Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Torture Gang: The Entire Bush Administration

"To support his case that everyone in the Bush Administration signed off on this torture, Bybee included extensive descriptions of the approval top Bushies gave to torture (though he admittedly seems to have forgotten to include Cheney and Addington–maybe that has something to do with the defense fund that got set up around the time this letter got drafted)."

Obama Signs One Year Extension of Patriot Act (which he used to oppose)

President Obama just signed a one year extension of the Patriot Act. As a Senator, he had criticized the Patriot Act. Had he done nothing–something Obama is supremely gifted at–the provisions of the Patriot Act would have expired this Sunday.

Payback is a bitch: Australia abandons Israel in UN vote

At a vote in the UN General Assembly - where Australia has been one of Israel's strongest supporters - the government abstained from a resolution demanding that Israel and the Palestinians investigate possible war crimes during the assault on Gaza that Israel began in December 2008.
Sydney Morning Herald
Until the Lobby's heavy machine warms up that is!!!

Moshe Dayan's widow interview..

.I think Zionism has finished its work. I've endured many wars and I can't ignore the fact that they didn't want us. When I go to the territories, I don't even bother instilling hope in them. Out of courtesy, I tell them that I hope something will change, but the deterioration is just awful. Particularly the fence. This is something I can't tolerate.
-People say it stopped terrorism.
.Oh, please. "It stopped terrorism." Nothing will be able to stop terrorism except dialogue.

....Currently I'm in a trance from Avinadav Begin. He says that there are no Jews, there are no Muslims. This is the foundation. This I really like. The more I read this book, the more floored I am. He is very Beginesque, just like his father and grandfather. He believes in something. He doesn't go to Bil'in just to be seen there. He goes there because he believes in it.
Haaretz interview

Universities worldwide mark 'Israeli Apartheid Week'

University campuses in more than 40 cities around the world are marking the week with lectures, films, multimedia events, cultural performances and demonstrations.
A filmmaker, anthropologist (Jeff Halper) and economic researcher are among those headlining events marking what pro-Palestinian organizers have declared as "Israeli Apartheid Week" - and all three speakers are Israeli.

Al Mabhouh was drugged and suffocated, Dubai autopsy shows

Dubai police on Sunday said Mabhouh's killers drugged him before suffocating him, Dubai police said on Sunday.

The killers used a muscle relaxant to tranquillize Mabhouh before suffocating him, said deputy police chief Khamis al-Mazeina, quoted by the Dubai police website.

"The assassins used this method so that it would seem that his death was natural as there were no signs of resistance shown by the victim," he said.

Israel will not face trial over war crimes - Not because they are innocent but because the U.S. would veto it

'Goldstone Gaza claims will not reach war crimes court'
" I don't understand how the United Nations Security Council has made a decision to transfer the case to the international criminal court at The Hague, because I think in any event, the United States will veto the decision."
"Why do they hate us?"

Israeli Environmental Terrorism in the Holy Land

The Zionist establishment has proven that in the Holy Land, nothing is sacred.
Israelis have duped much of the Jewish and Christian religious communities into accepting their claim to Palestine is based on a belief that the land is holy—that their spiritual and emotional connection to this land reaches across millennia. Yet through the willful decimation of natural resources along with its native inhabitants, the Zionist establishment has proven that in the holy land nothing is sacred.

Never underestimate the nature of the beast

Efforts Underway to 'Bury' UN Gaza Report
A United Nations expert warns of efforts to "bury" a report by the world body's fact-finding commission on the Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip last January.

Ahead of a Friday vote in the UN General Assembly on a proposed extension for Israeli and Palestinian authorities to investigate the Gaza war crimes charges, Richard Falk criticized the bureaucratic process the report has been going through.

"I think its part of the wider effort basically to bury the recommendations of the Goldstone report, unnecessarily delaying the implementation of its recommendations," the UN's special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories told Ma'an news agency.

Israel OKs Another 600 Homes in E Al-Quds( Jerusalem)

"The number was scaled back to 600 from the original 1,100 after it came into ligh that much of the land was owned privately by Palestinians, the Israeli daily Ha'aretz reported."
Heart warming to know they're reluctant to steal ALL of the land..half of it is ok though!!!

UN, Russia Slam Israel Heritage Scheme

"We have repeatedly said that we are categorically against any steps and actions that foreshadow the outcome of negotiations on a final Palestinian-Israeli settlement, and which cannot but hamper efforts contributing to the resumption of dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said Friday
The US said something to the same tune last week..Here:
US: Israel's National Heritage Plan 'Provocative'
So what, exactly?

Dubai Calls for Netanyahu Prosecution over Terror

"The general said the investigation is internationally underway to identify the criminals who were behind the operation.

Khalfan assured that the Israeli prime minister and Mossad Chief Meir Dagan "will be together at the head of an international wanted list" should it be determined that the regime was behind the terror operation."

Hebron (Al Khalil) in 1990 and now..Nazi settlers' terror reigns supreme

Top: Shuhada street's market place in 1990
Below: Shuhada street today..Shops closed and Nazi signs. Settlers' terror reigns supreme.
(Photos B'Tselem)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

John Pilger: Listen to the heroes of Israel

"In October, Rami and Nurit sat in the Israeli High Court while the state counsel, “stammering, unprepared and unkempt,” wrote Nurit, “stood like a platoon commander in charge of new recruits and refuted... the allegations”. Salwa and Bassam Aramin, Palestinian parents, were there, too. Tears streaked Salwa’s face. Their ten-year-old daughter Abir Aramin was killed by an Israeli soldier firing a rubber bullet point-blank at her small head while she was standing beside a kiosk buying sweets with her sister. The judges seemed bored and one of them remarked that Israeli soldiers were rarely indicted, so it would be best to forget it. The state counsel laughed. This was normal.

“Our children,” said Nurit at a rally last December to mark the anniversary of the Israeli assault on Gaza, “have learned this year that all the disgusting qualities which anti-semites attribute to Jews are actually manifested among our leaders: deceit, greed and the murder of children... What values of beauty and goodness can we squeeze into such a sophisticated apparatus of brainwashing and reality distortion?”

Alison Weir: Media Reporting on Israel, all in the family

Bronner is far from alone

As it turns out, Bronner’s ties to the Israeli military are not the rarity one might expect.
• A previous Times bureau chief, Joel Greenberg, before he was bureau chief but after he was already publishing in the Times from Israel, actually served in the Israeli army.
• Media pundit and Atlantic staffer Jeffrey Goldberg also served in the Israeli military; it's unclear when, how, or even if his military service ended.
Richard Chesnoff, who has been covering Mideast events for more than 40 years, had a son serving in the Israeli military while Chesnoff covered Israel as US News & World Report's senior foreign correspondent.
NPR's Linda Gradstein’s husband was an Israeli sniper and may still be in the Israeli reserves. NPR refuses to disclose whether Gradstein herself is also an Israeli citizen, as are her children and husband.
Mitch Weinstock, national editor for the San Diego Union-Tribune, served in the Israeli military.
The New York Times’ other correspondent from the region, Isabel Kershner, is an Israeli citizen. Israel has universal compulsory military service, which suggests that Kershner herself and/or family members may have military connections. The Times refuses to answer questions about whether she and/or family members have served or are currently serving in the Israeli military. Is it possible that Times Foreign Editor Susan Chira herself has such connections? The Times refuses to answer.
• Many Associated Press writers and editors are Israeli citizens or have Israeli families. AP will not reveal how many of the journalists in its control bureau for the region currently serve in the Israeli military, how many have served in the past, and how many have family members with this connection.
• Similarly, many TV correspondents such as Martin Fletcher have been Israeli citizens and/or have Israeli families. Do they have family connections to the Israeli military?
• Time Magazine's bureau chief several years ago became an Israeli citizen after he had assumed his post. Does he have relatives in the military?
CNN's Wolf Blitzer, while not an Israeli citizen, was based in Israel for many years, wrote a book whitewashing Israeli spying on the US, and used to work for the Israel lobby in the US. None of this is divulged to CNN viewers.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Happiness can turn you into a schmuck :(

Happiness ain't all it's cracked up to be
"Psychologist Joe Forgas at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, who has led many of these studies, suggests that happiness's negative effects all stem from a cheery mood's tendency to lull you into feeling secure. This makes you look inwards and behave both more selfishly and more carelessly.

"People in a positive mood generally rely more on their own thoughts and preferences, and pay less attention to the outside world and social norms," says Forgas."
New Scientist

Liberalism, atheism, male sexual exclusivity linked to IQ

"Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa at the the London School of Economics and Political Science correlated data on these behaviors with IQ from a large national U.S. sample and found that, on average, people who identified as liberal and atheist had higher IQs. This applied also to sexual exclusivity in men, but not in women. The findings will be published in the March 2010 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly.

The IQ differences, while statistically significant, are not stunning -- on the order of 6 to 11 points -- and the data should not be used to stereotype or make assumptions about people, experts say. But they show how certain patterns of identifying with particular ideologies develop, and how some people's behaviors come to be."

Afghanistan, February, 2010 - The Big Picture

The Boston Globe

No Lie! Your Facebook Profile Is the Real You

College-age users of Facebook in the United States and a similar social networking site in Germany typically present accurate versions of their personalities in online profiles, says psychologist Mitja Back of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. People use online social networking sites to express who they really are rather than idealized versions of themselves, Back and his colleagues conclude in an upcoming Psychological Science.

Call your grandma!The First Test That Proves General Theory of Relativity Wrong

According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, a moving mass should create another field, called gravitomagnetic field, besides its static gravitational field. This field has now been measured for the first time and to the scientists' astonishment, it proved to be no less than one hundred million trillion times larger than Einstein's General Relativity predicts.

Ayn Rand, Hugely Popular Author and Inspiration to Right-Wing Leaders, Was a Big Admirer of Serial Killer

"The loudest of all the Republicans, right-wing attack-dog pundits and the Teabagger mobs fighting to kill health care reform and eviscerate "entitlement programs" increasingly hold up Ayn Rand as their guru. Sales of her books have soared in the past couple of years; one poll ranked "Atlas Shrugged" as the second most influential book of the 20th century, after The Bible."

"It turns out, you can trace much of this thinking back to Ayn Rand, a popular cult-philosopher who exerts a huge influence over much of the right-wing and libertarian crowd, but whose influence is only starting to spread out of the US.

One reason why most countries don't find the time to embrace her thinking is that Ayn Rand is a textbook sociopath. Literally a sociopath: Ayn Rand, in her notebooks, worshiped a notorious serial murderer-dismemberer, and used this killer as an early model for the type of "ideal man" that Rand promoted in her more famous books -- ideas which were later picked up on and put into play by major right-wing figures of the past half decade, including the key architects of America's most recent economic catastrophe -- former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan and SEC Commissioner Chris Cox -- along with other notable right-wing Republicans such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Rush Limbaugh, and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford."

56% of Americans say that the Government is a threat to our rights - CNN Poll

Washington (CNN) – A majority of Americans think the federal government poses a threat to rights of Americans, according to a new national poll.

Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they think the federal government's become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Forty-four percent of those polled disagree.

SOCIALIST NIGHTMARE! The United Kingdom has the best preventative health care in the world.

Percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) spent on health care: 8.3

Average family premium: None; funded by taxation.

Co-payments: None for most services; some co-pays for dental care, eyeglasses and 5 percent of prescriptions. Young people and the elderly are exempt from all drug co-pays.

What is it? The British system is "socialized medicine" because the government both provides and pays for health care. Britons pay taxes for health care, and the government-run National Health Service (NHS) distributes those funds to health care providers. Hospital doctors are paid salaries. General practitioners (GPs), who run private practices, are paid based on the number of patients they see. A small number of specialists work outside the NHS and see private-pay patients.

Australia’s Zionist lobby shows that without direction from Israel, they’re lost

"Interesting that some key Australian Jewish organisations are refusing to comment on the Israel/Australia passport scandal (and those who are speaking are so utterly unconvincing. Another own goal, guys). Perhaps they’re waiting for instructions from Jerusalem:"

When the s..t hits the fan.. Australia set to back away from Israel at UN

AUSTRALIA was last night preparing to abstain in a United Nations vote on a resolution urging Israel and the Palestinian Authority to investigate allegations of war crimes committed during last year's war in Gaza.

The UN General Assembly was expected to vote this morning.

Allegations of war crimes committed by Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas were raised in a report by the South African judge Richard Goldstone.

In a strong show of support for Israel, Australia was one of only a few countries to vote against a similar resolution last year.

An abstention by Australia would represent a significant shift away from Israel and would be interpreted as a sign of the Rudd government's anger over revelations this week that fake Australian passports were used in the operation to assassinate the Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mahbouh.

Australian government seems to be upset with Israel treating them like fools

Unless this is all very elaborate theatre designed to convince the Australian people that the government is furious about the Israeli passport scandal, when in fact, they’re not, I can’t recall another time when Israel is being challenged as strongly in the public arena (and certainly not when Israel is killing civilians in Palestine):

And here:

From today’s Sydney Morning Herald:
Betrayed PM should not be taken for granted by Israel.
''He was stunned and outraged,'' said a colleague. He considered it a personal affront as well as a national insult.
Rudd has been such a strong supporter of Israel that a former chairman of the World Jewish Congress, Isi Leibler, last year described him as ''a Christian Zionist - he understands and has some sympathy for us''

But an Australian official said the Israeli secret service had probably calculated that, even if it were caught using forged Australian passports, Canberra would not retaliate.

''It wouldn't matter whether it was John Howard or Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott in the prime minister's chair, they know we wouldn't sever relations. They know they've got us by the balls,'' partly because of the strength of the Israel lobby, he said.
They know they've got us by the balls,'' partly because of the strength of the Israel lobby,

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sadr Bloc Seen Gaining as Iraq Vote Nears

Will Anti-US Cleric Be Able to Pick Next Iraqi PM?
Though reliable polls in the war-torn and decidedly segmented Iraqi society are virtually impossible to come by, a flurry of polls suggest that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s “State of Law” bloc is in first place, but having alienated virtually every other bloc it is likely to be well short of forming a coalition.

Meet the Shministim. Those who refuse to serve in an occupation army

Name: Tamar Katz
Age: 19
Location: Tel-Aviv
Why I am one of the Shministim:
“I refuse to enlist in the Israeli military on conscientious grounds. I am not willing to become part of an occupying army, that has been an invader of foreign lands for decades, which perpetuates a racist regime of robbery in these lands, tyrannizes civilians and makes life difficult for millions under a false pretext of security.”
First Sentence: 28th Sept. - 10th Oct. 2008 (12 days)
Second Sentence: 12th - 30th Oct. 2008 (18 days)
Third Sentence: 1st - 22nd Dec. 2008 (21 days)

And many more here

Extremist Settlers Takeover Archaeology in Palestine

Tim McGirk, writing for Time in Jerusalem, exposes the takeover of archeaeology in Israel/Palestine by extremist settlers for ideological reasons.

"The Jerusalem syndrome is a psychological disorder in which a visit to the holy city triggers delusional and obsessive religious fantasies. In its extreme variety, people wander the lanes of the Old City believing they are biblical characters; John the Baptist, say, or a brawny Samson, sprung back to life."

How Settlers Prevented The Construction of a Palestinian Hospital

Hagit Ofran(Director the Settlement Watch project of the Israeli Peace Now movement
Posted: February 18, 2010 04
Once again, even Americans can not stand up to a small group of settlers, who show - more often than not - that they have the last word on what takes place in the West Bank. This time, a small group of settlers insisted, and succeeded, to squash a plan for building a hospital for Palestinian children at "Oush Grab" ("the Crow's Nest") east of Bethlehem.

The sequence of events in this case is a good example of the way things work in the Occupied Territories: the settlers apply political pressure (as well as threats of violence), the army gives in, and that is how Israel's official policy is made. If you want to understand why it is so hard for the Israeli government to remove a checkpoint, let alone illegal outposts, read the following story:
The Huffington Post

Lip service

U.S. slams Israel over designating heritage sites
.... the State Department on Wednesday sharply criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government for adding two shrines in the West Bank to Israel's list of national heritage sites. The move, announced Sunday, sparked Palestinian protests and has drawn criticism from other quarters, including the United Nations.

Gideon Levy: Dispersing white phosphorous clouds over Gaza

"If you have a moment or are bored or depressed, if you suspected there might be some truth in the criticism of Israel, or if you just feel like laughing out loud, just enter the Information and Diaspora Ministry's Web site.

There you'll find an innovation of global proportions - propaganda intended to mislead propagandists and public relations to deceive PR experts, rather than the target audience. Nicolae Ceausescu couldn't have phrased it better, and the Cairo radio station that broadcast threats in pidgin Hebrew before the Six-Day War never sounded as ludicrous. The Information Ministry presents: an insult to intelligence, contempt of reason - not only to the intelligence of "people overseas," to whom this cheap propaganda is geared, but to us, self-declared Israeli "ambassadors."

28 agents to kill ONE person!

Was Mossad on a fantastic adventure in Dubai?
The story just gets more and more complicated, which on its face at least leads us into territory that is more than amazing - wild even - which is hard to judge by rational and professional means.

Twenty-six agents, perhaps even 30, sent to assassinate one person?

Australia warns Israel: Forging passports isn't an 'act of a friend'

The Canberra government called in Israel's ambassador after three people holding Australian passports were Wednesday listed among 15 new suspects in the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Dubai authorities are investigating the use of at least 26 possibly fake passports in connection with the killing.

Mordechai Vanunu: Take me off list of Nobel peace prize nominees

Israeli nuclear whistleblower says he does not want to be associated with Nobel winner Shimon Peres.
Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu has again asked to be removed from a list of Nobel Peace Prize nominees, the head of the Oslo-based Norwegian Nobel Institute said Wednesday.

"He has written letters to us this year and last year also, where he stated explicitly that he did not want to be a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize," Nobel Institute Director Geir Lundestad told the German Press Agency DPA.

Vanunu, a former nuclear technician who was jailed for leaking details of Israel's nuclear program to a British newspaper in 1986, cited that he did not want to be "associated " with Shimon Peres, a former Nobel Peace Prize laureate and current president of Israel.
I'm not sure I really get this. Why refusing this monumental opportunity, in case of win, to voice his deep concerns on the wider stage, about Israel's nuclear capabilities? What's the rationale here?

Killing G.I. Joe

"There is a movement afoot; a coordinated effort to convince Hasbro to kill G.I. Joe. This time I'm in favour of the killing for this is no mere soldier we are talking about: G.I. Joe is a tool to shape the minds of children as they practice the 'games' of war with the additional components that Joe has access to thanks to the clever folks at Hasbro. They provide more than a clear picture as to what Joe is going to be doing: this soldier is NOT going to Haiti do distribute humanitarian aid, this soldier is going to war. He's gonna' get some.
Is that really what children need to be playing with in a time when violence is only getting worse? In a time when there are real wars going on is it not reasonable to think that children should be engaged in activities of peace - activities that do not have anything to do with maiming and destroying the lives of others - if only as a 'game' or 'for pretend'. War is not 'for pretend', it is perhaps the most real experience that any individual will experience, if they are lucky enough to survive. We glorify the actions of 'war heroes' and veterans, but often fail to remind everyone - especially the youngest - that war is NOT glamourous: it violates the dignity of person and right of all, and condemns those involved to a nightmare that may never end. War is as real as it gets: there is no 'pretend' about it. G.I. Joe has no place as a toy for children."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Uri Avnery on the many fiascos and failures of the Israeli intelligence community

"The popular books and movies celebrate the imaginary successes of the intelligence agencies. Reality is much more prosaic, and it is replete with real failures.
At the outbreak of the 1948 war, all the chiefs of our intelligence community unanimously advised David Ben-Gurion that the armies of the Arab states would not intervene. (Fortunately, Ben-Gurion rejected their assessment.) In May 1967, our entire intelligence community was totally surprised by the concentration of the Egyptian army in Sinai, the step that led to the Six-Day war. (Our intelligence chiefs were convinced that the bulk of the Egyptian army was busy in Yemen, where a civil war was raging.) The Egyptian-Syrian attack on Yom Kippur, 1973, completely surprised our intelligence services, even though heaps of advance warnings were available.

The intelligence agencies were totally surprised by the first intifada, and then again by the second. They were totally surprised by the Khomeini revolution, even though (or because) they were deeply imbedded in the Shah’s regime. They were totally surprised by the Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections.

The list is long and inglorious. But in one field, so they say, our Mossad performs like no other: assassinations. (Sorry,“eliminations”)"

Racial purity : Tel-Aviv municipal program to prevent Jewish girls from dating Arab boys

Maariv reported on February 23 that the Tel Aviv municipality launched a “counselling program” to “help” Jewish girls who date and/or marry Arab boys.

Grassroots and governmental campaigning against interfaith mingling is nothing new in Israel: Just a few months ago there was a “task force” set up by the municipality of Petah Tikva, which is basically a suburb of Tel Aviv. The job of the task force was to patrol the city at night and break up Arab-Jewish dates. The London Times also covered the activities of a concerned parents’ group vigilante gang patrolling the rapidly integrating Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev, intimidating mixed couples.
On top of that, we have the activities of a huge, quasi-paramilitary group called Yad Leachim that goes on army-style”rescue operations” of Jewish women from their Gentile husbands (homegrown terrorist Jacob Teitel boasts working with them for a while, which they deny), and, lest we forget, the insane Jewish Agency campaign about non-Jewish partners kidnapping 50% of the young Jews in the Diaspora.
But this is the first time officially sanctioned racism, funded by taxpayers, has come to Tel Aviv, Israel’s liberal heartland.

Israel not enlightened by work of art

"Spanish artist Eugenio Merino won't get the support of the Israeli foreign ministry. That support is for artists who know who holds their leash, how not to bite the hand that feeds them, and many other commonplaces.

See why?

The Israeli embassy issued a statement saying that this is "offensive towards Israelis, Jews, and certainly others".

No, it isn't. For example, I'm sure that almost none of the over 20% of Israeli citizens who are Palestinians are offended (oh, but do these citizens of Israel also count as "Israelis"? Good question! Must ask His Excellency.)"

Who are honorary patrons of the Jewish National Fund in England?

Jews Sans Frontieres published the list of patrons of the Jewish national fund in England. Here's the eloquent line up:

Honorary Patrons:

Professor David Bellamy OBE

The Rt Hon Tony Blair

The Rt Hon Gordon Brown PM

The Rt Hon David Cameron MP

The Rt Hon Lady Cosgrave CBE

General the Lord Guthrie

The Rt Hon Michael Howard MP

Anthony Krais JP

Rabbi Dr Abraham Levy OBE

The Prime Minister of Israel

HE The Ambassador of Israel Ron Prosor

President - Shimon Peres

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks

Rev Malcolm Weisman OBE

Israel Annexes West Bank Mosques as "heritage!"

The Israeli occupation authorities have decided to place two historic mosques in the occupied West Bank to a list of alleged Jewish heritage sites, drawing immediate rebuke from Palestinians and Israelis alike.

"This announcement is an act of aggression against the cultural and religious rights of the Palestinian people," Hamdan Taha, director of the Palestinian Tourism Ministry's Antiquities Department, told the independent Maan news agency on Monday, February 22.

Hawkish Israeli Premier Binyamin Netanyahu announced Sunday, February 21, adding Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil (Hebron) and Bilal Mosque in Bethlehem to a list of 150 so-called Jewish heritage sites that would be renovated to reconnect Israelis to their history.

The two Muslim sites were not included in the original plan which was first presented by Netanyahu on February 3.

"God Dammit, I was Spat on by The Chosen People"

Brooke Dean
"I had been chased around Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for the last few weeks getting gleeked on by the entire Felix family. Gleeking isn't a serious offense and it is often laughed off but for how silly this annoyance, spitting is no laughing matter.

I've had it in my head that during these nine months of traveling, I will probably be disrespected in one way or another. We are getting into some heavy topics and have already been involved in some pretty intense discussions regarding religion, war, peace and progressive thinking and I can only assume that this sort of tension can bring out violence, harsh words and the occasionally spitting. In many cultures spitting is a means to degrade another, and I've heard stories of such action in developing countries.

I DID NOT, however, think in a million years that I would be spat on by a religious Jew in Israel.

"I was still standing under my streetlight of safety as lines of Hasidic and Sephardic men and boys started to flee the scene. Still boisterous and high on adrenaline, a man came barreling by me and spit a gigantic loogie at me. I turned away in shock and disbelief; I ran my hand over my freshly saturated hair. As my gaze returned to the crowd, two young boys no older than ten, raced by me not 20 feet behind their father. Each one looked me in the eyes, shouted words in Hebrew, and spit on me just as their father had."

The Huffington Post
Brooke Dean is an activist and global volunteer, blogger and co-founder of

1000 years old Arabic Inscription Found In Jerusalem

JERUSALEM — A home renovation in Jerusalem's Old City has yielded a rare Arabic inscription offering insight into the city's history under Muslim rule, Israeli archaeologists said Wednesday. The fragment of a 1,100-year-old plaque is thought to have been made by an army veteran to express his thanks for a land grant from the Caliph al-Muqtadir, whom the inscription calls "Emir of the Faithful."

Dating from a time when Jerusalem was ruled from Baghdad by the Abbasid empire, the plaque shows how rulers rewarded their troops and ensured their loyalty, archaeologists said.
The Huffington Post

Palestinian PM to Israeli Leaders: We are Building a State While Under Occupation to End the Occupation

"Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad forthrightly brought his case for building a Palestinian state to Israeli political and military leaders, and they applauded. The new Palestinian attitude towards how to end the occupation that began in 1967 was on full display during Fayyad's speech at the Herzliya conference in Israel earlier this month, and it has had a considerable impact on its Israeli audience."
The Huffington Post

Israel’s policy of divide and survive

(A checkpoint in the occupied territories)
Paul Woodward
Back in the days when hazy-eyed neoconservatives stood like prophets laying out their vision of a democratic wave of Biblical proportions sweeping across the Middle East, Israel was supposedly the actualization of what elsewhere might be possible.

The problem was that since it came into existence, all the evidence suggested that the Jewish state, far from serving as a liberating force in the region, had actually done the opposite. It became the prime legitimizer of autocracy and stagnation.

Benjamin E Schwartz, in an article in the latest edition of The American Interest magazine, describes how Israel, rather than striving for a sustainable peace with its neighbors, sees its ability to survive as dependent on its ability to be divisive.
War in Context

Botched attack by Nato kills 27 civilians

Karzai calls deaths 'unjustifiable' as airstrike heaps new pressure on alliance after Dutch exit
A bungled airstrike in Afghanistan has dealt Nato's effort to woo hearts and minds the third such blow in a week, with Kabul claiming the bombing killed 27 civilians, including women and children. Officials in the Afghan government said Nato planes attacked a convoy of three minibuses carrying 42 people, all civilians, in the mountainous province of Uruzgan on Sunday night, after mistaking them for Taliban insurgents preparing to attack Nato troops.

The Richest 1% Have Captured America's Wealth -- What's It Going to Take to Get It Back?

The U.S. already had the highest inequality of wealth in the industrialized world prior to the financial crisis -- and it's gotten even worse.
"The war against working people should be understood to be a real war.... Specifically in the U.S., which happens to have a highly class-conscious business class.... And they have long seen themselves as fighting a bitter class war, except they don't want anybody else to know about it." -- Noam Chomsky
As a record amount of U.S. citizens are struggling to get by, many of the largest corporations are experiencing record-breaking profits, and CEOs are receiving record-breaking bonuses. How could this be happening, how did we get to this point?

Americas bloc excluding US and Canada agreed

Latin American and Caribbean nations have agreed to set up a new regional body without the US and Canada.
The new bloc would be an alternative to the Organisation of American States (OAS), the main forum for regional affairs in the past 50 years.
Mexico has been hosting a regional summit in the beach resort of Cancun.
The OAS has been dogged by rifts between some members and the US over economic policy and trade, and criticised for promoting US interests.

"Israel has a publicly-stated policy of violating the sovereignty of any and all countries in order to kill or abduct its opponents"

James Petras
"Israel has a publicly-stated policy of violating the sovereignty of any and all countries in order to kill or abduct its opponents. In both proclamation and actual practice, Israeli law, decrees and actions abroad supersede the laws and law enforcement agencies of any other nation. If Israel’s policy becomes the common practice world-wide, we would enter a savage Hobbesian jungle in which individuals would be subject to the murderous intent of foreign assassination squads unrestrained by any law or accountable national authority."

Noam Chomsky on Howard Zinn

"Howard's remarkable life and work are summarized best in his own words. His primary concern, he explained, was "the countless small actions of unknown people" that lie at the roots of "those great moments" that enter the historical record -- a record that will be profoundly misleading, and seriously disempowering, if it is torn from these roots as it passes through the filters of doctrine and dogma. His life was always closely intertwined with his writings and innumerable talks and interviews. It was devoted, selflessly, to empowerment of the unknown people who brought about great moments. That was true when he was an industrial worker and labor activist, and from the days, 50 years ago, when he was teaching at Spellman college in Atlanta Georgia, a black college that was open mostly to the small black elite."

Human rights advocates won't let Israeli ballet dance around apartheid

The U.S. tour of the Israel Ballet, the latest in the Israeli government's efforts to "rebrand Israel" by whitewashing human rights violations against Palestinians, has been met with protests and boycott calls organized by human rights advocates.

The call to boycott the Israel Ballet, which is funded by the Israeli government and is part of an intentional effort to draw attention away from Israeli war crimes, occupation, and apartheid, has been endorsed by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and member groups Adalah-NY, American Jews for a Just Peace, and the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, as well the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Spike in Iraq Violence as Vote Nears

BAGHDAD — A series of bombings, beheadings and shootings rippled through Iraq on Monday, leaving at least 23 people dead, including 9 children, and intensifying concern about a spike in violence with less than two weeks until national elections.
Swiss brothers smuggling nuclear bomb secrets for AQ Khan network were CIA assets... says Swiss court
Officers planned False Flag Operation: 52 Turkish military leaders planned to blow up mosques, airliners.
China sells $34.2bn of US treasury bonds

Day light robbery!

An Israeli court will soon decide on the demolition order of Khan Al Ahmar, a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank - so that Israeli homes can be built in its place.


Palestinians are rioting to stop Israel from stealing their Heritage.

Netherlands government falls over refusal to extend Afghanistan mission: Fears withdrawal may prompt other countries to follow suit

The Dutch government collapsed at the weekend, making it the first European and Nato administration to fall because of the war in Afghanistan.

Judgment Day! May 21, 2011

The End of the World, October 21, 2011


11,013 BC
—Creation. God created the world and man (Adam and Eve).

4990 BC—The flood of Noah’s day. All perished in a worldwide flood. Only Noah, his wife, and his 3 sons and their wives survived in the ark (6023 years from creation).

7 BC—The year Jesus Christ was born (11,006 years from creation).

33 AD—The year Jesus Christ was crucified and the church age began (11,045 years from creation; 5023 calendar years from the flood).

1988 AD—This year ended the church age and began the great tribulation period of 23 years (13,000 years from creation).

1994 AD
—On September 7th, the first 2300-day period of the great tribulation came to an end and the latter rain began, commencing God’s plan to save a great multitude of people outside of the churches (13,006 years from creation).

2011 ADOn May 21st, Judgment Day will begin and the rapture (the taking up into heaven of God’s elect people) will occur at the end of the 23-year great tribulation. On October 21st, the world will be destroyed by fire (7000 years from the flood; 13,023 years from creation).

One Catholic Priest Destroyed the Entire Mayan Written Language

The New York Times described the decipherment of the Maya hieroglyphs as "one of the great stories of twentieth century scientific discovery." Tragically, this decipherment was only necessary because of a one-man Spanish Inquisition, a deliberate, decades-long campaign by a single Catholic priest to destroy the Mayan language and culture. The priest, Diego de Landa, wiped out all knowledge of the written language, and nearly destroyed the spoken language too.

German Jews join the international effort to break the blockade!

We are a group of German Jews who want to send a ship with goods and musical instruments to Gaza. We intend to cooperate with a European project that is sending supplies in the spring of 2010. We are acquiring a ship, loading it up in Germany, then picking up passengers (Jewish and non-Jewish, German and non-German) at a Mediterranean port.

Harvard fellow, Martin Kramer, calls for the West to deliberately curb Palestinian birth rate

Harvard Fellow calls for genocidal measure to curb Palestinian births
A fellow at Harvard University's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Martin Kramer, has called for "the West" to take measures to curb the births of Palestinians, a proposal that appears to meet the international legal definition of a call for genocide.

Kramer, who is also a fellow at the influential Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), made the call early this month in a speech at Israel's Herzliya conference, a video of which is posted on his blog ("Superfluous young men," 7 February 2010).

In the speech Kramer rejected common views that Islamist "radicalization" is caused by US policies such as support for Israel, or propping up despotic dictatorships, and stated that it was inherent in the demography of Muslim societies such as Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip. Too many children, he argued, leads to too many "superfluous young men" who then become violent radicals.

Kramer proposed that the number of Palestinian children born in the Gaza Strip should be deliberately curbed, and alleged that this would "happen faster if the West stops providing pro-natal subsidies to Palestinians with refugee status."
Electronic Intifada

Brazen hardliners and ardent critics: the Israel I have seen

As he prepares to leave Jerusalem after four years as a correspondent, Rory McCarthy reflects on a new, harsher climate of thought that is apparent in the wake of the Dubai assassination. But this attitude is not universal: dissent thrives in the most unlikely places
Living here for the past four years, it is hard for me to escape the sense that there is a new climate in Israel, one in which dissent is marginalised and any criticism from abroad robustly shouted down. In part, it is the result of the election of a staunchly right-wing coalition government. It also plays on a sense long shared by many Israelis that they are embattled, misunderstood and find themselves in an increasingly unsympathetic world.

Land grab rebranded "heritage"

Israel adds West Bank shrines to heritage list
Israel's prime minister has announced a controversial plan to add two major religious sites in the West Bank to the country's national heritage list.
The Palestinian Authority warned the decision would "wreck" peace efforts.

Saudi women to be allowed to argue cases in court

Saudi Arabia is planning to bring in a new law to allow women lawyers to argue cases in court for the first time.
The law - to be issued "in the coming days" - would allow women to appear in court on family-related cases, including divorce and child custody.

Bush Official Criticizes Obama For Killing Too Many Terrorists

Just how unpopular are President Barack Obama's anti-terrorism policies with his Republican critics? Even when he's killing terrorists they find flaws.
At a panel on national security policy at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, a prominent lawyer from the Bush administration's Department of Justice said he was concerned that the higher number of terrorist executions taking place under Obama was compromising U.S. intelligence operations.

Colin Powell Rejects Dick Cheney's Claims, Says U.S. Is Not Less Safe Under Obama

Dick Cheney's charges that the country is less safe because of the way Barack Obama has handled national security matters don't hold water, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday. "To suggest that somehow we have become much less safer because of the actions of the administration, I don't think that's borne out by the facts," Powell said on CBS's "Face the Nation."
The Huffington Post

Fox News scrambles to discredit CPAC after Ron Paul wins presidential poll

The Conservative Political Action Conference's presidential straw poll, a key marker of the mood among conservative voters, apparently didn't mean anything to the network. And if it did mean something, the only real result is bragging rights for the individual candidates who were so well exposed. And hey, even Dick Cheney showed up.

Meir Kahana’s JDL ( an extreme-right organisation) to provide Ambassador Oren security at US public events

The initiative: To revive the Jewish Defense League that Kahana founded; The goal: To protect Israeli speakers abroad
In recent days, prominent right-wing activists conversed with activists of the Jewish Defense League abroad, as well as with other right-wing activists and students who attend universities in the USA and Europe, who expressed an interest in the idea of reviving the League. The Jewish Defense League was founded by Rabbi Meir Kahana in the late 1960s, and it was active for some two decades before it faded away.

Palestinians tear segregation barrier

During the weekly protest in the Palestinian village of Bil'in, thousands of activists assembled to celebrate five years of non-violent resistance. This form of popular struggle has spread to many other Palestinian villages and areas in East Jerusalem. The protests are made to show opposition to the confiscation of roughly half of the village's land by the Israeli Jewish-only settlement colony of Modi'in Illit. In 2007, after the village protested every Friday for almost 3 years, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the barrier does not serve a security purpose and ordered it rerouted. The Israeli army however, did not start to reroute the barrier until last week and informed the village that it will only return 364 (or 60%) of its 575 taken acres. During this week's protest the army fired dozens of tear gas canisters, shock grenades, and sprayed the crowd with liquid smelling like sewer and feces.

Turks to send a Flotilla in the Spring to Break the Siege of Gaza

[Istanbul, Turkey] Today the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Relief Foundation (IHH), announce a joint venture, sending 10 boats in the spring of 2010 to the besieged Gaza strip. Organizations from Greece, Ireland and Sweden have also promised to send boats to join the flotilla with the Free Gaza movement and Turkey.
Mr. Bulent Yildirim, chairman of the IHH said, “We sail in the spring to Gaza, and our last port is freedom; freedom for the 1.5 million Palestinians denied the right to rebuild their society. We will never stop sailing until Israel's siege is lifted.”
Two cargo ships will be part of the flotilla, one donated by the Malaysia-based Perdana Foundation and one from IHH. Both will be laden with building supplies, generators and educational materials that Israel prohibits from entering Gaza since their brutal attack on the civilian population a year ago.
Another story reports 20 ships to sail in 2 months but it's an exrtreme far right wingers (settlers) site (Arutz Sheva)and cannot be trusted. Read with caution.

Brian Eno @ Free Gaza Demo, London 10 Jan 2009

Mossad Chief Remains Holocaust-Obsessed

If anyone needs any further proof that the long shadow of the Holocaust continues to inform some of Israel’s most self-destructive behavior, they have only to read this suggestive story in the Times of London providing inside color from supposed Mossad sources about the run-up to the Dubai assassination. In it, Uzi Machnaimi describes the motivations that inform Meir Dagan, the bloodthirsty Mossad chief responsible for the Dubai fiasco:
I say, psychotherapy! And don't let this as...le anywhere near a gun...

Canadian Jewish Tourism Ad Uses Oral Sex to Promote Israeli Tourism

SIZE DOESN'T MATTER - BIG PARADISE from Size Doesnt Matter on Vimeo.

"Dimi Reider has discovered one of the stranger of Israel’s tourism promotions. This one is sponsored by the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) undoubtedly in close collaboration with the foreign ministry. The video is in indescribably bad taste, portraying an attractive couple in bed with the woman telling the man she can’t possibly “do it” because it’s “too small.” The dialogue is so lame that it simply must be quoted to be believed:"

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Walled in, disappearing: The story of al-Nu'man

Imagine being a 5 year-old, like Sulaiman Jamal. In order for Jamal to get to school in the morning, hell – snow – or sunshine, he must walk around 4 kilometres to get to school because his school bus can't get anywhere close to his house.
Al Jazeera

Israel: Scientists irate after top education official questions evolution

"If textbooks state explicitly that human beings' origins are to be found with monkeys, I would want students to pursue and grapple with other opinions. There are many people who don't believe the evolutionary account is correct," Avital said yesterday.

EU initiative: recognition of Palestinian state by next year

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and his Spanish counterpart Miguel Moratinos are promoting an initiative by which the European Union would recognize a Palestinian state in 18 months, even before negotiations for a permanent settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are concluded.

According to senior European diplomats and senior Israeli officials, Israel has relayed its opposition to the initiative - warning that it would undermine any chance of a successful peace process.

'Netanyahu authorized Dubai assassination in early January'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized in early January the assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, according to a report published in the Sunday Times.

A palestinian woman getting to work

Atef Safadi photo (From Mondoweiss)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sign of the times

(Qalandiya Checkpoint, the Occupied Territories, Feb. 19, photo by Anees of Jerusalem)
Could there be any more befitting image?!The NYT as gate keepers? A wall erected between the reality of the occupation and the American reader?
(Photo found on Mondoweiss)

Medic takes a gritty look at his time in Iraq in acclaimed memoir

RAYNHAM, Mass. —When Michael Anthony headed off to serve as a medic in Iraq, he thought it would be like a John Wayne movie. It turned out to be more like an episode of "M*A*S*H" - except it was anything but funny.....
He was surrounded by rampant drug abuse, crass extramarital affairs and corrupt and incompetent officers who put their own interests ahead of the needs of their soldiers, even when they were depressed enough to try to commit suicide.

“I expected to see soldiers who lived by the Army values, loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. What did I find? I found an underbelly of the military that no one wants to talk about for fear it makes the Army look bad,” said Anthony, 23, of Raynham.

Anthony, who has turned to writing to express himself since he was a child, kept a daily journal of his experiences in Iraq and has turned them into an acclaimed memoir, “Mass Casualties: A Young Medic’s True Story of Death, Deception and Dishonor in Iraq.”

“I’d love to stay silent as much as the next guy, but these are stories that need to be told. A lot of people just want to pretend it’s all right, but if we want to fix anything we need to talk about it,” he said.
(Thanks vza)

French FM sees 'Palestinian state without borders'

France's Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said the recognition of a Palestinian state even before its borders are demarcated is a possibility, Agence France-Presse reported.

Kouchner said economic and institutional development in the West Bank constitutes "the building of a reality" that includes the creation of a state.
Bernard Kouchner,the French PM, is the founder of Doctors Without Borders..

Christian monitoring group tracks rise in settler violence

"The past two weeks have seen a marked rise in settler activity outside the illegal settlements of Ma'on and the Havat Ma'on (Hill 833) outpost," citing rock throwing, intimidation, harassment, physical violence and even the abduction of a young shepherd "with the aid of the Israeli military and police."

According to the group, settlers from the Carmel colony directed soldiers to seize the goats of a 12-year-old shepherd on Friday afternoon. The boy testified to CPT field observers that soldiers walked downhill from the settlement dairy barns, grabbed his two goats, and told him, “If you want your goats back, you better come here.”

Who picks up the pieces seven years after the Iraq invasion?

"The Iraq war receives far too little media coverage these days. The “good war” in Afghanistan is leading the bulletins. But reading about this document from an American army medic back from Iraq, the atrocities by the Americans remain largely unknown.

ABC yesterday featured a story and news report about the massive refugee crisis in Jordan, countless men, women and children unable to return to Iraq and trapped in limbo. Many will want to come to Australia:"
Antony Loewenstein

“Israel is not a normal country”

"A fascinating exchange between Norman Finkelstein and Israeli spokesman and former adviser to Ariel Sharon Raanan Gissan on Russia Today.

The interview really speaks for itself but it’s worth noting the continual need for Gissan to claim that the Jewish people have a biblical claim over Palestine (“for 3000 years”) and this therefore justifies Israeli actions."

Israelis claim they invented drip irrigation..( and falafel of course!)

"Yesterday, Ethan Bronner did his post to carry, word for word, propaganda claims by Israel. (See below). He attributed drip irrigation to an Israeli "breakthrough" (the only Israeli breakthroughs that I know are massacres). Comrade Rami sent me his response: "On that other issue of israelis (or americans) having invented drip irrigation, the book "علم الملاحة في علم الفلاحة" by Abdul Ghani al Nabulsi, 1050-1143 hejri refers to a method of drip irrigation using large clay vessels with a small opening at the bottom from which water drips gently. The vessels are placed near trees to irrigate them without wasting precious water. They are refilled as needed."
(From the Angry Arab)

Mossad man’s suicide

From the Angry Arab:
The Western media are so protective of Israel, especially when it comes to embarrassing revelations. Last year, a top Mossad (or Israeli military intelligence, I don't recall) officer with responsibilities for Lebanon shot himself in his office. Of course, Israeli media are always subservient to the government and they obey military censors without complaint or protest. But even the western media did not pick up on that story. It happened just as the Lebanese police--Lebanese police for potato's sake--was arresting Israeli spies in Lebanon, right and left. More than 80 has thus far been arrested. Just yesterday, a top Mossad killer/agent in Lebanon was sentenced to death.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Palestinians of Yaffa face right wing settler thugs as neighbors

Yaffa is home to what remains of a Palestinian community near what is now the bustling coastal metropolis of Tel Aviv. Palestinian residents say their neighborhood has become the latest battleground for an attempted takeover by extremist Jews, a dynamic familiar from West Bank cities like Hebron, where Zionist Israelis move into Palestinian homes under the cover of armed soldiers.

Small numbers of nationalist religious Jews have begun moving into Yaffa’s main Arab district, Ajami, over recent months.

Tensions have been simmering since a special Yeshiva, or Jewish seminary, was established last year in the heart of Ajami for young Jewish men who combine study of religious texts with serving in the Israeli army. Many such seminaries, known as "hesder yeshivas," are located in the occupied territories and have earned a reputation for turning out extremists.

Settler sewage flowing into West Bank village

"Sewage from a treatment plant in the Israeli settlement of Sha’are Tiqwa has been flowing into a high school in the northern West Bank village of Azzun Atma since the early morning, local authorities said late on Wednesday.
The Azzun Atma Municipality said that some students simply stayed away from school because of the stench emanating from the wastewater that pooled in the schoolyard."

Huh– only about half of U.S. Democrats have favorable view of Israel

New Gallup poll(posted below) on Americans’ view of other countries. Canada the most popular, god only knows why. And Israel comes in 5th at 67 percent favorable rating. But when the #s are broken down, 80 percent of Republicans have a favorable view, but only 53 percent of Dems!! And the lower in age you go, the lower Israel’s favorability.

"Americans’ views of the official governing body of the Palestinian people — the Palestinian Authority — have been decidedly negative over the years. However, there was a slight improvement in views over the past year, from 15% viewing the Palestinian Authority favorably in 2009 (and just 11% after the Hamas group won the Palestinian elections in 2006) to 20% today.

Favorability toward the Palestinian Authority was quite low for most of the Bush administration, except for February 2005, when the two sides had just announced an informal truce during Mideast peace talks.

Has Israel been helping supply weapons to Hamas?

Paul Woodward
The idea that Israel could be involved in supplying weapons to Hamas might sound like a preposterous conspiracy theory, but let’s look at some connections — the theory might not be as wild as it sounds.

In undisputed reports, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh has been described as the top Hamas commander responsible for coordinating the flow of arms into Gaza. He is said to have established a smuggling route through Sudan — a route upon which a convoy of weapons was intercepted and destroyed in an Israeli drone attack just over a year ago.

From accounts of Mabhouh’s killing we know that he bought his ticket to Dubai just two days before traveling there and within just a few hours of his departure from Syria, an assassination team was en route to the same destination. Nineteen hours before the assassination, fifteen operatives left on flights for Dubai, departing from France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. The Times of London reported that Mahbouh was “tracked from the moment he boarded Emirates flight EK 912 at Damascus at 10.05 on January 19.”

There is an Information War Going On and Israel is Fighting Dirty

"Israeli media is by far on Israel's side, well the far right wing side. They are unashamedly fighting an information war, well to be precise, they are fighting against the facts presented by human rights organizations by either twisting those facts or attempting to divert attention away from them with lies, propaganda and character assassinations.

Now you can add something else to that list: Natural disasters.

Israels second largest newspaper ran an opinion piece with an opinion which if held by the majority of Israel and worse yet, if actually true demonstrates one of the most ill intentioned acts of good ever done in the history of humanity. The article was on the Israeli Haiti relief effort and how it was ‘good’ for Israel from a PR standpoint":
"I must admit that I would not be surprised if the image aspect of setting up a hospital in Haiti, as well as the IDF rescue efforts, was given greater weight than humanitarian considerations. If I am right, then finally, someone in the Knesset has done the right thing, deciding to take advantage of the opportunity to prove to the world how kindhearted and capable we are."

Gallup (US) image contest. Canada first, Iran last

(click to enlarge)
Favorable views of Russia, Palestinian Authority up slightly; views of Iraq down

Israeli stone throwers thugs protected..Video.

Selectively applying and breaking the law in Israel, Israelis who throw rocks at Palestinians are protected by the military, Palestinian children who throw rocks at Israelis are arrested under conditions which break Israels 'Youth Law'

Egyptians welcome ElBaradei home . A test for the regime

Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, has received a hero's welcome upon his return to Egypt.
ElBaradei, who arrived in Cairo on Friday, is seen as a potential presidential candidate and has repeatedly called for democratic change in Egypt since stepping down from his UN post.
Al Jazeera

Bil'in protests land grab. Clashes erupt

'Act of desperation'
Israeli security forces have fired tear gas and munitions at a group of Palestinians staging a protest in the West Bank town of Bi'lin to mark the fifth anniversary of a separation wall built by Israel.
Al Jazeera's Tadros said the situation was "incredibly dangerous".

"In the past five years five Palestinian international activists have been killed because of the tear gas canisters hitting them, the rubber bullets and the live munitions.

"This is something that has been really criticised by rights groups who have said Israel's use of these kinds of munititions for crowd dispersal is against international law and the impunity with which they use them should be held to account."

Plus ca change

Britain 'knew Mossad was using fake passports for Dubai hit'

"U.K. denies Daily Mail claims Israeli spies tipped off MI6 before killing Hamas' Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.
Israeli agents tipped off British intelligence that they were going to carry out an 'overseas operation' using fake British passports before assassinating a Hamas official in Dubai, the Daily Mail reported on Friday.

A Mossad operative said the U.K. Foreign Office was also told hours before Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was murdered in his hotel room by a hit squad the had entered the United Arab Emirates using fake foreign documents, the British newspaper said."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Remember Chagos? The Chagossians will not be allowed to go back to their homes.

The Chagos archipelago – where conservation meets colonialism

Islanders expelled from their homes in the 1960s won't be welcome back under plans to convert the idyllic archipelago into a 'nature reserve'
"This is bad news for the Chagossians, who were removed from the islands by British naval vessels almost half a century ago, so that the US could establish a large air base on the largest of the islands, Diego Garcia. The Chagossians have always wanted to return, and two years ago they published detailed plans to go back to some of the more distant islands of the archipelago."

CIA, Mossad Take Major Hits in Asian Covert Operations

"Israeli criminal gangs operating methamphetamine labs in northern Burma (Myanmar), under the protection of a sizeable Israeli security and intelligence presence in the country, infiltrated the United Nations poppy eradication program."

Amazing old village in Iran

In the north east of Iran at the foot of Mount Sahand in Kandovan, the villagers live in cave homes carved out from the volcanic rock.
The age of some houses is more than 700 years.

More photos here
And here. A Video

Gordon Brown pledges inquiry as Israel refuses to rule out Mossad plot in Dubai

International row deepens over use of fake UK passports as Israeli foreign minister fails to deny Mossad involvement
Gordon Brown today stepped into the growing international row over the alleged use of fake passports by the assassins of a Hamas leader in Dubai by promising a full investigation.
As demands were made for the Israeli ambassador to be summoned to the Foreign Office to answer allegations that the Mossad security service was behind the assassination, the prime minister told London's LBC radio station: "We are looking at this at this very moment. We have got to carry out a full investigation into this. The British passport is an important document that has got to be held with care.

Things are hotting up: Dubai police call on Interpol to help arrest Mossad head -

"International pressure intensified against Israel's spy service as official "wanted" notices were released for the suspected team of Israeli secret agents accused of participating in the assassination. The faces of an 11-strong alleged hit squad appeared on the Interpol website this morning, 48 hours after authorities in the United Arab Emirates issued arrest warrants for the killing last month of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh."
The Guardian

France cancels Haiti's debt and acknowledges wounds of France's brutal colonisation

Haiti promised €230m as Nicolas Sarkozy visits former colony
It's a bit late isn't it? Or it's never too late...Whatever!

His "Holiness" Pope Benedict XVI is on Facebook

"Sign up for Facebook to connect with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI."
How many holes does one need to have to be a pope?

Elton John: 'Jesus was gay'

"I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems. On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don't know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East -- you're as good as dead."
"Try being a gay woman in the Middle East"
What does this lune know about this? Why do those living caricatures say dumb things all the time? BTW, there's an association for gay rights (women included) in Lebanon.

Escape from Israel's Ultra-Orthodox:The High Price of Religious Defection

(Shimy Levy (left) and Mayan were both raised in ultra-Orthodox communities in Israel. When they made the hard choice to leave, they turned to Hillel - The Right To Choose, an organization that helps those leaving the Orthodox faith start a normal life.)
"The community of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel is half a million strong and growing. They live in a parallel universe cut off from the modern world in tight-knit communities where everything revolves around religion. Only a few dare to abandon this life -- and the price for doing so is high.

When she left, she left everything behind -- even her name. She no longer wanted to be known as Sarah, the name her parents had given her. She'd felt imprisoned by that name for too long; it made her feel different and subject to laws that others imposed upon her. So, she started her new life with a new name, Mayan, the Hebrew word for "source."..........
....The "parallel universe" Mayan used to live in has around 550,000 inhabitants. It is the world of the Orthodox Jews in Israel, whose adherents live in tight-knit communities where everything revolves around religion. They radically shield themselves from modern life. Television is frowned upon, as is non-religious music, telephones and the Internet. News that is important to the community is disseminated via notices posted on walls. Boys and girls go to school, but their education is primarily focused on religion."
Spiegel Online
The Keffiyeh is just a "fashion" statement, I presume.

Study: Young Americans less religious than their parents

A study released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public life appears to bear that out. On the one hand, it finds that young Americans are significantly less religious than their parents and grandparents were when they were young. But the report also suggests that many of the beliefs and faith-based practices of 18- to 29-year-olds mirror those of their elders.

Nobel Economist J. Stiglitz on Obama’s Stimulus Plan, Debt, Climate Change, and “Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy

"As President Obama defends the success of his one-year-old $787 billion stimulus package, we speak to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who says the stimulus was both not big enough and too focused on tax cuts. Stiglitz is the author of the new book Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy, which analyzes the causes of the Great Recession of 2008 and calls for overcoming what he calls an “ersatz capitalism” that socializes losses but privatizes gains."

Mossad killing: Britain's explanation is riddled with inconsistencies. It's time to come clean

Robert Fisk, the Independent
"Collusion. That's what it's all about. The United Arab Emirates suspect – only suspect, mark you – that Europe's "security collaboration" with Israel has crossed a line into illegality, where British passports (and those of other other EU nations) can now be used to send Israeli agents into the Gulf to kill Israel's enemies. At 3.49pm yesterday afternoon (Beirut time, 1.49pm in London), my Lebanese phone rang. It was a source – impeccable, I know him, he spoke with the authority I know he has in Abu Dhabi – to say that "the British passports are real. They are hologram pictures with the biometric stamp. They are not forged or fake. The names were really there. If you can fake a hologram or biometric stamp, what does this mean?"

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Burnt ( but liberated) children after a NATO bomb attack

(Jews Sans Frontieres)

“When there is no coverage, the first victim is the truth…”

Helena Cobban's 'Fair Policy, Fair Discussion'
"Those were the recent words of Norway’s foreign minister, Jonas Gahr Store, in response to disparaging Israeli media coverage of his country and its policies towards Israel. During Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s most recent assault on the Gaza Strip, to which Minister Store was referring, international media was denied access and the ability to disseminate independent information on an event of great importance. Minister Store’s evaluation of this predicament is correct. As demonstrated by the reactions to the Goldstone report, much of what took place in Gaza is still disputed between Israel, Gazans themselves, and the international community."