Tuesday, January 31, 2012
This photo of a small boy working at a coal depot in Jaintia Hills, India, says about all one needs to know about the outrage of child labor. World Bank policies which dispossess millions and gut labor laws have helped create this global scourge and they attempt to justify it by saying child labor is necessary to sustain families. That’s the mindset of thugs who think working people and our children are nothing more than cannon fodder for their wars and machines to produce their wealth. A priority in protecting children from this abomination is demanding labor laws be protected & expanded, not destroyed--along with giving the World Bank & IMF the bottom of a hobnailed boot. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak)
NYT Magazine cover
Phil Weiss and Matthew Taylor (Mondoweiss)
Two days ago the New York Times Magazine published a landmark in warmongering journalism, a huge article predicting and justifying an Israeli attack on Iran, written by Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman. Last night I went to dinner with a friend who knows nothing about these issues but who said she was sickened to read it. What follows are a number of others expressing similar outrage.
Monday, January 30, 2012
God rules all in 2012 Israel, even the state
Israel: Not what you thought, not what the world thought, not what Israelis imagine themselves to think. Israeli society isn't secular, it isn't liberal and it isn't enlightened.
God exists. Eighty percent of Israeli Jews can't be wrong. And it is precisely for that reason we must say: God protect us from the results of the poll (conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute's Guttman Center for Surveys and the Avi Chai Foundation ). While it is conceivably possible to deal with that burning, wholesale belief in the divine, what do we do with the "You chose us" part? Seventy percent of respondents said they also believed Jews are the Chosen People - and that frightening parameter is only on the rise.
Zionism did not merely pave paths of ethnic discrimination in the occupied territories. Discrimination against civilians exists in every corner of the country. Research institutes and the media, whether intentionally or not, cooperate with this discrimination and also perpetuate it. In parallel to that, the slogan "a light unto the nations" is repeated here ad nauseum. It is therefore worthwhile comparing the situation in Israel with that among "the nations."
Take, for example, the Population Registry Law. During the era of apartheid in South Africa, the citizens of that country were forced to register themselves with the authorities on the basis of their skin color: white, black or colored. In Israel it is not possible to oblige people to sign up in the registry according to their race or color, since the Jews themselves belong to assorted colors and races: Some are white because they came from Poland or Russia, and others are dark skinned - from Yemen or Ethiopia. With no other option, the Zionist mind was forced to invent a unique solution that was suitable to this place, and which answers the need for separation, and thus it was that the registration was born, of Jews, Arabs, Druze and so forth, in the Israeli Interior Ministry.
Another discriminatory law that was enacted in South Africa allotted separate living areas to different races. One can compare it with the local law about selection committees, whose entire objective is to make it possible for various community settlements to chose who will be allowed to become members - based on ethnic background.
Every year tens of thousands of American, European, and South American Jews get free trips to come on a two-week guided tour of Israel. For many this is a chance to see historical sites like Masada, practice whatever Hebrew they learned, and party with Israeli soldiers.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Israeli soldiers drive tractor over worker’s legs to stop Palestinians from building a house on their lands
Injured Palestinian construction worker screams in pain
Friday, January 27, 2012
In Guatemala City, Guatemala, protestors hold up a banner with portraits of people disappeared under General Efraín Ríos Montt’s genocidal rampage in the 1980s. Protestors demand his prosecution & object to his sentence of house arrest rather than incarceration. Rios Montt, a former general, military dictator, & televangelist once said, "A Christian has to walk around with his Bible & his machine gun." He faces charges of genocide & crimes against humanity, including ordering soldiers to engage in mass rape, torture, arson, abduction, murder. Under his direction, over 200,000 people were massacred, including whole villages of unarmed Mayans; 100,000 people fled to neighboring Mexico. As a member of the Guatemalan Congress until last week, Rios Montt was immune from prosecution. Guatemala's new president, Otto Perez Molina, served as a general under Rios Montt in that campaign & denies that genocide took place. It will come as no surprise that Rios Montt is a graduate of the School of the Americas, played a role in the 1954 CIA-organized coup against a democratically elected president, & is one of a long series of dictators who ran Guatemala after the coup. Under President Eisenhower, the Dulles brothers & United Fruit Company decided that democratically-elected President Jacobo Arbenz was too reform-minded & had the CIA organize the coup. In 1980, Ronald Reagan ramped up diplomatic & military ties with Guatemala, blocked scrutiny of human rights crimes & provided US weapons, military vehicles, equipment, & training. (Photo by Rodrigo Abd)
Ultra Zionist Billionaire Gingrich backer Adelson regrets he served in US instead of Israeli military
Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who along with his wife, has donated $10 million dollars in recent weeks to Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, has said that he wishes he had served in the Israeli army instead of the US military and that he wants his son to grow up to “be a sniper for the IDF.”
The Republican candidate was prompted by a question posed by a Palestinian-American at a Florida debate; opponent Gingrich said in same debate he would move U.S. embassy to Jerusalem as president.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Archaeologists and villagers searching a cemetery in Gerena, Spain unearth the bones of a woman in a mass grave thought to contain the remains of 17 women summarily executed by General Francisco Franco's fascist forces in 1937. Discovery of the remains comes a day before the trial commences of Judge Baltasar Garzon. Garzon is charged with abuse of power for opening an investigation into the disappearance of 114,000 people during Spain's 1936-39 civil war and Franco's dictatorship. Garzon is also the Spanish judge made famous for going after and attempting to prosecute Osama bin Laden, Silvio Berlusconi, members of the former dictatorship in Argentina, abuse of suspects held at Guantanamo, and most notoriously, Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. In his investigation, Garzon was acting at the behest of victim’s relatives who wanted to find and exhume the bodies of their loved ones. In a mockery of justice, the plaintiffs against Garzon are three far-right political groups, including Falange Espanola, the old fascist party responsible for most of the atrocities. Instead of this kangaroo court, the Spanish authorities should be trying to learn the fate of thousands of victims disappeared, tortured and executed during the civil war and Franco’s rule, and bring those responsible to justice. (Photo by Cristina Quicler)
The Deputy Prime Minister may have broken the "unwritten rules of the diplomatic game", as the Daily Telegraph alluded, but he was only stating the obvious. The International Court of Justice ruled in July 2004 that, "Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development [... and] have been established in breach of international law."
Rancière, emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Paris VIII and Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Switzerland, had been scheduled to give a talk at Tel Aviv University on 25 January.
Monday, January 23, 2012
The 9,000 residents (including 3,000 children) of Pinheirinho slum in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil (NE of Sao Paulo) resisted eviction (& home-lessness) in city, state & federal courts; with several protests which were attacked by truncheon-wielding cops; & with self-defense squads. Pinheirinho was settled 8 years ago on land abandoned for 30 years by the owner who had a tax debt of over $15 million to the city. The landowner--probably in league with developers on the prowl--went to court to obtain an eviction order. Despite a federal court injunction against the eviction, water, electricity & telephones were cut to the area & on Sunday morning (Jan. 22), the residents were caught off guard when 2,000 riot cops attacked with rubber bullets & tear gas. A leader of the residents was beaten, taken to the hospital, & then sent to jail. Eighteen other people were arrested during the eviction & many were injured, including children. People in surrounding neighborhoods, outraged by the police violence, threw stones at the cops & tried to tear down tents set up to relocate residents of Pinheirinho. These are not the first forced & violent evictions of residents from abandoned properties in Brazil. In Carajas, in 1996, 22 rural workers were murdered by military police & in Goiania, in 2005, the police used death threats, violence, & arrests to evict residents. Brazilian TV, loyal apologist for the dispossession, claimed Pinheirinho was a Cracolandia (crack cocaine territory) & media here is reporting residents set fire to their own homes. Let’s get real! The drug addicted don’t usually put up such a fierce & intelligent resistance to injustice.
A tragic night in the West Bank. Israeli soldiers accompanied a bullodozer as it destroyed all the buildings in the Bedouin community of Beit Arabiya, northeast of Jerusalem in the West Bank.
"People are somber, traumatized, and griefstricken," says Itay Epshtain of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. (ICAHD). "Nearly 100 people are out in the elements now on a cold night. Children, babies, mothers, fathers. Some of us from ICAHD did try to block the bulldozer, but we were beaten back by soldiers."
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Here a right-wing counter-protestor (probably an undercover cop) holds a flare to threaten those protesting against the the Portuguese government's austerity program (Lisbon, Jan. 21). Portugal, under the guise of debt repayment & under pressure from European Union partners & the IMF, is on a massive wrecking operation to privatize the public sector, including health care, the water supply, postal service, public transport, education. The first step was selling the state's shares in Portugal’s only electric company to a Chinese-owned company. Most of these vital services are being sold to private profit companies at bargain basement prices. This will increase unemployment, consumer prices, immigration, & human misery. Pivotal to the program is gutting Portugal’s labor laws. Since most union federations are run by officials with divided loyalties who understand capitulation better than intransigence, leaders of Portugal’s two union federations sat down to negotiate with the government & employers. Saying “no” to attacks on labor rights doesn’t require private negotiations & these talks should have been rejected. All the representatives of the oligarchs agreed to the austerity program (since it will make them even richer). Despite massive protests last fall (including 3 million last Nov. at a national general strike), the UGT union federation completely caved to government demands for gutting labor laws by relaxing firing & hiring rules, reducing the number of holidays, & layoff compensation. The other & largest union federation, the CGTP, rejected the measures & called nation-wide protests against them on Feb. 11. Portuguese workers are going to have to watch union officials like a hawk since their tendency is back-room deals & more is needed than an occasional show of power. If labor has to shut down the country to stop the attacks on working people, then they should shut it down until the oligarchs cry “uncle”. Perhaps the most cynical & despicable part of the austerity drive is the public appeal by government officials for youth to emigrate for work. Portugal has always had a large number of immigrant workers in other European countries. (Photo by Francisco Seco)
A woman stops to help another who tripped running from tear gas fired by riot police in Muharraq, Bahrain at the funeral of Yousif Mowali (Jan. 21). Mr. Mowali was a 24-year old activist in the democratic movement who went missing after being seen at the public prosecutor’s office. After several days, police told his family & human rights activists searching for him that Mr. Mowali had committed suicide by drowning. However photographic evidence showed burns & bruises consistent with torture. (The Bahraini regime has detained over 3,000 activists & are accused of systematic torture.) Authorities ordered the family to hold a private funeral with no procession but thousands gathered for the funeral cortege. Right-wing thugs with rocks and riot cops firing tear gas attacked the mourners at the cemetery to disperse them. Police mocked credulity by claiming they were trying to keep thugs & mourners apart but the Interior Minister Twittered another version: "Police warned mourners several times the procession was unauthorized before using legal procedures to disperse the crowd and protect civil peace." Media outside Bahrain have been reporting these protests as religious in character--as Shi’ite protestors against Sunni regime--rather than as a democratic revolution. Excessive use of tear gas is one of the main weapons of the regime against daily protests; many have developed respiratory problems & some have died from inhalation. (It’s probably not irrelevant that the US & Saudi Arabia see the Bahraini regime as a key ally against Iran, just across the Gulf waters.) (Photo by Hasan Jamali)
BAGHDAD — Iraq is falling back into authoritarianism and headed towards becoming a police state, despite US claims that it has helped establish democracy in the country, Human Rights Watch said on Sunday.
The criticism from the New York-based HRW, which the government quickly disputed, comes less than a year after thousands of Iraqis took to the streets nationwide to criticise the government for poor services.
Friday, January 20, 2012
NEW YORK - The owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, Andrew Adler, has suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to consider ordering a Mossad hit team to assassinate U.S. President Barack Obama so that his successor will defend Israel against Iran.
This man is one of more than 200 million Chinese migrant workers who will travel home by train over the new year holiday. Chinese Lunar New Year or Spring Festival is one of two annual seven day national holidays (a third was eliminated a few years ago) where working people have enough time to travel to their home provinces with gifts for their usually impoverished & rural families. Like in most countries, migrant workers in China were forced to look for work in urban centers due to changes in farming & land use. They are a vast urban army of cheap & super-exploited workers, transforming China from a rural-based economy to an urban & industrial economy. They are a ticking time bomb for the guys in Maserati luxury cars running the country & driving working people into the ground. It is likely the impressive increase of labor & social unrest in China is driven by these migrants who have nothing to lose but their chains. (Photo by Carlos Barria)
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
These men joined thousands of Ethiopian-Israelis protesting today in Jerusalem against racism and discrimination in Israel. There have been a wave of these protests since last week when landlords in an Israeli town pledged not to rent or sell to Ethiopian-Israelis and when their property was vandalized. Placards at the protests displayed symbols & phrases from the US civil rights movement & figures like Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, & Nelson Mandela. The political foundation of Israel is racism so this is a momentous development in the struggle for a democratic & secular state since the most natural allies of the Ethiopians are the Palestinians. (Photo by Sebastian Scheiner)
Appearing on Fox News this afternoon, Welch pushed back against hawkish calls for military action against Iran:"
Used as a textbook in Arizona for about twenty years, Rethinking Columbus even includes an essay by local Tucson writer Leslie Silko. The book promises to reposition Columbus’ “discovery” of the Americas and “help readers replace murky legends with a better sense of who we are and why we are here — and celebrates over 500 years of the courageous struggles and lasting wisdom of native peoples.” The book even contains a mock trial of the explorer and special material for Thanksgiving Day.
Occupied America: A History of Chicanos by Rodolfo Acuña
A “passionately written and extensively researched” overview of Chicano history, Occupied America is the definitive textbook used in Mexican-American studies courses. Published forty years ago, it begins in Mesoamerican times, continues through the conquest by the Spanish and the development of Mexico as a nation, and continues all the way through to modern times and issues of immigration, migrant work, and the fight for equality. Check out the video below of the author speaking out against his book’s ironic banning.
The French parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee published an unprecedented report two weeks ago accusing Israel of implementing "apartheid" policies in its allocation of water resources in the West Bank.
As reported here, during home demolitions in the cave-dweller village of Mufakarah, two young women who resisted nonviolently were arrested and charged with “assaulting soldiers” under the Israeli Occupation’s draconian martial law. The older of the two, Sausan Hamamdeh, reached a plea bargain in December resulting in a fine. When reporting on that development, we were fairly confident that her 17-year-old cousin Amal Hamamdeh would see her charges dropped. After all, she just tried to hand Sausan a water bottle to wash her pepper-sprayed eyes, and when soldiers interfered some water were spilled on them. We were wrong.Read more
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Yesterday, Nigerian union leaders suspended a nationwide strike to restore the fuel subsidy eliminated by the government on January 1st. The Nigerian government had long been under pressure by the IMF to get rid of the subsidy even though the country is the largest African exporter of crude oil. Ending the subsidy immediately doubled fuel and other consumer prices. After a groundswell of popular opposition, a strike called by the union federations, and negotiations with the union leadership, the government restored a portion of the subsidy--a portion no media source seems able to explain. It's clear from these placards that more was involved in this strike than the devastating impact of eliminating the fuel subsidy. And, in fact, the president flooded the streets of Nigeria with riot police to disperse protestors. The bankruptcy of union leaderships is so profound & so global that it was predictable Nigeria's union leaders would cave before government pressure. The strike was so massive & popular, it could have forced a restoration of the whole subsidy rather than a compromise. But the Nigerian people have now witnessed their own power along with the compromising character of union leadership and a day of reckoning may be yet to come.
Once again, the remarkable women of the Arab revolutions: a Yemeni woman shows her palms reading "We won't accept immunity" at a protest in Sana'a. Thousands of Yemenis in several cities voiced their rejection of a leadership deal to grant President Saleh immunity from prosecution for the murder, injury, & incarceration of hundreds of democracy protestors (Jan 12, 2012.). (Photo by Mohammed Huwais)
Today in Pittsburgh, Jesse Lieberfeld, 17, will deliver a hammer blow to American Jewish support for Israel
Martin Luther King Jr
I wish I were in Pittsburgh. This afternoon at Carnegie Mellon University, an 11th-grader will step nervously to a microphone and deliver a hammer blow to American Jewish support for Israel.
Jesse Lieberfeld, 17, a junior at Winchester Thurston High School, will read an essay, "Fighting a Forbidden Battle: How I Stopped Covering Up for a Hidden Wrong," about how he sees himself in Martin Luther King, because of his own struggle with his religion's ordination of support for Israel. The piece is one of two winners in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. essay-writing contest sponsored by the university. It is brave and clear and necessary:
Monday, January 16, 2012
Of every song by Fairuz I keep saying it's a miracle but no more true than here. Especially the introduction of unique purity of voice.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Photo Branson DeCou, Paris, 1945
I remember I used to say jokingly that in France one can by bread by the meter without knowing that actually bread this big used to be manufactured. I wonder why they stopped making bread of this size. The biggest I could see in the late 60 was probably half of this and called "Restaurant" which is still available, I believe..
Kingdom Tower. Saudi Arabia
Electronic Intifada. 13 Jan — Turkey’s Anatolia News Agency carried this report, which has been translated for The Electronic Intifada: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the news report on Mavi Marmara published in Israel’s Yedioth Ahronot newspaper ANKARA – MFA Spokesperson Selçuk Ünal denied claims that Turkey suspended cases that were opened against Israelis connected to the attack on the Mavi Marmara flotilla. In his statement to the Anatolian Agency, Spokesperson Ünal said “the claims in this report do not reflect the reality.”
The race to the White House is in full swing and President Obama has been on the campaign trail to try to win a second term in office. Not only will the Republican Presidential nominee be a hand full for Obama, but also Israel. Obama will most likely get an ear full of questions about his role in the US relationship with Israel. Many believe Israel is taking on the task to have Obama removed as president for 2012. Max Blumenthal, writing fellow for The Nation Institute, takes a closer look at Obama's role with Israel and gives us his take on whether or not Obama will be in the White House for 2012.
"QUELLE horreur! One of the uglier revelations about President Obama emerging from the Republican primaries is that he is trying to turn the United States into Europe.
“He wants us to turn into a European-style welfare state,” warned Mitt Romney. Countless versions of that horrific vision creep into Romney’s speeches, suggesting that it would “poison the very spirit of America.”
Haaretz 13 Jan — The Ministerial Committee for Legislation will decide on Sunday whether a bill that would protect soldiers who refuse to attend ceremonies at which women sing will be backed by the coalition.
High Court of Justice upheld law banning Palestinians from permanently living in Israel with their Israeli spouses
Jewish settlers on Friday destroyed 100 very old olive trees, amongst them olive trees that locals believe to have existed since Roman times, between the villages of Jammain and Yasuf, causing rage amongst the local population.
B’Tselem 11 Jan — Israel’s Civil Administration is planning to relocate some 27,000 Bedouins living in Area C in the West Bank. At first, some 2,300 people will be expelled from their homes near the Ma’ale Adummim settlement and relocated to a site next to the Abu Dis garbage dump, east of Jerusalem. Members of the Khan al-Ahmar community explain how the move will affect them.
Robert Fisk: The 'invented people' stand little chance (against other candidates' more outrageous statements)
"Thank goodness we don't have to hear Newt Gingrich for a while.
His statement that the Palestinians were an "invented people" marked about the lowest point in the Republican-Christian Right-Likudist/Israel relationship. So deep has this pact now become that you can deny the existence of an entire people if you want to become US president. It's time, surely, to take a look at this extraordinary movement, to remind ourselves – since US "statesmen" cannot – just what its implications really are."
Friday, January 13, 2012
By Robet Fisk
"So now it's snapshots of US Marines pissing on the Afghan dead. Better, I suppose, than the US soldiers pictured beside the innocent Afghan teenager they fragged back in March of last year. Or the female guard posing with the dead Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib. Not to mention Haditha or the murder videos taken by US troops in the field – the grenading of an old shepherd by an Iraqi highway comes to mind – or My Lai or the massacre of refugees by US forces in Korea or the murder of Malayan villagers by British troops. Or the Bloody Sunday massacre of 14 Catholics by British troops in Derry in 1972. And please note, I have not even mentioned the name of Baha Mousa.
On Monday night, BBC2 screened a shocking programme about how some Jewish extremists and Israel have been secretly behind the rise of the notorious Fascist Geert Wilders.
As a U.S. Army attorney for more than 27 years, I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. But in recent years, I have observed the undermining of many cherished institutions that I view as the bedrock of our U.S. legal system. I was appalled by the so-called USA Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act; indeed, in waging the "global war on terror" it seems our leaders had sacrificed liberty for security time and again. I was dismayed by what I viewed as the systematic erosion of our rights, but constrained by my military status from speaking out.More
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Video showing four Marines urinating on the apparently dead bodies of three men sprawled on the ground in front of them.
One of the men says, "Have a great day, buddy." A voice asks, "You got it on the video?" to which another voice responds, "Yeah." Another jokes, "Golden, like a shower."
Let's give some credit to the Us forces for not pretending to be "the most moral army" as the despicable Israeli Occupation Forces do.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
by Professor A. K. Ramakrishnan
Mahatma Gandhi Rejected Zionism
.... Gandhi rejected the idea of a Jewish State in the Promised Land by pointing out that the "Palestine of the Biblical conception is not a geographical tract." The Zionists, after embarking upon a policy of colonization of Palestine and after getting British recognition through the Balfour Declaration of 1917 for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jews," tried to elicit maximum international support. The Jewish leaders were keen to get an approval for Zionism from Gandhi as his international fame as the leader of a non-violent national struggle against imperialism would provide great impetus for the Jewish cause. But his position was one of total disapproval of the Zionist project both for political and religious reasons. He was against the attempts of the British mandatory Government in Palestine toeing the Zionist line of imposing itself on the Palestinians in the name of establishing a Jewish national home. Gandhi's Harijan editorial is an emphatic assertion of the rights of the Arabs in Palestine. The following oft-quoted lines exemplify his position: "Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs... Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home."
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
By Mary (new team member)
Article published in Wisdom Blow
Few issues are as layered with obscurantism and deceit as child labor, beginning with the estimated number of child workers worldwide. The most commonly cited estimate from the International Labor Organization (ILO) is 215 million while UNICEF estimates there are 250 million. Others estimate as high as 500 million. Both UN agencies agree that millions of children as young as 5 to 14 years old work full or part time, with nearly half working full-time, every day, all year round; 70 per cent work in agriculture; 70 per cent work in a dangerous environment, with many sustaining extreme violence and coercion; child labor is common in most countries, including Europe and the US, especially in agriculture and sweatshops.
It’s not clear how these agencies determine their estimates since the figures have remained relatively stable for many years when every economic indicator suggests significant increases. In December 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor added a dozen new countries to the list of those that use child labor, including forced labor. Governments are unlikely to accurately report child labor because they use it themselves or turn a blind eye to companies that do; they are unable to accurately report because there are no functioning monitoring agencies or inspectors established in any countries. IMF structural adjustment programs imposed on countries since the 1980s mandate destruction of labor laws and worker protections so it is highly unlikely money is expended to monitor child welfare and child labor. The UN agencies also acknowledge that millions of child workers are not included in their estimates, particularly domestic workers and those in the informal economy (i.e., under the table, off the books, and not regulated by government). What is known is that the problem is rampant in almost every country in some form or another, including children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation, military conscription, bonded labor, sweatshop labor, mining, manufacturing, farm work. There is no monitoring or reporting of accidents, health problems, and deaths as a result of children doing dangerous work.
Video taken outside Jericho as Israeli Soldiers Banned Palestinians to drive their cars in the west banks with National flags attached atop of the cars.
CAIRO: Multi-award winning columnist Thomas Friedman was greeted in Egypt by protesters as he delivered a talk on the Arab world and Egypt’s revolution at the American University in Cairo (AUC) on Monday.
Protesters held signs showing children killed by Israeli attacks on Gaza with the question, “Why is a supporter of war crimes at AUC?”
Friedman, however, seemed unfazed and delivered a speech detailing his thoughts on the region and the recent revolutions.
He spoke about political Islam, separating between Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, pointing out that Egypt is different “because there is no oil here.
“Tensions between political Islam and modernity can be offset by oil money in those countries … what will happen here will likely be different and more challenging.”
The New York Times columnist added that Egypt cannot ignore tourism, alcohol, bikinis. “They must all be addressed here … [because] they are economically important.”
Economically, he said the region, and Egypt in particular, faces numerous challenges in the coming months and years.
Vigilante gangs of ultra-conservative Salafi men have been harassing shop owners and female customers in rural towns around Egypt for “indecent behavior,” according to reports in the Egyptian news media. But when they burst into a beauty salon in the Nile delta town of Benha this week and ordered the women inside to stop what they were doing or face physical punishment, the women struck back, whipping them with their own canes before kicking them out to the street in front of an astonished crowd of onlookers.
Modeling themselves after Saudi Arabia’s morality police as a “Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,” the young men raided clothing and other retail shops around the Qalubiya province over New Year’s weekend declaring they were there to enforce Islamic law, according to the Tahrir News.
(Thanks Abu Zuhair)
Monday, January 9, 2012
Working on it to find a solution. *Sigh.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Newt Gingrich gets $5 million from über-Zionist Sheldon Adelson for his "Palestinians are invented people" assertion
Maps of the Black homelands in apartheid South Africa (left) and areas of autonomous Palestinian control in the West Bank under the Oslo Accords (right) (Maps: Philip Munger)
"What I supported as a younger politician was exactly what the whole world now supports for Israel and Palestine, namely separate nation states will be the solution. In our case we failed. There were three main reasons. We failed because the whites wanted too much land for themselves. We failed because the majority of blacks said this is not how we want our political rights. And we failed because we became economically totally integrated. We became an economic omelet and you can never again divide an omelet into the white and the yellow of the egg. And we realized in the early eighties we had landed in a place which has become morally unjustified."
*Miko Peled is the the son of Israeli general Matti Peled.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Checkpoint shocking admission: "We let them suffer, in the sun, in the rain, that's it. Let the whole world know.""
"Animals. Animals. Like the Discovery Channel. All of Ramallah is a jungle. There are monkeys, dogs, gorillas. The problem is that the animals are locked they can't come out. We're humans. They're animals. They aren't humans we are."
- Israeli border police (at 5:03 )
An experienced journalist or politician never makes such a prediction without leaving a loophole for himself. He puts in an inconspicuous “unless”. If his forecast goes awry, he points to that loophole.
I do have some experience – some 60 or so years of it – but I did not leave any loophole. I said No War, and now General Gantz says the same in so many words. No Tehran, just poor little Gaza.
Why? Because of that one word: Hormuz.
Not the ancient Persian god Hormuzd, but the narrow strait that is the entrance and exit of the Persian Gulf, through which 20% of the world’s oil (and 35% of the sea-borne oil) flows. My contention was that no sane (or even mildly insane) leader would risk the closing of the strait, because the economic consequences would be catastrophic, even apocalyptic."
Friday, January 6, 2012
Elections time, obviously: Obama plans to cut half a million troops and says US can't afford to wage two wars at once
The mighty American military machine that has for so long secured the country's status as the world's only superpower will have to be drastically reduced, Barack Obama warned yesterday as he set out a radical but more modest new set of priorities for the Pentagon over the next decade.
The human rights organizations indicated that settler attacks against Palestinians, including the willful damage of approximately 10,000 privately owned olive trees amounted to the worst rate since 2005.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Israeli Channel 2 aired a rare interview with the "hilltop youth," a network of young settlers associated with the recent attack on an Israeli army base in the occupied West Bank (and with "price tag" graffiti). All between the ages of 18 and 20, these right wing zealots live in structures built from the debris of demolished houses and find delight in news of a mosque burning to the ground.
The juxtaposition of images and words in the video is disturbing: "behind the smiles and summer camp atmosphere in the middle of winter, there are very rigid opinions."
The interviews begin in the West Bank outpost Ramat Migron with three "young, giggling women" who describe the West Bank, and everything on it, as belonging to the Jewish people. As for the Palestinians who live there:
"Arabs are like dogs. They smell fear and then they come to bite."
Next Oded, a young man in favor of colonizing and ethnically cleansing Jordan, takes Channel 2 to a small stone structure known as "the hut," where he describes Jordan as part of "land of Israel... I am all for going to war with Jordan, to conquer them and live there."
The correspondent's voice makes a slight shiver in confusion and fear, and he asks what of the Jordanian women and children, and their houses? Oded replies that they will be removed with "decisiveness and sensitivity."In the third and final stop on the settlement tour, we meet Meir Bretler, a hilltop youth "leader" who Channel 2 says is responsible for organizing the Kasser el Yahud border crossing to Jordan. Bretler closes the interview informing Channel 2 there are approximately 1000 families in the hilltop youth. He hits at the fears of the IDF, and secular Israeli society, that the settlers are growing in numbers, and won't take direction from the military.
"Though Romney won Iowa, he succeeded by a mere 8 votes over former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. The mainstream press is now fixated on Santorum, praising him for his "authenticity" and predicting he will continue to win over "gritty Catholics," as MSNBC host Chris Matthews said today. But now that Santorum is in the limelight, he is also going to be thoroughly vetted. So the question is whether the media will devote anywhere near the same level of attention it gave to Ron Paul's newsletters as it will to Santorum's record of hysterically Islamophobic statements and anti-Muslim activism. So far, I have seen nothing to suggest that it will."
Avraham Burg: There is a very reasonable chance that there will be only one state between the Jordan and the sea- neither ours nor theirs.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
The roots of what has come to be known as "Social Darwinism" can be traced back to the robber baron era in the latter nineteenth century. The idea that the economy of a successful capitalist society amounts to a cut-throat competitive struggle, much like what was supposed to be the case in the natural world, was inspired by the British social theorist Herbert Spencer. In fact, it was Spencer who coined the term "survival of the fittest," not Darwin"
"The Muslim Brotherhood, the overwhelming victor in the first round of elections for the Egyptian Parliament, has announced it will not recognize Israel and intends to bring the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty to a referendum.
"We will not recognize Israel under any circumstances; we are talking about an occupation entity and a criminal enemy," said Dr. Rashad Bayoumi, the deputy head of the Brotherhood."
Monday, January 2, 2012
Today those memories come rushing back. Legislation about to be voted on in the Knesset is strikingly similar to that from Apartheid South Africa. The Ministerial Committee on legislation has approved amendments proposed by MKs Kirshenbaum and Akunis which would restrict funding from foreign states to local human rights groups. The enforcement of this law would chill Israeli democracy and what remains of our once-vibrant society."
He also said he would not respond militarily to keep the strait open—because he would not consider it an act of war against the U.S. But if he were president, he would report to Congress on the issue, leaving it up to lawmakers to declare war if they wanted.
"I think we're looking for trouble because we put these horrendous sanctions on Iran," Paul told a midday audience at the Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa. He said the Iranians are "planning to be bombed" and understandably would like to have a nuclear weapon, even though there is "no evidence whatsoever" that they have "enriched" uranium."
Amira Hass: On anniversary of Gaza war, we will remember IDF soldiers who destroyed Palestinian families
We will remember the soldiers who turned the Abu Eida family home in eastern Jabalya into a base and place from which to shoot, and confined in one room an elderly invalid, a blind woman and two older women. We will remember how these soldiers did not allow these four persons to go to the restroom for nine days. We will remember the soldiers who herded members of the Samouni family into one house and were themselves positioned 80 meters from it when it was shelled, with all its residents inside, under orders from brigade commander Ilan Malka - someone else whom we will remember, of course. "