Monday, August 31, 2009

How American awfulness stacks up

Americans lead the world in obesity, lag it in life expectancy and infant mortality, but boy do we feel good about ourselves

The Reality Behind Economic "Recovery"

By Rick Wolff
Mid-August, 2009, was a peculiar time in the US economy. Wall Street, big banks, and the media were mostly celebrating "economic recovery." Meanwhile, average Americans were suffering record levels of unemployment, job insecurities, home foreclosures, personal debt anxieties, and the upsets, tensions, and angers that inevitably result. One economist referred to the US as "one nation, two national economies." Two particular sets of August economic data reveal the deepening economic divide behind the "recovery" talk.

There you go!!!

U.S. drops demand for Israel building freeze in East Jerusalem
BERLIN - The Obama administration has agreed to Israel's request to remove East Jerusalem from negotiations on the impending settlement freeze.

According to both Israeli officials and Western diplomats, U.S. envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell has recognized the fact that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cannot announce a settlement freeze in East Jerusalem. The officials said the U.S. will not endorse new construction there, but would not demand Jerusalem publicly announce a freeze.
And you wonder why one become very cynical?!!

Gideon Levy on Israeli reactions to boycott

Gideon Levy has a fascinating piece in Ha'aretz contrasting reactions to Israeli professor Gideon Levy's call for boycotts to pressure Israel to end its 42-year old occupation of Palestine, and the enthusiasm of the international community for boycotts in general:.....
.....Levy also reflects on the historical development of boycott as an effective tool of civil resistance:

"Since the time of the ban imposed in the Jewish community by Rabbeinu Gershom at the turn of the first millennium, which applies to offenses of considerably less severity than mistreating 3.5 million people - namely, marrying more than one woman, divorcing a woman without her consent and reading private correspondence without the owner's consent - the boycott has been a just and appropriate civil weapon. And since the boycott of the apartheid regime in South Africa, the boycott has also been an effective weapon."
Interesting!!! Just wondering why Haaretz doesn't provide a comment feature for this article contrary to every other one? Is it because Levy's articles usually drive the Zionazi nuts out of their brains!!

Walled Horizons - Narrated by Roger Waters (Pink Floyd founding member) Part 1

Walled Horizons is narrated by and features Roger Waters (founding member of the rock band Pink Floyd), who visits the Wall in the Palestinian territories and comments on his observations as a musician and a songwriter who has written on walls. The film explores how Palestinians in urban and rural areas have been impacted by the Walls construction since the International Court of Justices Advisory Opinion in 2004, which declared the Walls route illegal. Several senior Israeli security officials are interviewed in the film, two of whom were directly responsible for planning the Wall route and who explain the Israeli position for constructing it. The film was made by the United Nations Jerusalem.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

How settlements in the West Bank are creating a new reality, brick by brick

How Israel's growing infrastructure in the region threatens not just the form but the very possibility of a future Palestinian state
Then there are the often striking admissions from within the establishment. Two years ago Haggai Alon, an adviser to the then Israeli defence minister Amir Peretz, told Ha'aretz that Israel was using the West Bank barrier to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state and that the Israel Defence Force was carrying out an "apartheid policy" in emptying the city of Hebron of Palestinians, setting up roadblocks across the West Bank and co-operating with settlers. "The actual policy of the IDF, especially in recent years, is creating profound changes that threaten to make it impossible to leave the West Bank," Alon said. "We cannot allow the executive ranks to get us stuck in an irreversible binational situation."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Filmmakers protest uncritical view of Tel Aviv at Toronto film festival

Several Canadian filmmakers plan to withdraw their movies from next month's Toronto International Film Festival to protest a weeklong cinematic homage to Tel Aviv.

They claim that the screenings will show Israel in a positive light instead of creating a critical forum in which to discuss the occupation.

Tutu to Haaretz: Arabs paying the price of the Holocaust

The Nobel Prize laureate spoke to Haaretz in Jerusalem as the organization The Elders concluded its tour of Israel and the West Bank. He said the West was consumed with guilt and regret toward Israel because of the Holocaust, "as it should be."
"But who pays the penance? The penance is being paid by the Arabs, by the Palestinians. I once met a German ambassador who said Germany is guilty of two wrongs. One was what they did to the Jews. And now the suffering of the Palestinians."

Curators pull out of Tel Aviv art biennial over Gaza war protest

Two international curators who were to participate in the planning of ArtTLV, an art biennial taking place in Israel in September, have pulled out of the project after their Israeli counterparts refused to publish articles condemning Israel's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza and to arrange a symposium on art and war.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

'Atlantic Monthly’ extols ‘righteous Jewish violence’ in Palestine

Jeffrey Goldberg on seeing Inglourious Basterds:

"When I came out of the screening room the night before our interview [with director Quentin Tarantino], I was so hopped up on righteous Jewish violence that I was almost ready to settle the West Bank—and possibly the East Bank."

Apartheid, Apartheid, Everywhere- and not a sanction in sight

Critical analysis of Israeli apartheid has been making surprising media headway recently. With Israeli Professor Neve Gordon critiquing Israel's apartheid policies in The Los Angeles Times and YNet News, former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories John Dugard and American Jewish philanthropist Edgar Bronfman raising the specter of apartheid in in The Huffington Post, Israeli journalist Gideon Levy pointing out the apartheid implications of the Sheikh Jarrah evictions in Ha'aretz, and Alain Gresh of Le Monde Diplomatique exploring connections between apartheid-era South Africa and Israel, it's evident that more and more people around the world are becoming aware of the apartheid reality of Israel's policies toward Palestinians.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Major Death Penalty news out of Texas, seems like they executed an innocent man

Today, Texas took the first big step in admitting it murdered an innocent man in its death chamber. And the implications are huge.
Oh come on now, we all make mistakes! I, for one, accidentally spilled some paint on the carpet today..Big deal!

Lynching of Cynthia McKinney urged by ‘journalist’ trained and paid by FBI

Hal Turner called her ‘a violent, black, racist, bitch’ whose lynching would teach other Blacks that ‘white people are tired of your bullshit, behave or die’
Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney sent an email around on Sunday in which she wrote:

“[I]t has just now come to my attention that a ‘journalist’ who suggested that I be lynched was actually being paid by our own government to say that. Now, when I reported it to the FBI, how in the world was I to know that he was at that time on the FBI’s payroll?”

“Hate blogger” Hal Turner’s lawyer said last week, and prosecutors agreed, that Turner was “trained by the FBI on how to be deliberately provocative” and “worked for the FBI from 2002 to 2007 as an ‘agent provocateur’ and was taught by the agency ‘what he could say that wouldn’t be crossing the line.’”
"Paid to say provocative things"? Hmmm! Funny but that reminds me of some flaming ass!


An election held under the guns of a foreign occupation army cannot be called legitimate or democratic. That’s a basic tenet of international law.
Nevertheless, the US and its NATO allies have been lauding last week’s faux presidential elections in Afghanistan as both a sign of growing support for Hamid Karzai’s Western-backed government and the birth of democracy in Afghanistan.

In reality, the carefully stage-managed vote in Afghanistan for candidates chosen by Western powers is unlikely to bring either peace or democracy to this wretched nation that has suffered thirty years of non-stop war.
Eric Margolis

Israel: A Stalemated Action of History


In late 1949 I worked on a boat taking Jews from Marseilles to Haifa, Israel. Jews from Arab nations were in the front of the boat, Europeans in the rear. I was regarded by many of the Europeans as some sort of freak because I had a United States passport and so could stay in the land of milk and honey. One man wanted me to marry his daughter – which meant he too could live in the land of milk and honey. My Hebrew became quite respectable but the experience was radicalizing or, I should say, kept me radical, and I have stayed that way.

Later I learned from someone who ran a displaced persons camp in Germany that the large majority of Jews wanted to go anywhere but Palestine. They were compelled to state Palestine or else risk receiving no aid. I understood very early that there was much amiss in the countless Arab villages and homes I saw destroyed, and that the entire Zionist project – regardless of the often venal nature of the Arab opposition to it – was a dangerous sham.

“The Safe Haven Myth”–Harvard Prof. Stephen Walt Takes on Obama’s Justification for Escalating the Afghanistan War

US military commanders have reportedly told the US special envoy to the region, Richard Holbrooke, that they need more troops to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. Last week, President Obama defended the expansion of the war, calling it a “war of necessity.” We speak with Harvard professor Stephen Walt, who argues that the President’s “safe haven” argument for expanding the US military presence in Afghanistan should be viewed with skepticism.
Democracy Now

Yeah sure! You can take it all , it's ok! We don't mind..

Israeli politicians have proposed making Jordan an alternative home for Palestinians as part of a Middle East peace deal.

But many of Jordan's two million Palestinian refugees object to the plan and there appears little likelihood that Jordanian officials would agree.

Ben Dib

Translation of the article which is provoking a storm...

True, not true. Let's read and make up our minds.
"Our sons are plundered of their organs"
Palestinians accuse the Israel Defense Forces of taking organs from their victims.
Donald Boström writes about an international organ trafficking scandal – and about the time he saw the cut-up dead body of a nineteen-year old Palestinian
You could call me a ”matchmaker”, said Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, from Brooklyn, USA, in a secret recording with an FBI-agent whom he believed to be a client. Ten days later, at the end of July this year, Rosenbaum was arrested and a vast, Sopranos-like, imbroglio of money-laundering and illegal organ-trade was revealed. Rosenbaum’s matchmaking had nothing to do with romance. It was all about buying and selling kidneys from Israel on the black market. Rosenbaum says that he buys the kidneys for 10 000 dollars, from poor people. He then proceeds to sell the organs to desperate patients in the States for 160 000 dollars.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Is microfinance going the same way as subprime mortgages?

Froth at the bottom of the pyramid
THE notion, popularised by C.K. Prahalad’s best-seller, “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid”, that poor people should be seen as potentially profitable customers rather than mere charity cases, has caught on fast in the past few years. Finding profitable ways to meet the needs of poor people, the idea goes, would not only empower them by making them customers rather than supplicants, it would also attract far more capital than would ever be forthcoming from charity. For the providers of this capital, catering to the bottom of the pyramid promised to be good for the soul as well as the wallet.

Would the world like to condemn this Israeli violence?

Antony Loewenstein
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, based in Gaza, issues a press release about Israeli terrorism:

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns attacks perpetrated by Israeli forces in the evening of 24 August, and the morning of 25 August 2009. Three Palestinians were killed while a fourth is missing consequent to Israeli gunfire in the northern Gaza Strip and aerial bombardment along the Egyptian border, south of Rafah. .

There Are More Slaves Today Than at Any Time in Human History

One writer spent four years inside the world of modern-day slavery; an industry that produces huge profits and countless wasted lives.
Terrence McNally, AlterNet.
The world suffers global recession, enormous inequity, hunger, deforestation, pollution, climate change, nuclear weapons, terrorism, etc. To those who say we’re not really making progress, many might point to the fact that at least we’ve eliminated slavery.

But sadly that is not the truth.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Violence is declining, argues psychologist Steven Pinker. What are we doing right?

But now that social scientists have started to count bodies in different historical periods, they have discovered that the romantic theory gets it backward: Far from causing us to become more violent, something in modernity and its cultural institutions has made us nobler. In fact, our ancestors were far more violent than we are today. Indeed, violence has been in decline over long stretches of history, and today we are probably living in the most peaceful moment of our species' time on earth.

Ahmad Vahidi, Iranian Cabinet Nominee, Wanted In Bombing Of Argentine Jewish Center

CAIRO — The man Iran's president has named to be defense minister is wanted in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires, and his nomination drew an outcry Friday from Argentina and Jewish groups.

Ahmad Vahidi, who commanded a unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guard known as the Quds Force at the time of the attack, was nominated by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Wednesday along with others named to fill Cabinet positions. The Quds Force is involved in operations abroad, including working with Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group, which is accused of carrying out the Buenos Aires attack.

Argentina Prosecutor Alberto Nisman told The Associated Press Friday that Vahidi is accused of "being a key participant in the planning and of having made the decision to go ahead with the attack against the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association."

Nisman has led the investigation into the July 18, 1994, bombing – Argentina's bloodiest terrorist attack. The bomb exploded inside a van outside the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association, killing 85 people and wounding 200.

A Schoolbus for Shamsia

Jalil spoke tentatively at first, but his story was electrifying. Jalil and eight other Afghans, he said, were paid to throw acid on the girls by an intelligence officer working for the government of Pakistan. This was not some vague assertion; Jalil provided names, details and places. The camera zoomed in on his face. A few weeks before the attack, Jalil said, he was contacted by one Major Tahir, an officer with the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, the Pakistani spy agency. The ISI helped create the Taliban in the mid-1990s and has maintained a close association ever since. Jalil and Major Tahir had known each other for years, he said. Jalil said that Tahir offered a sliding pay scale: $2,500 for killing a teacher; $3,700 for burning a school; $1,200 for spraying acid on school girls.

They know no shame!!

Pro-Israel group: Obama settlements policy backs 'ethnic cleansing' of Jews
A pro-Israel lobby group in the U.S. has launched a project intent on shifting the focus of the Obama administration away from West Bank settlements, claiming they are not an obstacle to peace and that their evacuation would amount to "ethnic cleansing"......
.....Admitting that the settlements are the "toughest issue" in pro-Israel advocacy, and that the hostility towards Israel's settlement policy "is clearly evident," the document advises the activists to stick to the security benefits of the settlements at the expense of the theological argument.

Netanyahu to tell Mitchell: Israel won't accept limits on Jerusalem

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to tell the special U.S. Mideast envoy on Monday that Israel will not accept any limitations on its sovereignty over Jerusalem, and will allow settlers to continue to live in the West Bank.
Netanyahu traveled to London on Monday, where he will meet with the U.S. envoy, George Mitchell, in order to continue the discussion on the Obama administration's demands for confidence-building measures between Israel and the Arab world.
"Confidence building"???!!!!Is there a better illustration for the word chutzpah?

Lockerbie: Bereaved father commends 'brave' decision

"Will somebody please remind the Americans that all of the British victim's families believe Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi had nothing whatsoever to do with the Lockerbie bombing. [Video interview with spokesman for 'UK Families Flight 103']

Walled world

The map.

$10,000 bribe got Iraq bombers past security checkpoints

Mass arrest of police officers follows revelations that corruption allowed the attacks to occur

A brutal attack on Iraq’s Foreign Ministry in Baghdad last Wednesday that killed 30 people couldn’t have happened if the attackers hadn’t been able to bribe a facilitator to help them get past police at security checkpoints.

British firefighters call for boycott of Israel

The FBU’s motions reflect growing support for the Palestinian struggle among unions internationally, resulting in Israel and its supporters in the labour movement becoming increasingly isolated.

Israel says shooting of unarmed American activist a justifiable act of war

the Israeli military has declared the shooting of an unarmed American peace activist an act of war. The activist, Tristan Anderson, was critically injured when Israeli soldiers fired a tear gas canister directly at his head in March. Anderson was taking part in a weekly nonviolent protest against Israels separation wall in the West Bank village of Nilin. The Israeli military says Anderson was involved in a hostile act, which would absolve the military of any liability for his injuries. Michael Sfard, an attorney for Andersons family, said, If [an] unarmed civilian demonstration is classified by Israel as an act of war, then clearly Israel admits that it is at war with civilians. The Anderson family has filed a criminal complaint with the Israeli government and also plans a civil suit.

Professor Richard Dawkins wants to convert Islamic world to evolution

The author of The God Delusion and The Selfish Gene, whose new book, The Greatest Show on Earth, is serialised in The Times next week, has topped bestseller lists all over the world but never in a predominantly Muslim country.

None of Professor Dawkins’ books, on evolution as well as religion, has ever been translated into Arabic, and his work has been heavily censored in Turkey. In an interview with The Times, he said that popularising evolution in the Islamic world, where creationist beliefs are strong, was a challenge he is keen to take up. “To be a bestseller in a Muslim country would be a personal triumph,” he said.
Times online
I'm stunned to learn than not one of his books has been translated to Arabic. When I was growing up in Lebanon I used to read, in Arabic, far more challenging books..So many things have changed!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Robert Fisk’s World: From the crusaders on, contempt for the Arabs is written in stone

What was it that bestowed upon our ancestors such ill-will towards the Arabs?
Not long ago, the owner of a Majorcan palace found 13th-century graffiti on his basement wall. It was scrawled there by a knight en route to the Crusades. Translated, it read: "Sod the Arabs."

Some references to the Arabs are an attempt at humour. Ezra Pound addressed Lawrence as "My Dear Hadji ben Abt el Bakshish, Prince de Mecque," and Winston Churchill, whose early work on the Sudanese campaign contains plenty of anti-Arab racism, would address Lawrence as "My dear 'Lurens'," because that's how Arabs pronounced Lawrence's name.

The Truth About The Afghan Election

Patrick Cockburn
"......The main American success in Iraq was that, having backed the Shia and the Kurds against the Sunni, the US military did a side deal with the Sunni insurgents to turn on al-Qa’ida. The Sunni needed an agreement with the Americans because they were getting the worse of a civil war with the Shia. The recent bombings were probably Sunni parties, using al-Qa’ida as their messenger, brutally demonstrating to the Iraqi government that they will not be marginalized. The idea, popular in some Washington think tanks, that a few obvious tactical innovations won the war in Iraq, and can do so again in Afghanistan, is wholly misleading and will lure the US and Britain further into the morass."

Egged(Israeli bus company) bus driver to Ethiopian: No blacks allowed

Woman recounts humiliating experience in which bus driver told her, 'Kushit, in Ethiopia you didn't even have shoes and here you do, so why don’t you walk?" .


Haredi women sick of sitting in back of segregated buses, file a petition with High Court to change situation
Haredi women have decided they're sick of keeping kosher. Ten years after Egged and Dan bus companies came up with the 'kosher' bus lines - which require female passengers to sit in a separate section at the back of the bus - a campaign is being launched to fight the segregation.
We were in desperate need of another Saudi Arabia in the ME.

"Boycott Israel":An Israeli comes to the painful conclusion that it's the only way to save his country.

Los Angeles Times
Israeli newspapers this summer are filled with angry articles about the push for an international boycott of Israel. Films have been withdrawn from Israeli film festivals, Leonard Cohen is under fire around the world for his decision to perform in Tel Aviv, and Oxfam has severed ties with a celebrity spokesperson, a British actress who also endorses cosmetics produced in the occupied territories. Clearly, the campaign to use the kind of tactics that helped put an end to the practice of apartheid in South Africa is gaining many followers around the world.

Those people have no shame...

'Native American' protesters to US: Give us back Manhattan

Some 20 people protest in front of American Embassy(Tel Aviv) against US pressure on Israel to freeze settlement building. Protesters dress up as Native Americans in effort to remind US that pioneers who settled their country did not quite ask where they could and could not build.
I'm sure the Israelis have a lot of sympathy for the American Natives' fate!

An international comparison of purchasing power in 73 cities around the globe

Via the Angry Arab(thanks...Molly!)

.Oslo, Copenhagen, Zurich, Geneva and Tokyo are the world's priciest cities
.Employees in Zurich and Geneva have the highest net wages in the world
.People in Cairo and Seoul work the longest – roughly 600 hours more per year than their peers in Western Europe.
.Long working hours in the Middle East and Asia – shortest in France.
The French work 35 hours a week...That the law which was passed under a Socialist gov't..I remember it was bitterly fought by the right wing parties and the Patronat(the body of the Employers).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Metaphorically speaking

Sami the Beduin visits a Kibbutz with his Jewish girlfriend and discovers the "Zionist dream"!

"This man, came immigrant from Poland, he got a new name ( a jewish one, as part of the Zionist project to unplug the old identity of the immigrants to plant a new brand “Zionist” one). His name (which I cant disclose here, but ready if irritated) was taken from the very occupied stolen land and took its history, its color, its stolen identity. It’s a zionist psychological technique to take from the jewish immigrants everything relate them to their homeland (in Europe or whatever) and plant new elements; their names, their language, their friend, their job, neighborhood,.. and pass them through a long and tiring program of (Olpan) sessions, seminars and religious brainwashing (if they are not already brainwashed) to drive them into “pure” Zionists rampaging the land fighting for their very “existence” !!!
Sami, the beduin.
(Mideast Youth/Thinking ahead)

Mapping the Arabic blogospere: politics, culture and dissent


The Women's Crusade

In India, a "bride burning" takes place approximately every two hours to punish a woman for an inadequate dowry or to eliminate her so a man can remarry--but these rarely constitute news. When a prominent dissident was arrested in China, we would write a front-page article; when 100,000 girls were kidnapped and trafficked into brothels, we didn't even consider it news.

Afghanistan's Election Day: Don't Be Fooled By This Facade of Democracy

We Afghans know this election will change nothing. It is merely a show of democracy put on by and for the West, to legitimize its future puppet in Afghanistan.

Like millions of Afghans, I have no hope in the results of this week's election. In a country ruled by warlords, occupation forces, Taliban insurgency, drug money and guns, no one can expect a legitimate or fair vote.

Palestinians teens visit Israel on 'Birthright Replugged'

Fourteen-year-old Jum'a Ismail lives 50 km from the Mediterranean but had never seen the sea. The Palestinian youth had never set eyes on an Israeli civilian or an airport.

Juma'a's horizons expanded this summer, when he left Jalazoun refugee camp in the West Bank with "Birthright Replugged" on a trip taking Palestinian children to Israel to visit the villages of their ancestors.

"It's an attempt to get out, while they still can," said the program's creator, Dunya Alwan.

Once Palestinian children turn 15, they must carry Israeli-issued West Bank identity cards and are no longer able to travel through Israeli checkpoints without special permits.

Jewish Internet Defense Force : The terrorists on the internet!

From Wikipedia:
"The Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF) is an online organization that seeks to remove material from the Internet which its members believe promotes or praises Islamic terrorism and racial hatred, in particular on sites they deem to be antisemitic and anti-Israel in nature.[2] The group has focused its attention on websites like Facebook,[3] [4] Myspace,[5] YouTube, Google Earth, and Wikipedia.[6]"
....."JIDF's measures include reporting Wikipedia editors it claims are anti-Israel, and taking action against entries seen as including one-sided or false accounts of the history of Israel and the Mideast conflict. On Google Earth, it has taken steps to remove photos showing Palestinian villages listed as having been destroyed during the foundation of the State of Israel. It has also waged a campaign against the listing of Palestine as a country."

In short, anything critical of Israel is a target of terror of those fascists!!!

The Unwritten Rule: No Arab activist is allowed to speak on any regional injustice except Palestine

"This is not the first time, and certainly not the last time I and several other Arabs here would be attacked and apparently “boycotted” because we chose to do what very few other Arabs in this region usually do, and that is tackle an injustice other than Palestine - a “sin” in the world of activism......"

".........There are other issues plaguing our region. Deadly issues, some of which rightly qualify as genocide, and some as critical as modern day slavery. And if you are sitting in the comfort of another country (in Europe/USA) claiming that we are “diverting attention” away from the “REAL crime” (Palestine), then you have no idea what we go through in our own countries, no clue whatsoever. In fact, if you feel this way, chances are you have no idea that Baha’is or Kurds are even being historically oppressed, or aware of the fact that 2/3 of all labor workers in the Middle East are migrants being enslaved, and 500,000+ return home each year either without pay, completely handicapped, or in body bags."
Esra'a (Bahrein)
(Mideast Youth..Thinking ahead)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dutch university fires Islamic scholar Tarek Ramadan

AMSTERDAM — A Dutch university fired Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan on Tuesday for hosting a show on Iran's state television, which the school said could be seen as endorsing the regime.

Ramadan — known as a reformist who condemns terrorism, seeks to modernize Shariah law and urges Muslims living in Europe to integrate — has recently been criticized in the Dutch press for allegedly voicing more conservative views for Muslim audiences than he does in the West.
Ramadan, independently of what one thinks of his ideas, is a BRILLIANT mind. I saw him once debating De Villiers, a reactionary, right wing anti European Union politician and I was blown away by the acuity of his mind! I had had heard of him but never read him so I had no idea what he represented exactly..The poor thing who debated him, actually there were two of them, the presenter of the program wasn't all that neutral, were literally silenced and didn't have much of substance to add. They had this idea that they would corner him on radical Islam, and thus being an easy prey but found a very modern critical Islamic thinker who annihilated their arguments one by one...Very sharp...

Another success for "Boycott Israel Campaign"

Amnesty International Withdraws from Leonard Cohen’s Israel Concert Fund

New York, NY, August 18 – Amnesty International has announced today that it will abstain from any involvement in the Leonard Cohen concert in Tel Aviv and will not be party to any fund that benefits from the concert‘s proceeds. A number of media accounts had reported that Amnesty International was to manage or otherwise partner in a fund created from the proceeds of Cohen’s concert in Israel that would be used to benefit Israeli and Palestinian groups. Amnesty International’s announcement today followed an international outcry over the human rights organization’s reported involvement in the Leonard Cohen concert fund, and an earlier international call for Cohen to boycott apartheid Israel.

95 killed, 500 injured in Baghdad

At least 95 people have been killed and 500 injured in six blasts near the government and diplomatic "Green Zone" in the centre of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, the police said.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My newest piece

This piece is self evidently a seascape, one of the themes that I've been working on for quite a while and where I think there's still a lot to express. I'm very well aware of the differences that put me, theme wise, with artists like Kayali below, thousands of miles away...While in many ways I feel running in my veins the same stream of emotions, I can't commit my self for the time being to anything widely different from what I'm doing now. Yes, to my chagrin I'm caught in a system of offer and demand and what it takes to escape is more than courage or financial security, it takes a deeper connection with the reality artists like Kayali have had. It's a question of honesty too. In the end, if a writer should write about what he knows best, it's hardly anything different for an artist..Anyway, as I say often and sorry for quoting myself, still learning, I presume!

Arab art

Louay Kayali, Syria

Few pieces can be left alone to speak for themselves..This is one of them..One can write a book about what's going on...Powerful, expressive and economical in means..
BTW, crunch time for me..An upcoming group exhibition next month and a big one in November, and with so much time spent on the internet I have reasons to worry..

Ex-staffer at Dimona nuclear reactor says made to drink uranium

Workers at the nuclear reactor facility in Dimona were made to volunteer to drink uranium in 1998 as part of an experiment, according to a lawsuit filed four months ago in the Be'er Sheva Labor Tribunal by a former worker at the facility.

Israel wrecked Arafat, crowned Hamas, and gave birth to Al-Qaida in Gaza

By Nehemia Shtrasler
This week marked four years since the Gaza disengagement, and it seems that the Strip is becoming increasingly radical - that peace is more distant and the settlers who were removed from the enclave are more embittered. Did Ariel Sharon and the majority of the Israeli public that supported the move make a bad deal?

The right to resist!!

Israeli blockade claims 344 Gaza patients

Palestinian sources say 344 patients have so far died post 22-day war against Gaza, because of a lack of medical supplies in the Gaza strip due to an Israeli siege.

The last "martyr of the Israeli siege", according to Palestinian Ministry of Health, is 42 year-old Omar Ata Allah Al-Sha'er from Rafah city in the south of the Gaza Strip.

Native American Genocide and the New World Order

Monday, August 17, 2009

Millions of Afghan women to be denied a vote

Millions of Afghan women will be denied their chance to vote in presidential elections this week because there aren't enough female officials to staff the women-only polling stations.

Anti-Muslim Blogosphere Runs Amuck: Forced to Eat Crow

The Loon world was whipped into a frenzy based on, as usual, the reinforcing winds of ignorance and hate. In what was meant to be an unremarkable story, Tim Marshall a reporter for Sky News blogged on a mass wedding celebration in the Gaza Strip officiated by Hamas. Marshall reports in his excellent blog Islamophobia. Ignorance or Propaganda?,

Immigrants are considered subhuman

A man who put out water jugs in a wildlife refuge in the Arizona desert for illegal immigrants crossing from Mexico was convicted of littering and sentenced last week to probation and 300 hours of picking up trash, after he refused to pay a fine.

Why is this not getting more attention? Hamas vs Al-Qaeda in Gaza - 13 dead, 85 injured.

Deadly gun battle in Gaza mosque
At least 13 people have been killed and at least 85 injured in a fierce gun battle in Gaza, emergency services say.

Eyewitnesses say hundreds of Hamas fighters and policemen surrounded a mosque where followers of a radical Islamist cleric were holed up.

On closer examination, there's very little evidence of election fraud in the recent Iranian election.

Ahmadinejad; duly elected president of Iran

“A Preliminary analysis of the voting figures in Iran’s 2009 presidential election” was released on the 21st June by the British think tank, Chatham House, and authored by Dr Ansari, an historian and professor of Iranians studies at St Andrews, who also serves as a consultant to the UK Government.
Al Jazeera

Surprise, surprise!: Israeli commandos in Honduras

Israeli Commandos with Experience in Palestine and Colombia are Training the Honduran Armed Forces.

Inspired by the roots of Arab unity

"The desire for a unified independent Arab state prompted Arab leaders to join the Allies in the first world war after the negotiations of Sir Henry Mac Mahon with the late Sayyid Hussein bin Ali, the Sharif of Mecca.
Unfortunately, the Allies had different plans. Contrary to the assurances given to Hussein by the British, the Arab lands were divided between France and the UK."
Al Jazeera

First Jew is elected to a Palestinian liberation movement

"Davis, who in the 1980s abandoned his Israeli citizenship in protest over Israel's continued occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and later received Palestinian citizenship, was the only non- Arab to run for a seat in the Revolutionary Council, Fatah's legislative body."

Twitter tweets are 40% 'babble'

A short-term study of Twitter has found that 40% of the messages sent via it are "pointless babble."
And so is the phone...and the cell phone, and the computer, I would add..

Iraq inquiry 'may last into 2011'

The "huge job" of going through vast amounts of material and evidence means the Iraq inquiry could continue into 2011 says chairman Sir John Chilcot.

Anti-gay attacks on rise in Iraq

Gay Iraqi men are being murdered in what appears to be a co-ordinated campaign involving militia forces, the group Human Rights Watch says.
BBC Online

Israel Begins Sell-off of Refugees’ Land/Privatisation to Subvert Palestinian Hopes of Restitution

According to international law, Israel holds the property of more than 4 million Palestinian refugees in custodianship, until a final peace deal determines whether some or all of them will be allowed back to their 400+ destroyed villages or compensated for their loss. Well, Israel started selling.

How a Basic Income Program Saved a Namibian Village

It sounds like a communist utopia, but a basic income program pioneered by German aid workers has helped alleviate poverty in a Nambian village. Crime is down and children can finally attend school. Only the local white farmers are unhappy.
Spiegel online( Spiegel?! Is that a Commie rag?)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Income Inequality Is At An All-Time High: STUDY

Income inequality in the United States is at an all-time high, surpassing even levels seen during the Great Depression, according to a recently updated paper by University of California, Berkeley Professor Emmanuel Saez. The paper, which covers data through 2007, points to a staggering, unprecedented disparity in American incomes.

Apologies for a post taken down..

The Palestinian Pundit is a site that I appreciate and respect to a high degree. I often visit, read and borrow posts such as the one about the Angry Arab's(justified in it's time) rant about the Washington Post, which, it came to my attention and THEIR's(it was taken down from the PP site as well), that it dated from 2006...My intention is not to blame them for that mistake in any way, but to state an unfortunate mishap...
We still learn everyday, I guess.

JNF(Jewish National Fund) presence in South America perpetuates Palestine injustice

Rahela Mizrahi, The Electronic Intifada, 13 August 2009
Without any sense of irony, lands of destroyed Palestinian villages have been expropriated by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and dedicated to revolutionary South American heroes of liberation.

CIA-Trained Security Chiefs Elected to the Palestinian Leadership

What Actually Happened in Fatah's Elections?

“He is our guy.”
George W. Bush speaking of Palestinian security chief Muhammad Dahlan, June 4, 2003

Tal az Za'atar remembered: "Don't forget and don't forgive"

By The Angry Arab
The anniversary of the massacre of Tal Az-Za`tar passes every year, with little remembrances or commemoration. The culprits are known: the right-wing militias of Lebanon (assisted by the Lebanese Army), the Israeli occupiers, and the Syrian regime which assisted the militias at the time. Comrade Rami salutes the martyrs of Tal Az-Za`tar.

War talk stalks Beirut

The beaches are crowded, the restaurants full, but the Lebanese rumour mill talks of another war around the corner
.....Meanwhile beneath the political bickering a greater challenge may lie on the horizon. There is talk of "war shopping", of people storing up supplies in case growing Israeli rhetoric towards the country becomes a reality. Interestingly even Hariri stated recently that "We are neither against Iran, nor against Syria; we are only against Israel because it is our enemy."
The Guardian

Dr. Mustapha Barghouti: What we Palestinians need

Irrespective of what political settlement is ultimately embraced, Palestinians need a unified strategy for confronting and overcoming Israeli racism, apartheid and oppression. Mustafa Barghouthi* outlines the basis of such a strategy:

"Palestinians have only two choices before them, either to continue to evade the struggle, as some have been trying to do, or to summon the collective national resolve to engage in it.

The latter option does not necessarily entail a call to arms. Clearly Israel has the overwhelming advantage in this respect in both conventional and unconventional (nuclear) weapons. Just as obviously, neighbouring Arab countries have neither the will nor ability to go the military route. However, the inability to wage war does not automatically mean surrender and eschewing other means to wage struggle."

Ladies and Gentlemen. Let me introduce you to a very nasty growth spurt victim

Mr Thom Brown...A top American designer who's according to "the Sartorialist", "is the most important young menswear designer in New York"....
".....I also like that he is an American designer that has based his look in traditional American design without losing its edge or ability to be exported around the world. He is teaching an entire new generation why JFK was so cool."

Oh,yes! I'm feeling so very inspired by this right now as I'm seriously thinking wearing my 12 years old son's school uniform for the opening night of my next group exhibition in September...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Israel Isolated, Alone, and Shunned by the World regarding its settlements

Switzerland has become the latest nation that has asked Israel to stop all its settlement activities in the occupied territories. In a statement released on Thursday July 23, 2009, the Swiss Foreign Ministry said, “Switzerland is deeply concerned about the destruction of Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem near the old town and the planned eviction of Palestinian families.” It also said that East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territories and under international humanitarian law Israel must protect the local civilian population, and that, “There is no military necessity that could justify the destruction of these houses or the evictions of Palestinian families. The Israeli settlement policy is not compatible with efforts to find a lasting global solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestinians.”
(Thanks r.s)

Jewish IQ drop continues, thanks to Israel lobby

Continuing to provide a shelter to neocons, The Washington Post publishes a foolish piece of disinformation by Gary Wasserman saying that there is no such thing as the Israel lobby, and that American Jews don’t feel loyalty to Israel. The author argues that the government’s case against the AIPAC lobbyists, now dropped, reflected anti-Semitism. And the Israel lobby– which the Post continues to fail to describe to its readers honestly (I’m sure they’re bashing the health insurers as a powerful lobby this week)– is a conspiracy theory.

Israel's thuggish image, on Main Street

Memo to Foxman/AIPAC: Here’s a joke from a waggish young blogger named Ryan Waggaman, who says he’s connected to Wonkette. I pass it along because it suggests the shifting image of Israel on main street USA, or as Howard Kohr of AIPAC said so eloquently earlier this year, many voices are now creating a "Predicate for abandonment" of Israel… The context for the joke is a post mocking Harvard’s money woes:
I'm glad you noticed!

Harvard prof blasts neocons’ ‘extremist counterculture’

Author Rory Stewart is a star at Harvard’s Kennedy School, mentioned as a future Foreign Secretary in the UK. Here he is in the Kashmir Observer, putting the lie to the George Packer-Charles Ferguson claim that the Iraq invasion, which Stewart supported, would have succeeded if we just hadn’t disbanded the army.

Invincible: ‘you can’t disconnect a people from the importance of place’

"Above is a "docu-music-video" of Detroit MC Invincible’s song People Not Places. Kabobfest calls it the "greatest hip hop song for Palestine ever."The video, like the song, is a powerful indictment of both the ongoing dispossession of the Palestinian people, and attempts to shield young American Jews from this reality through programs like Birthright."

Friday, August 14, 2009

Vanessa Redgrave support for Palestine Part1

Vanessa Redgrave talks about those who support Palestine and the right of self determination. NYC Ethical Culture Jan. 13, 2008.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Controversy: Miss Universe Australia: TOO THIN?

Critics said the 19-year-old was just skin and bone. With her 31-25-35 measurements she seemed to have trouble filling her already skimpy bikini as she paraded before the judges at the Australian finals of the pageant in Sydney.
We've seen, I'm sure, much much thinner on the catwalks!

Backed by their army, settlers bid for expansion in three locations

Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli settlers launched a series of actions on Friday in a bid to take over more West Bank land from Palestinians.
Are they paying "market price" for it?

Another settler trick to steal Palestinian land..They plant trees!

Settlers plant trees in it and it's declared "Nature preserve" by Israeli law, therefore state land! As simple as that!

"Some 40-50 settlers reportedly arrived between 8-9am, along with about 20 soldiers in six or seven jeeps.
Settlers planted about 60 pine seedlings on the terrace directly above the family’s home, the Palestinian said. The Israeli army protected the settlers and prevented the Palestinian family from talking to the settlers, he added, noting that the settlers left about 11am.
The seemingly innocent issue of tree planting is sensitive in some Palestinian communities because under Israeli law, green hills are defined as nature preserves, and therefore are state land, the team said."
I have a feeling, someone, you know who, will come and say, but isn't it a good thing to plant trees?!! I'm waiting for him!

Hebron settler thugs rampage in reaction to outpost crackdown

Ma’an/Agencies – Israeli settlers rampaged through the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Monday afternoon, smashing the windows of cars and setting fire to at least one vehicle, according to Israeli media.

29 Democratic Party members of the United States House of Representatives will visit Israel next Thursday, fully sponsored by AIPAC....

....America's only pro-Israel lobby, for a huge slice of "American Tax Dollars"

It was not immediately clear if the Democratic lawmakers would visit any West Bank settlements during their visit, which comes exactly one week after an event organized at the illegal Alfei Menashe settlement for their Republican counterparts.

"Burkini"(Islamic swim suit) banned!

A FRESH storm broke out over Islamic dress yesterday after a Muslim woman was banned from wearing a "burkini" at a public pool.
Could they still use Tahini as sun screen?

And here:
Paris Pool Denies Muslim Woman For Wearing Burqini
A Paris swimming pool has refused to allow a young Muslim woman to swim after she tried to enter while wearing a burqini, a full body covering that resembles a wet-suit with built-in hood, AFP reports. The burqini is made for Muslim women who want to swim and keep their body covered.
On a different note.. My son on a trip to France with his mum was not allowed to swim at a pool with his (Australian) swimming shorts/truncs.."Non reglementaire!! "(not regulated) his mum was told!!!

Rupert Murdoch to begin charging for online news content in just under a year .

"Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting," Murdoch said during a call with analysts and reporters.
"Quality journalism"???!! Is this a joke?...

Supporters of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya clashed with soldiers and police for a second day on Wednesday ........ street protests over the June 28 army coup turned rowdy..

Iran government has banned its citizens from making pilgrimages to Mecca during the Muslim holy month, which starts in less than two weeks.

Iran to Ban Saudi Flights to Curb Swine Flu
By Elizabeth Arrott/09 August 2009
Iran is taking further steps to slow the spread of the H1N1 virus, canceling flights to Saudi Arabia before Ramadan. The government has already banned its citizens from making pilgrimages to Mecca during the Muslim holy month, which starts in less than two weeks.

In five of the seven incidents, Israeli soldiers shot at civilians who were walking down the street with white flags.........

...... trying to leave the areas of fighting, USA Based Human Rights Watch Rights group said.
Israel must investigate the "unlawful" killing of 11 civilians carrying white flags during its Gaza operation earlier in 2009, Human Rights Watch has said.

Creationism on the University of Arkansas website. "Hall of Shame for Evolution Fraud and Deceit"

"Some of the classic evidences given in support of the "fact" of evolution are embarrassingly flawed. Yet they continue to be displayed as "proofs" for evolution. [The word "proofs" is set off because in science, this is a misuse of the word, yet that is what must occur for evolution to be a "fact."]"

Otto the Jewish Nazi---a criticism of Israel's hypocrisy--was cut from Monty Python's Life of Brian so as not to upset "the Jewish lobby"........

......... in the American film industry.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Excess cynicism: Our biggest challenge

Mazin Qumsiyeh (Palestine)

Our biggest challenge in my opinion is not the Israeli occupation, corrupt politicians, the apartheid wall, the economic deprivation, the moral slide, or the environmental catastrophe unfolding. Our biggest challenge is excess and paralyzing cynicism. How can one not be cynical when even just the past week:

- Israeli courts ruled that any Jew can claim land supposedly owned even after 100 years (or 2000 years for collective ownership) evicting others whereas a “nonJew” has no similar rights. Palestinian refugees in East Jerusalem for example cannot reclaim their lawfully registered property in West Jerusalem but a Jew can claim property (rightly or wrongly) anywhere even with forged documents. Meanwhile evicted Jerusalemites sleep on the street outside their homes. And..

Evicted Palestinians sleep on the streets outside their homes in East Jerusalem

The Hanouns, a Palestinian family evicted by Israeli authorities from their home in East Jerusalem, are protesting their eviction by sleeping on the street outside the house that was for decades their home.

Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland reports on the from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem, where the Hanouns are sleeping rough in protest

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New book on Einstein and Israel: He said no to a Zionist state

Testifying for the Anglo-American inquiry on Palestine, he said, "The state idea... it is connected with many difficulties and a narrow-mindedness. I believe it is bad." In a interview with Mohammed Heikal, he said, "[The Arab] have a right to their homeland, a place for which they know no substitute, and no-one can deny it to them. "

Arabs of Jewish Descent in Israel

( Up to 85 percent of Arabs in greater Israel stem from Jewish ancestors, it is estimated.
“In our search for the lost Ten Tribes in India and Afghanistan, we seem to have forgotten to look for their descendants in our very own backyard.” So says the narrator in a new film about the efforts of a former hi-tech pioneer named Tzvi MiSinai to search out the Jewish roots of Israel's Arab enemies – and to inform them of their Judaic heritage.........

The Jews Who Didn't Leave
It is generally accepted that most Jews left the Land of Israel after the failed Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 CE. Yet many remained, and of these, many are still here, after having been forced to convert to Islam. “It turns out that a large part of the Arabs of the Land of Israel are actually descendants of forced converts to Islam over the years,” says Rabbi Dov Stein of the nascent Sanhedrin rabbinical council. “There are some studies that say that 85 percent of the Arabs in Israel are descended from Jews; others say there are fewer.”
Mondoweiss comment:
The logical conclusion to this article would be that 85% of the Palestinian refugees should be welcomed home under the Law of Return, and Israel will remain a Jewish state which will please all the Zionists? Whazzat, you say they will not at all be pleased?
Israel National News is the source for this article... every time I open this link, I feel like gagging, but it's an article worth having a look at. You can gag afterwards if you like...

‘We are walking into the abyss’– Netanyahu’s sister-in-law

Even compared to the low ethical standards which most people, outside the United States, ascribe to the actions of the Israeli government of occupation, the recent decision of their Supreme Court to evict long-time residents of Arab neighborhoods and to replace them with Jewish Israelis signals a particularly low point in the Jewish state’s brutally harsh treatment of Palestinians.

In a sparsely reported incident which occurred on Sunday, August 2, Ofra Ben-Artzi (pictured), the sister-in-law of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, was detained by police in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem. The 58 year-old Ben-Artzi, an editor for the anti-occupation magazine, HaKibush, spent several hours in police custody before being released without any charges being filed. Her apparent crime was her sympathy with the Palestinians who had recently been evicted from their homes.

2009 Failed States Index - Foreign Policy

Interactive Map and Rankings.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I was just at the cellphone store. There was a guy there looking at phones. I told him, don't buy Motorola, they support illegal settlements on the West Bank. He winced and bought a Motorola anyway, telling me he couldn't afford the other one. I just exchanged my old Motorola for a Samsung. Gotta say the motorola was easier to use.

Debunking anti-Muslim propaganda

A big YouTube hit makes startling predictions about the Islamification of Europe over the next few decades and has been viewed more than 10 million times. But can you believe what it says?


Why Fears Of A Muslim Takeover Are All Wrong

the Palestinian image problem

"Last night I saw a friend who reads history all the time and studies international politics from afar. He’s a businessman, very well off, non-Jewish. He follows our issue the same way he follows health care reform. He said the following:

He’s now frankly anti-Zionist, based on the fact that it hasn’t worked out well. He is in the Tony Judt camp: he does not believe that ethnic/religious states ought to exist, of any sort. When the Kurds say they want a state, screw them. This is not the way the world is heading. The era of the nation-state has lasted 200 years and is coming to an end. Can’t happen too soon. This goes for the Palestinians too. He doesn’t think they should have a state. The likelihood is that it would be an Islamist state anyway. I/P should be one state. The Israelis have lost their claim to a Jewish state through their actions, and the force of history."

Rachel Corrie’s posthumous achievement: the pressure groups inside Jewish community are failing

The great Joel Beinin at MERIP offers a startling conclusion from the groundbreaking showing of Rachel at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival: "More and more American Jews find themselves attracted to the moral commitment that animates Rachel, and left cold by the tactics of pressure groups that spend so much money to shut down debate over Israel and its occupation policies. And that is why the pressure groups are beginning to fail."

Israeli businessmen running sweatshop in Jordan

If the term "sweatshop" used to be associated with Asian countries and global brands such as Nike, now such methods of production by exploiting workers have made aliyah. Two Israeli entrepreneurs run a sweatshop in Jordan that produces clothes for leading Israeli brands such as Irit, Bonita, Jump and Pashut, Haaretz has learned.

Gideon Levy: In Israel, success is measured in combat service

Gideon Levy/ Haaretz

I'd like to welcome you to Sparta. Fascistan is here.

While Israel disgracefully lags behind in every international educational ranking, it encourages and takes pride in the military service of its students as a questionable substitute.

Jewish Fatah member nominated for party's Revolutionary Council

A Jewish member of Fatah was nominated for a spot on the party's Revolutionary Council on Saturday, the Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.

Dr. Uri Davis told Ma'an that one of Fatah's weakest attributes has been its failure to establish ties with international parties, movements and human rights organizations, and promised to step up efforts, if elected.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Honduras: Military Coup Engineered By Two US Companies?

August 07, 2009 "Information Clearing House" -- I recently visited Central America. Everyone I talked with there was convinced that the military coup that had overthrown the democratically-elected president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, had been engineered by two US companies, with CIA support. And that the US and its new president were not standing up for democracy.

Earlier in the year Chiquita Brands International Inc. (formerly United Fruit) and Dole Food Co had severely criticized Zelaya for advocating an increase of 60% in Honduras’s minimum wage, claiming that the policy would cut into corporate profits. They were joined by a coalition of textile manufacturers and exporters, companies that rely on cheap labor to work in their sweatshops.
(Thanks v)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

According the the CIA, Israel account balance is +$1,893,000,000 while US balance is -$568,800,000,000 , yet Israel is the country who benefits the most of US foreign aid, plus another approved $30 billion over the next ten years.

Look who's Christopher Hitchens' son!!

Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens (born 1984) is an American think tank operative who undertook his higher education in London and has worked in US right wing and neconservative think tanks. Since 2007-9 he has worked - in particular on Islam - successively at Standpoint, Policy Exchange and the Centre for Social Cohesion.[1] He has also blogged at the Henry Jackson Society website.[2] He is the son of the journalist Christopher Hitchens....

Meleagrou-Hitchens has been closely involved in attacking allegedly extremist Islamic or anti-Zionist figures. He runs Standpoint magazine's Focus on Islamism blog.

Adam, The “Terrorist”

"This picture, of my wife and our little baby I got yesterday evening Aug. 5th 09, a moments before dusk. Today my wife went to visit her brother in the “israeli” jail, and of course she got to take our baby Adam with her....

The “israeli” jail is some 40km away from our home, and the journey to it takes some 30-40 minutes in a normal country. In a normal country everything is normal but in a racist regime like in “israel”, everything is hell for the “less human” native Palestinians. In a normal country the trip takes 30-40 minutes, but in a racist regime it takes more than 12 hours.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Al Hurra was filming near my house. They had their cameras pointed toward a shisha joint named "Ramala cafe". I told them no one watches. They said they heard that, too.

Israeli rabbis ban marriage for Jewish ‘untouchables’

350,000 immigrants classed as ‘without religion’
by Jonathan Cook
Tel Aviv. Two immigrants from the former Soviet Union staged a very public wedding in the streets of central Tel Aviv this week to highlight the plight of hundreds of thousands of Jews barred from lawfully marrying in Israel.
Nico Tarosyan and Olga Samosvatov chose to tie the knot in a special ceremony on Tuesday -- watched by family, friends and curious passers-by -- after Orthodox rabbis had denied them the right to wed.
The rabbinate says that Mr Tarosyan cannot prove he is Jewish according to its strict standards and therefore should not marry Ms Samosvatov, who is considered a proper Jew.
Ok, not unlike Saudi Arabia you might rightfully argue, but then again, Saudi Arabia never pretended to be "a light unto the nations" or a frigging "beacon of democracy in the ME!! Actually considering that Israel was founded by Europeans IN Europe arguably more enlightened than the "backward" Middle East, the comparison with Saudi Arabia can only highlight the depth and breadth of its discriminatory poilicies!

How an American gambling mogul is forcing a showdown between the Obama administration and Israel over settlements

Richard Silverstein/ The Guardian

Irving Moskowitz's bingo madness

"Over time, Moskowitz and other supporters of a far-right settler agenda developed a vision of "Judaising" East Jerusalem and its environs. They began after the 1967 war with a goal of repopulating formerly Jewish neighbourhoods, whose inhabitants had been expelled in 1948. The vision has gradually become more ambitious, seeking to dislodge Arab inhabitants from their traditional homes in villages like Silwan in order to transform Jerusalem into an exclusively Jewish city that can never be divided or shared with the Palestinians. Rabbi Haim Beliak, a pre-eminent Jewish activist and opponent of Moskowitz, goes so far as to call this "ethnic cleansing" of the indigenous population. Moskowitz's goal is to impose, through demography and population transfer, a political agenda on the state."
I don't think a Mafia boss is as harmful as this piece of human feces!!

Poll: More Israelis would prefer Livni as prime minister

For the first time since taking office, the public considers Benjamin Netanyahu less suitable to serve as prime minister than opposition leader MK Tzipi Livni, a new Channel 10 poll said Thursday.
Of course they would! With Livni they would have still given the impression that Israel is a moderate, democratic society but with fascists like Netanyahu and Lieberman in Government, "le roi est nu", the king's ass is bare!!

Arafat murder conspiracy is back from the dead

"The affair resurfaced in the Palestinian discourse a few weeks ago in the wake of accusations by PLO enfant terrible Farouk Kaddoumi, head of the organization's state department. Kaddoumi accused Arafat's successor, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas and PA senior official Mohamed Dahlan, of conspiring with Israel to murder Arafat."

Chavez calls Lieberman 'mafia boss,' denies links to Hezbollah

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Thursday called Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman a "mafia boss," hitting back at Israel's top diplomat over accusations that Caracas has allowed Hezbollah to establish militant cells in its territory.

PA officials: U.S. wants borders to top peace talks

BETHLEHEM - The U.S. administration will demand that Israel and the Palestinians address the issue of borders as the first step in the Middle East peace plan, senior Palestinian officials said Thursday.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Wednesday that Washington will present its new plan for a comprehensive Middle East peace soon.

Venezuela: Socialism for the 21st Century

By Peter Bohmer / Zcommunications

"In the 1980's, we were told by government leaders such as Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, most economists, media pundits such as Thomas Friedman that there is no alternative (TINA) to unregulated market capitalism. This economic model and the related policies are called neoliberalism in Latin America."......

I will share some of my understanding of the present and possible future of Venezuela so that we can effectively counter the criticisms we hear of it by our politicians and media.. Another reason to study the Venezuela proceso is so that we can dream about and learn lessons for organizing and advocating for socialism in the 21st century in the U.S., a country that today is more unequal in its income distribution than Venezuela. [ii] Venezuela is not socialist but rather Chávez and others calling for 21st century socialism are placing Venezuela in that tradition while calling for something different and new and culturally appropriate and historically specific for Venezuela. In this paper, I will also briefly examine the Venezuelan economy today."

Lying for the Lord – again!

"WHAT’S with Christian fundies and their addiction to lies?
Is it that, deep down, they know that Christianity hasn’t a factual leg to stand on, and that the only way they feel they can defend and perpetuate the religion is by adding to the foundation of lies on which it rests?
Here’s the latest example: A Florida fundamentalist group has decided to wage war on church-state separation in the US by posting ten billboard advertisements that send the message that:
America’s government was made only for people who are moral and religious.
The billboards highlight quotes from the US’s founding fathers that are misleading, false or taken out of context.
For example, one of the messages attributes this quote to George Washington:
It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.
Washington never ever said that!"
The Free Thinker
Not that I credit Muslim or Jewish fundies for that matter of any more virtue, mind you.. For example a friend told me that a detained Egyptian Christian blogger is bargained to turn to Islam for his release from Borg Al Arab prison...!I'm just trying to find a link to make a post.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Losing Patience with Israel

The Atlantic Magazine(yes, yes..)

More than democracy, Washington wants stability in the Middle East. That means leaning against the interests of the Jewish state.................

Indeed, having sacrificed so much for the sake of the Middle East’s future, America will not think twice about asking its friends—especially the one it bankrolls, and which is occupying densely Arab-populated land—to sacrifice, too. Many, both in the Administration and in the wider Washington establishment, have simply lost patience with what they see as Israeli intransigence over settlements in occupied territories. This may not be fair, or even wholly logical, for the issue of settlements is highly complex. But the reality is that Washington’s quiet passions have turned decidedly against Israel.
(Thanks v.)
Please note. Just because I'm posting this doesn't mean I agree with everything.................Far from it!

Gaza: Traumatized children struggle to rise again

Mel Frykberg, The Electronic Intifada, 5 August 2009

AL-BUREIJ, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - Tens of thousands of children in Gaza are still suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following Israel's three-week bombing in December-January.

Several crisis counseling teams run by international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been carrying out intervention programs aimed at helping Gaza's most vulnerable put the pieces of their lives back together.

But these groups warn that while there has been some improvement in the collective psyche of Gaza's children, the long-term effects of war are now beginning to show, and unless the rights of Gazans are respected, the next generation's future will be hard to predict.
They were HUMANELY traumatised by the most moral army in the world, didn't you know? Maybe you should read Bernard-Henri Levy then!!They've been warned before they were bombarded to smithereens!

Tel Aviv University – A Leading Israeli Military Research Centre

As part of Tel Aviv's centenary celebration, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London hosted a Tel Aviv University Special Lecture Series from January to March 2009. Taking place in the midst of Israel's war on Gaza -- which had already mobilized SOAS students to organize a number of activities in solidarity with Gaza, including the first student occupation in the UK -- students and a number of lecturers expressed their opposition to the lecture series.
I know of one (occasional?) reader of this blog works/teaches/studies at Tel Aviv University..

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

JS-KIT upgrade today ( Arrggghh! ?>@!~shtrwybveomomfff)

Please take note that JS-KIT is upgrading today to a new system, ECHO, whether I like or not..I'm full of apprehension and dread it to a great degree because from my experience this means nothing but problems, glitches and headaches..You'll have to bear with me(and each can BARE on his own if so he/she wishes!) and see how best we can navigate( not necessarily totally bare) through the frigging changes! Voila!!
Update...All went well after all apart from very minor little cute things. Maybe I should stop agonising over whichever changes that come my way!!

Palestinian economy isn’t recovering thanks to Israel, but in spite of it

4 August 2009
Although the Shin Bet security services and the Israel Defense Forces agreed to ease pressure on the population, most of the internal checkpoints that Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered removed at the request of U.S. President Barack Obama administration, had already been slated for removal by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in response to pressure from former U.S. president George W. Bush.

Hamas: We Recognize Israel Within the 1967 Borders

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Hamas’ leader in exile Khaled Meshaal announced unambiguously the group’s recognition of Israel along the 1967 borders of international consensus, and promises not to impede negotiations for a final settlement.
Israel isn't going to like this a single bit! They thrive and prosper propagating the idea that Hamas wants to kill all the Jews!!

The face of Evil!

If evil could be described with words a picture will always describe it better...A settler's face( one of those who quickly moved into the house from which Palestinians were kicked out!)! click on the image to enlarge and enjoy!
Actually this is how I imagine the despicable human waste genocidal settler Yishai Kohen..

"Open Veins of Latin America"

Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent
A book by Eduardo Galeano
A brief review here:
Weaving fact and imagery into a rich tapestry, Galeano fuses scientific analysis with the passions of a plundered and suffering people. An immense gathering of materials is framed with a vigorous style that never falters in its command of themes. All readers interested in great historical, economic, political, and social writing will find a singular analytical achievement, and an overwhelming narrative that makes history speak, unforgettably.
It's the famous book that Chavez offered to President Obama...

TOWARD AN OPEN TOMB: The Crisis of Israeli Society

A book by Michel Warschawski

A brief review here:
Since the breakdown of the Oslo peace process in 2000 and the beginning of the second Intifada, conflict has escalated in Israel/Palestine and come to seem irreversible. The overwhelming power of the Israeli military has been unleashed against a largely defenseless population in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza, driving Palestinians to despair and to desperate measures of retaliation. Michel Warschawski, has for many decades been active in building alliances of Jews and Palestinians to oppose the Israeli occupation. In this book, however, he focuses especially on the effects of the occupation on the occupiers—that is, on Israeli society—rather than its victims.

A review of Jean Bricmont's new book "HUMANITARIAN IMPERIALISM"

Using Human Rights to Sell War

Since the end of the Cold War, the idea of human rights has been made into a justification for intervention by the world's leading economic and military powers—above all, the United States—in countries that are vulnerable to their attacks. The criteria for such intervention have become more arbitrary and self-serving, and their form more destructive, from Yugoslavia to Afghanistan to Iraq. Until the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the large parts of the left was often complicit in this ideology of intervention-discovering new “Hitlers” as the need arose, and denouncing antiwar arguments as appeasement on the model of Munich in 1938.

Noam Chomsky: "Come Over and Help Us": A History of R2P (The responsibility to protect)

Noam Chomsky address to the United Nations General Assembly Thematic Dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect, the United Nations, New York, 23 July 2009

"Throughout history, there have been a few principles of international affairs that apply quite generally. One is the maxim of Thucydides that the strong do as they wish, while the weak suffer as they must. A corollary is what Ian Brownlie calls "the hegemonial approach to law-making": the voice of the powerful sets precedents."

Israelis Caught for Laundering US Tax Monies

( Israeli police arrested seven Israeli and American citizens Monday on suspicion that they laundered tens of millions of dollars in U.S. tax dollars to Israeli bank accounts.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A "New Scientist" article : "Falling out of love with market myths"

They sold us a myth and we believed it, so let's not make the same mistake again (Image: Rex Features)

MY STORY starts with a theory that Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher sold us. It is called "supply-side economics", and it claims that economic growth depends, first, on the rich (not the poor) being rewarded with tax cuts; and second, on markets being freed from regulation........

This is not the only false theory around. While bankers were busy promoting models of market success, research-based enterprises were equally hard at work promoting their own false model of "market failure" to justify government subsidies for their endeavours. They are, in my book, as culpable as the bankers. Let me explain why.

Former employees of Blackwater say its owner, Eric Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith

A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company's owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe," and that Prince's companies "encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life."

A new start for Fatah?

Once-dominant in Palestinian politics, Fatah is now struggling to regroup in a long-delayed conference to be held inside the Palestinian territories. Can the movement make a new start?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Congratulations Yasmin

I received this email from Yasmin:
"Yasmin successfully obtained a position as legal advisor for an NGO in Cairo representing refugees. It is a highly respected, well known NGO."
I'm extremely pleased to hear this Yasmin...Please keep us informed...

Israel condemned over evictions

The US has led international condemnation of Israel after it evicted nine Palestinian families living in two houses in occupied East Jerusalem.
BBC News
Condemnations are nice for sure but can you shove them where they belong? Thank you!
My husband and I were discussing this review and the question came up: why are Muslim immigrants in Europe so much more militant than Muslim immigrants here? There is racism and hostility towards them in both places. My husband said that Europe has a much stronger welfare system and that many immigrants get support from that but that here, they tend to work (often owning small businesses) and therefore must assimilate into society to make in order to succeed. What does everyone think? I noticed that in the articles, the immigrants in Europe were called guests (even if second or third generation), whereas here, they are called Americans. We have so many other immigrants here, not predominantly Muslim, as in Europe. I think that has something to do with it also. Do we have a more benevolent view towards immigrants here? That they are nobly working hard towards the American dream and all that? Living in NYC, which is largely immigrants, I may not have the most accurate pulse of the nation's views. The US has always encouraged (or taught in schools) assimilation, perhaps that's part of it as well.

Qaeda tells Obama conditional truce offer stands

The "fair offers" bin Laden had made to the United States and European nations were meant "for them to stop their aggression against Muslims and start a relationship that is based on interests instead of oppression and looting,"

Sunday, August 2, 2009

As blockade bites deep, more Gaza children must work

Sadly, Jihad and Zaher are not alone. Children can be seen on Gaza City's other street corners, selling in front of stores or to passing cars. Other children sell tea, coffee or tissues at the Jundi al-Majhoul public garden in the al-Rimal district. All of them work to help their families.
Why don't they just give up? Tsk, tsk...

Using the UN to undermine Palestinian rights

Yet Solana clearly angered Israel by daring to make such a proposal. Israel is not used to being surprised, and normally the big powers consult it before making any major statements about the Middle East situation. This time it seems Solana did not seek the proper Israeli permission. Yet the Israeli anger itself seemed to give added credence to the idea that Solana must have said something significant.

Palestinians in Israel forced to study Zionist anthem

Jonathan Cook, The Electronic Intifada, 28 July 2009

Amnesty urged to reject "tainted" funds from Leonard Cohen concert

Night invasions in Bilin

Over the last few weeks, the residents of Bilin have been subjected to constant night raids by the Israeli military, in retaliation to their weekly nonviolent demonstrations
Let's be fair here!! They didn't behead anyone! They just wanted to crush them, annihilate them, take their lands, their farms, their livelihoods and their WHOLE country!! We don't behead like the backward animals that you are! We're far more humane here!

Why Obama's peace process is still going nowhere

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 30 July 2009

Bolivia bans all circus animals - New law defines use of animals in circus an act of cruelty.

This is the first law of its kind anywhere in the world

An Indian court issued a warrant Friday for the arrest of the former head of the American chemical company responsible for the death of 10000

Have mercy...He didn't behead anyone (sarcasm, just in case!)!!

Former Iranian president Khatami has denounced the trial of around 100 people accused of rioting in the wake of the country's disputed elections

A gunman sprayed automatic fire at an Israeli club for gay teenagers on Saturday, killing two people and wounding at least eight

True, he didn't behead anyone, he just blew their heads off with a machine gun!!Much nicer!

US troops now a 'coalition of one' in Iraq

BAGHDAD — The war in Iraq was truly an American-only effort Saturday after Britain and Australia, the last of its international partners, pulled out.

Palestinian homes for sale

Israel evicts Palestinian families who've been living in their East Jerusalem home since 1956 to build a hotel.

Sherine Tadros, Al Jazeera's correspondent in East Jerusalem, said: "According to the Hanoun family, the members that I have spoken to, at about 6am as they were sleeping inside the house, Israeli police officers broke in and we can see the shattered glass all over the floor outside.

Map of most(and least) religious countries in the world

Note that the country which has occupied and gulped most of another country in the name of a frigging god of the Old Testament is rated just average.

"I saw a bumper sticker today that said "When religion ruled the world, they called it the Dark Ages"

Imagine If All Atheists Left America

It's a mistake to include Englishmen Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins..

Wisconsin man who prayed for his 11-year-old daughter instead of seeking medical care was found guilty Saturday of second-degree reckless homicide.

Man did not take child to hospital even though she couldn't walk, talk, eat.
To his "credit" though, he didn't behead anyone (sarcasm, just in case!)..