Archives for: November 2011

Palestine Freedom Riders

English (US)  November 28th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

On the 15th of November, six Palestinian activists: Nadeem Al-Sharbate, Huwaida Arraf, Dr. Mazin Qumsieyeh, Fadi Qura'an, Basel Al-Araj, and Badee' Dwaik, boarded a segregated Israeli bus used by Israeli settlers to Jerusalem in an attempt to highlight the regime of discrimination on freedom of movement in place in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the fact that Palestinians cannot access Jerusalem freely. After boarding the bus without incidents, the bus was stopped at the Hizme checkpoint, where all the activists were arrested and violently forcibly removed from the bus.

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Schaghticoke Meeting House Torched by Arson

English (US)  November 27th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

By Gale Courey Toensing November 26, 2011

Yellow police tape marked off the crime scene at the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation's pavilion which was torched by an as yet unknown arsonist on November 14.

KENT, Conn. – The only building on the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation’s reservation where tribal members could gather has been destroyed by fire.

The Connecticut State Police Major Crime Squad is investigating the blaze that devastated the structure – a wooden pavilion that was used both as a longhouse for ceremonies and for social gatherings. The building stood at the center of the nation’s 400-acre reservation on Schaghticoke Mountain. Police have determined that the fire was arson and have posted a notice offering $2,500 for information about the arsonist.

The fire took place on November 14 around 10:30 p.m., according to police documents. There were no human injuries, but the 60-foot x 22-foot structure that tribal members call “the pavilion” was heavily damaged, police said. “During the course of the investigation, Fire Marshall Stan MacMillan, along with Connecticut State police detectives assigned to the Fire and Explosion Investigation Unity determined that the fire had been intentionally set,” the police said.

Schaghticoke Tribal Nation Chief Richard Velky and tribal council member Chuck Kilson said they spent much of the rest of the week after the fire on the reservation. They said they were both saddened and outraged at the loss of the pavilion.

Read the full story at Indian Country Today Media Network

Racist, rogue state: Israel's Other Occupation

English (US)  November 26th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

New York Times

(Ahmad Gharabli/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)
A view inside a mosque, which was set on fire on Oct. 3, in Tuba Zangaria, an Arab town in northern Israel.

November 25, 2011

“CLEARLY, there’s a war here, sometimes even worse than the one in Samaria,” the yeshiva student said. “It’s not a war with guns. It’s a war of light against darkness.”

We were sitting in the mixed Jewish-Arab town of Acre in Israel. The war he described was another front in the struggle he knew from growing up in a settlement in the northern West Bank, or Samaria: the daily contest between Jews and Palestinians for control of the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

The explicit reason that his yeshiva had been established in Acre was to serve as a bridgehead in that struggle, just as West Bank settlements are built to bolster the Jewish hold on land there.
Israeli politicians and pundits labeled the Oct. 3 burning of a mosque in Tuba Zangaria, an Arab community in northern Israel, and the subsequent desecration of Arab graves in Jaffa as a sudden escalation. But they were mistaken.

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Chomsky: Libya and the manufacture of consent

English (US)  November 25th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

By whitewashing the Libyan rebels and demonising the Gaddafi regime did the leading US intellectual Noam Chomsky help facilitate an imperialist invasion? In a wide-ranging interview with Chomsky, Dan Glazebrook asks him

'There were two interventions, not one, by NATO. One of them lasted about five minutes. That's the one that was taken under UN Security Resolution 1973, which called for a no-fly zone over Benghazi when there was the threat of a serious massacre there... but the three traditional imperial powers of France, Britain and the United States carried out a second intervention that had nothing to do with protecting civilians and certainly wasn't a no-fly zone, but was rather about participating in a rebel uprising'

This was a difficult interview for me. It was Noam Chomsky who first opened my eyes to the basic neo-colonial structure of the world and to the role of the corporate media in both disguising and legitimising this structure.

Chomsky has consistently demonstrated how, ever since the end of World War II, military regimes have been imposed on the Third World by the US and its European allies with an ascribed role to keep wages low (and thus investment opportunities high) by wiping out communists, trade unionists, and anyone else deemed a potential threat to empire. He has been at the forefront of exposing the lies and real motives behind the aggression against Iraq, Afghanistan and Serbia in recent years, and against Central America and Southeast Asia before that. But on Libya, in my opinion, he has been terrible.

Don't get me wrong: now the conquest is nearly over, Chomsky can be quite forthright in his denunciation of it, as he makes clear during the interview. "Right now, at this moment, NATO is bombing a home base of the largest tribe in Libya," he tells me. "It's not getting reported much, but if you read the Red Cross reports they're describing a horrifying humanitarian crisis in the city that's under attack, with hospitals collapsing, no drugs, people dying, people fleeing on foot into the desert to try to get away from it and so on. That's happening under the NATO mandate of protecting civilians."

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Ron Cobb's Thanksgiving in America

English (US)  November 23rd, 2011 by admin ( Email )

Ron Cobb's Thanksgiving in America, (Los Angeles Free Press, 1968).

Noam Chomsky: The Iranian threat

English (US)  November 23rd, 2011 by admin ( Email )

The US is not taking any practical steps to ensure a nuclear-free Middle East, says the author.

By Noam Chomsky Last

The UN could establish a Nuclear-Free Middle East Zone with the help of the US that is busy securing oil supplies [EPA]

Though the Iranian threat is not military aggression, that does not mean that it might be tolerable to Washington. Iranian deterrent capacity is considered an illegitimate exercise of sovereignty that interferes with US global designs. Specifically, it threatens US control of Middle East energy resources, a high priority of planners since World War II. As one influential figure advised, expressing a common understanding, control of these resources yields "substantial control of the world" (A A Berle)

The dire threat of Iran is widely recognised to be the most serious foreign policy crisis facing the Obama administration. General Petraeus informed the Senate Committee on Armed Services in March 2010 that "the Iranian regime is the primary state-level threat to stability" in the US Central Command area of responsibility, the Middle East and Central Asia, the primary region of US global concerns. The term "stability" here has its usual technical meaning: firmly under US control. In June 2010 Congress strengthened the sanctions against Iran, with even more severe penalties against foreign companies. The Obama administration has been rapidly expanding US offensive capacity in the African island of Diego Garcia, claimed by Britain, which had expelled the population so that the US could build the massive base it uses for attacks in the Central Command area. The Navy reports sending a submarine tender to the island to service nuclear-powered guided-missile submarines with Tomahawk missiles, which can carry nuclear warheads. Each submarine is reported to have the striking power of a typical carrier battle group. According to a US Navy cargo manifest obtained by the Sunday Herald (Glasgow), the substantial military equipment Obama has dispatched includes 387 "bunker busters" used for blasting hardened underground structures. Planning for these "massive ordnance penetrators", the most powerful bombs in the arsenal short of nuclear weapons, was initiated in the Bush administration, but languished. On taking office, Obama immediately accelerated the plans, and they are to be deployed several years ahead of schedule, aiming specifically at Iran.

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Remi Kanazi: Co-existence

English (US)  November 23rd, 2011 by admin ( Email )

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Obama projects Pacific power

English (US)  November 22nd, 2011 by admin ( Email )

What's the real story behind Washington sending a bunch of marines to Australia?

By Pepe Escobar 22 Nov 2011

US Marines being dispatched to station in northern Australia are meant to symbolise a new focus on the Pacific [Getty]

"The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay." That was US President Barack Obama, in his current Asia-Pacific swing, addressing the Australian Parliament.

One would expect a Pacific/peaceful power to promote, well, diplomacy and peace. Not really. Not when the key scriptwriters of the President's offensive - "turning our attention to the vast potential of the Asia-Pacific" - come from the Pentagon.

Washington may not be on the verge of an Occupy Australia gambit - but one's got to start somewhere. The start is 250 US Marines deployed as part of an Air-Ground Task Force to bases in Australia's Northern Territory, including Darwin - which is a stone's throw from Indonesia, and thus, Southeast Asia.

US Air Force fighter jets will also be in the house, with the Marines on six-month tours starting in the summer of 2012 up to an eventual rotation of 2,500 troops.

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Simon Wiesenthal's "Museum of Tolerance" to dig up 1000 Muslim bodies from historic cemetery in Occupied Jerusalem

English (US)  November 20th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

Israeli government plans to exhume 1,000 bodies from historic Muslim cemetery

Thousands of graves containing the remains of the companions of the prophet, scholars and martyrs.

A member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council has warned of Israeli plans to exhume 1,000 bodies from the historic Ma'man Allah Cemetery in occupied Jerusalem. In a press release on Monday, Dmitri Dalyani said that digging and excavation works in the cemetery "continue unabated with the consent of all Israeli authorities concerned, principally the Antiquities Department and the Jerusalem Municipality."

This was confirmed by the Aqsa Foundation for Endowments and Heritage, which added that in recent days "unusual" activities have taken place in a fenced-off area of the cemetery earmarked by the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre to build the so-called "Museum of Tolerance". The Foundation condemned the lack of respect for the cemetery by the Israeli authorities.

According to reports from representatives of the Aqsa Foundation who have visited the site, digging equipment and a large number of workers, including engineers, have entered the site, which has been cordoned off with extremely high fences and barbed wire. The actual excavation site has been covered over and security patrols have been stepped up significantly.

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Reverend Allan Boesak calls Israeli apartheid "more terrifying" than South Africa ever was

English (US)  November 20th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

By Dr. Hanan Chehata
November 17, 2011


The Reverend Allan Aubrey Boesak is a veteran of the South African anti-apartheid struggle. He is the former president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and is a signatory of the South African Christian response to the Kairos Palestine Document. This year he gave expert testimony at the Russell Tribunal on Palestine session in Cape Town, at which he spoke to MEMO's Hanan Chahata.

Hanan Chahata: You were one of the signatories of the South African Christian response to the Kairos Palestine Document. In this you said that the Palestinian experience of apartheid is "in its practical manifestation even worse than South African apartheid". Can you explain what you meant by this?

Allan Boesak: It is worse, not in the sense that apartheid was not an absolutely terrifying system in South Africa, but in the ways in which the Israelis have taken the apartheid system and perfected it, so to speak; sharpened it. For instance, we had the Bantustans and we had the Group Areas Act and we had the separate schools and all of that but I don't think it ever even entered the mind of any apartheid planner to design a town in such a way that there is a physical wall that separates people and that that wall denotes your freedom of movement, your freedom of economic gain, of employment, and at the same time is a tool of intimidation and dehumanisation. We carried passes as the Palestinians have their ID documents but that did not mean that we could not go from one place in the city to another place in the city. The judicial system was absolutely skewed of course, all the judges in their judgements sought to protect white privilege and power and so forth, and we had a series of what they called "hanging judges" in those days, but they did not go far as to openly, blatantly have two separate justice systems as they do for Palestinians [who are tried in Israeli military courts] and Israelis [who are tried in civil, not military courts]. So in many ways the Israeli system is worse.

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National Press Club suspends journalist for asking Saudi prince a tough question

English (US)  November 19th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

Sam Husseini Questions Saudi Prince Turki about Legitimacy of Saudi Regime

Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Fri, 11/18/2011 - 16:10
Electronic Intifada

Sam Husseini, best known for his work with Washington Stakeout, has been suspended from the National Press Club in Washington, apparently for no other reason than asking Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former head of Saudi intelligence, a tough question.

Husseini explains:

On Monday I went to a news conference at the National Press Club, where I am a member, titled “His Royal Highness Prince Turki al-Faisal al-Sa’ud of Saudi Arabia.” I asked a tough question at the news conference – a question that dealt with the very legitimacy of the Saudi regime. Before the end of the day, I’d received a letter informing me that I was suspended from the National Press Club “due to your conduct at a news conference.” The letter, signed by the executive director of the Club, William McCarren, accused me of violating rules prohibiting “boisterous and unseemly conduct or language.”

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Israel seeks minorities, gays for propaganda efforts

English (US)  November 19th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

The Israeli government hopes to draw attention away from its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and ongoing human rights abuses by recruiting minorities and members of the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual (LGBT) community to conduct "public diplomacy" and to "sell Israel as a democracy"

A demonstrator holds a sign that protests Israel's efforts to pinkwash the occupation. Israel's propaganda attempts are sometimes called hasbara. The Israeli government often relies on volunteers to conduct "public diplomacy" by advocating for Israel to acquaintances and on the internet (Photo: flickr/Nerdeeeeen)

Israel’s Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs has published a call for applications to voluntary positions in Israeli public diplomacy, targeting, in particular, “minority members, representatives of the gay community and people representing the variety of opinions and world-views in Israeli society.”

According to the call, the Ministry seeks to expand its base of Israeli volunteers interested in conducting international “public diplomacy” on the country’s behalf. The Ministry is now “primarily interested in receiving applications from people representing the diverse faces of Israeli society,” and gives the specific examples listed above.

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Israel tones down threats to Iran

English (US)  November 18th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

With Iran on an international charm offensive, for now Israel appears edging back from bellicose threats to strike its nuclear facilities, writes Khaled Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem

Israelis mark the 16th anniversary of the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin by an ultra-nationalist Jew

Having succeeded in alerting the international community, especially Western powers, to the "immediate Iranian nuclear danger", Israel has been toning down its threats to carry out imminent air strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities.

Israel, which has a huge arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, including an estimated 200-250 nuclear weapons, claims Iran is on the verge of producing a nuclear device.

Israeli pugnacity reached its height last week when Israeli President Shimon Peres said during a televised interview that the chances of an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear targets were becoming more probable than ever, especially after the release of an IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) report on Iran.

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Arab revolts - past and present

English (US)  November 18th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

Arabs have historically revolted every decade against rulers and the west has counter-revolted most attempts.

By Joseph Massad 18 Nov 2011 10:45

Arafat's Road to Olslo began in the 1970s with the large scale funding pouring in from the Gulf countries [EPA]

New York, New York - The current popular challenges to the Western-sponsored Arab dictatorships are hardly a new occurrence in modern Arab history. We have seen such uprisings against European colonialism in the region since its advent in Algeria in 1830 and in Egypt in 1882. Revolts in Syria in the 1920s against French rule and especially in Palestine from 1936 to 1939 against British colonial rule and Zionist settler-colonialism were massive by global standards. Indeed the Palestinian Revolt would inspire others in the colonised world and would remain an inspiration to Arabs for the rest of the century and beyond. Anti-colonial resistance which also opposed the colonially-installed Arab regimes continued in Jordan, in Egypt, in Bahrain, Iraq, North and South Yemen, Oman, Morocco, and Sudan. The massive anti-colonial revolt in Algeria would finally bring about independence in 1962 from French settler colonialism. The liberation of Algeria meant that one of the two European settler-colonies in the Arab world was down, and only one remained: Palestine. On the territorial colonial front, much of the Arabian Gulf remained occupied by the British until the 1960s and early 1970s, and awaited liberation.

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Gaza Lives On

English (US)  November 17th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

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PALESTINE – What Next?

English (US)  November 17th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

by Alan Hart

In advance of the formal burial of the Palestinian Authority’s bid for state recognition at the UN, BBC Radio 4′s flagship Today programme was on the right track. In his introduction to a quite revealing report, presenter John Humphrys said reporter Kevin Connolly had gone to Israel to find out “what hopes there are, if any, for the establishment of a Palestinian state.”

Among those Connolly interviewed were Akiva Eldar, the Ha’aretz columnist who has been a constant critic of Israel’s settlement policy. He said. “The settlers have won and Israel has lost… Israel must now live with the consequences.”

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No justice: Indians shut out of the courts of the colonizers

English (US)  November 17th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

By Carrie E. Garrow, adjunct professor at Syracuse University’s College of Law, where she is executive director of the Center for Indigenous Law, Governance and Citizenship. The eighth annual Haudenosaunee Conference is happening Nov. 18 and 19 at Syracuse University.

Published: Thursday, November 17, 2011, 5:00 AM

To the Editor:
In the beginning of the fall semester, you can usually spot the first-year law students in the hallway — bright and optimistic, true believers in the U.S. legal system. If you look closely, it is often just as easy to identify the American Indian students. Not by the stereotypical images portrayed by popular culture, but by looking into their eyes. They know the truth about the U.S. legal system — that the doors of justice are closed to Indian nations.

The recent U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of the Oneida Indian Nation land claims appeal is a case in point. The federal courts acknowledged that New York took Indian land in violation of federal law. But rather than dispensing justice, the courts focus on the “disruptive nature” of Indian land claims. The jurists cringe, contemplating an imagined disruption that towns and counties might suffer if Indian nations were to win their case — despite the fact that the only remedy considered was financial damages from the state and federal government to compensate for the illegal taking of land.

Why is there no weighing of the disruption to the Indian nations, such as the loss of millions of acres? What about the disruption caused by the Thomas Indian Boarding School, run by the state from 1875 to 1957, where Indian children, sometimes forcibly removed from their homes and separated from their siblings and parents, suffered abuse and a regimented, military-type lifestyle?

What about the disruption caused by New York state demanding the federal government give it criminal jurisdiction over the Indian territories within its borders? Isn’t it a good thing to protect crime victims? Maybe, but that’s not happening in Indian Country, as national statistics indicate American Indians are twice as likely as other races to experience rape and sexual assault.

And it’s not Indians committing these crimes. Sex crimes against Native women are disproportionately committed by non-Native men — a staggering 86 percent. Native women are often silent victims, because not only are they scared to report crimes to a state that has a history of stealing their children, they also do not vote or pay property taxes. But let’s not consider the disruption these Indian women feel as they fall victim to violent crimes.

Volumes have been and will be written about the disruption felt by the Indian Nations due to the laws and policies of New York. It is not a surprise that what most concerns the federal courts is any potential disruption that a town or county might suffer. As the late New York State Assemblyman Frank A. Walkley noted in 1970 at a public hearing discussing a potential Indian land claim settlement, “If (the Oneida Indian Nation) claim is a valid one and settlement is made, what I am trying to avoid is another wrong on a town or village.”

Walkley would have been pleased to see that the federal courts did step up to protect the towns and villages built upon land taken illegally by the state. This is no surprise to the Native students at the College of Law — it is just another chapter in 234 years of dealings between the Indian nations and New York.

In the courts of the colonizer, justice is never on our side. But after 234 years of broken treaties and confiscated property, the Nations are still here. The battle is not over.


US strikes out on Asia-Pacific conquest

English (US)  November 17th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

Neglecting Asia's importance over the last decade may impair the US' ability to regain its former power position.
By Francis Wade

The US is trying to exploit opportunities silently against China such as the Burmese Myitsone Dam project [EPA]

Standing on a platform in Honolulu last week as United States military officials and heads of Pacific islands looked on, Hillary Clinton charted Washington's course for re-entry to the Asia-Pacific. The hour-long talk, the content of which was first thrashed out in a seven-page article in Foreign Policy magazine last month, set the framework for Clinton's visit to the region this week. There she will strike out on a path that, beset with difficulties, is crucial to the US' continued status as the world's sole superpower.

The plan she lays out is ambitious and, for the sceptic, weighed down with a sense of foreboding familiarity: she speaks repeatedly of the need for the US to gain a foothold here, but said in the knowledge that her government's myopic focus on the Middle East over the past decade has cleared the way for China to stretch its tentacles across the region. This China has done adeptly: its deployment of soft power, buoyed by the ability to find common ground with the nationalistic sentiment that dictates the policy of its neighbours, has won it favour with nations wary of the historically aggressive track record of the US here. As such Hillary et al face a difficult task in convincing wavering governments to 'look West' rather than be drawn further into Beijing's strategic orbit.

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Barak tries damage control after 'Iran gaffe'

English (US)  November 17th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

Israeli defence minister walks back from comments that appeared to empathise with Tehran's alleged nuclear quest.

Iranian students at a demonstration to show their support for Iran's nuclear programme in Isfahan [Reuters]

Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, has reassured Israelis about his government's resolve after he appeared to empathise with Iran's alleged quest for nuclear weapons during a US television interview.

Barak's suggestion that, were he Iranian, he would "probably" seek the bomb made headlines in Israel, where the government feels threatened by the Islamic republic but has looked to world powers to intervene with tough diplomacy.

Taking time off from a visit to Canada to brief Israel's main radio broadcasters, Barak said on Thursday that his remarks, which were in English, had been partly misunderstood.

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No Apology for Iran, Just Demonization

English (US)  November 17th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

By Stuart Littlewood

When new recruits join British Petroleum (BP) they are fed romantic tales about how the company came into being.

William Knox D'Arcy, a Devon man, studied law and, after emigrating to Australia, made a fortune from the Mount Morgan gold-mining operations in the 1880s. Returning to England he agreed to fund a search for oil and minerals in Persia and negotiations with the Mozaffar al-Din Shah Qajar began in 1901. A sixty year concession to explore for oil gave D'Arcy the oil rights to the entire country except for five provinces in Northern Iran. The Iranian government would receive16% of the oil company's annual profits.

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Sanctioning Syria: The Long Road to Damascus

English (US)  November 17th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

The 'great game' of 'losing Syria' is currently being played out. (SANA)

By Maidhc Ó Cathail

In 1996, an Israeli think tank, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, prepared 'A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm' for incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In that seminal report, the Richard Perle-led study group suggested that Israel could 'shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria.' Comprised mainly of American-based pro-Israel advocates, the group stressed, “Most important, it is understandable that Israel has an interest supporting diplomatically, militarily and operationally Turkey’s and Jordan’s actions against Syria, such as securing tribal alliances with Arab tribes that cross into Syrian territory and are hostile to the Syrian ruling elite.”

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Pathology of a Checkpoint in Service of Settlers

English (US)  November 13th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

An arbitrary victim was taken from his own home.. (Tamar Fleishman)

By Tamar Fleishman – The West Bank

Jaba checkpoint is a great example of the deep connection between the infliction of the checkpoint regime in the West Bank on the Palestinian population, and the effort to satisfy the settlers' needs and caprices.

Jaba checkpoint lies on the road leading from Qalandiya to Ramallah, it merges with road number 60 which is the main road running along the length of the West Bank.

Unlike the tens of checkpoints that are scattered around the Bank, never has the existence of this checkpoint been ascribed an ideological reasoning. While the other checkpoints detain vehicles heading towards towns populated with Jewish communities, Jaba checkpoint is the opposite: the checkpoint faces settlements in the depth of Palestine, ignoring those driving from Qalandiya/Ramallah, and the inspections preformed are to identify the nationality of the passengers, so as to protect Jews by preventing them from heading on- the original reason was that some settlers which had arrived at the entrance of Qalandiya refugee camp were stoned.

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U.S. empties biggest Iraq base, takes Saddam's toilet

English (US)  November 13th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

By Jim Loney

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The U.S. military is vacating Saddam Hussein's ornate palaces at its war headquarters in Baghdad and will turn the property over to Iraq next month, but Saddam's prison toilet is leaving with the Americans.

The stainless steel commode and a reinforced steel door have been removed from the cell where the dictator spent two years before his 2006 execution and is destined for a military police museum in the United States.

"We're not taking anything that the Iraqis had. We are only taking stuff that we put in, we utilized, and when we didn't need it any more, we took it home," Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Brooks, a U.S. military historian, said on a tour of the site on Monday.

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UNESCO reprimands Israel over newspaper cartoon

English (US)  November 13th, 2011 by admin ( Email )


JERUSALEM (AP) — UNESCO has reprimanded Israel over a newspaper cartoon showing the Israeli prime minister telling pilots to bomb the U. N. agency's office after bombing Iran, a spokesman for Israel's Foreign Ministry said Friday.

The U.N.'s Paris-based cultural arm called in Israel's ambassador, Nimrod Barkan, on Wednesday and handed him a protest note saying the cartoon "endangers the lives of unarmed diplomats," according to the Israeli spokesman, Yigal Palmor.

The note came from the organization's director-general, Irina Bokova, he said. Officials at UNESCO in Paris were not immediately available for comment Friday.

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Hamas: Unity for elections, not to emulate Fatah, no negotiations with Israel

English (US)  November 12th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

Zahhar says Hamas will not negotiate with Israel (MaanImages/Wissam Nassar)

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas will not become a carbon copy of rivals Fatah after their reconciliation deal, but welcomes the prospect of Palestinian elections, senior party official Mahmoud Zahhar said Saturday.

Hamas will not negotiate with Israel, Zahhar said in an Eid al-Adha celebration in Gaza City.

The May deal between Hamas and Fatah sought to end years of animosity between the parties that split Palestinians into rival administrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

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The Iraq liars target Iran

English (US)  November 12th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

The same people who lied about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction to start a war are pushing for war on Iran, MJ Rosenberg writes.

Israeli PM Netanyahu 'seems to think it's always 1938' and that Iran has channeled the spirit of Nazi Germany to commit another holocaust against a powerless and weak Jewish community [GALLO/GETTY]

Christmas did not arrive early for the "Bomb Iran" crowd.

Over the past several weeks, neoconservative hawks were gleefully predicting that the International Atomic Energy Agency's new report on Iran's nuclear program would provide the spark needed to ignite and justify a US or Israeli attack.

Sadly for them, the report did no such thing and the issue has been overshadowed by other stories. In fact, there was so little new in the IAEA report that Iran experts who had been scheduled to do media spots discussing the issue were told not to bother coming in. The Penn State cover-up, the Herman Cain sexual harassment scandal, and now the Rick Perry brain freeze would continue to dominate the news cycle.

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American Orientalism after Said

English (US)  November 12th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

On 1 November, scholars and intellectuals marked the birth anniversary of Edward Said. In commemoration of the occasion, Al-Ahram Weekly publishes an abridged version of the Said Memorial Lecture given by John Carlos Rowe at the American University in Cairo

Edward Said

Al Ahram

Edward Said's criticism of US imperialism, especially in the Middle East, is the real basis for the claim several of us have made for him as a scholar-activist of American Studies. A scholar of great intellect and justifiable ego, Said was also the first to insist that we should not venerate our predecessors, but always locate them historically. On the mere evidence of Said's extensive work on US imperialism in the Middle East, ranging from Orientalism (1978) through Covering Islam (1981) and Blaming the Victims (1988) to Out of Place: A Memoir (1999), scholars in American Studies ought to have undertaken the more concerted studies of relations between the United States and the Arabic and Islamic worlds that are just today beginning to have an impact.

Said was indeed "out of place" in the United States in this regard, insofar as his regular columns in Arabic journals, including the Al-Ahram Weekly here in Cairo, were virtually unknown in US scholarly circles. Published just last year, Adel Iskandar and Hakem Rustom's collection of essays, Edward Said: Emancipation and Representation helps overcome this American provincialism, as do the many valuable studies of Said published in the Arab world before and after his death, including the issue of Alif devoted to his work in 2005. Of course, the phrase "ahead of his time" applies more accurately than "out of place" to Said's actual anticipation of the new scholarly attention in American Studies devoted to the Arab and Islamic worlds.

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There's Nothing Idealistic About the One-State Solution

English (US)  November 10th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

A Response to Michael Neumann



This is at least the third time in the past four years that philosophy professor Michael Neumann has used these pages to lambast the supporters of a one-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. On each occasion he has offered a little more insight into why he so vehemently objects to what he terms the “delusions” of those who oppose – or, at least, gave up on – the two-state solution.

In his most recent essay, Neumann suggests that his previous reluctance to be more forthright was motivated by “politeness”. Well, I for one wish the professor had been franker from the outset. It might have saved us a lot of time and effort.

Even though I have identified myself as a supporter of the one-state solution, I find much to agree with in what Neumann writes on this occasion. Like him, I do not believe that a particular solution, or resolution, will occur simply because the Palestinians or their wellwishers make a good moral case for it. Success for the Palestinians will come when a wide array of regional developments force Israel to conclude that its current behaviour is untenable.

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Nuclear Israel revisited

English (US)  November 10th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

To have or not to have nuclear weapons is a question of human security and not European privilege.

The US and Israel tell Iran it is a threat to world peace if it were to possess a nuclear device [AFP]

Joseph Massad

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - How many times must this story be retold? It is common knowledge in the United States, in Europe, in the Arab World, indeed in the entire world. The international press has been reporting on it since the late 1960s. The historical details of the story are also well known. In 1955, President Dwight Eisenhower gave Israel its first small nuclear reactor at Nahal Sorek; in 1964, the French built for Israel its much larger and major Dimona nuclear reactor in the Naqab (Negev) Desert; in 1965, Israel stole 200 pounds of weapons-grade uranium from the United States through its spies at the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation company in Pennsylvania; in 1968, Israel hijacked a Liberian ship in international waters and stole its 200-ton shipment of yellowcake. Israel has possessed nuclear bombs since the early 1970s. Despite official US denials, Golda Meir, the fourth prime minister of Israel, reportedly prepared to launch 13 nuclear bombs on Syria and Egypt in 1973 and was stopped short of committing this genocidal act when Henry Kissinger gave Israel the most massive weapons airlift in history at the time to reverse the course of the 1973 war (as Time Magazine reported the story). Israel has had an ongoing nuclear weapons collaboration with the South African Apartheid regime for decades, which only ended with the collapse of the regime in 1994.

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Breaking News: Israeli Navy Seizes Ships Bound For Gaza, Detains Passengers

English (US)  November 4th, 2011 by admin ( Email )

Jane Hirschmann 917-679-8343, 212-222-6721
Felice Gelman 917-912-2597
Medea Benjamin (in Turkey with ground crew) 90 531 888 8927

New York, NY 11/4/11

Canadian and Irish ships, the Tahrir and the Saoirse, sailing with Freedom Waves to Gaza have been illegally boarded by the Israeli military in international waters, about 50 nautical miles from the coast of Gaza, around 9:30 am EDT. The IDF spokesperson confirmed that the vessels were taken to the port of Ashdod, and the passengers were taken into custody by the Israeli police. Although the IDF spokesperson claimed they took “every precaution to ensure the safety of the activists,” Freedom Waves to Gaza organizers have been unable to communicate with the ships since soon after the vessels were approached by Israeli warships earlier this morning.

U.S. Coordinator Jane Hirschmann commented, “Had the passengers been permitted to proceed to Gaza rather than being stopped on the high seas by armed force, there would have been no threat to their safety. The IDF's statement is like the mugger promising to escort his victim home safely.”

The Canadian boat Tahrir confirmed that the Israeli navy had contacted them asking for their destination at around 7 a.m EDT to which Ehab Lotayef, an activist on board the ship, replied 'The conscience of humanity'. When the Israelis again demanded to know the destination of the ship Lotayef replied; 'The betterment of mankind'.

Ann Wright, one of the organizers of the Freedom Flotilla that attempted to sail to Gaza in June, said "It's a little hard to imagine how 27 unarmed civilians on two small boats carrying medicine and letters threaten Israel's security. Israel is simply determined to maintain its policy of collective punishment against the 1.6 million civilians in Gaza. This is a crime against humanity and violation of international law. Despite Israel's consistent use of military force against nonviolent protests and demonstrations, activists around the world will continue to challenge the occupation of Palestine and the blockade and Gaza.”

Passengers on the boats are citizens of Canada, Ireland, the U.S., Australia, and Palestine. The U.S. citizen on the Tahrir is Kit Kittredge of Quilcene, Washington. She is a massage therapist and emergency medical technician.

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