Friday, July 31, 2009

The big lie of Afghanistan

By Malalai Joya

You must understand that the government headed by Hamid Karzai is full of warlords and extremists who are brothers in creed of the Taliban. Many of these men committed terrible crimes against the Afghan people during the civil war of the 1990s.

I wonder if I had been born in her place, that I would be as brave as Joya.

This is a big deal

Imagine, for a moment, how it might sound to turn on the news one day and hear that the head of the A.C.L.U. had vanished from his home in the predawn hours. Or, think how America might be different today if a pesky young Thurgood Marshall had been silenced using an obscure tax rule and kept out of the courts.

At around 5 A.M. on Wednesday, Chinese authorities visited the home of Xu Zhiyong, a prominent legal scholar and elected legislator in Beijing, and led him away. He has not been heard from again. Unless something changes, he is likely to stay away for a long time, with or without formal charges. Anyone with an interest in China, its economy, its place in the world, or the kind of future it will fashion, please take note: This is a big deal.

Of course As'ad would never post anything like this. Can anyone tell me why, on the left, supporting freedom for Tibet is not as cool as supporting freedom for Palestine?

The Big Question, with Stephen Hawking : A documentary

Series in which prominent scientists discuss how the latest theories shed light on questions that have baffled mankind for millennia. Physicist Stephen Hawking kicks off with an analysis of current thinking on the origin of the universe, revealing how the 'big bang' came to be accepted as the most likely explanation.

And while we're at it

A conversation with Stephen Hawking, Brian Greene, Martin Rees and Lisa Randal

A conversation with Martin Rees, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge about Stephen Hawking and his work. A conversation with Dr. Stephen Hawking & Lucy Hawking. They discuss their book George's Secret Key to the Universe, an adventure story about two children who find a sort of computer portal through which they can slip into the solar system and beyond.

Testing times for Wikipedia after doctor posts secrets of the Rorschach inkblots

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia has become embroiled in a bitter row with psychologists after a Canadian doctor posted answers to controversial tests on the site.

Who's responsible for the Arab world?

A UN report has reignited the controversy over who is to blame for the sorry state of the Arab world: Arabs or the west?

First, the good news. Arab countries have the lowest levels of malnutrition and hunger in the developing world, have made "striking progress" in extending the lives of their citizens, abject poverty is comparatively low and, surprisingly (for me at least), levels of income inequality are moderate across most of the region. These are some of the few silver linings contained in the latest disillusioning and disturbing Arab Human Development Report.

U.S. troops accused of damaging Babylon's ancient wonder

The U.S. military did major damage to the site of one of the wonders of the ancient world while converting it into a base, the United Nations said in a new report.

The site of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon was converted into Camp Alpha shortly after the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.

War and Lies - Governments Lie, We Die

A look at the lies and propaganda used to start and maintain wars. From WWI up to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, soldiers have been duped into believing they are fighting for a "good" cause. Yet, as the wars have all been based on lies, all soldiers who have died have died needlessly. And of the ones who return, many are seriously ill from exposure to chemical and biological hazards, on top of being injected with multiple experimental and dangerous vaccines - the military are used as guinea pigs then kicked to the kerb by their government who then lie and coverup the issue.

North Jersey: epicenter of 'Kosher Nostra' and Mossad activity

The recent rolling up of a Syrian Jewish criminal syndicate that was involved in buying off local elected and appointed government officials in north Jersey is but one in a long series of law enforcement operations directed, sometimes unsuccessfully due to the immense power of the Israel Lobby in the United States, against Jewish criminal networks in the New Jersey-New York region. These criminal networks also have one important thing in common: close connections to Israeli politicians and businessmen.

Three Good Reasons To Liquidate Our Empire

And Ten Steps to Take to Do So

by Chalmers Johnson

However ambitious President Barack Obama's domestic plans, one unacknowledged issue has the potential to destroy any reform efforts he might launch. Think of it as the 800-pound gorilla in the American living room: our longstanding reliance on imperialism and militarism in our relations with other countries and the vast, potentially ruinous global empire of bases that goes with it. The failure to begin to deal with our bloated military establishment and the profligate use of it in missions for which it is hopelessly inappropriate will, sooner rather than later, condemn the United States to a devastating trio of consequences: imperial overstretch, perpetual war, and insolvency, leading to a likely collapse similar to that of the former Soviet Union.

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya Speaks from Nicaraguan Border on Who’s Behind the Coup,

With Amy Goodman (Democracy Now)
“I think the United States is going to lose a great deal of influence in Latin America if it does not turn the coup d’état around,” Zeleya says. “It will not be able to put forth its idea about democracy. It won’t be credible before anyone.”

Naomi Klein:What might the world look like if the bailout works? Like Sarah Palin

The US bailout is a robbery in progress, the greatest heist in monetary history. But consider for a moment: what if it actually works, what if the financial sector is saved and the economy returns to the course it was on before the crisis struck? Is that what we want? And what would that world look like?

Gaza children shatter world record

It was an unlikely place to shatter a world record, but the beaches of the Gaza Strip were the venue for thousands of Palestinian children who flew the largest number of kites simultaneously from the same place.

Did the PLO die in Lebanon?

Al Jazeera's six-part series on the history of the PLO tells the turbulent story of the Palestinian struggle for a national home.

In the following account, Spencer Osberg looks at the role the PLO played in the Lebanese Civil War and how the events of those years shaped the Palestinian resistance movement.

UN: Sharp rise in Afghan deaths

The civilian death toll in Afghanistan has risen by 24 per cent this year, the United Nations has said.

In a new report released on Friday, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) blamed bombings by the Taliban and air raids by international forces for the majority of the killings.

Israel admits white phosphorus use

"The admission came in a 163-page document published by the Israeli foreign ministry on Thursday ahead of a UN report next week.
Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros, reporting from Jerusalem, said the Israeli army had initially denied using white phosphorus, a chemical agent that causes severe burns."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Israel to allow cement into Gaza. (Thanks Israel, now can you be kind enough to let the Gaza people have some food?)

Israel has authorised a one-off shipment of hundreds of tonnes of cement and building materials to the heavily embargoed Gaza Strip.
It is the first official transfer of such goods since Israel's operation early this year in the coastal enclave.

Many Gazan buildings damaged during the offensive have not been rebuilt because of a shortage of building materials.
It's a "one-off shipment"!! Is that not nice?

One of their "mischievous acts" was to test how long a Palestinian who was being choked could survive without breathing.

Something bad is happening to us


"Three years ago, the CBS television network broadcast photos of American soldiers abusing prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The horrifying pictures led to the trials of eight soldiers, dismissals and a storm of outrage in America. At the trial of one prison guard, who was sentenced to eight years in jail, a psychologist gave his evaluation: that the man was an entirely ordinary person, without any particular violent tendencies, who served as a guard for many years in civilian life but never behaved sadistically toward American prisoners. The situation of occupier and occupied, as opposed to that of citizen versus citizen, causes ordinary people to become violent and lose restraint. At Abu Ghraib, the trial found, there was institutionalized contempt at every level. The prison guards understood that "this is the way to behave here."

10,000 Uighurs disappeared during unrest in China, exiled leader claims

Rebiya Kadeer, the exiled Uighur leader, today claimed that almost 10,000 Uighurs had "disappeared" during ethnic unrest in China's north-western region of Xinjiang earlier this month and called on the international community to launch an inquiry.

Speaking during a controversial visit to Japan, Kadeer said Chinese authorities had used undercover "snatch squads" to target Uighurs during clashes between Uighur and Han Chinese in the city of Urumqi on 5 July.

Censored or Vandalized? Nude Angel Covered Up at French Cathedral

Three fervent Catholics were arrested early Sunday morning for defacing works of art displayed on the Cathedral of Montauban in southwestern France. Footage from surveillance cameras shows a man and two women armed with a brush, glue, and newspaper covering over a large-scale drawing of a nude female angel (pictured right) by contemporary artist Ernest Pignon-Ernest.

Bribery and fraud at heart of defense contracting work in Iraq and Afghanistan

WMR has learned from a knowledgeable contractor who served in Iraq and Afghanistan that a number of large U.S. defense contractors have been involved in questionable deals to land major contracts in countries that made up the "Coalition of the Willing" that invaded and occupied Iraq.

Israel Plays Key Role in N.J. Corruption Case, But Holds Off on Own Probe

Tel Aviv, Israel — Israel plays a prominent role in the charges of money laundering and human organ black marketing that have swept five rabbis into a New Jersey federal corruption investigation.

Among other things, Israeli banks were allegedly key transit points for the money laundering operation, which also involved charities closely linked to Israel’s Shas party, a powerful Sephardic political faction that is part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling coalition. The rabbis accused of laundering money were allegedly told that it came from sales of knockoff products labeled as legitimate brands and from other illicit activities.

Suicide 'epidemic' among Japan's elderly

With its population ageing faster than any other country, Japan is faced with a dramatic rise in the number of suicidal and depressed elderly.
"We do not want to be a burden on our families. We have been through a lot, and we are not afraid of death."
Beautiful presentation of photographs of Palestine. Really worth seeing if you have never been.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rabbi Ovadia describes US president as "a slave" ruling the world

"Rabbi Ovadia Yosef , spiritual head of Israel's ultra-Orthodox Shas party which forms part of Israel’s ruling coalition, criticized US president Barack Obama on Saturday describing him as "a slave" who rules the world and who wants to control Israeli policy when it comes to building in occupied Jerusalem. In his weekly sermon, Yosef protested that "American insidiousness tells us to build here and not to build there as though we were slaves working for them" then he adds that "We live in a time when slaves are governing us and are trying to control us" refusing the US administration request to stop illegal settlement building on Palestinian occupied territories."

Some things never change

My grandfather wrote this in 1935: "181 millionaires were made while the vets were being blown to bits defending their profits." and this: "26 millionaires were made last year. 16 million haven't enough food, clothing or shelter to maintain a decent standard of living."

"The best place one could be on Earth" Alice Walker

Last March, poet, novelist and feminist Alice Walker joined a delegation organized by Code Pink, to travel to the Gaza Strip just weeks after the 22-day Israeli bombardment and invasion. Walker, globally acclaimed for her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Color Purple, had also traveled to Rwanda, Eastern Congo and other places where she witnessed cruel and barbaric behavior that left her speechless. In an essay on her blog entitled "Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters "the horror" in Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Palestine/Israel," Walker recounts the stories of the people she met, and offers a lyrical analysis that ties their oppression and struggles to what she and her community experienced growing up in the violence and fear of the segregated American South. The excerpt below begins with her arrival in Gaza after a long overland journey through Egypt.

Coming "home" to Gaza

Rolling into Gaza I had a feeling of homecoming. There is a flavor to the ghetto. To the Bantustan. To the "rez." To the "colored section." In some ways it is surprisingly comforting. Because consciousness is comforting. Everyone you see has an awareness of struggle, of resistance, just as you do. The man driving the donkey cart. The woman selling vegetables. The young person arranging rugs on the sidewalk or flowers in a vase. When I lived in segregated Eatonton, Georgia I used to breathe normally only in my own neighborhood, only in the black section of town. Everywhere else was too dangerous. A friend was beaten and thrown in prison for helping a white girl, in broad daylight, fix her bicycle chain.

Book review: "Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide"

Raymond Deane, The Electronic Intifada, 27 July 2009

In a burst of uncharacteristic honesty, the then Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert asserted in 2007 that "[m]ore and more Palestinians ... want to change the essence of the conflict from an Algerian paradigm to a South African one ... That is, of course, a much cleaner struggle, a much more popular struggle - and ultimately a much more powerful one. For us, it would mean the end of the Jewish state."

The apartheid paradigm here fearfully evoked by Olmert has crept slowly but surely into mainstream political discourse on the Palestine issue, but is still avoided by many who are otherwise supportive of the Palestinian cause.

Lies and Israel's war crimes

Ben White, The Electronic Intifada, 28 July 2009
This month marked six months since the "official" conclusion to Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip, "Operation Cast Lead." From 27 December to 18 January, the might of the one of the world's strongest militaries laid waste to a densely-packed territory of 1.4 million Palestinians without an escape route.

The parallel propaganda battle fought by Israel's official and unofficial apologists continued after the ceasefire, in a desperate struggle to combat the repeated reports by human rights groups of breaches of international law. This article will look at some of the strategies of this campaign of disinformation, confusion, and lies -- and the reality of Israel's war crimes in the Gaza Strip. Very early on in Operation Cast Lead, the scale of Israel's attack became apparent. In just the first six days the Israeli Air Force carried out more than 500 sorties against targets in the Gaza Strip. That amounted to an attack from the air roughly every 18 minutes -- not counting hundreds of helicopter attacks, tank and navy shelling, and infantry raids. All of this on a territory similar in size to the US city of Seattle.

They care

The Angry Arab

"The Victims of Iranian Censorship (VOICE) Act was introduced by Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), Ted Kaufman (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Robert Casey (D-PA) as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. Among the key features of the VOICE Act:" (thanks Navid)

The best puppet your money can buy

From the Angry Arab
"The prime minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, says an Iraqi officer was wrong to order American soldiers detained after they killed three Iraqis while going after insurgents. In an interview published Sunday in The Washington Post, al-Maliki said the Iraqi officer was "out of line" and "did not understand the agreement" that governs the U.S. military since the withdrawal last month of U.S. combat forces from Iraqi cities. Al-Maliki said he called Baghdad and "made clear that they understand that this demand of handing over the people who killed the Iraqis is wrong."" Don't be surprised if Maliki awarded the offending US soldiers the highest Iraqi medals for bravery.

Executives Receive One-Third of All Pay in the U.S.

Between 1979 and 2006, the inflation-adjusted after-tax income of the richest 1 percent of households increased by 256 percent.

According to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Social Security Administration data, more than one-third of all pay in the U.S. now goes to executives and other highly-paid employees:
Makes me think! I should be paid to do what I'm doing here on the blog! Peanuts will do just fine, thanks!

Queen Rania describes Hell on Earth

Well, true your Majesty..Now what is his somewhat big, fat Majesty your hubby doing about it?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Happiness Consultants Won’t Stop a Depression

By Chris Hedges

Anthony Vasquez, a student at the University of California, Berkeley, worked at FedEx Kinkos for about two years. His store’s slogan was: “Yes we can.”

“It meant that if a customer asked us to do a job for them, no matter what it was, we were to say ‘Yes we can!’ ” he said.

Posters of the slogan were posted on telephones and in the backroom. Corporate auditors enforced the slogan by “Yes we can” call audits. Employees would be punished as a group for failures, and individuals could be fired. Other slogans at the Santa Cruz, Calif., FedEx Kinkos included “Winning by engaging the hearts and minds of every team member” and “I promise to make every FedEx experience outstanding.”

Settlers annex 40 Dunams of Palestinian lands/Settlers take over a Palestinian owned house in East Jerusalem

A group of Israeli settlers attacked and took over on Sunday afternoon a Palestinian owned house in East Jerusalem, while police provided them with protection and kidnapped 12 activists who tried to stop the attack.


Dozens of armed extremist Israeli settlers, enjoying Israeli army protection, illegally annexed on Friday morning 40 Dunams of Palestinian lands south of Nablus, in the northern part of the West Bank.

Abu Sharif: Israeli Mosad poisoned Arafat through his medications

The Al Dostour Jordanian newspaper reported that Bassam Abu Sharif, the former advisor of the late Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat, revealed new information regarding the assassination of Arafat.

Abu Sharif said that Arafat was poisoned by Israel, without any help from any Palestinian party, and slammed the statements of Farouq Qaddoumi, who claimed that the current president, Mahmoud Abbas, was involved in the death of Arafat.

Israel asks Holland to stop funding Breaking the Silence

Israeli group “Breaking The Silence” issued a report accusing Israel’s Foreign Ministry of endangering democracy after Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, published a report stating that the ministry had asked Holland to freeze funds to the group.


Review in the New York Times

From the Angry Arab:

"The reviewer says this about a book that vomits an ideology of hostility against Muslim immigrants: "Bawer is unquestionably correct, and that fact is quite simply ­terrifying."

Khumayni versus Sadat

Here, Thomas Friedman does what he does best: offers a silly and very unintelligent cliche about the Middle East, typically reduced to his redundant dualities expressed in English of 8th graders. "Sadat argued that the future should bury the past and that Arabs and Muslims should build their future based on peace with Israel, integration with the West and embracing modernity. Khomeini argued that the past should bury the future and that Persians and Muslims should build their future on hostility to Israel, isolation from the West and subordinating modernity to a puritanical Islam." But here is the problem: what if you are an Arab or an Iranian who cares about democracy and human rights? Both Khumayni and Sadat were enemies of human rights and democracy. And Friedman does not know that Sadat unleashed the Muslim fundamentalists, just as Khumayni did.
From the Angry Arab

Racism Today

Amy Goodman
"W.E.B. Du Bois' classic 1903 work "The Souls of Black Folk" opens with "The problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line." Du Bois helped form the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which just celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Henry Louis Gates Jr., who directs Harvard University's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, knows much about the color line -- not only from his life's work, but from life experience, including last week, when he was arrested in his own home.
Gates' lawyer, Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree, said in a statement that the arrest occurred as Gates returned from the airport:"

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Machine in Our Heads

Glenn Parton

"The solution to the global environmental crisis we face today depends far less on the dissemination of new information than it does on the re-emergence into consciousness of old ideas. Primitive ideas or tribal ideas, kinship, solidarity, community, direct democracy, diversity, harmony with nature provide the framework or foundation of any rational or sane society. Today, these primal ideas, gifts of our ancestral heritage, are blocked from entering consciousness. The vast majority of modern people cannot see the basic truths that our ancient ancestors knew and that we must know again, about living within the balance of nature. We are lost in endless political debates, scientific research, and compromises because what is self-evident to the primitive mind has been forgotten."

The Good Society

By Paul Brodie
Any society is a whole of inter-related parts. We can usefully theorize these parts as an economic sphere, a kinship sphere, a political sphere and a community/culture sphere. Envisioning The Good Society is therefore the task of envisioning a set of desirable, liberatory and workable institutions in each of these spheres that create conditions amenable to the fullest satisfaction and development of diverse human potentials. Abstaining from proposing alternatives is only to guarantee that dominant and oppressive relations continue - precisely for want of structural alternatives.

Capitalism's ecological footprint condemns South to poverty

The expansion of capitalism is destroying the planet and placing the future of people in the South in jeopardy, writes Samir Amin in this week’s edition of Pambazuka News. Consumption levels in Europe, North America and Japan are four times higher than the per capita global average, a figure which already outstrips the earth’s ecological carrying capacity. If this pattern continues, says Amin, its logical conclusion is ‘either the actual genocide of the peoples of the South – as "over-population" – or at least keeping them in ever increasing poverty.

Aid dependence and the MDG(Meeting the Millennium Development Goals)

The present focus on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has reignited the debate on the need for more aid to developing countries to help them meet the MDGs by 2015. However, this has inevitably rekindled the parallel debate as to whether more aid is really the answer. Will extra money simply shore up inefficient governments and feed government corruption? One response to this is to say we must bypass government and make money available directly to NGOs and other organizations. At the same time, others claim that what is needed is not more aid, but a fundamental transformation of international power relationships, especially reform of international trade and finance rules to allow African and other developing countries to sell their goods and services at a fair price.

Joe Glenton - Serving Soldier refusing to return to Afghanistan London July 23 2009

Serving soldier Joe Glenton speaks about why he thinks the war in Afghanistan is wrong and why he's not going back.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Gaza artist, survivor finds power in paint

Palestinian artist Ziad Deeb next to an image that he made of his family members killed during Israel's attacks on Gaza last winter.

From the entrance of the house, one can observe the whole tragedy. On 6 January 2009, an Israeli artillery shell landed in the front yard of the Deeb family home in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza strip. A large, wide hole in the ground and two missing walls are all that remain. Sitting in his wheelchair in the corner, Ziad, 22, is the last survivor of the Deeb family. He lost both legs during the attack, and 10 relatives were killed including his father, grandmother, brothers, nieces and nephews.

Leftist Israeli intellectuals demand new Gaza war probe

The Angry Arab's comment:
Amos Oz and the rest of the gang of Zionist hypocrisy
A group of Israeli leftist poseurs are now claiming to demand an investigation into "allegations" of war crimes in the Israeli assault on Gaza. It is sufficient to read the name of Amos Oz to smell hypocrisy. Here is a man who always want to have it both ways: he always, ALWAYS, supports every Israeli murder, assault, invasion, war, occupation, but then pretend to oppose "certain excesses" when a large number of people are killed. If there is a personification of the rottenness of Zionism, it is Amos Oz.

Israeli officer promotes war crimes at Harvard

On 9 July Harvard University's Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR) invited Colonel Pnina Sharvit-Baruch, former Israeli military legal adviser, to their online Humanitarian Law and Policy Forum. The stated aim was to bring "objective" discussion to the principle of distinction in international humanitarian law, or what the forum organizers called "combat in civilian population centers and the failure of fighters to distinguish themselves from the civilian population.
Electronic Intifada

Ousted Honduran president says to return home this weekend

·Zelaya said on Thursday he will enter Honduran territory on Saturday or Sunday.
·"We will go slow, inviting Hondurans to join in to form a strong contingent," said Zelaya.
·"I am not afraid, and I am aware of the threats that once I arrive I will be shot dead," he said.

Two Gaza brothers celebrate wedding on family's debris

BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip, July 22 (Xinhua) -- In a bid to challenge the hard economic and social conditions, a Palestinian family on Wednesday night celebrated its two sons' wedding on the debris of their destroyed home in northern Gaza Strip.

The multi-storey construction of the al-Za'anin family in the town of Beit Hanoun was destroyed in an Israeli air raid during a 22-day Israeli military offensive that ended on Jan. 18. Thousands of houses were destroyed, and tens of thousands became homeless.

Iran: Tweets, lies and videotape

"Below, a compilation of rumors and falsehoods—cross-checked as exhaustively as time and resources allowed—that expanded the cloud of disinformation during the post-election protests in Iran. You don’t just kill the truth when you report or forward unsubstantiated, unverified, unconfirmed and dangerously overblown rumors on a green-tinted avatar: you put protesters’ lives in danger and jeopardize their efforts."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vanunu's Message to Hillary Clinton re: The Apartheid Wall

Just weeks after his FREEDOM OF SPEECH TRIAL began the whistle blower of Israel's underground WMD Facility sent this message to Senator Clinton and USA Christians re: The Apartheid Wall and The Bombs. Excerpted from "30 Minutes with Vanunu" freely streaming @ WeAreWideAwake

Pink Floyd - Time (rare)

Pink Floyd live in 1972. "One of the best guitar solo I´ve ever heard" says the caption. Judge for yourself.

Fight Facebook

Facebook has recently agreed to change their position and take a position on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. They agreed to the request of a group of Israeli right-wingers to be able to select Israel as an option for those who live in the West Bank Jewish Colonies. Haaretz daily newspaper quoted Brandee Barker, Facebook''s director of communications, saying, " ''Facebook users in the Israeli West Bank settlements of Maale Adumim, Beitar Illit, and Ariel can now choose between Israel and Palestine,'' Barker said last week in an email to Reuters. We also offer Hebron in both Israel and Palestine," Barker said, referring to the major West Bank city which is home to about 150,000 Palestinians and some 400 Israelis."

Fight For Palestine/Voices for Palestine
We should all sign this petition. One has the option of not having his name displayed.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A surprising award from politically-correct Germany to a wonderful human being


07.19.2009 | San Francisco Sentinal

BERLIN - Horst Köhler, the president of the Federal Republic of Germany, issued on Thursday the ‘Federal Cross of Merit, first class,’ the most prestigious award in Germany, to Israeli attorney Felicia Langer, a vociferous critic of Israel, who lives in the city of Tübingen in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg.

Langer frequently compares Israel with apartheid in South Africa, and praised the anti-Semitic speech of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Geneva at the Durban II UN conference on racism. When asked about the award and her comparison between Israel and South African apartheid, she told the Jerusalem Post that the Federal Cross of Merit is a “recognition of my work,” and “what Israel is practicing in the occupied territories is apartheid.”
(Thanks DancingOpossum)

Israelis don't pay price for injustice of occupation

07.19.2009 | Haaretz
By Gideon Levy

Really, who needs all this? The U.S. president is devoting a considerable amount of his precious time and goodwill trying to be persuasive about the need to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Europeans are ready to act, half the world is waiting, but let’s admit the truth: Why all the commotion about us? The settlers might scream and block highway intersections. The Israel Defense Forces would become less important and the news could actually become boring. The vineyard in the Golan Heights is liable to close, as might the boutique winery in the settlement of Ofra.

'Jerusalem-born boy's passport can't say Israel'

07.19.2009 | Jerusalem Post
NEW YORK - Parents of a Jerusalem-born American boy who want “Israel” listed as their son’s country of birth on his passport have been dealt another blow with the dismissal of their case by a US court of appeals.

The US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, on July 10 upheld a lower court’s decision that the courts lack jurisdiction in the matter because foreign policy - including the recognition of foreign governments - belongs exclusively in the domain of the executive branch. According to the State Department, US passports for those born in Jerusalem do not list a country because doing so would interfere with and pre-judge Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Israel leaves the inhabitants of the West bank thirsty

19.07.2009 | Rabbis For Human Rights

Join us in a protest against the water shortages caused by the occupation

Dry water taps – no water for drinking or bathing, many months during the summer heat. Since March this is the situation of many families in the villages Qarawat Bani Zayed, Kufr ‘Ein, Ramani & Nabi Salah, 15,000 people. In the same time, these Palestinian villagers can see beyond the settlements’ fences a different situation. They see green lawns and sprinklers irrigating the whole day. A similar situation exsists in many other parts of the West Bank.

New era as British hostility reaches crescendo

07.20.2009 | Jerusalem Post

It has been a terrible month for Israel’s reputation in Great Britain. The government has announced a partial arms embargo in protest of Operation Cast Lead. The Charity War on Want has held a launch event for a new book entitled Israeli Apartheid: A Beginners Guide. The Guardian has featured commentaries promoting the apartheid analogy as well as accusing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of using Nazi language to defend settlement policy. The BBC and other media outlets have given massive coverage to the recent Breaking the Silence report slamming the IDF for committing “war crimes.” Barely a day goes by without a new front being opened against the Jewish state. Ismail Haniyeh, right, hands

The UNSC's responsibility for Middle East peace

07.22.2009 | Haaretz
By Henry Siegman

The international community may finally be beginning to register the utter futility of decades-long expectations that an Israeli government would agree to a fair and workable peace agreement, one that would end the four-decade subjugation and denial of the Palestinian people’s national and individual rights.

One hopes that is the significance of the proposal by European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who suggested that the UN Security Council assume responsibility for establishing a Palestinian state by a certain deadline if the parties have not reached an agreement. The Security Council would then set the borders of Israel and a new Palestinian state, and formulate parameters to resolve the other permanent status issues - Jerusalem, refugees and security.

On Simon Wiesenthal: The head Nazi-hunter’s trail of lies

Times online

Simon Wiesenthal, famed for his pursuit of justice, caught fewer war criminals than he claimed and fabricated much of his own Holocaust story:

Since the early 1960s Simon Wiesenthal’s name has become synonymous with Nazi hunting. His standing is that of a secular saint. Nominated four times for the Nobel peace prize, the recipient of a British honorary knighthood, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the French Légion d’honneur and at least 53 other distinctions, he was often credited with some 1,100 Nazi “scalps”. He is remembered, above all, for his efforts to track down Adolf Eichmann, one of the most notorious war criminals.
The Angry Arab's comment:
"Not in the US press: the lies of Simon Wiesenthal
The lies of Simon Wisenthal: (but his staunch and unconditional support for Israeli wars and aggression, make his lies acceptable in the US press). Centers are named after him in the US. (thanks Shakib)"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Twitterers Paid To Spread Israeli Propaganda

By Jonathan Cook

21 July, 2009
"In an interview this month with the Calcalist, an Israeli business newspaper, Mr Shturman, the deputy director of the ministry’s hasbara department, admitted his team would be working undercover.

“Our people will not say: ‘Hello, I am from the hasbara department of the Israeli foreign ministry and I want to tell you the following.’ Nor will they necessarily identify themselves as Israelis,” he said. “They will speak as net-surfers and as citizens, and will write responses that will look personal but will be based on a prepared list of messages that the foreign ministry developed.”
A nation founded on deception and deceit!

The Dawkins dogma

"THE notion of the "selfish gene" is the most successful scientific metaphor of the past 30 years, followed not far behind by "the extended phenotype". Both were coined by Richard Dawkins and are, as it happens, the titles of his first popular science books."

"For reasons to do with how science is communicated, a human love of simple narratives, and Dawkins' energetic advocacy of these metaphors, the public has been left with a view of evolution and Darwinism which does not truly reflect thinking among evolutionary biologists. This view also perpetuates the existence of "opposing camps" when there is no need. Worse, it skews popular notions of Darwinism. This is why these metaphors are so important: metaphors stretch to the heart of "what science is for" and to the kind of answers it can provide."
New Scietist

Window on the body: CT scans become art

Radiologist Kai-hung Fung makes beautiful and informative art from the CT (computed tomography) scans of his patients, digitally manipulating them to look more appealing. His image of the inside of our sinuses won the 2007 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge. See this and some of his more recent works in our gallery.
New Scientist

Netanyahu rejects US demand to stop settlements in Jerusalem

Ramallah, July 19, 2009, (Ramattan)- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected on Sunday an American demand to stop construction in the occupied East Jerusalem.
"Our sovereignty in Jerusalem is indisputable," Netanyahu said during the weekly cabinet meeting, "We can't agree to such a demand in East Jerusalem."
The U.S. State Department summoned the Ambassador of Israeli in Washington Michael Oren over the weekend, and told him that building housing units in East Jerusalem should be halted, Israel Radio and Army Radio reported.

Israel arrested 12,000 Palestinian women since 1967

Ramallah, July 18, 2009, (Ramattan)- Palestinian local report Saturday revealed that the Israeli Occupation Forces arrested 12,000 Palestinian women since the occupation of the occupied Palestinian territory in 1967.

Kooky conspiracy theories

Some Middle East media are falling victims to kooky conspiracy theories regarding the landing on the moon. They are confused: yes, Richard Nixon discussed the possibility of faking a moon landing but that was before the actual landing on the moon.
(The Angry Arab)

China’s Porcelain Empire

Remember when China was supposed to be the next up-and-coming superpower? With a fifth of the world’s population, a totalitarian regime seemingly secure, and a well-earned reputation as a rising industrial powerhouse, "Red" China has long been one of the War Party’s favorite bogeymen. When all else failed, in the post-cold war world, and the supply of potential enemies seemed exhausted, they just hauled out the Chinese scarecrow to scare the doves away.

Back to Iraq?

Justin Raimondo
They were dancing in the streets: "An old man blared on a trumpet, policemen danced in the back of their pickup trucks, and a singer," reported the Los Angeles Times, "trilled in a city park, all to celebrate the new era." A description of what happened when we invaded and "liberated" a nation groaning under the boot of Saddam Hussein and his Ba’athist Party dictatorship?

Pentagon Enlists Feminists for War Aims

Over a decade ago a young woman approached me on the California Senate floor with a petition against the Taliban. Women are being repressed, tortured and killed by religious fundamentalists, she said. I signed on. The Taliban seemed like a Ku Klux Klan aimed at women. I was disgusted that the State Department and oil companies would negotiate with them over pipelines, with cursory regard for women's rights. I still feel that way.
(Via the Palestinian Pundit)

Settlers Grow and Advance

RAMALLAH, Jul 20 (IPS) - A little village nestled in a valley between several hills in the Bethlehem governorate is today fighting for survival.

All around Wadi Fuqin village on the outskirts of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank is the expanding and illegal Israeli settlement Beitar Illit, home to 35,000 settlers. The settlement is situated on a hill overlooking the little Palestinian village of 2,500.

Next to the settlement several mushrooming settler outposts together with Beitar form a semi-circle around Wadi Fuqin, closing in on it.

While settlement construction booms and the number of settlers in Beitar and its outposts continues to swell, Palestinians in Wadi Fuqin are forbidden by the Israeli authorities from building new homes, or enlarging current ones to accommodate new generations.

West ignores lessons of Soviet humiliation in Afghanistan

“There is barely an important piece of land in Afghanistan that has not been occupied by one of our soldiers at some time or another,” the commander said. “Nevertheless, much of the territory stays in the hands of the terrorists. We control the provincial centres, but we cannot maintain political control over the territory that we seize.”

He added: “Our soldiers are not to blame. They’ve fought incredibly bravely in adverse conditions. But to occupy towns and villages temporarily has little value in such a vast land, where the insurgents can just disappear into the hills.”
Times online

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Some Healthcare Statistics

Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 75/80
Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 67/71
Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 8
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 137/80
Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2006): 6,714
Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2006): 15.3

Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 77/81
Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 69/72
Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 6
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 98/61
Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2006): 2,784
Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2006): 8.4

Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 79/84
Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 71/75
Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 5
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 80/47
Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2006): 4,312
Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2006): 11.3


Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 79/83
Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 72/75
Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 4
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 78/49
Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2006): 3,119
Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2006): 8.9

Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 78/83
Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 70/74
Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 4
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 86/53
Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2006): 4,521
Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2006): 8.7

Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 79/86
Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 72/78
Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 4
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 89/44
Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2006): 2,514
Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2006): 7.9

Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 79/83
Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 72/74
Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 3
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 68/49
Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2006): 3,319
Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2006): 9.3

Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 76/83
Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 69/74
Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 3
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 132/57
Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2006): 2,472
Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2006): 7.6

Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 77/84
Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 69/75
Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 5
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 124/57
Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2006): 3,554
Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2006): 11.1

Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 76/81
Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 69/71
Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 4
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 111/65
Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2006): 3,349
Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2006): 9.5

Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 78/83
Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 70/74
Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 6
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 89/55
Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2006): 3,672
Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2006): 10.0

Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 76/80
Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 67/70
Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 7
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 127/82
Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2006): 363
Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2006): 7.1

Life expectancy at birth m/f (years): 79/84
Healthy life expectancy at birth m/f (years, 2003): 71/74
Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births): 6
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population): 82/47
Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2006): 3,122
Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2006): 8.7

World Health Organization
Moving to Australia made me gain 2 years!! :)

Permaculture in Palestine: Bustan Qaraaqa Greens the Hills Outside Bethlehem

For a group of British ecologists working in development organizations in the West Bank, researching the sorry state of the Palestinian environment became, at some point, rather unsatisfying. “We wanted to move from writing reports on environmental destruction and stagnating development to actually doing something about it,” says Alice Gray. Over two years later, the group, along with a handful of volunteers, is creating an ecological oasis in almost impossible conditions. Bustan Qaraaqa (literally “Tortoise Garden”) is a Permaculture paradise in the making.

Meanwhile at Trader Joe's...

Update: Still no count for the comments! Help is on the way

Or so I hope!

West Offering to Endorse Israeli Attack on Iran as Part of Settlement Deal

Israel Would Recognize Palestinian Land Claims
The Times of London is citing unnamed Western diplomats as saying that the deal between Israel and the West on the issue of Palestinian statehood is taking shape, and that Western officials are offering to back an Israeli attack on Iran in return for certain concessions, including the recognition of some of the Palestinians’ land claims.

Israeli art students show up at interesting times

By Wayne Madsen
Jul 17, 2009
(WMR) -- The way the corporate media would have it believed is that Israeli “art students” who aggressively sell cheap art door-to-door, usually at federal office buildings and the houses of government employees, are merely traveling abroad after their military service in Israel to “see the world.” In fact, these “art students” are classic intelligence operatives who have appeared before and after major terrorist events and covert operations conducted by the Mossad.

The Johnny Procedure

By Uri Avnery

".....WE SHALL not evade the hardest moral question of all: is it permissible to risk the lives of our soldiers in order to save the old people, women and children of the “enemy”? The answer of Assa Kasher, the ideologue of the “Most Moral Army in the World”, is unequivocal: it is absolutely forbidden to risk the lives of the soldiers. The most telling sentence in his entire essay is: “Therefore…the state must give preference to the lives of its soldiers above the lives of the (unarmed) neighbors of a terrorist."

"Watch What We Do, Not What We Say"


"Watch what we do, not what we say,” was the famous advice Nixon’s first Attorney General, John Mitchell, gave the press at the onset of the Nixon presidency in 1969. It’s a handy piece of advice in the Age of Obama too, as we roll towards the end of his first six months in office. There’s the added difficulty that Obama likes to say two different things in the same speech, usually prefaced by his trade-mark “Let me be clear.”

Journalist Jeremy Scahill speaks the Truth - Real Time with Bill Maher 6 June 09

(Thanks Molly)

Breaking the silence

Colonial feminism

Colonial Feminism
"Afghanistan is in deplorable condition. There's no disputing that." No, there is no disputing that. In fact, Afghanistan's conditions became more deplorable due to the lousy colonialist role played by the Feminist Majority and other colonial feminist organizations which believe that war and occupation are the best way to liberate "their women."
The Angry Arab

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Comments section going berserk!!!

Comments are showing on the dashboard but not in the comments section!Also, the count has stopped and I'm having my coffee (with cardamone) and laughing...Nothing is going to spoil this beautiful, sunny day for me!

The immortal Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Statue of Liberty's Origins in Egypt

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi Had Imagined His Statue Lihting the Suez Canal
By Pierre Tristam
"No, Miss Liberty of Statue-of-Liberty fame wasn't always imagined as the scowling, linebacker-throated Midwestern matron of steely spiky Germanic stock that she is today. She was supposed to look like an Arab peasant, robed in the folds of Muslim precepts. She wasn't even supposed to be eternally standing at the entrance of New York Harbor, warning new arrivals to the New World about New Jersey to her right."

BDS: Ken Loach has withdrawn his film from the Melbourne International Film Festival

Israeli funding angers filmmaker

ENGLISH filmmaker Ken Loach has withdrawn his film Looking for Eric from the Melbourne International Film Festival because the festival receives funding from the Israeli Government.
Loach told the festival if it did not reconsider the sponsorship, he would not allow the festival to screen his film.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"Viva Palestina" made it to Gaza!

BDS: No Ramallah gig for Leonard Cohen!

12 July 2009 - PACBI has been heartened by the untiring efforts of BDS activists in the US and UK in organizing demonstrations and pickets at Leonard Cohen’s performances in advance of his planned concert in Tel Aviv later this summer.
The call, “don’t Play Israel!” has been heard loud and clear.
After exhausting all attempts to convince Cohen to apply his avowed humanistic principles in a morally consistent way by refusing to entertain Israeli apartheid and whitewash its crimes, we called on all supporters of a just peace in our region to shun Cohen‘s concerts and CDs and to protest his appearances everywhere. In an open letter to Cohen in May, we warned that we considered his performance in Israel a form of complicity in its grave violations of international law; we reminded him that by violating the Palestinian boycott against Israel he would bring back the ugly memory of artists who violated the boycott against apartheid South Africa and insisted to perform at Sun City, drawing condemnation and revulsion by people of conscience the world over [1].
We are now pleased to announce that we have received confirmation from the Palestinian Prisoners‘ Club Society that they will not be hosting Leonard Cohen in Ramallah. A strong consensus has emerged among all parties concerned that Cohen is not welcome in Ramallah as long as he insists on performing in Tel Aviv, even though it had been claimed that Cohen would dedicate his concert in Palestine to the cause of Palestinian prisoners. Ramallah will not receive Cohen as long as he is intent on whitewashing Israel‘s colonial apartheid regime by performing in Israel.

Clinton and (Honduran) coup

Clinton and coup
"US Lobbyists with Clinton Ties Hired to Defend Honduran Coup Regime"
The Angry Arab

Cyber Zionism

"Reports from Jerusalem suggest the country's Foreign Ministry has unveiled plans for an "Internet warfare" team. The program recruits members from the public to write on websites in defense of Israel." But I wonder why those hired Zionist hoodlums don't write comments in defense of Israel on this website. What gives? Oh, I forgot: I don't allow comments anymore. Never mind.
The Angry Arab

The blood of innocent civilians

"The blood of innocent civilians
Make no mistake about it: we should all blame the US, EU, and the UN for the crashes of Iranian civilian airliners and the deaths of Iranian civilians in those crashes. The sanctions against Iran, as you know, prevent the sale of spare parts even for civilian airliners."
The Angry Arab

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Israel soldiers speak out on Gaza

A group of soldiers who took part in Israel's assault in Gaza say widespread abuses were committed against civilians under "permissive" rules of engagement.

"Another says: "People were not instructed to shoot at everyone they see, but they were told that from a certain distance when they approach a house, no matter who it is - even an old woman - take them down."


*Honduran leader 'could step down'
Interim Honduran leader, Roberto Micheletti, says he is willing to step down, but only if ousted President, Manuel Zelaya, does not return.

*Ousted Zelaya issues 'ultimatum'
Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has issued an "ultimatum" to the interim government in Tegucigalpa.

*Why Honduras matters to Chavez
As the situation unfolds at pace in Honduras, state television in Venezuela is not letting up on its coverage.

Egyptian jailed for insult poem

A civil servant in Egypt has been jailed for three years for insulting President Hosni Mubarak in a poem, according to newspaper reports.
Moneer Said Hanna's family said he wrote satirical poetry for fun, to entertain his work colleagues, and never meant to hurt anyone.
(Thanks Molly)

Britain punishes Israel for Gaza naval bombardment

By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The British Government has reacted to Israel's bombardment and invasion of Gaza last January by barring further exports of components used in naval gunships which took part in the three-week operation.

Britain has officially told Israel's embassy in London that it is revoking five licences for exports of equipment used in Saar 4.5 vessels because they violate UK and EU criteria precluding military sales which could be used for "internal repression".

Iraqis have told U.S. military no patrols permitted in Baghdad

BAGHDAD — Two weeks after U.S. combat troops withdrew from Iraq's major cities, amid sporadic outbreaks of violence countrywide, Iraqi authorities aren't asking American forces for help. Although U.S. troops are "just a radio call away," in Baghdad and five other major urban areas, it appears the Iraqis haven't asked even once.

CIA hit teams

Philip Giraldi
My sources are telling me that the secret CIA program involving a Dick Cheney coverup that is currently in the news consisted of dispatching assassination teams to various countries to kill individuals who were known to be al-Qaeda supporters but who, for various reasons, had not been detained by the governments of the countries in which they were residing. A number of those being targeted were living freely in Latin America, Africa, and Europe. The assassins were to be drawn from CIA’s own special ops group and also from delta force. They would enter the target countries as businessmen on false passports, some of which would be non-American, obtain weapons sent ahead through the diplomatic pouch to the US Embassy, kill the target, turn the weapons back over to an embassy contact, and leave the country. The program used delta soldiers initially because CIA SOG was fully engaged in Afghanistan. The first hit attempt was in Kenya, was botched, and the deltas had to be bailed out by the Ambassador who had not been briefed on what was going on under his nose. The program was suspended after that but never quite terminated.

Despite Jewish concerns, Obama keeps up pressure on Israel

President Barack Obama has concluded that Israel and the Palestinians are unlikely to achieve peace unless they're under external pressure to make the requisite compromises. Believing that a two-state solution is in the best interests of both parties and that time is running out for such a solution, the President is stepping up the pressure on both sides. That was Obama's message at a White House meeting on July 13 with representatives of leading Jewish-American organizations, some of whom have lately complained that the President is unfairly pressuring Israel to make concessions on West Bank settlements, while going easy on the Palestinians.
Tony Karon for the Times!

Gaza invasion: 'If you're not sure – kill'

Israeli soldiers' accounts of January siege betray little regard for civilians
Oakland Ross

JERUSALEM – Israeli soldiers who invaded the Gaza Strip in January received no clear rules of engagement and operated with a shoot-first-ask-questions-later mentality that significantly increased the danger to civilians.
"If you're not sure – kill," confessed one of the soldiers who gave his testimony anonymously to an Israeli organization that gathers front-line reports from Israeli soldiers. "The firepower was insane. We went in, and the booms were just mad. The minute we got to our starting line, we simply began firing at suspect places. In urban warfare, everyone is your enemy. No innocents. It was simply urban warfare in every way."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Yes, Zionist hoodlums: Joseph Massad got tenure

This has become like a TV series on As'ad's blog and it's fun but I'm not getting over Joseph wearing "shining Prada shoes" (shudder!) any time soon..
Just kidding, I have the deepest respect for the gentleman!..

Israel to keep only Hebrew names on road signs

JERUSALEM (AFP) – The Israeli transport ministry said on Monday that it will get rid of Arabic and English names for cities and towns on road signs, keeping only the Hebrew terms.

"Niggers! go back to Harlem"

"The word "nigger" features prominently in the videos taken by Eddie Beckford and his wife Lura, a Messianic Christian couple living in the desert town of Arad(Israel). The videos, going back to 2005, show anywhere from a handful to a mob of local Gur Hassidim harassing them and other Messianics in town. Eddie Beckford, 61, is a black American, hence the racial slur.

"Nigger, go back to Harlem!" chants one gleeful man in the midst of hundreds of shouting, singing, fired-up hassidim who surrounded Beckford's storefront chess-club-cum-Christian-mission on Shabbat, June 17, 2005. Eddie was filming from inside the club while about 10 other fearful Messianics were praying.

"Come here you stupid nigger!" another hassid calls out. "Nigger bastard!" yells another. They curse in English, usually accented. The police keep the crowd a short distance away from the club; otherwise they do nothing.
So sorry to hear that but I hope you don't mind me asking. What the hell took you there?

Occupation is fun

Cellcom(Israeli company) Commercial

The revolution will be watched

"A scary anecdote from Iran. A trusted colleague – who is married to an Iranian-American and would thus prefer to stay anonymous – has told me of a very disturbing episode that happened to her friend, another Iranian-American, as she was flying to Iran last week. On passing through the immigration control at the airport in Tehran, she was asked by the officers if she has a Facebook account. When she said “no”, the officers pulled up a laptop and searched for her name on Facebook. They found her account and noted down the names of her Facebook friends."
Antony Loewenstein

Qaradawi on jihad, Al-Qa'ida etc.....

"His criticism of al Qaeda is not new -- he condemned 9/11 and has engaged in a number of public polemics with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and with the leaders of al Qaeda. But the timing of this book merits attention. His views generally closely mirror trends within wider mass public opinion will reach a far wider swathe of the Arab mainstream and will likely have far greater impact than did the internal revisions which received such attention in the West. His intervention strengthens the impression that al Qaeda's extreme form of salafi-jihadism is on the wane in the Arab world, but political Islam and the spirit of muqawama (resistance) remains strong........."

"Qaradawi also offers an intriguing broadening of the concept of jihad, away from violence to the realm of ideas, media, and communication -- which he calls the "jihad of the age." The weapons of this jihad should be TV, the internet, email and the like rather than guns. Persuading Muslims of the message of Islam and the importance of this jihad in the path of God should be the first priority, he argues: "the jihad of the age, a great jihad, and a long jihad." He also goes into great detail about the different forms of jihad, the need for pragmatism, and the diverse nature of possible relations between Muslims and non-Muslims."

Max Blumenthal is back:Feeling the Hate in Tel Aviv -- The Sequel to the Video YouTube Censored

"Unbeknownst to Hartman, who only attempted to interview me days after publishing his review and then published a piece questioning whether I had been “fueling anti-Semitism,” I had already filmed my next segment in Tel Aviv. (And I had already spent an evening, sans camera, with an Israeli hippie on a balcony in Florentin, though he told me through the purple haze that the Palestinian people do not exist and should be immediately transferred to Jordan).

Now that I have released my footage from Tel Aviv, I wonder what Hartman and other, even more insecure critics of my first “Feeling the Hate” video will do to ensure that the sequel does not “humiliate the Jewish people.” Will they rely on the same old hasbara?"
Max Blumenthal

The settlements are destroying the enviornment

The Blue Velvet Hills of My Youth Have Been Destroyed
The Guardian
11 July 2009
"I can remember the appearance of the hills around Ramallah in 1979, before any Jewish settlement came to be established there. In the spring of that year I walked north from Ramallah, where I live, to the nearby village of A’yn Qenya and up the pine-forested hill. A gazelle leapt ahead of me. When I reached the top I could see hills spread below me like crumpled blue velvet, with the hamlets of Janiya and Deir Ammar huddled between its folds."

Barghouthi in Bil’in condems the use of noxious smell water

Ramallah, 12-07-09: At Bil’in’s weekly nonviolent protest against the Separation Wall this Friday, the Israeli military shot teargas, sound bombs, rubber coated steel bullets, and a water cannon that shot darban (“bad smell water”) on the protestors.

Mustafa Barghouthi MP, the Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative was at the protest, showing solidarity and support to the long-term commitment of the peace activists and to mark the 7 year anniversary of PNI, further providing medical care and ambulances from Palestinian Medical Relief Society -the grassroots medical NGO that he presides- to treat injured protestors.

A Palestinan state: Not Willing to Wait

Palestinians and Israelis hold their collective breath as EU’s Solana calls for a deadline for Palestinian Statehood.

Speaking Saturday at a lecture in London, Solana said the UN Security Council should recognize a Palestinian state even if no peace accord had been reached between Israel and the Palestinians by a predetermined deadline.
Palestine Monitor
But the Israelis as expected go into fits..

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thinking Outside of the Secular Box -Gilad Atzmon

The Left and Islam
"As tragic as it may sound to some, we are not as free as we believe ourselves to be. We are not exactly the author of most of our thoughts and realizations. Our human conditions are imposed on us; we are a product of our culture, language ideological indoctrination and in many cases, victims of our intellectual laziness. Like the semi-fictional American female activist above, in most cases we are trapped within our preconceived ideas and that stops us from seeing things for what they really are. Accordingly, we tend to interpret and in most cases misinterpret remote cultures employing our own value system and moral code."
(Counterpunch, thanks v)

Netanyahu's paranoia extends to 'self-hating Jews' Emanuel and Axelrod

"Netanyahu appears to be suffering from confusion and paranoia. He is convinced that the media are after him, that his aides are leaking information against him and that the American administration wants him out of office. Two months after his visit to Washington, he is still finding it difficult to communication normally with the White House. To appreciate the depth of his paranoia, it is enough to hear how he refers to Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, Obama's senior aides: as "self-hating Jews."

Which smear has greater effect--self-hating Jew or anti-Semite?

Helena Cobban asked in an email yesterday-- apropos of the report that Netanyahu has called powerful Jewish aides to Obama "self-hating Jews"--which is worse: to be called an anti-Semite or a self-hating Jew? Which calumny is more effective in preventing criticism of Israel? I say: to be called an anti-Semite. My reasoning:
And here's Helena Cobban's article

Excuse me! Did you pay a market price for this?

A pollster's recommendations on how to sell Americans on the idea of Israeli settlements.

Chosen Words
"How do you sell the American public on the idea that Israel has the right to maintain or even expand Jewish settlements in the West Bank? Be positive. Turn the issue away from settlements and toward peace. Invoke ethnic cleansing.

Those are three of the recommendations made by Frank Luntz, a political consultant and pollster, in an internal study he wrote for the Washington-based group The Israel Project (TIP) on effective ways to talk to Americans about the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The 117-page study, titled The Israel Project's 2009 Global Language Dictionary, was commissioned by the nonprofit group, which aims to promote Israel's side of the story, and leaked to NEWSWEEK. It includes chapters with such titles as "How to Talk About Palestinian Self Government and Prosperity" and "The Language of Tackling a Nuclear Iran."

'Newsweek' is namby-pamby on the Israel lobby

Yesterday we gave Newsweek a wet kiss for publishing the Israel Project's sickmaking recommendations on how to sell settlements to the American public--the idea that removing them is "ethnic cleansing." Well I'm having weird feelings the morning after, cause here's Newsweek's article accompanying the scoop, by Dan Ephron. Best thing about it is the title: "Chosen Words," a beautiful play on the Chosen People. After that it's all downhill.

Tarik Ali on Obama, Pakistan and the empire

(Thanks v)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Elegance wasn't meant to make one look like a mafioso! Or a dork! Or a jerk!

Only fashion was!..

BTW, it reminds me, I need a haircut, thanks Padre...

(Taken From the Sartorialist, a site that I visit now and then for a reason that I ignore ( maybe I'm masochistic after all, lol.) because I really hate everything (almost) about it especially, ESPECIALLY the thousands of INSANE fashionistas who comment there!! They seem to pass away in admiration of the slightest voile shirt or cutt-off tuxedo pants! Shudder!)
NB* Hang on! Is that guy wearing a bracelet? Is HE?!! HE IS!!

( It's Sunday, ok??!! We're entitled to a bit of fun, Comrades!)

Cynthia McKinney talks about her experience

Cynthia McKinney is a former US Representative who served from 1993-2003 and from 2005-2008 . She was the 2008 Green Party presidential nominee and has been an active member of the Free Gaza Movement. In 2004, The Backbone Campaign awarded her the fifth annual Backbone Award "because she was willing to challenge the Bush administration and called for an investigation into 9/11 when few others dared to air their criticism and questions." Here, Ishmahil Blagrove, Jr. talks to McKinney about her experience with the situation in Gaza and her views on today’s political landscape.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Israeli Barrier: Security or Apartheid? - Jeff Halper

Jeff Halper, co-founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, explains why he believes Israel's "separation barrier" enforces apartheid between Israelis and Palestinians. He compares the Israeli West-Bank barrier to the Berlin Wall.

*The full video is here:Jeff Halper: Countdown to Apartheid in Israel

Btw, I was waiting for this video for quite a while since I attended the lecture but missed the first 30 min. A must!

Mourn on the 4th of July

John Pilger for the Newstatesman
"Liberals say that the United States is once again a “nation of moral ideals”, but behind the façade little has changed. With his government of warmongers, Wall Street cronies and polluters from the Bush and Clinton eras, Barack Obama is merely upholding the myths of a divine America"
Yes fleming ..Finally you can lash out at Pilger and insult "mullah tgia"! But could you at least respect my rank and call me RAHATULLAH tgia? Please!

Obama’s War: Thousands of Marines Battle in Helmand in Major U.S. Offensive

In Afghanistan, a powerful truck bomb killed at least 25 people today, including up to 16 schoolchildren, in a province just south of Kabul. The latest bloodshed coincided with a major American military offensive in Helmand province in the south. US forces last week launched what’s being described as the largest Marine offensive since the Vietnam War. Some 4,000 Marines and hundreds of Afghan troops are targeting areas in the Helmand River Valley to wrest it from Taliban control. We go to Kabul to speak with Wall Street Journal journalist, Anand Gopal.

World Leaders, Protesters Gather in Italy for G-8; Global Financial Crisis & Climate Change Top Agenda

President Obama arrived in Italy from Moscow this morning where leaders from eight of the world’s richest nations are gathering in the town of L’Aquila, for the annual Group of Eight summit. The three-day meeting is expected see high-level talks on the global economic crisis, climate change, food security and Iran. Protesters are also gathering for the G-8. We speak with Loretta Napoleoni, author of “Rogue Economics: Capitalism’s New Reality.”

Zelaya's rare broadcast!

In Rare U.S. Broadcast, Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya Discusses Coup, Costa Rica Talks, U.S. Role
"Talks between the ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and the leaders of last week’s military coup begin today in Costa Rica. Shortly before leaving Washington DC for Costa Rica, Zelaya sat down with us for a rare U.S. television interview. He discusses how military coup forces forced him out, the upcoming talks in Costa Rica, his domestic policies in Honduras, the role of the United States and more."
Democracy now

Happy (third) Birthday to the Palestinian Pundit!

Guess What? It is Palestinian Pundit's Third Anniversary!
By Tony Sayegh

"It is hard to believe, but three years have passed by since the start of P.P. The first post on July 9, 2006 dealt with Gaza and was titled, “No, This Is Not a Warsaw Ghetto, This is Gaza Now!” Three years later, Gaza is in a much worse shape, thanks to the total, medieval, siege imposed and enforced jointly by the IOF and their new ally, the Pharaoh of Egypt."
Happy birthday brothers!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

After Honduras coup outburst, Chavez works in wings

CARACAS (Reuters) - When the army ousted Honduras' president, his Venezuelan ally Hugo Chavez at first let loose with typical ire by blaming Washington and threatening military action.

But then he went uncharacteristically quiet.

French tourists seen as world's worst: survey

"It's mainly the fact that they speak little or no English when they're abroad, and they don't speak much of the local language," Expedia Marketing Director Timothee de Roux told radio station France Info.
The Japanese ranked top of the Best Tourist survey, with the British and the Germans judged the best of the Europeans.
But French tourists received some consolation for their poor performance, finishing third after the Italians and British for dress sense while on holiday."
Apart from the language barrier issue, from what I've experienced myself over 30 years living there, if they're as impolite abroad as they are at home, then it's no wonder! I can attribute 90% of the reasons that made me, finally, leave that country( Paris to be accurate) to the general culture of rudeness and uncivility! Too much accumulated hurt!..On the other hand and to be fair, I do hear many Australians who have visited the country say that it wasn't their experience at all. I tend to attribute that to the fact that they especially like Australians..Can't say as much about the Americans though!

U.S. mortgage fraud 'rampant' and growing

SAN FRANCISCO, July 7 (Reuters) - U.S. mortgage fraud reports jumped 36 percent last year as desperate homeowners and industry professionals tried to maintain their standard of living from the boom years, the FBI said on Tuesday.

Suspicious activity reports rose to 63,713 in fiscal year 2008, which ended last September, from 46,717 the year before. California and Florida, centers of the housing bust, had the highest numbers of suspicious reports as foreclosures jumped, the stock market dropped and credit dried up.

Suicide attacks kill dozens in northern Iraq

MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - Bombs in Baghdad and northern Iraq killed at least 41 people and wounded more than 80 on Thursday, police said, just over a week after U.S. troops handed security in city centers to local forces.

Boycott of Israel--always .

The council of Egyptian writers renewed its position on strict boycott of the Zionist usurping entity.
Via the Angry Arab
Sorry but it's in Arabic..

FOX News calls Amsterdam an atheist, drug smoking, child killing hell hole.

Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace

Mapping Models of Statehood Conference at York Univ
The purpose of this conference is to explore which state models offer promising paths to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, respecting the rights to self-determination of both Israelis/Jews and Palestinians. Mindful of the fraught context in which debates relating to Israel/Palestine unfold, the conference aims to open up measured and thoughtful conversations on the range of possible paths out of the current impasse.
* Ali Abunimah
* Omar Barghouti
* Efrat Ben-Ze'ev
* Meron Benvenisti
* George E. Bisharat
* Uri Davis
* Marc H. Ellis
* Jeff Halper
* Jeff Handmaker
* David Kretzmer
* Smadar Lavie
* Ian Lustick
* Michael Mandel
* Mazen Masri
* Mazin B. Qumsiyeh
* Dan Rabinowitz
* Yakov M. Rabkin
* Nadim N. Rouhana
* Gershon Shafir
* Nimer Sultany
* Rafeef Ziadah

Zionist Betar thugs(Jewish Defense League) vandalize the Resistances bookstore in Paris

Thousands of books drenched in cooking oil – that is the latest exploit of the Zionist fanatics who regularly attack property and people in Paris and get away with it.
I'm familiar with their actions! An ultra nationalistic, fascistic, extremely violent gang!!

Is this valid for Honduras as well?

Heaven or hell?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Another day at an Israeli Checkpoint

A queue at Qalandya checkpoint,

"This is the scene that 30 year old May B and here two children plunge into every morning as they make their trek to work and school. For May it is the same routine every day; first she drops her husband off at work in the city centre at about 8 am then she makes her way to her children’s kindergarten and finally she arrives at her East Jerusalem office sometime after 9.30."
Once there was checkpoint Charlie, now there's checkpoint Shlomo!
Sorry no more posts today, I'm kind of exhausted..Especially the eyes! They're really hurting..need to see an Ophtalmologist...Again! Well, your own links are as good as anything,I think...Actually I'm pretty sure! Have a nice day.

Michael Parenti: The Honduras Coup: Is Obama Innocent?

By Michael Parenti
Is President Obama innocent of the events occurring in Honduras, specifically the coup launched by the Honduran military resulting in the abduction and forced deportation of democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya? Obama has denounced the coup and demanded that the rules of democracy be honored. Still, several troubling questions remain.

First, almost all the senior Honduran military officers active in the coup are graduates of the Pentagon's School of the Americas (known to many of us as "School of the Assassins"). The Honduran military is trained, advised, equipped, indoctrinated, and financed by the United States national security state. The generals would never have dared to move without tacit consent from the White House or the Pentagon and CIA.

Second, if Obama was not directly involved, then he should be faulted for having no firm command over those US operatives who were. The US military must have known about the plot and US military intelligence must have known and must have reported it back to Washington. Why did Obama's people who had communicated with the coup leaders fail to blow the whistle on them? Why did they not expose and denounce the plot, thereby possibly foiling the entire venture? Instead the US kept quiet about it, a silence that in effect, even if not in intent, served as an act of complicity.

Third, immediately after the coup, Obama stated that he was against using violence to effect change and that it was up to the various parties in Honduras to resolve their differences. His remarks were a rather tepid and muted response to a gangster putsch.

Fourth, Obama never expected there would be an enormous uproar over the Honduras coup. He hastily joined the outcry against the perpetrators only when it became evident that opposition to the putschists was nearly universal throughout Latin America and elsewhere in the world.

Fifth, Obama still has had nothing to say about the many other acts of repression attendant with the coup perpetrated by Honduran military and police: kidnappings, beatings, disappearances, attacks on demonstrators, shutting down the internet and suppressing the few small critical media outlets that exist in Honduras.

Sixth, as James Petras reminded me, Obama has refused to meet with President Zelaya. He dislikes Zelaya mostly for his close and unexpected affiliation with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. And because of his egalitarian reformist efforts Zelaya is hated by the Honduran oligarchs, the same oligarchs who for many years have been close to and splendidly served by the US empire builders.

Seventh, under a law passed by the US Congress, any democratic government that is the victim of a military takeover is to be denied US military and economic aid. Obama still has not cut off the economic and military aid to Honduras as he is required to do under this law. This is perhaps the most telling datum regarding whose side he is on.

As president, Obama has considerable influence and immense resources that might well have thwarted the perpetrators and perhaps could still be applied against them with real effect. As of now his stance on Honduras is too little too late, as is the case with too many other things he does.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Angry Arab redux

The dumbest analysis of Middle East affairs

"I have said before that Jeffrey Goldberg is--how do I put it delicately--the least intelligent writer on Middle East affairs these days. Here is his latest: "President Obama’s skills and charisma just might bring Sunni Arabs and Israeli Jews together, but he will be helped inestimably if he considers that the road to peace runs not through Jerusalem but through Karbala. Consider the possibility of a grand, if necessarily implicit, Jewish-Sunni alliance as a gift to Obama from his predecessor." This is rather amusing. That they think that the King of Jordan or Husni Mubarak's alliance with Israel represent the public mood of average Sunnis in the Arab world. I am sure that my (Sunni Beiruti) mother would not be amused to learn that she is now aligned with Israel. In fact, my mother (an Arab nationalist at heart) was just telling me last night: that she was quite unhappy with my article agaisnt the Iranian regime this week. She told me that she nows supports Iran against the Arab governments."

The Angry Arab on the US conspiracy on Iran

"The US conspiracy in Iran
I am now more convinced than ever that the US and Western governments were far more involved in Iranian affairs during the demonstrations than was assumed by many. Let us make it clear: the US, Western, and Saudi intervention in Iranian affairs does not necessarily implicate the Iranian protesters themselves. And even if some of them were involved in those conspiracies, I do believe that the majority of Iranian protesters were motivated by domestic issues and legitimate grievances against an oppressive government. But I was just looking at US and Western media coverage of Honduras: where the situation is rather analogous and you can't escape the conclusion that the US media were involved with the US government of a conspiracy the details of which will be revealed years from now. I mean, there is twitter in Honduras and there is internet there and yet the situation is not getting eve 5% of the wall-to-wall coverage that the Iranian demonstrations were getting. Just as the Iranian Supreme Leader is wrong to assume that all the upheaval in Iran was orchestrated by the outside, other are wrong when they assume that the upheavals were not in any way linked to outside conspiracies against the regime. Read the book All the Shah's Men by Stephen Kinzer one more time to know what I mean. (thanks Dale)