Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How to Kill Goyim and Influence People: Israeli Rabbis Defend Book's Shocking Religious Defense of Killing Non-Jews

A rabbinical guidebook for killing non-Jews has sparked an uproar in Israel and exposed the power a bunch of genocidal theocrats wield over the government.
As soon as it was published late last year,Torat Ha'Melech sparked a national uproar. The controversy began when an Israeli tabloid panned the book's contents as "230 pages on the laws concerning the killing of non-Jews, a kind of guidebook for anyone who ponders the question of if and when it is permissible to take the life of a non-Jew." According to the book's author, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, "Non-Jews are "uncompassionate by nature" and should be killed in order to "curb their evil inclinations." "If we kill a gentile who has has violated one of the seven commandments… there is nothing wrong with the murder," Shapira insisted. Citing Jewish law as his source (or at least a very selective interpretation of it) he declared: "There is justification for killing babies if it is clear that they will grow up to harm us, and in such a situation they may be harmed deliberately, and not only during combat with adults."
In response to the rabbis' public rebuke of the state's legal system, the Israeli Attorney General and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kept silent. Indeed, since the publication of Torat Ha'Melech, Netanyahu has strenuously avoided criticizing its contents or the author's leading supporters. Like so many prime ministers before him, he has been cowed into submission by Israel's religious nationalist community. But Netanyahu appears to be particularly impotent. His weakness stems from the fact that the religious nationalist right figures prominently in his governing coalition and comprises a substantial portion of his political base. For Netanyahu, a confrontation with the rabid rabbis could amount to political suicide, or could force him into an alliance with centrist forces who do not share his commitment to the settlement enterprise in the West Bank.
Read more

150 Israeli academicians and authors joined actors and playwrights in a call to shun West Bank settlements

Lecturers back theater boycott

Academicians join actors and authors, call for moratorium on cultural performances in West Bank settlements; 'Israel's conduct in territories constitutes historic disaster for Jewish people,' Israel Prize laureate Prof. Ariel Rubinstein says.
Read more

Monday, August 30, 2010

Netanyahu angry at actors boycotting settlement theatre. Will cut funds

Netanyahu: Israel won't fund boycott efforts from within
Prime Minister slams boycott staged by theater personnel, who refuse to take part in performances in the West Bank settlement of Ariel.
Read more

Irish groups to buy ship for new Gaza aid flotilla

DUBLIN, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Pro-Palestinian groups in Ireland launched a fundraising drive on Monday to buy a ship for a second attempt to breach Israel's sea blockade of Gaza. The Irish Ship to Gaza campaign aims to send between 30 and 50 Irish people, including public figures, journalists and activists, to join a flotilla taking aid to people in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Read more

Ramadan in a Kabul refugee camp

A child sits with a plate of food that was distributed as part of the holy month of Ramadan, at a refugee camp in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi)
Boston Globe

Ramadan in Hebron: Food rations

Palestinians struggle at an access point as food rations are given out by an Islamic charity on the second day of the month of Ramadan, in the West Bank city of Hebron on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010.
(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) Boston Globe (More photos of Ramadan around the world here)

Some headlines from today's news

Click on headline for the article:

-Israel won't extend settlement freeze ahead of direct negotiations
The Israeli cabinet will not vote on extending a partial freeze in West Bank settlement construction before the start of the peace talks in Washington on September 2, a senior cabinet minister told Reuters on Sunday, a decision that could threaten to derail a recently re-launched peace process.
-Abbas: Obama knows West Bank building will ruin talks
Hours before leaving for Washington for peace talks, Palestinian president says he notified US, international officials that Israel will bear sole and full responsibility should talks collapse due to settlement building. 'Israel's security can't continue to be excuse for continued occupation,' he says.
-Abbas: No peace talks with settlement building (AP)
AP - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned Sunday that he will not back down from his threat to pull out of new peace talks with Israel if it resumes construction in West Bank settlements.
-Abbas: Israel to bear sole responsibility for talks collapse due to building
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that direct talks with Israel will be based on the Mideast Quartet's demand, as he puts it, to end the 1967 occupation, including in east Jerusalem.
-The Purpose Of Israel’s Settlements Is To Be Difficult To Remove
I had to read Fred Barnes’ new Weekly Standard piece “In Defense of Settlers” a few times to be sure that Fred wasn’t actually putting us on. It appears he isn’t. Things go awry beginning with the very first paragraph, in which Barnes writes, “When direct talks begin next week between Israelis and Palestinians, the fate of Jewish settlers in the West Bank — tens of thousands of them — will be a major issue in the negotiations. But the settlers themselves won’t be part of the discussion.”
-For Arabs in Israel, a house is not a home
Three representatives of Hamas have been forced to seek sanctuary at the Red Cross compound in East Jerusalem — charged not with terrorism, but with “disloyalty” to the state. Edward Platt on a strange case of exile inside Israel.

What Lebanon can teach the U.S. about religious tolerance

David Samel (Mondoweiss)
In Beirut, a recent event, under-reported in the United States, provides a dramatic contrast with the New York controversy over Park51, an Islamic cultural center planned for lower Manhattan. According to Ha’aretz, Lebanon’s largest Jewish synagogue has been saved from the wrecking ball and beautifully restored to its past glory.
The Magen Avraham synagogue had fallen into disrepair during the Lebanese Civil War of the 1970's and 1980's. Located in the city center, the synagogue was in danger of being demolished in favor of urban renewal. However, Beirut’s tiny Jewish population decided to save and renovate the structure, and received the approval not only of the Lebanese government but specifically of Hezbollah. The Islamic party, announcing its support, proclaimed: “We respect divine religions, including the Jewish religion."
Read more


More at The Real News

Omar Barghouti explains the aims of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement

Israeli actors to boycott new West Bank theatre

60 actors, writers and directors argue that performing in occupied territories would legitimise illegal settlements
Ariel Turgeman, manager of the new theatre in Ariel

(Ariel Turgeman, manager of the theatre being built in Ariel, a West Bank settlement, which has prompted a boycott by Israeli actors.)

Dozens of Israeli actors, playwrights and directors have signed a letter refusing to take part in productions by leading theatre companies at a new cultural centre in a West Bank settlement, prompting renewed debate over the legitimacy of artistic boycott.

More than 60 have joined the protest over plans by Israel's national theatre, the Habima, and other leading companies to stage performances in Ariel, a settlement 12 miles inside the West Bank. The letter, to Israel's culture minister, Limor Livnat, says the new centre for performing arts in Ariel, which is due to open in November after 20 years in construction, would "strengthen the settlement enterprise".

Read more

(Thanks vza)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Shas spiritual leader: Abbas and the evil Palestinians should perish from this world

Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef denounced upcoming peace talks with the Palestinians, which are set to start September 2 in Washington, and called for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to "perish from this world," Army Radio reported overnight Saturday.

Shas spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef

"Abu Mazen and all these evil people should perish from this world," Rabbi Ovadia was quoted as saying during his weekly sermon at a synagogue near his Jerusalem home. "God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians."

In 2001, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox faction gave a speech in which he also called for Arabs' annihilation.

"It is forbidden to be merciful to them," he was quoted as saying. "You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable."

Read more

Saudi Arabia? Somalia? Afghanistan?

Print Edition
‘Sinner’ singer given 39 lashes by rabbis
The Jerusalem Post
A singer who performed in front of a “mixed audience” of men and women was lashed 39 times to make him “repent,” after a ruling by a self-described rabbinic court on Wednesday.

Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak, founder of the Shofar organization aimed at bringing Jews “back to religion” (hazara betshuva), has made it his recent mission to fight against musical performances for both men and women.

His “judicial panel,” with Rabbi Ben Zion Mutsafi and another member, sentenced Erez Yechiel to 39 lashes in order to “rid him of his sins.”

In a video clip of the court posted on the Shofar Web site, Ben Zion said that those who make others sin (mahtiei rabim), such as artists who make men and women attend performances or dance together, have no place in the world to come.

He displayed a leather strip he said was made by his father from ass and bull skin, with which Yechiel was to have been whipped.

Yechiel, who said, “I accept upon myself the lashing for my sins,” was ordered to stand by a wooden poll with his head facing north (“from whence the evil inclination comes”), his hands tied with a azure-colored rope (“a symbol of mercy”), and served his “sentence.”

"But we were rejected for being Jews!!"

The program..

And to think this woman is revered in the West!

The writing was on the wall!

In their own words

Eating less meat is more Islamic : Joseph Mayton

"The Qu'ran reminds us animals and birds are 'communities like you'. So why do so many Muslims break their fast with meat? For most of the billion-plus Muslims who sit down each evening to break their Ramadan fast, meat will be on the menu. Lots of it. But how Islamic is eating meat? Not very, according to Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, who argues that historically Muslims ate so little meat they were almost vegetarian. "Meat is not a necessity in sharia, and in the old days most Muslims used to eat meat – if they were wealthy, like middle class – once a week on Friday. If they were poor – on the Eids."
Read more- The Guardian UK

Why Americans should oppose Zionism

More and more people are starting to pay attention to Israel's crimes and indignities. In so doing, more and more people are questioning the origin and meaning of Zionism -- that is, the very idea of a legally ethnocentric Israel.
Read more

The settler state pathological mindset

Edelstein: Palestinians should halt building as well
"If the Palestinians demand the continuation of the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria beyond the 10-month moratorium, Israel should insist that the freeze be reciprocated, Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein said on Thursday. Edelstein, a Neveh Daniel resident who is the only Likud minister who lives in the West Bank, intends to tell Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Sunday’s Likud ministerial meeting that he should demand a Palestinian construction freeze in his negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that are set to begin in Washington next week.

Leaked CIA memo cites U.S. Jews among exporters of terrorism

Wikileaks releases a CIA memo titled 'What if Foreigners See the United States as an Exporter of Terrorism?' in which American Jews in Israel was one of four groups mentioned.

By Haaretz Service

The Wikileaks website released a CIA document on Wednesday that examines the trend of Americans committing terrorist acts overseas, including American Jews in Israel.

American Jews in Israel were one of four groups mentioned in the classified report, titled "What if Foreigners See the United States as an Exporter of Terrorism?"

"Some American Jews have supported and even engaged in violent acts against perceived enemies of Israel," the report reads. "In 1994, Baruch Goldstein, an American Jewish doctor from New York, emigrated to Israel, joined the extremist group Kach, and killed 29 Palestinians during their prayers in the mosque at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron which helped trigger a wave of bus bombings by Hamas in early 1995."

This is just hilarious! (make it ten years for me, if ever!)

Sarkozy: Israel-Palestinian peace deal can be signed within a year
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday that a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians can be reached within one year, one week after direct talks between the two were announced. "I assure you, a peace agreement, where everybody is aware of the conditions, can be signed within a year," he said.

Read more

“Scum state”: too kind a description for Israel

From the Angry Arab:
"BERLIN – The head of Amnesty International’s Finnish branch, Frank Johansson, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that he stands by his statement that Israel is a “scum state.”"
Posted by As'ad at 6:38 AM 08/26/10

"Michael Totten found someone as ignorant as he is about Lebanon"

From the Angry Arab:
"I mean, when people sent me this interview, it was mostly for humor and to mock both of those guys. I mean, when they talk about South Lebanon and the southern suburbs of Beirut, you don't recognize them from the description. As if they talking about somewhere else. They claim that there are no Lebanese flags in South Lebanon, for example--I wish if that is true because I can't stand the cedar flag. Look how dumb they sound here:
"MJT: It’s totalitarian down there in South Lebanon.
Jonathan Spyer: Absolutely. Absolutely.
MJT: There’s no other word for it. It’s not just authoritarian.
Iran itself isn’t even totalitarian anymore. It used to be, and the government wants it to be, but it has to contend with massive unrest and civil disobedience now."
You read this and realize: they really have not been there. They were too scared to visit so they conjure up images from their worst fears and Zionist fantasies. (thanks David) Posted by As'ad at 3:53 AM 08/27/10

From the Angry Arab: "My appearance on Aljazeera regarding the Islamic Center in NYC"

Let me move to Professor As’ad Abu Khalil in San Francisco. As’ad, is this campaign the result of political maneuvering, the Republicans wanting to regain control of Congress, or the result of ignorance or deep-seated hostility to Islam and Muslims?
Abu Khalil: The matter is much deeper than that. It transcends the ongoing discussion, beyond the Islamic center. It goes beyond the current administration. This is why I disagreed with you, brother Muhammad, when you expressed nostalgia for Bush, who had visited mosques once or twice. You should’ve added that he visited mosques while his bombs and missiles were falling on Muslims civilians’ heads, both moderate and extremist, in Afghanistan and Iraq.
This is a multi-faceted issue. We should acknowledge that there is a system of contempt towards Islam in this country just as there was Nazi contempt for Jews. This exceeds the reactionary right-wing’s embrace of this hostility. Instead, this prejudice penetrates the essence of political and popular culture in this country.
During the introduction we should have added that there are liberal voices like Howard Dean, who are among the most liberal personas in the Democratic Party, who opposed Muslims’ right to build this mosque. I believe there are several issues aside this Islamic center. The center’s imam, Abdul Rauf, bears responsibility for idiotic idea, which has fueled islamophobia on official and popular levels.
However, Obama bears the brunt of responsibility before he was even sworn in as president because he failed to defend Muslims’ right to live as equal citizens in this country. He distanced himself from that entirely.
Finally, I’d like to say in response to American politicians who talk to us on television screens and say to us in Arabic “assalamu alaikum” (peace be upon you) in broken Arabic, thinking that they’re fooling us. I tell the Arab audience that is listening that this is not part of a vibrant dialogue in a democratic society. Does Mr. Hussein dare claim that anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany used to be part of a vibrant dialogue?
Interviewer: Thank you for the clarification, brother As’ad. I wasn’t being nostalgic to the Bush administration. Instead, I was referring to what someone wrote in the New York Times. Also, Imam Abdul Rauf is not with us, so we can’t call his idea idiotic. Khalil, Ron Paul said something to the effect of your ideas. He issued a strongly worded statement and accused his Republican colleagues of playing with fire and accused the Neocons of working to keep conflict with Muslims ignited. Do you believe there is in fact a conspiracy to keep America in an ongoing battle with the Muslim world?
Abu Khalil: No, the matter is much deeper and complicated than that. I disagree with focusing on certain elements within the Republican Party. That’s because the current Democratic administration bears significant responsibility for failing to respond to islamophobia during the electoral campaign. It also distances itself from defending believers’ and non-believers’ constitutional rights as per the First Amendment. This week alone, President Obama issued a statement this week reminding the United States that he follows the Christian faith. This is proof that when he is called a Muslim, it’s an accusation, contrary to Mr. Hussein’s assertion that he is unaware of the extent of hostility towards Islam and Muslims in this country.
Interviewer: Do you believe the current economic crisis plays a role in this?
Abu Khalil: No doubt, difficult economic times propel people to scapegoat a certain group of people such as African-Americans or Mexicans, or Arab and Muslims these days. The American administration could’ve eviscerated this growing campaign from the American political system. But Barack Obama’s equivocation clearly indicated that no American politician can bear the political cost of supporting an American sub-community’s constitutional right. In addition, over 60% of the American people, who are not all Republican, oppose the idea of establishing the Islamic center in New York.
Interviewer: Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid is thought to have pressured Obama to back out of his iftar dinner … Let us listen to the imam of this controversial center Mr. Abdul Rauf, leader of Cordoba, which title was changed after pressure.
Abdul Rauf: The Cordoba initiative aims to improve relations between the Islamic nation and the West and non-Islamic religions. House of Cordoba’s projects started before 9/11, to be honest. I’ve been here in America for 45 years. I’ve noticed there is a need for a center, a cultural center, that provides an alternative curriculum to those commonly found in mosques. Here in America we need to establish a Muslim-American community. We know that its proximity to Ground Zero would make the location known. We expected that. But we didn’t expect the violence of the backlash. First of all, this is not a mosque. It’s a community center … generally speaking. Second, it’s not located at Ground Zero. Ground Zero is two blocks away. To call it the “Ground Zero Mosque” is inaccurate. There is much ignorance in the United States towards Islam. What is Islam? Who are Muslims? Does Islam promote tolerance? What happened was unislamic. Those are our goals, to explain to people what Islam is and who Muslims are.
Interviewer: As’ad, this imam has been marketed, and now he’s doing a tour representing the Department of State to demonstrate Islam’s moderate, Sufi, peaceful side. Despite that, nobody from the government defended when he came under attack although it spends to improve the USA’s image in the Islamic world.
Abu Khalil: I’m almost tempted to say [Abdul Rauf] deserves the vicious attack he’s facing for the reckless, thoughtless idea, which has led to the deterioration of Muslims’ status in this country. This is not to undermine …
Interviewer (interrupting): Doesn’t he have the right to …
Abu Khalil: Of course, of course …
Interviewer: … to build the center? They own the building, so why not?
Abu Khalil: I was going to discuss that in the rest of my sentence. This is not to undermine the right of any Muslim to establish a mosque anywhere in this country. However, considering the cultural climate, which has been hostile towards Muslims since 9/11, the Muslim and Arab community should have been consulted about this. In that clip, [Abdul Rauf] refers to improving relations with the West, Christians and Jews in this country. I ask him, did this lead to improvement of the relationship or deterioration?
Second, he says the idea aimed for bringing religions together. The problem we face in this country is the public’s connection between terrorism and 9/11 and Muslims. This man came along and said “I’ll establish a mosque for you meters away from the World Trade Center,” as if to fuel islamophobia in this country. That’s what happened.
Furthermore, I’ve lived in this country for about 30 years. I know every activist who works for Palestine. I’ve never heard of this man in my life. Also, the New York Times has mentioned that he considers himself a supporter of Israel.
Interviewer: And they showed him no mercy despite that. He’s seized the attention of all media outlets … I’ll direct the last question to As’ad in San Francisco. As’ad, don’t you think the average American, notwithstanding his ignorance about Islam, may be willing to listen? History has shown that he has reconciled with African-Americans, Latinos and women. Do you think Muslims just need to explain their cause to find the greatest support in the average American citizen?
Abu Khalil: I don’t think so. That’s an exaggeration about Americans. What the other guest said about a distinction between ignorance and hatred, is unsustainable because ignorance and hatred fuel each other. I am of the opinion that Americans on an individual level may be willing to listen. But not on a social level. Also, with regard to Americans’ reconciliation with various groups they had oppressed, and there have been many including women and others. But there is an arrogant aspect of American nationalism that refuses to acknowledge this country’s shameful history. In addition, Muslims are excluded from national reconciliation in this country.
Interviewer: Thank you, As’ad. "
Posted by As'ad at 4:23 AM 08/27/10

From the Angry Arab: Israeli threats to Lebanon (or to other countries) always go unnoticed

"An senior advisor to US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell has threatened Lebanese army commander, Jean Kahwajim that should his army initiate additional fire exchanges with Israel, the IDF would annihilate his military within four hours, Lebanese newspaper al-Liwa reported Friday." Notice that a Hariri rag, Al-Liwa' carried the threat. (thanks Olivia) Posted by As'ad at 7:54 AM 08/27/10

Haniyeh: No negotiator can give up Jerusalem

KHAN YOUNIS (Ma'an) -- "No negotiator who would give up Jerusalem has a national mandate," Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told guests at an iftar dinner on Thursday evening. The fast-breaking meal was organized by the Ar-Rahma Charitable Society in Khan Younis, honoring the families of Palestinian men and women in prison, those killed by Israeli forces and families with special needs children.

Palestinian Resistance Factions Demand Abbas Resign

"A day after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas urged Israel to take advantage of “this historic opportunity” to achieve peace via the imminent direct negotiations, Hamas and 10 other Palestinian resistance groups on Thursday demanded that he resign because of his “failure to resist heavy American and Israeli pressure” to abandon his preconditions for the talks. The resignation call was issued following a meeting of the groups’ heads in Damascus. Izzat Risheq, a Hamas representative who attended the meeting, said participants agreed that Abbas “was no longer trustworthy to look after the interests of the Palestinian people and should therefore quit all his positions.” Speaking during a meal he held to mark the breaking of Wednesday’s Ramadan fast, Abbas declared that the Palestinians were entering the direct talks on September 2 of their own volition and with the hope of achieving peace with their neighbors."

Jerusalem settlers assault 9 year old, parents say

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- A nine-year-old boy said he was beaten by Israelis affiliated with the Atarot Kohanim settler group in Jerusalem's Old City on Wednesday evening. Anas Sa’ad Ash-Shaloudi said he was on his way to his uncle’s house for the fast-breaking iftar meal at sunset, and was assaulted by five men standing outside his uncle's home. "They hit me on my head and I fell on the ground. They took off my shoes and started beating me on my back. I yelled for help," Anas told Ma'an.

My interrogation at the U.S-Canada border

By Stefan Christoff

Stefan Christoff, who was detained at the Canada-U.S. border and questioned about his politics after the G20 Summit. Photo: Valerian Mazataud/www.focuszero.com

"Do you have family in the Middle East?" he inquired, offering one of the few surprising questions in the interrogation. In follow-up, a barrage of detailed questions focusing on the family names and geographical origins of my mother, my father and all my grandparents were presented.

A similarly absurd line of questioning was outlined at Israeli border in 2003 during my attempt to travel Palestine to work with the International Solidarity Movement, to participate in non-violent campaign of direct action against the Israeli military occupation, a border crossing effort that was unsuccessful. After hours of questions, Israeli military officials dragged me into a military bus, deported me to Jordan and barred me from travelling to Israel for a decade.

Read more

Friday, August 27, 2010

Saudi Arabia employers 'hammer nails' into Sri Lankan maid

AlJazeeraEnglish | August 27, 2010
A Sri Lankan woman working as a domestic helper in Saudi Arabia says she has been severely abused for complaining about being overworked.
Ariyawathi's Saudi employers reportedly hammered 24 nails into her hands, legs and forehead, which had to be removed later with surgery.
Sri Lanka's government says it will report the incident to Saudi authorities.
Al Jazeera's Laura Kyle reports on a case that rights organisations say is all too common in the country.

Why is Israel Terrified of a Ship Full of Women?

The Stalled Voyage of St. Mariam

“We will not even bring cooking knives.”

– Samar al-Hajj, coordinator of the all-women Lebanese aid vessel Mariam

The bloody wake left by the Mavi Marmara after the May 31 Israeli commando raid has not deterred 50 female activists from trying to break the four-year-old siege of Gaza. To hear Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak speak of their planned relief effort, one would think the very existence of Israel was at stake.

The women plan to set sail aboard the Saint Mariam, a Bolivian-flagged cargo ship named in honor of the Virgin Mary, a figure sacred to both Christians and Muslims. Although they intend to depart from Tripoli, Lebanon, the crew is not only composed of multi-faith Lebanese but foreign nationals as well, including a group of nuns from the United States. So as not to give Israel pretext to attack, Hezbollah deliberately did not sponsor the mission nor were any members allowed to participate.

Read more-Counterpunch

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Settlement boycott causing ‘enormous damage’ to Israeli companies operating in the West Bank

Adam Horowitz(Mondoweiss)

The following article originally appeared in Hebrew on the Ynet website on August 25, 2010. It was translated by Dena Shunra.

Damage to Israeli Companies exacts a heavy price

It’s not only Norway: Israeli companies are boycotted by many countries for political reasons. Glass factory owner: the boycott has caused me enormous damage.

Yesterday’s decision by the Norwegian Oil Foundation to remove its investments from Africa-Israel and from Denia-Seabus, claiming that they are involved in illegal construction in the Territories is only the last of a long and growing line of decisions taken by governmental and private companies in Europe to boycott Israeli companies for political reasons.

In most cases, the claims are that the products were manufactured beyond the Green Line and thus, in “occupied territories”. Sometimes it is a political protest against Israel’s policy against the Palestinians, as in the response to the flotilla events. One thing is not in doubt: in the past few months, boycott of Israeli brands for political reasons has become markedly increased.

Read more-Mondoweiss

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Secrets in Israel's Archives (The ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the less known Golan)

Evidence of ethnic cleansing kept under lock and key.
By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth
The state’s chief archivist says many of the documents “are not fit for public viewing” and raise doubts about Israel’s “adherence to international law”, while the government warns that greater transparency will “damage foreign relations”.

Quite what such phrases mean was illustrated by the findings of a recent investigation by an Israeli newspaper. Haaretz revisited the Six Day War of 1967, in which Israel seized not only the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza, but also a significant corner of Syria known as the Golan Heights, which Israel still refuses to relinquish.

The consensus in Israel is that the country’s right to hold on to the Golan is even stronger than its right to the West Bank. According to polls, an overwhelming majority of Israelis refuse to concede their little bit of annexed Syria, even if doing so would secure peace with Damascus.

This intransigence is not surprising. For decades, Israelis have been taught a grand narrative in which, having repelled an attack by Syrian forces, Israel then magnanimously allowed the civilian population of the Golan to live under its rule. That, say Israelis, is why the inhabitants of four Druze villages are still present there. The rest chose to leave on the instructions of Damascus.

One influential journalist writing at the time even insinuated anti-Semitism on the part of the civilians who departed: “Everyone fled, to the last man, before the IDF [Israel Defence Forces] arrived, out of fear of the ‘savage conqueror’ … Fools, why did they have to flee?”

However, a very different picture emerges from Haaretz’s interviews with the participants. These insiders say that all but 6,000 of the Golan’s 130,000 civilians were either terrorised or physically forced out, some of them long after the fighting finished. An army document reveals a plan to clear the area of the Syrian population, with only the exception of the Golan Druze, so as not to upset relations with the loyal Druze community inside Israel.

The army’s post-war tasks included flushing out thousands of farmers hiding in caves and woods to send them over the new border. Homes were looted before the army set about destroying all traces of 200 villages so that there would be nowhere left for the former inhabitants to return to. The first Jewish settlers sent to till the fields recalled seeing the dispossessed owners watching from afar.
Read more

Israel Vows to Seize Lebanon Aid Ship Heading to Gaza

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has threatened Beirut with action by the Israeli navy to intercept a Lebanese ship heading to the besieged Gaza Strip.

Barak claimed that the Lebanese ship Mariam is not on a humanitarian mission, describing it as a provocative move. He also alleged that the ship's journey has been organized by a “terrorist group that aims at killing Israelis.”

Read more


Poor poor Israelis! Nuns are out to kill them..Protect yourself! Grab more land! Grab more land!!

Blair opens his claptrap: "Delegitimization of Israel is affront to humanity"

"To delegitimize Israel is an affront not only to Israelis, but to those “everywhere, in every part of humanity, who share the values of a free and independent human spirit,” Quartet envoy Tony Blair said on Tuesday, in an exceptionally warm speech at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya."
Read more

The memoricide of Palestine

In a little-noted decision, a few weeks ago Netanyahu's government extended by an additional twenty years Israel's classification of sensitive documents. It is suspected that these documents tell the story of the the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in far more detail than currently declassified documents.

Jonathan Cook notes:

Ilan Pappe, an Israeli historian, has referred to this massive erasure of Palestinian history as state-organised “memoricide”.

Some have proposed that in order to heal Israel/Palestine, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission is needed. Will the truth set Israelis free? Does the memory of Palestinian life, pre-Nakba, pose an impossible and consciousness-shattering counterfactual to the mass cognitive dissonance that pervades much of Israeli society?


Riz Khan - Gideon Levy on Middle East peace

Israeli columnist and author discusses the 'peace talks' that are set to resume between Israelis and Palestinians in Washington.


"Stoning is not practiced only among Muslims, nor did it begin with Islam. Human rights groups say a young girl was stoned to death in 2007 in Iraqi Kurdistan’s Yazidi community, which practices an ancient Kurdish religion. The Old Testament includes an episode in which Moses arranges for a man who violated the Sabbath to be stoned, and stoning probably took place among Jewish communities in the ancient Near East. Rabbinic law, which was composed starting in the first century A.D., specifies stoning as the penalty for a variety of crimes, with elaborate instructions for how it should be carried out."
(From the Angry Arab)
Posted by As'ad at 11:37 AM 08/22/10

The clash between Hizbullah and Ahbash in Beirut yesterday (From the Angry Arab)

The armed clash between Hizbullah and Ahbash in Burj Abi Haydar in Beirut was most bizarre and criminal. What Talleyrand once said applies here: "“This is worse than a crime, it's a blunder”." (The quote is often mistakenly attributed to others. In fact, Talleyrand said about about the murder of the Duc d’Enghien by Napoleon I.) Posted by As'ad at 4:59 AM 08/25/10

Pro-US Democratic forces in Somalia (From the Angry Arab)

These are the pro-US (democratic--always, pro-US forces are labeled as "democratic", like the House of Saud) forces dragging the dead boy of one of the Shabab militia members. This should confirm the democratic credentials of US foreign policy. (Al-Quds Al-`Arabi)
Posted by As'ad at 5:03 AM 08/25/10

Lebanese police versus the Mossad (From the Angry Arab)

I must say that one of the biggest pleasures of my life has been watching the Mossad becoming the laughing stock of the Arab world. Hahahahaha. "Lebanese police probing an Israeli spy ring are quizzing an employee of the Telecommunications Ministry, more than two weeks after another employee was charged with spying for Mossad, a security source said Tuesday." Posted by As'ad at 5:04 AM 08/25/10

Mossad in America, Israeli intelligence steps up its activity in the U.S. — and gets away with it

Philip Giraldi
Israeli government claims that it does not spy on the United States are intended for the media and popular consumption. The reality is that Israel’s intelligence agencies target the United States intensively, particularly in pursuit of military and dual-use civilian technology. Among nations considered to be friendly to Washington, Israel leads all others in its active espionage directed against American companies and the Defense Department. It also dominates two commercial sectors that enable it to extend its reach inside America’s domestic infrastructure: airline and telecommunications security. Israel is believed to have the ability to monitor nearly all phone records originating in the United States, while numerous Israeli air-travel security companies are known to act as the local Mossad stations.

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A ‘Balanced and Zionist’ Wikipedia

An initiative to edit Wikipedia entries to make them "balanced and Zionist in nature" has generated an impassioned debate on The Lede.
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DNA study: Hitler had Jewish and African roots

Belgian researchers examine DNA samples of 39 Hitler relatives, say he had Jewish, African roots.
Journalist Jean-Paul Mulders and historian Marc Vermeeren published their findings in Belgain magazine Knack.
The Sun reported that the two did not directly receive the saliva samples used for their DNA tests from all of Hitler's descendants. In one case, they picked up a napkin dropped by a distant Hitler relative currently living in the United States. Other Hitler relatives were located in Austria and asked to hand over DNA samples.

Read more- Ynet

Riz Khan - Mission accomplished or abandoned in Iraq?

AlJazeeraEnglish | August 24, 2010

As US combat troops leave Iraq, the Riz Khan show asks if the US is really withdrawing or whether it is just preparing the ground to wield soft power there for years to come.

What You Will Not Hear About Iraq

Adil E. Shamoo
Iraq has between 25 and 50 percent unemployment, a dysfunctional parliament, rampant disease, an epidemic of mental illness, and sprawling slums. The killing of innocent people has become part of daily life. What a havoc the United States has wreaked in Iraq. UN-HABITAT, an agency of the United Nations, recently published a 218-page report entitled State of the World’s Cities, 2010-2011. The report is full of statistics on the status of cities around the world and their demographics. It defines slum dwellers as those living in urban centers without one of the following: durable structures to protect them from climate, sufficient living area, sufficient access to water, access to sanitation facilities, and freedom from eviction.
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An Army of Contractors

When the Barack Obama administration unveiled its plan last week for an improvised State Department-controlled army of contractors to replace all U.S. combat troops in Iraq by the end of 2011, critics associated with the U.S. command attacked the transition plan, insisting that the United States must continue to assume that U.S. combat forces should and can remain in Iraq indefinitely.
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Egyptians prepare for life after Mubarak

"So here comes the latest Egyptian joke about 82-year-old President Hosni Mubarak. The president, a keen squash player – how else could he keep his jet-black hair? – calls up the sheikh of Al-Azhar, the highest Sunni Muslim cleric in the land, to ask if there are squash courts in heaven. The sheikh asks for a couple of days to consult the Almighty. Two days later, he calls Mr Mubarak back. "There’s good news and bad news," he says. Give me the good news, snaps Mr Mubarak. "Well," says the sheikh, "there are lots of squash courts in heaven." And the bad news, asks the president? "You have a match there in two weeks’ time!"
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The Arab state system is more resilient than it appears

By Ezzedine Choukri Fishere

Seen from outside, the Arab world looks like it is about to crumble. Four Arab states – Iraq, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia – are facing the threat of territorial disintegration. One country, Lebanon, has settled for losing its independence; another, Palestine, is losing hope to win it. The Arab League is unable to react effectively to any of these challenges, even when decision-making powers are transferred to it by the interested parties as the Palestinian president did recently.

Non-Arab states and non-state actors in the Middle East are becoming main political players. In contrast, traditional powers like Egypt and Saudi Arabia seem unable to project their influence in the region effectively, and have often had to content themselves with defensive postures or with playing the role of spoiler. In addition, most Arab states are faced with domestic challenges for which they seem ill-equipped. All this begs the question about whether the current Arab state system is sustainable.

Grand, sweeping narratives describing the rise and fall of regional powers have a certain attraction, but they are rarely accurate. In a mosaic-like region such as the Middle East, nuance and attention to detail are often useful. A closer look at the Arab state system shows that while some of these developments are new, most are new reflections of old dynamics.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Balancing act

A reader of this blog, Abu Zuhair, rightly drew my attention to the fact that many visit this site hoping to find an opportunity to comment on the Angry Arab's posts as the name of this blog suggests, as he felt that their very polemical and controversial nature lend to..He's right that we've been long adrift from the original idea of gathering around what Asa'd has provided originally..As much as I would like this blog to reflect my own interests and views, I'm facing the dilemma; either I change the name and keep making it a news source and infos or I stick to the original idea and transplant as many (interesting) posts from Angry as possible..I thought about it and felt that it doesn't have to be either and it can be both, as you can observe now more posts from Asa'd's..I thank this reader for his very interesting feedback.
As for the art that I occasionally post and which could look in the wrong place amid unrelated content of political and social nature I'd try to make it less intrusive if you feel that it is, by keeping such posts at a defined time, say Sundays when one needs to take a little break from it all..Same for music..What do you think?
(BTW, we've reached the number of 1800 visitors from 93 countries as the counter indicates)

Balfour Declaration (From the Angry Arab)

"According to Schneer, the Arabs were as invisible to the early Zionists as Africans had been to Boers in South Africa, or Indians to the French and English colonists in North America. But in fact, some of the first Zionists were well aware of the Arabs’ vehement objection to their national aspirations. As early as 1899, Theodore Herzl himself, the father of political Zionism, corresponded with the Arab mayor of Jerusalem, Yusuf Dia al-Khalidi, who urged him to find a national home for the Jews somewhere else in the world. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems to have had its origins at the very beginning of Zionism."

The Angry Arab News Service

Sunday, August 22, 2010

More Attacks on Freedom of Speech for anti-Zionists and Dissenters (in Britain)

Jonathan Hoffman, co-chair of the Zionist Federation threatens to sue Tony Greenstein for reporting the Zionist-EDL connection

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(Thanks Jemmy)

The Angry Arab on the Ground Zero Mosque affair

The US far right blogger on a mission to halt 'Islamic takeover'

New York blogger Pamela Geller is a key force in the campaign to stop Islamic centre near Ground Zero
"The flamboyant New Yorker, who appears on her own website pictured in a tight fitting Superman uniform, has emerged as a leading force in a growing and ever more alarmist campaign against the supposed threat of an Islamic takeover at home and global jihad abroad – and never more so than in the present bitter dispute over plans to build an Islamic centre near the site of the World Trade Centre, brought down by al-Qaida."
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As a Jew herself, one would think that she'd know and understand that demonisation of a group of people based on their religious belief, is not the right way to go . Or maybe this explains that, I'm not sure..

Four Israeli warplanes and one spy drone violates Lebanese airspace for the third time in three days

Israeli aircraft enter Lebanon airspace

On Friday, the Israeli aircraft entered the southern border town of Naqoura, the Lebanese Army said in a statement.
Several similar overflights have been reported since Wednesday, when 10 Israeli planes were spotted violating the country's airspace.

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Wikileaks founder says Australian intelligence warned him on August 11 to expect personal attacks.

Assange claims 'smear campaign'

Julian Assange, founder of the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, has said the now-dropped charge of rape levelled against him in Sweden was "a smear campaign".
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Bil'in's protestors against the wall receive the IOF treatment

img 5641
(Photo: Hamde Abu-Rahma)(via Mondoweiss)
Hand cuffed and blindfold! Dangerous terrorists!

10 Shameless Right-Wing Tributes to Ayn Rand That Should Make Any Sane Person Blush

As the evangelical Right's influence has declined, conservatives are adhering to another religion -- one based on the scribblings of a sociopath.
"Yes, Ayn Rand, author of big books about noble capitalists who triumph over the masses, and tomes of "philosophy" like The Virtue of Selfishness, in which she beat Gordon Gekko to Greed is Good by decades. Rand always seemed like a good fit for conservatives, but until recently their fandom was a love that dared not speak its name -- either out of fear that the born-agains would be alienated by Rand's atheism, or that literate people would giggle at them."
Read more-AlterNet

How Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Poking Fun at Iranian Culture Helps America Lube the Wheels of War

Laughter at Iran's expense is not quite as harmless as it seems. Cultural judgment helps dehumanize a country, making it easier for a society to go war.

"In the modern era, humor has worked again and again to dehumanize target countries as a standard part of war propaganda. In a democracy, where support of the population at large is supposedly a prerequisite for attacking another country, jokes are a common means of dehumanizing, demonizing and generally placing the population of the targets of the attack into the category of Other. Empathy plummets; and civilians in the aggressor state find it increasingly difficult to put themselves in the (Islam-approved) shoes of those on the receiving ends of the bombs".
Read more-AlterNet

Noam Chomsky: The Real Reasons the U.S. Enables Israeli Crimes and Atrocities

"....But the major change in relationships took place in 1967. Just take a look at USA aid to Israel. You can tell that right off. And in many other respects, it’s true, too. Similarly, the attitude towards Israel on the part of the intellectual community -- you know, media, commentary, journals, and so on -- that changed very sharply in 1967, from either lack of interest or sometimes even disdain, to almost passionate support. So what happened in 1967?

Well, in 1967, Israel destroyed the source of secular Arab nationalism -- Nasser's Egypt -- which was considered a major threat and enemy by the West. It is worth remembering that there was a serious conflict at that time between the forces of radical Islamic fundamentalism, centered in Saudi Arabia -- where all the oil is -- and secular Arab nationalism, centered in Nasser's Egypt; in fact, the two countries were at war. They were fighting a kind of a proxy war in Yemen at that time. The United States and Britain were supporting the radical Islamic fundamentalism; in fact, they’ve rather consistently done that – supporting Saudi Arabia. And Nasserite secular nationalism was considered a serious threat, because it was recognized that it might seek to take control of the immense resources of the region and use them for regional interest, rather than allow them to be centrally controlled and exploited by the United States and its allies. So that was a major issue.

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No more fatwas for Saudi kook

No more fatwas for Sheikh Abdel Mohsen Obeikan, the Saudi cleric and royal court adviser who earlier this year earned notoriety for rolling out an eyebrow-raising religious decree that called on women to give men breast milk to avoid illicit mixing.

Saudi authorities on Wednesday reportedly pulled the plug on Obeikan's radio program "Fatwas on Air," a daily morning show in which Obeikan would go on air and issue fatwas -- religious rulings -- to the public on various matters.

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Wikipedia editing courses launched by settlers groups

Two Israeli groups set up training courses in Wikipedia editing with aims to alter perceptions about Israel.
Yesha Council, representing the Jewish settler movement, and the rightwing Israel Sheli (My Israel) movement, ran their first workshop this week in Jerusalem, teaching participants how to rewrite and revise some of the most hotly disputed pages of the online reference site.

.....They believe that there is much work to do.

Take the page on Israel, for a start: "The map of Israel is portrayed without the Golan heights or Judea and Samaria," said Bennett, referring to the annexed Syrian territory and the West Bank area occupied by Israel in 1967.
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Palestinian acheives the impossible: bringing Israeli soldiers to justice for the shooting of his 10yr old daughter.

How many stories like these that had never reached a fair conclusion? A must read in order to understand how little the Israeli judicial system values Palestinian life:
Bassam Aramin with a picture of his daughter Abir, killed by a rubber bullet that witnesses say was shot by Israeli border police

Bassam Aramin with a picture of his daughter Abir, killed by a rubber bullet that witnesses say was shot by Israeli border police

On a hot August afternoon exactly three years ago Bassam Aramin was adamant that he did not want revenge for the death of his ten-year-old daughter, Abir, but justice. At the time, he added quietly: "I have to prove my daughter was killed: that is my problem."

Yesterday he had the satisfaction of knowing that his three-year fight to do just that had been vindicated by a judge's ruling that Abir Aramin had indeed been shot dead by a border policeman with a rubber bullet, that the killing was "totally unjustifiable" and that the state should pay her family compensation.

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Iraq War was illegal, repeats Clegg

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has restated his view that the Iraq War was illegal, saying: "I don't think the legality of that invasion has been proven."

Mr Clegg stressed it was his personal opinion and said the Government did not have a view on the legality of the war.

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Declassified: Illegal Israeli PR in America

A huge trove of newly declassified documents subpoenaed during a 1962-1964 Senate investigation reveals how Israel’s lobby pitched, promoted, and paid to have content placed in America’s top news magazines with overseas funding. The Atlantic (and many others) received hefty rewards for trumpeting Israel’s most vital – but damaging – PR initiatives across America.

The relevant documents are now online.

Media strategies on display include:

Cover-ups: “The [Dimona] nuclear reactor story inspired comment from many sources; editorial writers, columnists, science writers and cartoonists. Most of the press seemed finally to accept the thesis that the reactor was being built for peaceful purposes and not for bombs.”

Payola: “The Atlantic Monthly in its October issue carried the outstanding Martha Gellhorn piece on the Arab refugees, which made quite an impact around the country. We arranged for the distribution of 10,000 reprints to public opinion molders in all categories… Interested friends are making arrangements with the Atlantic for another reprint of the Gellhorn article to be sent to all 53,000 persons whose names appear in Who’s Who in America…Our Committee is now planning articles for the women’s magazines for the trade and business publications.”

Pressure: “It can be said that the press of the nation…has by and large shown sympathy and understanding of Israel’s position. There are, of course, exceptions, notably the Scripps-Howard chain where we still need to achieve a ‘break-through,’ the Pulliam chain (where some progress has been made) and some locally-owned papers.”

Ghost Writing: “We cannot pinpoint all that has already been accomplished by this Committee except to say that it has been responsible for the writing and placement of articles on Israel in some of America’s leading magazines….”

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

No regrets for Eden Abergil

"There are no laws in war!! I hate Arabs and wish them all the worst and it would be fun for me to kill them or even massacre them you can’t forget what they’re doing nevermind the reason I’m just on the side of the Jewish people!!! And this will last forever."
Eden Abergil commenting on her Facebook photos
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Israelis think their problem is not enough PR!

More than NIS 60 million will be spent on bringing big-name bloggers and media mavens to Israel.

The Foreign Ministry plans to target leading social media figures as part of a new public relations campaign. The ministry will soon launch the NIS 60 to 70 million initiative, which constitutes a large chunk of a NIS 100 million publicity budget approved by the Finance Ministry this week.

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Rotten apples, huh?!

What does this make of the IOF's denial that this kind of thing was the norm?