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.
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