Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Story of Evo Morales

File:Evo morales 2 year bolivia Joel Alvarez.jpg
Although the rhetoric against the left-leaning governments in Latin America in the US media has calmed down since the Obama administration moved into the White House, it is safe to assume that the continuing popularity of these governments and their alliances with those Washington considers enemies concerns the foreign policy establishment. As Argentine journalist Martin Sivak's biography of Bolivian president Evo Morales makes clear, that concern is justified. This book, titled Evo Morales: The Extraordinary Rise of the First Indigenous President of Bolivia, makes it clear that this new generation of leaders is intent on altering the historical relationship between Washington and its neighbors to the South.

Read more

Friday, July 30, 2010

It may be "cat's" crap but it's the world's most expensive coffee and now it's halal too

Indonesia's top religious body has declared a premium coffee made from civet cat droppings fit for Muslims to drink.

The proclamation has brought relief to farmers who can now continue exporting Kopi Luwak, the world's most expensive coffee.
The first time I've heard of Kopi Luwak, was 4 years ago as one Sydney coffee maker was advertising it. A kilo is around 400 dollars US.

Where Did the Money to Rebuild Iraq Go?

The Department of Defense is unable to account for the use of $8.7 billion of the $9.1 billion it spent on reconstruction in Iraq.

Oil Tanker Ship Hit in Apparent Attack Near Strait of Hormuz

Explosion near the Strait of Hormuz damages ship

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines says one of its oil tankers may have been attacked Wednesday near the Strait of Hormuz, the major Middle Eastern transit point for much of the world’s oil.

The Japanese carrier said an explosion “which seemed to be an attack from external sources” damaged the M. Star’s hull as the ship was passing through Oman’s territorial waters west of the strait.

One crewmember was slightly injured, MOL said in a statement, and no oil leaked from the damage.

The vessel, a very large crude carrier on its way to Tokyo for a scheduled delivery Aug. 17, went to the Port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates where it will be checked for damages.

The ship was beyond the Strait of Hormuz when the explosion occurred shortly after midnight local time.

The strait, a transit point for an estimated 40 percent of the world’s oil production, is north of the Arabian Sea region, which has seen widespread piracy in the last two years.

Gaza children shelled with flechette bombs. Two killed

"She came in through the front door and it wasn't clear she was injured. Suddenly a lot of blood came from her nose and she vomited, all of the family saw this -- her little brothers were very scared. She had just been playing in the front of the house."
Read more

Israeli settlers throw out Palestinian family from their home of 70 years

Takeovers have created dozens of Jewish 'outposts' in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem's Old City in recent years
jewish settlers jerusalem
Armed police guard the entrance of the house that was taken over. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli settlers took over a Palestinian home in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem's Old City today, evicting about 45 members of an extended family which has occupied the building for more than 70 years.

The settlers claimed to have documentation to prove they had purchased the building from the owners. The Palestinian tenants, who have been fighting attempts to evict them for many years, were challenging the takeover in court.

A police spokesman said the Israelis had entered the home "based on documents claiming that they owned the property".

According to Mohammed Kirresh, 22, a member of the Palestinian family, "Jewish people and Israeli soldiers with weapons" came at 2am, when most of the family was at a wedding.

He said the family, which had rented the property since 1936, had won two previous court cases challenging eviction orders. He claimed the Israelis had broken furniture and damaged belongings.

"Everything we own is inside – our money, ID papers, clothes, food," he said. Armed police were guarding the entrance to the house.

Around 20 members of the Kirresh family pledged to stay on the narrow street outside the house. "We are staying here," said Mohammed Kirresh. "We hope the court will rule in our favour."

Read more-The Guardian

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"We had great fun at the yeshiva today! We learned that Arabs are animals! Ha ha ha!"

Enjoy it while it lasts, colonist!..

David Cameron faces Israeli storm over Gaza comments

David Cameron was embroiled in an angry diplomatic row with Israel tonight after describing the Gaza Strip as a prison camp for its 1.5 million Palestinian residents. The prime minister drew fire at home and in Israel for remarks he made in Turkey about the need to further ease the blockade of the coastal territory, following the lifting of some restrictions last month. But Arabs and many others will agree wholeheartedly with his words. "The situation in Gaza has to change," he told businessmen in Ankara. "Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp."
Read more
- The Guardian

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

RAUS! The Jewish National Fund wants your lands to grow Jewish trees....

al aruqib 9 0
al aruqib 12 0
More photos of the destruction of Al Araqib here

They destroyed their village and threw them away like used nappies

Ethnic cleansing in the Israeli Negev

Neve Gordon-The Guardian

The razing of a Bedouin village by Israeli police shows how far the state will go to achieve its aim of Judaising the Negev region

Scores of Bedouin men were standing on a yellow hill, sharing their experiences from the early morning hours, while all around them uprooted olive trees lay on the ground. A whole village comprising between 40 and 45 houses had been completely razed in less than three hours.

I suddenly experienced deja vu: an image of myself walking in the rubbles of a destroyed village somewhere on the outskirts of the Lebanese city of Sidon emerged. It was over 25 years ago, during my service in the Israeli paratroopers. But in Lebanon the residents had all fled long before my platoon came, and we simply walked in the debris. There was something surreal about the experience, which prevented me from fully understanding its significance for several years. At the time, it felt like I was walking on the moon.

This time the impact of the destruction sank in immediately. Perhaps because the 300 people who resided in al-Arakib, including their children, were sitting in the rubble when I arrived, and their anguish was evident; or perhaps because the village is located only 10 minutes from my home in Be'er Sheva and I drive past it every time I go to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem; or perhaps because the Bedouins are Israeli citizens, and I suddenly understood how far the state is ready to go to accomplish its objective of Judaising the Negev region; what I witnessed was, after all, an act of ethnic cleansing.

Read more

Oliver Stone retracts: Jews don't really run the media

JFK' director took heat for comments some viewed as anti-Semitic.

Stone issued an apology on Monday afternoon that read: "In trying to make a broader historical point about the range of atrocities the Germans committed against many people, I made a clumsy association about the Holocaust, for which I am sorry and I regret. Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry. The fact that the Holocaust is still a very important, vivid and current matter today is, in fact, a great credit to the very hard work of a broad coalition of people committed to the remembrance of this atrocity — and it was an atrocity."
Read more

Oliver Stone apologizes for saying Jews control the media

Less than 24 hours after Sunday Times interview, in which Oscar-winning director says Hitler's actions should be 'put into context', Stone issues apology.


Gaza is a prison camp, says David Cameron

David Cameron has described Gaza as a ''prison camp'' and appealed to the Israeli Government to allow the free flow of humanitarian goods and people in and out of the Palestinian territory.

Mr Cameron's comments came during a visit to Turkey, where relations with Israel have been strained since Israeli troops stormed a flotilla of ships carrying supplies to Gaza in May, killing eight Turks and one Turkish-American.

Speaking in Ankara, the Prime Minister denounced the attack on the flotilla as ''completely unacceptable'' and restated his call for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to deliver a ''swift, transparent and rigorous'' inquiry.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's all over. Israel bulldozes entire Al-Arakib village..Cattle and trees included..3oo Bedouins homeless and nowhere to go..!

Israeli authorities have demolished the homes of about 300 Bedouins in a village in the southern Negev desert.

The entire village of al-Arakib was bulldozed on Tuesday, with many of the former residents' cattle, trees and belongings lost.

Al-Arakib, which had about 40 homes, is one of 45 Bedouin villages not recognised by Israeli authorities.

Haia Noach, director of the Negev Co-existence Forum, was present at al-Arakib during the demolition and said that at least five Israeli bulldozers arrived around 5:30am (0230GMT).

"It took them about three or four hours to destroy all the houses," she said, describing the scene as "appalling."

Scuffles erupted as the villagers and around 150 rights activists tried to stop the police from carrying out the demolitions, with several people wounded and a handful arrested, activists said.

Speaking from a town near Beersheba, Noach said that many of the residents had moved to a nearby graveyard to find shade.

Read more


Obviously someone with a delicious name like Mickey Rosenfeld has more right to the land than traditional Bedouins who've been roaming those parts of the region for thousands of years..Israel in a nutshell.....A colony..

Resolution Green-Lighting Israeli Strikes on Iran Introduced by House Republicans

Republicans in the House of Representatives have introduced a measure that would green-light an Israeli bombing campaign against Iran. The resolution, H.Res. 1553 (in full below), provides explicit support for military strikes against Iran, stating that Congress supports Israel's use of "all means necessary" against Iran "including the use of military force".
Read more

Juan Cole: Republicans Plot Israel-Iran Apocalypse and the Collapse of the US Economy

It is not impossible that the people behind this resolution are fervently hoping for the Judgment Day to come more quickly and look forward to a Middle East apocalypse as a step toward the Return of Christ and the end of that pesky but temporarily necessary Judaism.
Read more

Israel Hiding Behind The "Iranian Threat"

This renewed exaggeration of an Iranian threat to Israel comes at a time when Israel is clearly being shown to be a strategic liability to the U.S., a fact the Israel Lobby has so far concealed with great success.
Read more

Introduction To Palestinian Cooking

Alessandra Bajec – PNN- This week-end I took part to the third cooking class coordinated by a gourmet cook/nutritionist Sandra Carvalho as part of a project founded three months ago at Aida camp in Bethlehem city, southern West Bank. The project aims to empower women in the camp who have a disabled person in the family to find solutions to their daily problems. The idea initiated from Sandra’s desire to work for women in Aida in partnership with her friend Myriam who had prior experience of social care targeting disabled children as well as many contacts that they could start using. Being a woman is hard in Palestine, living in a refugee camp is even harder, and having a disabled family member is certainly a big issue in this society.
Read more

There you go vza..This is for you..

Brand new car, 'Made in Gaza'

What do you do when you're young, bright and restless, but live in the cramped confines of the Gaza Strip? Some young people in Khan Younes have found one solution -- they've built their own car, piecemeal, from scrap metal found on site.
Read more

Oliver Stone: Jewish control of the media is preventing free Holocaust debate

Outspoken Hollywood director says new film aims to put Adolf Hitler, who he has called an 'easy scapegoat' in the past, in his due historical context.

Jewish control of the media is preventing an open discussion of the Holocaust, prominent Hollywood director Oliver Stone told the Sunday Times, adding that the U.S. Jewish lobby was controlling Washington's foreign policy for years.
Oliver Stone

In the Sunday interview, Stone reportedly said U.S. public opinion was focused on the Holocaust as a result of the "Jewish domination of the media," adding that an upcoming film of him aims to put Adolf Hitler and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin "in context."

"There's a major lobby in the United States," Stone said, adding that "they are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington."

The famed Hollywood director of such films as Platoon and JFK, also said that while "Hitler was a Frankenstein," there was also a "Dr Frankenstein."

Read more

Pearlman, dubbed the "Jewish terrorist" was a Shin Bet agent

Suspect in murder of four Palestinians was Shin Bet agent, Jonathan Cook
NAZARETH // The arrest by the Israeli internal security service, the Shin Bet, of an Israeli Jew accused of killing at least four Palestinians has thrown a rare light on the secret police, including claims that it tried to enlist the accused to assassinate a Palestinian spiritual leader. Chaim Pearlman, who was arrested on July 13, has been charged with murdering four Palestinians in Jerusalem and injuring at least seven others in a series of knife attacks that began more than a decade ago. Police are still investigating whether he was involved in additional attacks.
Read more

Israel Refuses to Allow Spanish Lawmakers into Gaza

Israeli authorities refused to allow four Spanish Socialist lawmakers who intended to visit Palestinian territory to enter Gaza on Sunday. Israeli officials communicated their decision via the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem without offering any explanation, said Fatima Aburto, who is part of the delegation. “We’re indignant. We feel it’s an error for Israel to try and hide the situation in the region. We are not any flotilla, but rather Spanish legislators who have come in coordination with the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East),” Aburto said.
Read more

Hah! You can count on it!

Abbas 'ready to meet' if Israel agrees on borders
Bethlehem – Ma'an – President Mahmoud Abbas says he is prepared to meet with Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu if Israel agrees to the establishment of a Palestinian state on lands occupied in 1967 and halts settlements. Abbas said Saturday evening that no progress was made toward resuming direct talks with Israel in spite of international pressure on the Ramallah-based leadership. "Direct talks without an obvious reference could collapse from the beginning," the president told the Palestinian Broadcasting Corp. on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Uganda.

Read more

Israel's enablers in the M.E

For Israel's UN envoy, diplomacy isn't always in plain view
"How did you manage to create and develop relations with Arab and Muslim ambassadors, despite the diplomatic situation?
"That is the secret of quiet diplomacy, and activity behind the scenes. One of my friends is Egyptian Ambassador Maged Abdelaziz, even though my first husband was killed on the Egyptian front during the Yom Kippur War. I have friendly relations with Oman Ambassador Fuad al-Hinai, whose wife is Oman's ambassador to the United States. I had good relations with Saudi Ambassador Khalid Alnafisee. Qatar's ambassador recently expressed regret at my departure. I am particularly proud of the genuine friendship and closeness that came about with the U.S. ambassador, Rice; that's a wonderful souvenir to bring back to Israel."
Read more

Mossad chief reportedly visited Saudi Arabia for talks on Iran

Account on WorldNetDaily follows series of recent reports on increasing secret cooperation between Israel and the Saudis, including defense coordination on matters related to possible military action.
Read more
As As'ad says: "conspiracy? What conspiracy?"

IDF Report Confirming Goldstone’s Key Findings Is Suppressed Inside Israel, Max Blumenthal

A report quietly submitted by IDF Military Advocate General Avichai Mandelblit to the United Nations two weeks ago regarding Israel’s conduct during Operation Cast Lead confirms the key findings of the Goldstone Report. The report (full version here), which documents 150 ongoing investigations, has outraged the Israeli Army. “It looks as though they were frightened by Goldstone,” remarked an IDF officer. Another military official expressed anger that after a previous IDF report asserting the legality of shelling civilian areas with white phosphorous, a chemical weapon, the Mandelblit report has issued recommendations limiting the munition’s use. “It looks like tying your own hands behind your back. Why should a weapon with which there is no problem be limited?” the official asked.
Read more

62 years of separation..Finally united..

Palestinian family reunites in Jordan after 62 years
Amman, July 26, (Pal Telegraph) Two Palestinian brothers met for the first time after a separation that lasted for 62 years since the catastrophe of 1948 (Nakba) last Friday, in the Jordanian capital Amman. The “Gulf Times” newspaper in its Monday editions reported: "The elder brother, Mahmoud Abdel-Hafiz (82 years), met his younger brother, Mohammed (75 years) at the house of a relative of the family in the area ‘Tabarbour’ east of Amman. " The brothers said that they were separated as a result of the 1948 catastrophe, the widowed took some of her sons to Iraq, Mahmoud left with his mom and kept on moving till he settled in Sweden where he got married and now has 9 children. Mohammed stayed in Acre, he got married and had children.

Read more

Price tag policy: Colonist Settlers set fire to Palestinian fields near Har Bracha

Reprisals continue after Monday's demolition of illegal structures. Settlers set fire to Palestinian fields near Har Bracha, damage two military vehicles. Occupation forces urge settler leaders to restrain residents, warns situation to deteriorate as decision on construction freeze nears.

The Olympia (Rachel Corrie's hometown) Food Co-op Needs Your Support Now!

Just last week the Board of Directors of the Olympia Food Co-op in Olympia, WA, the hometown of Rachel Corrie, took the courageous step of instituting a boycott of Israeli goods, the first grocery boycott of Israel in the US. Already, there is a movement afoot to condemn the Co-op for taking this important stand. Please help us thank the Olympia Food Co-op and its board of directors for supporting human rights in Palestine!
Read more

Alert: Thousands of police evacuating and demolishing the village of El-Araqib in the Israeli Negev

"Thousands of police are in the village of el-Araqib right now – beginning a mass evacuation, demolition, and erasure of this historical Bedouin village. if you have access to the media, please send them to this village as soon as possible! the village of el-Araqib is between Rahat and Beer Sheva, and in a location that the Goldberg commission deemed outside of the areas allowed for the Negev Arabs… an area designated only for Jews… the JNF (Jewish National Fund) is planting a forest on this village lands – to make sure that the Bedouin cannot live on their village lands or use them for agriculture. the villagers turned to the israeli courts, as the JNF were planting this forest at the bequest of the Israeli government, but against Israeli law… the people of el-Araqib won the court battle… but this morning it seems that the Government of Israel has started a war — of the Government against its own citizens. for more information:
Read here

Monday, July 26, 2010

Still raising the flag..

I'm surprised to see that this blog is still attracting some readers (apart from the very loyal few regulars, thank you very much by the way) from as many countries. I was having the impression that it was becoming a small voice in the desert as I was, as you might have suspected, letting go (Too tired, having my art rather neglected, too depressed witnessing on a daily basis the utter inhumanity and depravity in the news that I'm mostly concerned with, no good for my health)...But it's a pleasant surprise and it may even give me the extra motivation to keep going and not abandon the ship as I feel I'd be letting some people down..I'd hate the idea. So..thanks again for the heads up..

Mustafa Barghouti: the rising non-violent movement in Palestine

“… if those who suffered during the Holocaust and died would come back to life, I am sure they will be today supportive of the Palestinian rights, because they would not accept injustice that they were also subjected to.” (Full transcript at Pulse.)

Avrum Burg: Israeli democracy has lost its internal substance

Avrum Burg, former MK from the Labor Party, Speaker of the Knesset, and head of the Jewish Agency, has a new political vision:

The time has come for an Israeli party, a Jewish-Arab party, that will carry the banner of total commitment to equality, without a trace of discrimination and racism. It will be without Meretz’s complications and Hadash’s emotional baggage. A party that will sail far beyond the paradigms of classic Zionism, which to this day ignores the place of Israel’s Arabs. A party that will demand full equality for all Israel’s citizens, the kind of equality we demand for the Jews in the Diaspora wherever they live.

Read more-War in Context

Top settler rabbi arrested for allegedly inciting to kill non-Jews

The head rabbi of a prominent yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar was arrested Monday for writing a book that allegedly encourages the killing of non-Jews.

Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira is the alleged author of the book "The King's Torah," which deems as legal, according to "Jewish law," the killing of non-Jews.

Police began investigating Shapira after an advertisement for the book in a Hebrew newspaper created a public uproar.

Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira in court on January 20, 2010.

Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira in court on January 20, 2010.

Jethro Tull will not cancel concert but will donate proceeds to charities

"We will not be pressured into cancelling our scheduled Israel concert, Ian Anderson, of the famed British rock group Jethro Tull said in a statement recently published in the band's official website, saying that the proceeds of the upcoming show would be transferred to charities advancing co-existence between Arabs, Jews, and Christians.

Read more


Hmm, dude..Maybe you wanted to say, 'Muslims, Jews and Christians', because Arabs can be Christians too.

Will Israel turn into the fascist State of Judea by 2022?

Israeli artist Yosi Even Kama's exhibit on display at Shenkar sees civil war between religious right and secular left only a decade away.

By David Sheen

State-wide censorship of sexually explicit material on the internet. Laws prohibiting driving vehicles on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. Women allowed to bathe in the Mediterranean only a few hours a week. The face of Baruch Goldstein on the 20 shekel bill. A national holiday celebrating our spiritual founding father, Rabbi Meir Kahane.

Sound ludicrous? It's the nightmare scenario of art school graduate Yosi Even Kama - and the subject of his 4th-year thesis project. Any Israeli can step into his dystopia, on exhibit at the Shenkar College of Engineering & Deisgn in Ramat Gan until the end of July.

Read more-Haaretz

David Roberts visit to the "Holy Lands"

Jerusalem/Al Quds
A view of the Lake Tiberiad
When I was 6 we lived three years in the South of Lebanon. My dad used to take us on a picnic on some hill near the Israeli border . He'd point out in the direction of a glittering lake and say, "What you see there is the Lake Tabarayyah, it's Palestine, occupied now by Israel"..I realise today how sentences like these gently introduce one to a whole tragic chapter of history. Apart from this all I can say now is that the whole scenery was of unimaginable beauty..

This page describes the travels and the drawings of David Roberts in the Holy Land outside of Jordan. His drawings of Petra can be seen on another page.

David Roberts (1796-1864) was born near Edinburgh, Scotland. As a child his artistic talent was encouraged by his family, through an apprenticeship to a house painter. He later became a scenery painter first to a travelling circus and later to Covent Garden Opera, all the while, improving as an illustrator. He worked hard to become accepted as a landscape painter and gradually acquired a number of important patrons. He quickly learned the value of sketching "on the spot", and began to lay the plans for a trip to Egypt and the Holy Land to draw the famous ruins and biblical locations to be found there. He believed, rightly as it turned out, that there would be a great market in England and Europe for images of such exotic subjects.

In Roberts' day few persons journeyed much beyond their home town. Travel was difficult, slow and expensive. With photography just in its infancy, printed books of landscape and travel drawings were for most people their only window to the world outside.

The reports of discoveries in the Middle East where the travels of Burckhardt to Petra, to Abu Simbel and to Mecca were fascinating the romantic spirits in Britain and Roberts decided to make a long visit there, sketching and painting as many places as he could visit. Throughout the summer of 1838 Roberts arranged for his travels, withdrawing his savings to pay for necessary expenses. He was not then a wealthy man, and the entire project was very much a gamble. At the end of August Roberts departed for Alexandria, at the mouth of the Nile River, arriving after nearly a month at sea. Armed with letters of introduction to British diplomats and Egyptian officials, Roberts made his way to Cairo. There he would find the necessary help and organization for his travels, and the no less necessary permits and safe conducts. He started by exploring the Nile, hiring a boat and going directly as far upstream as far as possible, then returning at a leisurely pace, making detailed additions to preliminary sketches. On his return in January, he rented a house in Cairo for six weeks, while the preparations for the rest of his trip were finished.

Read more

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A glimpse of Hebron (Al Khalil)

Wikileaks blows the cover off the war in Afghanistan

25th July 2010 5:00 PM EST WikiLeaks has released a document set called the Afghan War Diary (AWD), an extraordinary compendium of over 91,000 reports covering the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010.

The reports, while written by soldiers and intelligence officers mainly describing lethal military actions involving the United States military, also include intelligence information, reports of meetings with political figures, and related detail.

The document collection will shortly be available on a dedicated webpage.

The reports cover most units from the US Army with the exception of most US Special Forces' activities. The reports do not generally cover top-secret operations or European and other ISAF Forces operations.

We have delayed the release of some 15,000 reports from the total archive as part of a harm minimization process demanded by our source. After further review, these reports will be released, with occasional redactions, and eventually, in full, as the security situation in Afghanistan permits.

The Hariri Assassination: Israel ’s Fingerprints, Rannie Amiri

A crackdown on Israeli spy rings operating in Lebanon has resulted in more than 70 arrests over the past 18 months. Included among them are four high-ranking Lebanese Army and General Security officers—one having spied for the Mossad since 1984. A significant breakthrough in the ongoing investigation occurred in late June and culminated in the arrest of Charbel Qazzi, head of transmission and broadcasting at Alfa, one of Lebanon ’s two state-owned mobile service providers. According to the Lebanese daily As-Safir, Qazzi confessed to installing computer programs and planting electronic chips in Alfa transmitters. These could then be used by Israeli intelligence to monitor communications, locate and target individuals for assassination, and potentially deploy viruses capable of erasing recorded information in the contact lines. Qazzi’s collaboration with Israel reportedly dates back 14 years. On July 12, a second arrest at Alfa was made. Tarek al-Raba’a, an engineer and partner of Qazzi, was apprehended on charges of spying for Israel and compromising national security. A few days later, a third Alfa employee was similarly detained. What does any of this have to do with the Hariri assassination?
Read more

Whatever Happens, Israel Can Always Count On U.S. Evangelical tools

Thousands of Christians from across the United States descended on Capitol Hill on Thursday in order to lobby Washington lawmakers on behalf of Israel
Read more

Israel turns upon its own | Rachel Shabi

This week's controversial rape conviction of an Arab man highlights a growing intolerance. Israel's liberal left has been warning about this for decades – and now those cautionary words seem like prophesies. Lines of Israeli authors, academics and campaigners have long said that the ugly occupation of the Palestinian people would corrode Israel and derail its democracy. Human rights advocates repeatedly warned that a nation capable of meting out such punishing discrimination to another people would eventually turn on itself. And so it has.
Read more-The Guardian

Haneen Zoabi: "The largest threat to democracy is Zionism"

Having been stripped of parliamentary privileges for participating in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, Haneen Zoabi describes the "fascist atmosphere" inside Israel. Max Blumenthal interviews for The Electronic Intifada.
Read more- electronicintifada

Gaza children set Guiness world record for basketball

Children in the Gaza Strip have earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Seven thousand five hundred kids all bounced basketballs at the same time for five minutes.

The world record was shattered at Gaza's old international airport, which has been bombed several times by Israeli forces since 2001.

The event, organised by the UN and recent Palestinian college graduates, was designed to bring hope and fun to children in the besieged coastal enclave.

Boohoohoo..The world hates us..

Peres slams 'anti-Israeli majority' in UN (AFP)
AFP - Israeli President Shimon Peres hit out at what called an "anti-Israeli" majority in the United Nations following criticism of Israel's recent raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship.

How Furkan Dogan, a U.S. Citizen, Was Killed by Israeli Soldiers on the Mavi Marmara

"My hands are shaking right now. I just talked to Ahmet Dogan, the father of Furkan Dogan, a few minutes ago. I hadn’t talked to him for a while because the last time I talked to him he was so upset that I felt I had to wait and give him time to deal with his grief. He said he was ready to talk so we talked about the way the U. S. government has been dealing (or not) with him and about how Furkan died on the Mavi Marmara during the Israeli attack on the Gaza Aid Flotilla. For more background information you can read my first diary about Furkan."
Read more-The Daily Kos

New Israeli report on Operation Cast Lead confirms Goldstone report’s main findings

Defense Minister Ehud Barak described it as “false, distorted, and irresponsible“. Information Minister Yuli Edelstein called it “anti-Semitic“. Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren said it “insidiously… portrayed the Jews as the deliberate murderers of innocents“. Foreign Minister Lieberman argued that its true purpose “was to destroy Israel’s image, in service of countries where the terms ‘human rights’ and ‘combat ethics’ do not even appear in their dictionaries“. And the US House of Representatives banded together in bipartisan harmony to pass a resolution (344–36) that called “on the President and the Secretary of State to oppose unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration” of it.
Read more

Message to Israelis who oppose BDS – go to Bil’in and see for yourself, Itamar Shaaltiel

The first time I stepped into a settlement was during my military service. I did a job that let me go home every night, but every now and then we were required to do something they called AVTASH, or SetSec: settlement security. I was a guard in Ganim, in Kadim, in Homesh and in one other settlement whose name I do not recall. Every one of those settlements has been removed since then, as part of the Disengagement. We’d travel there in a military jeep. Somewhere near the city of Afula the officer who rode with us said we had entered Area A, and that we had to load our weapons. With our ridiculous guns we traveled through the car-part stripping facilities of Jenin, along ragged roads, until we came to the settlement. These were “quality of life” settlers and were quite nice, in a superficial acquaintance. I remember Homesh in particular. We were guarding in the winter, and the guard booth was covered with perennial fog that had a metallic aftertaste. Around us were mountains, Arab villages, and rock rabbits. I loved those guarding shifts.
Read more-Mondoweiss

Pastor John Hagee, an Israeli Echo, Gets an Earful from Protesters

On the evening of July 21, 2010, the Pastor John Hagee-led Christians United for Israel (CUFI) held a "summit" at the convention center in Washington, D.C. However, outside, human rights activists from CODEPINK, Jewish Voices for Peace, and others, were staging a protest action. Their press release stated: "That no matter what your faith, you should 'not support' Israel's policies of annexing East Jerusalem, constructing the Apartheid Wall, and laying siege to Gaza." See, "The Goldstone Report," at:

Facing ban, Israeli dairy company leaves settlement

Ramallah – Ma’an – A leading Israeli dairy company has moved its factories from the occupied Golan Heights into Israel and will be allowed to market its produce in the West Bank, the National Dignity Fund announced Thursday. President Mahmoud Abbas, whose government led by Salam Fayyad started the fund, in April banned the sale or purchase of settlement produce in the West Bank, and the deadline to clear shelves of settlement goods is 31 July.
Read more

Aid ships from Lebanon won't reach Gaza

Reuters - Israel warned the United Nations on Thursday that two ships preparing to sail from Lebanon to the Gaza Strip to bring aid to the blockaded territory would not be allowed to reach their destination.
Read more

Friday, July 23, 2010

‘Brown Man’s Burden’ of 1899 was prescient

By Boulos for Mondoweiss

"Every once in a while, I return to Henry Labouchère's poem, 'The Brown Man's Burden.' It was written in 1899 and a response to another, much more famous poem. To read it with the conflict of the last seventy or eighty years in mind (and for that matter, the Second Iraq War) is an interesting experience. An anti-colonial piece, it is eerily prophetic of the shape that arguments and justifications put forth by Zionists have taken.

This is important to keep in mind, too, because there are constant attempts by Zionists to frame the conflict between Zionists and non-Zionists in the Middle East as one between the West and Islam (since all Palestinians are Muslims), or between Reason and Irrationality, or between Life Affirming and Nihilistic worldviews. But this piece was written before Sayyid Qutb was born, before even Hasan al-Banna was born. It was written less than 2 decades after the First Aliyah and when there was still an Ottoman Sultan ruling in Istanbul. Jaffa was still the Bride of Palestine and Tel Aviv had not even been founded.

And it was not even written about the Arab-Israeli conflict. Which makes the anti-colonial critique of the Zionist enterprise and the discourse it has spawned to justify its behavior all the more fitting and appropriate.

Written 111 years ago, it might easily have been written today. There really is nothing new under the sun.

The Brown Man's Burden

Pile on the brown man's burden
To gratify your greed;
Go, clear away the "niggers"
Who progress would impede;
Be very stern, for truly
'Tis useless to be mild
With new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.

Pile on the brown man's burden;
And, if ye rouse his hate,
Meet his old-fashioned reasons
With Maxims up to date.
With shells and dumdum bullets
A hundred times made plain
The brown man's loss must ever
Imply the white man's gain.

Pile on the brown man's burden,
compel him to be free;
Let all your manifestoes
Reek with philanthropy.
And if with heathen folly
He dares your will dispute,
Then, in the name of freedom,
Don't hesitate to shoot.

Pile on the brown man's burden,
And if his cry be sore,
That surely need not irk you--
Ye've driven slaves before.
Seize on his ports and pastures,
The fields his people tread;
Go make from them your living,
And mark them with his dead.

Pile on the brown man's burden,
And through the world proclaim
That ye are Freedom's agent--
There's no more paying game!
And, should your own past history
Straight in your teeth be thrown,
Retort that independence
Is good for whites alone.


Lebanon allows work permits for Palestinians
The Lebanese government has amended one of its labor laws to allow Palestinians to work in areas previously forbidden to them.

Meanwhile in a far away land.....................Iraq

Fallujah children's 'genetic damage'

Cancer, leukaemia and infant mortality are all increasing in the Iraqi town of Fallujah, which saw fierce fighting between US forces and Sunni insurgents.

Qadisiyah Smoking Ban Meets Opposition
Residents say officials should prioritise services rather than anti-smoking initiative.

Restive Iraqi Province to Censure Clerics
Diyala authorities introduce controversial rules to rein in incendiary sermons.

Iraq needs $7 billion to rebuild industry: minister (AFP)
AFP - Improved security is allowing Iraq to rebuild its shattered industry but up to seven billion dollars is needed to help the sector recover from years of war and sanctions, the industry minister told AFP.*

Britain's Clegg says Iraq invasion was "illegal" (Reuters)
Reuters - Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg described the 2003 invasion of Iraq as illegal on Wednesday, putting the new coalition government under pressure to clarity its position on the war.*

Who's Aiding Judaisation of the land?,

Since 1860, when the American Jewish tycoon Judah Touro donated $60,000 -- a fortune for that time -- towards the construction of the first Jewish settlement outside the old walls of Jerusalem, public and private American funds have aided the creation and territorial expansion of Israel. Israel today is the foremost recipient of US aid. According to a USAID green paper, between 1946 and 2008 Israel has received more aid than Russia, India, Egypt and Iraq. In fact, the US has poured more money into Israel than it did into the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. However, a recent New York Times article adds a new dimension to the story. On 5 July, the Times reported that, over the last decade more than 40 American groups have collected more than $200 million in tax-deductible gifts for Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, indicating that the US Treasury is effectively aiding and abetting illegal settlement expansion and the Judaisation of Jerusalem.
Read more

The special relationship has made the U.S. ugly

Scott McConnell
I received one of the coveted invitations to Tuesday’s Nixon Center’s debate between Chas Freeman and Robert Satloff over whether Israel is or is not an American strategic asset. It was a sign of the intense interest in the topic (and perhaps too in Chas Freeman) that, in the dog days of summer, it looked to be the most popular Nixon Center luncheon of the year. The guest list seemed almost scientifically balanced: in apparently equal number were representatives from the sturdy Arabist Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and several more or less like-minded organizations, as well as from AIPAC, the ADL, the JTA. But with one exception, the audience was exceedingly polite throughout.

Read more

Is Israel an asset or a liability to the US? Satloff vs. Freeman

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy's Robert Satloff and the Middle East Policy Council's Chas W. Freeman, Jr., squared off Tuesday at the Nixon Center to debate whether Israel is really a strategic asset or a strategic liability for the United States. Here are some excerpts.
Read more

Non-violence or surrender

Hasan Abu Nimah
One major item on Israel's menu for agreeing to talk to its enemies has always been "renunciation of violence". Under Yasser Arafat, the PLO had to commit to renouncing violence, in addition, of course, to other harsh conditions, before it qualified to exit Israel's rejection list. Among the many other conditions put by the so-called international community to Hamas nowadays is "renunciation of violence". Because Hamas has refused so far to meet such a condition, it remains boycotted by almost every state regionally and internationally, including Arab states. Currently Hamas is not engaging in any form of anti-Israel violence. In fact, the organisation that controls Gaza is strictly observing a unilateral ceasefire with Israel despite the siege and the sporadic Israeli air raids often killing innocent people and destroying private property. Hamas is now often blamed by its Fateh opponents for preventing other resistance groups from attacking Israel.

Read more

More on the rape case

Petty Apartheid - Israeli style
Its amazing how hard Israel is trying to copy Apartheid South Africa. Now an Israeli court has basically enacted a Zionist version of what used to be known in Apartheid South Africa as "Petty Apartheid".

Rape or Racism?

He impersonated a human by Gideon Levy
Now the respected judges have to be asked: If the man was really Dudu posing as Sabbar, a Jew pretending to be an Arab so he could sleep with an Arab woman, would he then be convicted of rape? And do the eminent judges understand the social and racist meaning of their florid verdict? Don`t they realize that their verdict has the uncomfortable smell of racial purity, of "don`t touch our daughters"? That it expresses the yearning of the extensive segments of society that would like to ban sexual relations between Arabs and Jews?

Israeli Arab in rape racism row
An Israeli Arab who had consensual sex with a woman who thought he was a Jew is convicted of 'rape by deception' in Israel.

Arab 'rape by deceit' conviction in Israel defended
The crime of rape generally refers to non-consensual sexual intercourse. But an Israeli court has jailed an Arab man in the country for 18 months for "rape by deception" after having consensual sex with an Israeli woman. Sabbar Kashur had falsely introduced himself to the woman as a Jewish bachelor looking for a long-term relationship before they had sex. The woman accused him of rape after finding out he was Arab. Merav Mor, a director of resource development at the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, defended the court sentencing in an interview with Al Jazeera. Speaking from Tel Aviv, she said that the sex between the two was not consensual because Kashur gave the woman false information. [July 21, 2010]

Israeli Court Calls Lying for Sex Rape, ROBERT MACKEY
A married Arab man who lied to a Jewish woman to get her to sleep with him — telling her that he was a single Jew interested in a long-term relationship — was convicted of rape in a Jerusalem court on Tuesday for the consensual sex the couple engaged in two years ago.

Hamas: US blocking unity deal

Gaza – Ma'an – US intervention in the region has made a unity deal between rival factions Fatah and Hamas "difficult now and in the near future," the Islamist movement said Wednesday. Ismail Radwan told Ma'an radio that "American intervention in the region, the issue of indirect talks, banning residents from receiving passports, and besieging them in Gaza" have all stalled efforts to ratify a reconciliation deal. The spokesman said Hamas was "ready" to sign a deal but said the "continued imposed policies on the ground" is stalling efforts.
Read more

Powerful rebuke of South Africa's Chief Rabbi over Goldstone

The great, strongly anti-Apartheid South African journo Allister Sparks has penned a powerful rebuke of his country's Chief Rabbi, Warren Goldstein, over the latter's strongly expressed criticism of Constitutional Court member Richard Goldstone, and Goldstone's role in heading the UN's fact-finding mission for Gaza.
Read more

Brazil donates $14 million for Gaza reconstruction

Ramallah – Ma’an – Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed a decision granting $14 million for Gaza reconstruction efforts, Palestinian officials announced. During a visit to Brazil, a Fatah delegation headed by Central Committee member Nabil Sha'ath met with da Silva, who applauded President da Silva's positions toward Palestine. “The question of Palestine runs in the blood vessels of every Brazilian. I will continue to fight for a just peace leading to establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” the president was quoted as saying.
Read more

Dissent verboten

Israel launches campaign to halt Lebanon Gaza-bound flotilla
Foreign Ministry instructs Israeli ambassadors to ask senior American, UN, EU and Egyptian officials to pressure Syria and Lebanon to stop latest planned flotilla from sailing from Lebanon to Gaza.

Israeli parliament passes first of three readings illegalizing boycott activism or advocacy

Budrus, the film, tells the people's resistance to the apartheid wall

The story of a people's resistance told in "Budrus"
Director Julia Bacha pieces together a lovely film exploring the evolution of the West Bank village of Budrus' resistance to Israel's wall, and its reclaiming of its destiny. Jimmy Johnson reviews for The Electronic Intifada.

Rebuilding a Demolished Palestinian Home, Ellen Davidson

Rubble covers the tile floor at the site of the demolished home we are beginning to rebuild in the East Jerusalem section of Anata, a Palestinian town divided between occupied "East" Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. Activists from the United States, Britain, Germany, and Iran, reinforced daily by local Palestinian and Israeli activists, have gathered here for the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions' eighth annual summer rebuilding camp. They will spend two weeks rebuilding a Palestinian home that has been destroyed by the Israeli authorities.
Read more

PA sets deadline for banning settlement goods

Ramallah - Ma'an - The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Economy in Ramallah announced 31 July as the deadline for merchants to clear their shops of settlement goods or face legal action. The law prohibiting the sale and purchase of settlement goods was issued by President Mahmoud Abbas on 26 April 2010, with a penalty of two to five years in prison and a fine of no less than 10,000 Jordanian dinars or a combination of the two according to offense.
Read more

Indian Call for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

All signs indicate that Israel is starting to take seriously the threat of Palestine solidarity activists, the types of people brushed off for so long by media and policymakers as marginal and irrelevant. Now, Israel is moving towards the criminal prosecution of those who advocate Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) as tools to press Israeli compliance with international law and norms in its Apartheid rule and occupation of the Palestinian people. As Indian writers and artists call for a boycott of Israel, it is clearly becoming a global movement.
Read more

Pro-Palestinian group sees its struggle as 'Vietnam of our day'

Activists of the International Solidarity Movement have been feeling a sense of victory of late, flush with volunteers keen on breaking Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Read more

Gaza flotilla has roots in pro-Palestinian group

AP - The stream of ships heading to Gaza in defiance of Israel's blockade reflects the success of a pro-Palestinian group that's been creatively confronting Israel for years. High on victory, they are flush with new volunteers.
Read more

Talks with Raphael Nadal and soccer player Casillas for participation in aid ship

'Famous athletes on next flotilla'
Organizers of 'Freedom Flotilla 2' reportedly in talks with leading athletes to take part in sail against Gaza blockade. Potential participants include Spanish national soccer team captain Iker Casillas, tennis star Rafael Nadal.

All-female Lebanese aid ship to set sail to Gaza

Women Prepare to Set Sail Past Israel
BEIRUT, Jul 22, 2010 (IPS) - The 'Maryam', an all-female Lebanese aid ship, currently docked in the northern Lebanese port of Tripoli, is getting ready to set sail for Gaza in the next few days. The ship, which aims to break Israel's siege on the Palestinian territory, will carry about 50 aid workers, including some U.S. nuns keen to deliver aid to the long-suffering women and children of Gaza.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bombshell Report: 550 IDF Officers And Soldiers Interrogated About Possible War Crimes In Gaza

Former Givati Brigade commander Ilan Malka is among the IDF  officers under investigation for war crimes in Gaza

Former Givati Brigade commander Ilan Malka is among the IDF officers under investigation for war crimes in Gaza

On July 18, a bombshell report appeared in the Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot. The article, which has only been published in Hebrew and was buried on page 8 as a small news item, stated that 550 officers and soldiers who participated in Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip in late 2008 and early 2009 have been investigated by IDF military police for possible war crimes. Among them is the former commander of the Givati Brigade, Ilan Malka, who was interrogated for an air strike that resulted in the killing of 21 members of one family in Gaza City. At least one other soldier is accused of using human shields, or “use of neighbor” tactics. In fact, nearly all battalion commanders who participated in Cast Lead have been interrogated regarding their conduct. Maybe Judge Goldstone wasn’t so crazy after all.

Read more-Max Blumenthal

(Thanks Pitirre)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Open Letter to the rotten John Lydon: 'Rise' against Racism

Dear John Lydon (Johnny Rotten), We are academics and students from Gaza representing more than 10 academic institutions therein. Our parents and grandparents are refugees who were expelled from their homes by the nascent Israeli army in the 1948 Nakba. We have since lived in the ghetto of the Gaza Strip refugee camps, like the more than 6 million Palestinian refugees all round the world. They still have their keys locked up in their closets and will pass them on to their children. UN resolution 194 guarantees our right to return our villages. Many of us have lost our fathers, some of us have lost our mothers, and some of us lost both in the last Israeli aggression against civilians in Gaza.
Read more

When confronted with complaints about his next gig in Tel Aviv, the Rotten one replied: "
Until I see an Arab country, a Muslim country, with a democracy, I won't understand how anyone can have a problem with how the Palestinians are treated."
So maybe someone should remind him that Israel is no more democratic than Lebanon, an Arab country, also a democracy, and Turkey, a Muslim country, a democracy too...

The resistance continues in protests across Palestine

Al Ma’sara (Friday 16 July), On the anniversary of the French Revolution, the theme of the protest in Al Ma’sara on Friday was the destruction of the prison in which Israel holds Palestinians captive, redolent of the French storming of the Bastille in 1789. Around 50 demonstrators, both Palestinians and internationals, marched towards the main entrance of the village to call for an end to the construction of the illegal Apartheid Wall and the illegal settlement of Efrat, which surrounds the village and severs the inhabitants from their land. The Israeli army, without any provocation, responded viciously to the non-violent protest.
Read more

Earmarked for expulsion: 35,000 West Bank residents registered as "Gazan"

Amira Hass
There are about 35,000 Palestinians who live in the West Bank but are registered as Gazans. Due to Israel's successful 20-year-old policy of isolating the population of the Strip, they are in permanent danger of deportation.

Read more

The destruction of a nation is well advanced: Israeli minister to lay West Bank foundation stone

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel's interior minister and deputy prime minister, Elie Yishai, is to lay the foundation stone of a new administrative centre for Jewish settlements in the West Bank, his office announced on Sunday. It said the ceremony would take place on Thursday, at a time when the international community has called on Israelis and Palestinians to abstain from any action which could hamper peace efforts.
Read more

Israeli occupation forces planning to demolish 40 houses in Jordan Valley

Israeli occupation forces handed ten new demolition notices to citizens in Bardala village in the Jordan Valley on Sunday bringing the total number of similar notices to 40 since the start of July.
Read more

Barghouthi: 100 Settlement Units Underway in Beit Jala

Israel recently began construction on 100 new settlement units in the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem, Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Barghouthi announced Sunday. The latest settlement construction is underway on Palestinian land in the towns of Beit Jala and Al-Walaja, as US Middle East envoy visits the region for the latest round of indirect talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Barghouthi said.
Read more

Syria Bans the Niqab in Schools

Although no formal announcement was made, local media began reporting the ban in June after women who wore the niqab began coming forward and complaining that they had been fired or reassigned to government offices where they would not come into contact with students. “Education in Syrian schools follows an objective, secular methodology and this is undermined by wearing the face veil,” Education Minister Ali Saad reportedly said during a teachers’ syndicate meeting last month…..
Read more

49 cents a kilo!

At 49 cents a kilo of oranges hitting the stalls today in Sydney, I have no reason to complain but I'm wondering how much the grower/farmer would have been paid for it..How could he be making a living let alone a decent one..I wanted, out of curiosity, to ask the manager at the local fruit store where I purchased them but he was far too busy and I doubted he would be happy to discuss such a matter so I left it there..
Another thing..Bananas, a Queensland produce that has to be transported (fuel costs etc..), were around 60 cents a kilo everywhere last week...(they're at twice that price this week)


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Flying the flag (John Cole-The Times Tribune)


Hardline zionists and settlers warm up to a one state solution


It's an idea for solving the conflict that sounds like a vision of the end of days: Grant Israeli citizenship and equal rights to all the Palestinians in the West Bank. And who is proposing the one-state solution? Right-wingers and settlers

By Noam Sheizaf
"The prospects of the negotiations with Mahmoud Abbas do not look promising. President Obama undoubtedly thinks otherwise, but if Abbas speaks for anyone, it's barely half the Palestinians. The chances of anything good coming of this are not great. Another possibility is Jordan. If Jordan were ready to absorb both more territories and more people, things would be much easier and more natural. But Jordan does not agree to this. Therefore, I say that we can look at another option: for Israel to apply its law to Judea and Samaria and grant citizenship to 1.5 million Palestinians."
Read more
And don't mention Gaza..It's not in the picture..

Settlements dump untreated waste and toxic chemicals on Palestinian villages and farming lands

Israeli settlements have been dumping untreated waste directly into a sewage canal that runs through the occupied West Bank, affecting Palestinian villages along its banks.

The hazard posed is compounded by the dumping of toxic chemical waste on agricultural land, with villagers reporting a rash of skin diseases and respiratory problems.

The Israeli government has banned plans by the Palestinian Authority to build pipes and pumps to treat and divert wastewater away from the affected villages.