Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Daniel Ellsberg: "There is no prospect of any kind of success in Afghanistan"

"...... since we set out to go into Iraq on much the same kinds of lies in 2002 that sent us into Vietnam when I was in the Pentagon, since then, I’ve been saying to officials in the government, “Don’t do what I did. Do what I wish I had done in ’63 or ’64, before we had entered the war, before the bombs had fallen. Don’t wait, as I did, ’til we were in the war and the war was essentially unstoppable, before telling the truth about the hopelessness, understood within the government, and the impossibility—the unlikelihood of any kind of victory there. But do it now.”
Democracy now

It's not just the Vatican, Jehovah’s Witness paedophiles carried out 40 years of rape

A TWISTED Jehovah's Witness raped and molested young girls who followed the faith - telling them they would betray their religion if they talked.

Religious educators upset over schools offering ethics classes in Australian schools, saying it could "undermine" their own teachings.

Concern at new school ethics instruction
EXPERIENCED religious education teachers and volunteers who run scripture classes in schools across NSW have voiced their concerns at the introduction of a new program that aims to teach students "right from wrong''.
Why not science as well? Science is a great "underminer" too..

Gilad Atzmon: Who is the British Dog?

"MK Aryeh Eldad (Israel National Union) doesn’t show much respect to the Brits whom he compares to dogs: "I think [the] British are behaving hypocritically and I don't want to offend dogs on this issue, since some dogs are utterly loyal," Eldad told Sky News.

MK Michael Ben-Ari took it one step further. "The British may be dogs, but they are not loyal to us, but rather to an anti-Semitic system..”

Both Israeli Parliament members Eldad and Ben-Ari seem to agree that Britons are dogs, yet they are somehow annoyed by their dogs’ disloyalty to the Jewish state. One may wonder why do the Israelis expect their ‘British dogs’ to be loyal. The answer is simple. Because British politicians have been very ‘loyal’ and for more than a while."

Words! Words! Words!

(House Demolitions in East Jerusalem)

By Sonja Karkar
'There isn't one I haven't heard' or so goes one of the lines in a well-known American musical. Yet, this time the world is imbuing the words with new meaning when it comes to US/Israel relations. The hope is that at long last the US is going to discipline Israel.
Alas, in the flurry of words, the music has not changed. America seems as much bedazzled by Israel as a parent who is blind to the antics of an over-indulged, demanding child. No amount of insults seems to shatter their illusion that the precious being is in fact a monster.
In their attempts to convince the rest of us not so enamoured, they fail to see that they have allowed their symbiotic relationships to become abusive. Just as the parent can no longer control a child’s obnoxious behaviour, so too America finds itself hamstrung by Israel’s illegal settlement expansion into Palestinian territory and its determination to take and Judaise all of Jerusalem. And while this time there have been some firm admonishments, there have been no follow-up consequences, America lapsing into the same old routine of placating Israel with promises to keep the faith.

Israel Army Kills Palestinian Boy, 15, in Rafah

A Palestinian teenager has been shot dead by Israeli soldiers near the Palestinian border town of Rafah, Palestinian medics say.
Mohammed al-Faramawi, 15, was shot dead close to Gaza's defunct airport, Muawiya Hassanein, the head of Gaza emergency services, said.
Two Palestinians were also killed last weekend in Gaza in the heaviest clashes since the end of the 22-day Gaza war.

BDS: Swedish Pension Fund Bans Israeli Firm

Sweden's biggest retirement fund boycotts an Israeli electronics company involved in the operation of the surveillance system installed on the West Bank separation barrier.

The Israeli army's Elbit Systems has been barred by the Forsta AP-Fonden pension fund in protest to the firm's role in the construction of the "apartheid wall" erected deep inside the Palestinian territories.

BDS to kick off on the 30th of March

Israeli Boycott Campaign- Set to Kick off on 30th March

A coalition of Palestinian solidarity movements are tightening their plans for a major Israeli boycott campaign, set to kick off on Tuesday 30th March. Consumers will be urged to boycott all Israeli products as part of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, in protest of the government's expanding Zionist policies, which has seen tensions rise in Palestine over the past few weeks.

The first activity earmarked for the 30th March is the "Guerilla Shopping" campaign, in which Palestinian activists will be tasked with spreading awareness of the Israeli goods boycott. This campaign will be initiated in Johannesburg, but will be rolled out across the country at a later stage, said Cosatu coordinator Tahir Sema.

"Participants would visit a particular supermarket and select products from Israel. The activists will take the items to the checkout counter and refuse to pay for them - to make a bold statement against Israel. We want people to say they will not buy Israeli products...because the Palestinian blood is on them," he explained.

Land Day in Palestine today

55% of Illegal Israeli Settlers in Jerusalem al-Quds

On the anniversary of the Land Day, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics announces that more than 85% of Palestinian land remains under Israeli control, adding that 55% of illegal settlers reside in Jerusalem (al-Quds).

In a press statement issued on Tuesday, the Bureau stated that according to statistics, the number of outposts, settlements and military bases in the West Bank stood at 440, with the highest number of settlers located in Jerusalem (al-Quds).

According to the statement, the number of Israelis living in illegal settlements in the Jerusalem (al-Quds) governorate — such as the Gilo settlement near Beit Lahm (Bethlehem) — has reached 261,885. Some 198,458 of such illegal settlers live in East Jerusalem (al-Quds) settlements.

In addition, some 23,100 housing units have been destroyed in the occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank and Gaza Strip between 1967 and 2008.

According to a study conducted by The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), some 13,400 housing units from a total of 23,100 were destroyed between 2000 and the end of May 2009 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

These figures, however, do not include "more than 4,100 housing units completely destroyed and about 17,000 buildings destroyed partially in the Gaza Strip during the recent aggression on Gaza Strip in December 2008."

According to United Nation's estimates, there are currently 60,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem (al-Quds) living in buildings threatened with demolition.

The statement added that approximately $50 million in fines have been handed down to Palestinian residents between 2004 and 2008, restricting their ability to construct in Jerusalem (al-Quds).

"Israeli authorities have not only continued their occupation policies of racism toward the Palestinians through the confiscation of identity cards and demolition of houses, but sought in every possible way to restrict the issuance of building permits for the Palestinians."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Israel's blood diamonds and human rights abuses

Seán Clinton, The Electronic Intifada, 29 March 2010

"Every year, consumers the world over unwittingly spend billions of dollars on diamonds crafted in Israel, thereby helping to fund one of the world's most protracted and contentious conflicts. Most people are unaware that Israel is one of the world's leading producers of cut and polished diamonds. As diamonds are normally not hallmarked, consumers cannot distinguish an Israeli diamond from one crafted in India, Belgium, South Africa or elsewhere. The global diamond industry and aligned governments, including the EU, have hoodwinked consumers into believing the diamond trade has been cleansed of diamonds that fund human rights abuses, but the facts are startlingly different."
Israel -- which stands accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, genocide, the crime of apartheid, extrajudicial executions within and outside the territory it controls and persistent serious breaches of the Geneva Conventions -- is the world's leading exporter of diamonds (see Figure 1 above). Israeli companies import rough diamonds for cutting and polishing, adding significantly to their value, and export them globally via distribution hubs in Antwerp, London, Hong Kong, New York and Mumbai.

(Via the Palestinian Pundit)

Iraq squeezed between US and Iran

By Pepe Escobar

More than seven years after the United States invasion vowed to bring "democracy" to Iraq, the neo-conservative who inspired the project may at least relish the guilty pleasure of watching sectarianism win this month's elections - and seeing former prime minister and Central Intelligence Agency asset Iyad Allawi and current Iran-aligned Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki losing out.

....Seven years ago, the annihilation of Saddam's already crippled military machine may have terminated one of those perennial "existential threats" to Israel. As for looting Iraq's fabulous oil reserves, that will be a more complex proposition as Chinese and Russian oil majors are now back in the game (see Iraq oil auction hits the jackpot Asia Times Online, December 16, 2009). Withdrawal or no withdrawal, Washington must remain in Iraq in some muscular way to try to profit from the energy bonanza. Thus the necessity of a huge mega-protected fortress (budget for 2010: US$675 million) disguised as the American Embassy, crammed with more than 10,000 intelligence operatives.

So the stage is set for major fireworks to erupt. Washington's game is to do everything to back Allawi. Tehran's game is to support Maliki, the Sadrists and ISCI inside the INA, and the Kurds against Allawi. In one more piercing irony permeating the whole Iraqi tragedy, if "Saddam lite" Allawi ends up getting nothing, one can bet a basket of explosives that the Sunnis will go literally ballistic.

Sectarianism, not "democracy",rules.

Monday, March 29, 2010

As'ad Abukhalil on Obama's Middle East Policies.Q&A.Part1of4

Prof. As'ad Abukhalil ( "Obama's Middle East Policies: the Persistence of the Bush Doctrine" 23-11-2009 @ Harvard Law School. Q&A 1 of 4
The 4 parts are available here;

Neil Tyson talks about Islam and science

Neil Tyson talks about this period of time when the scientific centre of the world was Baghdad (from the Beyond Belief lectures). People of all beliefs were free to come and exchange ideas, including 'doubters' or what we'd call athiests. Out of this came a great number of scientific discoveries about astronomy, mathematics, medicine, engineering.

However something happened that led to the end of this age of science in the Islamic world. Neil Tyson describes what happened, involving a scholar (Imam Hamid al-Ghazali) who put forth the idea that mathematics was the work of the devil. This plus other things led to the collapse of that scientific tradition, and it has not since recovered.
I suspect that if the thinkers from that period saw the evidence for evolution, they would accept it gladly. Only with this attitude of accepting evidence as more reliable than dogma can a society develop intellectually, as it did in the time of Islamic science, when doubt wasn't blasphemy.

The Science Network:

How the Israel lobby plants hysterical stories in the Aussie media

Antony Loewenstein
"One of the few Australian academics to actually publicly challenge Australia’s deep relationship with Israel and America is Scott Burchill. Here’s his latest missive:

"This mysterious story appeared on AM (ABC Radio) on Friday.

"Just dropped out of the blue. Nothing newsworthy about it. In fact the story is mostly nonsense – including accusations that Iran has chemical weapons. Says who? Even the Israeli government doesn’t make such a claim. Almost identical stories have been broadcast before. I suspect the explanation is that the local Israeli lobby is turning up the heat on the ABC again, after critical stories on Mossad’s identity theft fiasco and bad blood between Netanyahu and Obama. It’s a sympathy trip. No reason for its appearance, other than to portray Israeli citizens as helpless victims of the Islamic terrorist scourge.

When you have an empty stomach, this will amuse. It’s the usual apologetics from [Murdoch "journalist" Greg] Sheridan (earning the prize awarded to him by the local Israeli lobby a few years back). Interesting only as an example of when the radical right here considers it is legitimate to be “anti-American”: when a Democrat in the White House gently chides the leader of the holy state.""

Settlers children and Palestinian children not equal before the law

In the West Bank, there is a two-tiered system of justice, including for minors. For settler children, justice is administered according to Israeli domestic law, with all the due process protections that affords. They cannot be charged as adults until they reach 18, in accordance with the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Israel is a signatory. For Palestinian children, military law applies, and that pretty much means due process, and the tenderness of their years, is irrelevant. Their childhood itself is cut short, both by the circumstances of the Occupation and the letter of military law. Until recently, they could be charged as adults as young as 12 years of age. A recent military order “reformed” that anomaly by setting their age of majority at 16 –still two years earlier than their settler counterparts, and two years younger than required by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. But the reality is that children as young as 12 continue to be arrested and imprisoned in adult military jails. In the majority of cases the soldiers who arrest them say that the children were throwing stones, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

An Unaccustomed Truth: American Commander Admits Afghan Atrocities

Chris Floyd
"One can only assume that the regular editors of the New York Times were all out at a party, or left early for a weekend in the Hamptons, or something -- but somehow, the paper published a front webpage story that stated -- without the usual thousand excuses and extenuations -- that American troops are routinely slaughtering Afghan civilians at checkpoints. What's more, the story unequivocally ties the civilian killings to the "surge" ordered by the noble Nobel Peace laureate, Barack Obama."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Akiva Eldar / The plague of darkness has struck modern Israelites

"One of the harshest of the 10 plagues has smitten the children of Israel this Passover, and they are stumbling about in pitch darkness, bumping blindly into anyone in their way as they head toward the edge of the precipice. Warm friends, cool friends, icy enemies: Jordan and Turkey, Brazil and Britain, Germany and Australia - it's all the same.

And if that's not enough, the myopic Jewish state also has gone and collided head-on with the ally that offers existential support. Israel has become an environmental hazard and its own greatest threat. For 43 years, Israel has been ruled by people who have refused to see reality. They speak of "united Jerusalem," knowing that no other country has recognized the annexation of the eastern part of the city. They sent 300,000 people to settle land they know does not belong to them. As early as September 1967, Theodor Meron, then the legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry, said there was a categorical prohibition against civilian settlement in occupied territories, under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Meron - who would become the president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and is now a member of the Appeals Chamber for both that court and a similar one for Rwanda - wrote to prime minister Levi Eshkol in a top-secret memorandum: "I fear there is great sensitivity in the world today about the whole question of Jewish settlement in the occupied territories, and any legal arguments that we try to find will not remove the heavy international pressure, from friendly states as well."

Following in Switzerland's Footsteps: International Right-Wingers Gather for EU-Wide Minaret Ban

"Delegates from right-wing populist parties from across Europe are descending on Germany this weekend for a conference looking into the possibility of an EU-wide minaret ban. The hosts, an anti-Muslim German group, hope to use the gathering as a springboard to success in local elections."
Spiegel Online

Saturday, March 27, 2010

'Rain Song' by the Iraqi poet Badr Shaker El Sayyab(1926-1964)

Possibly, in my opinion at least but also often stated as such, the greatest poem written in contemporary Arabic poetry. A brief biography here. Btw, if this doesn't draw tears from your eyes, then poetry is not really your thing.

RAIN SONG (Unshoudat ul Matar)

Your eyes are two palm tree forests in early light,
Or two balconies from which the moonlight recedes
When they smile, your eyes, the vines put forth their leaves,
And lights dance . . . like moons in a river
Rippled by the blade of an oar at break of day;
As if stars were throbbing in the depths of them . . .
And they drown in a mist of sorrow translucent
Like the sea stroked by the hand of nightfall;
The warmth of winter is in it, the shudder of autumn,
And death and birth, darkness and light;
A sobbing flares up to tremble in my soul
And a savage elation embracing the sky,
Frenzy of a child frightened by the moon.
It is as if archways of mist drank the clouds
And drop by drop dissolved in the rain . . .
As if children snickered in the vineyard bowers,
The song of the rain
Rippled the silence of birds in the trees . . .
Drop, drop, the rain
Drop the rain
Evening yawned, from low clouds
Heavy tears are streaming still.
It is as if a child before sleep were rambling on
About his mother (a year ago he went to wake her, did not find her,
Then was told, for he kept on asking,
"After tomorrow, she'll come back again . . .
That she must come back again,
Yet his playmates whisper that she is there
In the hillside, sleeping her death for ever,
Eating the earth around her, drinking the rain;
As if a forlorn fisherman gathering nets
Cursed the waters and fate
And scattered a song at moonset,
Drip, drop, the rain
Drip, drop, the rain
Do you know what sorrow the rain can inspire?
Do you know how gutters weep when it pours down?
Do you know how lost a solitary person feels in the rain?
Endless, like spilt blood, like hungry people, like love,
Like children, like the dead, endless the rain.
Your two eyes take me wandering with the rain,
Lightning's from across the Gulf sweep the shores of Iraq
With stars and shells,
As if a dawn were about to break from them, But night pulls over them a coverlet of blood. I cry out to the Gulf: "O Gulf,
Giver of pearls, shells and death!"
And the echo replies,
As if lamenting:
"O Gulf,
Giver of shells and death .
I can almost hear Iraq husbanding the thunder,
Storing lightning in the mountains and plains,
So that if the seal were broken by men
The winds would leave in the valley not a trace of Thamud.
I can almost hear the palmtrees drinking the rain,
Hear the villages moaning and emigrants
With oar and sail fighting the Gulf
Winds of storm and thunder, singing
"Rain . . . rain . . .
Drip, drop, the rain . . .
And there is hunger in Iraq,
The harvest time scatters the grain in-it,
That crows and locusts may gobble their fill,
Granaries and stones grind on and on,
Mills turn in the fields, with them men turning . . .
Drip, drop, the rain . . .
When came the night for leaving, how many tears we shed,
We made the rain a pretext, not wishing to be blamed
Drip, drop, the rain
Drip, drop, the rain
Since we had been children, the sky
Would be clouded in wintertime,
And down would pour the rain,
And every year when earth turned green the hunger struck us.
Not a year has passed without hunger in Iraq.
Rain . . .
Drip, drop, the rain . . .
Drip, drop . . .
In every drop of rain
A red or yellow color buds from the seeds of flowers.
Every tear wept by the hungry and naked people
And every spilt drop of slaves' blood
Is a smile aimed at a new dawn,
A nipple turning rosy in an infant's lips
In the young world of tomorrow, bringer of life.
Drop..... the rain . . .In the rain.
Iraq will blossom one day '
I cry out to the Gulf: "O Gulf,
Giver of pearls, shells and death!"
The echo replies
As if lamenting:
'O Gulf,
Giver of shells and death."
And across the sands from among its lavish gifts
The Gulf scatters fuming froth and shells
And the skeletons of miserable drowned emigrants
Who drank death forever
From the depths of the Gulf, from the ground of its silence,
And in Iraq a thousand serpents drink the nectar
From a flower the Euphrates has nourished with dew.
I hear the echo
Ringing in the Gulf:
"Rain . . .
Drip, drop, the rain . . .
Drip, drop."
In every drop of rain
A red or yellow color buds from the seeds of flowers.
Every tear wept by the hungry and naked people
And every spilt drop of slaves' blood
Is a smile aimed at a new dawn,
A nipple turning rosy in an infant's lips
In the young world of tomorrow, bringer of life.
And still the rain pours down.

Translated by: Lena jayyusi and Christopher Middleton

We'll keep holding on..

The child's character was created in the 60s by the Palestinian artist/cartoonist Naji l Ali assassinated in the 70s. The child became symbolic of the Palestinian tragedy of dispossession and is widely used as is by many cartoonists.. I'm not sure who created this one.

Finkelstein on Israeli propaganda (from the Angry Arab)

"Norman Finkelstein sent me this (I cite with his permission): "I was rereading the Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center's 350-page response to Goldstone: Hamas and the Terrorist Threat from the Gaza Strip: The main findings of the Goldstone Report versus the factual findings. It is such an embarrassment that you almost -- I said almost -- begin to feel sorry for the authors. Because you have read the Goldstone report I thought you would particularly appreciate this. You will recall the harrowing passages in the Goldstone report of Palestinians forced to kneel blindfolded and handcuffed in sandpits surrounding Israeli tanks that are firing away or moving back and forth. So, listen to what this Israeli report conjures up: "Hamas operatives would position innocent civilians near IDF tanks to prevent IDF soldiers from shooting at them" (p. 196). You get it: a "Hamas operative" drags a Palestinian civilian in front of an Israeli tank and then says: "You stand right here to make sure the Israeli tank squad doesn't fire at us." (No doubt the tank squad obliged and stood idly by.)"
It's hard to believe, I know, but this is just a little tiny sample of more than a 60 years worth of unimaginable lies and fabrications..Like in this story for example:

"A Palestinian who was imprisoned for a week says members of the Border Police beat and abused him for hours, then accused him of attacking one of them."

"Attacking one of them"!! Now that one was very hard to come up with, wasn't it?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Transfer made easy: Israeli right winger explains..

Israeli right winger Obadia Shoher's (a pen name for an Israeli politician) final solution for the "Palestinians"(sic) problem..

"To push the Palestinians to emigrate, Israel needs to do a few commonsensical things: disband the subversive (not necessary militant) groups and expel their leaders; close the semi-government institutions (“ministries”) and centers of incitement such as the universities; ban foreign aid; tightly control the foreign remittances Palestinian workers send from abroad; ban sales of gold, which is the major vehicle of investment for Arabs; close Israel to Palestinian migrant workers; impose punitive customs duties on imports from the West Bank; impose retaliatory curfews to disrupt local businesses; cut Palestinians off from Israeli welfare and infrastructure, including power grid and water pipelines; increase land taxes; keep demolishing illegally built houses and those flying Palestinian flags; and take weapons from Arabs to leave them vulnerable to local gangsters. On top of that, expand Jewish settlements to show the Arabs that there is no hope."
Notice that this is exactly what is taking place..Gently and softly..

Obama as seen by the Israeli fascists at 'Israeli Ntional News'

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Dr. Ilan Pappe - Part 1


All Citizens treated equally? Not if you're an Arab in the Jewish state

The discrimination towards Israeli Palestinians must stop
-The numbers speak for themselves: 1.5 million Arabs, Druze and Circassians make up 20% of the Israeli population, but contribute only 8% of Israel's gross domestic product.

The unseen country

-There is a second country in Israel, one that all too many people prefer not to acknowledge. It's the country that contains 129 Arab towns, which make up 11 percent of all the municipalities in Israel.
Survey: Managers think Arab candidates worthy but prefer not to employ them
-While 86% of managers in Israeli industry think there are worthy Arab candidates for management positions, 73% admit they prefer not to employ them.
'They glanced at my resume and sent me on my way'
-Most of accountant Wajdi Biadsi's classmates managed to find internships at major firms while still students. But for Biadsi, from the Arab town of Baka al-Garbiyeh, the process was more difficult.
The sight of me frightens them
-Dr. Riam Abu-Mukh, 31, from Baka al-Garbiyeh, has an impressive resume. She holds not one but two bachelor's degrees from Hebrew University and a doctorate in chemistry from Bar-Ilan University.

Twelve years spent looking for a job

-Boutros Askar, a 39-year-old Christian Arab, has been unemployed in high-tech for 12 years. Askar finished his studies in computer sciences at Tel-Hai Academic College in 1996, but has never found work in the field.

3,000 Arab graduates looked for jobs: Only 170 found one
Israel's keenness to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development presents a golden opportunity for minorities to narrow the economic gap with the Jewish population.

Outbreak of rare disease in the Netherlands

"The Netherlands is grappling with an outbreak of a rare disease. It normally strikes farm animals, but it’s now sickening hundreds of people who have no contact with farms. While most people get something like the flu or pneumonia for a few weeks, some are sick for months, and a handful have died. The disease is caused by a type of bacteria so resilient that the U.S. government considers it a bioterrorism agent."

Fidel Castro on Health reform in the United States

"Truly unusual that 234 years after the Declaration of Independence in 1776, that the U.S. government has passed [a law for] medical attention for the vast majority of its citizens, something that Cuba achieved for its entire population half a century ago"

Bombs kill 42, wound 65 in Iraq town - police says

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Two bombs killed 42 people and wounded 65 at a market in Iraq's northern Diyala province on Friday, shortly before the scheduled release of full preliminary parliamentary vote results, a source at the provincial security office said in updating the toll.

A car bomb and a roadside bomb exploded in the town of Khalis, about 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, the source said.

Allawi's bloc wins most Iraq seats

Iraqiya won 91 seats while al-Maliki's State of Law won 89.

"The secularist Iraqiya coalition led by Iyad Allawi, the former premier, won the most seats in Iraq's March 7 parliamentary election, two more than incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's bloc."
Al Jazeera

Look at this headline ( BBC ) ! : "Israeli troops killed in Gaza border clashes"

Two Palestinians were also killed in the "clash" but that's not worth a mention until further down in the article.

"Two Israeli soldiers have been killed during clashes with Hamas fighters on the Gaza Strip's southern border, the Israeli army has said.

Two other soldiers were wounded during the fighting which broke out east of the town of Khan Younis.

Two Palestinian militants were also killed in the clashes inside the Gaza Strip, sources say.

During the clashes, a BBC correspondent says it appears there may have been an opportunistic bid to seize a soldier.

According to Palestinian sources, Israeli forces used tank shells and heavy machine guns, our correspondent adds."

BTW, in an Haaretz article you discover that the Israelis were 500 metres INSIDE Gaza, but that fact doesn't seem important enough to mention in the BBC article..

300 Hundred Congressional Sellouts Pledge Allegiance to Israel

Nearly 300 Congress members declare commitment to 'unbreakable' U.S.-Israel bond
"Nearly 300 members of Congress have signed on to a declaration reaffirming their commitment to "the unbreakable bond that exists between [U.S.] and the State of Israel", in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The letter was sent in the wake of the severe recent tensions between Israel and the U.S. over the prior's decision to construct more than 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem, a project it announced during U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit to the region."
The French have an expression for this: "Tous vendus" (All sold)

Denny Crane (William Shatner) tells it as it is about Israel

So what's your take on this folks? He looks like he manged to upset the 3 sides here, Israel, "they have a a habit of overreacting", The US who believes they, only, have a right to use disproportionate power and obviously the Palestinians when he agrees that, of course, Israel has the right to defend itself, etc.

Israeli historian Yehouda Shenhav:Any analogy between Palestinian refugees and Jewish immigrants from Arab lands is folly

(Iraqi Jews arrive in Israel, 1949:"We are not refugees.")

(Not a new article, it dates from 2003, but it's always worth it as a reminder of the misrepresentations of historical facts Israeli propagandists resort to..)

Hitching a ride on the magic carpet
By Yehouda Shenhav-Haaretz
Any analogy between Palestinian refugees and Jewish immigrants from Arab lands is folly in historical and political terms
"An intensive campaign to secure official political and legal recognition of Jews from Arab lands as refugees has been going on for the past three years. This campaign has tried to create an analogy between Palestinian refugees and Mizrahi Jews, whose origins are in Middle Eastern countries - depicting both groups as victims of the 1948 War of Independence. The campaign's proponents hope their efforts will prevent conferral of what is called a "right of return" on Palestinians, and reduce the size of the compensation Israel is liable to be asked to pay in exchange for Palestinian property appropriated by the state guardian of "lost" assets.

The idea of drawing this analogy constitutes a mistaken reading of history, imprudent politics, and moral injustice.

Bill Clinton launched the campaign in July 2000 in an interview with Israel's Channel One, in which he disclosed that an agreement to recognize Jews from Arab lands as refugees materialized at the Camp David summit."

Beastly and cruel: Jerusalem Family ordered to Pay Expenses of Eviction from their Home

The Jerusalem Center for Social and Economical Rights (JCCER) reported that the Israeli occupation government police handed Wednesday a Palestinian family from East Jerusalem an order to pay 13.000 NIS, demanding family members to pay the expenses of their eviction from their home.

Members of Majed Hannoun family, from Shaikh Jarrah neighborhood, were forced out of their home last year and were replaced by fundamentalist Jewish settlers.

But now, the settler-run Jerusalem Municipality is asking the family to pay 13.000 NIS for the expenses of the workers who removed them from their homes, and for equipment the municipality used during the evacuation.

The Research and Documentation Unit at the JCCER reported that two other families who were also forced out of their homes in Sheikh Jarrah last year, fear the same measure would be taken against them.

The families of Maher Hannoun and Abdul-Fattah Al Ghawi were forced out of their homes and fundamentalist settlers threw their furniture and belongings in the street

The Jerusalem municipality later moved the furniture to a square in front of the City Hall building in Shaikh Jarrah.

The two families are now living in tents and fear that Israel will also attempt to oblige them to pay the expenses of their evacuation

The Jerusalem Municipality repeatedly removed the tents and tried to force the residents our of Shaikh Jarrah.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Binyamin Netanyahu humiliated after Barack Obama 'dumped him for dinner'

"For a head of government to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of. Yet that is how Binyamin Netanyahu was treated by President Obama on Tuesday night, according to Israeli reports on a trip viewed in Jerusalem as a humiliation.

After failing to extract a written promise of concessions on settlements, Mr Obama walked out of his meeting with Mr Netanyahu but invited him to stay at the White House, consult with advisers and “let me know if there is anything new”, a US congressman, who spoke to the Prime Minister, said.

“It was awful,” the congressman said. One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages”, poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House telephone line. Another said that the Prime Minister had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea”.
Times Online

Furious Angry Arab

The Guardian-UK.
"But look more closely and you'll find that the man identified in the report as Britain's third most influential "pro-Islamic" blogger is actually an atheist based in the United States. As'ad AbuKhalil, a Lebanese-American professor of political science at California State University who blogs as The Angry Arab is furious about it. "How ignorant are the researchers of the Home Office?" he writes. "How many times does one have to espouse atheist, anarchist, and secular principles before they realise that their categorisation is screwed up?"
He suspects that his blog was included because of its name. He rarely talks about religion on his blog, except when mocking the fatwas issued by reactionary clerics."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jemmy "swearing" at the mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barakat

"Today a certain Nir Barkat will be in London to address a conference at Chatham House. Perhaps I should say I believe he'll be in London. Visits by Israelis of Barkat's status tend to be cancelled at the last minute. As I can find no mention of this fellow's appearance among us in the press or on the television I can't be sure.
Barkat is the Mayor of Jerusalem, or the non-Arab part of Jerusalem. He thinks that the whole of Jerusalem should be non-Arab and is busy making it so. He is, you see, an ethnic cleanser and a land thief. Perhaps that's why his visit is not being trumpeted abroad; he must skulk in and skulk out with the help of our elected representatives, our secret police and our news reporters. If he manages to do so it will be public relations success for the Apartheid state, and, no doubt for our media, a victory for common sense and moderation."
Jemmy Hope
Swearing at the Telly blog( c'mon ye'all! go and have a look. You won't regret the wit and the humor)

In the NYT, no less!!

Against ‘Pro-Israel’
Are you anti-Israel? If you fear that, deep down, you might be, I have important news. The recent tension between Israel and the United States led various commentators to identify hallmarks of anti-Israelism, and these may be of diagnostic value.

As you’ll see, my own view is that they aren’t of much value, but I’ll leave it for you to judge.

Symptom no. 1: Believing that Israel shouldn’t build more settlements in East Jerusalem. President Obama holds this belief, and that seems to be the reason that Gary Bauer, who sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, deems Obama’s administration “the most anti-Israel administration in U.S. history.” Bauer notes that the East Jerusalem settlements are “entirely within the city of Jerusalem” and that Jerusalem is “the capital of Israel.”

That’s artful wording, but it doesn’t change the fact that East Jerusalem, far from being part of “the capital of Israel,” isn’t even part of Israel. East Jerusalem lies beyond Israel’s internationally recognized, pre-1967 borders. And the common assertion that Israel “annexed” East Jerusalem has roughly the same legal significance as my announcing that I’ve annexed my neighbor’s backyard. In 1980 the United Nations explicitly rejected Israel’s claim to possess East Jerusalem. And the United States, which normally vetoes U.N. resolutions that Israel finds threatening, chose not to do so in this case.
etc. here

Education system in Iraq. Before and after

"The Education system in Iraq, prior to 1991, was one of the best in the region; with over 100% Gross Enrolment Rate for primary schooling and high levels of literacy, both of men and women. The Higher Education, especially the scientific and technological institutions, were of an international standard, staffed by high quality personnel". (UNESCO Fact Sheet, March 28, 2003)[1].
Global Research

I'm posting this for the remarkable technical skills (first)

CAGE FIGHTER by Matt Davies

Rocket-battered Sderot faces bankruptcy (sniff!)

"The mayor and city treasurer of the western Negev city of Sderot say their town is tottering on the brink of bankruptcy.
Treasurer Shimon Peretz says that the cumulative deficit of the municipality stands at NIS 28 million.

Mayor David Buskila and Peretz claim that the deficit is the result of the cessation in the flow of charitable donations to the municipality, which which ceased with the flow of thousands of Qassam rockets which rained down from nearby Gaza for years. The rockets have mostly stopped since Operation Cast Lead over a year ago."
Let's not forget that "Sderot" was built in lieu and place of Najd, a destroyed Palestinian town whose population was expelled to Gaza..but who cares? Palestine HAD to be destroyed in order to make room for the "wretched survivors of the Holocaust"!

Israeli MKs Eldad and Ben-Ari : British are dogs..

After Britain accuses Israel of cloning passports used in Mabhouh assassination, threatens to expel Israeli diplomat, MK Arieh Eldad compares British to dogs: 'Who gave them right to judge us on war on terror?'
Members of Knesset were outraged with Britain's accusations against Israel over the assassination of a Hamas official in Dubai and its threats to expel an Israeli diplomat from London over the stolen passports affair. MK Arieh Eldad said on Tuesday that the British were behaving hypocritically and compared them to dogs.

Eldad also gave an interview to the British Sky network, and said that a British diplomat should be expelled in response, "maybe the military attaché". British media has been covering the crisis since Tuesday morning.
And fellow MK Michael Ben-Ari shares the opinion:
"when asked if he agrees with the comparison he said, "Dogs are usually loyal, the British may be dogs, but they are not loyal to us.They seem to be loyal to the anti-Semitic establishment.:
Not very grateful I should say..The British GAVE Palestine to the Zionists on a platter..

Ann Coulter speech cancelled after thousands protest

OTTAWA—Security officials have scrubbed American right-winger Ann Coulter’s speech at the University of Ottawa after a boisterous protest prompted concerns for her safety.

10 Facts Every Westerner Should Know About the Middle East

6-Arabs are Semites. We’ve all heard the term anti-Semitism being used — often to describe Arabs. While antisemitism does specifically indicate hatred for Jews, the word “Semite” comes from the Bible and referred originally to anyone who spoke one of the Semitic Languages.

7-According to the Bible, Jews and Arabs are related [Genesis 25]. Jews descended from Abraham’s son Isaac, and Arabs descended from Abraham’s son Ishmael. So not only are both groups Semitic, but they’re also family.

UN Human Rights Council passes 3 resolutions condemning Israel ..Surprise! US votes against..

The United Nations Human Rights Council passed three resolutions on Wednesday condemning Israel over its policies related to what it called Palestinian and Syrian territories, but the United States voted against them all.

A further resolution, calling for a fund to compensate Palestinians who suffered losses during Israel's offensive in Gaza 14 months ago, is expected to be passed on Thursday.
One resolution on "grave human rights violations" by Israel Defense Forces soldiers in the Palestinian territories - which was passed by 31 votes to 9, with 7 abstentions in the 47-member Council - demanded that Israel end its occupation of Palestinian land occupied since 1967.
It also demanded that Israel stop what it called targeting of Palestinian civilians and systematic destruction of their cultural heritage, halt all military operations across Palestinian land and lift its blockade of Gaza.

The United States and the European Union, whose seven members on the Council vote separately but generally in unison, opposed the resolution, with both saying it was unbalanced.

The finger again!:Israel approves new building in east Jerusalem

JERUSALEM - The Jerusalem municipality has approved 20 new apartments for Jews in an Arab neighborhood of east Jerusalem, the city said Wednesday, in a move that could stir a new diplomatic crisis with the United States just as Israel's leader is in Washington on a fence-mending visit.

"Netanyahu decided to spit into Obama's eye, this time from up close. He and his pyromaniac ministers insist on setting the Middle East ablaze."
(thanks vza)

Palestine is entering the mainstream in Australia

"Australia’s 60 Minutes program is a tabloid current affairs program that seems to take an unusual interest in the Middle East conflict.
Last Sunday they featured a piece about the economic and political isolation of Gaza. It didn’t pull any punches and outlined fairly accurately the reality of the situation under brutal Israeli and Egyptian bombardment(sic)."
Antony Loewenstein

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Government ( UK) names most influential 'pro-Islamic' bloggers. (Angry Arab in 3rd place!)

Counter-terrorism research reveals network of pro-Islamic bloggers is smaller and less cohesive than anti-jihadist community

"The top 20 list compiled as a "snapshot" in 2008 includes several based outside Britain but posting on UK politics in English. The top five sites listed are Ali Eteraz, Islam in Europe, the Angry Arab News Service, Indigo Jo Blogs/Blogistan and Daily Terror. Ali Eteraz is the author of Children of Dust – a memoir of Pakistan that was named on the New Statesman 2009 books of the year list – and has been a regular poster on Comment is Free."

Marlene Dumas' new exhibition "Against theWall"

(The Wailing Wall)

(Mondoweiss posted this very interesting bit of news about Marlene Dumas' new exhibition "Against the Wall" at the David Zwirner gallery in New York, as he encourages everyone who can attend to show support)

(My comment)Marlene Dumas, an Amsterdam based South-African artist, though not one of my favorites (who cares?), is a quite remarkable one. I had always found her images, especially the highly sexually charged ones, to be gratuitously confronting and esthetically unpleasant and lacking in sophistication, but I have to appreciate and admire how she had asserted herself as a distinctive and distinguished "voice". Not an easy task..Her following is immense, huge..This is ground breaking and sends a strong message: "Wake up people!"..
A side note..What makes the news even more interesting is that her agents, the famous Saatchi& Saatchi brothers are Zionists..Let's see how things are going to unfold now.

How quickly things turn

Opinions turn favorable on health care plan
"Americans by 9 percentage points have a favorable view of the health care overhaul that President Obama signed into law Tuesday, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, a notable turnaround from surveys before the vote that showed a plurality against it."
Pat Buchanan: "This has been a country built, basically, by white folks"

Fox News, health care, and the right-wing nervous breakdown

"Honestly, unless you've been monitoring the ticking time bomb that is the far-right media in recent days, you probably don't appreciate how frighteningly possible that cultish scenario has become, as the GOP Noise Machine, led by Fox News, publicly suffers a nervous breakdown. It's a mental and emotional collapse that's been advertised in recent days as cablers, radio talkers, and right-wing bloggers have reached for increasingly hysterical, often blood-curdling rhetoric to describe the irreversible atrocity -- an incurable, metastasizing malignancy!! -- that's about to seize and destroy the United States in the form of a bill to expand health care coverage."

24% of Republicans say Obama "may be the Antichrist."

(fleming sent me his photo in case you'd like to see what a "REAL" American looks like)

On the heels of health care, a new Harris poll reveals Republican attitudes about Obama: 67% think he's a socialist, 57 percent a Muslim—and 24 percent say "he may be the Antichrist."
And I know one who believes he's the Messiah! Ha ha.
Bill Clinton on Rahm Emanuel: "I found Rahm. I created him. I made him what he is today. I am so sorry."

Senior commander rejects claims that 2 Nablus youths died of live ammunition. ( You sure?)

The 19-year-old, who was shot in the head, died from his wounds on Sunday morning, Jonathan Pollak, a spokesman for the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, told The Jerusalem Post. The 16-year-old, who was shot in the chest by Israeli security forces, was said by a Nablus doctor to have died on Saturday night. Hours after the second death was announced, some 100 Palestinians protested near the Gush Etzion settlement of Tekoa on Sunday morning.
Thou shalt (not) lie!

The English Defense League(neo Fascists) alliance with Israeli far right

Scores arrested as English Defence League and anti-fascists clash in violent street protests
More than 70 people were arrested during clashes between right-wing and anti-fascist protesters which brought a town centre to a standstill.

Dershowitz explains how the Cosa Nostra should work

Before we go any further, no. AIPAC doesn't rule America. Nor does AIPAC determine US foreign policy. Capital rules the US, the world, and hence also US policy towards the world, which is all about extraction and domination, and is hostile, not just to the Palestinian people, but to people in general, everywhere and anywhere, but especially if they fail to meet the appropriate standards of docility. Capital hates all people, but it also welcomes people hating each other: it color codes people so that different people can be consumed differently, and some can be the slaves of others.

AIPAC, however, is part of the way capital rules the world, and the fact that it doesn't rule the world by itself is not a get-out-of-jail card. AIPAC is a criminal organization. That the people of the US allow it to hold conferences is a mark of American un-freedom. Of course, the same is true about Congress. Looking for criminals in Washington is like looking for the wicked in Sodom. The embarass de richesse! God was merely practical when he reversed course and searched for the handful of the just instead.

Now watch Dershowitz, the consiglieri of the Cosa Nostra, in the above clip. Watch his authority, and how the wretched J-Street guy defers to him and stands before him like a pupil sent to the headmaster's office. This is the "alternative" to AIPAC? It isn't even funny.

I don't know if Dershowitz really jerks off to clips of phosphor bombs falling on Gaza as Latuff suggested, but that Dershowitz is a liar, a bully, a plagiarist and an impostor is public knowledge. He is also someone whose recent arguments about the Palestinian "responsibility" to the holocaust sunk to the level of historical Nazi propaganda about Jews. Anybody who stands near Dershowitz and nods and doesn't hold their nose is showing by this very behavior that they have no integrity, no principles, no ethics and are nothing but a sorry excuse of a biped, the kind of biped that would feel at home at an AIPAC conference, or anywhere else in Washington.
Jews Sans Frontieres
I don't know who's "Cosa Nostra" and who's not but I know they're both crooks. Did you see their tie/shirt combo? Espescially that J streeter! pfeeh!

Study: Settlements have cost $17 billion

According to the study, Israeli settlements are home to 868 publicly owned facilities occupying 488,769 square meters.

These include 127 synagogues that cover 94,848 square meters, 96 ritual baths over a territory of 10,755 square meters, 321 sports facilities over 382,867 square meters, 344 kindergartens over 91,353 square meters, 211 schools over 296,933 square meters, 68 yeshivas over 100,943 square meters and 21 libraries over 8,962 square meters.
Thou shalt (not) steal.

Britain expels Israeli diplomat over Dubai passport row

Sky's foreign affairs editor Tim Marshall said the Government was not taking action over the assassination, but the duplicated documents.
"The Government believes they have compelling evidence that those passports were cloned, probably by some arm of the Israeli state.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tell me again. Who made the desert bloom?

A very interesting post on Lawrence of Cyberia blog in regards to that myth/cliche that the Israelis "made the desert bloom" and she asks the question: Who really made the desert bloom?..Also posted is an extensive survey the British Mandate authorities carried out in support of the work of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine. The results were published in the Survey of Palestine, which has been scanned and made available online by Palestine Remembered: The documents are staggering, something the hasbara PRs and markteers wouldn't like you to discover..

***"The British government survey found that in 1944-45 Palestine’s farmers produced approximately 210,000 tons of grain.
About 193,400 tons of that grain were cultivated on Palestinian farms; about 16,600 tons were cultivated on Jewish farms.

***The survey found that in 1944-45 Palestine’s farmers produced approximately 143,000 tons of melons.
About 136,000 tons of those melons were cultivated on Palestinian farms; a little over 7,000 tons were cultivated on Jewish farms.

***The survey found that in 1944-45 Palestine’s farmers produced approximately 1,683 tons of tobacco, on 28,169 dunams of land. Virtually all the land under tobacco cultivation was Palestinian.

***The survey found that in 1944-45 Palestine’s farmers produced approximately 40-50,000 tons of grapes, and between 3-4 million litres of wine. About 86% of the land that produced these products was owned and cultivated by Palestinians.

***The survey found that in 1944-45 Palestine’s farmers produced approximately 79,000 tons of olives.
About 78,000 tons of those olives were cultivated on Palestinian farms; a little over 1,000 tons were cultivated on Jewish farms.

***The survey found that in 1944-45 Palestine’s farmers produced approximately 8,000 tons of bananas.
About 60% of the land that produced these bananas was owned and cultivated by Palestinians.

***The survey found that in 1944-45 Palestine’s farmers produced approximately 245,000 tons of vegetables.
About 189,000 tons of those vegetables were cultivated by Palestinian farmers; about 56,000 tons were cultivated by Jewish farmers.

***The survey found that in 1944-45 Palestine’s farmers produced approximately 245,000 tons of vegetables.
About 189,000 tons of those vegetables were cultivated by Palestinian farmers; about 56,000 tons were cultivated by Jewish farmers.
So, on the eve of the partition resolution, in which the United Nations proposed to allocate 55 percent of the land to Jewish Palestine (including those parts that produced most of Palestine's leading crops, with the sole exception of the olive crop), and 45% to Arab Palestine, Palestinian Arabs were producing:

92% of Palestine’s grain
86% of its grapes
99% of its olives
77 % of its vegetables
95% of its melons
more than 99% of its tobacco
and 60% of its bananas.

Palestine's agricultural produce at that time had an annual value of approximately 21.8 million pounds sterling; 17.1 million of which was produced by Arab cultivation, and 4.7 million by Jewish cultivation.

So, who made the desert bloom?

Planet AIPAC: Obama should declare ‘I’m a Zionist,’ Goldstone is ‘token court Jew,’ and please don’t boo Hillary

"AIPAC is more out of touch than ever. It’s glaring/weird. Look, even The New Yorker is giving props to J Street, which termed Obama’s response to Netanyahu "appropriate;" but AIPAC is in complete denial about the settlements and the Gaza war. The tenor of the first day was almost purely defensive, all about what a technological miracle Israel is, making a barren country bloom, with the occasional spiteful comment about Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinians being responsible for their serfdom. At the end they brought out Alan Dershowitz to denounce what is (truly) the greatest threat to Israel, the recent reports that Biden and Petraeus look on the special relationship as endangering American lives. Dershowitz said this was a lie, that it’s Islamic extremists who endanger American lives because they hate our freedom. That line felt like a time warp. He invoked the names Walt and Mearsheimer a half dozen times, along with Goldstone, Joe Klein, and Roger Cohen. The five horsemen of delegitimization. Dershowitz did not fail to be vicious towards Goldstone, calling him the U.N.’s "token court Jew," who when the report was challenged, issued the "ad hominem" argument, But I’m a Jew, my daughter lived in Israel. That is horse manure. I’ve never heard Goldstone say such a thing as an answer to factual/legal criticisms of his report."

Arab family denied right to rent home

Jonathan Cook
The National
March 21. 2010
NEVATIM, ISRAEL // The Zakai and Tarabin families should be a picture of happy coexistence across the ethnic divide, a model for others to emulate in Israel.

But Natalie and Weisman Zakai say the past three years – since the Jewish couple offered to rent their home to Bedouin friends, Ahmed and Khalas Tarabin – have been a living hell.
“I have always loved Israel,” said Mrs Zakai, 43. “But to see the depth of the racism of our neighbours has made me question why we live in this country.”
Three of the couple’s six dogs have been mysteriously poisoned; Mrs Zakai’s car has been sprayed with the words ”Arab lover” and the windows smashed; her three children in school are regularly taunted and bullied by other pupils; and a collection of vintage cars in the family’s yard has been set on fire in what police say was an arson attack.

Mental disease and the AIPAC crowd

"An elderly couple from Florida (present at the AIPAC convention) were agitated by recent events (Obama's administration being "tough" on Israel). The wife explained that she had fled Nazi Germany as a child for Shanghai. “There are parallels,” she said. “This is depressing. It’s scary.” She said that she had argued with her liberal friends during the campaign about Obama’s associations with anti-Israel figures. “My mother always said where there is smoke, there is fire,” she explained, then added wearily, “They didn’t listen.” She bemoaned the fact that Jews’ political activities are fragmented on issues like global warming. “There are plenty of people to do that,” she said. “Where are they on Israel?”
I understand your concerns but I can assure you, there are no Nazis hiding under your bed! They're on your side now..

Hillary, speaker at the AIPAC convention, says, the occupation is hurting the US around the world

Philip Weiss
"I think there was much to celebrate in Hillary Clinton’s speech to AIPAC. Couched in the usual pandering of the special relationship forever, and sanctions that "bite" Iran, she made a point of breaking the news to American Jews that the "status quo is unsustainable." Yes, she said this had to do with "demographics," a veiled form of racism involving the Palestinian birthrate, but she mentioned the "occupation," and the "humanitarian crisis" in Gaza, and the inhuman blockade, and the need for Palestinians to have a "partner" for negotiation.

Most significant, it seemed to me, was her statement that in the ’90s she traveled the world and no one talked about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Now everywhere she goes it’s all that other countries want to talk about, first or second or third on the list of issues. "We cannot escape the impact of mass communications." The internet. You and me…"

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Iraqi PM's call for recount rejected

ABC News
Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki's called for a nationwide recount of votes from the country's March 7 parliamentary election has been rejected by the country's electoral authority.
Mr al-Maliki had been warning the country could return to violence if his demand was not met.
The call came after new results from the electoral commission showed on Saturday secularist challenger Iyad Allawi edging ahead of Maliki's bloc by about 8,000 votes with about 93 per cent of the counting complete.
Iraqi president Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, also issued a statement on Sunday asking the Independent High Electoral Commission for a recount in some provinces.

Left defeats Sarkozy’s conservatives

"President Nicolas Sarkozy's party took a severe drubbing from French voters Sunday in nationwide regional elections that were his last big national test before he seeks re-election in 2012.

As polling stations closed, initial estimates gave Socialist-led opposition electoral alliances some 54 percent of the vote, Sarkozy's right-wing UMP 36 percent and the far-right National Front just under nine percent."
If confirmed, the estimates -- based on samples of cast ballots by polling agencies -- leave Sarkozy's supporters in control of only one of France's 22 mainland regions, their right-wing stronghold of Alsace.
Looks like a beating.. My impression is that Sarkosky and his cronies got up so many peoples' noses...(Not a profound analysis, I know, but it wasn't meant to be, I'm busy eating a sandwich)

Israelis are behaving like spoiled rich brats

By Udi Aloni

The terrifying specter of non-violent resistance to the occupation and the apartheid regime is hovering over the State of Israel, and all the state's dignitaries have been recruited to battle it.

This non-violent resistance operates both in areas under Israel's reign of control, in the form of a popular struggle on both sides of the green line, and across the globe, through the Israeli and international affirmative response to the Palestinian call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions on Israel, until it ends the occupation and grants full equality to people from both nations living under its rule.
As an act of solidarity with the subjugated Palestinian people, a group of Jewish Israelis has decided to join those Palestinians who have chosen the non-violent struggle for civic and national justice.
This act has given politically conscientious Jewish Israelis a golden opportunity to join a campaign against their own government without forsaking their own people. Indeed, this act leads the way towards a broader joint struggle with the oppressed people, through a rebuilding of our fundamental human values, enabling us to do away with the friend/foe dichotomy, which lies at the root of Israeli racism and anxiety.

'Current Knesset is the most racist in Israeli history'

By Jack Khoury and Dana Weiler-Polak, Haaretz
"The Israeli government passed at least 21 bills aimed at discriminating against the country's Arab citizens making the current Knesset as being the most racist Israeli parliament since the country's founding, according to a report released Sunday by civil rights groups."

Two Palestinians shot dead by Israeli troops near Nablus

Two teenagers killed day after boys, 15 and 17, shot in village
The deaths bring to five the number of people killed in the region in the past week.

Obama won't restrain Israel - he can't

Rupert Cornwell-The Independent
His error has been not to think through the clout of America's pro-Israel lobby
All you can say is, we've been here before. "Who the **** does he think he is? Who's the ******* superpower here?" Bill Clinton spluttered in fury to his aides back in 1996. The "he" in question was Benjamin Netanyahu, then as now the Prime Minister of Israel.
Barack Obama, a cooler character than the last Democrat to be president, may not have used quite such salty language about the behaviour of the current Netanyahu government that has so incensed the US. One thing though may safely be predicted. Mr Netanyahu will get away with it.

I wasn't aware of Bill Clinton's salty words but this raises the question. How could he, Clinton, knowing what was going on, go on with an unrelented ass licking that caused so much harm to the Palestinians and others in the region for so many years..The lobby and its influence can't be the sole explanation for this phenomenally obscene display of cowardice ..

"This Time We Went Too Far", Norman Finlelstein's new book

This comment from the Angry Arab on Finkelstein

"Norman Finkelstein's enemies will suffer series of heart attacks when they read his latest book, which is not published yet. "This Time We Went Too Far: Truth and Consequences of the Gaza Invasion" (which will be out soon, but I read a pre-publication copy last night) is a powerful and devastating dissection of the Israeli war crime festival in Gaza. Norman is at his best, and he marshals all the facts and use them in a most effective way. It is a succinct summary of the Israeli methods of war and propaganda. The polemical skills of the authors are as sharp as ever. Now, Norman had warned me that I will not like the conclusions and he was right: I cant stand for the Gandhian methods of struggle: in fact, my reaction to the Gandhian methods of resistance as a recipe for Palestinian struggle is probably not different from Mrs. Gandhi's reaction to Mahatma's explanation to her regarding his methods of "testing" his chastity. I also bitterly oppose the two-state solution. But Norman is a special case: I am not normally tolerant of disagreements regarding Palestine, but the man has paid his dues and his services to the anti-Zionst, anti-Israeli cause have won him a special place in the struggle for Palestine."

Sussex Student Union vote to boycott Israel

Sussex Students’ Union first in UK to boycott Israeli goods
"On Wednesday 28th of October the University of Sussex Student Union voted in line with the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS to boycott Israel. The movement calls upon Israel to respect international law and end the occupation of Palestine.

The referendum result mandates the Students’ Union to remove all Israeli produce from its stores, and review its sources for food outlets. The vote was one of the largest and most closely-contested in the Union’s history, with 562 voting in favour of the boycott and 450 voting against it."

Avi Shlaim: Cut off the cash and Israel might behave

President Netanyahu is undermining US interests. The sooner President Obama makes his support conditional, the better
"Israelis are not renowned for their good manners, but their treatment of Vice-President Joe Biden during his recent visit to their country went beyond chutzpah. Biden is one of Israel's staunchest supporters in Washington, and the purpose of his visit was to prepare the ground for the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. An official announcement that Israel planned to build 1,600 new Jewish settler homes in East Jerusalem scuppered the talks, alienated the Palestinians, and infuriated Biden. It was a colossal blunder that is likely to have far-reaching consequences for the special relationship between the two countries."
The Independent

Netanyahu sparks Germany's anger in latest East Jerusalem construction spat

During the crisis between Israel and the U.S. administration last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to anger German Chancellor Angela Merkel, too, after his office gave the media details of a phone conversation between the two leaders on construction in East Jerusalem. Merkel said that Netanyahu had "used" her and undermined her trust in him.

Merkel and Netanyahu spoke last Saturday, several hours after the phone call in which U.S. Secretary State Hillary Clinton reprimanded the prime minister. A senior German source who requested anonymity said Merkel had called Netanyahu after a request from the White House. The Americans requested her involvement to stress that it was not only the United States that disagreed with the construction in East Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo neighborhood.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Meet the Jewish Taliban

Teenage couples have become common in various West Bank settlements as young people grow more religiously extreme, and try to return to their ancestral values and lifestyles: simple and agricultural, and marrying young.

Clinton: Decision to escalate row with Israel 'is paying off'

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday that the Obama administration's decision to ramp up pressure on Israel over construction of Jewish homes in East Jerusalem was bringing results.
Show me the money..

Israel's U.S. envoy, Oren: 'No one can force us to make peace'

"Any outside attempt to impose a deal would be like 'forcing somebody to fall in love', says ambassador."
Give peace a chance, Michael..You may grow up to like her..
BTW, this is the fellow who, in his "debate" with the Angry Arab spent the first 10 minutes of his speech talking about Israel's love for peace! VOMIT!

New Possibilities for Australia

We’ve had our snout up Uncle Sam’s bum for 65 years
"On sunny days at Bondi beach cheerfulness abounds: toddlers delirious with buckets and spades, jocks tossing balls, Japanese tourists flinging off shoes, board riders slicing the foam. Our prime minister, Kevin Rudd, is highly educated, hardworking and smart, a bit of a goody-goody and no friend of edgy art. His government’s policies seem to have shielded Australia from the worst of the financial meltdown. Rudd speaks fluent Mandarin and never sleeps. When he flies to New York his first lunch date is with Rupert Murdoch, whose neocon tentacles grip the West by the balls. Our sole national newspaper, the Australian, a filtered version of Fox News, proclaims on the masthead that it’s “the heart of the nation,” though it reads like the soul of Murdoch. Israel can do no wrong, terror stalks our doorstep, refugees are poised to invade! Never mind that many are fleeing the wars we backed and that more will arrive as the sea levels rise."

Turkish PM: why pressure Iran, not nuclear Israel?

Erdogan: countries with nuclear weapons not in moral position to lecture other nations on nuclear.
LONDON - Turkey's prime minister said Tuesday it was "only rumours" that Iran was making nuclear weapons, stressing Tehran's right to develop civilian atomic power.

Speaking before meeting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in London, Recep Tayyip Erdogan also questioned why countries like Israel did not face calls from the international community to disarm, while Iran did.

Finkelstein as you've never seen him..Confronting Zionist hecklers' show of tears at Waterloo university

Dr Norman Finkelstein's appearance at the University of Waterloo was a combative one with lots of heckling and cheering throughout the speech. As we've come to expect, he delivered a blistering message on Israel that was the polar opposite of the mainstream mantra
And when an audience member tried to guilt him with a show of tears because he used the "Nazi" word, Finklestein would have none of it. He dismissed her emotional outburst as "crocodile tears.
If you have never seen what Zionism as a pathology does to people, watch the woman at the front..

Jonathan Tasini, a senator and a candidate, Joins Criticism of Israel Building, Calls For End to Gaza Blockade

"I speak out not just as a candidate for public office. I speak as a Jew. I speak out as the son of a father who was born in Palestine, and who fought in the Jewish underground. I speak as someone who has had family members killed in the decades-long conflict, and who has lived in Israel and witnessed violence first-hand. And I speak as someone who has many family members still living there—and, therefore, I will not rest nor be silent, as a candidate and as a U.S. Senator, until our government is clearly an unstinting supporter of a two-state solution and is willing to speak up when international law is violated."

"Netanyahu says his nation's security is his top priority. Too bad he's undermining it."

By Fareed Zakaria | NEWSWEEK
"But this crisis hasn't been caused by just one event—the announcement, while Vice President Joe Biden was visiting Israel, to approve new Jewish housing units in East Jerusalem. It caps a year of increasingly strained relations between Washington and Tel Aviv. And while he's apologized for the ill-timed announcement, Netanyahu remains unyielding. In fact, the Israeli press has reported plans to build not merely the 1,600 units announced last week, but 50,000."

I'm not the messiah, says food activist – but his believers do not believe him

"What he had written off as gobbledygook suddenly turned into something altogether more bizarre: he was being lauded by members of an obscure religious group who had decided that Patel – a food activist who grew up in a corner shop in Golders Green in north-west London – was, in fact, the messiah.

Their reasoning? Patel's background and work coincidentally matched a series of prophecies made by an 87-year-old Scottish mystic called Benjamin Creme, the leader of a little-known religious group known as Share International. Because he matched the profile, hundreds of people around the world believed that Patel was the living embodiment of a figure they called Maitreya, the Christ or "the world teacher"."

Israel is only defending itself against terror: Army shoots dead stone throwing teen

Israeli forces have killed a Palestinian teenager during violent clashes in the occupied West Bank, medics have said.

Muhammad Qadus had been taking part in a demonstration on Saturday, in which stones were thrown at Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Nablus.
The Israeli military said the soldiers did not fire live ammunition, ( yeah, right!) but used riot control weapons such as teargas and rubber-coated bullets to disperse the Palestinians who were approaching a nearby Jewish settlement.
in depth
However, sources have told Al Jazeera that Qadus was shot and killed by two live bullets to his chest.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon: Israeli settlement building must stop..It's illegal

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said Israeli settlement building anywhere in occupied territory is illegal and must stop.

Mr Ban is in the Middle East to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders and press them to resume peace talks.

Revealed: Tony Blair’s secret oil links to Middle East

"Tony Blair's secret links to Gulf oil giants were revealed today as fresh details emerged of his “carte blanche” support for George Bush's Iraq war.
The former prime minister has been in the pay of the Kuwaiti government and a South Korean oil firm for up to 18 months, a parliamentary watchdog has revealed.

In a further revelation, a classified memo from Mr Blair to President Bush showed the full extent of his support for the toppling of Saddam Hussein.

The personal note — which has been seen by the Chilcot Inquiry but not released by the Government — shows that Mr Blair wrote: “You know, George, whatever you decide to do, I'm with you.”

Protests Engulf The West Bank And East Jerusalem

Since Israeli authorities blocked checkpoints connecting Jerusalem with the West Bank, coinciding with the announcement of 1,600 new illegal settlement constructions and plans to renovate Hurva synagogue, chaos has disfigured the holy city. In the Old City, Eisawiya, Shu’fat Camp, Wadi Al Joz and Qalandiya young Palestinians have been and still are loudly defying the latest attempts to eradicate them from their capital. Despite a record number of soldiers, policemen and secret operatives working around the clock to crush protests, the streets remain crowded with young men and women whose determination to resist humiliation and racism outweighs their fear of brutal punishment.

Meanwhile the popular resistance has lent its support to their efforts. People of Bi’lin ignored the occupation forces’ declaration that their homes are to be considered closed military zones. Again the crowds marched peacefully through the streets to the apartheid barrier, shouting the undying message: This is our land. The Israeli statement was proved hollow. Soldiers scarcely opposed demonstrators and no arrests were made. It will take more than sheets of paper to break the resolve of people who have been shot, robbed and terrorised for generations.

Rachel Corrie's killing: Investigator Admits Failures in the Military Investigation

An Israeli military police investigator, who was part of the team that investigated Rachel’s killing, testified today. In his testimony he stated that:

•He never inspected the site where the killing occurred; nor did he ever sit inside the D9 bulldozer to see for himself the view the driver had and what the field of vision was.

•He admitted that the Israeli military’s D9 bulldozer regulations state that the D9s should not be operated with civilians in close proximity. He failed to question the bulldozer driver about these regulations or make them part of the military police investigation file.

•He received a court order authorizing Rachel’s autopsy under the condition that an official from the U.S. Embassy be present, and at the time informed the court that the condition would be upheld. Subsequently, he made no effort to ensure that this condition was upheld, nor does he know if anyone else did, stating he did not consider the follow-up his responsibility. He also failed to forward the final autopsy report to the court, even though this was required, stating that his commander did not require him to do so and that he simply “did not pay attention” to the court order. Dr. Hiss ultimately performed the autopsy without an American Embassy official present.

•To his knowledge, no ISM member was arrested the afternoon of March 16 for interfering with Israeli military activities. American eyewitness Gregory Schnabel, the fourth and last eye-witness called to testify, also testified today, providing his account of the killing of Ms. Corrie. Gregory testified that he saw Rachel climb to the top of the pile of dirt being pushed by the bulldozer and that she was visible to the driver. He also testified that a bulldozer had come close to himself and another ISM member that afternoon, stopping just short of hitting them, which led him to believe that the demonstrators were visible to the driver.
In other words, their "investigation" was all BULL!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Documenting the destruction of Palestine one bit at a time starting with the village of Um al Shuqaf

(I find it frustrating that the video is displayed cropped at the right side of the screen. Nothing I can do about it unless I change the template( bother!). For a better vision click anywhere on the video and the page will open directly in YouTube where you can even watch it full screen.)

This video is the first in a series that I'll be posting documenting the largely unknown history of the Nakba..It boggles the mind that for more than 60 years few people have been exposed to the Palestinian narrative so overwhelmed they were by the largely hasbaric, propaganda like Israeli/Zionist narrative..As I said, it's going to be one small bit at a time, this is not something that can be digested otherwise..