Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thank you Mara

Ah, yes! Happ(y , ier) New Year

And thank you all for your support and encouragement by following, reading and commenting. As it's been hard at times, better at others, your loyalty to this blog either way is certainly a reward that I cherish. This is an activity which, as you know, offers little but what it offers is always worth the effort thanks to your dedication..Merci beaucoup mes amis!

A new grassroots movement dawning?

I added Helena Cobban's new site,Fair Policy, Fair Discussion to the blog roll. She has this excellent new entry about Gaza
DC vigil for Gaza: A new grassroots movement dawning?
"Somehow, so long as the Palestinian question was seen as one being handled primarily by negotiators huddled far away from the gaze of outsiders– something we might call the “Taba Syndrome”– then it always felt very hard to mount any effective public solidarity movement around that. Especially when you could always suspect that many of the “Palestinian” negotiators already had second and third passports tucked handily into their back pockets; that they had long ago thrown in their lot 100% with the “western” nations that were evidently much more concerned with preserving Israeli privilege than they were with protecting basic Palestinian" rights;"

Let's hear it from the 'Black Is White' crowd:

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister: The West Bank Isn’t Occupied
"Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon takes to the Wall Street Journal op-ed page to argue that the West Bank, where numerous aspects of Palestinian life continue to be proscribed by Israeli military law, as they have been for over forty years, is not really occupied. Ayalon complains that “little appears to be truly understood about Israel’s rights to what are generally called the ‘occupied territories’ but what really are ‘disputed territories.’”

Guardian investigation uncovers evidence of alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza

Demos for Gaza


New York




Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cairo meets the movement, with tears and chaos and exaltation

Great piece by Philip Weiss who's in Cairo with the Freedom march. Luckily he wasn't in one of the two buses which headed to Gaza only to be barred to denied entry.
"Today the Gaza Freedom March fragmented slightly when in the face of stern opposition from their fellows about 80 people headed off to Gaza on buses, the rest staying in Cairo.

But wait, weren’t you trying to go to Gaza? Yes, but it has been quite a drama. How to state this clearly…"

The anti-Semitic argument! Again!

Stories you won't see in the US media

Mariam El-Sharif was born a year ago into a world of conflict and violence.


Published Document States Khamenei Is Planning to Escape to Russia …Update: Khamenei’s Jet Put on Standby

"I saw one of my legs had been blown off"

Attacked by an Israeli drone
In a short film by Medical Aid for Palestinians, Wafa al-Radia tells how she, pregnant about to give birth, and her sister were attacked by an Israeli drone last year during the Gaza onslaught

Larry Derfner does it again in the Jerusalem Post!

Rattling the Cage: A taboo question for Israelis
There's a question we Israelis won't ask ourselves about the Palestinians, especially not about Gaza. The question is taboo. Not only won't anyone ask it out loud, but very, very few people will dare ask it in the privacy of their own minds....
....The question we have to ask ourselves is this: If anybody treated us like we're treating the people in Gaza, what would we do?

We don't want to go there, do we? And because we don't, we make it our business not to see, hear or think about how, indeed, we are treating the people in Gaza.

All these shocked dignitaries, all these reports, these details, these numbers - thousands of destroyed this and tens of thousands of destroyed that. Rubble, sewage, malnutrition, crying babies, humanitarian crises - who can keep up? Who cares? They did it to themselves. Where to for lunch?
And don't forget to have a look at the comments posted from a parallel Universe! The 'Black is white' crowd:
"Israel greatly improved the lives of Arabs in Gaza & West Bank from 1967 on"

You can tell a dictator by the number of his medals (all won on battlefields of course)

Colonel Qaddaffi, the Libyan leader, watches a military parade in Tripoli to celebrate his 40 years as "Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution"
TimesOnline 'Pictures of the Year'

One of twenty "Pictures of the Year" selected by TimesOnline.
A boy who fled fighting between Houthi militants and government forces outside a UNHCR tent in a refugee camp near the town of Hadja in northwest Yemen

Media fails to mention 'sharp dressed man' escorted flight 253 bomber until allowed to board plane

Sharp dressed man and flight 253: what was left out of the story?

Afghan officials: US-led troop dragged ten civilians from their beds and shot them dead during a night raid.

Western troops accused of executing 10 Afghan civilians, including children
Afghan government investigators said that eight schoolchildren were killed, all but one of them from the same family. Locals said that some victims were handcuffed before being killed.
Western military sources said that the dead were all part of an Afghan terrorist cell responsible for manufacturing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which have claimed the lives of countless soldiers and civilians.
"All" the dead are terrorists? 8 children?

Gaza Freedom March Update

The latest here:

A short film

Gaza Freedom Marchers Reject Egyptian Offer to Let Just 100 Enter Gaza

After three days of vigils and demonstrations in downtown Cairo, Suzanne Mubarak’s offer to allow just 100 of 1,300 delegates to enter Gaza was rejected by the Gaza Freedom March.
Coordinating Committee as well as many of the larger contingents – including those from France, Scotland, Canada, South Africa, Sweden and New York State (U.S.).

“We flatly reject Egypt’s offer of a token gesture. We refuse to whitewash the siege of Gaza. Our group will continue working to get all 1362 marchers into Gaza as one step towards the ultimate goal for the complete end of the siege and the liberation of Palestine” said Ziyaad Lunat a member of the march Coordinating Committee.
Palestine Monitor

Stephen M. Walt : Have you heard about the 'Gaza Freedom March?' Probably not.

"You probably didn't know about any of this, but it's not really your fault. You probably get your news from mainstream outlets like the New York Times or Washington Post, and neither of these illustrious newspapers has bothered to cover this story. What do they consider important? Well, in the case of the Times, their idea of a big Mideast story right now is the heart-warming saga of a little shawarma shop in Amman."
This was written before the NYT (finally) noticed something.

Haaretz: Egypt to open Gaza border if Shalit deal succeeds

Egypt has presented its two conditions for opening the border crossings and has linked the Shalit deal to the Palestinian reconciliation agreement. Though Israel has not publicly committed itself to lifting the blockade if Shalit is released, it appears that international pressure will not let it continue the closure. And practically speaking, there would no longer be any point to doing so: If Egypt decides to open its border with the Gaza Strip following the Shalit deal, Israel will not be able to prevent it.

Abunimah in Cairo: "The struggle goes on."

I am not on a bus to Gaza. The struggle goes on.

"This was a very difficult morning. Many delegations to the Gaza Freedom March rejected the Egyptian offer of two buses to Gaza. Personally I wanted nothing more to be in Gaza. I did get on a bus. But I could not go when people I know and trust in Gaza did not want us to come under such conditions and when there was so much opposition to this. For me that was the bottom line.

Egypt to allow 100 protesters into Gaza

CAIRO — Protest leaders stranded in Cairo accepted an Egyptian offer on Tuesday to allow only 100 out of about 1,300 protesters into blockaded Gaza after the activists staged demonstrations and a hunger strike.
The decision split delegates from more than 40 countries who came to Cairo planning to reach the Palestinian enclave, which shares the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.
Some organisers said Egypt's offer was a victory after it initially refused to allow any of the protesters into the Gaza Strip for the Gaza Freedom March, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday.
"It's a partial victory," said Medea Benjamin, an American activist and one of the demonstrations organisers. "It shows that mass pressure has an effect."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rep. Brian Baird to call for cutting US aid to Israel unless the blockade on Gaza is lifted

Al Jazeera's Todd Baer caught up with two US Democratic congressmen whose efforts to lift the Israeli blockade on Gaza are being met with stiff resistance.

500+ US-based academics, authors & artists endorse the academic and cultural boycott of Israel

"The United States Campaign for an Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel was formed in the immediate aftermath of Operation Cast Lead, bringing together educators of conscience who were unable to stand by and watch in silence Israel’s indiscriminate assault on the Gaza Strip and its educational institutions. Today, over 500 US-based academics, authors, artists, musicians, poets, and other arts professionals have endorsed our call. Our academic endorsers include postcolonial critics and transnational feminists Chandra Talpade Mohanty and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Indigenous scholars J. Kēhaulani Kauanui and Andrea Smith, philosopher Judith Butler , Black studies scholars Cedric Robinson, Fred Moten, evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers, and intellectual historian Joseph Massad."
Yasmin, what's going on in Cairo with the Gaza supporters and the police?

US-backed raid killed 49 Yemeni civilians, officials said

Photos of Houthi victims of an earlier air strike (12-8-2009)

"Following a military operation in Yemen targeting suspected al Qa'eda militants, a local official said on Sunday that 49 civilians, among them 23 children and 17 women, were killed in air strikes which he said were carried out "indiscriminately," Agence France Presse reported."
If you have the stomach to withstand looking at more photos of victims of an earlier air strike,12-8-2009 ( careful, really gruesome) some are posted here (source for the above photos):

Suicide bomber kills 30 on Shia procession in Karachi

A suicide bomber struck a procession marking a Shia Muslim holy day in Pakistan's biggest city today, killing 30 people in an attack blamed on extremists trying to spark a sectarian war.

U.S. airstrike kills 10 Afghan civilians, 8 schoolboys, amidst controversy

Reports have surfaced that a U.S. air strike killed 10 Afghan civilians, eight of them schoolboys, on Sunday in a remote area of Kunar province in northeast Afghanistan. Yet NATO officials are refuting the charges and butting heads with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the governor of the province about the details.

Noam Chomsky: Gaza: One Year Later”

As US power dwindles, Middle East politics will continue to shift

A very interesting piece by Ahmed Moor!

I believe the Middle East is experiencing broad strategic political realignments, with insurgent forces gaining in strength, and entrenched forces entering a period of stagnation. Unsurprisingly, the regional flux is being driven by the decline of empire, and the attendant regional state opportunism. If current trends continue, the next decade will likely see a regionally diminished Egypt, an increasingly isolated Israel, and eventually less American interventionism and sponsorship. Concurrently, Syrian power and prestige will increase, Lebanon will consolidate Hezbollah’s moral authority, and Turkey will increasingly emphasize its Eastern and Islamic roots to enhance its regional role. What happens in Iran depends in large part on whether America and Israel attack, I believe. The assumption that the American empire is in decline is crucial to this analysis, so it’s worth spending time explaining its basis.
Ahmed Moor is a 25-year-old Palestinian-American from the Rafah refugee camp. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he now lives in Beirut.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Freeze? What freeze?

Israel plans to build 700 homes in E Jerusalem
Israel has announced plans for nearly 700 homes in mainly Arab East Jerusalem - despite Palestinian and international demands that it freeze building there.

Paris demo for Gaza

Another thing, the French group part of the march for Gaza stalled in Egypt are making a difference.


a junior minister, Nadine Morano, said young Muslims should dress better, find jobs and stop using slang and wearing baseball caps backward.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Joys of Airstrikes and Anonymity

Each time the U.S. bombs a new location in the Muslim world, the same pattern emerges. First, officials from the U.S. or allied governments run to their favorite media outlet to claim -- anonymously -- that some big, bad, notorious, "top" Al Qaeda leader "may have been" or "likely was" killed in the strike, and this constitutes a "stinging" or "devastating" blow against the Terrorist group. These compliant media outlets then sensationalistically trumpet that claim as the dominant theme of their "reporting" on the attack, drowning out every other issue.
Glen Greenwald
"Anyone who is arbitrarily declared a “suspected enemy combatant” by the president or his designated minions is no longer a “person.” They will simply cease to exist as a legal entity. They will have no inherent rights, no human rights, no legal standing whatsoever"

US Consulate car nearly runs over soldier at checkpoint

A dispute is rumbling between Israel and the US Consulate in Jerusalem after a US diplomatic car allegedly tried running over a Defense Ministry security guard recently at an IDF checkpoint in the West Bank. The car had been stopped after the occupants refused to present identification papers.

Abbas to remain Palestinian president beyond January

The term of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been indefinitely extended until new elections are held.

The decision was made at a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organisation in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Parliament's mandate was extended too.

Iraqi and Iranian forces stand off in oil well row

AMARA, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi and Iranian forces are dug in on either side of a disputed inactive oil well in the sensitive border area, with Iraqis vowing to fight if necessary to fend off another occupation of the well by Iranian soldiers.

Ali Abunimah: 'Israel resembles a failed state'

This week, thousands of people from dozens of countries are attempting to reach Gaza to break the siege and march alongside Palestinians who have been organising inside the territory.

Each of the individuals traveling with the Gaza Freedom March, Viva Palestina, or other delegations represents perhaps hundreds of others who could not make the journey in person, and who are marking the event with demonstrations and commemorations, visits to their elected officials, and media campaigns.

Against this flowering of activism, Zionism is struggling to rejuvenate its dwindling base of support. Multi-million dollar programmes aimed at recruiting and Zionising young American Jews are struggling to compete against organisations like the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, which run not on money but principled commitment to human equality.

Increasingly, we see that Israel's hasbara (propaganda) efforts have no positive message, offer no plausible case for maintaining a status quo of unspeakable repression and violence, and rely instead on racist demonisation and dehumanisation of Arabs and Muslims to justify Israel's actions and even its very existence.

Faced with growing global recognition and support for the courageous non-violent struggle against continued land theft in the West Bank, Israel is escalating its violence and kidnapping of leaders of the movement in Bil'in and other villages (Muhammad Othman, Jamal Juma and Abdallah Abu Rahmeh are among the leaders of this movement recently arrested).

In acting this way, Israel increasingly resembles a bankrupt failed state, not a regime confident about its legitimacy and longevity.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Excerpts from Joe Sacco's 'Footnotes From Gaza'

More pages here

Exclusive excerpt from Joe Sacco’s groundbreaking new book: Footnotes in Gaza

"As we approach the one year anniversary of Israel’s attack on Gaza, we are proud to be able to share with you an exclusive peek at Joe Sacco’s new book Footnotes in Gaza."

Son of shooting victim( colonist rabi ): "Revenge is not for Jews "..(Yeah, right!)

In eulogizing his father, Hai's 16-year-old son Eliyahu urged mourners not to consider seeking revenge for the attack. "The difference between us and them is that we are people, Jews, holy," he said.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Did he really utter this crap?
Additionally, I find it interesting how they keep repeating that the shot rabi is a father of seven every time. I don't remember ever reading about the murdered Palestinians being fathers, ever..

B'Tselem: IDF may have executed unarmed Palestinian militants

According to B'Tselem, in two of the three cases the troops behaved as if they were preparing for an execution, not an arrest. Relatives and eyewitnesses told B'Tselem that the two were unarmed and did not attempt to flee, and that the soldiers weren't trying to stop them, but rather shot them from close range once their identity was revealed. There were no witnesses to the shooting of the third man.
May have?! Oh, please!

Friday, December 25, 2009

"Today I learned that the person who introduced secularism and kick-started science in Western Europe was actually a brilliant Islamic scholar. "

Algazel's attack on "scientific" knowledge started a debate with Averroës( Should be Avicenna), the medieval philosopher who ended up having the most profound influence of any medieval thinker (on Jews and Christians, though not on Moslems). The debate between Algazel and Averroës was finally, but sadly, won by both. In its aftermath, many Arab religious thinkers integrated and exaggerated Algazel's skepticism of the scientific method, preferring to leave causal considerations to God. The West embraced Averroës's rationalism, built upon Aristotle's, which survived through Aquinas and the Jewish philosophers who called themselves Averroan for a long time. Many thinkers blame the Arabs' later abandonment of scientific method on Algazel's huge influence. He ended up fueling Sufi mysticism, in which the worshipper attempts to enter into communion with God, severing all connections with earthly matters.
One can safely skip the article, a mere 'hors d'oeuvre' in fact, and content oneself with the "plat de resistance" comment which follows.

The slaughter continues: Blasts kill 27 Iraqis before solemn Shiite holiday

BAGHDAD – Bombs hit Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad and a central Iraqi city Thursday, killing at least 27 people and wounding scores more, in the latest attack in the lead-up to Ashoura, the sect's most solemn annual rite.
Maybe not today's news but I just became aware of it..

Israel teenagers pledge 'no settlement evacuation'

About 200 Israeli teenagers have pledged to disobey any orders to evacuate Jewish settlements during their military service.
Jewish law as written in the Torah forbids the dismantling of Jewish-built homes, the letter said.
And it's ok when they're not. Got it..

Galloway to Cairo: Open gates for Viva Palestina

British Lawmaker George Galloway has appealed to Cairo to allow the Viva Palestina humanitarian aid convoy he is accompanying to enter the blockaded Gaza Strip.
The call comes as activists on Viva Palestina faced problems as the convoy was making its way to the Jordanian capital, Amman.

450 people from 21 countries, including 30 from the USA, have traveled for 3 weeks all the way from London to Jordan in a 210 vehicle convoy loaded with humanitarian relief supplies for the people imprisoned in Gaza.

The aid shipment, which originally departed from London on December 3 with the aim of breaking the months-long Israeli siege on Gaza, was prevented by Jordanian police from entering Amman, where it was scheduled to hold rallies

Tallest waterfall 'Angel-Falls gets a new name, decides president Chavez

Chávez declares Angel Falls is no more: World's tallest waterfall gets new name, Kerepakupai-Merú, which in indigenous Pemon language means "waterfall of the deepest place."
"This is ours, long before Angel arrived there. This is indigenous property, ours, aborigine. One could say he was the first one to see it from a plane. But how many millions of indigenous eyes saw it, and prayed to it?"

US campaign for academic boycott gaining strength

While world leaders have tragically failed to come to Gaza's help, civilians everywhere are rallying to show their solidarity with the Palestinian people, with anniversary vigils taking place this week in New York, Washington DC, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, and many more cities and towns in the US and world-wide.

Sad! Colonist Killed In West Bank Shooting

The shooting comes as Israeli settlers in the West Bank stepped-up their attacks against the Palestinians and their lands after the Israeli government agreed to a temporary freeze of settlement activities.
Sometimes coming all the way from Brooklyn to live on some stolen land is not such a good idea..

Jimmy Carter's Yuletide Apology

In an open letter released this month to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), former U.S. President Jimmy Carter apologized to the Jewish community, saying, “We must recognize Israel’s achievements under difficult circumstances, even as we strive in a positive way to help Israel continue to improve its relations with its Arab populations, but we must not permit criticisms for improvement to stigmatize Israel … I offer an Al Het [a Yom Kippur prayer for forgiveness] for any words or deeds of mine that may have done so.”

(Thanks for the suggestion vza)

Electronic Intifada's selection of "most inspiring, informative, motivating articles" in 2009

One is in relation to the Gaza onslaught. It helps to understand the underlying motivations of the Israeli regime..
Israel's fabricated rocket crisis
Jim Holstun and Joanna Tinker, 6 January 2009
"In Israel's recent rush to invade Gaza, we witness the same predisposition to violence, the same aching aggravation with Palestinian peace offensives, and the same willingness to conflate all resistance, all frustrations, into a single enemy: "They are all Hamas!" And we see that Hamas, like the PLO, refused to oblige Israel with a single provocative act. For more than four months after 19 June 2008, Hamas refrained from any military actions that might endanger the negotiated truce or "calm" with Israel.

The evidence for this is ready to hand. For example, the Wikipedia entry on the events of the summer, "List of rocket and mortar attacks in Israel in 2008" (revised 4 January 2008), based almost exclusively on Israeli newspapers and government sources, confirms that there were no rocket or mortar attacks claimed by or plausibly attributed to Hamas during the calm. This can also be verified by surveying archives of news reports from the period."

It rained on our "parade"

A sign of changing times and a first for me ( and for many)in this country. A rainy and rather " cold" Christmas. Not exactly a northern hemisphere Christmas but one should understand that down under it's summer and temperatures can be anything from 30c to 40 c and the celebration is usually a barbecue in the backyard and the de rigueur outfit is mostly shorts and T shirts. We had a little 20+ and not being prepared (the day started clear with reasonable temperatures) half way through with rain starting to fall and temperatures dropping significantly, we had to run into the host's household searching for something to wear atop. All I could manage was a silly looking black(!) cape(?)..but you know what? I didn't care...Not only Jesus does miracles people, champagne too.

Ok, the title " O mother of Allah/God" might not be to many's liking but I hope the unique Fairouzian voice will reconcile them all.

‘Newsweek’ columnist endorses Goldstone Report

"I’m doing something good this Christmas; I’m reading the Goldstone Report. It’s amazing. I never did read it through. It’s the greatest work by a Jewish writer since Norman Mailer left town. No it’s not literary, but it’s a fervent effort to give dignity to the lives of Palestinian civilians gunned down in their homes because Israeli soldiers were pursuing a policy of frightening the population and "communicating" with bullets.

I see now why the Goldstone report will resonate for a long time. Because it’s overwhelming. Because its findings are inarguable– or so far uncontested. Because it’s been nullified by the Israel lobby, and this offends the world, when civilians are wantonly murdered and there is zero accountability.

15 civilians killed when a mosque is hit by a missile; Israel denies it hit the mosque. 22 huddled civilians killed when a house is blown up. Israel says it was going for a weapons storage facility next door, and apologizes; but it never did went after any other house in the neighborhood and had plenty of time to do so, so Goldstone dismisses the explanation. 35 civilians killed when mortars are lobbed into the street outside a UN school, where hundreds have gathered. Israel says it got a "well known" Hamas fighter. And gives the name of a boy, 13 years old.

And here, on Christmas Eve, is Christopher Dickey in Newsweek, imagining Jesus in Israel/Palestine."
Philip Weiss/Mondoweiss

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Unbelievable! Bil’in leader charged with arms possession ( collecting tear gas canisters)!

"Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a leader of the weekly nonviolent protests in Bil’in, has finally been charged after being arrested nearly two weeks ago by the Israeli military. Abu Rahmah’s arrest has been part on an ongoing Israeli campaign against Palestinian nonviolent resistance leaders. The charges against him could not be more creative. From a Popular Struggle Coordination Committee press release:"
"Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a school teacher and coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall, was indicted in an Israeli military court yesterday. Abu Rahmah was slapped with an arms possession charge for collecting used tear gas canisters shot at demonstrators in Bil’in by the army and showcasing them in his home."

Here is a photo of the "arms" in question:

Spent tear gas grenades and projectiles used on the village of Bil’in for which Abu Rahmah was indicted. Photo: Oren Ziv ActiveStills

Tightening the noose: The Israeli Military Hands Out Demolition Orders To Palestinians In.... The Jordan Valley!!

"Due to the fact that the Jordan Valley borders the Jordan River, which is the eastern border of the West Bank, local residents fear that the ongoing takeover of the area by Israeli forces and settlers will further isolate the indigenous Palestinian population into isolated enclaves totally isolated from the rest of the West Bank and the anticipated Palestinian state."

Palestinian official: Israel to demolish 900 houses in Jerusalem

"The plan was given to a private firm to demolish the houses and building housing units and settlements in the Old City in Jerusalem," said Hatem Abdul-Qader, Jerusalem affairs' commissioner in President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party.

"The plan is based on reducing the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem," Abdul-Qader told Voice of Palestine radio, adding that Israel "is terrified from the demographic situation 42 years after it has occupied the city."

Iranian crowd stops execution and frees convicts

"A crowd of people have helped two convicts escape a public execution in Iran, officials there say.

The crowd overpowered security services and helped two men convicted of robbery to escape hanging in the province of Kerman, the Fars news agency reported."
BBC Online

The edges of Arabia

I found this interesting entry on The Arabist, an excellent blog..

"We don’t often cover issues from the Sahel here — that strip of land on the edge of Arabo-Berber North Africa — so here are a few links to some interesting links."

Russia buys a tiny ally: Nauru

A reported $50 million in economic aid to the Pacific island nation wins the Kremlin diplomatic recognition of two breakaway republics, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
This is how the US bought Micronesia, Palau and other glorious Pacific island nations..

Funds for baby Jews only

Barkat rejects plan for baby clinic in Silwan neighborhood
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has rejected the recommendation of municipal professionals and will not include the establishment of a well-baby clinic in the Silwan neighborhood in the coming year's budget. The proposed clinic would have served some 100,000 Arabic-speaking residents. On the other hand, the 7,000 residents of the Old City's Jewish Quarter will receive a well-baby clinic in 2010.

Via the Angry Arab

Yemeni Shi'ite Muslim rebels said Saudi air attacks on northern Yemen killed 54 people on Sunday, many of them women and children.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Abbas: I prevented intifada during Gaza war

Bethlehem – Ma’an – President Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview published on Tuesday that he stopped a third Palestinian intifada from occurring during the Israeli offensive against Gaza last winter

Speaking to New York’s Wall Street Journal, Abbas also said he would not allow another uprising to take place as long as he stays in office.
Full transcript of the interview with the Wall street Journal here.
I'm guessing your masters wouldn't have liked it a single bit, OH NO!

Lieberman lashes out at illegal construction

Now let's not jump up and down in excitement, the full title is:
Lieberman lashes out at illegal... ARAB construction
Foreign minister says illegal building in Galilee, Negev aimed at dividing Israel, conquering land
Black is white, day is night etc...

Mondoweiss: Q: Would a leading US newspaper dare to attack the ‘reign of Jewish supremacy’? A: No

The great Amira Hass has a piece in Haaretz saying that the Israeli gov’t is suppressing the Palestinian protests of colonization because it fears that the struggle for self-determination will resonate around the world. Popular struggle, she describes it. So we are now in the period that Olmert predicted, a struggle against apartheid, with the world watching. Hass:
"Over the past few months, the efforts to suppress the struggle have increased. The target: Palestinians and Jewish Israelis unwilling to give up their right to resist reign of demographic separation and Jewish supremacy. The means: Dispersing demonstrations with live ammunition, late-night army raids and mass arrests. Since the beginning of the year, 29 Palestinians have been wounded by IDF snipers while demonstrating against the separation fence. The snipers fired expanding bullets, despite an explicit 2001 order from the Military Adjutant General not to use such ammunition to break up demonstrations. After soldiers killed A’kel Srour in June, the shooting stopped, but then resumed in November."

(via Mondoweiss)

On Dec. 21 The Media Line ran an article titled, Palestinians Spend Half Billion on Settlement Products. The PA recently decided to ban the sale of settlement goods in Palestinian stores in the West Bank. They say no settlement goods will be on the shelves after 2010. To underscore their seriousness, they staged a Dec. 16 photo op of PA customs officials dumping $55,000 worth of Ahava cosmetics seized from stores in Jericho, then destroyed them.
But banning settlement goods isn't all they're up to:

A Franco-Palestinian in jail: Salah Hammouri

Who ever heard of Salah Hamouri? Not many one must think .
Salah Hammouri is the son of a Palestinian from East Jerusalem and a French woman, that is to say as much French as is Gilad Shalit, the young Franco-Israeli soldier prisoner by an armed group in Gaza .
For three and a half years now, Salah Hammouri is a prisoner of another armed group: the IDF. After three years of detention without trial, Salah Hamouri was given the choice between admitting the facts alleged against him and thus receiving a seven years imprisonment sentence or not pleading guilty and be sentenced to fourteen years imprisonment.
Although he always denied and despite the fact that the Israeli army was unable to produce a single witness or any evidence of earnest, faced with this choice Salah Hamouri pleaded guilty. He is now considered a terrorist and should serve the remainder of his sentence.
(Thanks to Jemmy who broke the story here)

One of the shortest and most insightful comments I've seen in years

"Surely if you need the other side to produce a Gandhi, then you are on the wrong side."

Found on Modoweiss, here.

Outsourcing the occupation

Concern is growing among Palestinians in the occupied West Bank as Israel steps up its use of private security contractors to patrol Palestinian territories.

The private firms are being used to help patrol checkpoints and protect illegal settlements in what has become a multi-billion dollar business for Israeli security companies.

But as Al Jazeera's Nicole Johnston reports, some Palestinians are concerned that the private companies are using a different set of rules than the army, and this has raised new legal issues.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lars Lerin redux

I'm not sure of the place depicted but that is not very important. What is, this fellow is a freak!! Personally I'd never put myself in a hell where I have to pay attention to so many details, (though I could but only in a face or a figure!) and that's only a small part of the reasons why I admire his work so much.. what this artist is able to convey is staggering..
Here's what I found about him..

One of Religious Zionism's most prominent leaders, rabbi Aviner: Women must not wear pants even when alone

"in general, a woman must always wear modest clothes even when she is alone and in the dark, because the Holy one blessed be he is everywhere. And yes, trousers are a self-prohibition even when a woman is alone."
Or else, the Holy one might get an erection, g-d forbid..

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Guardian: Israel admits harvesting Palestinian organs

Israel has admitted that pathologists harvested organs from dead Palestinians, and others without the consent of their families – a practice that it said ended in the 1990s, it emerged at the weekend.

The admission, by the former head of the country's forensic institute, followed a furious row prompted by a Swedish newspaper reporting that Israel was killing Palestinians in order to use their organs – a charge that Israel denied and called "antisemitic".

The revelation, in a television documentary, is likely to generate anger in the Arab and Muslim world and reinforce sinister stereotypes of Israel and its attitude to Palestinians. Iran's state-run Press TV tonight reported the story, illustrated with photographs of dead or badly injured Palestinians.
(Thanks vza)

Lars Lerin: Benares (top) and New Delhi

Very impressive watercolours by the Swedish Lars Lerin that I just discovered this morning..A feast!!

On Arabic literature. "Not a rennaissace because there hasn't been a decline or a degeneration"

An very interesting interview with Rasheed El-Enany, a professor of modern Arabic literature at the UK's prestigious University of Exeter.
"For instance, student recruitment to Arabic and Islamic studies after the 9/11 and 7/7 [in the UK] attacks has increased tremendously. At the beginning of this century, we were getting about 15 students every year for Arabic and Islamic studies. Now we get about 40 students every year at my own university, but it’s indicative of similar trends operating across the board."

"now you have interesting literature and worthy talent coming from everywhere. If you look at this year's list of candidates for the Arabic Booker prize, of the 16 best titles, three were by Saudi Arabian writers. The novel is flourishing in Saudi Arabia, a place you usually associate with conservatism and a dearth of creativity."

But it's not all "rosy", censorship is a huge problem especially when religion is concerned:
"This is the worst thing that can happen and it leads to self-censorship. This means you try to anticipate all these horrible things and guard against it from the beginning. No Arabic writers can really write about religion, for instance. People can write about politics, in some Arab countries anyway, and they can write about sex. But the fundamental question of faith, of belief, of the role of religion in society--this remains a hugely taboo area, one that I’m sure countless authors are really wary about expressing their views on."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The US casino king who does a lot for Israel..

"My wife and I took through AIPAC 146 congressmen and senators to Israel over the last 15 to 18 years. So we have done a lot and we continue to do a lot."

Unimaginable cruelty and psychological torture..the Isreali way

Read and weep..
"I am a Palestinian refugee, from the village of Fallujah which lies between Gaza, Hebron and Asqalan. I’ve never been allowed to visit Fallujah; my grandparents were exiled from there in 1949 (a year after the founding of Israel) and took refuge in the Gaza Strip. My father and I were both born in the Khan Younis refugee camp-he a few years before Gaza was occupied by Israel, and I in 1988, a month after the outbreak of the first intifada. My dad married a woman from the West Bank-they had met and fallen in love while they were both studying at Birzeit University, and when I was two years old we emigrated to the UK where he received his Phd."

This was the "nicest" part. The miserable rest is on Mondoweiss here.


"Let the Americans and the Israelis pay for the wall," Ismail*, a smuggler, told Al-Masry Al-Youm. "The tunnels are minimum 20 meters underground. We can make it 40 meters."

Thousands of international solidarity activists will take part in the "Gaza Freedom March" to end Israel's blockade

Historic Gaza Freedom March to Israeli Border Set For December 31
BTW, Molly. This list of admissions to the march was closed because the organisers had to submit a list to the Egyptian authorities well in advance. They could not not leave it open after submission.

Iran acknowledges prisoners were beaten to death

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's hard-line judiciary acknowledged for the first time Saturday that at least three prisoners detained after June's disputed presidential election were beaten to death by their jailers, confirming a key claim by the country's opposition movement.
"Identifying Israel as a racist, warmongering apartheid state is no longer a radical view, shared mainly by anti-Semites and "Arab lovers" - it has become the mainstream opinion."

Obama grants Israel close to 3 billions of dollars in aid

US President Barack Obama has signed the foreign aid budget law for 2010 which includes the granting of $2.775 billion in security aid to Israel.
Money($500m)is also granted to the Palestinian Authority but with many strings attached:
The conditions include recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and accepting past agreements signed with Tel Aviv

Is the aid to Israel also granted under the condition to "renounce violence " ? (Rhetorical question)

Atheism Statistics 2008

1. (USA) 1990 those that identified themselves as non-religious was 7.5%. In 2001 it doubled to 13.2%. And in the past eight years that number has increased another 25% to 16.2%. Atheism is going parabolic!! (Source: Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life)
2. (USA) Among Americans aged 18-24 the number of Americans that define themselves atheist/agnostic is 25% (Source: Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life)
3. (EU) 48% of Europeans do not believe in a God.
4. (UK) 74% of Brits do not believe in a God.
5. High levels of organic atheism are strongly correlated with high levels of societal health, such as low homicide rates, low poverty rates, low infant mortality rates, and low illiteracy rates, as well as high levels of educational attainment, per capita income, and gender equality. (Source: The Cambridge Companion to Atheism)
Rationalists's Blog

Religious Right Including Members Of Congress Pray For God To Stop The Health Care Bill

The Family Research Council Action PAC held an extraordinary "prayercast" event last night, praying for the intercession of God to change Senators' minds and stop the health care bill.
Bill Satan will not pass!
Of all the world’s countries, the one in which Richard Dawkins' website achieves its highest rank, for numbers of visits, is Iraq!

US Attacking Yemen After All

Cruise Missiles Hit Multiple Sites in Concert With Yemeni Govt
Just one day after a very public denial that American forces were in the process of attacking sites in Northern Yemen, President Barack Obama ordered multiple cruise missile attacks on sites across the tiny, coastal nation.

'US aided' deadly Yemen raids -

The US provided firepower and intelligence to help the Yemeni government launch a series of deadly raids against suspected al-Qaeda bases in the country, the New York Times has reported.

Naked cyclists vs. Hassidic Jews: battle of the bike lane

"Bicyclists planning a Saturday protest are calling it their "Freedom Ride" - free of clothing, that is. And they may be pedaling naked in a fierce snowstorm, if the forecast holds.

The removal of clothing is meant as a protest over the removal of a bike lane in Williamsburg, an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn."

"The Russians really don't like him. In fact, they are not used to negroes "

"The Russians really don't like him (Obama). In fact, they are not used to negroes [kushim]. They simply never saw any in the Soviet Union. What disturbs me is his Muslim aspect, not the black aspect. One can prettify things, but in the United States there is a certain connection between blacks and anti-Semitism. Terming him a 'beggar on horseback' [Hebrew phrase: see Proverbs 30:22] is indeed a real problem. Not because he's black, but because he came from below. To be president you cannot be moral. A person who comes from below simply has more problematic stations along the way."

Iraq masses troops on Iran border amid oil well row

Iraqi troops massed Saturday near an oil well on the border in a standoff with Iranian forces that seized control of the site in a sudden flare up of tension between the two uneasy neighbors.

Iranian forces earlier this week crossed into Iraq, seizing an oil well just over the border in the southern Maysan province. The takeover - which included planting an Iranian flag on the well - was met by protests from Baghdad.

"Iraq is not going to be pushed around by Iran, the top U.S. diplomat in Iraq said Saturday following an the Iranian oil well takeover."
How is this any of this US diplomat's business anyway?(Rhetorical question)

Childhood in ruins

Last December, Israel began a 23-day bombardment of Gaza, killing around 1,400 people. One year on, a generation of children is growing up amid the wreckage of that attack, traumatised – and radicalised – by the experience
The Guardian
And the US/Israel would ask, why do they hate us?

Bendib's cartoon: A new slogan: Apartheid is not racism

Here is a little song celebrating the US position at #37 in the world in healthcare.

Los Angeles times: ISRAEL: Religion everywhere

Religion is the opiate of the masses, Karl Marx said. That might be true in some places, but in Israel, this drug induces dangerous hyperactivity. Always a scratch-of-the-surface away, religion is an emotional factor in conflict -- between Israel and the Palestinians, between Israelis and themselves.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Israel shuts down all commercial crossings with Gaza and armored vehicles raze agricultural lands

The Israeli authorities closed down all the commercial crossings between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Friday, the Palestinian side said.

As the starving doctrine states, no production allowed either

"The witnesses said five Israeli army bulldozers backed by three armored vehicles drove about 350 meters into the area and razed agricultural lands east of the refugee camp."

Confidential UN document reveals industrialized countries cheating the world on climate

COPENHAGEN: The industrialized countries are cheating the world. A confidential document of the UN Frame Convention on Climate Change secretariat prepared on December 15 shows, contrary to what the rich nations might claim, even if they come true on their current pledges to reduce emissions the world is headed towards a 3 degree temperature rise by 2050, not two degree Celsius – the tipping point.

Copenhagen ends in failure

After eight draft texts and all-day talks between 115 world leaders, it was left to Barack Obama and Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, to broker a political agreement. The so-called Copenhagen accord "recognises" the scientific case for keeping temperature rises to no more than 2C but did not contain commitments to emissions reductions to achieve that goal.
The Guardian

Iraqis say Iran has seized oil well in Iraq, demand withdrawal

"The council stressed that such incidents would be considered a violation of the border and violated Iraq's sovereignty and its territories and calls upon Iran to pull out the group from well No. 4 and take down the Iranian flag from the tower of the well immediately," Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in the statement."

France to ban the Burqa , says ruling party chief

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's party, the UMP, says it will push for a law banning the burqa, the full-face Islamic veil, according to its parliamentary leader Jean-François Copé.
French intelligence services have found only 367 women in France wear the all-covering Muslim garments known as the burka and the niqab. Public controversy over the dress has led to a parliamentary committee to discuss how to react to it.

Evo Morales: “Shameful” for West to Spend Trillions on War and Only $10 Billion for Climate Change

Bolivian President Evo Morales recently arrived in Copenhagen for the UN climate summit. In a press conference Wednesday, Morales said, “The budget of the United States is $687 billion for defense. And for climate change, to save life, to save humanity, they only put up $10 billion. This is shameful.”

Why is Israel afraid of feminists who challenge its militarism?

"Israel’s feminist group New Profile has been persecuted for many months over its supposed threat to the Jewish state.

Now, in the latest twist, Israel’s Education Minister has barred the group from participating in school debates.

Israeli democracy, up close and personal."
"Dear friends,
As many of you know from our recent reports, rather terrible things are happening in Jerusalem. The Israeli government is pursuing a policy of forcing Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem and handing over their properties to Jewish settlers. The guiding idea is to plant colonies of fanatical Jewish settlers in the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods."
Letter from Ta’ayush Members David Shulman and Amos Goldberg

The emergence of sex as a bullet of change in Iran

"Understanding Iran’s so-called Green Revolution is largely ignored in the West. It’s often framed as Islamic dictatorship versus rampaging democrats. The picture is far more complex.

Middle East Report has published a fascinating study about this:"

Stunning Statistics About the War Every American Should Know

"Contrary to popular belief, the US actually has 189,000 personnel on the ground in Afghanistan right now—and that number is quickly rising."

Naomi Klein:Better to have no deal at Copenhagen than one that spells catastrophe

The only offer on the table in Copenhagen would condemn the developing world to poverty and suffering in perpetuity
In the ninth day of the Copenhagen climate summit, Africa was sacrificed. The position of the G77 negotiating bloc, including African states, had been clear: a 2C increase in average global temperatures translates into a 3–3.5C increase in Africa. That means, according to the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, "an additional 55 million people could be at risk from hunger", and "water stress could affect between 350 and 600 million more people".
The Guardian

The new European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy slams Israeli occupation

Israel not khappy, khappy!
"The government officials in Jerusalem said they were surprised, dissatisfied and concerned that such a senior figure had expressed criticism before visiting Israel and learning the facts."

Facts? What facts? Aaah, you mean THOSE facts in the Bible?

Olemert 's plan for peace: We give you a sliver of a desert and we keep the best and most fertile of your lands..Deal?

Or shouldn't it not be "We give you a Swiss cheese and we keep the foie gras"?

Haaretz exclusive: Olmert's plan for peace with the Palestinians
Olmert presented his map to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in September of last year. Abbas did not respond, and negotiations ended. In an interview with Haaretz on Tuesday, Abbas said Olmert had presented several drafts of his map.
Zionists are very generous people (sniff*) but the problem is that Arabs are very "rejectionists"..

Thursday, December 17, 2009

BDS victory - Credo Mobile Hangs Up On Motorola!

"Last week we found out that Credo Mobile, a telephone service provider that claims to be guided by progressive values, stopped offering Motorola phones to their customers after complaints from our supporters. This is a major victory in our campaign to boycott Motorola for profiting from Israeli occupation and apartheid against Palestinians! Please take a moment to thank Credo for this decision."
US Campaign to End Israeli Occupation

The cockroach I keep in a bottle emits a beep

Fleming an anti-Semite (in the full sense), who could have thunk?
"Arab sand niggers are the most loathsome people on earth. Second are the Jews.."

Apple's built-in dictionary's definition for rejectionist

"PS: As I typed the title to my post, my Mac red-underlined the word ‘rejectionism’. I decided, for the hell of it, to look up and perhaps use ‘rejectionist’ instead, and this is what Apple’s built-in Dictionary (which is based on the New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd Edition) listed as its meaning:
re•jec•tion•ist |riˈjek sh ənist|
noun [often as adj. ]
a person who rejects a proposed policy, esp. an Arab who refuses to accept a negotiated peace with Israel.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"We don't do body counts." Gen Tommy Franks on Iraqi civilian deaths

"We don't do body counts." These were the words of Gen Tommy Franks, the man in charge of the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Hugo Chavez: If Climate Were Bank, U.S. Would Have Saved It

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez spoke at the U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen today, decrying capitalism and saying that "if the climate was a bank, [the United States] would already have saved it.

Jesus-era leper sheds light on Turin shroud mystery

A diagram of Jerusalem's Tomb of the Shroud.

Israel experts said on Wednesday that a burial shroud known as the Turin shroud, assumed to be the type used to wrap the body of Jesus, did not actually originate from Jesus-era Jerusalem.
And here:
First-of-its-kind find in Jerusalem casts further doubt
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned Wednesday that "new anti-Semitism" was aimed at undermining Israel, as well as a hatred of the Jewish people.
Boohoohoo..Poor us, poor us!
The British supreme court ruled on Wednesday that a London Jewish school was guilty of racial discrimination by refusing entry to a boy whose mother was a Jew by conversion and not by birth.

Rahm Emanuel's ex-rabbi : Law of return for both, Arabs and Jews

"Ultimately, he envisages a situation where Jews and Arabs will live anywhere they desire in the Land of Israel - the Jews will be able to live in all quarters of the Old City, and if they wish also in Bethlehem, Nablus and Gaza, while the Palestinians will be able to purchase property, not only in the West Bank but also in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and anywhere else. The Law of Return, he believes, should be applicable not only to Jews but also to Arabs. Israel, he says, would be able to improve its demographic balance "by letting in potentially millions of Africans, Asians and South Americans who self-identify as Jewish even if they cannot prove their Jewish descent.""

Mustapha Barghouti article in the NYT: When Will It Be Our Time?

I have lived my entire adult life under occupation, with Israelis holding ultimate control over my movement and daily life.

When young Israeli police officers force me to sit on the cold ground and soldiers beat me during a peaceful protest, I smolder. No human being should be compelled to sit on the ground while exercising rights taken for granted throughout the West.....

....In the face of European and American inaction, it is crucial that we continue to revive our culture of collective activism by vigorously and nonviolently resisting Israel’s domination over us.

Exclusive: Interview with Lily Sussman about Destroyed Laptop

On November 30th, 2009, American tourist Lily Sussman traveled to Israel from Egypt via the Taba Border Crossing. During the Israeli security check, her computer was deemed a suspicious package, shot three times and destroyed.

Dambreak: ‘NYT’ lets Mustapha Barghouthi blame the Israel lobby

"It is with deepening concern that I recognize the Obama administration is not yet capable of standing up to Israel and the pro-Israel lobby…"

Remember that this kind of argument used to be dismissed as anti-Semitic conspiracy theory

To the rescue of the "Jewish soul"

This group, Yad L’Achim, wants, using even violent means, to "rescue" the souls of those Jews who "strayed", either walking away from their religion or who married an Arab.

"The Jewish soul is a precious, all-too-rare resource, and we are not prepared to give up on even a single one."

"the tragic facts show an increasing number of Jewish girls getting involved with foreign workers and, even more so, with Arab men. Indeed, Yad L’Achim gets some 1,000 calls a year reporting such cases."
"Our Anti-Assimilation department responds to all such calls. In some cases, this means launching military-like rescues from hostile Arab villages and setting the women up in “safe” houses around the country, where they can build new lives for themselves."

Israeli court bars Gazans from jail visits: "Not a basic humantirian need!"

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel's Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a government decision that bars Gaza Strip residents visiting relatives in Israeli jails, saying this is not a "basic humanitarian need."

New York-based foundation supports settler rabbi who justified the killing of non-Jews

"A little over a year ago we began an investigation on this site into the Central Fund for Israel, a New York-based non profit foundation that raises tax deductible donations in the U.S. to support the Israeli settler movement. We found that they are funding settler militias, and that they have some very well know donors."

Austria: Genocide Charges against Ehud Barak

Yesterday, at almost the same time when Ehud Barak was being given military honors at the defense ministry, genocide charges against him were being presented at the office of the Austrian prosecutor, only about 15 minutes walking away.
Kawthar Salam

The veil, the Koran, and the Muslim women's movement

Muslim women who want equal rights are turning to Islam’s primary authority – the Koran. It’s a smart strategy.
n Islam, a woman who chooses not to wear a head scarf in public has a strong defense: the Koran. Nowhere does Islam’s primary text mandate that she cover her head.

A Muslim woman, then, should have the freedom to cover her hair – or not. But that is not the case in a country like Saudi Arabia. The Koran also supports a woman’s right to own and inherit property, to be educated, and to choose her husband – but not all societies in the Muslim universe of 1.5 billion people recognize these rights.

The disconnect lies in the interpretation of Islam, done for centuries by men. In the interest of achieving gender equality, Muslim women activists and scholars are challenging the male interpretation. Wisely, they are using the Koran to do it.
Christian Monitor

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chill out, you beautiful people, the Versace beach (in Dubai) is refrigerated

Versace, the renowned fashion house, is to create the world’s first refrigerated beach so that hotel guests can walk comfortably across the sand on scorching days.
The beach will be next to the the new Palazzo Versace hotel which is being built in Dubai where summer temperatures average 40C and can reach 50C.

‘A few years ago I used McCarthy tactics against a professor who criticized Israel. Now I’m going on the Gaza Freedom March’

by J Glatzer
"A few years ago I had a professor say that Israel made Gaza into “the biggest open-air prison in the world”. I had no idea what or where Gaza was, but he criticized Israel. I loudly protested, calling him: anti-Israel, Anti-American, and an Anti-Semite. When I later told my friend how offended I was, I claimed the professor blamed the Jews for all the problems in the world.
This was part of my experience being a knee-jerk, uncritical defender of Israel. Nobody taught me McCarthyism specifically; labeling any defense of Palestinian human rights as anti-Israel came naturally to me. It’s truly what I thought being Jewish–I’m half–was about."

I lied in good faith

Steve Bell ( After 'Pope Innocent X' by Diego Velasquez)

U.S. tax dollars fund rabbi who excused killing gentile babies

The White House condemns the torching of a mosque, yet respectable Americans contribute to a yeshiva whose rabbi said it's okay to kill gentile babies.

This is the same yeshiva whose rabbi said it is permissible to kill gentile babies because of "the future danger that will arise if they are allowed to grow into evil people like their parents." In his latest book, the head of the yeshiva, Yitzhak Shapira, who bears the honorable title of rabbi, even permits killing anyone "who, through his remarks and so forth, weakens our kingdom" (Obama, beware!).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunspots do not cause climate change, say scientists

Key claim of global warming sceptics debunked
The researchers – all experts in climate or solar science – have told The Independent that the scientific evidence continually cited by sceptics to promote the idea of sunspots being the cause of global warming is deeply flawed.

The Financial Times: Israel is not above the law!

Israel, especially under the hardline nationalist government of Benjamin Netanyahu, has begun to overreact almost systematically to the perceptible erosion of international support for its irredentist claims on the West Bank. Barack Obama’s statement in June, saying the US did not recognise the legitimacy of the Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, was a landmark.....

....The increased and brutal frequency of war in this volatile region has shifted international opinion, reminding Israel it is not above the law. Israel can no longer dictate the terms of debate.
This would have been unthinkable from the extremely conservative Financial Times, a little while ago!

'Settlers uproot trees, police take no notice'

Field in al-Mugayyir where trees once stood (Photo: Courtesy of B'Tselem)
Akram Na'san, a Palestinian farmer from the village of al-Mugayyir in the Ramallah area, was less than surprised to find his olive grove destroyed Monday. The field remained barren, with virtually no trace of the 260 seedlings which had been planted.

Jewish town( in the Galilee, north Israel) won't let Palestinian build home on his own land

Aadel Suad first came to the planning and construction committee of the Misgav Local Council in 1997. Suad, an educator, was seeking a construction permit to build a home on a plot of land he owns in the community of Mitzpeh Kamon. The reply he got, from a senior official on the committee, was a memorable one.

"Don't waste your time," he reportedly told Suad. "We'll keep you waiting for 30 years."

Israel's Nuclear Weapons Program

What Americans Need to know about Mordechai Vanunu
Global Research

"I'm not a traitor. I'm a man with a conscience who did what he did out of a deep belief after much thought and many doubts. But I knew that I had to do it, that I had no choice…somebody had to do it…I contributed my share by making public what the public ought to know and they shut my mouth behind the prison walls." -Mordechai Vanunu

Iran opposition accused of insulting founder Khomeini

Iran's Supreme Leader has accused the opposition of breaking the law by insulting the Islamic Republic's founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Cleaners 'worth more to society' than bankers - study

The research, carried out by think tank the New Economics Foundation, says hospital cleaners create £10 of value for every £1 they are paid.
It claims bankers are a drain on the country because of the damage they caused to the global economy.
BBC News

Close shave! British court issued Gaza arrest warrant for former Israeli minister Tzipi Livni

Warrant issued over war crimes accusations was withdrawn when it emerged former minister had cancelled plan to visit
The Guardian

Christmas cards for Palestine

Courtesy from 'Desertpeace'

Ariel colony's sewage flooding Palestinian farms

The Palestinian City of Salfit in the West Bank is affected by the sewage which flows from the neighbouring Israeli Settlement of Ariel. This waste includes industrial and chemical residues from the industrial area of the Settlement. This impacts on the quality of the agricultural land in the surrounding area. The Ariel Municipality has refused to build a treatment plant to purify the effluent.

'Bomb Iran' Petition Features Lots of Questionable Names!

Pro-Israel Lobby Group's Iran Petition Features Lots of Questionable names!
"Our petition now has more than 90,000 supporters, which you can see by clicking here."

Besides 220 Vince Vinces from many different states, including nonexistent ones, signatory number five is listed as Comfylovely ……. — and no, those aren’t ellipses I’ve placed in for dramatic effect; that’s Comfylovely’s listed last name — from the proud city of Davao in the historic state of XX.
That’s not even the most disturbing part of the signatories. The Israel Project lists the following as enthusiastic supporters of sanctioning Iran: Viagra Kaufen Viagra Kaufen, London, N.Y. (signatory #84,570); Porn Sex Video from London, N.Y. (signatory #62,751-62,756); Stupidwhiteman V, who declined to list an address (signatory #83,780); and Xbox 360 accessories — that’s a first and last name — from New York, N.Y. (signatory #90,046).

Author of "The Handbook for the Killing of Gentiles" Yitzhar colony rabbi, linked to the torching of mosque

"A number of the settler rabbis voiced their support for that mode of action and, by so doing, increased awareness about the issue and created a type of internal buzz among the activists. For example, Rabbi Yosef Elitzur of the Od Yosef Hai yeshiva in Yitzhar published an article in the extremist right wing newsletter called Hakol Heyhudi [The Jewish Voice] in which he explicitly called for operations like the arson at the Yasouf mosque. “Operations of reciprocal responsibility,” is how Rabbi Elitzur chose to define them. “We too have strength and we too shall use it at a time and place of our choosing,” he wrote. “If the Jews don’t have quiet—the Arabs won’t have quiet either; If the Arabs win because of violence against Jews—the Jews too will win because of violence against Arabs.”"

Maariv’s defense analyst: Rabbis own the IDF

"Ofer Shelah, Maariv’s defense analyst, has become a regular feature on Coteret. On November 17 2009 he told the IDF top brass they should have taken into consideration the consequences of allowing fanatical Rabbis into the combat units during the Gaza war and on November 17 2009 he was very blunt in his analysis of the IDF’s culture of lies.

This morning (December 13 2009,) he takes on the defense establishment’s pathetic attempt to bring into line Rabbi’s of affiliated yeshivas who order soldiers to refuse to move against settlements. Shelah all but says outright that these Rabbis own the IDF. Senior officers are afraid of them because of the power they hold over their future political careers. More importantly, their disciples have become so integral to the IDF’s combat forces, that taking them on might spark major disintegration."

It’s the occupation, stupid / some thoughts on the Intifada’s 22ed anniversary

Hebron 1990
"The occupation, not anti-Semitism, is the reason for the anti-Israeli sentiment around the world. The occupation, and the Jewish automatic identification with Israel, makes it harder to fight anti-Semitism. It shouldn’t be this way, but it is. The occupation makes Israel more and more isolated politically, and quiet rightly so. No reasonable person and no nation should accept what we are doing. The world gave Israel four decades to solve this issue, but enough is enough. Personally, I would never support physical attacks on Israelis, but all other moves, from demonstrations to boycotts, are fair game.

It’s the occupation, stupid."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hannukah Without the Taliban

Tony Karon
In a country occupied by a Western power, the locals are faced with a choice. Some have opted to reconcile their own traditions with those of their occupier, borrowing from Western ways that open the path to philosophy and science, and integrating themselves into a wider culture. Others fiercely resist, waging a bitter and bloody war not only on the occupier, but also on those in their own community who seek to collaborate or integrate with the occupiers who are denounced as defilers.

If this were contemporary Afghanistan-Pakistan, you’d know who was whom, right? But before you bite into that latke or sing the dreidel song, you may want to consider that in Judea in the second century BC, the Taliban role is played by the Maccabees. And it is the Maccabees, of course, who are lionized in the Hanukah tale.