist Uri Avnery decried the fact that the main opposition to the right-wing parties — “the Likud, the Lieberman party and various ultra-nationalist, pro-settlement and religious factions” — is no other than the center-left Kadima. The party, led by the “incompetent” Tzipi Livni, is allegedly in “shambles.” Moreover, left parties, such as Labor and Meretz, are not expected to pose a real threat to the right party conglomerate, despite their temporary rise in the polls.
1077 words posted in Zionism, Israel, , Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment, , Zionist aggression, warmongering, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements,, , Zionist illegal military occupation, blockade, , Zionist war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international law, , Israeli hasbara (propaganda), , Apartheid State • Leave a comment
Another child detained. (Tamar Fleishman)
By Tamar Fleishman – The West Bank
'This place is the carbuncle on the ass of the occupation,' said Dalit Baum as the gates of Ofer prison closed behind us.
The Palestinian residents of the West Bank, who had been living under occupation for over forty years and are deprived of their basic rights, are brought to justice in military courts. This entire legal system- investigators, prosecutors and judges- is comprised of men and women, in uniform, who are subordinated to and serve, not the principles of justice and law, but the mechanism of the occupation.
Ofer prison/detention center/court sits on Palestinian lands that had been confiscated from their owners.
For some months I sat in court and documented what was taking place there. I had witnessed the attempts of the system to create an illusion of a court house that concurs to the articles of the treaties and the international law, while in reality it was nothing more than a cynical farce.
The slow economic collapse being witnessed across the occupied territories, while worsening now, is inevitable so long as Palestinians languish under occupation, writes Khaled Amayreh in Hebron
Protesting against the construction of Israel's apartheid wall in the West Bank village of Qalandia (photo: AP)
With high consumer prices, static or dwindling salaries, rising unemployment and over-taxation, many ordinary Palestinians are no longer able to make ends meet.
The situation has been described as both explosive as well as potentially destabilising as the Palestinian Authority (PA) stands virtually powerless to overcome or even mitigate the harshest economic crisis hitting the occupied territories since the PA's founding in 1994.
Some families have been forced to take their children out of college because they can no longer afford to pay tuition fees amounting to a thousand dollars per semester.
By Gale Courey Toensing January 20, 2012
A federal appeals court has unanimously upheld a lower court ruling blocking the implementation of an Oklahoma state law that would prohibit the use of Islamic Sharia law or international law – including tribal law – in state courts. The ruling is a victory not only for Muslims, but also for Indian country and all Americans, legal experts said.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals judges on January 10 upheld a decision by Oklahoma federal court Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange granting a preliminary injunction against the implementation of an amendment to Oklahoma’s Constitution that was approved by 70 percent of voters on a ballot measure in November 2010. The amendment, variously known as the Sharia Law Amendment, the Oklahoma International Law Amendment or the “Save Our State Amendment,” was a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, meaning that the state legislature rather than citizens of the state, voted to put the measure before the voters.
Read the full story at Indian Country Today Media Network
By Jason Leopold, Truthout | Report
This is the front cover of a pamphlet produced by a Kuwaiti-based anti-Guantanamo organization to try and win the release of two Kuwaiti prisoners, pictured on the cover of the pamphlet, who are detained at the detention facility. The commander of Guantanamo, Rear Adm. David Woods, accused one of the detainee's attorneys of "smuggling" the pamphlet into Guantanamo three weeks before he issued a widely condemned order calling for a review of detainees' legal mail. (Image: Lt. Col. Barry Wingard)
Military attorney says false allegation preceded Guantanamo commander's recent order authorizing a team of Pentagon contractors to reveiw privileged, attorney-client communications. But was the claim leveled to justify the new policy?
Early last month, Air Force Capt. Michael Schwartz was summoned into the office of Rear Adm. David Woods, the new commander of Guantanamo, and was accused of “smuggling” into the detention facility an anti-Guantanamo pamphlet that featured the photographs of two Kuwaiti detainees, Fayiz al-Kandari and Fawzi al Odha.
Schwartz, a military attorney and a member of al-Kandari’s legal team, was taken aback.
By Maher Osseiran
People around the world are wondering when the suffering in the name of 9/11 will end; if we don’t stand up to the criminals the answer is never. people in the millions, directly and indirectly, are victims of 9/11. The many are paying dearly for the crimes of the very few. The reader might wonder if things could get worse – The answer is yes.
It gets worse when you learn the truth; the few who have committed the serious crimes are not bin Laden and his followers. The crimes are much bigger than anything bin Laden actually committed. The few who have committed those crimes are living worry free and come from within the Bush administration and those within the Obama administration who are capitalizing on the crimes.
If we do not prosecute those criminals, the suffering will never end.
For more go to Indian Country Today Media Network
By Philip Giraldi - CNI
Defenders of the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act, which declares the entire world to be a 'battlefield' against terrorism and authorizes the U.S. military to detain indefinitely anyone suspected of being a terrorism supporter, have claimed that the White House will only use its new power carefully and with due process. Opponents note that the White House has never hesitated to use any new authority, no matter how outrageous, and that the trend of law enforcement and security agencies is to expand on powers granted, not to rein them in or limit them.
The track record of the Obama administration on civil liberties is particularly bad, as it has broadened its definition of war powers, reneged on its promise to close Guantanamo Prison, and supported numerous dubious terrorism prosecutions. It has also become adept at silencing critics through the repeated exploitation of the state-secrets privilege, which effectively dismisses any case accusing the government of abuse or malfeasance.
So let us accept that the government now has the power to send a team of military police to anyone’s home in any state in the Union and can demand that that person surrender without any recourse to a lawyer or judicial due process. The military can then detain the individual incommunicado for any length of time and can presumably send him to Guantanamo for special confinement, claiming that the reason for the detention is support of terrorism, which can be almost anything, including a letter to the editor of the local paper complaining about the goonery of the Transportation Security Administration. Once in detention, the suspect only has such options as are granted to him by the military. He cannot see a lawyer, cannot invoke habeas corpus or other constitutional privileges, cannot confront any witnesses against him, and cannot challenge any information prejudicial to him even if it is hearsay or fabricated. In other words, the accused can be arrested for no reason and held indefinitely without any protections that enable him to push back against being detained. Most people would consider a criminal justice system that permits such detention ipso facto a police state.
Palestinian Islamist party's political chief will retire at upcoming leadership elections, says group's former representative
By Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and the organisation's leadership in Gaza have been at odds on recent weeks over his suggestion that the group should turn away from armed struggle. Photograph: Khaled Elfiqi/EPA
Khaled Meshaal, the political chief of Hamas, is to step down from his position when elections for the leadership of the Palestinian Islamist organisation take place in the next few months, according to a senior colleague.
Meshaal will retire to allow a fresh leader to steer Hamas towards a new strategy, Mustafa Lidawi, a former representative of Hamas in Lebanon, wrote in an article on an Arab website.
Meshaal has been head of Hamas's political bureau since 1996, and has been based in Damascus since the following year.
In recent weeks, he has indicated that Hamas should make a strategic turn away from armed struggle to popular non-violent resistance in the wake of the Arab spring revolutions and the success of Islamist parties in elections.
The purpose of the law was to criminalize refugees returning home.
By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth
The wheel is turning full circle. Last week the Israeli parliament updated a 59-year-old law originally intended to prevent hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from returning to the homes and lands from which they had been expelled as Israel was established.
The purpose of the draconian 1954 Prevention of Infiltration Law was to lock up any Palestinian who managed to slip past the snipers guarding the new state's borders. Israel believed only savage punishment and deterrence could ensure it maintained the overwhelming Jewish majority it had recently created through a campaign of ethnic cleansing.
Fast-forward six decades and Israel is relying on the infiltration law again, this time to prevent a supposedly new threat to its existence: the arrival each year of several thousand desperate African asylum seekers.
Falk: I salute the steadfastness of the Palestinian people.
Interviewed by Yousef M. Aljamal
(Richard Falk is Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and Visiting Distinguished Professor in Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has authored and edited numerous publications spanning a period of five decades, most recently editing the volume, International Law and the Third World: Reshaping Justice - Routledge, 2008. He is currently serving his third year of a six year term as a United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights.)
How and why did you get involved in Palestinian Activism?
I suppose my interest in the Palestinian struggle is rooted in my professional identity as an international law teacher and writer, and my personal identification with the victims of the strong and abused. My friendships with Edward Said and Eqbal Ahmad also pushed my professional support for the Palestinian struggle for justice in the direction of activism. And finally, my way of thinking about being a Jew led me to affirm the call for justice by Old Testament prophets. I was never a religious Jew in an institutional sense and never supported the Zionist project.
What is the legal status of the Palestinian territories?
The overwhelming international consensus is that the Palestinian territories are ‘occupied territories’ that are subject to administration by Israel as the occupier, but in accord with the Fourth Geneva Convention and the First Additional Protocol of 1977. This occupation that has lasted since 1967 goes beyond what is envisioned by international humanitarian law, and in the West Bank has in many aspects evolved into a form of unlawful de facto annexation, and in East Jerusalem this development is explicitly claimed by Israel through its effort to annex the part of the city occupied in 1967. Gaza, experiencing an unlawful blockade since mid-2007, continues to be occupied and criminally administered by Israel, but it has not experienced either de facto annexation or been the subject of Israel policies of either ethnic cleansing or territorial claims.
Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at the Christ Central Community Center in Winnsboro, S.C., Wednesday, January, 18, 2012.
By Gale Courey Toensing
There’s a saying that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, a historian, hasn’t forgotten the past; in fact, he’d like to repeat it. Particularly Andrew Jackson’s “kill thine enemy” approach.
At the umpteenth Republican debate in front of a packed audience at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on January 16, Gingrich conjured up the spirit of Andrew Jackson, America’s seventh president, as a model for the way the U.S. should approach its “enemies” today.
“We’re in South Carolina,” Gingrich told the crowd, as if they needed to be reminded of where they were. “South Carolina and the Revolutionary War had a young 13-year-old named Andrew Jackson. He was sabred by a British officer and wore a scar his whole life. Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear cut idea about America’s enemies: Kill them!” The crowd roared its approval.
Read the full story at Indian Country Today Media Network
By Ali Younes
In town hall meeting during campaign stop in Greenville, South Carolina, last Saturday, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said to me, in response to my questions, that he supports attacking Iran with missiles, rockets and other weapons in order to stop it from developing nuclear weapons. On the issue of Palestinian -Israeli conflict he added that the issue is an internal Israeli matter and that Israel can do whatever it wants and no one should interfere in their internal affairs. Ostensibly, Santorum does not hide his ultra conservative views when it comes to the US foreign policy particularly over Iran and Israel. He in the same breath argued to the crowed why they should not elect a moderate, a reference to presidential candidate Mitt Romney when they vote in the primary later this week.
MacDonald's new book points out the body foundational defects and provides guidelines on fixing them based on the concept of equality
By Ramzy Baroud, Special to Gulf News
Theodore MacDonald was too ill to attend the launch of his book, Preserving the United Nations; Our Best Hope for Mediating Human Rights. Less than three weeks later, on March 7, 2011, the longtime champion of human rights and social justice passed away.
Professor MacDonald’s last book was in many ways the intellectual zenith of a vision gleaned from lifelong experiences. He was a kindly, humble and ever-positive individual, with whom I had exchanged many letters in previous months. Palestine occupied much space in his thinking and writing, and was a major component in his vision aimed at achieving global peace and justice.
It is very telling that MacDonald’s last book was concerned with the arduous task of reforming the UN. “My main concern is international development and equity. The growing inequity between the First and Third World nations … is a matter of immense worry and cannot be sustained,” he wrote.
The "Palestinian demographic bomb" is a myth created to continue discrimination against Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs.
Israel's Separation Wall and hundreds of checkpoints prevent travel between the occupied Palestinian territories and the state of Israel for most Palestinians and Israelis [GALLO/GETTY]
Irvine, California - Say what you will about Israel's High Court of Justice, it knows how to name a decision.
In titling last Wednesday's legal decision, upholding the controversial Citizenship Law that prevents Palestinian spouses of Israeli citizens from living in Israel "Human rights are not a prescription for national suicide", the court's majority well summed up the existential predicament Israel faces today - indeed, has always faced - as it attempts to be both Jewish and democratic.
"National suicide" is, of course, an incredibly loaded term in the Israeli context. In the historical shadow of the Holocaust, Chief Justice Asher Grunis's appellation immediately raised the spectre of an existential threat to the Jewish people, or nation (Am Yisrael), being posed by the mere possibility of Palestinian Arabs joining Israeli society through marriage.
2129 words posted in Apartheid State, Israel, , Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements, • Leave a comment
By ICTMN Staff January 17, 2012
The proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the related Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) have caused uproar among Internet types and inspired many websites to vow to “go black” on January 18. Some content companies claim that the bill will protect their intellectual property from theft; critics of the bill say it threatens free speech and the very nature of the internet.
Their objection is that the bill uses very broad language to describe what constitutes a violation and allows for draconian punishments. The sites we all visit every day—from Wikipedia to Facebook to YouTube to this site you’re on now—are rife with (often unintentional, and mostly harmless) violations of the proposed legislation, and under its terms could be subject to any number of severe penalties.
Read the full story and view the video at Indian Country Today Media Network
It is time for the American public to hold AIPAC accountable. (CODEPINK)
By Clive Hambidge
Habituation writes James Austin M.D 'means that repeated stimuli yield a decreasing response.' Conversely and importantly he goes on, 'Sensitization implies that responses increase when stronger stimuli are repeated.' For in this understanding, 'we are addressing the basis of the freshness of vision of the artist or poet; focusing on the possible ways to relieve the depressed person held in the grip of a dreary grey world', or indeed a Nation, Palestine, gripped by the dreary politics “free of law” of an increasingly violent Israel. Moreover, “some people habituate consistently; others do not.” (Austin). It is crucial then that we, the right minded, faced with propaganda “habitually” spewed forth by the State, organs of the State and influencers of the State like American Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to become “Enmeshed in a propaganda system of awesome effectiveness.” (Chomsky), in “locutions” pernicious and with a distinct narrative of organized violence, sucking us into the undertow of American Israeli hegemony, that we ask this simple question if “There is an intimate interdependence of intellect and morals. Given the equality of two intellects-which form the most reliable judgments, the good, or the bad hearted?” (Emerson). Having answered this satisfactorily, to know then “by our public force can we share and know the nature of things” (Emerson) we thereby free ourselves from the propagandists, and come upon this aphorism: it’s the law stupid! For “the law is the basis of the human mind. In us, it is inspiration; out there in Nature we see its fatal strength. We call it the moral sentiment” (Emerson).
So when in a spectacularly obtuse propagandist statement to a Parliamentary Committee, chief of staff of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) Benny Gantz is reported in the UK Guardian (Thursday 12 January 2012) as saying “For Iran, 2012 is a critical year, in combining the continuation of its nuclearisation, internal changes in the Iranian leadership, continuing and growing pressure from the international community, and things which [will] take place in an unnatural manner” (my emphasis) meaning “covertly” and illegally, in and to Iran’s infrastructure and innocent Iranians. Therefore, as we spare a thought for Mustafa Ahmadi Roshan who died in an “unnatural manner” a day later in Iran by extrajudicial execution, illegal under international law, one realises the scale of the problem and asks what other “unnatural” acts are being planned for Iran, Lebanon and Palestine? From this natural questions arise of the ‘unnatural’, of the perpetrators and supporters of such acts and their relationship with law for as Israel’s government stated “it’s not our policy to comment on this sort of speculation,” it must be then, our duty, the people, to comment on this sort of speculation, State and lobby ‘locutions’ and the rule of law.
3119 words posted in American Zionism, Israel, , Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment, , Zionist aggression, warmongering, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements,, , Zionist illegal military occupation, blockade, , Zionist war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international law, , Israeli hasbara (propaganda), , Apartheid State • Leave a comment
While political leaders talk of reconciliation, political prisoners keep mounting at the hands of Palestinian Authority security forces, writes Khaled Amayreh in Hebron
Palestinian Hamas supporters hold banners of prisoners arrested by the Palestinian Authority, during a protest calling for their release in the West Bank city of Nablus
This is not the first time I've been subject to harassment at the hands of Palestinian Authority (PA) security operatives. On several occasions in the past I was abused and imprisoned by these agencies. In one episode in 2009, I was made to sleep in a rancid cell after reporting that PA police were blocking and brutally suppressing demonstrations against Israel in protest against its 2008-09 onslaught against the Gaza Strip.
I thought the Arab Spring would convince the PA security apparatus to abandon or at least alleviate their police state tactics against dissent and show more respect for human rights and civil liberties. However, it seems that the PA, as far as its treatment of its people goes, remains largely unchanged. Old habits die hard, it seems.
(Image: via CNIF)
The sanctions that recently took effect against the Iranian banking system can be construed as an act of war, particularly as Iran has not provided any casus belli.
By Philip Giraldi
Back in September 2007 I wrote an article for Antiwar.com called 'What World War III May Look Like.' The article, which presumed that an incident involving U.S. troops on the border between Iraq and Iran could easily escalate into what would eventually become a global conflict, was widely replayed in the alternative media and even in the mainstream. Well, I am pleased to report that no such war has yet started, though there has been a disturbing expansion of U.S. military activity through the deployment of drones to hit targets in assorted countries without having to worry about American casualties or niceties like declarations of war.
Other geopolitical elements that figured in my 2007 analysis have also changed, so I believe that the time has come for an update.
Gantz: Iran should be expecting more 'unnatural' events. (Press TV)
By Dr. Ismail Salami - Tehran
'I saw a motorcycle. They were wearing ski masks - black ski masks. They were two people. I saw the motorcycle speed by. I saw them. It seemed as if they had something in their hands,' this is how a female witness described the scene of the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan.
As the blade of blame is being directed against the CIA and Mossad for orchestrating the brutal assassination of the 32-year-old Iranian scientist in broad daylight in Tehran on Wednesday morning, the duo have preferred to feign ignorance as to the identity of the main perpetrator of the crime.
Boycott Sabra hummus flyers at DePaul University. (Shirien Damra/The Electronic Intifada)
By Nadine Darwish
The Electronic Intifada
While walking through the salad bar in my school’s cafeteria a couple months ago, I noticed Sabra hummus for sale. It may look harmless on the surface; however, that could not be farther from the truth.
Sabra hummus has become the target of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement because its mother company, the Strauss group, materially and financially supports the Israeli military.
When I saw Sabra on my school cafeteria shelves, I felt a lot of pressure to do something to get the product off my school’s shelves or at least convince my school to offer an alternative brand.
Not knowing where to start, I approached the lunch lady who works in the salad bar and explained to her the link between Sabra and Israel’s human rights violations. She told me she had already heard that Sabra supports the Israeli army human rights violations as a result of the Students for Justice in Palestine’s campaign at DePaul University in Chicago. She added that Sabra hummus was on backorder, meaning that she could not receive any more for the time being anyway, and that she would simply not order any more of the product. I was shocked at how easy ridding our cafeteria of Sabra hummus was.
Rick Santorum has declared that all of the people living in the West Bank are Israelis. (Chris Maddolini/Newscom)
By Hasan Abu Nimah
The Electronic Intifada
Palestinians, like everyone else in the world, are not angels. Some among them have undoubtedly committed mistakes — for which collectively Palestinians have suffered and paid a price. Still, it is hard to think of an example of a people today who has been singled out as fair game for demonization and abuse for political gain like the Palestinians.
Nowhere is this more the case than in the United States, where the race for the Republican nomination for the November 2012 presidential election is in full swing. The US has big problems and there is no shortage of issues for the candidates to debate, from dealing with the economic crisis to extricating the country from the expanding wars that have drained its assets and potential. Yet, it seems that the Palestinians, or more precisely bashing and demonizing them, preoccupy a disproportionate amount of the candidates’ attention. Even more extraordinary is the fact that the Palestinians never sought to make Americans or the US their enemy nor did they do anything to harm the US.
By Todd E. Pierce
The 10th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, as a detention facility and the diversion of terrorism prosecutions into a new military commission system is now upon us. Consequently, I thought I would take this opportunity to briefly explain why I, an Army Reserve Judge Advocate General officer with more than 30 years of active and reserve military service, would volunteer as defense counsel for prisoners being held there.
I might add that I consider myself to be a conservative. In the United States of America, that means to conserve the legal order that this nation was founded upon, the Constitution. In fact, as a member of the military, I took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I did not take an oath of allegiance to the "leader," or to the "state," as required in some other nations. Thus, it came as something of a shock to me when Alberto Gonzalez, John Yoo and Robert Delahunty began issuing legal opinions that the Geneva Conventions, a treaty incorporated into our law, were quaint and did not apply, or that the president could, at his or her sole discretion, suspend them.
Saturday's protest. 'We've lost our shame'
Minister Peled. 'Blood froze in my veins'
Minister: Haredi Shoah display 'insane'
Neturei Karta leader: Zionist persecution of haredim worse than what Nazis did
Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
Minister Yossi Peled, a Holocaust survivor, could not believe his eyes when he saw the pictures from the ultra-Orthodox protest in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood on Saturday night.
"I admit that some things are inconceivable, like taking the horrifying picture of the little boy facing the Nazis with his hands up. Regardless of whether the struggle is justified or not, this points to something insane, irrational, immoral," he told Ynet on Sunday morning.
"Any word you say will be inappropriate. I may be naïve: I never believed, no matter which conflict we're talking about, that we would use symbols of the Jewish people's tragedy for an internal battle. It was our battle against an external threat. It's inconceivable. The blood froze in my veins."
Saturday's demonstration was organized by an extreme faction in Mea Shearim in protest of what has been defined as "the exclusion of haredim" and the start of the jail term of an ultra-Orthodox man convicted of assaulting an electronics store salesman.
Mordechai Hirsch, one of the leaders of the extreme Neturei Karta faction (and the son of Rabbi Moshe Hirsch, who served as minister in the Palestinian government), said his nephews, who are not even 10 years old, took part in the protest wearing a yellow patch.
"Of course I justify it," said Hirsch. "Yes, it's from the Holocaust and it's legitimate. There's no question about it. This protest reflects the Zionists' persecution of the haredi public, which we see as worse than what the Nazis did.
"The Germans just killed the body, but these people want to kill the soul, the spirit."
Israeli politics is moving against history only. (Tamar Fleishman)
By Nicola Nasser
While the history of the world is moving decisively toward a culture of inclusion, diversity and pluralism, Israeli politics seems to challenge history by moving in the opposite direction of exclusion and unilateral self - righteous monopoly of geography, demography, history, archeology and culture, especially in Jerusalem, where Israelis are desperately trying to establish a “Jewish” capital for Israel and “the Jewish people” worldwide, excluding centuries old presence of Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and Christian deep-rooted existence and heritage, thus sowing the seeds of imminent conflict and foreseeable war by strangling a city that has historically been of diversified and pluralistic character and a flashpoint for human misery whenever exclusion becomes the rule of the day.
WASHINGTON -- Indefinite military detention of Americans became the law of the land Saturday, as President Barack Obama signed a defense bill that codified that authority, even as he said he would not use it.
The National Defense Authorization Act states how the military is to be funded, but also includes a number of controversial provisions on arresting and holding suspected terrorists, which at first drove Obama to threaten a veto.
He retreated from that threat after Congress added provisions that took the ultimate authority to detain suspects from the military's hands and gave it to the president. Congress also clarified that civilian law enforcement agencies -- such as the FBI -- would still have authority to investigate terrorism and added a provision that asserts nothing in the detention measures changes current law regarding U.S. citizens.
Senior political analyst Marwan Bishara explains why Newt Gingrich is no Tom Cruise, and why touting Israel is a mission impossible.
Former speaker of the House and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is a staunch suppoter of Israel [EPA]
The film "Mission Impossible 4" opened in US theatres in recent weeks, starring BMW, Apple and Tom Cruise. A two-hour-long commercial on steroids.
"I think that we've had invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs, and who were historically part of the Arab community.
And they had a chance to go many places, and for a variety of political reasons we have sustained this war against Israel now since the nineteen-forties, and it’s tragic." h, former speaker of the House and Republican presidential candidate
"You can be sure that Gingrich did not care a whit for what Palestinians, here or in the US, would think. The Palestinian vote will not decide swing states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, or, above all, Florida"ck, New Yorker editor
"I sure hope that Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, understands that the standing ovation he got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby." --- Thomas Friedman, The New York Times columnist
If you are unfamiliar with it, Paid Product Placement (PPP) is a big thing in the movie industry.
This is how it works: Hollywood places in its movies certain watches, cars or a laptop brands; preferably worn by George Clooney, driven by Angelina Jolie or placed in front of Meg Ryan. In "The Transformers", for example, GM’s Cameros lead with Megan Fox.
A member of Israel's Labor Party has called on Egyptian officials to pay back Tel Aviv's bribes to Cairo during the regime of Hosni Mubarak.
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said Israel gave 300 million dollars to former dictator Mubarak to change the educational materials in order to reduce tensions between Israel and Egypt, IRNA reported.
He added that the money was given to the family members of Mubarak.
Reports said Mubarak's wife, Suzanne, had several meetings with Israeli officials and educational experts over the project.
Suzanne Mubarak led the Egyptian UN delegation in conferences relating to women and children.
Mubarak was toppled in February following 18 days of demonstrations in protest against poverty, corruption and his regime's repressive measures.
“Violence begets violence. Hatred begets hatred. And terrorism begets terrorism. A white ambassador said that y’all, not a black militant (Ambassador to Iraq, Edward Peck). Not a reverend who preaches about racism. An ambassador whose eyes are wide open and who is trying to get us to wake up and move away from this dangerous precipice upon which we are now poised…” – Jeremiah Wright, September 16, 2001.
by William A. Cook
Prophets fare poorly in their own country, yet countries would do well to hearken to their prophets. Scorn, ridicule, and innuendo attend their pronouncements as the righteous defend their actions as logical, existential and necessary. Jeremiah Wright suffered such scorn and mockery because he understood the consequences of revenge on the innocent and the defenceless, justified by whatever inane discourse. Wright spoke truth to power that Sunday after 9/11 and the righteous cried to heaven condemning him to perdition for defaming America, for even suggesting that revenge for the sake of revenge is the motivation of the arch fiend against the Almighty, the foulest, most ignorant, most amoral rational for action.
MaanImages/ Bilin popular committee
Santa Clauses with Palestinian flags rallied against Israel's wall in the occupied West Bank on Saturday, Dec. 23, ahead of Christmas. Soldiers dispersed the protest with tear gas.
At the rally, Palestinians called for national unity, resistance and freedom for prisoners.
The Bilin popular committee appealed to the Palestinian and Egyptian leaderships in addition to human rights organizations to work on freeing female detainees who remain in Israeli jails.
75 words posted in PALESTINE, Resistance, revolution, fight for demoracy, justice • Leave a comment
In Jerusalem meeting of 100 Israeli diplomats, Foreign Ministry official speaks of death of the Mideast peace process; N.Y. Consul-General: Israel's image in U.S. is worse than ever.
Avigdor Lieberman and Danny Ayalon at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, Dec. 28, 2011. Photo by: Olivier Fitoussi
By Barak Ravid
On Tuesday morning, 100 Israeli ambassadors gathered on Mount Scopus, and together with their host, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, looked out onto Silwan and the Temple Mount. Later they turned their gazes toward Abu-Dis, and, in that direction, they peered at the border area and the separation fence. Last year, Barkat and the city he manages caused many of these Israeli diplomats to work overtime, preparing explanations to foreign ministries or media outlets in the countries where they serve. It can be assumed that in 2012, their work will only get harder.
1594 words posted in Israel, Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment, , Zionist aggression, warmongering, , Zionist theft of land, resources, illegal settlements,, , Zionist illegal military occupation, blockade, , Zionist war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of international law, , Israeli hasbara (propaganda), , Apartheid State • Leave a comment
Tamir Pardo says Israel using various means to foil Iran's nuclear program, but if Iran actually obtained nuclear weapons, it would not mean destruction of Israel.
By Barak Ravid
A nuclear-armed Iran wouldn't necessarily constitute a threat to Israel's continued existence, Mossad chief Tamir Pardo reportedly hinted earlier this week.
On Tuesday evening, Pardo addressed an audience of about 100 Israeli ambassadors. According to three ambassadors present at the briefing, the intelligence chief said that Israel was using various means to foil Iran's nuclear program and would continue do so, but if Iran actually obtained nuclear weapons, it would not mean the destruction of the State of Israel.