Thursday, September 30, 2010

BDS: 6,000 Irish shoppers demand supermarket stops stocking Israeli goods

Today, Thursday 29th July 2010, at 1pm, the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) delivered a petition to Dunnes Stores signed by 6,000 shoppers across Ireland. The petition demands that Dunnes Stores stop stocking Israeli products, until Israel respects Palestinian rights and international law. Present at the handing-in were Brendan Archbold, the trade union official at the centre of the 1980s Dunnes strike when workers refused to handle South African goods, Freda Hughes IPSC National Chairperson, Aengus O'Snodaigh of Sinn Fein along with supporters of the campaign and members of both the Palestinian and South African communities in Ireland.
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Rosengarten, sole American on Jewish boat, says she was asked to prove that she was Jewish

"I experienced humiliation when arrested. I was not physically mistreated but suffered emotionally. I suffered when the immigration person asked me if I was Jewish after I told him I was a refugee from the Nazis, the last generation to be able to tell the heinous story. He wanted me to prove that I was Jewish. How was I to do that and yes, how deeply humiliating. When I witness the Israel of today, I feel enormous pain. I was deported because of my human rights beliefs and non violent actions. In detention I no longer felt safe or cared about. I don't even think it mattered that I am Jewish. Now I will not be allowed to return to Israel as the cycle of hate and fear goes on and on. Those of us who dreamed of a different kind of Israel can only weep.
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Philip Giraldi: Wake Up, America!

"I am, of course, referring to Jonathan Pollard and his friends in Israel and the United States. Pollard did more damage to the United States than any spy in history. And it was genuine damage, not just a mass of documents that had been routinely classified. Pollard’s Israeli handler, aided by someone in the White House who has up until now evaded arrest, was able to ask for specific classified documents by name and number. The Soviets obtained US war plans, passed to them by the Israelis in exchange for money and free emigration of Russian Jews without any regard for the damage it was doing to the United States. The KGB was able to use the mass of information to reconstruct US intelligence operations directed against it and a number of Americans and US agents paid with their lives. Pollard also revealed to the Israelis and Soviets the technical and human source capabilities that US intelligence did and did not have, which is the most critical information of all as it underlies all information collection efforts. Compounding the problem, the United States has never actually been able to accurately ascertain all of the damage done by Pollard because the Israeli government has refused to cooperate in the investigation and has not returned the documents that were stolen.

And make no mistake, Pollard did it for money. He has since wrapped himself in the Israeli flag and promoted himself as an observant Jew to justify his crime and to obtain his freedom. He is reported to be a very popular person in Israel, an Israeli citizen by act of parliament, and there is a square in Jerusalem that has been renamed "Freedom for Jonathan Pollard Square." There is also an active "Justice for Jonathan Pollard" movement in the United States supported by the heavyweight Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Never before has there been such a transformation, with a despicable lowlife spy who sold out his country for money turned into a hero."

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UN panel: Israel suppressing footage of Gaza flotilla raid

Member of the UN Human Rights Council's fact-finding mission says Israel is trying to maintain a monopoly over its version of the deadly May 31 events aboard the Turkish aid ship Mavi Marmara.
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Could this be the reason?

UN mission finds Israel used "incredible violence" in Flotilla raid
"No one was safe," once Israeli soldiers began using live ammunition on board the Mavi Marmara, says an authoritative UN investigation team into the Israeli attacks on the Gaza aid flotilla.
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Israeli court rules boy, 13, should be removed from his home

Palestinian human rights activists called the decision by the Israeli Ofer court to fine and impose a forced removal of a Palestinian child from his home “a dangerous precedent.”
The Palestinian Prisoners Society said an Israeli judge decided to release Karam Khaled Da’na, 13, on a NIS 2000 bond, but military personnel strongly objected to the decision.

The court then ruled one of the strangest military decisions in its history that Da’na should be removed from his family’s home until legal proceedings against him were finished, as he was released on bail until the next hearing.

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The Horrors Of Israeli Settlements, MJ Rosenberg

It looks like Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will get away with his refusal to extend the settlements freeze. Actually, it wasn't much of a freeze in the first place (it had the consistency of ice cream after the freezer door has been left open overnight). But it was better than nothing and maintaining it was the one thing the Palestinians demanded as a condition to keep negotiating. Palestinians rightfully believe that they can not negotiate with Israel about who is going to keep the occupied West Bank while Israel is building permanent structures all over the very land being discussed. The usual suspects (the lobby and its cutouts on Capitol Hill) don't think settlements are such a big deal. They should go to Hebron, a major city on the occupied West Bank — one that right-wingers say Israel will hold on to no matter what. It won't change their calculations on the Middle East, but at least they will know what they are defending in the name of political expediency.
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Palestinians expected to leave direct talks

After giving Netanyahu an extension of several days to stop the renewed building in the settlements, the Palestinian leadership is expected to decide to cut off contact on Saturday.
The Palestinian leadership plans to meet on Saturday and is expected to officially decide to end negotiations with Israel if the renewed West Bank settlement construction is not halted.

Those expected to attend the meeting Saturday include representatives of the PLO workers committee, the Fatah central committee, and the heads of other political parties.
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Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate resists deportation from Israel

Mairead Maguire has been barred from entering Israel as a result of her participation in the Rachel Corrie Gaza-bound aid ship in June.

Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire refused to board a U.K.-bound flight on Tuesday after being barred by security from entering Israel.

Mairead Maguire AP 12.5.2010

Maguire's entry was barred due to her participation in an attempt to violate Israel's naval blockade on the Gaza Strip aboard the aid ship Rachel Corrie in June. The vessel was intercepted and boarded by the Israeli Navy and led to Ashdod harbor, with Maguire being deported from Israel, along with the ship's other passengers.

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Jewish Gaza-bound activists: IDF used excessive force in naval raid

Activists aboard Gaza-bound ship 'Irene' counter IDF version that the vessel was taken over in a peaceful manner.
Israel Occupation Forces used excessive force while taking over a Gaza-bound aid ship organized by Jewish and Israeli activists, the boat's passengers said Tuesday, countering the military's official version claiming that the takeover had been uneventful.
However, testimonies by passengers who were released from police questioning later in the day seemed to counter the IDF's claims, with Israeli activist and former Israel Air Force pilot Yonatan Shapira saying that there were "no words to describe what we went through during the takeover."
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What Is Distinctive About Arab-American Writing Today? Ten Leading Arab-American Writers Speak to the Huffington Post

"We asked some of the brightest stars in the Arab-American literary firmament what they think most stands out about Arab-American literature today. Every new strain of literature in this country undergoes familiar periods of marginalization and ghettoization (perhaps self-reinforced), before breaking through into the mainstream. At some point, readers and critics stop thinking of the hyphenated literature from an exoticizing perspective, and instead treat the writing on its own terms. To what extent has this process already happened with Arab-American writing, or is still happening? Who are the writers making the most original contributions, in fiction, poetry, and other genres? Are there circumstances unique to them, in finding acceptance and legitimacy for their work, or is their path to recognition perhaps even aided--in a strange twist of irony--by the very attention presently focused on the Middle East? These writers, with a diverse inheritance of Arab-American culture, share their thoughts, and we hope you will too."
Among those interviewed: Sinan Antoon, Randa Jarrar.. (Thanks Samer)
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Serving Israel: 87 senators urge Obama to pressure Abbas

"Now that the Israeli settlement "moratorium" has expired, the world is looking to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to see if he will follow through on his threats to step away from the negotiating table. Here in Washington, lawmakers are looking to President Barack Obama to lean on Abbas to stay put.

Eighty-seven U.S. senators have already signed on to a letter, which was initially circulated only three days ago, calling on Obama to publicly pressure Abbas to continue with the direct peace talks begun Sept. 1 in Washington.
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(Thanks vza)

South Africa's Israel boycott (The Guardian)

An international boycott helped end apartheid – now South Africans are leading world opposition to racism in Israel
Desmond Tutu
Prominent South Africans including Desmond Tutu have endorsed recent moves to boycott Israeli institutions. Photograph: David Sillitoe for the Guardian
Earlier this month, more than 100 academics across South Africa, from over 13 universities, pledged their support to a University of Johannesburg initiative for ending collaboration with the Israeli occupation. The campaign has since grown to include up to 200 supporters. The nationwide academic petition calling for the termination of an agreement between the University of Johannesburg and the Israeli Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has attracted widespread attention. With the recent endorsement of some of the leading voices in South Africa, such as Kader Asmal, Breyten Breytenbach, John Dugard, Antjie Krog, Mahmood Mamdani, Barney Pityana and Desmond Tutu, the statement confirms the strength of the boycott call in South Africa:
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Monday, September 27, 2010

An American sees the occupation for the first time


“The conditions you see there, if they were happening in America, we would never accept them, we would all be up in the hills with guns."

Read more-Mondoweiss

23% of Israelis ready to leave Israel at any hint of problems?

Helena Cobban

"In the latest issue of the always informative journal Middle East Policy, University of Pennsylvania prof Ian Lustick expresses the notable observation that,

    Last year, a poll by David Menashri of the Iran center at Tel Aviv University reported ... that 70 percent of Israeli Jews said they would not consider emigrating if Iran got the bomb. That’s an odd way to report a finding — how many would not consider emigrating. So there is deep fear.
I guess I have seen several references to the judgment that has apparently been reached by several Israeli decision-makers to the effect that the main bad thing that would ensue for Israel if Iran gets nuclear weapons is not necessarily a high probability that this would be used against Israel-- which, goodness only knows, has 1,000 times the capability to deter such an action-- but rather that Iran's attainment of nuclear weapons would cause a mass flight of Israelis from the country.
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How much sense can be made of this (apart from the obvious that is)?

On one hand:

Abbas delays decision on talks
Palestinian president holds back from quitting talks with Israel as Netanyahu allows construction freeze to end.

On the other:

Abbas says settlements block Mideast peace deal (AP)
AP - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday there will be no peace deal with Israel unless the Jewish state stops settlement construction in areas the Palestinians claim for their future state.

Construction resumes in Ariel colony (Actually it never stopped!)

After Netanyahu declares West Bank construction freeze over, bulldozers begin to lay groundwork for neighborhood set to house dozens of Gaza evacuees still living in caravans. 'Talks are show waiting to explode,' says resident.
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Settlers sieze lands in WB

Nablus, September 25, (Pal Telegraph) Dozens of acres were seized by Israeli settlers on Saturday morning in the villages of “Deir Estia” and “Hares” located to the west of “Salfit” in the West Bank. The mayor of “Deir Estia” village, Nazmi Salman, said that Israeli settlers have put 20 mobile-houses on the territory that belongs to the Palestinian citizens. Salman said in a statement to the press that the land owners located in the area of Wadi Abu Ali located to the west side of town, were surprised by the existence of more than 20 mobile-houses have been erected on agricultural land owned by Abu Mansour and Abdul Haq families. Salman said that the work of dredging continues until this very moment , to control more lands belonging to farmers of the town.
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Settlement Activities Did Not Stop During "Freeze", Research Center Says

The whole thing was just a charade:

"The Land and Research Center reported that Israel was ongoing with its settlement activities during the co-called temporary settlement freeze that officially expired by midnight Sunday."

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U.S. 'disappointed' by Israeli decision to end settlement freeze

Special Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell to return to the region to continue urgent efforts to break a deadlock in negotiations over Israeli settlements.

The United States said on Monday it was disappointed by Israel's decision to allow its partial moratorium on construction in Jewish settlements on the occupied West Bank to expire.
...Responding to Israel's decision to end the 10-month settlement freeze on Sunday, Crowley expressed regret on the part of the United States. "We are disappointed, but we remain focused on our long-term objective, and we'll be talking to the parties about the implications of the Israeli decision," Crowley told reporters.
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And what is the "disappointed" US going to do about it? Pressure the Palestinians to accept it..

Fate of thousands of Iraqis unknown

Thousands of Iraqis have gone missing since the US-led invasion seven years ago.

It is thought that many disappeared during the sectarian bloodshed and a number were rounded up in military operations.

But as the United States winds down its presence in the country, many families fear they will never find out what really happened to those who disappeared.

Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh reports from Baghdad, the Iraqi capital.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Israel has never lacked enemies but now it risks losing its friends

Netanyahu went into his meeting with Obama believing he has time on his side. But he's wrong: the clock is ticking

"Israel is surrounded by evidence that it is, in the words of one Ha'aretz columnist, "hurtling down the slippery slope of pariahdom". The Gaza flotilla episode exposed that fact most starkly, as Israel found itself isolated diplomatically, chastised by those it normally relies on as friends"
Read more-The Guardian

For Palestinians, settler abuse is only the beginning of the ordeal

Orwell state:
A Palestinian from the northern West Bank looking to file a complaint against settlers must appear in person at the Ariel police station - but Palestinians are prohibited from entering Israeli territory.
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'Jews for Justice' aid boat sets sail for Gaza

Organizer says goal of boat which left from Cyprus on Sunday is to show that not all Jews support Israeli policies toward Palestinians.

A boat carrying Jewish activists from Israel, Germany, the U.S. and Britain set sail on Sunday for Gaza, hoping to breach Israel's blockade there and deliver aid.

Richard Kuper, an organizer with the U.K. group Jews for Justice for Palestinians, said one goal is to show that not all Jews support Israeli policies toward Palestinians.
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Shlomo Sand: A Jewish state or an Israeli democracy?

Benjamin Netanyahu is unsure of his identity: His insecurity is behind his pointless demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as uniquely Jewish.
There's a wall-to-wall consensus, from Yisrael Beiteinu to Meretz, from enlightened journalists to learned professors, on Israel's definition as a Jewish state. But this definition strikingly resembles the definition of Iran as an Islamic republic or the United States as a Christian country. True, some American evangelists believe that the United States' Christian character is at risk and seek to cement it in legislation. But the United States, like the rest of the enlightened world, still sees itself as belonging to all its citizens, regardless of religion and creed.

Most Israelis would respond to this by saying Judaism and Jewishness represent not a religion but a people, so Israel must belong not to all its citizens but to the Jews of the world, who, as we know, prefer not to live here.

Strange, I didn't know you could only join a people via religious conversion and not by taking part in its day-to-day culture. But perhaps there's a secular Jewish people-culture I'm not aware of? Maybe Woody Allen, Philip Roth and others are secretly well-versed in the Hebrew language, cinema, literature and theater? For me, the best definition of belonging to a people is the ability to recognize the name of at least one soccer team competing in the local leagues.
Read more-Haaretz

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Texas Board of Education OKs resolution against pro-Islamic references in textbooks

"AUSTIN — The State Board of Education today instructed publishers to curtail positive coverage of Islam and include more favorable treatment of Christianity in future world history textbooks.
Social conservatives on the board joined to pass a resolution saying that pro-Islamic, anti-Christian bias will not be tolerated in new social studies books, which are now scheduled for approval in two years. The resolution, adopoted on a 7-6 vote, said those future textbooks must devote more coverage to Christianity and other non-Muslim faiths."
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Arabic National Geographic launched

"The magazine, which was officially launched at an event in Abu Dhabi last night and hits the news-stands on October 1, is published under licence by the Abu Dhabi Media Company, which also owns and publishes The National.'
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The Angry Arab: What is new? Zionist racism

"Do those racists know that Persian cuisine is one of the most delicious and sophisticated cuisine of the whole world? "The New York Post reported that hotels guests complained of a foul odor in the hotel caused by the food cooked especially for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The leader of the Islamic Republic does not eat the food prepared by the hotel chefs for guests, but instead brought his own personal chef from Iran to cook his meals for him. Guests told the New York Post that his meals "stunk up the hotel," prompting them to leave the hotel and seek lodging elsewhere."

Johnny Cash Died in Great Distress About Iraq Invasion, Says Daughter

"Country legend Johnny Cash died frustrated and disappointed about America's invasion of Iraq. The singer/songwriter's daughter Rosanne has revealed the conflict occupied her dying father's thoughts during his final waking hours and caused him great distress. She insists he wanted to protest the war but didn't have the strength. Rosanne Cash tells The Progressive, "We invaded Iraq in March (2003), and he died in September, and because his health was so fragile, he couldn't take the controversy of making a public statement against the war." She reveals that doctors put her father into medically induced coma just before the invasion of Iraq - and when he woke, his first thoughts were about the conflict. Cash adds, "He went to sleep not knowing if we had invaded Iraq. It was the last thought on his mind."
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Polygamy Promoted to Tackle Plight of Anbar's Women

Campaign encouraging men to take more than one wife draws controversy in province awash with war widows. Widowed by an American air-strike, Walaa Ahmed spent four years sharing a house with a hostile sister-in-law before she decided to remarry.
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Temporary Marriages (Mutta'ah) Stir Iraqi Sensitivities

As the lunchtime lull descends over Basra's Al-Ashaar market, two women weave through dwindling crowds to a store owned by Adel, a grocer in his early forties. After they enter, the door is locked and a sign appears, declaring the shop shut for the afternoon. The women - a mother and her daughter, both widowed - were once regular customers of Adel's. Now they see him only weekly, choosing a time when they are least likely to be spotted by other shoppers. Their dealings with Adel are no longer commercial. Though the manner of the visit is covert, its purpose is lawful.
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Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?

"Gideon Levy is the most hated man in Israel – and perhaps the most heroic. This “good Tel Aviv boy” – a sober, serious child of the Jewish state – has been shot at repeatedly by the Israeli Defence Force, been threatened with being “beaten to a pulp” on the country’s streets, and faced demands from government ministers that he be tightly monitored as “a security risk.” This is because he has done something very simple, and something that almost no other Israeli has done. Nearly every week for three decades, he has travelled to the Occupied Territories and described what he sees, plainly and without propaganda. “My modest mission,” he says, “is to prevent a situation in which many Israelis will be able to say, ‘We didn’t know.’” And for that, many people want him silenced."
Read more-The Independent

Repression against BDS activists in France reachs a new scale

"The repression against BDS activists in France is reaching a new scale with the prosecution of a French MP, Alima Boumediene-Thiery (member of the French Senate) who has participated in a BDS action in the Paris region one year ago and who is a supporter of the BDS campaign. Her trial is due to take place in Pontoise (North of Paris) on Thursday October 14. She is accused (like all the other French BDS activists prosecuted) of “incitation to racial hatred” and “discrimination against the Israeli nation”.
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Tutu, Breytenbach add their voices to sever academic ties

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Unisa vice-chancellor Barney Pityana and author Breyten Breytenbach have added their voices to calls for the University of Johannesburg to sever academic ties with Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
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Bar-Ilan lecturer reportedly denied tenure due to her anti occupation views

Colleagues say remarks against occupation kept Ariella Azoulay, who teaches visual culture and contemporary philosophy, from promotion.
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More than 500 academics have endorsed the academic and cultural boycott of Israel, says USACBI

From the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (a member group of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation)... "Endorsements by US academics and scholars recently crossed 500, and there are now 150 cultural workers who have also endorsed USACBI! This is a major victory for the growing academic and cultural boycott of Israel, and for the movement for justice and equality in Israel, as defenders of the status quo in Israel have repeatedly observed that the legitimacy of the state of Israel in the global court of public opinion is threatened by the boycott movement. There is a growing shift in the tide of public opinion in the U.S. which has only swelled in the wake of Israel’s massacre of international activists and relief workers on humanitarian aid flotilla’s off the coast of Gaza in international waters on May 31..."
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Live ammunition against non violent protesters

Ashraf Al-Khatib was shot in the leg with a 0.22” caliber live bullet at the weekly demonstration against the illegal apartheid wall. An international nonviolent activist was also hit in the shoulder with a low-flying tear gas canister.
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Spiegel: The Settlements of Hebron; A Stumbling Block for Middle East Peace Talks

Hebron is the West Bank in miniature. While diplomats and leaders seek to find a path to Middle East peace, Jewish settlers in the heart of the West Bank's second biggest city insist that they are going nowhere. Indeed, their thirst for settlement construction is far from sated.
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West Bank settlements freeze: 'It's a joke'

Schoolgirls walk past the construction of a building in Modiin Illit, a settlement just inside the West Bank West Bank construction (Dina Kraft)
Anticipation mounts among developers that Israel will end its freeze this weekend. Giant bulldozers churn up the ground, turning the air a dusty red. Further off, the clack of building machinery and tools punctuate the tranquillity of a warm West Bank morning. After nine months of an official Israeli freeze on settlement new builds, developers sense their moment is coming again. If, as expected, Israel ignores international entreaties and ends its freeze on settlement building this weekend, the ominous soundtrack of metal on cement will again reverberate across the West Bank, clanging out the death knell of recently revived peace talks.

Settlement freeze has barely slowed construction (AP)

Arab workers at a construction site of new housing units in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Givat Zeev near Jerusalem

AP - How much of a freeze has there actually been on West Bank Jewish settlement building by Israel?

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"We want war": Giuliani and Bolton take the stage in NY to call for war on Iran

"Yesterday Mahmoud Ahmadinejad restaged his "Mr Smith Goes to Washington" (or rather, New York) show again, this time using new insane conspiracy theories to dominate the headlines. I'll do here as we all should -- ignore his provocations -- as the real issue to follow is the desperate game he's playing to retain his power in Iran, as well as his populist internationalist savvy of speaking out on what are commonly held (if irrational) views shared by many outside the West. Behind the scenes in Iran he has suffered a number of humiliating knocks to his status, from the do-si-do involved in his attempt to stage the release of Sarah Shroud as an act of personal grace (his conservative opponents refused to allow him to put on a show along the line of his giving of gift-bags to the British sailors released in 2008, Shourd left Iran with no ceremony and kiss from Mahmoud), and he has been undermined in other ways as well. Coming to NY and making a stink is one of his tried and true gambits to consolidate support and quell his domestic conservative opposition."
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bill Clinton: Russian immigrants are obstacle to peace

Former United States president Bill Clinton came under fire from Russian-born Israeli politicians on Wednesday, a day after he told the media that the Russian immigrant population in Israel is an obstacle to peace with Palestinians.

"An increasing number of the young people in the IDF [Israel Occupation Forces] are the children of Russians and settlers, the hardest-core people against a division of the land. This presents a staggering problem," Clinton told a round table with press in New York. "It's a different Israel. Sixteen percent of Israelis speak Russian."

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Russian-born Israeli fascists are more so than the US-born ones? News to me..

UN appointed experts: Israel flotilla raid broke international law

A report by three United Nations appointed human rights experts Wednesday said that Israeli forces violated international law when they raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, killing nine activists, earlier this year.

The UN Human Rights Council's fact-finding mission concluded that Israel's naval blockade of the Palestinian territory was unlawful because of the humanitarian crisis there, and described the military raid on the flotilla as brutal and disproportionate.
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Carter in new book: Obama turned back on settlement freeze

In his new book, former United States president Jimmy Carter criticizes President Barack Obama over his policy on Israel's settlement freeze, writing that the President has backed away from his initial commitment to a complete halt to building in West Bank settlements.

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Haaretz: IDF still using banned weapon against civilian protestors

The Israel "Defense" Forces continues using the Ruger 10/22 rifle to disperse protests even though it has been prohibited by the military advocate general, a hearing at a military court revealed last week. A brigade's former operations officer told the court he wasn't even aware of the prohibition.

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Clashes in Silwan after the murder of a Palestinian by a settler

The streets of Silwan were on fire Wednesday (09/22), as residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood expressed their anger in light of the shooting death of a member of their community. 30-year-old Palestinian man Samir Solhan was shot and killed by an Israeli settler guard at approximately 4:30 a.m. Wednesday. Silwan residents clashed with Israeli riot police and soldiers all morning while police helicopters circled overhead

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

IDF use of human shields

Complaint lodged in case of 16-year-old girl used as a human shield
[Ramallah, 22 September 2010] – On Monday, 20 September 2010, DCI-Palestine and Adalah lodged a complaint with the Israeli Military Advocate General (MAG) arising out of the use by Israeli soldiers of a child as a human shield. DCI-Palestine and Adalah have received credible evidence that at 3:30am, on 18 February 2010, a 16-year-old girl (D.A.) was used as a human shield by units of the Israeli army whilst conducting operations in the old city of Nablus, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
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Settlers attack school pupils near the Ibrahimi Mosque

Jewish settlers in Al-Khalil city attacked Palestinian school pupils while on their way to school and threw stones at them, claiming their children were attacked by the pupils.
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Two Silwan residents shot dead by settlres

Massive army presence as clashes continue in Baten el-Hawa, next to Beit Yonathan settlement
Very early this morning in Silwan Village, a patrol of private armed guards stopped near a group of unarmed Palestinian men who were on the Wadi Hilweh Street. According to eyewitness reports, the guards spoke provocatively to the Palestinians, and an argument took place between them. It was during the verbal argument that eyewitnesses say the settlement guards opened fire on the Palestinian men. The two injured were brought to Ein Kerem hospital. One of the Palestinians, Samer Sarhan, who is a father of five young children, was pronounced dead immediately upon arrival to the hospital. The second man is now confirmed as having died.
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Hamas’ Record on Women, a Mixed Bag, Hanitizer

"When it comes to women rights, Hamas in Gaza continues to pass and enforce laws and regulations that are baffling to say the least. I have been watching their actions on women related matters and most of the time I am surprised by how much time to dedicate to making the life for women a bit more difficult. But then when I went to Gaza and saw how things are, I started to see Hamas’s record as a mixed bag. While the majority of Hamas figures see the home and family are the only place for a women. Many Hamas supporters also engage in polygamy (but her husband is a Shaheed). Granted there are things I see as a downside, some might seem them as an upside. For example, in their rallies, Hamas likes to enlist the help of women by promising them to get food stamps for showing up to their rallies. Here is a list of observations on Hamas’ record on women as the Hamas government continues to make waves."
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Haredi extremists versus visitors - women are not invited

Gender relations, Mea She'arim style: non-Haredi women plan a march through the neighborhood Friday morning to protest discrimination against women.
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At one Jerusalem mall, 1 in 3 Jews disapprove of Arab shoppers

Shtern said that 35 percent of the Jewish shoppers he interviewed at Malha expressed negative opinions about Arabs there. "If I would go to them, they'd butcher me," one woman said. One man said the mall had "gone down hill" with the Arabs there.
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On the other hand, everything had gone UPHILL with you there..

British trade union approves West Bank boycott

LONDON (JTA) – Britain’s national trade union has again voted to support a boycott of goods made in West Bank settlements and of companies profiting from the area. Delegates to the Trade Unions Congress’s (TUC) annual conference voted unanimously last week to support the boycott resolution. The union also condemned the Histadrut, Israel’s national trade union, for supporting the Gaza blockade and Israel’s action to stop the aid flotilla in May. It reiterated its support and continued cooperation with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Palestinian trade unions.
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Israeli Playwright : Settlements are like ticks on a dog

Jeruslalem Post 20 Sep 2010 - During a Peace Now flight, writer compares settlements to metastasized tumors.
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Tuesday September 21, 2010 - 18:18, A number of Palestinian civilians were wounded in clashes with Israeli settlers who invaded the olive orchards that belong to the Palestinian farmers in the village of Burin, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
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What game Abbas is playing?

Abbas signals renewed settlement construction won't end talks
Abbas has repeatedly threatened to walk away from peace talks, launched this month in Washington, if Israel resumes building in its West Bank settlements.
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Netanyahu, now listen to this, wants Israeli troops on Palestinian Eastern border

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israel wants to keep its troops on the eastern border of a future Palestinian state.
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Arab-backed resolution at IAEA could pass

Israel's eleventh-hour bid to block resolution calling on it to join the NPT and open the Dimona nuclear complex to inspection focuses on non-aligned countries.

Israel is making an eleventh-hour effort to block a resolution of the International Atomic Energy Agency General Assembly calling on the country to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and open the Dimona nuclear complex to inspection.

The resolution is being proposed by Egypt and the Arab states with a vote expected Thursday or Friday.

Read more

The frustrations and despair of two import-export agents battling to get their clients' goods in and out of Nablus.

Experts: Gaza suffering a sharp food shortage

Nutritional and agricultural experts say the Gaza Strip suffers from a food shortage and high unemployment rate, calling for action to revitalize the local market by encouraging domestic agriculture.
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"I am sure this occupation will end"

Since 2005, residents of the occupied West Bank village of Beit Ommar have launched nonviolent demonstrations in protest against Israeli colonialism and occupation. Jody McIntyre interviews Beit Ommar Popular Committee secretary Ahmed Abu Hashem for The Electronic Intifada.
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Freedom Flotilla Survivors Lead New Convoy

Two survivors from the Israeli assault on the Mavi Marmara are leading the Viva Palestina convoy to break the siege of Gaza. Nicci Enchmarch and Kevin Ovenden were both aboard the Mavi Marmara when it was attacked by Israeli military navy in the early hours of 31st May.
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"Right to return is sacred, no resettling in U.S"

The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) in London expresses its concerns over the statement of ex-Israeli primer, Ehud Olmert, in which he stated that the previous U.S administration led by George Bush, offered resettling 100 thousand Palestinian refugees, affectively terminating the right of return, a key component to peace enshrined under international law. Olmert's statements explicitly ignored the right of return for all Palestinian Refugees who were expelled upon the creation of the state of Israel. The right to return is guaranteed by all laws and humanitarian accords including the UN resolutions 194 which was reaffirmed over a 100 times confirming the right of Palestinians refugees to return to their land.
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Celebrities cultural boycotting Israel

The issue of Israeli settlements has captured attention far beyond the arena of international politics.
Several celebrities have now thrown their weight behind what is being termed a "cultural boycott" against further building on Palestinian land.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Interview with Angry Arab

"The shift from a unipolar US world to a multipolar world is overstated"
AbuKhalil: I think this shift from a unipolar US world to a multipolar world is overstated - just this morning I read that the Russian government has succumbed to pressure from the US to cancel delivery to Iran of a missile defense system. At the end of the day, Russia can only operate in a way that is going to be permitted by the US government. When it comes to a clash between the two parties' vital interests the US still has the means and power to prevail. There is no indication of a change in the rules of the game, in the Middle East, as far as the roles of the big powers go.

The US still is able to impose its will on issues dealing with Israel, and on economic issues, the US is still able - with the help of the oil producers - to decide on matters of production and such. Israel still on behalf of the US can do what it wants. What's true is this, for electoral reasons, the US is currently so preoccupied by Afghanistan first, and secondly, by Iraq, that is willing to allow certain manoeuvres by its enemies. However, that is not going to allow for any changing of the rules according to which, Israel rules supreme in the Middle East region, while Arab dictatorships continue to act on behalf of the US empire.
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Negev homes demolished without warning

Negev, September 21, (Pal Telegraph) Israeli bulldozers reinforced with large troops of police and special units stormed today morning the villages of “Awajan” and “Al Mukimen” which arent recognized and located at the South Negev land - south of the Palestinian occupied territories of 1948 - and destroyed the homes of Arbidi and Abu Hodobi families. Local witnesses said that the villagers were surprised to see the Israeli bulldozers and Israeli police storm the villages without prior warning, then demolished a house of cement built in 2001 and a house made of tin.
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Letter from Jerusalem: The Rise Of Blind Judaism

Breslov men in veils( (Religious men wearing veils sign of radicalization in face of modern world)
The world is home to Jews of all types: We have haredim, seculars, national-religious Jews, traditional Jews, and confused Jews. Yet the images of Breslov Hassidim with their eyes covered at the airport may indicate that a new and surprising Jewish stream is growing here – the blind Jews.

Haredi Judaism is a byproduct of the Enlightenment movement – detachment from modern Judaism in order to preserve the old ways. For years, the haredim attempted to distinguish themselves from the other Jews, to dwell alone, yet they understood that they are nonetheless part of the larger family – the family of Judaism. It may be a split, divided family (and too frequently so,) yet nonetheless, it’s family.
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Architect Frank Gehry and Daniel Barenboim join Ariel boycott campaign

Boycott statement has been signed by over 200 artists, including Jennifer Tilly, James Schamus, Tony Kushner, Harold Prince and others.
World-renowned architect Frank Gehry and the legendary pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim joined Tuesday the international campaign in support of the Israeli actors' refusal to perform in the new cultural center of Ariel, according to the website of Jewish Voices for Peace.
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Memoir of a yeshiva boy

Losing My Religion: A Yom Kippur Special
"I assume most people reading this did not have the misfortune of having to try and salvage some sense out of a Talmud page; I can assure you this is one of most arduous, pointless and senseless tasks imaginable. Being forced to do so for six hours a day was a torture which is hardly imaginable. I never excelled in it. After a while, I started feeling uneasy about it. The most annoying thing about studying the Talmud – aside from the fact it’s written in barely decipherable Aramaic – is that logic was never a part of the equation: the proper solution of a Talmudic problem, assuming there is one, must rely on the solutions of earlier problems or of bits and pieces of biblical verses, as a rule quoted wildly out of context. Any information coming outside the basic Jewish corps of ignorance – such as historical or archeological evidence – was obviously unacceptable. (One famous problem is the proper way of writing the text in the Tflilin; most Jews follow the system of Rashi, some follow his grandson Rabbi Tam, both from the high Middle Ages. Several decades ago archeologists dug up a set of Tfilin from the Classical era, which showed one of the two – can’t remember which – was right. The Orthodox world blithely ignored the discovery.)
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If you want to have an insight into the insanity inside Israeli society, please read this piece..

Monday, September 20, 2010

Obama responds to Palestinian petition...Yes we caaaaan't!

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- US President Barack Obama responded to a petition Sunday signed by Palestinians calling for an end to the Israeli occupation and support for Palestinian self-determination. The letter was delivered to Sabri Seiydem, who coordinated the campaign, via the US Consulate in East Jerusalem. The letter was signed on behalf of the president by US Secretary of State assistant Jeffrey Feltman.
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A few scenes from the occupation, Philip Weiss

I go through the Qalandiya checkpoint, the dispiriting checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem, famous for its galvanized-steel cattle chutes and gates. I am with a dozen other people lined up behind a turnstile that the guards control-- they let a few people at a time into the inspection zone. A Palestinian woman is stopped at the front, and her son has been let through. He is about eight, and frightened. He can’t get his papers right and the soldier behind the glass keeps yelling at him and he keeps looking to his mother, who is locked in the turnstile. Men in line call out to let the woman through. At last she is let through to take care of her son.
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France's "justice" persecutes BDS

BDS action in Evry(France)
On 29th October, representatives of CAPJPO Europpalestine, a French BDS group, are to appear in a French court in Paris, to answer charges that publishing the above video of a BDS action that took place in July 2009 at a Carrefour supermarket in Avry, constituted an "offense of incitement to discrimination, hatred or violence against a group of people on account of their belonging to the Israeli nation." The plaintiff, the "National Bureau of vigilance against antisemitism (because, naturally, according to antisemites and fake "vigilantes against antisemitism" alike, to speak against Israel is to attack Jews for being Jewish), is looking for opportunities to promote repression of Palestine solidarity activism, and the French state is more than happy to oblige. Europalestine was chosen out either randomly or out of convenience. As a matter of fact, the action was sponsored by a long list of organizations, including a Jewish group (IJAN) and a national political party (the New Anti-Capitalist Party), both of which it would probably be counter-productive for the Zionists to attack in court.
Read more-Jews Sans Frontieres

Le Moyne students hear Finkelstein despite calls to cancel lecture

A small group of faculty members convinced Le Moyne College officials to permit Norman Finkelstein to lecture at their school, despite an organized campaign to persuade Le Moyne to cancel the event. The week before Finkelstein was scheduled to appear, a number of local Rabbis, a high ranking member of the New York State Catholic hierarchy, and other prominent community members contacted the school to request that the event be called off.
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Convoy 'Artery Of Life 5' Heading to Gaza Arrives In Paris

Sunday September 19, 2010 - 23:17, The “Artery of Life 5” solidarity convoy heading to the Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian supplies, arrived in Paris on Sunday, and was welcomed by hundreds of French peace activists and Palestinians living in France.
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Jewish Activists Organise Boat, Ready for Voyage to Gaza

Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP), in cooperation with members of the German Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East, have organized a boat for Gaza.
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Syrian Aid Ship (heading to Gaza) Arrives In Al Arish Port

Lieutenant Hisham Al Janayni, assistant-director of Al Arish Port, stated that a Syrian aid ship heading to Gaza had arrived at Al Arish Port in Egypt on Sunday evening, and that the ship will be towed to the dock in order to be emptied under the supervision of the Red Crescent before the supplies are sent to Gaza by land.
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Settlers uproot 100 grape trees east of Hebron

HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Several Israeli settlers uprooted approximately 100 grape trees in the Al-Buera village in the southern West Bank district of Hebron on Monday, owners of the grape plantation said. The plantation belongs to Abdul Rahman Sharif Sultan, said Syfian Sultan, who estimated damages caused to reach thousands of dollars. He said settlers vandalized six dunums worth of grape trees, some as old as 15 years.
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Settlers harvest... Palestinian olives!

NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israeli settlers began harvesting Palestinian olives on Monday in the northern West Bank district of Qalqiliya and Nablus, a Palestinian Authority official said. Ghassan Doughlas, who heads the PA file on northern settlement activity, said settlers brought sheets and ladders "as though they were the owners of the land" and started harvesting the olives from Palestinian land.
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IDF finally admits its three victims were civilians

David Samel-Mondoweiss
It cannot be much of a surprise to anyone with half a brain, but it’s now official. The 91-year-old Ibrahim Abu Sayed, his grandson Hossam and young family friend Ismail Abu Oda, who were blown away by Israeli tank shells in Gaza on September 12, were not terrorists after all. Even the IDF now admits it, although of course it still insists that these deaths were not the fault of the killers themselves. It was Hamas, and an imprudent, virtually suicidal gesture on the part of one of the victims, that are to blame. According to Ha’aretz: “Soldiers manning one of the IDF's permanent lookout posts noticed three men on agricultural land at the edge of the no-go zone that the military imposes along the border fence. One of them, apparently the 21-year-old, was seen lifting a loaded rocket-propelled-grenade launcher, and seemingly aiming it at the border fence and in the general direction of an IDF patrol. The force commanders estimated the man was a terrorist preparing to fire the rocket, and an IDF tank opened fire on the group, killing all three.”
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Netanyahu's 'catastrophic success'

The ongoing colonisation of the West Bank may have unintended and unwanted consequences for Israel.
The 'facts on the ground' in the West Bank have important practical consequences that are far removed from what their authors originally intended

"But in the meantime, there is lurking danger. Netanyahu is no doubt aware of the growing talk of a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. That may be why he is suddenly willing to countenance the possibility of a Palestinian state, at least in some truncated form, and at least in principle. And that may also be why he needs Palestinian recognition of the principle of Israel as a Jewish state. It is not clear that Mahmud Abbas, in his greatly diminished state, can provide the Israeli prime minister with the lasting commitment he wants, particularly in the absence of a fully-implemented peace agreement, but that does not make Netanyahu want it any less.

The fact of the matter, however, is that the idea of a two-state solution in Palestine is finished. Israeli settlements in the West Bank and their attendant infrastructure have made a viable and independent Palestinian state impossible. The settlements, moreover, cannot be undone. Their existence obviates the need for formal Israeli annexation: The de-facto annexation of the West Bank has already taken place. The only remaining solution is a single, unified, bi-national state.

The fact that a bi-national state is inevitable will not make its formation any easier; nor will the great difficulties involved in forging a truly bi-national state make its emergence any less inevitable. Such a state will, of necessity, eventually be fully democratic; and its character will of necessity be substantially - though by no means exclusively - Jewish."
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Robert Grenier is a retired, 27-year veteran of the CIA's Clandestine Service. He was the director of the CIA's Counter-Terrorism Centre from 2004 to 2006.

'Bullied' but not surrendering

US may have forced the PA to the negotiating table but Palestinians will not submit.

Lamis Andoni

Responsibility for the decision to participate - despite overwhelming Palestinian opposition - must rest with the PA. But, it is important to recognise the growing American and Arab complicity in pushing the PA to surrender.

Arab countries have collectively and individually exerted tremendous political and financial pressure on the PA to enter into direct talks. Qatar, the country that presided over the special Arab League committee that gave the green light for the talks, has played a pivotal role in negotiating their 'terms'.

For their part, Jordan and Egypt, driven largely by their own self-interests, have long argued for an immediate resumption of direct talks under the guise that they would give the US an opportunity to support the Palestinian cause.

In reality, Arab support for the PA has always been conditional on the Palestinian leadership's willingness to appease the West and the divisions between Fatah and Hamas have made the threat of Arab states withholding political support all the more real for the PA. But, the main pressure has been financial. Arab states have paid only $115mn of the $550mn pledged to PA institutions, leaving it with very real fears of financial collapse. Western donors have also failed to deliver on aid promises, much of which is linked to 'progress' in the 'peace process'.
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

A former CNN Iraq correspondent suffering from PTSD says CNN wouldn't run footage of a war crime

CNN reporter: Network censored footage of Iraq ‘war crime’

A former CNN Iraq correspondent suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder says his employers wouldn't run footage he filmed of what he describes as a war crime by US troops, an Australian news source reports.

Michael Ware, who covered Iraq for CNN from 2006 until last year, describes the incident as "a small war crime, if there is such a thing."

In 2007, Ware was with a group of US soldiers in a remote village in Iraq that was under the control of al Qaeda militants. Ware says there was a teenage boy in the street carrying a weapon for protection.

‘‘(The boy) approached the house we were in and the (US) soldiers who were watching our backs, one of them put a bullet right in the back of his head. Unfortunately it didn't kill him,’’ Ware told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, as quoted at the Brisbane Times.

Ware said his footage of the incident was deemed "too graphic" by CNN bosses to be placed on the air.

Arab oil producers: Wealth but no political power

Patrick Seale
Arab oil producers are awash in wealth. They have never been so rich. But the paradox is that, in spite of their great and growing wealth, their political weight in the world remains small, even derisory. They have not - or, at least, not yet - converted their wealth into political influence on a global scale.

This is particularly striking in the Arabs' own Middle East region. Why, one wonders, have the Arabs not been able to resolve the grave crises in Iraq and Lebanon, which are tearing their region apart? Why have they allowed the US to neglect Arab interests in the festering Arab-Israeli conflict, and tilt so decisively in Israel's favour? Why have the Arabs not intervened to defuse the dangerous confrontation between the West and Iran which, if it were to escalate into a military clash, would be utterly disastrous for the Gulf? Why do the Arabs seem to focus all their attention and all their energies on business - on getting rich and richer still - while leaving their political and strategic destinies very largely in the hands of foreigners? Whatever the reasons - and they are undoubtedly many and deep-seated - the Arab world projects an image of impotence, even where its own vital interests are concerned.

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Former Israeli PM Olmert: US agreed to absorb 100,000 Palestinian refugees

"Ehud Olmert said that during his tenure as prime minister he had reached an agreement with the Americans for them to absorb 100,000 Palestinian refugees as part of a peace deal, adding that he struck a deal with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas according to which Israel would absorb "a minimal amount" of refugees.
The numbers discussed were below 20,000, but this would require and end to the conflict and a Palestinian announcement that they would not make any more demands," Olmert told a Geneva Initiative conference Sunday evening.

Holland calls off settlement heads' visit

Professional tour of Israeli local authority heads canceled after Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs learns list of participants includes mayors of West Bank settlements. Efrat council head: Dutch determined State of Israel's borders.

After European Union calls for extended settlement freeze, Holland refuses to settle for words: A professional tour of Israeli local authority heads to Holland has been canceled, after the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs learned that the list of participants includes mayors of West Bank settlements.

John Mearsheimer: American public opinion and the special relationship with Israel

There is no question that the United States has a relationship with Israel that has no parallel in modern history. Washington gives Israel consistent, almost unconditional diplomatic backing and more foreign aid than any other country. In other words, Israel gets this aid even when it does things that the United States opposes, like building settlements. Furthermore, Israel is rarely criticized by American officials and certainly not by anyone who aspires to high office. Recall what happened last year to Charles Freeman, who was forced to withdraw as head of the National Intelligence Council because he had criticized certain Israeli policies and questioned the merits of the special relationship.

Steve Walt and I argue that there is no good strategic or moral rationale for this special relationship, and that it is largely due to the enormous influence of the Israel lobby. Critics of our claim maintain that the extremely tight bond between the two countries is the result of the fact that most Americans feel a special attachment to Israel. The American people, so the argument goes, are so deeply committed to supporting Israel generously and unreservedly that politicians of all persuasions have no choice but to support the special relationship.

.....The bottom line is that the lobby is largely responsible for America’s special relationship with Israel, which is harmful to both countries. Alan Dershowitz was spot on when he said, “My generation of Jews … became part of what is perhaps the most effective lobbying and fund-raising effort in the history of democracy.”
Read more (via Mondoweiss)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fallujah Horror: Depleted Uranium?

"...What the people of Fallujah, more than any other people in the world, are facing everyday and every second of every day is hell on earth; they have to witness the death of more than a quarter of the new born within a week of their birth and to make the deeply painful decision of what is to be done about the huge proportion of grotesquely deformed babies that are born with two heads, three eyes, no limbs, one eye.

The world owes the people of Fallujah an explanation of what has triggered this avalanche of deformity and horror. The usual celebratory experience of giving birth has been transformed to a time of anxiety and horror. Women dread becoming pregnant and above all carrying the fetus for nine months only to find out that what they are carrying has been condemned to death the moment that life was to begin. Such rapid and unique developments do not occur without a cause. The only logical proximate cause for this human tragedy was the 2003 war and in particular the 2004 assault on Fallujah. It was estimated that during that assault over 10,000 tons of depleted uranium, DU, was used in the bombardment of the city of 300,000 people.
Both the Pentagon and the British governments insist that the use of DU is not illegal and that the studies that they have undertaken do not reveal DU to be a carcinogen. That might be true but many an international body including the EU and the UN have been trying, unsuccessfully, to prevent the use of DU munitions because there are many physicians, engineers and studies that suspect that the DU produced vapour in battles is capable of contaminating humans, soil and water. It is this radioactive contamination that causes the severe deformities in the newly born “things” since many of them do not look like humans.

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(Thanks Walid)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Woody Allen: Build The Mosque

Woody Allen is very clearly in favor of the proposed Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero. At the premiere of his new film "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" this week, Allen shared his feelings on the Cordoba House with "Inside Edition." "I'm for the building of the mosque," Allen said. "I think that all the people weighing in on it except for the people that lost someone at Ground Zero...are exploitative, fake frauds using it for personal reasons and political reasons."
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Hundreds of Syrians begin visit from occupied Golan

DAMASCUS: Hundreds of Syrians living in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights began a five-day visit to Syria on Thursday, most of them for the first time in more than 40 years, official media reported.
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Russia: We will provide Syria with advanced missiles, despite Israel, U.S. protests

Remark by Russia defense minster comes amid reports that Israeli officials, including PM Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak, had reportedly warned arms could be used by Hezbollah.
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Dismantle America’s Military Behemoth, Jacob G. Hornberger

An article in last Sunday’s New York Times provided an interesting analysis of the Egyptian military, one that holds some important lessons for America.
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Three day of mourning declared in Fallujah..(10 civilians were killed)

The Iraqi city of Fallujah has declared three-day long mourning after a joint U.S.-Iraqi attack on the city killed at least 10 civilians and injured many others. The raid on Wednesday has raised tensions and angered the city’s inhabitants as well as the nearly two million Muslim Sunnis who live in the Province of Anbar, west of Baghdad. The Muslim Scholars Association, a group of powerful Muslim Sunni clerics in Iraq, described the raid as “a massacre in which two children were killed.” U.S. and Iraqi officials claim that the raid killed a former Iraqi officer linked to al-Qaeda group in the country. But the claim could not be substantiated and eyewitnesses and officials in the city said all the dead and injured were civilians.
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'Obama wants to restore Lebanon aid (Lobby controlled) Congress feared would be used against Israel'

Senior administration and congressional officials say that the president believes it to be in the security interests of both America and the Mideast to lift holds on $100 million in assistance to Lebanon Army.
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How a soldier's pizza landed Haaretz in a West Bank police station

A Haaretz team was detained at the Qalandiyah checkpoint in the West Bank yesterday after telling a soldier who had closed the checkpoint he should not be eating pizza and holding up the traffic mid-shift.
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Arab League refuses to recognize Israel as Jewish state (and so they should)

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo on Thursday decided to reject a demand made by Israel, asking Palestinian negotiators recognize Israel as a Jewish state. In a statement issued after the meeting, the Arab League supported President Mahmoud Abbas' refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Palestinian negotiators have recognized Israel’s right to exist, but not as a Jewish state, which officials say would prejudice the right of return for refugees and violate the rights of Israel's non-Jewish residents.
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Dangers Of Negotiations Under Settlements

The Palestinian National Initiative, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and independent national figures organised yesterday a press conference at WATAN Media Center in Ramallah expressing their rejection to the negotiations that are being held under the settlements and because there is clear absence of terms of reference for the negotiations.
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The advance of the anti-Muslim movement across America

(Glenn Beck interviews Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy.)
Shariah: The Threat to America, a report released by the Center for Security Policy in Washington DC on Wednesday, is an attempt to provide a veneer of seriousness in support of the hysterical ravings of people like Pamela Geller.

The fact that Washington’s foreign policy establishment won’t take the report seriously is beside the point since Islamophobia needs neither the consent nor the interest of the establishment or the mainstream media in order to continue its advance across America.

The fact that 52% of Republicans believe that President Obama supports the imposition of shariah is sufficient evidence that a new McCarthyism has already gained a firm grip on this country while opposition to this movement has barely begun to solidify.

Read more-War in Context

On Gaza, Artists Speak Out

Terry Jones, Annie Lennox, Thandie Newton, Alexei Sayle, Mike Figgis, Katharine Hamnett and Jason Flemyng, voice their support for Amnesty International’s ongoing efforts to secure justice for both Palestinians and Israelis and make an impassioned plea for Israel to cease its illegal siege of Gaza.
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Turks cool to EU membership

Turkish enthusiasm for joining the European Union is waning as the country is increasingly looking east, a report shows.
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New Statesman Interview : Noam Chomsky: “President Obama is Involved in War Crimes Right Now”

It's imperial doctrine. Stability is when the UK and US invade a country and impose the regime of their choice. But if Iran tries to interfere, that's destabilising.
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War crimes: Group offers $100,000 for ‘information leading to the arrest and conviction of Karl Rove’

American Crossroads" groups known to many as the "shadow RNC," an activist organization declared that it would give $100,000 to any person who comes forward with "information leading to the arrest and conviction of Karl Rove."
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We Are Living Through an Exceptional Moment in Human History, Fidel Castro

We feel astonished by the images we see from the Middle East, where Palestinians are deprived from their lands, their homes are demolished by gigantic equipment, and men, women and children are bombed with white phosphorus and other extermination means
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Settlers Take Over Palestinian Farm Lands Near Nablus

Nablus – PNN – a group of Israeli settlers took over on Thursday more Palestinian farm lands near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The 30 Donoms of land ( 7.5 acres ) belongs to farmers from the village of Jaloud near Nablus, local sources said that this is the second time the settlers take over villagers lands. Earlier in the month settlers took over 3 acres of villagers lands. Settler’s attacks increased in the past two week after Palestinian fighters killed four of them and injured two others in two different attacks near West Bank settlements earlier in the month. Since May of this year Israeli settlers and military attacks on Palestinian communities in Gaza and the West Bank has left 14 civilians killed.
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Homes For 27,000 Constructed During Israeli Settlements Freeze

The so-called settlement freeze in the Palestinian territories is a myth. No freeze has ever been implemented, in fact the settlements have been expanding dramatically during the moratorium. Additionally, another 13,000 homes have been approved for the West Bank, together with two new colonies near Nablus and the Jordan Valley.
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Abbas warns settlement building will end talks: Palestinians (AFP)

AFP - Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas warned new settlement construction would end peace talks after the Israeli premier told him on Wednesday building will continue, a senior Palestinian official said.
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

When settlers attack: A brief account of 1000 attacks

The Palestine Center presents an analysis of settler violence in the West Bank. We ask what type of violence occurs, who is most vulnerable and most targeted, where the violence is concentrated and what motivates it. We will present the results of an analysis spanning over 1000 events of settler violence, as well as trends in the violence over time, to better understand how these attacks affect Palestinians.

Max Blumenthal: Feeling the Loyalty to the Jewish State of Israel

Far right Israeli lawmaker Alex Miller has introduced legislation demanding that all citizens of Israel swear loyalty to the state. PM Benjamin Netanyahu insisted those who take the oath pledge loyalty to "the state of the Jewish people." We asked people on the streets of Jerusalem to take a similar oath. Read the article on AlterNet:
Very interesting article..Bottom line, Palestinians in Israel must sign to their second class status or bust!

Army devastates crops and demolish water tanks and irrigation systems

For the third time in 12 days, Israeli Border Police carried out demolitions in Al Baqa'un Valley, a fertile agricultural area northeast of Hebron. On July 19, 2010, Israeli Border Police using heavy machinery, destroyed a tank and irrigation pipes retired crop fields.
...The occupation forces and their henchmen demolished a rain water tank. First they destroyed the tank and then headed to the fields to eliminate irrigation systems. The Jewish invaders will use sonic grenades to disperse Palestinians gathered to defend their land.

Palestinian Residents: Peace Only Possible Without Jewish Settlers

Among the biggest challenges to the U.S.-brokered peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians is the conflict surrounding the more than 100 Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. The Palestinians say the settlements make it impossible for them to have a contiguous Palestinian state and have threatened to quit the negotiations unless Israel extends a partial construction freeze that is set to expire September 26. Palestinian residents in the area around Hebron - the scene of frequent clashes between the two groups - want more than a construction freeze. They are calling for a total withdrawal of settlements.