Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Richard Falk: Prolonged occupation new crime against humanity

GENEVA (Ma'an) -- Israel's prolonged occupation of the Palestinian territories is "a new type of crime against humanity," a senior UN envoy said Monday. UN representative on human rights in the Palestinian territories Richard Falk urged the international community to draft a new protocol of international humanitarian law to address the situation imposed on Palestinian people by 43 years of Israeli occupation.
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Arrested while helping farmers in Saffa Valley

Israeli soldiers detain Israeli and international activists in Saffa Valley, June 2009.
It was a bright, warm morning in the occupied West Bank's Saffa Valley Thursday, 18 November when, without warning, the Israeli occupation forces were upon us. Within moments, five Israeli soldiers were shouting in Hebrew. "You have one minute to leave the area!" they said, before shooting stun grenades at our feet. Moments later, we were told to sit quietly and hand over our passports. A six-hour detention was to follow.
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UN confirms ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem

UN Report Uncovers Israeli Efforts to Drive Palestinians from Jerusalem
Cairo – PNN - The Cairo-based UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released a report on Monday saying that Israeli settlers in Jerusalem cooperated with Israeli police to seize a three-storey Palestinian apartment in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jebel al-Mukabar between November 10 and November 23. Three families, 14 people all together including five children, left as a result. The OCHA report said that settlers bought the apartment from a family member who died several years ago, putting the deal into dispute. The Palestinian owners of the buildings demanded to see the papers of sale and alleged that they were defrauded. OCHA claimed this is the second time buildings have been seized by settlers since the beginning of the year. In July, settlers took over eight residential units in the Old City, resulting in the flight of eight Palestinian families, or 29 people in all.
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Noam Chomsky: WikiLeaks Cables Reveal "Profound Hatred for Democracy on the Part of Our Political Leadership"


In a national broadcast exclusive interview, we speak with world-renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky about the release of more than 250,000 secret U.S. State Department cables by WikiLeaks. In 1971, Chomsky helped government whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg release the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret internal U.S. account of the Vietnam War. Commenting on the revelations that several Arab leaders are urging the United States to attack Iran, Chomsky says, "latest polls show] Arab opinion holds that the major threat in the region is Israel, that’s 80 percent; the second threat is the United States, that’s 77 percent. Iran is listed as a threat by 10 percent," Chomsky says. "This may not be reported in the newspapers, but it’s certainly familiar to the Israeli and U.S. governments and the ambassadors. What this reveals is the profound hatred for democracy on the part of our political leadership."

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"We Have Not Seen Anything Yet": Guardian Editor Says Most Startling WikiLeaks Cables Still To Be Released


"In the coming days, we are going to see some quite startling disclosures about Russia, the nature of the Russian state, and about bribery and corruption in other countries, particularly in Central Asia," says Investigations Executive Editor David Leigh at the Guardian, one of the three newspapers given advanced access to the secret U.S. embassy cables by the whistleblower website, WikiLeaks. "We will see a wrath of disclosures about pretty terrible things going on around the world." Leigh reviews the major WikiLeaks revelations so far, explains how the 250,000 files were downloaded and given to the newspaper on a thumb drive, and confirms the Guardian gave the files to the New York Times. Additional cables will be disclosed throughout the week.

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Gareth Porter: Media selecting cables that support Iran narrative

An Interview With WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

In an exclusive sit-down with WikiLeaks' founder, he tells Forbes about a coming wave of involuntary transparency for government--and business.

Interviewing Julian Assange, London, Nov. 11, 2010.

Admire him or revile him, WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange is the prophet of a coming age of involuntary transparency, the leader of an organization devoted to divulging the world’s secrets using technology unimagined a generation ago. Over the last year his information insurgency has dumped 76,000 secret Afghan war documents and another trove of 392,000 files from the Iraq war into the public domain–the largest classified military security breaches in history. Sunday, WikiLeaks made the first of 250,000 classified U.S. State Department cables public, offering an unprecedented view of how America’s top diplomats view enemies and friends alike.
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No Jemmy, I did not unlock the cage, the system did. A ban is automatically set for a year. I, of course, can renew the ban any time I chose but I thought it's fun and informative in a sense, to show, if needed, what we've been missing on in the absence of this hyena..Bile, vomit, excrement and the stench they emanate..If it doesn't bother you (all) stepping into faecal matter going about your way here then it's your choice. As far as I'm concerned I feel as much insulted by this character as I would by the old drunkard who squats at the entrance of the mall in my area, and who for some reason, doesn't like "wogs" "brownies" and "blacks" and would go insane if you ever look at him and even if you don't..The reactions to this deranged fellow are invariably amused, always taken with a smile..I said it before, I genuinely and honestly believe that fleming is psychotic. His behaviour is out of norm between grown ups (in real life or online), even of contrasting, conflicting views.. The fellow is, in my opinion, what we characterise in French as a 'zinzin'..

Robert Fisk: Now we know. America really doesn't care about injustice in the Middle East.

"It's not that US diplomats don't understand the Middle East; it's just that they've lost all sight of injustice. Vast amounts of diplomatic literature prove that the mainstay of Washington's Middle East policy is alignment with Israel, that its principal aim is to encourage the Arabs to join the American-Israeli alliance against Iran, that the compass point of US policy over years and years is the need to tame/bully/crush/oppress/ ultimately destroy the power of Iran.

There is virtually no talk (so far, at least) of illegal Jewish colonial settlements on the West Bank, of Israeli "outposts", of extremist Israeli "settlers" whose homes now smallpox the occupied Palestinian West Bank – of the vast illegal system of land theft which lies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian war. And incredibly, all kinds of worthy US diplomats grovel and kneel before Israel's demands – many of them apparently fervent supporters of Israel – as Mossad bosses and Israel military intelligence agents read their wish-list to their benefactors."

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Wikileaks evades hackers with shift to Amazon

Website moves front page to Amazon server hire service but keeps US embassy cables out of reach

Wikileaks, the site that has infuriated the US government by releasing thousands of US diplomatic cables, is being hosted by one of the symbols of that country's internet success - Amazon.

The site came under a "Distributed Denial of Service" (DDOS) attack on Sunday night from an unidentified hacker, forcing it to seek a new location for its computer files. And it found it through Amazon's "Elastic Cloud Computing" (EC2) service, which enables businesses to hire its servers and store their data there.

DDOS attacks typically force sites off the net unless they have enormous bandwidth at their disposal or highly effective countermeasures. Wikileaks, being small and struggling for funds, is neither.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

US embassy cables: A banquet of secrets

A diplomat's nightmare is a historian's dream – a feast of data that deepens our understanding
It is the historian's dream. It is the diplomat's nightmare. Here, for all to see, are the confidences of friends, allies and rivals, garnished with American diplomats' frank, sometimes excoriating assessments of them. Over the next couple of weeks, you, the readers of the Guardian, will enjoy a multi-course banquet from the history of the present.
Read more-The Guardian

Hillary Clinton Ordered Diplomats to Steal UN Officials’ Credit Card Numbers

'National Humint Collection Directive' Also Called for Them to Steal Passwords, DNA

One of the first eye-opening revelations from the massive WikiLeaks diplomatic logs release is the length to which the US State Department is being treated as just another of America’s many spying apparatus.

Among the leaks was something called the “National Humint Collection Directive,” a secret document signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last year. The document orders officials at the State Department to conduct mass surveillance and in some cases outright theft against high ranking UN officials.

Incredibly, beyond the simple collection of secret information about officials including UN chief Ban Ki-moon, the directive also calls for State Department officials to try to steal credit card data from a number of top officials, as well as passwords and personal encryption keys. They also sought to collect DNA samples from UN members.

Read more-Antiwar.com

Breaking news: Iranian 'nuclear scientist' killed

An Iranian nuclear scientist was killed in one of two explosions that rocked the capital Tehran on Monday, according to state media. Three people were also injured in the blasts.

The report said that Dr. Majid Shahriari was killed and his wife was injured. Shahriari was a member of the nuclear engineering department of Shahid Beheshti University in northern Tehran, according to the official IRNA news agency.

In a separate attack, Dr. Fereydoon Abbasi and his wife were injured.

Abbasi, 52, holds a PhD in nuclear physics and did nuclear research at the defence ministry, Mashreghnews, an Iranian news website, said.

He is "one of the few specialists who can separate isotopes" and has been a "member of the Revolutionary Guards since the revolution" in 1979, added the website.

Read more

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More cables on Arab puppets and Israeli shenanigans

Saudi king urged U.S. to attack Iran: WikiLeaks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Saudi King Abdullah has repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran's nuclear program and China directed cyberattacks on the United States, according to a vast cache of U.S. diplomatic cables released on Sunday in an embarrassing leak that undermines U.S. diplomacy.
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Wikileaks documents: Saudi Arabia urges US attack on Iran to stop nuclear programme

• Embassy cables show Arab allies want strike against Tehran
• Israel prepared to attack alone to avoid its own 9/11
• Iranian bomb risks 'Middle East proliferation, war or both'
Nuclear energy campaigners in Iran
Embassy cables reveal the US, Israel and Arab states suspect Iran is close to acquiring nuclear weapons despite Tehran's insistence that its programme is designed to supply energy. Photograph: Morteza Nikoubazl/Reuters

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear programme, according to leaked US diplomatic cables that describe how other Arab allies have secretly agitated for military action against Tehran.

The revelations, in secret memos from US embassies across the Middle East, expose behind-the-scenes pressures in the scramble to contain the Islamic Republic, which the US, Arab states and Israel suspect is close to acquiring nuclear weapons. Bombing Iranian nuclear facilities has hitherto been viewed as a desperate last resort that could ignite a far wider war.

Read more-The Guardian

US embassy cables leak sparks global diplomacy crisis

• More than 250,000 dispatches reveal US foreign strategies
• Diplomats ordered to spy on allies as well as enemies
• Hillary Clinton leads frantic 'damage limitation'
The release of more than 250,000 US embassy cables reveals previously secret information on American intelligence gathering, and political and military strategy. Photograph: Rex Features

The United States was catapulted into a worldwide diplomatic crisis today, with the leaking to the Guardian and other international media of more than 250,000 classified cables from its embassies, many sent as recently as February this year.

At the start of a series of daily extracts from the US embassy cables - many of which are designated "secret" – the Guardian can disclose that Arab leaders are privately urging an air strike on Iran and that US officials have been instructed to spy on the UN's leadership.

Read more-The Guardian

The US embassy cables: The Wikileaks documents

The Guardian: The Wikileaks documents

Washington requests personal data on Hamas

Wikileaks currently under a mass distributed DOS ( denial of service) attack

Whistle-blowing website Wikileaks says it has come under attack from a computer-hacking operation, ahead of a release of secret US documents.

"We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack," it said on its Twitter feed earlier.

It added that several newspapers will go ahead and publish the documents released to them by Wikileaks even if the site goes down.

The US state department has said the release will put many lives at risk.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has said the US authorities are afraid of being held to account.

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Bill to declare Jerusalem capital of the Jewish people!!

An Israeli MK has proposed changing Israel's Basic Law to declare Jerusalem "the capital of the Jewish people," the Hebrew-language daily Ma'ariv reported Friday. Knesset member Zevulun Orlev sponsored the bill in April 2008, and the preliminary reading of the amendment was approved by a large majority in the Knesset. However at a vote on the amendment in October 2009, the Labor party vetoed the proposal.
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WEST BANK: Israel bulldozes Fayyad’s Freedom Road

On Sept. 1, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad celebrated with the residents of Qarawat Bani Hassan the inauguration of a mile-long road linking the small West Bank village to a spring its residents consider the lifeline of the community. It was called Freedom Road. Israel on Wednesday destroyed the road, which is located in Area C of the West Bank.
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Israel's contribution to the Hariri Tribunal

Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has acknowledged Israel aided Hariri's tribunal, Press TV reported quoting Lebanon's al-Akhbar newspaper on Friday. Lieberman added that Tel Aviv's government has been transparent and open to the investigation.
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Bad Intentions: New Jerusalem Settlements and the Prospects for Peace

Two more houses in Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem taken over by settlers over the past two days, in the neighborhoods of Jabel Mukaber and A-Tur. Are these just routine settler provocations or something more? The answer is: both. They are routine because settlers have been doing this for years, supported by Israeli police and courts.
Read more-huffingtonpost

Obama Surrenders Palestinian Rights (He can't!)

Even the term ‘bribe’, which is abundantly used to describe American generosity, isn’t quite adequate here. Bribes have defined the relationship between the ever-generous White House and the quisling Congress to win favor with the ever-demanding Israel and its growingly belligerent Washington lobby. It is not the concept of bribery that should shock us, but the magnitude of the bribe, and the fact that it is presented by a man who positioned himself as a peacemaker (and actually became certified as one, courtesy of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee).
Read more-counterpunch

Turkish-Israeli realions not getting any better

Turkish-Israeli Business Council postponed
A large group of Turkish businesspeople were expected to participate in the Tel Aviv meeting. Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Binyamin "Fuad" Ben Eliezer was to deliver the opening remarks of the Council meeting.

Weapons stolen by Israel from the PLO, trasferred to anti-American elements

The truth about Israel, Iran and 1980s U.S. arms deals
Recently declassified Pentagon documents reveal a strange, not to say illicit, 1980s operation called 'Tipped Kettle,' in which weapons stolen by Israel from the PLO in Lebanon were transferred to the Contras and to anti-American elements in Iran
Read more-haaretz

Forget it! They will NEVER forget!

Memories and maps keep alive Palestinian hopes of return
Aerial photographs taken by first world war German pilots are combined with mandate-era and Israeli maps supplemented by digitally enhanced satellite images that record old tribal boundaries, neighbourhoods and even individual buildings. Most striking are the hundreds of Arab villages that were destroyed or ploughed under fields, as well as postwar Jewish settlements and suburbs. The Abu Sitta family lands, for example, are now owned by Kibbutz Nirim, near the border with Gaza.
Read more-The Guardian

Israel destroys. Amnesty condems..This balances that!

Israel condemned over Bedouin village demolition
“We condemn these repeated demolitions that aim to forcibly evict the residents of al-‘Araqib from the land they have on lived for generations,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “The fact that the village has been demolished seven times in four months shows that this is not some administrative mistake but a conscious Israeli government policy of dispossession.”

A train will run through

Palestinians condemn train plans
A new plan for a train line linking central Israel to settlements deep in the West Bank... The project was quickly denounced by a spokesman for the Palestinian government in the West Bank. "This shows not only Israel's short-term illegal activities in terms of settlement expansion, but its long-term planning and execution of colonial projects that aim at nothing less than ending the two-state solution," Husam Zomlot said. A different Israeli train project, a new fast rail line from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, has also angered Palestinians because the route veers into the West Bank. That line is already under construction.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

No comment!


(via Mondoweiss)

Salon.com:The 30 media top hacks

The War Room Hack Thirty

The War Room Hack Thirty

The War Room Hack Thirty is a list of our least favorite political commentators, newspaper columnists and constant cable news presences, ranked roughly (but only roughly) in order of awfulness and then described rudely. Criteria for inclusion included writing the same column every week for 30 years, warmongering, joyless repetition of conventional wisdom, and making bad puns.

How Israel and the US hope to destroy Hezbollah

Lebanon’s Tribunal as Bludgeon
Frank Lamb
BEIRUT — “I’ve got these [expletive deleted] just where we want them Maura! Watch the 1000 slow cuts as we shred Hezbollah–who do they think they are? And we’ll do it by using 1757 and this time we’re going all the way. I told Israel to stay out of Lebanon because the IDF can’t fight against Hezbollah plus the whole region would burn. I will handle this and it will be my Christmas present to Lebanon,” so said Jeffrey Feltman in a conversation with his former office staffer, now US Ambassador to Lebanon, Maura Connelly, during an October 17, 2010 visit to MP Walid Jumblatt at his Clemenceau residence.
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(Thanks Samer)

Hebron massacre remembered:16 years ago terrorist Goldstein murders 29 Palastinians

Sixteen years ago, during the holy month of Ramadan, an attacker opened fire in the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank, killing 29 people and injuring 125 others.

The assailant was an Israeli settler, the victims all Palestinians, but Israel's reponse to the tragedy has resulted in more restrictions on Muslim worshippers.

Today, Palestinian worshippers still flock to mark Ramadan in defiance of Israeli restrictions, in an attempt to challenge the settlers' grip on the area. Even though this does not change the reality on the ground.

Al Jazeera's Nisreen El-Shamayleh reports from Hebron, in the occupied West Bank.

Friday, November 26, 2010

BBC puts mosque between quotation marks (The Angry Arab)

A group of Palestinian men pray on the ruins of a mosque in Khirbet Yarza

"Israel razes West Bank 'mosque'" If an Arab puts a "synagogue" between quotation marks, cries of anti-Semitic would follow and the ADL would call on the UN Security Council to convene.
The Angry Arab

Via the Angry Arab

At the rubble of his home--destroyed by Israeli terrorist soldiers. (AP)

Israel is effectively a single-party state

The totalitarianism gaining the upper hand in our lives has to do with the fact that there is no real difference between 'center-left' Kadima and Yisrael Beiteinu on the extreme right.
The totalitarianism gaining the upper hand in our lives - which is mostly of a racist character - has to do with the fact that between Kadima ("center-left" ) and Yisrael Beiteinu on the extreme right there is really no difference. The disappearance of Meretz and the racist ignoring of the Arab public of voters and its representatives in the Knesset are underlining even further how close Israel is to being a single-party state. This used to be called "consensus," now it is broader agreement on most issues. Beyond minuscule differences of opinion among the political parties, we are in effect ruled by a single party, the State Party, with its branches: Likud-Mizrahi (Jews of Middle Eastern descent ), Likud-Russian, Likud-career officers and Labor, Likud-ultra-Orthodox and Likud in its two "authentic" embodiments: Kadima and Likud. This is the context of the loyalty laws and the open season on Balad MK Hanin Zuabi.
Read more-Haaretz

Junk Security: ‘Naked Scanners’ Won’t Keep Us Safe

In May, Transportation Security Administration screener Rolando Negrin pummeled a co-worker with his government-issued baton. The feud began, according to a Miami-Dade Police Department report, after Mr. Negrin’s training session with one of the agency’s whole-body imagers. The scan “revealed [Mr. Negrin] had a small penis,” the disgruntled co-worker told police. After a few months, he “could not take the jokes any more and lost his mind.”

Now the TSA is rolling out these ultra-revealing imagers across the country in an attempt to uncover hidden threats like the so-called underwear bomb found on a Detroit-bound flight last Christmas.

The agency and the scanners’ manufacturers insist they’ve installed features and instituted procedures that will make passenger embarrassments impossible. But the larger question is whether the TSA’s tech-centric approach to security makes any sense at all.

Read more-Wired

U.K. Jewish leader's rebuke of Netanyahu sparks ire of British Zionists

UJIA chairman Mick Davis says Israel will become apartheid state (it's already,dear!) if there is no two-state solution in as the minority will rule over the majority.
A top leader in the British Jewish community stirred a wave of strong reactions this week among the U.K. Jewish community, after publically criticizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the waning peace talks and insisting that the Anglo-Zionists begin to voice their opinions on the matter.

Mick Davis, chairman of the UJIA and executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, warned in front of more than 160 people at the London Jewish Cultural Center that Israel could become an apartheid stateunless there was a two-state solution with the Palestinians, "because we then have the majority going to be governed by the minority".
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Israel, U.S. tense as WikiLeaks set to release classified bilateral communiques

WikiLeaks material includes diplomatic cables sent to Washington from American embassies throughout the world, a senior Israeli official says.

The United States Embassy in Tel Aviv has informed the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem that the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks was planning on releasing hundreds of thousands of American diplomatic cables, some of which might deal with Israel-America relations.

The Americans said they wanted to let the Israeli government know so it would not be surprised and would be prepared for publicity that might cause diplomatic embarrassment.

A senior Israeli official familiar with the contents of the message, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the matter, said that according to the Americans, the WikiLeaks material includes diplomatic cables sent to Washington from American embassies throughout the world. Sources in Washington said the documents would be coming out soon, perhaps even today.

Read more-Haaretz

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving: The only thing we have learned from history is that we have not learned from history.

posted by Zarathustra on the Palestinian Pundit
One the tragedies of thanksgiving celebration in America is the myth behind it. The pilgrims were not thanking the native Americans for teaching them how to cook a turkey and eat corn and sing kumbaya together but rather they were thanking G-d for getting rid of the natives so they did not have to deal with them, fight them, kill them or take away their land. They vanished through disease brought by the white man from Europe and the pilgrims saw that as a sign from their God that it was meant to be for them to take over this rich vast land inhabited by the savages. Every year most people celebrate the holiday without knowing the historical context or facts, liberals on the other side (Some at least) remember the tragedy and try to remind the people about what they are actually celebrating.

Hegel said "The only thing we have learned from history is that we have not learned from history" and as I sit here waiting for my Turkey and watch the Lions lose again, I am reminded that we have not learned anything from the crime perpetrated against the native people. True I can not bring them back, I can not change the past, I can not undo the native American genocide, but I know that what is happening today in Palestine is what happened to the native Americans 500 years ago.

European invaders with extreme violence and a "manifest destiny" proclamation came to a land and killed off the natives, ethnically cleansed it and occupied it.

The difference is that the Israelis cannot under daylight kill off the natives the same way the Europeans killed off the natives in America. So they have been doing it quietly and deviously: through sanctions, wars, blockades, land theft, unjust laws, uprooting trees, house demolitions, torture, water theft and deportation.

Israel is creating an environment to kill off the natives slowly (they realized there is no need to kill them, but make sure they leave Palestine and move somewhere else because living in Palestine will mean a slow death and a place with no future or potential for prosperity and a good life.) So we cannot undo the injustice done to Native Americans but we are all witnesses to the injustice being done to Palestinians since 1948 and we can no longer stay silent and pretend it is not happening.
We MUST prevent the tragedy from continuing by supporting BDS and boycott Israel as long as it is determined to act inhumanely toward the people they stole their land from. By supporting every person who stands in solidarity with the natives and tries to expose the injustice done to them. By making sure that 100 years from now Israel will not celebrate their "thanksgiving" where they claim the natives welcomed them and taught them how to make Humus and Falafel.

Let try to celebrate thanksgiving by doing all we can so the tragedy of the native Americans can not be repeated to Palestinians, and that both Palestinians and Israelis can live together in a non racist non Zionist state with equal rights and justice for all in Palestine.

Israel demolishes mosque in the Jordan valley

Israeli forces have demolished a mosque and several other buildings in the northern Jordan valley.

They say the structure was built without a permit but residents say the mosque was built before 1967 and was recently renovated.

The Palestinian government has condemned the action as state destruction, while Israel continues to fight for Israeli settlers.

Al Jazeera's Nour Odeh reports from the Jordan Valley.

Poll: Majority oppose body scans, nearly half seek alternative to flying

The use of backscatter x-ray machines to scan travelers' bodies and new pat down procedures at airports will cause 48% of Americans to seek an alternative means of transportation, according to a Zogby International poll. Of the 2,032 likely voters polled between November 19 and November 22, 61 percent said they oppose the use of body scanners and pat downs. The findings of the Zogby poll strikingly contradict an earlier poll of 1,137 adults conducted by CBS News November 7 to November 10. That poll found only 15 percent of respondents were opposed to the use of body scanners at airport security checkpoints, with four out of five saying they're in favor. A Washington Post-ABC News poll of 514 adults conducted on November 21 found over half of respondents supported the use of body scanners and 70 percent supported the use of profiling at airports. Another poll, conducted by USA TODAY/Gallup and published today, found that most travelers are bothered or angered by pat downs.
Read more-rawstory.com

Application for Lower Manhattan Revitalization Funds Sparks More Unfounded Hysteria Over Park 51,

Alex Kane
First, opponents of Park 51 were fretting about non-existent foreign money linked to the project. Now, they’re coming out in opposition to the possibility of federal funds going towards the center. The New York papers today are amplifying Pamela Geller’s latest attempt to stoke opposition to the Islamic community center in lower Manhattan. In typical fashion, the New York Post‘s headline reads: “GZ mosque in 9/11 cash grab.”
Read more

Egypt/Ethipia Tension

Egypt says "amazed" by Ethiopia's Nile remarks
ABU DHABI/CAIRO, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Egypt said it was "amazed" by Ethiopia's suggestion on Tuesday that Cairo might turn to military action in a row over the Nile waters, saying it did not want confrontation and was not backing rebels there. Egypt, Ethiopia and seven other countries through which the river passes have been locked in more than a decade of contentious talks driven by anger over the perceived injustice of a previous Nile water treaty signed in 1929.
Read more


The inauguration of a new settlement project in Al Farouq neighborhood
There is incoming information about the intention of the settlers to expand in Silwan especially in al Farouq neighborhood, expelling the Palestinians from their houses. Al-Farouq neighborhood is located near Jabal al-Mukabber and has the most charming view of the valley. Its name is referred to by Khalifah (Omar Bin al khattab) who visited it. It is located in the southern side of Silwan, it’s also one of the targeted neighborhoods because it is in the Holy Basin project. The Palestinian owners of the lands cannot use them under the pretext that these lands are protected under the provisions of the Israeli nature and parks authority. It is seemed to be that this is a start of preparing a new settlement project in this neighborhood.
Read more

Jewish settlers move into house after Israeli police evict Palestinian family

Family of 14 driven out of house in Jabel Mukaber, an Arab neighbourhood targeted by ideologically motivated settler activists. Jewish settlers today moved into a house in East Jerusalem after Israeli police evicted a Palestinian family of 14 and removed all their possessions. The move will dismay US officials who are striving to discourage settler activity in East Jerusalem in an attempt to restart the stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
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Israel erases Palestinian village of Abul Ajaj from map

Israeli bulldozers under heavy military protection demolished Wednesday morning the village of Abul Ajaj in the northern Jordan valley region as a prelude to expanding the settlement of Metsuwah.
Read more

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Texas Gov: US Should Consider Invading Mexico

Focus on 'Border Security,' Drugs Behind Call for Troops
Speaking today on MSNBC, Texas Governor Rick Perry said the United States ought to consider a military invasion of his neighbor to the south, Mexico, arguing that it was needed to fight the drug war as well as to secure the border between the two nations.
Read more
How about invading Canada too? It leaves many Americans cold!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ex-AIPAC official threatens to uncover mass spying at Israel lobby

Top AIPAC officials visited prostitutes, regularly watched porn at work: claim Is US's most influential advocate for Israel about to implode? A former foreign policy chief for the largest Israeli lobby in the US is threatening to provide evidence members of the organization regularly trafficked in classified US government information.
Read more-rawstory

Racism in Israel: Ethiopian Jews victims too

Ethiopian teen attacked at mikveh

Worker curses boy at entrance to ritual bath, calling him 'stinking black person,' then follows him home and physically attacks his family. 'I slapped him but good,' he tells police
The discrimination and deprivation felt by the Ethiopian community has reached ritual baths: A Bnei Brak resident barred a 13 year old Ethiopian teen from going into the mikveh recenty, claiming the boy was a "stinking kushi" (a derogatory Hebrew term for black people). He then hit the boy, his brother and his aunt.
The boy arrived at the mikveh two weeks ago to undergo the ritual purification ceremony, but was met by an employee who would not let him pass.
The worker verbally attacked him, saying "don't come in, you stink, you're a stinking kushi". When the teen refused to back down, the man took hold of him and punched him in the face
Read more

BDS: Open letter from Besieged Gaza to Michel Platini and UEFA: Reverse Apartheid Israel’s Participation in European Competitive

"We are writing as Palestinian footballers, coaches and athletes in the besieged Gaza Strip to commend your statement highlighting the impossible conditions imposed on our sports, echoing the general consequences for all aspects of our life caused by the Israeli occupation and hermetic siege. You recently said that, “Israel must respect the letter of the laws and international regulations otherwise there is no justification for them to remain in Europe…Israel must choose between allowing Palestinian sport to continue and prosper or be forced to face the consequences for their behaviour."
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One by one, Americans awaken

Deppen Webber, 42, and father of one, quit his $100,000 job in Sonoma County, CA, after 9 years with the company when he realized how much it was making off defense contracts, and then he went off to Israel-Palestine to help in the olive harvest and bring attention to the struggle.
Read more-mondoweiss

Mustafa Barghouti decorated with the Insignia of Officer of the French Legion of Honour,

Palestine Monitor
Bernard Kouchner delivered on Monday 15th of November during an official ceremony at the Quai d'Orsay, the Insignia of Officer of the Legion of Honour to Mustafa Barghouti, President of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society. This decoration demonstrates the support of France to the determined action of this well known Palestinian figure in favour of peace and defence of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories.
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Jewish settlers set fire to girls school while expanding Rahalim settlement

NABLUS, (PIC)-- As Jewish settlers spent Sunday morning digging up hundreds of dunums of land in the south Nablus region of Sawiya to expand the Rahalim settlement, Nablus lawmaker Yasser Mansur warned that the expansion of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank was on the rise.

39 settlements have been erected in the city of Nablus alone, accommodating 20,000 Jewish settlers.

“Occupation forces encourage these crimes with prior planning and with full protection for [Jewish] settlers and their abuse against the Palestinian citizens and amidst continued official Palestinian and Arab silence over these crimes that paves the way for more of them,” Mansur said addressing the media Sunday.

He added that the residents of the new residents of the settlement are just like other settlement residents: extremists who wage on the property of Palestinians continuous acts of vandalism, the latest of which was an arson of a classroom in the Sawiya girls school.

Settlers unlawfully seized hundreds of dunums of land in the area along the Rahalim settlement outpost belonging to a number of local families inside the village of Sawiya. The Abu Dola, Abu Saalih, Abu Shahein, Al-Beik, and Hajj Sulaiman families were some of the households who lost land in the process.

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Settlers make water sources a tourist site and bar Palestinians from entering

West Bank Jews are making tourism sites of water sources that Palestinians use for agriculture.

Springwater continues to be vital to Palestinian farmers, but recently, at the settlers' initiative, many springs on the other side of the Green Line have been turned into tourism sites from which the Palestinians are barred. Hebrew-language signs have been posted near many springs; some places have become memorial sites for settlers killed in terror attacks or during military service.

Brown signs dot Samaria's roads bearing the Hebrew name of a nearby spring. This name is likely to appear on the Springs Route's site list on a tourist map of local councils such as Mateh Binyamin in southern Samaria.

Eli, West Bank - Dror Etkes - Nov. 21, 2010

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Israeli authorities raze Araqib village for the seventh time

Israeli municipality bulldozers razed the Arab Bedouin village of Araqib in the Negev desert for the seventh time on Monday, local sources reported.
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Plan to eject 100,000 Palestinians from Jerusalem

Observers say the situation in Jerusalem is likely to explode in light of a decision by Israeli authorities to demolish hundreds of Palestinian homes in the city.
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Knesset to vote on bill outlawing Palestinians from living in '48-occupied land

The Israeli Knesset will vote Sunday on a racist bill outlawing Palestinians from residing in 1948-occupied Palestinian territories with a majorly Jewish population.
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2 state-solution officially dead..

The Knesset has killed the two state solution
"I just finished watching a live transmission of the Knesset vote on the referendum law. The law, which passed at a majority of 65 to 33, conditions any Israeli withdrawal from any of its territory – into which Israel, alone in the world, includes the Golan Heights East Jerusalem – on passing a nation-wide referendum. To overrule the law, the Knesset would need a privileged majority of 80 out of 120 parliamentarians. Considering current and foreseeable trends in the public mood, overwhelming support for withdrawing from East Jerusalem – including the Old City, Gilo, Ramot Eshkol, and others – is highly unlikely."
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Monday, November 22, 2010

Testimony on 1948 by Palmach fighter Amnon Neumann

...we didn’t come to collect taxes, we came to inherit the land from foreigners. That was the foundation of our thinking. We drove them out because of the Zionist ideology. Pure and simple. We came to inherit the land. Who do you inherit it from? If the land is empty, you don’t inherit it from anyone. The land wasn’t empty so we inherited it, and whoever inherits the land disinherits others. And that’s why we didn’t bring them back. It was everywhere, in the north and the south, everywhere. That’s the most important point. The land wasn’t empty as I was told when I was a child.
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Bradley Burston: Flirting with arrest at Jerusalem's newest settlement

If it's built lavishly like a settlement, and it causes diplomatic damage like a settlement, and it tarnishes Israel's image like a settlement... Welcome to Jerusalem's newest settlement. Or, as it is formally known, the Center For Human Dignity – Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem ... Why hadn't I seen it before? After all, the Jerusalem Museum of Tolerance has many of the classic characteristics of a settlement. Here are some of them: It is being built on disputed land ... It will cause direct, prolonged damage to relations between Palestinians and Israelis ... It erodes the basis of Israeli sovereignty, and bolsters allegations of Israeli arrogance ... It tarnishes Israel's image as a democratic state respectful of the rights of other faiths and peoples ... It has a huge budget, aimed at establishing a superfluous, extrinsic, and lavish entity in a surrounding environment of social need.
Read more-haaretz

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) supported by the evangelicals is foresting (and ethnic cleansing) the Negev

18 Nov - The residents of El-Araqib and activists of the Negev Coexistence Forum report that the JNF is once more extensively foresting just north of the village of El-Araqib. There is concern that the forestation will once more be extended onto the village lands. The tractors and heavy machinery have been busy since Sunday. The lands being currently forested belonged to the Alamat Tribe before 1948, and who have since been refugees in Jordan. It is extremely cynical that the donations are coming from an evangelical ministry named GOD-TV, who claim to have received "instructions from God… to prepare the land for the return of my Son… Plant a million trees." (See their video on http://www.god.tv/excavation minute 21:00). So – the JNF, a Jewish organization, that is "redeeming land for the Jewish people", is now supporting (and being supported by) an evangelical ministry that wishes to utilize Israel and the planting of trees – to bring about the return of Christ. Anything… that will make sure the Bedouin cannot utilize their ancestral lands for agriculture…
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Congressional letter urges Obama to release Israeli spy Pollard

They know their priorities!:

"Letter signed by 39 Democrats says Pollard "has served a sufficient time from standpoint of either punishment or deterrence ... In comments at a press conference late Thursday, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said he initiated the letter, written in coordination with a broad array of Jewish groups, mostly out of humanitarian concerns for the convicted Israeli spy, imprisoned 25 years, but also as a spur in the peace process."
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Welfare funding runs out in Iraq

BAGHDAD -- Iraq has run out of money to pay for widows' benefits, farm crops and other programs for the poor, the parliament leader on Sunday told lawmakers who have collected nearly $180,000 each so far this year in one of the world's most oil-rich nations.
Read more-commondreams.org

Gideon Levy: Israeli press is censoring the truth away

Many of us bow our heads in surrender and self-censorship, which is immeasurably worse than government censorship ... Do people not want to know about the occupation? So we won’t tell them. Do people not want to hear the truth about Operation Cast Lead? We won’t let them lose any sleep over it. There is no need for the IDF Spokesman’s Office, it’s within us ... The government has closed Gaza to us since November 2006 and scandalously, no one defies it. It’s hard to believe that only one courageous reporter, Amira Hass, has managed to be there to report without being part of an army unit, while the rest of the press has given up the task.
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How could Obama have agreed to all these 'understandings' with Netanyahu? / Yossi Sarid

Let's use logic to deduce what really went on behind the scenes ... Over the past 10 days of confusion, one thing is clear: In formulating the "understandings," numerous misunderstandings have emerged ... Does it seem logical that America would suddenly agree to exclude Jerusalem from the construction freeze? After all, it has never recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, not to mention the eastern part of the city, which it defines as a disputed area that is also up for negotiation ... Is it logical that America have agreed not to renew its demands for a new freeze after the 90-day freeze is up? If so, it would be recognizing de facto Israel's right to rule all of the land of Israel and not only all of Jerusalem.
Read more-haaretz

Former US envoy to Israel: Washington will regret its settlement freeze bribe

In his op-ed 'With settlement freeze, Washington will be rewarding Israel's bad behavior" in the Washington Post, Daniel Kurtzer blames Netanyahu for making Israel's security needs 'contingent and negotiable.' ... "Washington will almost certainly come to regret bribing Israel, Israel may regret receiving such a bribe even more," Kurtzer wrote ... "If [the deal] goes forward, it will be the first direct benefit that the United States has provided Israel for settlement activities that we have opposed for more than 40 years."
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And now kosher buses!! What's next?

Judge: Court to approve kosher buses
The High Court of Justice will not ban gender segregation on haredi bus routes, and is likely to accept the Transport Ministry's recommendation to make the separation between sexes voluntary rather than compulsory, Justice Elyakim Rubinstein said Sunday.In line with the recommendation, Transportation Ministry officers will monitor buses serving the ultra-Orthodox population to make sure that no violence against female passengers takes place.

Turkey wary of Nato missile shield

Ankara wants to make sure that Nato's Europe-wide missile defence system is not a 'proxy' protection for Israel. Abdullah Gul, the Turkish president, has said that a Europe-wide ballistic missile shield planned by Nato must not be aimed at Iran
Read more-aljazeera.net

A 91-year-old shepherd, killed alongside 29 or 30 sheep, was called a militant by IDF

Philip Weiss
One of the most important stories we've picked up in the last few months is B'Tselem's report that every other day a Palestinian noncombatant is killed in the occupied territories, on average ... This lesson is underscored by a superb report by Jared Malsin at Ma'an [see next article] on three killings in Gaza in September. A 91-year-old shepherd is visited in the fields one afternoon by his grandson and another teenage boy, who bring a chicken. They grill the chicken, then the boys help the old man with his sheep in lands close to the Israeli border. And then the shells begin to land, and they hustle back to the barn. All three are killed-- and 29 of 30 sheep.
Read more-mondoweiss

Soldiers beat and humiliate Salfit farmer

A Palestinian farmer said he was beaten by Israeli soldiers on Friday morning, after he asked them to open the agricultural gate and allow him access to his farm land in the northern West Bank village Az-Zawiya, west of Salfit ... A force made up of men and women refused to let him through the gate. Instead, he said, soldiers beat him, strip-searched him and hand-cuffed him before transferring him to a military base. Abu Nab'a further said that female soldiers humiliated him and took photos with him. When he asked an Israeli officer why he was being beaten and humiliated, the young farmer said, he was told "Because you deliberately disturbed us and made us go to the gate early in the morning."
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The neighbours from hell: The Bat Ayn settlement

Today more than 1,000 settlers from Bet Ayn live on land that was used for centuries by Palestinian families. Residents of Bet Ayn have a long history of violence. In 2002, four people from Bet Ayn were convicted of terrorism related offences following an attempt to blow up a Palestinian girl’s school in East Jerusalem. The men were arrested outside of the school with a trailer containing explosives. Residents of Bet Ayn frequently attack neighboring residents of Palestinian villages and destroy their sources of income. The following are some examples of settler violence, destruction and intimidation since April 2009:
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Thousands of settler squatters converge on Jerusalem to protest US freeze proposal

...The demonstration, which took place opposite the Prime Minister's Office as the cabinet was meeting inside, was a "warning" strike against accepting the freeze, settler leaders said. Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau left the cabinet meeting to join in the protest.
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Israeli squatters begin expanding settlement near Nablus

Israeli squatters on Sunday started expanding the Rechalim settlement, illegally built on lands confiscated from farmers of the northern villages of Yatma and As-Sawiya south of Nablus, officials said. Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that bulldozers began digging this morning. He explained that settlers from Rechalim occupied hundreds of acres.
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

My hero, Abraham Sarfati (As'ad Abu Khalil)

File photo of Abraham Serfaty sitting by the pool at Rabat's Hilton hotel October 2, 1999. REUTERS/Jean Blondin/Files

"The Arab world, and the international left, lost a great man this week. The Moroccan leftist dissident, Abraham Sarfati. This wonderful great person suffered unspeakable torture in the regime of Hasan II in Morocco. While the King was prostrating before successive Israeli leaders who helped him to stay in power, he was attacking Sarfati in his press, and even resorting to anti-Semitic language against him. Sarfati never wavered: in his stance against the cruel regime or in his firm opposition to Israel's existence. People don't even know the services that he had rendered to Palestinian armed struggle: the regime of Muhammad II knew about it, and punished him (on behalf of Israel) for it. He is a model Arab citizen: a model international leftist. Not a word about him in the international press."

R.I.P Abraham...

BDS: DePaul University divests from Israeli hummus product

Friday, November 19, 2010

Helen Thomas gets standing 0vation from 500 as Sam Donaldson declares her the ‘best ever’

"Donaldson called Thomas “the best White House correspondent ever!” Abourezk gibed Thomas was not fired because of comments she made about Jews. Her “fatal sin,” he said, was asking President Obama if any countries in the Middle East currently possessed nuclear weapons. The always-self-righteous Ralph Nader said, “If ten reporters had acted the way Helen acted there never would have been an Iraq war.”"
(Via Mondoweiss)

Six injured in Israel attack on Gaza

At least six Palestinians have been wounded after Israeli warplanes attacked two cities in the besieged Gaza Strip, medical sources say.

Four people, including two women, were injured after an Israeli plane targeted a home in the central town of Deir al-Balah, a Press TV correspondent reported on Friday.

Two others were injured in an Israeli airstrike in the southern town of Khan Yunis.

Israeli warplanes also attacked Gaza City earlier in the day .There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The Israeli military confirmed the attacks, saying the airstrikes were carried out after mortars were fired into southern Israel from the besieged Palestinian territory, which caused no damage
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Breaking news: Attack on Gaza

3 airstrikes launched on Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Six Gaza residents were injured Friday in when Israeli forces launched three air strikes on the coastal enclave, medics said.

The Israeli military confirmed the strikes in a statement, and said the attacks targeted "terror sites" in the Strip, adding that "direct hits were identified."

The strikes targeted sites in the southern and central Gaza Strip. Four were injured in a strike on Deir Al-Balah, where shelling targeted a two-storey home. The injured, who included two women, were transferred to hospital, Gaza medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiyya said.
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Turkish ire is hurting Israel's NATO ties / Amir Oren

To avoid angering the Turks, Israel has scrapped plans to take part in a NATO naval drill.
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Haaretz editorial: Racism under cover of the Torah

Not only are some rabbis not acting according to guidelines, they are using public bodies to incite, inflame passions and provoke divisiveness in Israeli society ... The justice minister, the religious services minister and the mayors where these rabbis serve must warn them that they are abusing their positions and even suspend them if necessary. Otherwise, they too will bear responsibility for turning Israeli society into a tool in the hands of religious racist fanatics.
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This racist's salary is paid for by our taxes / Didi Remez

This morning’s Maariv runs a 1,000-word teaser for a weekend magazine interview with Safed’s Chief Rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu. If the name doesn’t ring a bell you should read the full translation at the bottom of this post. If you’ve been following the latest bout of anti-Arab racism in Israel in general - particularly the consequences of the Rabbinical decree proscribing the rental of apartments to Palestinian-Israeli students - nothing in the article will surprise you. Like most other reporting to date, there’s something missing from the most extensive interview with this racist in recent weeks - the fact that he’s a senior civil-servant.
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Israeli MK Dichter cancels participation in Madrid Coalition peace conference for fear of arrest

Member of Knesset Avi Dichter, former Head of Israeli General Security Services (GSS), recently canceled a trip to Spain, due to fear he would be detained or arrested by Spanish authorities for his involvement in alleged war crimes against Palestinians.
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German photographer Kai Wiedenhöfer exhibition - aftermath of Cast Lead in Gaza

Exhibition of Kai Wiedenhöfer at the Musée d´Art Moderne de la ville de Paris. Interview with France 3. [Warning: many photos horrifying. Israel National News says that there is no mention of this exhibition on the museum's website, and that appears to be true, though it is mentioned elsewhere. A large Jewish group in France has objected to the exhibition, and the museum's director seems to have claimed no responsibility for housing it.]

BDS: 5 Australian unions support BDS of Israel

Five Australian unions have joined the international campaign advocating the boycott of Israeli goods from the occupied West Bank ... Peter Tighe, national secretary of the Communications Electrical Plumbing Union, told The Australian newspaper, "We are not anti-Jewish, we just think the human misery over there is outrageous."
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BDS: British boycott campaigners target Israeli string quartet

British activists of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) are planning to protest outside a concert hall in the city of Bath, in England, later this week, over a concert given by a string quartet from Israel. The ‘Bath Chronicle’ reports that the Bristol branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign alleges that group – the Jerusalem String Quartet – was aligned with the Israeli military. The musicians reject the charge.
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New Yorkers protest fundraising cruise for illegal Hebron settlements

17 Nov - 120 New Yorkers silently picketed at the entrance to Manhattan’s Chelsea Piers this evening (16 November) to protest against the Brooklyn-based Hebron Fund’s fundraising event to expand Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Hebron ... The protest was endorsed by sixteen US human rights and peace groups, three of which are Jewish (see groups below).
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Israel’s Toxic Chemical Factories Giving Cancer to West Bank Residents

Palestine Monitor
17 November 2010
The settlements’ chemical factories poison Palestinian lands with toxic waste and expose residents to carcinogenic fumes. The factory workers are more vulnerable to cancer due to their employers’ failure to provide protective clothing. Special report from Sophie Crowe.
JPG - 65.3 kb

“The industrial zones are built on hilltops, their wastewater flowing down to Palestinian villages in the valleys. Factories also burn their waste and leave it in Palestinian agricultural land”, Kifaya states. Barkan, the largest industrial settlement in the West Bank, housing one hundred chemical factories, and Ariel are devastating Salfit, in the northern West Bank. “Salfit’s once beautiful Qana Valley has been polluted by these factories”, Kifaya says. Brukeen, one of Salfit’s surrounding villages, suffers from the polluting effects of the Ariel industrial settlement, namely in the high levels of cancer reported there.

Fathi Nasser, spokesman of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, told us “20km to the West of Nablus a settlement has started a dump very close to the water source for the wider Nablus area, which it will likely pollute”. Nablus authorities have protested but to no avail, environmental laws in the Palestinian Territories being ineffective here. A court declared an oil-producing factory near Nablus hazardous for the environment and ordered it to close. The owner was able to ignore this order, being inside Area C.

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Settlements Wiping Out Natural Life in the Jordan Valley

Palestine Monitor
18 November 2010
JPG - 74.5 kb
The path of Wadi Auja spring, now dry.

Before their lives were restricted and devastated by the occupation they usually held two locations (one for the winter months and one for the summer months). They relied on their flocks of sheep and goats that they grazed in the wide open areas around the two locations. They also raised pigeons and chickens and occasionally planted crops.....

.....While Bedouin life was difficult, it was a life that functioned in harmony with nature for thousands of years. Their generousity and kindness to strangers is legendary. Disputes were mostly solved by traditional tribal laws. The fields were not overgrazed and nature was left unspoiled. Tranquillity prevailed as Mubarak told me in the evening after a very hard day of work in the fields. The best time was to sit after a meal, drink strong sweet tea seasoned with wild mint surrounded by loved ones and look at clear skies dotted with brilliant stars.

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The deadly lie of democracy in Iraq

An Iraqi boy in a music school that has not been restored since it was destroyed during the US-led war on Iraq.

"It has been almost a million months since Iraqis ran to the polls, to fill holes in their souls with bloodstained ballots. Hundreds of candidates dressed up as maggots colored the liberal lining in occupied skies, and perpetuated the lies that there is democracy. Hypocrisy of the highest order, politicians blaming their failure on porous borders, while blindly following American orders on everything from defense to education. The death of a nation, systematic assassination and relentless dehumanization of millions of people. The burning of mosques, schools, hospitals and steeples for crumbs of rotten bread. Iraq is dead, shot in the heart and stabbed in the head." -- Excerpt from a new spoken word piece entitled, "Unfinished Letters from Iraq."

Prior to the parliamentary elections in Iraq on 7 March of this year, all the major political factions running in the country's nationwide elections declared the entire affair to be corrupt and not representative of the people's will. They were preemptively cooking an excuse for any unwanted results that might emerge out of the charade. Independent reports corroborated their suggestions with testimonies of fake registration forms and leaky ballot boxes. However, the elections went through, and the results were applauded by other fake democracies around the world. Since then a constipated coalition-building process has left Iraq with no government for more than eight months.
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San Francisco may propose to ban circumcision next year; measure would outlaw 'genital mutilation'

And so it should! I support it as As'ad does!
A man in San Francisco is trying to stir up support for an initiative would make it a misdemeanor to circumcise, excise, cut or mutilate the genitals of a minor under 18.
A man in San Francisco is trying to stir up support for an initiative would make it a misdemeanor to circumcise, excise, cut or mutilate the genitals of a minor under 18.

Mark down foreskin removal next to Happy Meals on the growing list of things San Franciscans want to ban.

A man in San Francisco is proposing a measure that would make it illegal for parents to circumcise their baby boys.

The initiative would make it a misdemeanor to circumcise, excise, cut or mutilate the genitals of a minor under 18, punishable with a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail, California's KGPE-TV reported.

The proposal's author, Lloyd Shofield, said that a man should decide whether or not he wants to be circumcised and that the decision should not be made by anyone else.

"It's genital mutilation," Schofield told KCBS-TV. "It's a man's body and...his body doesn't belong to his culture, his government, his religion or even his parents. It's his decision."

Supporters of male circumcision say it leads to better hygiene. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not come out for or against the practice, but statistics show that the practice has become less popular among parents.

The CDC reported that 32% of boys underwent circumcision in 2009, down from 56% in 2006, according to The New York Times.

Voters in San Francisco aren't certain to get an opportunity to cut out circumcision; Schofield needs to round up more than seven thousand signatures for the initiative to make it onto the ballot next November.

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