Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One dead and three injured as war-damaged house collapses in Gaza

A house in Eastern Gaza, that had been damaged by shelling during Israel’s offensive in Gaza in the beginning of this year, collapsed on Monday killing one Palestinian and injuring three others.
(Desertpeace, a great blog I just discovered)

Israel's Man of Conscience

My name is Ezra Nawi. I am a Jewish citizen of Israel.

I will be sentenced on the first of July after being found guilty of assaulting two police officers in 2007 while struggling against the demolition of a Palestinian house in Um El Hir, located in the southern part of the West Bank.

Of course the policemen who accused me of assaulting them are lying. Indeed, lying has become common within the Israeli police force, military and among the Jewish settlers.

After all, was I the one who poisoned and destroyed Palestinian water wells?

Was I the one who beat young Palestinian children?

Did I hit the elderly?

Did I poison the Palestinian residents’ sheep?

Did I demolish homes and destroy tractors?

Did I block roads and restrict movement?

Was I the one who prevented people from connecting their homes to running water and electricity?

Did I forbid Palestinians from building homes?

The Media's Premature Celebration of US Withdrawal From Iraq

"It has been widely reported that Iraqis are celebrating the withdrawal of US forces from their country. But what the media has failed to emphasize is that 130,000 residual forces will still be operating inside of Iraq, and that President Obama intends to keep as many as 50,000 troops stationed in Iraq until 2011, though that date might change, and that there is no withdrawal timeline for thousands of private contractors.
The Huffington Post

Iraq's "National Sovereignty Day" is U.S.-Style Hallmark Hype

"The puppet government in Iraq has named June 30 as "National Sovereignty Day," and--without mentioning the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis maimed, killed, tortured or made refugees by the U.S. invasion and occupation--thanked the occupiers for placing them in power. "President" Jalal Talabani termed today "a glorious day." "
Jeremy Scahill,Journalist, author, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army"

Bloodsuckers and the World of Michael Jackson

"In the aftermath of Michael Jackson's death, I found myself in a surreal situation that gave me a glimpse into the dark side of bloodsuckers, media and celebrity."

Max Blumenthal : Neda in Palestine, Sentenced to Die Alone

For over a week, major American news outlets have broadcast on a virtual loop the video of the killing of Neda Agha-Soltan, an unarmed 26-year-old Iranian woman, by Iranian security services. The poignant footage of Neda dying before a throng of grief-stricken bystanders crystallized the vulnerability experienced by the millions of demonstrators who have filled cities across Iran to confront authoritarian forces determined to suppress their voice through brutal means. When the mainstream American press chose to broadcast the graphic video -- as moving as the footage is, it is difficult to watch -- it made a commendable decision that nonetheless highlighted its hypocritical attitude towards Palestinians who resist Israeli occupation on a daily basis, and who often meet the same fate as Neda.
Max Blumenthal for the Huffington Post

Mondoweiss:Mainstream journalist Ashraf Khalil explains why stories about the Palestinian experience are rarely told

"Before going to Cairo last month, I made it a point to seek out Ashraf Khalil, whose journalism on the conflict in the LA Times earned him a wide reputation for fairness. A man of large spirit, Khalil (left) introduced me to other journalists, brought me to a place I could actually get a beer, and made me feel completely at home. Last week we picked up a piece by Mohammed Omer, the Palestinian journalist who was tortured by Israeli border security on returning to Gaza from England last year after winning the Martha Gellhorn prize. Omer referred to Khalil's coverage of the episode-- in fact the best piece to appear in American mainstream media-- though he criticized Khalil for including an Israeli explanation of certain injuries. I asked Ashraf if he had anything to say. He writes:"

Deceit on Haaretz comments section

I posted a comment on Haaretz site in relation to the article posted here by Gideon Levy warning that the fellow who posts using the moniker "the Angry Arab, As'ad" is a fraud and that Yishai Kohen (who's a regular poster there) is familiar with those deceitful tactics on pro Palestinian blogs, but guess what? They didn't post it!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Good demonstrators versus bad demonstrators

Just look at how demonstrators (in Honduras) are portrayed when they don't fit the foreign policy agenda of the US empire: "Hundreds of pro-Zelaya protesters, some of them masked and wielding sticks, set up barricades in the center of the capital, Tegucigalpa, and sealed off road access to the presidential palace." This is a popular movement that wishes to preserve democracy. Why is'it not getting the twitter and attention? And the demonstrators in Honduras are not chanting Allahu Akbar and are not calling for the return to the teachings of Khomeini.
(the Angry Arab)

The Angry Arab: "To Zionist hoodlums: Hear ye, hear ye"

To Zionist hoodlums everywhere: hear ye, hear ye, year ye. Joseph Massad has indeed obtained tenure and it is all official and the Board of Trustees at Columbia University has voted already. I have known this for weeks but wanted to wait before I inform Zionist hoodlums everywhere--again. I know that I did alert readers to that early on: when the decision was first taken, but wish to rub it in again. In fact, when I saw Joseph recently in Oslo, I told him that the campaign of his enemies have been good for him, and that his Prada shoes looked even shinier. Read this article (although it is full of errors and mistakes) just to get a sense of Zionist anger and insanity. And of course, you will note that the author did not understand a word that Joseph has said.
Note that the title of the article is "The Israel Basher" and not "The Jew Hater" as he would have been labeled not long time ago!

From the Angry Arab: Ayatullah repression

"The Iranian authorities have ordered the family of Neda Agha Soltan out of their Tehran home after shocking images of her death were circulated around the world. Neighbours said that her family no longer lives in the four-floor apartment building on Meshkini Street, in eastern Tehran, having been forced to move since she was killed. The police did not hand the body back to her family, her funeral was cancelled, she was buried without letting her family know and the government banned mourning ceremonies at mosques, the neighbours said." (thanks Laleh)

Sarkozy urges Netanyahu: Get rid of Lieberman

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "get rid" of hard-line Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Channel Two reported on Monday.

Israeli Arabs flood Palestinian cities to boost ailing economy

Israeli Arabs long banned from the West Bank have converged on its cities in recent weeks to buy anything from groceries to makeup, taking advantage of lower prices and boosting the Palestinian economy.

Iran recalls Azerbaijan envoy for talks following Peres visit

Iran has recalled its ambassador to Azerbaijan for consultations after a visit by President Shimon Peres to the Islamic Republic's northwestern
neighbor, an Iranian news agency reported on Monday.

Quoting an informed source, ISNA said the envoy was recalled to Tehran after Peres' visit to Azerbaijan on June 28 and "threats" which it said the Israeli ambassador in Baku had voiced against Iran, without elaborating.

The emperor is very naked

Gideon Levy in Haaretz:

"You can no longer scare the world with Palestinian terrorism, because - what to do? - there hasn’t been any for a long time, touch wood…Thanks to Obama, we have returned to the fateful, fundamental question: Will the Israeli occupation last another 40 years, or has the world become totally fed up with it, having decided to put an end to it? Obama is sending signals that he has chosen the second option."

An important hearing for all concerned

The UN has held an unprecedented public hearing in Gaza to broadcast live witness accounts from Palestinians who described seeing their relatives killed and injured during Israel’s January war.

One after another, they detailed Israeli rocket strikes and artillery shelling near a mosque, a UN school and on several homes across Gaza during the three-week war. The two-day hearing is part of an inquiry by the UN human rights council into the war led by the respected South African judge, Richard Goldstone.

Israel must pay a price again and again

Ken Loach is an internationally-recognised film-maker who recently pressured the Edinburgh Film Festival to refuse money from the Israeli Embassy.

Now, Jewish activists in Australia are trying to make Loach aware of issues closer to home. The following letter was just sent to the Melbourne International Film Festival:

Because God told me so

"Those poor, Jewish settlers in the West Bank just want to live “where Judaism was born.”

Fundamentalist Jews make the occupation sound so benign.

It is both immoral and brutal."

It’s not as if Hamas should be allowed to rule

"The US and Israel will be most pleased; you suffocate a strip of land for too long and its ruling (elected) party will suffer:
Discontent with Hamas over slow-moving Palestinian unity talks and Israel’s ban on Gaza reconstruction aid have led to a sharp decline in the Islamist group’s popularity, an opinion poll showed on Monday.
The survey by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre (JMCC) put public support for Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip at 18.8 percent compared with 27.7 percent in its previous poll in January.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction is now more popular than Hamas with a 34.9 percent rating, up from 26 percent in January, according to the poll of 1,199 people."
Antony Loewenstein

Women’s transport (in Saudi Arabia): Solutions needed

JEDDAH: In Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive, transportation is definitely an issue. Women are usually driven around by family members and personal drivers, or are forced to use some other type of private transportation. While the private transport is a booming business, the higher the demand the more expensive the supply becomes...“Limousines could come in handy sometimes but I have to wait in the street to catch one,” she said, explaining how she had to once wait for 20 minutes under the sun for a taxi."
(via the Angry Arab)

Sunday, June 28, 2009


"The military coup that took place in Honduras this morning (Sunday, June 28), was led by School of the Americas graduate Romeo Vasquez. Obama's statement fell short of calling for the reinstatement of Zelaya as the legitimate president. Do you still think the CIA was not involved?"

'1 in 4 Israelis would consider leaving country if Iran gets nukes'

Some 23 percent of Israelis would consider leaving the country if Iran obtains a nuclear weapon, according to a poll conducted on behalf of the Center for Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University.

Palestinian boycott keeps Dead Sea off '7 wonders' list

The Dead Sea will be eliminated next week from a contest to choose the seven natural wonders of the world, because of a Palestinian boycott over the participation of an Israeli settler council.
The New 7 Wonders of Nature is a global Internet contest under the slogan: "If we want to save anything, we first need to truly appreciate it." In 2007 it chose the new seven man-made wonders of the world.

Privately run checkpoint stops Palestinians with too much food

By Amira Hass

"The typical Palestinian laborer in Israel has a 12-hour workday, including travel time and checkpoint delays. Many leave home as early as 2 A.M. in order to wait in line at the checkpoint; tardiness to work often results in immediate dismissal. Workers return home around 5 P.M. The wait at the checkpoint can take one to two hours in each direction, if not longer.
The food quantities allowed by Modi'in Ezrahi do not meet the daily dietary needs of the workers, and they prefer not to buy food at the considerably more expensive Israeli stores."
This MUST be a nightmare!

Boycott victory: Veolia abandons Jerusalem rail project

Jerusalem rail operator jumps ship, Tel Aviv group isn't even responding
The light rail projects for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are both facing difficulties. In a body-blow to the future Jerusalem light rail, the French company Veolia, which was supposed to run the train system after its construction, is abandoning the project.

US sending weapons to Somalia

The US has revealed it is sending weapons and cash to the Somali government to aid its fight against al Shabab.
The US state department said on Thursday it was "concerned" about whether the government of Sharif Ahmed could be overwhelmed by fighters from the group.
(Via the Angry Arab)


"We have the sad duty to tell you that our friend and longtime partner in activism, Prof. Victoria Buch, passed away yesterday, after a courageous struggle with cancer.
Victoria was actively involved against occupation related human
rights violations, and was from the very beginning the moving spirit of "Occupation Magazine".
As coeditors and friends we will miss Victoria, but we will go on in her spirit."
The Real Estate War in Gaza
The History and “Morals” of Ethnic Cleansing



"The announcement put an end to the persistent rumors circulating in the past few months that the Canadian singer-songwriter’s visit would be cancelled."
How "nice" of him!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Le bas-fond
Kirsti Ottem Langeland

BBC anti-Israel bias is a myth

"A study (pdf) I wrote, published by Arab Media Watch on 10 June 2009, confirms that the BBC's coverage favours Israel. This comes as no surprise, as its findings echo those of numerous previous studies by AMW, universities and others, including the major, independent impartiality review commissioned by the BBC a few years ago."

Obama must call off this folly before Afghanistan becomes his Vietnam

Senseless slaughter and anti-western hysteria are all America and Britain's billions have paid for in a counterproductive war.
If good intentions ever paved a road to hell, they are doing so in Afghanistan. History rarely declares when folly turns to ­disaster, but it does so now. Barack Obama and his amanuensis, Gordon Brown, are uncannily repeating the route taken by American leaders in Vietnam from 1963 to 1975. Galbraith once said that the best thing about the Great Depression was that it warned against another. Does the same apply to Vietnam?
The Guardian

Azmi Bishara on Iran: An alternative reading

Iran does not just have an authoritarian system of government, it has a totalitarian one. It is powerful, highly centralised, with sophisticated administrative and control systems, and it applies an ideology that claims to have answers for everything and that seeks to permeate all aspects of life. Instead of a political party and youth organisations, it relies on mass organisations, such as the Basij, that blend security with ideology and even with the benefit of broad sectors of the populace. It also depends on a broad and well-organised network of mullahs and on a politicised security agency and Revolutionary Guard. However, it differs from other totalitarian systems in two definitive ways.

Iraq debates worsening security

Members of parliament in Iraq are meeting to debate the reasons behind the escalating violence in the country that has claimed more than 250 lives last week.

Saturday's meeting precedes a planned withdrawal of US troops from most Iraqi cities on June 30.
Al Jazeera

Friday, June 26, 2009

Settlers make land grab in latest outpost east of Tulkarem

Eyewitnesses saw the three dozen settlers descend on the lands, owned by Ibrahim Kayid, expressed horror as the group erected a tent and place an Israeli flag over top.

Kayid, whose sons Samer, 30, and Jamal, 20, were attacked by the descending mass and forced off the land. The farmer was dismayed, saying “this land is my only source of livelihood, what will I do now?”
Not nice! They should pay the "market price"!

Naomi Klein in Bil'in: Boycott Israel

Bil’in – Ma’an – Canadian author Naomi Klein called for an international boycott of Israel during a visit to the West Bank village of Bil’in on Friday, where she also attended a weekly demonstration against Israel’s separation wall.

Klein held a news conference in Bil’in, which is known for its tenacious demonstrations against the Israeli barrier, on the first of her nine days in the region, where she is promoting a recent translation of her book, the Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.
Ma'an Agency

Former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak criticized Israel's presence in "Judea and Samaria" as an “occupation”

"The situation has reached the point where Jews wish to throw Arabs into the sea, Barak claimed. “If you ask a Jew if he's in favor of human rights, he'll say 'Of course.' If you ask him if he's in favor of throwing the Arabs into the sea, he'll say 'Of course.' He sees no contradiction between the two,” Barak told his audience."

B.S reporting!! "Mohareb" doesn't mean "one who wages war against god"

"Ahmad Khatami, a member of the powerful Assembly of Experts, said the judiciary should charge leading "rioters" as "mohareb" or one who wages war against God.
"I want the judiciary to ... punish leading rioters firmly and without showing any mercy to teach everyone a lesson," Khatami told worshippers at Tehran University on Friday.
"They should be punished ruthlessly and savagely," he said. Under Iran's Islamic law, punishment for people convicted as "mohareb" is execution.
""mohareb" or one who wages war against God."(?!!)
No madam!
"Mohareb" is an Arabic word. It simply means "fighter" or "warrior" or "combattant" and has no religious connotation. The same in Farsi, I checked!! You can be one fighting against anything, countries, individuals, or dogs barking in your neighborhood by sending letters to the council!

China argues to replace US dollar

China's central bank has reiterated its call for a new reserve currency to replace the US dollar.

Ads for Atheism Appear on Manhattan Buses

An Atheist Bus Campaign has arrived in New York. The ads, which say “You don’t have to believe in God to be a moral and ethical person,” underscored by the URL for the New York City Atheists Inc. Web site, will appear on about 20 city buses.

The language that does the damage

A special political vocabulary prevents us from being able to recognize what's going on in the Middle East.
By Saree Makdisi

"In fact, a special vocabulary has been developed for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the United States. It filters and structures the way in which developing stories are misread here, making it difficult for readers to fully grasp the nature of those stories -- and maybe even for journalists to think critically about what they write."

From The Angry Arab: Arab attitudes to Ahmadinajad

The position of Arab intellectual and public sympathy for Ahmadinajad needs to be explained (not justified). It is not that Arabs like Ahdmadinajad per se: but they really hate his enemies so much that they make the choice. The fact that Ahmadinajad's enemies are the regimes of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan, not to mention Israel and the US, endears him to many Arabs. Having said that: I personally don't trust the Iranian regime on the question of Palestine. Remember that it dealt with Israel during the Iran-Iraq war. And if there is one that I distrust and despise most, it is Rafsanjani--who one should remember is the fruit of the Iranian regime itself. If the regime was not corrupt at it core, a Rafsanjani would not have emerged. The genuine Iranian reform movement (and I am not talking about the Allahu Akbar crowd of Mousavi) needs to distance itself from Rafsanjani, just as the Syrian opposition movement (finally) distanced itself from `Abdul-Halim Khaddam. By the way, it is hilarious when Zizek dismisses talk about Ahmadinajad as a leftist (and I of course agree because Ahmadinajad and the Islamic regime don't deserve the label of the left), and then implies that Mousavi or Rafsanjani are leftists. In sum, Neither Ahmadinajad, nor Mousavi or Rafsanjani. Chant after me NOW.

Australia's pro-Israel policies, pro-Palestine public

"The little Sydney-based pro-Palestine lobby group which I chair called Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine decided we would commission a high class, well-known, opinion poll company to test whether Australia's Labor machine or politicians knew something we didn't -- for example, that their one-sidedness reflected "the will of the people."
Peter Manning for The Electronic Intifada.

The Western media and Iran

Why are protests in Iran receiving more attention than those in other places? One logical explanation is that the Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is a key ally of the US and NATO. Thus, the West and its media have remained largely silent about the opposition protests to not give them attention that would likely inspire the demonstrations to continue and grow, undoubtedly weakening the Saakashvili government.

Meanwhile, the situation in Latin America is particularly sensitive. Coverage of protests by indigenous groups and their supporters in Peru might further embolden these efforts and expose the unjust policies of recent Free Trade Agreements with the US and perhaps lead that country down a path like the increasingly popular governments of Venezuela or Bolivia. Of course, both nations are seen as "anti-American" for their critical positions regarding US intervention in Latin America.
The Electronic Intifada

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The evolutionary origin of depression

Depression may be linked to how willing someone is to give up his goals

CLINICAL depression is a serious ailment, but almost everyone gets mildly depressed from time to time. Randolph Nesse, a psychologist and researcher in evolutionary medicine at the University of Michigan, likens the relationship between mild and clinical depression to the one between normal and chronic pain. He sees both pain and low mood as warning mechanisms and thinks that, just as understanding chronic pain means first understanding normal pain, so understanding clinical depression means understanding mild depression.

Dr Nesse’s hypothesis is that, as pain stops you doing damaging physical things, so low mood stops you doing damaging mental ones—in particular, pursuing unreachable goals. Pursuing such goals is a waste of energy and resources. Therefore, he argues, there is likely to be an evolved mechanism that identifies certain goals as unattainable and inhibits their pursuit—and he believes that low mood is at least part of that mechanism.

A duet in "Heaven"?

*Michael Jackson has died:The singer suffered a cardiac arrest at his home and arrived at hospital in a coma.
*Farrah Fawcett loses her battle.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

De-shelving at Trader Joe

US activists de-shelve Israeli products from national grocer

Argentina case threatens to criminalize criticism of Israel

The furor erupted on 17 May 2009 when violence broke out between protesters and supporters of Israel at a city center event organized by the City of Buenos Aires to mark Israel's 61st anniversary, resulting in the arrest and detention of the protesters. The Israeli ambassador and the country's major Jewish organizations immediately denounced the incident as an "anti-Semitic attack," an interpretation repeated with little reflection, amid much sensationalism, by almost all of the media in Argentina.

Ilan Pappe: "The necessity of cultural boycott"

"If there is anything new in the never-ending sad story of Palestine it is the clear shift in public opinion in the UK. I remember coming to these isles in 1980 when supporting the Palestinian cause was confined to the left and in it to a very particular section and ideological stream. The post-Holocaust trauma and guilt complex, military and economic interests and the charade of Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East all played a role in providing immunity for the State of Israel. Very few were moved, so it seems, by a state that had dispossessed half of Palestine's native population, demolished half of their villages and towns, discriminated against the minority among them who lived within its borders through an apartheid system and divided into enclaves two million and a half of them in a harsh and oppressive military occupation."

Bernard Henri Levy on Iran

I despise BHL (As he's deliciously referred to in France)!
Whatever BHL stands for I stand against! After all this is the guy who found during the onslaught on Gaza that the IDF treated the civilians with extreme care, warning them before any bombardment! The most moral and humane army in the world!!!
In 32 years living in France, I never ever met anyone who doesn't despise BHL! But then again I didn't mix with thugs all that often!!!
Judge for yourself!

The Swan Song of the Islamic Republic

Women's Rights in Pakistan: Descending into Darkness

"In 2002, Mukhtar Mai was gang-raped on orders of a traditional village council as punishment for acts allegedly committed by her younger brother. Instead of suffering in silence, Ms. Mai fought back and testified in a rape case against her attackers and is now a leading Pakistani women's rights activist. The case is now before the Supreme Court after a lower court granted the convicted men's appeal. Hearings for the supreme Court case have repeatedly been delayed, but her attackers remain imprisoned and her case is pending."
The Huffington Post
(Thanks Molly)


Eric Margolis
"Highlighting the complexity of this crisis, Meir Dagan, the head of Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad, reportedly voiced his hope that Iran’s embattled president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, would remain in office. On the surface, that sounds absurd, since Ahmadinejad is Israel’s Great Satan.

But, according to Dagan, if Ahmadinejad’s supposedly `moderate’ rival, Mir Hossein Mousavi, came to power, it would be harder for Israel to keep up its propaganda war against Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program."

Secrets of History: The CIA in Iran

"# Iranians working for the C.I.A. and posing as Communists harassed religious leaders and staged the bombing of one cleric's home in a campaign to turn the country's Islamic religious community against Mossadegh's government."
Plus ca change...plus c'est la meme chose!

We 'Dirty Arabs' Have Had Enough

"Add to this even more anti-Arab and Palestinian sentiment found in Israeli "common slang". According to an article in Haaretz about the Salute for Israel Parade in New York City, young Israelis singing Am Yisrael Chai, (the Jewish Nation Lives), replaced the line "The People of Israel Lives" with "All the Arabs Must Die." When asked by a fellow Jew whether the words of the song bothered him, one participant answered flatly, "This is Zionism."
Johara Baker

Tony Judt for the New York Times

Fictions on the ground

There are about 120 official Israeli settlements in the occupied territories of the West Bank. In addition, there are “unofficial” settlements whose number is estimated variously from 80 to 100. Under international law, there is no difference between these two categories; both are contraventions of Article 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which explicitly prohibits the annexation of land consequent to the use of force, a principle re-stated in Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter.
Thus the distinction so often made in Israeli pronouncements between “authorized” and “unauthorized” settlements is specious — all are illegal, whether or not they have been officially approved and whether or not their expansion has been “frozen” or continues apace. (It is a matter of note that Israel’s new foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, belongs to the West Bank settlement of Nokdim, established in 1982 and illegally expanded since.)

The blatant cynicism of the present Israeli government should not blind us to the responsibility of its more respectable-looking predecessors.

Settler Violence Increases as Obama Calls for Settlement Freeze

Violent Settler Activity in the Last Month:

5-21-09: Nablus- Israeli settlers uproot olive trees, protected by the Israeli military who declared the Palestinian agricultural area a closed military zone.

5-22-09: Nablus- Israeli settlers from the Yitzhar settlement set fire to bales of harvested barley in a Palestinian field, destroying the entire crop.

5-22-09: Hebron- A group of Israeli settlers and a unit of Israeli soldiers attack Palestinian youths as they try to remove a tent that was set up illegally by the settlers.

5-25-09: Salfit- Israeli settlers release herd of wild boars into Palestinian farmlands, damaging wheat and barley fields as well as fruit trees.

5-26-09: Hebron- More than 20 Israeli settlers attacked four Palestinian shepherds with clubs while they were herding sheep on their land near the settlements of Ma’on and Beit Yatir.

5-26-09: Nablus- An Israeli settler assaulted a 21-year old Palestinian woman near the Za’atara checkpoint south of Nablus.

5-30-09: Bethlehem- Israeli police seized activists and Palestinians who were attacked by settlers near the settlement, Bat Ayn.

6-01-09: Nablus- Israeli settlers assaulted a group of Palestinians, injuring six, which the settlers say is in response to the Israeli government’s dismantling of unsanctioned settler outposts.

6-01-09: Nablus- Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian-owned fields of wheat, barley, and olive trees in the villages of Burin, Asira, Surra, and Tell south of Nablus.

6-02-09: Nablus- Israeli settlers set fire to more than 50,000 square meters of Palestinian-owned farmland south of Nablus.

6-03-09: Salfit- Israeli settlers from the nearby settlement of Ariel send wild boars to attack Palestinians.

6-03-09: Bethlehem- Israeli settlers throw stones, blockade roads, and set fire to Palestinian farmland in the fourth straight day of violence they say is in reaction to their government’s decision to dismantle outposts.

6-11-09: Salfit- Israeli settlers organized a wild boar attack on a Palestinian agricultural area near Salfit that destroyed dozens of fruit trees and grape crops.

6-13-09: Hebron- Israeli settlers and military forces assault Palestinian farmers and foreign solidarity activists as they tried to enter illegally confiscated lands near the Beit ‘Ein settlement.

6-15-09: Nablus- Dozens of Israeli settlers set fire to more than 25,000 square meters of wheat fields owned by Palestinians.

6-18-09: Hebron- Three Israeli settlers attack a man from Hebron outside the Kiryat Arba settlement while the settlement guards watched.

6-21-09: Hebron- Israeli settlers from the Susia settlement set fire to a tent, used as a meeting hall, while three Palestinians were inside.

6-21-09: Salfit- Israeli settlers from the northern West Bank released a herd of wild boars to attack Palestinian neighborhoods and farmland.

6-22-09: Hebron- Israeli settlers uproot more than 150 olive and grape trees from Palestinian land near the settlement, Bat Ayin; the settlers also set fires in the same area.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How the Wall Street Bankers Bought Congress

You would think that causing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression might have repercussions. You would think being a major factor in the destruction of around 40 percent of the world’s wealth might get you in trouble. You would think being the cause of the worst housing crisis in history — with millions of people losing their homes because of you — might force a restructuring of how Wall Street does things.

You would think that. But you’d be wrong.

Olmert offered to withdraw from 93% of West Bank

Olmert's offer was confirmed to Newsweek by Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator. "It's very sad. He was serious, I have to say," Erekat said. He said that he and Abbas began preparing a response, but within a few months the Gaza war erupted, and Olmert had left office.
Very nice of him! Stealing only 7% of the 43% left after they stole 57% of what the Palestinians originally had!!

Israel won't let Gaza boy see his only parent

In protest over the complaint the United States dared to lodge against Israel over the plight of Gaza Strip residents, the Defense Ministry declared there is no humanitarian crisis there, nor did one ever exist.

According to the ministry's criteria for humanitarian cases, our American friends got a little carried away. For example, is the case of a 7-year-old Gazan who lost his mother and wants to rejoin his father, who lives in Hebron, to be considered a humanitarian case by the Defense Ministry? That's not a sure thing.

Barak authorizes construction of 300 new homes in West Bank

Defense Minister Ehud Barak has authorized the building of 300 new homes in the West Bank, defying U.S. calls for a halt to settlement growth.

America’s Holocaust Denial

"The only way I can maintain any integrity in regard to my ancestor’s relationship to the Indians is to call it painfully and regrettably, an American Holocaust.

According to Ward Churchill, a professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado, the reduction of the North American Indian population from an estimated 12 million in 1500 to barely 237,000 in 1900 represents a “vast genocide . . . , the most sustained on record.”"

Stock Insiders Abandoning Ship

Executives at U.S. companies are taking advantage of the biggest stock-market rally in 71 years to sell their shares at the fastest pace since credit markets started to seize up two years ago.

Iranian Elections Rigged? Probably Not

"Americans and Europeans have been misreading Iran for 30 years. Even after the shah fell, the myth has survived that a mass movement of people exists demanding liberalization — a movement that if encouraged by the West eventually would form a majority and rule the country. We call this outlook “iPod liberalism,” the idea that anyone who listens to rock ‘n’ roll on an iPod, writes blogs and knows what it means to Twitter must be an enthusiastic supporter of Western liberalism. Even more significantly, this outlook fails to recognize that iPod owners represent a small minority in Iran — a country that is poor, pious and content on the whole with the revolution forged 30 years ago."

Kissinger threatens regime change in Iran if coup fails!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Chagossians: The "Palestinians of the Pacific"

Diego Garcia: “UK took our homes;US killed our dogs"
(Thanks Molly)
I remember when I first brought this up few months ago, quoting John Pilger, I was copiously ridiculed!!
--Religious slaughter causes extreme distress to animals, claim scientists

End 'cruel' religious slaughter, say scientists

Beasts should be stunned before their throats are slit, Jews and Muslims are told.
When I was a kid, seeing it, it used to cause me extreme distress too!!
--Gay animals: Homosexuality has been documented in almost 500 species of animals, signaling that sexual preference is predetermined. Considered the closest living relative to humans, bonobos are not shy about seeking sexual pleasure. Nearly all of these peace-loving apes are bisexual and often resolve conflict by the "make love, not war" principle. They copulate frequently, scream out in delight while doing so, and often engage in homosexual activities. About two thirds of the homosexual activities are amongst females.
--Iran protests: an eyewitness account
--Ex-Bush Loyalists: Where Are They Now?
--"The Cost of War - One Day = $720 Million - No wonder we are bankrupt"
--Obama's False Financial Reform
He tried to make it sound as though everyone was implicated in the financial breakdown and therefore no one was really to blame.
--The House voted 405-1 today for a resolution in support of the Iranian dissidents and condemning the ruling government. And the one man who opposed it was...Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).
--Why Did The Washington Post Axe Dan Froomkin and Give Paul Wolfowitz a Column?
--Confidential memo reveals US plan to provoke an invasion of Iraq
--There is now sufficient evidence to charge Israel with war crimes for its actions in Gaza. Why is Obama silent?
--Have faith in atheists

Those who discriminate against non-believers should know that atheists are healthy, intelligent and well adjusted

*And here's someone who obviously doesn't agree!

--Atheism is a Mental Illness, a cry for attention.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Worst Father Ever Imagined

"Eventually God decided to create a “chosen people,” and when they didn’t live up to his expectations, he let them be enslaved by the Egyptians. After a long period of pain and suffering, he decided to listen to the cries of his people. He chose a leader, Moses, to get them out of slavery. Moses succeeded, but the people rebelled, so God made them wander around in a desert for 40 years, until everyone of that generation died, including Moses (because Moses struck a rock with a rod instead of just speaking to it).

He told his people to capture the towns of other nations, to kill them all and their animals, but keep the virgins for themselves to rape. He would command them to make slaves of other nations. He even let them sell their own daughters into sexual slavery.

He made an entire book full of laws of things they were not allowed to do. They couldn’t touch menstruating women, they couldn’t eat shrimp or pigs, they couldn’t mix fibers for garments, they couldn’t kill their slaves — only beat them until they’re almost dead, and thousands of other things. It was an impossible list to follow, and he knew it. He was just making a point that they were worthless scum and couldn’t match his wonderfulness."

Settlers torch tent with Palestinians inside near Hebron

Hebron – Ma’an – Three Palestinians from a small hamlet near Yatta, south of Hebron, on Sunday narrowly escaped death after Israeli settlers set fire to a tent while they were inside.

Local residents told Ma’an that Israeli settlers from the nearby Susia settlement, which sits on Palestinian land, set fire to a large tent used as a meeting hall for the small village.

The tent belonged to Muhammad Nasr Nawaj’ah, and was about 50 square meters in size.

Local residents who were awakened by pleas for help hurried to extinguish the fire and administered first aid to the injured, who were identified as 22-year-old Abd Ar-Rahman Nawaj’ah, 21-year-old Yahya Nawaj’ah, and 22-year-old Ibrahim Nawaj’ah.

Obama won’t wink back - By Uri Avnery

"Remember Dov Weisglass? The one who said that peace must wait until the Palestinians become Finns? Who talked about preserving the peace process in formaldehyde? However, Weisglass will mainly be remembered less for his mouth than his eyes. Weisglass is the King of the Wink.

This week, Binyamin Netanyahu called him in for urgent consultations. He needed a lesson in “working with the eyes” (as cheating is called in modern Hebrew slang). Winking is the main instrument of the settlement enterprise. The wink is the real father of the settlements. The settlers wink. The government winks. Officials don’t issue a permit, but wink. They say no, and wink. Wink and build. Wink and connect to electricity and water. Wink and send soldiers to protect the outposts, and also remove the Palestinians from adjoining fields and olive groves."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

"The Plot: Use the UN to rid the world of Israel"

This fellow, Bradley Burston( Sounds very Middle Eastern doesn't it? Well yes, he's Israeli!) is a rabid Zionist who writes for Haaretz...In what could only be explained as an exercise in political fiction writing, he offers this view: The UN wants to rid the world of Israel!

VIDEO: Border Police upload footage of their abuse of Palestinians to YouTube

Border Policemen have filmed themselves abusing and humiliating Palestinians in videos they have posted on YouTube over the past year.

In one clip uploaded to the video sharing website an Arab youth is shown in arid terrain, slapping himself, while a voice is heard instructing him to say "I love you, Border Police," and "I will f**k you, Palestine," in Arabic. The victim is forced to respond to everything he is ordered to do, to the raucous laughter of the cameraman and his friends, all Border Policemen.

And while we're on the subject of the border Police thugs:

Two Border Policemen get prison terms for robbing Palestinians

As'ad's Oslo

Not only are people so friendly in that city, but the country (from what I heard and was told) is so overwhelmingly pro-Palestinian. There is a climate of pro-Palestinian sympathy sweeping Europe if not the world. The years of the Zionist usurping entity are numbered--for sure. (Egyptian literary critic/Arabic professor, Sabri Hafiz, told me that he refers to Israel always as "the state of Zionist [colonial] settlement in Palestine".)
The Angry Arab

Friday, June 19, 2009

Anarchism's Promise for Anticapitalist Resistance

By Cindy Milstein


[Contribution to the Reimagining Society Project hosted by ZCommunications]

For many, a "new anarchism" seemed to have been birthed amid the cold rain and toxic fog that greeted the November 1999 World Trade Organization protest. Yet rather than the bastard child of an emergent social movement, this radical politics of resistance and reconstruction had been transforming itself for decades. Seattle's direct action only succeeded in making it visible again. Anarchism, for its part, supplied a compelling praxis for this historical moment. And in so doing, it not only helped shape the present anti-capitalist movement; it also illuminated principles of freedom that could potentially displace the hegemony of representative democracy and capitalism.

From its nineteenth-century beginnings on, anarchism has always held out a set of ethical notions that it contends best approximates a free society. In the parlance of his period, Italian anarchist Errico Malatesta (1853-1932) long ago described anarchism as "a form of social life in which men live as brothers, where nobody is in a position to oppress or exploit anyone else, and in which all the means to achieve maximum moral and material development are available to everyone."[1] This pithy definition still captures anarchism's overarching aims. Nevertheless, this libertarian form of socialism may well have been ahead of its day in advocating a world of transnational and multidimensional identities, in struggling for a qualitative humanism based on cooperation and differentiation. It is only in the context of globalization that anarchism may finally be able to speak to the times and thus peoples' hopes. Whether it can fulfill its own aspirations remains to be seen.

Ignore All the Iran Experts

By Charles Kurzman
Source: Foreign Policy

Charles Kurzman's ZSpace Page

Predictions about Iran are a dime a dozen these days. And that's exactly what they're worth.

Déja vu: The crowds in Iran look awfully familiar. And they're just as unpredictable as they were in 1978.

Troops are out in Iran this week, but in many cases the crowds have grown so large that the security forces are standing back and letting them swarm silently and peacefully through the boulevards -- just like in 1978.

Chants of Allah-o-akbar, God is great, reverberate from rooftops at night, expressing popular revulsion against the dictatorial regime -- just like 1978. The government has assaulted university campuses and shut down the opposition's offices, but these and other crackdowns have only sparked further protest -- just like 1978.

Pot Pourri

1-Veolia reportedly drops light rail project, but campaign goes on

2-National Canadian Jewish organization votes to boycott Israel

3-Belgian campaign forces financial group to cancel settlement loans

4-Young Palestinians in Gaza find their voice through hip-hop

5-"Security threat": An attempt to visit family in Ramallah

Nonviolent resistance in the south Hebron hills

Joy Ellison writing from Hebron, occupied West Bank, Live from Palestine, 18 June 2009

"A couple of months ago I had the great pleasure of watching Palestinians successfully graze their sheep near Avigail settlement, on land where they are regularly attacked and harassed. The joy I felt in watching my friends and partners grazing their sheep on their ancestral lands was overwhelming. Sitting on the hill and eating lunch together felt like having a party.

As the day drew to an end, Mahmoud, one of the Palestinian elders, excitedly explained to me the strategy he had used in dealing with the Israeli army and settlers that morning. He told me how, even though the army had declared the area a closed military zone, he firmly stood up for his rights. He explained how he pretended to slowly begin to comply with the military order, all the while challenging the soldiers and insisting on his right to graze his sheep. Eventually, he said, the army lost control of the situation and gave in. When he finished his description, Mahmoud turned to me and grinned. "I read in a book that this is called nonviolence," he said, laughing."

Israel Lobby watch:Group linked to Israeli lobby, neocons releases another Islamophobic film

WASHINGTON (IPS) - A new documentary from a shadowy non-profit, the Clarion Fund, has ties to groups widely accused of Islamophobia.

The Third Jihad purports to educate US citizens about the threat of a "cultural Jihad" by the country's own Muslim-American population. The film goes to great lengths to define itself as an expose of radical Muslim elements, not the faith at large.

But a group called the International Free Press Society (IFPS), which attended the Washington premiere of the film and documented the screening on behalf of the production company on a social media website, has some dubious affiliations.

Israel Lobby watch:Canadian diplomat honored on confiscated Palestinian land

Canada's chief diplomat in Israel has been honored at an Israeli public park -- built on occupied Palestinian land in violation of international law -- as one of the donors who helped establish the park on the ruins of three Palestinian villages.

Jon Allen, Canada's ambassador to Israel, is among several hundred Canadian Jews who have been commemorated at a dedication site. A plaque bearing Allen's name is attached to a stone wall constructed from the rubble of Palestinian homes razed by the Israeli army.
Jonathan Cook, Electronic Intifada

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'm hosting Asa'd today..

"I spoke on the first night in Oslo at the Palestinian House. I was hosted by a most principled Palestinian struggler that I have admired from afar. Typically, Palestinians that I met were immediately curious to know what village of Palestine I came from. I often am--to my pride--mistaken for a Palestinian (perhaps because of my passion for Palestinian struggle for liberation) but I tell Palestinians that I consider myself an honorary Palestinian. Many of the audience members came from refugee camps that I knew in Lebanon. They were as opposed to Oslo as I am (the agreement and not the city although the food in the city sucks big time): and we joked about the rumor spread by some person in DC that this academic conference (dealing with various aspects of the Middle East including literary aspects) is a political conference for normalization. I joked that if somebody wants to push for normalization with Israel they would not invite Joseph Massad and I--of all people--to encourage normalization (Electronic Ali could not make it due an emergency). In fact, in the opening speech by a Norwegian diplomat who spoke about Oslo, both Joseph and I fiercely attacked Oslo. The conference is open and some Palestinian comrades are attending. I will speak this morning and Joseph (who can serve as a tourist guide to a city hours after his arrival for the first time to that city) is speaking this afternoon."
Because I'm VERY busy, my eyes are burning and As'ad's posts are as good as anything!!

From Asa'ad again. On Iran (again!)

"The Guardians Council
I read that the Guardians Council insisted that it would only permit a partial recount. That unelected lousy body has proven that it is as undemocratic as the unelected lousy anti-democratic body called the US Supreme Court."
The Angry Arab

On Iran from the Angry Arab Abu Khalil

Alexander sent me this (I cite with his permission): "As an Iranian and avid reader of your blog, I wanted to share my thoughts on your "Iranian developments" post with you. First of all, your point about Western coverage of Iranian democracy vis-a-vis other countries in the region is spot-on. I think you are right to criticize the impact of Ahmadinejad's rhetoric on Palestine, and I would like to explain a little about that. In the past, Palestinian liberation was a cause championed by the Iranian secular left, but nowadays it is strongly associated with the religious right. This is not due only to Ahmadinejad (every Iranian leader since Khomeini has expressed the idea that Palestine is a "Muslim issue" that Iranians should be concerned about) but it has gotten worse under Ahmadinejad. It's not just the statements he makes in international settings, but more importantly the way the issue is used domestically in order to distract people from their own issues. People are told not to protest economic stagnation, repressive government, etc. because they shouldn't complain when Palestinians have it so much worse. "Pray for Gaza" is shoved down their throats in the same breath as "fix your hijab." In addition, many people resent the fact that the Iranian state spends so much money on Palestinian and Lebanese affairs when there is such poverty and underdevelopment at home. Incidentally, one of the popular (and hyperbolic) chants at the protests that are going on right now is "mardom chera neshastin, Iran shode Felestin!" (People, why are you sitting down? Iran has become Palestine!").
Finally, I am glad that you are defending neither Ahmadinejad nor Mousavi. It is frustrating that everyone I talk to from Pakistan to Egypt loves Ahmadinejad and is shocked to hear that many Iranians think he is ineffective and embarrassing. Meanwhile every Westerner seems to think that Mousavi is a great reformist or revolutionary, and some kind of saintly figure beloved by all. He's an opportunist crook. That being said, I support the students and protesters in Iran, even the ones chanting Mousavi's name. I believe they are putting their lives on the line to fight for greater freedom, accountability, and democracy within the Islamic Republic, and they have to couch that in the language of Islam and presidential politics in order to avoid even greater repression than that which they already face. A friend who is in Iran right now confirms: "half the kids throwing rocks at the police didn't even vote." To me, that means that they are not fighting for a Mousavi presidency, but for more freedom, which they must hide under a green Mousavi banner in order to have legitimacy in the eyes of the state."

Mousavi and..."the neoliberal bastard"

A colleague and friend sent me this (she/he does not want to be identified): "Mousavi was (along with a couple of other major "reformists") were hotheaded rightwing Islamists back in the 1980s, and Mousavi in particular was responsible for purging universities of lefties, Jews, and Bahaiis. the other two people most associated with this same move from being university purgers to radical reformists are Abdulkarim Sorush and MohsenKadviar. The former is a philosopher and the latter a cleric, both of whom have very sophisticated arguments (the former based on Gadamer's hermeneutics; the latter based on his extensive training and certification as a faqih) about separating the mosque from the state. All three were involved with the early purges and now face the same fate...the other thing is that although Ahmadinejad has very populist rhetoric he
is actually a neoliberal bastard economically, so...."
(The Angry Arab)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cancer boost from whole carrots

The anti-cancer properties of carrots are more potent if the vegetable is not cut up before cooking, research shows.

Scientists found "boiled before cut" carrots contained 25% more of the anti-cancer compound falcarinol than those chopped up first.
And you save time chopping...

Obama's Big Disconnect : The Rhetorical President

"The folks on the right are insane, of course. But that’s hardly news. They are also increasingly desperate to find anything to hit this guy with. “He gave the Queen an iPod!” He bowed to the Saudi King!” “He went to a play!” Wow. Apart from everything else, I must say I appreciate their willingness to cling so heartily to their own little adventure in political suicide by each week reminding the tens of millions who didn’t get it the first time around why the last eight – if not thirty – years have been so harrowing. Thanks for the public service, guys. The world will certainly be a better place without you!"

The Ending of America's Financial-Military Empire

The city of Yekaterinburg, Russia’s largest east of the Urals, may become known not only as the end of the road for the tsars but of American hegemony too; as the place not only where US U-2 pilot Gary Powers was shot down in 1960, but where the US-centered international financial order was brought to ground.

Challenging America is the prime focus of extended meetings in Yekaterinburg, Russia (formerly Sverdlovsk) today and tomorrow (June 15-16) for Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and other top officials of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The alliance is comprised of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrghyzstan and Uzbekistan, with observer status for Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia. It will be joined on Tuesday by Brazil for trade discussions among the so-called BRIC nations --Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Iraq's Looming Peril: A Plague of Snakes


Snakes are attacking people and cattle in southern Iraq as the Euphrates and Tigris rivers dry up and the reptiles lose their natural habitat among the reed beds.

"People are terrified and are leaving their homes," says Jabar Mustafa, a medical administrator, who works in a hospital in the southern province of Dhi Qar. "We knew these snakes before, but now they are coming in huge numbers. They are attacking buffalo and cattle as well as people." Doctors in the area say six people have been killed and 13 poisoned.

In Chabaysh, a town on the Euphrates close to the southern marshland of Hawr al-Hammar, farmers have set up an overnight operations room to prevent the snakes attacking their cattle.

"We have been surprised in recent days by the unprecedented number of snakes that have fled their habitat because of the dryness and heat," Wissam al-Assadi, one of the town's vets said. "We saw some on roads, near houses and cowsheds. Farmers have come to us for vaccines, but we don't have any."

Are You Ready for War with a Demonized Iran?

Why the US Wants to Delegitimize the Iranian Elections

"How much attention do elections in Japan, India, Argentina, or any other country, get from the U.S. media? How many Americans and American journalists even know who is in political office in other countries besides England, France, and Germany? Who can name the political leaders of Switzerland, Holland, Brazil, Japan, or even China?

Yet, many know of Iran’s President Ahmadinejad. The reason is obvious. He is daily demonized in the U.S. media.

The U.S. media’s demonization of Ahmadinejad itself demonstrates American ignorance. The President of Iran is not the ruler. He is not the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He cannot set policies outside the boundaries set by Iran’s rulers, the ayatollahs who are not willing for the Iranian Revolution to be overturned by American money in some color-coded “revolution.”

A bottomless bag full of tricks..."Peres Urges Temporary-bordered Palestinian State"

President Shimon Peres said on Thursday that Israel and the Palestinians should agree on a Palestinian state with temporary borders as a first step towards ending the Middle East conflict, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to outline his government's policies on the peace process at a speech on Sunday.

"The roadmap outlines a clear path and (the sides) should implement the second stage of the roadmap -- declaring a Palestinian state with temporary borders," Peres's office quoted him as saying.

Israel and the Palestinians should further make "a clear commitment that the borders will become permanent within a limited period," he said at a meeting with the European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

The Palestinian Authority flatly rejected the Israeli president's proposal.
Palestine Chronicle

Does Israel Really Have the Right to Exist?

"Israel is a country that was founded by Europeans who came to Palestine, formed terrorist gangs who set about a systematic ethnic cleansing of the native Palestinians from their homes on 78% of Historic Palestine in 1948. Those Palestinians and their descendants still languish in refugee camps. Israel attempted a similar scenario in 1967 when they conquered the remainder of Palestine, but Palestinians then couldn’t be dislodged from their homes as easily. This remains true, despite 40 years of Israel’s violent and oppressive military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Despite home demolitions, land confiscations, rapacious building of Jewish-only colonies, endless checkpoints, targeted assassinations, bombings of schools, hospitals, municipal buildings and malls, closures and denials; despite the massive human rights abuses, the imprisonment and torture of men women and children alike, the separation of families, the daily humiliations; despite the massive killings – Palestinians remain. We still resist. We still live, love, and have babies. As much as we can, we rebuild what Israel destroys. Such are rights!"
Palestine Chronicle

US troops ask Syria to thwart al-Qa'ida offensive

Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad
The Iraqi government expects al-Qa'ida and Baathist insurgent groups to launch a wave of attacks so they can take credit for compelling the US military to leave Iraqi cities by 30 June, according to a senior Iraqi minister.

An American military team was dispatched from Baghdad to Damascus at the weekend to demand that Syria help choke off a guerrilla offensive by imposing greater control over its border with Iraq, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari revealed in an interview with The Independent.
the Independent

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Watch out, Obama: Avigdor Lieberman, ‘Israel’s Dick Cheney’ is headed to the U.S.

While Middle East-watchers are necessarily drawn to the aftermath of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s far-too-hastily certified election victory, let’s not forget who’s on his way to Washington – “Israel’s Dick Cheney:” Avigdor Lieberman, the hard-line Moldovan who lives in an illegal West Bank settlement, heads the far-right Ysrael Beiteinu (Our Home) party, and favors legislation requiring non-Jews living in today’s Israel to take a loyalty oath.

Yesterday, European trade officials offered Lieberman the first taste of carrot and stick since Netanyahu’s speech: An upgrade in Israel’s trading relationship with the European Union, he was told, won’t be forthcoming until Israel takes some concrete actions toward peace, like freezing settlements and allowing supplies into Gaza. E.U. officials also insulted him by meeting with the representatives of Hezbollah.

What would have happened if the "Bomb Iran" contingent had its way?

I'm going to leave the debate about whether Iran's election was "stolen" and the domestic implications within Iran to people who actually know what they're talking about (which is a very small subset of the class purporting to possess such knowledge). But there is one point I want to make about the vocal and dramatic expressions of solidarity with Iranians issuing from some quarters in the U.S.
Glenn Greenwald

Settlers burn Palestinian farmland near Nablus

Nablus – Ma’an – Dozens of Israeli settlers set fire to more than 25 dunums (25,000 square meters) of wheat fields owned by Palestinians from the village of Al-Lubban Ash-Sharqiya.
Settlers in the Nablus area have increased attacks on Palestinians in recent weeks, angered over the Israeli government’s decision to crack down on unauthorized settler outposts.

Gaza police deny report of failed Carter assassination attempt

Gaza/Bethlehem - Ma’an - De facto government police denied reports of an attempted assassination of former US President Jimmy Carter during his visit to Gaza Tuesday morning.

Carter arrived in the early morning and shortly after Israeli news agencies began reporting an attempt on his life.
Ma'an Agency

First summit for emerging giants Russia, China Brazil and India

The world's newest economic grouping is to hold its first summit in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg on Tuesday.

Bric is named after its four member states - emerging giants Brazil, Russia, India and China.

E.U. Defers Upgrade Of Israel Trade Ties

JERUSALEM, June 15 -- European Union officials said Monday that they would delay any improvement in trade relations with Israel after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered conditional support for a Palestinian state in an address Sunday night but did not declare a freeze on Israeli settlements.
The Washington Post

Migrants amnesty would aid economy by £3bn, says study

An amnesty for an estimated 618,000 ­illegal immigrants in Britain would provide a £3bn boost to the economy, ­according to a London School of Economics study commissioned by the London mayor, Boris Johnson. The study, published last night by the London assembly, dismisses fears that an amnesty would trigger ­further large-scale illegal migration, arguing that ­Britain's border controls would be an effective deterrent.
The Guardian,UK.

Terrible Wiping Stick Commercial

Look I don't mean to be distasteful, butt...

The American vs. Iranian way of life

I found this comment on the cartoon interesting:
"This actually makes sense although the author did not intend to. The US is not a Democracy, we are a Republic, and thus not bound by majority rule, but by the rule of law, hence why the decision deferred to the courts. That form of government is not for"

Monday, June 15, 2009

"Their children will forget"...Ben Gurion

(Photo from "Annie's Letters", a remarkable blog!)

Western Primer on elections in developing countries

Some Western principles in assessing elections in developing countries:
1) When the favored candidates win, the elections are free and fair. And when they lose, elections are certainly unfree and stolen.
2) Violent protests against elections that produce winners favored by the west, are to be strictly condemned and protesters are to be called terrorists, hooligans and mobs (can you imagine if Lebanese opposition supporters were to engage in violent protests against the election results in Lebanon), while violent protests against enemies of the US when they win elections (like in Moldova) are to be admired (and the protesters in those cases are called "democracy activists".
3) It is not against free elections to have Western governments interfere in elections and in funding candidates through Western groups for the promotion of democracy.
4) Candidates (or even dictators) who serve Western interests are automatically labeled as "reform candidates" (even the Saudi tyrant is referred to as "reform-minded"), while candidates who oppose Western economic and political interests are to be labeled enemies of reform.
5) Candidates who are not strident in their language about Israel are always favored.
6) Western observers of elections are always on hand to declare an election unfair and rigged if the favored candidates lose.
7) The corruption of pro-US candidates (like the March 14 bunch) is preferred to the non-corruption of, say, Mugabe.
8) The democratic credentials of dictators immediately improve if they change their policies toward the US and if they express willingness to serve US economic and political interests.
9) Countries where dictators do a good job in serving US economic and political interests need not hold elections.
10) If favored candidates can't guarantee electoral victory (like the PA tool, Abu Mazen whose term has expired months ago), they don't need to hold elections and will be treated as if they won an election anyway.
11) It is just not logical to assume that people in developing countries can freely ever decide to make choices that are not consistent with political and economic interests of the US.
12) Elections that are held under American and Israeli occupations are free and fair if the preferred candidates win.
(The angry Arab)

Ahmadinejad: Anyone who strikes Iran will regret it

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday said any country that dared to attack Iran would "deeply regret" such a move, dashing hopes that his re-election Saturday would temper his confrontational stance toward the world.

"Who dares to attack Iran? Who even dares to think about it?" Ahmadinejad said at a news conference in response to a question.
An interesting observation...On the side of the article there's an ad written in Farsi. Strangely enough I was able to read it and understand it though I don't know the language at all!!! Every single word was actually Arabic, only the syntax differs. I wasn't aware to which degree Farsi took from Arabic( and vice versa, of course!)

Rightist MK: Netanyahu has lost support of the nationalist camp

MK Aryeh Eldad, of the National Religious Party, accused Netanyahu of violating his own promises and said the nationalist camp could no longer support his policies.
Those people would have found Hitler way too much at the far left!

Israel suffered massive cyber attack during Gaza offensive

"Hackers launched an unprecedented attack on Israel's Internet infrastructure during the January military offensive in the Gaza Strip, and briefly paralyzed government sites, government officials said last week.

The attack, which focused on government Web sites, was executed by at least half a million computers.

Due to its resemblance to the attack launched on Georgia on the eve of its war with Russia last summer, Israeli officials believe it may have been carried out by a criminal organization from the former Soviet Union, and paid for by Hamas or Hezbollah."

Boycott news

An anonymous source sent me this: "Regarding your article "The light rail projects for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are both facing difficulties" The Haaretz forgot to mention that Veolia the French company involved in the project in occupied Jerusalem-Tel Aviv light rail system is also tied to the major rail project between Makkah and Madinah in Saudi Arabia ($6,000,000,000) along with Alstom which is the other French co. joined with Veolia. Both companies may loose big time if they continue working on the Israeli rail project so they want to bail out. There is also an opposition from the PLO and the Arab League (As if it really matters) towards the two French companies, and demanding that they stop working on the Jerusalem and Tel Aviv rail project."
(The Angry Arab)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

From the Angry Arab

National Geographic
Before leaving the US, I read an issue of the National Geographic about Christians in the Middle East at my dentist's office (yes, some Arabs go to the dentist). It was condescending to Muslims and patronizing about Christians. It also said that basically, the Middle East needs the Christians because they soften the impact of Muslim fanaticism. AT one point, the writer shed crocodile tears over the plight of Christians because--he said--they are a force of "moderation" among the fanatic Muslims. Well, no one religious group has a monopoly on moderation or fanaticism. Just like Muslims can produce fanatics, so can Christians and Jews and others. I mean, some Lebanese Christians have made important contributions in fanaticism (religious and political).
In Lebanon no one, NO ONE whether in his right mind or not, would question the role or the part or the legitimacy of Lebanese Christians! Hell, no one even questions the attribution of the presidency to a Maronite and if there are any, no one takes them the least seriously! And As'ad is right! The most irascible fanatics are the fascistic factions like the Phalanges (their slogan is the Nazi inspired "God,the Nation, the family!) and the Ahrar! They're a declared ultra nationalistic religious formations!

Nestle producing new breakfast cereal in Sderot

The global Nestle food company is, for the first time in its history, producing a new breakfast cereal in the southern Israeli town of Sderot.
I say boycott those are complicit in crimes against humanity!! Sderot is built on a razed Palestinian town!

Netanyahu emphasizes Israel's God-given right to the 'Land of Israel'

"Mean-spirited in the extreme, he emphasized on Israel's god-given right to the "Land of Israel" (euphemism for Israel Plus--plus Judea and Samaria, i.e., the West Bank, aka Palestine). And on Israel's right to all of Jerusalem. There was not a generous word about the Palestinians. Only the usual tone of threat. There was no surprise in this, of course, but the nasty, supercilious, and hypernationalist tone even took my breath away."
Not an article from Weiss, just a short comment. On the other hand the comments (on his comment) are very interesting and quite instructive...A must!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Palestinians assist injured settlers

"Palestinians from the village of Tuqu' on Tuesday helped rescue a Jewish resident of the nearby settlement of Tekoa and her four-month-old son after their car overturned on the village's main road....

"The man added that he did not hesitate before rushing to the aid of the woman, despite the feelings of enmity between settlers and Arabs.
"The human concern overcame any other feeling, as well as the feelings of enmity and hatred that the settlers arouse in the area," he said."
Jerusalem Post(Thanks Molly)

Was Ronald Reagan an Even Worse President Than George W. Bush?

The starting point for many of the catastrophes confronting the United States today can be traced to Reagan's presidency.

After 100 Days, What Has The Stimulus Accomplished?

"President Obama will appear at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada this afternoon to mark the stimulus package’s first 100 days [2].

So how is the stimulus working?"

What about the Arabs' natural growth?

"It seems that never before has so much been written and said about the "natural growth" of so few. The issue of construction in the West Bank settlements for the sake of the future generation is threatening to sabotage Israel's relations with the U.S., or undermine Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's relations with the settlers and their representatives in the Likud and Israel's right wing."

Israeli politicians are telling Obama, implicitly, "Forget about peace; there's no one in Israel to talk peace with."

Gideon Levy, Haaretz.

"So let's take a look at what's happening in our country after U.S. President Barack Obama's speech. A historic speech like his was supposed to make waves in Israel, stimulate discussion and spark debate. And here is what has happened: Our own Barak, Defense Minister Ehud, who used to be considered at least as brilliant as Obama, told Etgar Keret in an interview with Haaretz yesterday: "Where does the [Palestinian nation] live? In a cage? A jail? A swimming pool?" And Barak's own answer to this question: "It lives in its country."

"The Palestinians, who cannot travel from one village to another without permission from Israel, who have no basic human rights and who have been trampled underfoot, humiliated and imprisoned without any sign of sovereignty, are already living as a free people in their country. If the defense minister really thinks so, then there is grave cause for concern: Mr. Security is deranged and has lost touch with reality. If he doesn't think so, then he's messing with us. Which is worse?"

Why the hell should I feel sorry, says girl soldier who abused Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison

"In this deeply disturbing interview, the trailer trash torturer who appalled the world by appearing in shocking 'souvenir' photographs remains utterly unrepentant and says she has 800 MORE torture photos that could rock the White House"

AIPAC spies free again!

"For those who missed it (because it is not being reported in the MSM) Larry Franklin, the Pentagon AIPAC spy who pleaded guilty and was sentenced to twelve years in prison, has had his sentence reduced to probation and ten months of community confinement, which is presumed to be some kind of halfway house or possibly freedom to stay at home with some kind of monitoring bracelet. The adjustment was made last night by the same judge who let Rosen and Weissman go free in the AIPAC trial that was recently terminated without a conviction. Franklin did zero prison time as he was allowed to stay out of jail because of his willingness to testify in the trial. According to Franklin’s lawyer, Plato Cacheris the poor man has been having a rough time lately as no one wants to hire him… Cacheris ain’t cheap. Wonder who paid the bill?"

As Obama Was in Cairo, Israel Was Demolishing Homes…

Read this statement by Human Rights Watch that was released late Friday and ask yourself how Washington should react to Netanyahu’s claims that families in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem should be to entitled to “natural growth.” One wonders if the demolitions described below were timed to coincide with Obama’s speech at Cairo University.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A sign of optimism for Palestinian freedom

11 June 2009
By Mustafa Barghouthi

Throughout decades of struggle for Palestinian freedom, there has been little cause for optimism. Today, I am optimistic.

President Barack Obama’s speech in Cairo last week was the most compelling I have ever heard from an American president. He articulated an understanding of the roots of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that we have not heard from previous American presidents. By acknowledging the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians for freedom, dignity and a state of our own, Obama has shown that he may have what it takes to provide the constructive, evenhandedpeace-brokering that past American efforts lacked.

Jimmy Carter explains how the Isreali Occupation of Gaza and the West Bank is like a prison

Bush's Shocking Biblical Prophecy Emerges: God Wants to "Erase" Mid-East Enemies "Before a New Age Begins"

Bush explained to French Pres. Chirac that the Biblical creatures Gog and Magog were at work in the Mid-East and must be defeated.

'Worst of the Worst'?: Gitmo's Youngest Prisoner, the 'Forgotten Child,' Released Without Charges

"Mohammed El-Gharani, captured at fourteen, mistreated by captors, never charged in over seven years, finally going home...
Remember, these are 'the worst of the worst,' right?

Mohammed El-Gharani, the youngest prisoner at Gitmo, just 14 when he was captured in 2001, is finally being "freed five months after a U.S. federal judge ordered him released having reviewed the evidence against him and ruled that there was nothing to suggest he was ever an 'enemy combatant.'" El-Gharani has never been charged."

Spinning the Holocaust Museum Shooting

Yesterday afternoon Glenn Beck and two of his guests argued that Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party were "leftwing"; that "political correctness" led the committed white supremacist, James Von Brunn, to shoot a security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC; and that ultimately President Barack Obama is the one responsible for the violence because his "bailouts" and "Socialistic" policies are engendering widespread anger.
(The Huffingpost)

The Big Hate

Back in April, there was a huge fuss over an internal report by the Department of Homeland Security warning that current conditions resemble those in the early 1990s — a time marked by an upsurge of right-wing extremism that culminated in the Oklahoma City bombing.
But with the murder of Dr. George Tiller by an anti-abortion fanatic, closely followed by a shooting by a white supremacist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the analysis looks prescient.

Should the U.S. also suppress evidence of civilian deaths in Afghanistan?

Glenn Greenwald
Something that has happened repeatedly in Afghanistan over the last eight years happened yet again this week:

After U.S. Strike, Dispute Over Afghan Deaths

KABUL, Afghanistan — Sharply conflicting reports on an American airstrike this week continued to trickle out Friday from American military and Afghan officials as to whether the attack killed civilians.

The airstrike in Ghor Province in western Afghanistan Tuesday had targeted a local Taliban militant, Mullah Mustafa, but instead killed 10 civilians and 12 insurgents, according to Sayed Iqbal Munib, the governor of Ghor Province.

But American officials Friday said the strike killed up to 16 militants and no civilians.


I discovered that one of my "friends" on Facebook is a member of the infamous JDL, the "Jewish Defense League", a far right, fascistic bunch of ultra violent Zionist thugs, banned in most countries, who has committed some of the worst violent and gratuitous attacks against the pro Palestinian groups in Europe and the US!!! Their initials appear on the infamous "Gas the Arabs" slogans tagged in public places in the occupied territories! The dude is also a supporter/fan of Eitan Behar, an ultra Nationalistic, far right(again!) Zionist gangster!!! Horrified, I send him a message to tell him what I thought and he responded, guess what?!! We're all one god's children!!!That he loves Jews, Arabs, Muslims and all! He added that he was trying to change them from the interior!!!....So, naive, liar or just plain stupid?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The tragedy of the Yemeni Jews

The last Jews of Yemen are leaving. They are packing their bags and moving to Israel or the US. A community dating back to Biblical times is on the brink of extinction.

Sixty years ago one million Jews lived in Arab countries, but violence and state-sanctioned discrimination scapegoating them as Zionist spies have forced out all but 4,000 – who remain mainly in Yemen, Morocco and Tunisia.
(the Guardian) Thanks Molly

Israeli Confusion and the Settlements

Analyzing the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and the Middle East conflict in general, it is easy to draw the conclusion that many of the most controversial issues are in fact totally irrational. After spending time in Israel, I realized that some Israelis have an incomplete awareness of what the occupation is. People asked me many questions, ranging from inquiries about political and security issues, to very simple questions such as how tall the wall is, or why even internationals volunteers are so scared of young soldiers at check points.
Palestine Monitor

US Calls for a Resumption of Peace Talks

The United States has called for the prompt resumption of Israeli- Palestinian peace talks. The US envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell made the comments during a meeting with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Wednesday.
“The only viable resolution to this conflict is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states", Mitchell told reporters after his meeting with Abbas.”

Mitchell advocated a “prompt resumption and early conclusion” of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. He also made the obligations of the Israelis and Palestinians clear under the agreed upon terms of the Road Map for Peace plan. Mitchell called on Israel to stop settlement construction in the West Bank, including so-called “natural growth” and urged Palestinians to end violence.
Palestine Monitor

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How did 100,000,000 women disappear?

Two researchers crunching population statistics have confirmed an unsettling reality. Siwan Anderson and Debraj Ray noticed the ratio of women to men in developing regions and in some cultures is suspiciously below the norm.

In India, China and sub-Saharan Africa, millions upon millions of women are missing. They are not lost, but dead: victims of violence, discrimination and neglect.

A University of British Columbia economist is amongst those trying to find them – not the women themselves, who are long gone, but their numbers and ages, which paint a sad and startling picture of gender discrimination in the developing world.

The term "missing women" was coined in 1990, when Indian economist Amartya Sen calculated a shocking figure. In parts of Asia and Africa, he wrote in The New York Review of Books, 100 million women who should be alive are not, because of unequal access to medical care, food and social services. These are excess deaths: women "missing" above and beyond natural mortality rates, compared to their male counterparts.

As'ad Abukhalil online

Action Boycott Israel: Trader Joe's, Pittsburgh, PA

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Shulamit Aloni / Israel is controlled by religious fanaticism

Not very long ago, during Rabbi Meir Kahane's racist rantings, the late writer and journalist Amos Elon gave me a copy of a letter Lord Rothschild sent to Herzl in August 1902. In the letter, Rothschild explains why he refuses to support the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel. He writes that he "should view with horror the establishment of a Jewish colony pure and simple; such a colony would be Imperium Imperio; it would be a Ghetto with the prejudice of the Ghetto; it would be a small petty Jewish state, orthodox and illiberal, excluding the Gentile and the Christian."

"For 42 years we have been occupying, oppressing and stealing lands that are not ours. To be free in our land do we need to become thieving Cossacks, uprooters of trees, burners of fields and harassers of women, the elderly and the very young? "We have this land, we have it," goes the song, but what should have been said is "We have the power, we have it, we have the money, we have it, and we are allowed, we are," to starve an entire population, imprison it and annihilate it using air strikes, cluster bombs and white phosphorous. Because we are the lords of the land and God has chosen us to rule. For the shame of it."

""A unique people," wrote David Ben-Gurion. Alas, for that uniqueness. Instead of a Jewish and democratic state they have delivered us a Jewish state controlled by religious fanaticism, one that maintains the purity of the race. They have delivered a democracy in the most primitive sense - not the preservation of democratic values but rule by the demos, the populace that is dictating the transformation of Israel into a totalitarian ethnocracy."
(Thanks DancingOpossum)

Vote With Your Feet: Olbermann Calls for Boycott of Businesses Displaying Fox News

"So, what to do? Viewer boycotts mean little. You are already here. You are not watching Fox News channel. Advertiser boycotts are of limited value, most make barely a dent in a company. Besides which, in this economy, an advertiser who found its sales boosted by association with malaria would start breeding mosquitoes.

If there is a solution, it is perhaps an indirect boycott. It is probably your experience, as it has been mine that stores, bars, restaurants, waiting rooms, often show Fox News on their televisions. Don't write a letter. Don't make a threat. Just get up and explain if they will not change the channel, leave the place and say calmly why it is you are taking your business elsewhere."

Babies understand numbers as abstract concepts

Our ability to think of numbers as abstract concepts is probably innate and even babies barely a few hours old seem to have the ability, researchers say.

Abstract numerical thought is the ability to perceive numbers as entities, independently of specific things. It can be demonstrated by the humans capacity to link a certain number of objects to the same number of sounds, irrespective of what the specific sounds or objects are. But whether this ability is innate or learned through culture or language wasn't known.
(New Scientist)

30,000 Pregnant Women a Year Lose Their Jobs

Rights for women seem to be getting further and further away as a recent report has revealed that there has been a sharp rise in the number of women who have lost their jobs through maternity leave or through pregnancy.

Leading campaign group have claimed that the sharp increase is a result of employers not wanting to foot their members of staff maternity costs and as a result mothers and expectant mothers are losing their job and lively hood.

Bound, blindfolded and beaten by Israeli troops

Children among Palestinian detainees abused during West Bank operation, according to soldiers' confessions

"The worst beatings were in the bathrooms, he said. "The soldiers who took [detainees] to the toilet just exploded [over] them with beatings; cursed them with no reason. When they took one Arab to the toilet so that he could urinate, one of them gave him a slap that brought him to the ground. He had been handcuffed from behind with a nylon restraint and blindfolded. He wasn't insolent, he didn't do anything to get on anyone's nerves ... [it was] just because he's an Arab. He was something like 15 years old." The soldier said he saw a lot of soldiers "just knee [Palestinians] because it's boring, because you stand there 10 hours, you're not doing anything, so they beat people up."

Netanyahu convinced Obama seeks clash with Israel to appease Arabs

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes that U.S. President Barack Obama wants a confrontation with Israel, based on Obama's speech in Cairo last week, Netanyahu's confidants say.
In Netanyahu's opinion, the Americans believe an open controversy with Israel would serve the Obama administration's main objective of improving U.S. relations with the Arab world, the aides say.
In his speech, Obama called for a "new beginning" in relations between America and Islam, and spoke at length about the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Words that could heal wounds of centuries

Robert Fisk
"For a man who is sending thousands more US troops into Afghanistan - a certain disaster-to-come in the eyes of Arabs and Westerners - there was something brazen about all this. When he talked about the debt that all Westerners owed to Islam - the "light of learning" in Andalusia, algebra, the magnetic compass, religious tolerance, it was like a cat being gently stroked before a visit to the vet. And the vet, of course, lectured the Muslims on the dangers of extremism, on "cycles of suspicion and discord" - even if America and Islam shared "common principles" which turned out to be "justice, progress and the dignity of all human beings"."

Clinton Threatens to Attack Iran ‘The Way That We Did’ Iraq

Secretary of State Says US or "Some Other Enemy" May Launch First Strike Against Iran

Citing the disastrous 2003 US invasion of Iraq as an example, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today warned that by continuing to refuse to abandon its civilian nuclear program, Iran was risking the possibility of an invasion by the US or “some other enemy that would do that to them.”

The comments came during an interview on ABC’s “This Week” program, and when asked by interviewer and former Clinton-era official George Stephanopoulus, Secretary Clinton reiterated “that’s right, as a first strike.”

‘Loyalty oath’ to keep Arabs out of Galilee town

Jonathan Cook
MISGAV, ISRAEL // A community in northern Israel has changed its bylaws to demand that new residents pledge support for “Zionism, Jewish heritage and settlement of the land” in a thinly veiled attempt to block Arab applicants from gaining admission.
Critics are calling the bylaw, adopted by Manof, home to 170 Jewish families in Galilee, a local “loyalty oath” similar to a national scheme recently proposed by the far-Right party of the government minister Avigdor Lieberman.

On the same tune:

Israel Cracks Down on Minority Rights
Mel Frykberg
RAMALLAH, Jun 8 (IPS) - Three bills recently making the rounds in the Israeli parliament have caused outrage amongst Israel's Arab minority.
"They reveal an obscene and dangerous targeting of the individual and collective rights of Palestinian citizens," the independent BADIL Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights in Israel said in a press release.
One bill sought to prohibit marking the day Israel declared its independence as a day of mourning. A second prohibits negating the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
The third bill would have required Israeli citizens, including Arabs of Palestinian descent, to sign oaths of loyalty to the state, its flag and national anthem, and to perform military or civil service.