Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Child mine worker

This photo of a small boy working at a coal depot in Jaintia Hills, India, says about all one needs to know about the outrage of child labor. World Bank policies which dispossess millions and gut labor laws have helped create this global scourge and they attempt to justify it by saying child labor is necessary to sustain families. That’s the mindset of thugs who think working people and our children are nothing more than cannon fodder for their wars and machines to produce their wealth. A priority in protecting children from this abomination is demanding labor laws be protected & expanded, not destroyed--along with giving the World Bank & IMF the bottom of a hobnailed boot. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak)

Gingrich to Obama: ‘Respect our religion,’ not ‘every other religion’

"Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says he’s had it with President Barack Obama “respecting every other religion on the planet,” and thinks it’s time for him to “respect our religion” instead."
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The Sickening New York Times' push for war on Iran

‘NYT’ gives Israelis its magazine to make an attack on Iran ‘normal’
NYT Magazine cover
NYT Magazine cover

Phil Weiss and Matthew Taylor (Mondoweiss)

Two days ago the New York Times Magazine published a landmark in warmongering journalism, a huge article predicting and justifying an Israeli attack on Iran, written by Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman. Last night I went to dinner with a friend who knows nothing about these issues but who said she was sickened to read it. What follows are a number of others expressing similar outrage.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Gideon Levy: Israeli society isn't secular, it isn't liberal and it isn't enlightened.

God rules all in 2012 Israel, even the state

Israel: Not what you thought, not what the world thought, not what Israelis imagine themselves to think. Israeli society isn't secular, it isn't liberal and it isn't enlightened.

God exists. Eighty percent of Israeli Jews can't be wrong. And it is precisely for that reason we must say: God protect us from the results of the poll (conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute's Guttman Center for Surveys and the Avi Chai Foundation ). While it is conceivably possible to deal with that burning, wholesale belief in the divine, what do we do with the "You chose us" part? Seventy percent of respondents said they also believed Jews are the Chosen People - and that frightening parameter is only on the rise.
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Why is the American public sheltered from the reality of the occupation?

Israel needs a few more lessons in apartheid

Haaretz-Salman Masalha
Zionism did not merely pave paths of ethnic discrimination in the occupied territories. Discrimination against civilians exists in every corner of the country. Research institutes and the media, whether intentionally or not, cooperate with this discrimination and also perpetuate it. In parallel to that, the slogan "a light unto the nations" is repeated here ad nauseum. It is therefore worthwhile comparing the situation in Israel with that among "the nations."
Take, for example, the Population Registry Law. During the era of apartheid in South Africa, the citizens of that country were forced to register themselves with the authorities on the basis of their skin color: white, black or colored. In Israel it is not possible to oblige people to sign up in the registry according to their race or color, since the Jews themselves belong to assorted colors and races: Some are white because they came from Poland or Russia, and others are dark skinned - from Yemen or Ethiopia. With no other option, the Zionist mind was forced to invent a unique solution that was suitable to this place, and which answers the need for separation, and thus it was that the registration was born, of Jews, Arabs, Druze and so forth, in the Israeli Interior Ministry.
Another discriminatory law that was enacted in South Africa allotted separate living areas to different races. One can compare it with the local law about selection committees, whose entire objective is to make it possible for various community settlements to chose who will be allowed to become members - based on ethnic background.
Read moreLink

Israeli parody of Taglit-Birthright Propaganda Trips

Israeli parody of Taglit-Birthright Propaganda Trips from Eretz Nehederet on Vimeo.

Every year tens of thousands of American, European, and South American Jews get free trips to come on a two-week guided tour of Israel. For many this is a chance to see historical sites like Masada, practice whatever Hebrew they learned, and party with Israeli soldiers.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Syrian National Council issues an official letter of gratitude to the Saudi King

A real revolution or a real revolutionary group does not express gratitude to Saudi King. You expect me to support those? Are you really kidding me? Look at the language and look at the clerical organizations who also signed this lousy document. From the Angry Arab

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Israeli soldiers drive tractor over worker’s legs to stop Palestinians from building a house on their lands

Two days ago a brave and noble Palestinian man, pictured below-- we don't know his name-- was building a house in the occupied West Bank when Israeli soldiers told the Palestinians they could not build on their land. The village is al-Dirat near Hebron-- Area C, under Israeli control.
Injured Palestinian construction worker screams in pain
Injured Palestinian construction worker screams in pain
Construction worker in occupied West Bank
Read more-Mondoweiss

“Syria’s Assad regime is doomed, but the battle will be long and bloody,”:Joshua Landis

"The Syrian regime headed by Bashar Assad is doomed in the long run, but is likely to last longer than most believe. In December, the leader of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood stated that President Assad would fall “in the next few months”, the US State Department proclaimed Assad to be a “dead man walking”, and Israel’s defense minister insisted that Assad would fall in a matter of weeks. This has turned out to be wishful thinking."
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The Hajj exhibition is in stark contrast to Saudi Arabia's cultural vandalism at home

"...as I looked at the painstakingly gathered relics on display, and the beaming pride on the face of Saudi ambassador, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud, as he entered the exhibition, I could not help but remember reports of the demolishing of the prophet Muhammad's home and his wife Khadija in 1984 to make way for a public toilet. Where was the Saudi pride in their own heritage then?"
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Friday, January 27, 2012

"A Christian has to walk around with his Bible & his machine gun."

In Guatemala City, Guatemala, protestors hold up a banner with portraits of people disappeared under General Efraín Ríos Montt’s genocidal rampage in the 1980s. Protestors demand his prosecution & object to his sentence of house arrest rather than incarceration. Rios Montt, a former general, military dictator, & televangelist once said, "A Christian has to walk around with his Bible & his machine gun." He faces charges of genocide & crimes against humanity, including ordering soldiers to engage in mass rape, torture, arson, abduction, murder. Under his direction, over 200,000 people were massacred, including whole villages of unarmed Mayans; 100,000 people fled to neighboring Mexico. As a member of the Guatemalan Congress until last week, Rios Montt was immune from prosecution. Guatemala's new president, Otto Perez Molina, served as a general under Rios Montt in that campaign & denies that genocide took place. It will come as no surprise that Rios Montt is a graduate of the School of the Americas, played a role in the 1954 CIA-organized coup against a democratically elected president, & is one of a long series of dictators who ran Guatemala after the coup. Under President Eisenhower, the Dulles brothers & United Fruit Company decided that democratically-elected President Jacobo Arbenz was too reform-minded & had the CIA organize the coup. In 1980, Ronald Reagan ramped up diplomatic & military ties with Guatemala, blocked scrutiny of human rights crimes & provided US weapons, military vehicles, equipment, & training. (Photo by Rodrigo Abd)

Can a Candidate Be Too Religious?

When Rick Santorum did surprisingly well in the Iowa caucuses on January 3, many Americans started taking a serious look at his views. One revelation that quickly came to light was that the former Pennsylvania senator, a devout Catholic, takes his religion very seriously. In fact, via news accounts appearing immediately after the Iowa caucuses, many Americans learned that Santorum, like his church, is highly critical of birth control and believes that nonprocreative sex is wrong.
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Ultra Zionist Billionaire Gingrich backer Adelson regrets he served in US instead of Israeli military

Sheldon Adelson - The Palazzo Las Vegas Grand Opening - Arrivals
Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who along with his wife, has donated $10 million dollars in recent weeks to Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, has said that he wishes he had served in the Israeli army instead of the US military and that he wants his son to grow up to “be a sniper for the IDF.”
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This is becoming ridiculous if not insane!

Romney: Palestinians don't want two-state solution, they want to eliminate Israel
The Republican candidate was prompted by a question posed by a Palestinian-American at a Florida debate; opponent Gingrich said in same debate he would move U.S. embassy to Jerusalem as president.
"Israelis would be happy to have a two-state solution. It's the Palestinians who don't want a two-state solution; they want to eliminate the State of Israel,” Romney said.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kangaroo court in Spain

Archaeologists and villagers searching a cemetery in Gerena, Spain unearth the bones of a woman in a mass grave thought to contain the remains of 17 women summarily executed by General Francisco Franco's fascist forces in 1937. Discovery of the remains comes a day before the trial commences of Judge Baltasar Garzon. Garzon is charged with abuse of power for opening an investigation into the disappearance of 114,000 people during Spain's 1936-39 civil war and Franco's dictatorship. Garzon is also the Spanish judge made famous for going after and attempting to prosecute Osama bin Laden, Silvio Berlusconi, members of the former dictatorship in Argentina, abuse of suspects held at Guantanamo, and most notoriously, Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. In his investigation, Garzon was acting at the behest of victim’s relatives who wanted to find and exhume the bodies of their loved ones. In a mockery of justice, the plaintiffs against Garzon are three far-right political groups, including Falange Espanola, the old fascist party responsible for most of the atrocities. Instead of this kangaroo court, the Spanish authorities should be trying to learn the fate of thousands of victims disappeared, tortured and executed during the civil war and Franco’s rule, and bring those responsible to justice. (Photo by Cristina Quicler)

Nick Clegg: Israeli settlements are an affront to European values

Nick Clegg's condemnation of Israel's settlements as "an act of deliberate vandalism" was the understatement of the week, but it still managed to provoke the wrath of the Israeli establishment. The country's Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, claimed during a visit to London that Clegg's remarks were not only untrue but also unfortunate, damaging and irresponsible.

The Deputy Prime Minister may have broken the "unwritten rules of the diplomatic game", as the Daily Telegraph alluded, but he was only stating the obvious. The International Court of Justice ruled in July 2004 that, "Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development [... and] have been established in breach of international law."

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Noted French theorist Jacques Rancière cancels Israel lecture, heeding boycott call

Noted French philosopher and political theorist Jacques Rancière has canceled a visit to Israel after an appeal by PACBI, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.

Rancière, emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Paris VIII and Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Switzerland, had been scheduled to give a talk at Tel Aviv University on 25 January.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Riot cops with tear gas & rubber bullets used to evict slum residents

The 9,000 residents (including 3,000 children) of Pinheirinho slum in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil (NE of Sao Paulo) resisted eviction (& home-lessness) in city, state & federal courts; with several protests which were attacked by truncheon-wielding cops; & with self-defense squads. Pinheirinho was settled 8 years ago on land abandoned for 30 years by the owner who had a tax debt of over $15 million to the city. The landowner--probably in league with developers on the prowl--went to court to obtain an eviction order. Despite a federal court injunction against the eviction, water, electricity & telephones were cut to the area & on Sunday morning (Jan. 22), the residents were caught off guard when 2,000 riot cops attacked with rubber bullets & tear gas. A leader of the residents was beaten, taken to the hospital, & then sent to jail. Eighteen other people were arrested during the eviction & many were injured, including children. People in surrounding neighborhoods, outraged by the police violence, threw stones at the cops & tried to tear down tents set up to relocate residents of Pinheirinho. These are not the first forced & violent evictions of residents from abandoned properties in Brazil. In Carajas, in 1996, 22 rural workers were murdered by military police & in Goiania, in 2005, the police used death threats, violence, & arrests to evict residents. Brazilian TV, loyal apologist for the dispossession, claimed Pinheirinho was a Cracolandia (crack cocaine territory) & media here is reporting residents set fire to their own homes. Let’s get real! The drug addicted don’t usually put up such a fierce & intelligent resistance to injustice.

Breaking: Israeli bulldozer, soldiers destroy entire community of Beit Arabiya in West Bank

Philip Weiss

A tragic night in the West Bank. Israeli soldiers accompanied a bullodozer as it destroyed all the buildings in the Bedouin community of Beit Arabiya, northeast of Jerusalem in the West Bank.

"People are somber, traumatized, and griefstricken," says Itay Epshtain of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. (ICAHD). "Nearly 100 people are out in the elements now on a cold night. Children, babies, mothers, fathers. Some of us from ICAHD did try to block the bulldozer, but we were beaten back by soldiers."

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Shit Students CAN'T Say on Campus (About Israel)

After "Shit Homophobic People Say", more REAL sh*t hitting the fan. The crazy sh*t you CAN'T say on campus about Israel because of intimidation, censorship and legal threats.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Portuguese protest government austerity program

Here a right-wing counter-protestor (probably an undercover cop) holds a flare to threaten those protesting against the the Portuguese government's austerity program (Lisbon, Jan. 21). Portugal, under the guise of debt repayment & under pressure from European Union partners & the IMF, is on a massive wrecking operation to privatize the public sector, including health care, the water supply, postal service, public transport, education. The first step was selling the state's shares in Portugal’s only electric company to a Chinese-owned company. Most of these vital services are being sold to private profit companies at bargain basement prices. This will increase unemployment, consumer prices, immigration, & human misery. Pivotal to the program is gutting Portugal’s labor laws. Since most union federations are run by officials with divided loyalties who understand capitulation better than intransigence, leaders of Portugal’s two union federations sat down to negotiate with the government & employers. Saying “no” to attacks on labor rights doesn’t require private negotiations & these talks should have been rejected. All the representatives of the oligarchs agreed to the austerity program (since it will make them even richer). Despite massive protests last fall (including 3 million last Nov. at a national general strike), the UGT union federation completely caved to government demands for gutting labor laws by relaxing firing & hiring rules, reducing the number of holidays, & layoff compensation. The other & largest union federation, the CGTP, rejected the measures & called nation-wide protests against them on Feb. 11. Portuguese workers are going to have to watch union officials like a hawk since their tendency is back-room deals & more is needed than an occasional show of power. If labor has to shut down the country to stop the attacks on working people, then they should shut it down until the oligarchs cry “uncle”. Perhaps the most cynical & despicable part of the austerity drive is the public appeal by government officials for youth to emigrate for work. Portugal has always had a large number of immigrant workers in other European countries. (Photo by Francisco Seco)

Bahrain mourners attacked by riot police

A woman stops to help another who tripped running from tear gas fired by riot police in Muharraq, Bahrain at the funeral of Yousif Mowali (Jan. 21). Mr. Mowali was a 24-year old activist in the democratic movement who went missing after being seen at the public prosecutor’s office. After several days, police told his family & human rights activists searching for him that Mr. Mowali had committed suicide by drowning. However photographic evidence showed burns & bruises consistent with torture. (The Bahraini regime has detained over 3,000 activists & are accused of systematic torture.) Authorities ordered the family to hold a private funeral with no procession but thousands gathered for the funeral cortege. Right-wing thugs with rocks and riot cops firing tear gas attacked the mourners at the cemetery to disperse them. Police mocked credulity by claiming they were trying to keep thugs & mourners apart but the Interior Minister Twittered another version: "Police warned mourners several times the procession was unauthorized before using legal procedures to disperse the crowd and protect civil peace." Media outside Bahrain have been reporting these protests as religious in character--as Shi’ite protestors against Sunni regime--rather than as a democratic revolution. Excessive use of tear gas is one of the main weapons of the regime against daily protests; many have developed respiratory problems & some have died from inhalation. (It’s probably not irrelevant that the US & Saudi Arabia see the Bahraini regime as a key ally against Iran, just across the Gulf waters.) (Photo by Hasan Jamali)

Iraq becoming 'police state', says rights group

BAGHDAD — Iraq is falling back into authoritarianism and headed towards becoming a police state, despite US claims that it has helped establish democracy in the country, Human Rights Watch said on Sunday.

The criticism from the New York-based HRW, which the government quickly disputed, comes less than a year after thousands of Iraqis took to the streets nationwide to criticise the government for poor services.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Uproar after Jewish American newspaper publisher suggests Israel assassinate Barack Obama

Op-ed in Atlanta Jewish Times says the slaying of the president may be an effective way to thwart Iran's nuclear program.
NEW YORK - The owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, Andrew Adler, has suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to consider ordering a Mossad hit team to assassinate U.S. President Barack Obama so that his successor will defend Israel against Iran.
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The Chinese Lunar New Year & Migration

This man is one of more than 200 million Chinese migrant workers who will travel home by train over the new year holiday. Chinese Lunar New Year or Spring Festival is one of two annual seven day national holidays (a third was eliminated a few years ago) where working people have enough time to travel to their home provinces with gifts for their usually impoverished & rural families. Like in most countries, migrant workers in China were forced to look for work in urban centers due to changes in farming & land use. They are a vast urban army of cheap & super-exploited workers, transforming China from a rural-based economy to an urban & industrial economy. They are a ticking time bomb for the guys in Maserati luxury cars running the country & driving working people into the ground. It is likely the impressive increase of labor & social unrest in China is driven by these migrants who have nothing to lose but their chains. (Photo by Carlos Barria)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ethiopian-Israelis protest in Jerusalem against racism and discrimination

These men joined thousands of Ethiopian-Israelis protesting today in Jerusalem against racism and discrimination in Israel. There have been a wave of these protests since last week when landlords in an Israeli town pledged not to rent or sell to Ethiopian-Israelis and when their property was vandalized. Placards at the protests displayed symbols & phrases from the US civil rights movement & figures like Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, & Nelson Mandela. The political foundation of Israel is racism so this is a momentous development in the struggle for a democratic & secular state since the most natural allies of the Ethiopians are the Palestinians. (Photo by Sebastian Scheiner)

Gulf Allies Expressed ‘Great Reservation And Caution’ About Attacking Iran

"Returning from a congressional trip to France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, Deputy House Whip Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) is bringing back two clear messages from the U.S.’s Gulf allies. In an interview with the Bennington Banner, Welch emphasized that they support strong sanctions “to try and change Iranian behavior” and there is “broad apprehension in those countries about military action” and serious questions about whether a military strike could stop Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.

Appearing on Fox News this afternoon, Welch pushed back against hawkish calls for military action against Iran:"

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Chief rabbi of Safed sees nothing wrong with overt racism

"The most recent controversy is Eliyahu’s call on Safed’s Jews, last October, not to rent rooms or apartments to Palestinians. He signed a petition, known as the “rabbis’ letter,” bidding landlords to turn away Palestinian tenants, signed by 18 other rabbis, many from Safed. 50 other rabbis lent their verbal support for the letter."
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Read the Books Arizona Just Banned

Of all days, Arizona chose Martin Luther King Jr. Day to break the news that its war on Mexican-American studies courses – which the government has decided catered exclusively to Mexican students and fostered anti-American thinking – had extended to book bannings, with the threat multi-million dollar fines should a high school not comply. The books, the state legislature says, promote the idea that “Latino minorities have been and continue to be oppressed by a Caucasian majority.” Forcibly silencing their voices is the proper solution.

rethinkingcolombusRethinking Colombus: The Next 500 Years

Used as a textbook in Arizona for about twenty years, Rethinking Columbus even includes an essay by local Tucson writer Leslie Silko. The book promises to reposition Columbus’ “discovery” of the Americas and “help readers replace murky legends with a better sense of who we are and why we are here — and celebrates over 500 years of the courageous struggles and lasting wisdom of native peoples.” The book even contains a mock trial of the explorer and special material for Thanksgiving Day.

occupiedamericaOccupied America: A History of Chicanos by Rodolfo Acuña

A “passionately written and extensively researched” overview of Chicano history, Occupied America is the definitive textbook used in Mexican-American studies courses. Published forty years ago, it begins in Mesoamerican times, continues through the conquest by the Spanish and the development of Mexico as a nation, and continues all the way through to modern times and issues of immigration, migrant work, and the fight for equality. Check out the video below of the author speaking out against his book’s ironic banning.

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(Thanks Maracatu)

France accuses Israel of water 'apartheid' in West Bank

The French parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee published an unprecedented report two weeks ago accusing Israel of implementing "apartheid" policies in its allocation of water resources in the West Bank.

Read more-haaretz

Military trial for 17-year-old girl, charged with… Spilling Water on Soldier

Amal Hamamdeh
Amal Hamamdeh
As reported here, during home demolitions in the cave-dweller village of Mufakarah, two young women who resisted nonviolently were arrested and charged with “assaulting soldiers” under the Israeli Occupation’s draconian martial law. The older of the two, Sausan Hamamdeh, reached a plea bargain in December resulting in a fine. When reporting on that development, we were fairly confident that her 17-year-old cousin Amal Hamamdeh would see her charges dropped. After all, she just tried to hand Sausan a water bottle to wash her pepper-sprayed eyes, and when soldiers interfered some water were spilled on them. We were wrong.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nigerian unions suspend strike to restore fuel subsidy

Contributed by Mary

Yesterday, Nigerian union leaders suspended a nationwide strike to restore the fuel subsidy eliminated by the government on January 1st. The Nigerian government had long been under pressure by the IMF to get rid of the subsidy even though the country is the largest African exporter of crude oil. Ending the subsidy immediately doubled fuel and other consumer prices. After a groundswell of popular opposition, a strike called by the union federations, and negotiations with the union leadership, the government restored a portion of the subsidy--a portion no media source seems able to explain. It's clear from these placards that more was involved in this strike than the devastating impact of eliminating the fuel subsidy. And, in fact, the president flooded the streets of Nigeria with riot police to disperse protestors. The bankruptcy of union leaderships is so profound & so global that it was predictable Nigeria's union leaders would cave before government pressure. The strike was so massive & popular, it could have forced a restoration of the whole subsidy rather than a compromise. But the Nigerian people have now witnessed their own power along with the compromising character of union leadership and a day of reckoning may be yet to come.

Yemenis protest against immunity for President Saleh

Contributed by Mary

Once again, the remarkable women of the Arab revolutions: a Yemeni woman shows her palms reading "We won't accept immunity" at a protest in Sana'a. Thousands of Yemenis in several cities voiced their rejection of a leadership deal to grant President Saleh immunity from prosecution for the murder, injury, & incarceration of hundreds of democracy protestors (Jan 12, 2012.). 
(Photo by Mohammed Huwais)

Today in Pittsburgh, Jesse Lieberfeld, 17, will deliver a hammer blow to American Jewish support for Israel

MLK Jr  1
Martin Luther King Jr

Philip Weiss

I wish I were in Pittsburgh. This afternoon at Carnegie Mellon University, an 11th-grader will step nervously to a microphone and deliver a hammer blow to American Jewish support for Israel.

Jesse Lieberfeld, 17, a junior at Winchester Thurston High School, will read an essay, "Fighting a Forbidden Battle: How I Stopped Covering Up for a Hidden Wrong," about how he sees himself in Martin Luther King, because of his own struggle with his religion's ordination of support for Israel. The piece is one of two winners in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. essay-writing contest sponsored by the university. It is brave and clear and necessary:

Read more

Monday, January 16, 2012

Do yourself a favor and listen: Fairuz sings an Andulsian muwashah "Remember me"

Of every song by Fairuz I keep saying it's a miracle but no more true than here. Especially the introduction of unique purity of voice.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Breaking report: US/Israel military drill cancelled, after US tells Israel to back off

Huge news. Israel Hayom (Sheldon Aldeson's Israeli newspaper) has just reported that the military drill with Israel entailing the deployment of thousands of American troops this spring has suddenly been canceled. Israel Hayom based its report on an Israeli Radio report this afternoon: Set for May, "Austere Challenge 12" was supposed to be the largest drill ever held between the two countries • U.S. Joint Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey to arrive in Israel later this week to receive assurances from Israel that it won't strike Iran. Read more

Mark Perry speaks about allegations of Israeli spies posing as CIA agents

CIA knew of Mossad's False flag

A stunning story has appeared in Foreign Policy by Mark Perry that reveals the reality of Zionist war-making: Buried deep in the archives of America’s intelligence services are a series of memos, written during the last years of President George W. Bush’s administration, that describe how Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents. According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives — what is commonly referred to as a “false flag” operation. Read more

What if Bedouins were human beings contrary to what Israel believes?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Selling bread by the meter

Photo Branson DeCou, Paris, 1945
I remember I used to say jokingly that in France one can by bread by the meter without knowing that actually bread this big used to be manufactured. I wonder why they stopped making bread of this size. The biggest I could see in the late 60 was probably half of this and called "Restaurant" which is still available, I believe..

What are they trying to prove? Saudi Arabia to build tallest tower in the world (1 kilometer)

Kingdom Tower. Saudi Arabia

Lazy Sundays

Photograph by Punam Bean

Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2004

Turkey denies Israeli report that Mavi Marmara lawsuits dropped

Electronic Intifada. 13 Jan — Turkey’s Anatolia News Agency carried this report, which has been translated for The Electronic Intifada: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the news report on Mavi Marmara published in Israel’s Yedioth Ahronot newspaper ANKARA – MFA Spokesperson Selçuk Ünal denied claims that Turkey suspended cases that were opened against Israelis connected to the attack on the Mavi Marmara flotilla. In his statement to the Anatolian Agency, Spokesperson Ünal said “the claims in this report do not reflect the reality.”
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Max Blumenthal: Israel and GOP join forces to oust Obama

The race to the White House is in full swing and President Obama has been on the campaign trail to try to win a second term in office. Not only will the Republican Presidential nominee be a hand full for Obama, but also Israel. Obama will most likely get an ear full of questions about his role in the US relationship with Israel. Many believe Israel is taking on the task to have Obama removed as president for 2012. Max Blumenthal, writing fellow for The Nation Institute, takes a closer look at Obama's role with Israel and gives us his take on whether or not Obama will be in the White House for 2012.

Why Is Europe a Dirty Word?

By Nicholas Kristof

"QUELLE horreur! One of the uglier revelations about President Obama emerging from the Republican primaries is that he is trying to turn the United States into Europe.

“He wants us to turn into a European-style welfare state,” warned Mitt Romney. Countless versions of that horrific vision creep into Romney’s speeches, suggesting that it would “poison the very spirit of America.”
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Draft law will protect Israeli soldiers who refuse to hear women sing

Haaretz 13 Jan — The Ministerial Committee for Legislation will decide on Sunday whether a bill that would protect soldiers who refuse to attend ceremonies at which women sing will be backed by the coalition.
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High Court of Justice upheld law banning Palestinians from permanently living in Israel with their Israeli spouses

Haaretz 13 Jan — High Court of Justice upheld the law banning Palestinians from permanently living in Israel with their Israeli spouses; couples to be dependent on good graces of Interior Ministry clerks to renew residency permits — ,,,One such couple is Falastin and Samir Ajaji, who have been married for 31 years. She is an Israeli citizen, from the village of Kaukab al-Hija in the Lower Galilee. He is from Sida, a village in the Tul Karm area of the West Bank. The Ajajis have two sons and two daughters, ages 10, 8, 6 and 2. Until three months ago, Samir received a permit to enter Israel for one week every three months. Recently, the situation improved and he was allowed to visit his family for one week every month … Falastin said they have been submitting forms for family unification for 13 years.
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Jewish settlers uproot very old olive trees near Salfit

Jewish settlers on Friday destroyed 100 very old olive trees, amongst them olive trees that locals believe to have existed since Roman times, between the villages of Jammain and Yasuf, causing rage amongst the local population.
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Israel plans to expel a Bedouin community to a garbage dump in Abu Dis

B’Tselem 11 Jan — Israel’s Civil Administration is planning to relocate some 27,000 Bedouins living in Area C in the West Bank. At first, some 2,300 people will be expelled from their homes near the Ma’ale Adummim settlement and relocated to a site next to the Abu Dis garbage dump, east of Jerusalem. Members of the Khan al-Ahmar community explain how the move will affect them.

The Bibi Connection

Mondoweiss linked to an article (one of their best),titled "Why aren’t the best and the brightest in our MSM?”But due to the gutless MSM in the US this article written by Max Blumenthal appeared instead in a Lebanese paper Al Akhbar English
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Robert Fisk: The 'invented people' stand little chance (against other candidates' more outrageous statements)

"Thank goodness we don't have to hear Newt Gingrich for a while.

His statement that the Palestinians were an "invented people" marked about the lowest point in the Republican-Christian Right-Likudist/Israel relationship. So deep has this pact now become that you can deny the existence of an entire people if you want to become US president. It's time, surely, to take a look at this extraordinary movement, to remind ourselves – since US "statesmen" cannot – just what its implications really are."

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Robert Fisk: This is not about 'bad apples'. This is the horror of war

How many other abuses took place off camera? How many Hadithas? How many My Lais?

By Robet Fisk

"So now it's snapshots of US Marines pissing on the Afghan dead. Better, I suppose, than the US soldiers pictured beside the innocent Afghan teenager they fragged back in March of last year. Or the female guard posing with the dead Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib. Not to mention Haditha or the murder videos taken by US troops in the field – the grenading of an old shepherd by an Iraqi highway comes to mind – or My Lai or the massacre of refugees by US forces in Korea or the murder of Malayan villagers by British troops. Or the Bloody Sunday massacre of 14 Catholics by British troops in Derry in 1972. And please note, I have not even mentioned the name of Baha Mousa.
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Extremist Jews & Israelis Funding Notorious Racist Geert Wilders

On Monday night, BBC2 screened a shocking programme about how some Jewish extremists and Israel have been secretly behind the rise of the notorious Fascist Geert Wilders.

Bombshell: Israeli intelligence posed as CIA to recruit terror group for covert war on Iran

Screenshot via ForeignPolicy.com

Acclaimed author and journalist Mark Perry has published an explosive, must-read investigation in Foreign Policy that exposes how the Israeli Mossad recruited known Pakistani terrorists to wage covert war on Iran by disguising themselves as CIA agents. Perry opens:Buried deep in the archives of America's intelligence services are a series of memos, written during the last years of President George W. Bush's administration, that describe how Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents. According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives -- what is commonly referred to as a "false flag" operation.Read more:

JAG lawyer: Gitmo's decade of shame stains U.S.

As a U.S. Army attorney for more than 27 years, I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. But in recent years, I have observed the undermining of many cherished institutions that I view as the bedrock of our U.S. legal system. I was appalled by the so-called USA Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act; indeed, in waging the "global war on terror" it seems our leaders had sacrificed liberty for security time and again. I was dismayed by what I viewed as the systematic erosion of our rights, but constrained by my military status from speaking out.More

Thursday, January 12, 2012

When the tobacco industry used to, (and still does if left to its devices) think you're suckers

The cretin is banned

I really really wish I didn't have to do this but enough is enough of insanity. The cretin who goes by the nic anan is banned.

U.S. Marines Urinating On Dead Bodies In Afghanistan

Video showing four Marines urinating on the apparently dead bodies of three men sprawled on the ground in front of them.
One of the men says, "Have a great day, buddy." A voice asks, "You got it on the video?" to which another voice responds, "Yeah." Another jokes, "Golden, like a shower."
Let's give some credit to the Us forces for not pretending to be "the most moral army" as the despicable Israeli Occupation Forces do.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gandhi, despite severe pressure from Zionists to endorse Zionism, rejected it

Mahatma Gandhi Rejected Zionism

by Professor A. K. Ramakrishnan

.... Gandhi rejected the idea of a Jewish State in the Promised Land by pointing out that the "Palestine of the Biblical conception is not a geographical tract." The Zionists, after embarking upon a policy of colonization of Palestine and after getting British recognition through the Balfour Declaration of 1917 for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jews," tried to elicit maximum international support. The Jewish leaders were keen to get an approval for Zionism from Gandhi as his international fame as the leader of a non-violent national struggle against imperialism would provide great impetus for the Jewish cause. But his position was one of total disapproval of the Zionist project both for political and religious reasons. He was against the attempts of the British mandatory Government in Palestine toeing the Zionist line of imposing itself on the Palestinians in the name of establishing a Jewish national home. Gandhi's Harijan editorial is an emphatic assertion of the rights of the Arabs in Palestine. The following oft-quoted lines exemplify his position: "Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs... Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home."

Read more

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Child Labor

By Mary (new team member)
Article published in Wisdom Blow

Few issues are as layered with obscurantism and deceit as child labor, beginning with the estimated number of child workers worldwide. The most commonly cited estimate from the International Labor Organization (ILO) is 215 million while UNICEF estimates there are 250 million. Others estimate as high as 500 million. Both UN agencies agree that millions of children as young as 5 to 14 years old work full or part time, with nearly half working full-time, every day, all year round; 70 per cent work in agriculture; 70 per cent work in a dangerous environment, with many sustaining extreme violence and coercion; child labor is common in most countries, including Europe and the US, especially in agriculture and sweatshops.

It’s not clear how these agencies determine their estimates since the figures have remained relatively stable for many years when every economic indicator suggests significant increases. In December 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor added a dozen new countries to the list of those that use child labor, including forced labor. Governments are unlikely to accurately report child labor because they use it themselves or turn a blind eye to companies that do; they are unable to accurately report because there are no functioning monitoring agencies or inspectors established in any countries. IMF structural adjustment programs imposed on countries since the 1980s mandate destruction of labor laws and worker protections so it is highly unlikely money is expended to monitor child welfare and child labor. The UN agencies also acknowledge that millions of child workers are not included in their estimates, particularly domestic workers and those in the informal economy (i.e., under the table, off the books, and not regulated by government). What is known is that the problem is rampant in almost every country in some form or another, including children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation, military conscription, bonded labor, sweatshop labor, mining, manufacturing, farm work. There is no monitoring or reporting of accidents, health problems, and deaths as a result of children doing dangerous work.
Read more

Palestinian drivers challenge Israeli-only roads in the West Bank

Video taken outside Jericho as Israeli Soldiers Banned Palestinians to drive their cars in the west banks with National flags attached atop of the cars.

Egypt students protest “supporter of war crimes” Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman

CAIRO: Multi-award winning columnist Thomas Friedman was greeted in Egypt by protesters as he delivered a talk on the Arab world and Egypt’s revolution at the American University in Cairo (AUC) on Monday.

Protesters held signs showing children killed by Israeli attacks on Gaza with the question, “Why is a supporter of war crimes at AUC?”

Friedman, however, seemed unfazed and delivered a speech detailing his thoughts on the region and the recent revolutions.

He spoke about political Islam, separating between Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, pointing out that Egypt is different “because there is no oil here.

“Tensions between political Islam and modernity can be offset by oil money in those countries … what will happen here will likely be different and more challenging.”

The New York Times columnist added that Egypt cannot ignore tourism, alcohol, bikinis. “They must all be addressed here … [because] they are economically important.”

Economically, he said the region, and Egypt in particular, faces numerous challenges in the coming months and years.

Read more

Egyptian women cane morality police

Egyptian women lashing out at morality police, quite literally.

Vigilante gangs of ultra-conservative Salafi men have been harassing shop owners and female customers in rural towns around Egypt for “indecent behavior,” according to reports in the Egyptian news media. But when they burst into a beauty salon in the Nile delta town of Benha this week and ordered the women inside to stop what they were doing or face physical punishment, the women struck back, whipping them with their own canes before kicking them out to the street in front of an astonished crowd of onlookers.

Modeling themselves after Saudi Arabia’s morality police as a “Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,” the young men raided clothing and other retail shops around the Qalubiya province over New Year’s weekend declaring they were there to enforce Islamic law, according to the Tahrir News.

Read more

(Thanks Abu Zuhair)

Changing the moderation feature from Never to Always did not help as nothing was showing in the 'Awaiting Moderation' box when there should have been. Only when I turned it back to never that the new comments appeared. Let's hope new comments from others than me and AbuZuhair will not be considered spam and that's all I can do.

Monday, January 9, 2012

America Locked A Children’s Humanitarian Aid Worker In Gitmo For Seven Years

America Locked A Children’s Humanitarian Aid Worker In Gitmo For Seven Years: pLakhdar Boumediene, the named plaintiff in a seminal Supreme Court case preserving Guantanamo Bay detainees’ right to challenge the legality of their detention, recounts his experience as a man falsely accused of terrorism and imprisoned at Gitmo for seven years in an op-ed in the New York Times. The whole thing is worth reading, but [...]/p
Still thinking of a solution. I turned Blogger's moderation facilitiy from 'never' to 'always' hoping that since I'll have to approve your comments before publishing, Blogger should, in the future, recognise your comments as genuine. Please post comments that I will approve and then maybe, just maybe, you will not be considered spammers anymore..

Comments issues

Blogger/Google has something new for us. They enabled something called 'Automatic Spam Detection' and ALL comments, (including mine) have been detected as spam and removed into an inbox and there's no way to disable it as this feature is inexistant! From the looks of it they seem to be very pleased to help me "managing" the comment section! Needless to say that I'm less inclined to share their feelings as Id like to put my hand on the SOB who came up with this "innovation"!
Working on it to find a solution. *Sigh.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Newt Gingrich gets $5 million from über-Zionist Sheldon Adelson for his "Palestinians are invented people" assertion

Sheldon Adelson
Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has donated $5 million to a super political action committee that supports Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, the Washington Post reported.
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F. W. de Klerk (Last president of South Africa) on why apartheid will fail in Israel/Palestine

South Africa Israel
Maps of the Black homelands in apartheid South Africa (left) and areas of autonomous Palestinian control in the West Bank under the Oslo Accords (right) (Maps: Philip Munger)

"What I supported as a younger politician was exactly what the whole world now supports for Israel and Palestine, namely separate nation states will be the solution. In our case we failed. There were three main reasons. We failed because the whites wanted too much land for themselves. We failed because the majority of blacks said this is not how we want our political rights. And we failed because we became economically totally integrated. We became an economic omelet and you can never again divide an omelet into the white and the yellow of the egg. And we realized in the early eighties we had landed in a place which has become morally unjustified."

Read more

Miko Peled: The Ethnic Cleansing of Invented People

"The Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestine is not a thing of the past but an ongoing campaign that is executed by three arms of the State of Israel: The education system, a dedicated bureaucracy and the security forces. The education system is dedicated to indoctrinating and producing soldiers and bureaucrats who will execute and enforce the ethnic cleansing. The bureaucracy is charged with making rules that make life unlivable for Palestinians. Rules that restrict Palestinian access to their lands, and restrict their ability to travel freely to work and school. This same bureaucracy then demands that Palestinians pay for permits to be allowed do these very same basic things that they were denied. The security forces, the most obvious of which is the IDF, are charged with enforcing the restrictions, fighting off the resistance, armed or peaceful, and terrorizing the “invented” people of Palestine."
Read more

*Miko Peled is the the son of Israeli general Matti Peled.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Checkpoint shocking admission: "We let them suffer, in the sun, in the rain, that's it. Let the whole world know.""

"Animals. Animals. Like the Discovery Channel. All of Ramallah is a jungle. There are monkeys, dogs, gorillas. The problem is that the animals are locked they can't come out. We're humans. They're animals. They aren't humans we are."
- Israeli border police (at 5:03 )

Pro-settler Santorum claims Mexico and the West Bank

Unraveling the GOP candidate's baffling statements about Israel and the Palestinians

Rick Santorum

“The bottom line is, that [the West Bank] is legitimately Israeli country, and they [the Israelis] have a right to do within their country just like we have a right to do within our country; if they want to negotiate with Israeli, with Israelis—and all the people that live within the West Bank are Israelis, they’re not Palestinians, there is no Palestinian; there is, this is, Israeli land, and therefore they have a right to negotiate what they believe is in the best interests of their country, and they have a right to build things based upon their ownership of that land.”

Read more

Uri Avnery: There will be no war on Iran

"Some time ago I did something no experienced commentator ever does. I promised that there would be no Israeli military attack on Iran. (Nor, for that matter, an American one.)

An experienced journalist or politician never makes such a prediction without leaving a loophole for himself. He puts in an inconspicuous “unless”. If his forecast goes awry, he points to that loophole.

I do have some experience – some 60 or so years of it – but I did not leave any loophole. I said No War, and now General Gantz says the same in so many words. No Tehran, just poor little Gaza.

Why? Because of that one word: Hormuz.

Not the ancient Persian god Hormuzd, but the narrow strait that is the entrance and exit of the Persian Gulf, through which 20% of the world’s oil (and 35% of the sea-borne oil) flows. My contention was that no sane (or even mildly insane) leader would risk the closing of the strait, because the economic consequences would be catastrophic, even apocalyptic."

Read more

Friday, January 6, 2012

Elections time, obviously: Obama plans to cut half a million troops and says US can't afford to wage two wars at once

Obama: the US can no longer fight the world's battles

The mighty American military machine that has for so long secured the country's status as the world's only superpower will have to be drastically reduced, Barack Obama warned yesterday as he set out a radical but more modest new set of priorities for the Pentagon over the next decade.
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Israeli flag in Tunis airport toilet's entrance

(via the Angry Arab)
Here is the Israeli flag at Tunis airport, at the entrance to the restroom. Somebody should mail this to Thomas Friedman. (thanks Khelil)

Just for a laugh


US marine pleads not guilty to Iraq massacre

A US marine charged for taking part in a 2005 massacre of 24 Iraqi civilians pleaded not guilty on Thursday at Camp Pendleton, California. Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich faces nine counts of voluntary manslaughter and other charges for his role in 24 deaths, many of them women and children, in the Iraqi town of Haditha on 19 November 2005. Jury selection will resume Friday before opening statements at the court martial of the last US Marine charged over the notorious killing of civilians in Iraq. Read more

Israel destroys 500 Palestinian homes and displaces 1,000 during 2011

Israel destroys 500 Palestinian homes and displaces 1,000 during 2011
Israeli authorities destroyed more than 500 Palestinian homes, alongside wells and other infrastructure and facilities over the past year. It also displaced over 1,000 people; the largest number in a single year since 2005.

The human rights organizations indicated that settler attacks against Palestinians, including the willful damage of approximately 10,000 privately owned olive trees amounted to the worst rate since 2005.
Read more

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Many are familiar with the photo, but few know the story behind it. The Lydda Death March of 1948

The Lydda Death March of 1948...They marched 20+ Miles in over 100 degree temperatures in the dessert...Over 350 died, and no one knows exactly how many children...Jews force Palestinians on death march.

The expulsions from Ramla and Lydda as well as from other Palestinian towns and villages in 1948 is documented in Israeli state, military, and kibbutz archives, and by numerous Israeli historians, including Benny Morris (The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Crisis; 1948 and After); Tom Segev (1949: The First Israelis); and Alon Kadish (The Conquest of Lydda, published by the IDF). Further corroboration of the expulsions in Lydda and Ramla comes from the writing of Yigal Allon, then chief of Israel's Palmach (army); by a local kibbutz leader of the day, Israel Galili B; by Rabin himself in his memoirs; and by dozens of interviews I did for The Lemon Tree in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and Lebanon since 1998.

The expulsions of the Palestinians from Lydda and Ramla by Jews, began en masse on July 13 and continued for three days. The Arabs of al-Ramla, who had surrendered without incident, were put on buses and driven to the front lines of the fighting, where they, like the Arabs of Lydda, were ordered out and told to walk.

Rabin, in his memoir, described how in the critical days of mid-July 1948, he asked Ben-Gurion what to do with the civilian population of Ramla and Lydda, and that the prime minister had "waved his hand in a gesture which said, 'Drive them out!'"
Read the rest in the comment section

Hilltop settlers discuss conquering Jordan and destroying mosques on Israeli tv

Israeli Channel 2 aired a rare interview with the "hilltop youth," a network of young settlers associated with the recent attack on an Israeli army base in the occupied West Bank (and with "price tag" graffiti). All between the ages of 18 and 20, these right wing zealots live in structures built from the debris of demolished houses and find delight in news of a mosque burning to the ground.

The juxtaposition of images and words in the video is disturbing: "behind the smiles and summer camp atmosphere in the middle of winter, there are very rigid opinions."

The interviews begin in the West Bank outpost Ramat Migron with three "young, giggling women" who describe the West Bank, and everything on it, as belonging to the Jewish people. As for the Palestinians who live there:

"Arabs are like dogs. They smell fear and then they come to bite."

Next Oded, a young man in favor of colonizing and ethnically cleansing Jordan, takes Channel 2 to a small stone structure known as "the hut," where he describes Jordan as part of "land of Israel... I am all for going to war with Jordan, to conquer them and live there."

The correspondent's voice makes a slight shiver in confusion and fear, and he asks what of the Jordanian women and children, and their houses? Oded replies that they will be removed with "decisiveness and sensitivity."

In the third and final stop on the settlement tour, we meet Meir Bretler, a hilltop youth "leader" who Channel 2 says is responsible for organizing the Kasser el Yahud border crossing to Jordan. Bretler closes the interview informing Channel 2 there are approximately 1000 families in the hilltop youth. He hits at the fears of the IDF, and secular Israeli society, that the settlers are growing in numbers, and won't take direction from the military.
Via Mondoweiss

Santorum warns of "Eurabia," issues call to "evangelize and eradicate" Muslims

Max Blumenthal
"Though Romney won Iowa, he succeeded by a mere 8 votes over former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. The mainstream press is now fixated on Santorum, praising him for his "authenticity" and predicting he will continue to win over "gritty Catholics," as MSNBC host Chris Matthews said today. But now that Santorum is in the limelight, he is also going to be thoroughly vetted. So the question is whether the media will devote anywhere near the same level of attention it gave to Ron Paul's newsletters as it will to Santorum's record of hysterically Islamophobic statements and anti-Muslim activism. So far, I have seen nothing to suggest that it will."
Read more

"I will return, I and my children". Traditional Palestinian Dabke dance and music. Poignant..

Gideon Levy: Israel must salvage its last refuge in the Middle East

"Relations with Turkey, Israel's last refuge in the region, should not be placed in the treacherous hands of a small group of arrogant, domineering Israeli politicians."
Read more-Haaretz

Avraham Burg: There is a very reasonable chance that there will be only one state between the Jordan and the sea- neither ours nor theirs.

...neither ours nor theirs but a mutual one. It is likely to be ... patently not democratic, like the one that exists today.
Read more

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Darwin’s Psychology: "survival of the fittest" attributed to Darwin was in fact Herbert Spencers'

"At the height of the banking crisis in 2009, the CEO of Mellon Bank, one of the beneficiaries of the massive taxpayer-funded bank bailout, had the gall to tell a PBS interviewer "Capitalism works; Darwinism works." His chutzpa in the middle of an economic disaster was a particularly flagrant example of how Darwin's name, and his theory, have been exploited as propaganda for a laissez faire, "survival of the fittest" model of capitalism.

The roots of what has come to be known as "Social Darwinism" can be traced back to the robber baron era in the latter nineteenth century. The idea that the economy of a successful capitalist society amounts to a cut-throat competitive struggle, much like what was supposed to be the case in the natural world, was inspired by the British social theorist Herbert Spencer. In fact, it was Spencer who coined the term "survival of the fittest," not Darwin"

Read more

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood will not recognise Israel, plans to put treaty to a referendum

"The Muslim Brotherhood, the overwhelming victor in the first round of elections for the Egyptian Parliament, has announced it will not recognize Israel and intends to bring the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty to a referendum.

"We will not recognize Israel under any circumstances; we are talking about an occupation entity and a criminal enemy," said Dr. Rashad Bayoumi, the deputy head of the Brotherhood."

Read more

The First Signs of an Indian Spring

"Despite a growth rate of 6.9 percent and prosperity for some, more Indians than ever are living in poverty than anywhere on earth, including a third of all malnourished children. Save the Children says that, every year, two million infants under the age of five die."
Read more

Monday, January 2, 2012

Israel needs outside 'interference'

"When I took up the Israeli ambassadorship in South Africa in 1992 the tide of history was already turning towards democracy. But numerous Apartheid laws were still in force, albeit no longer strictly applied. I particularly remember those designed to disable civil society, destroy community organizations and stamp out human rights. These include laws to stifle funding to human rights organizations. I recall how alien this seemed to me at the time.

Today those memories come rushing back. Legislation about to be voted on in the Knesset is strikingly similar to that from Apartheid South Africa. The Ministerial Committee on legislation has approved amendments proposed by MKs Kirshenbaum and Akunis which would restrict funding from foreign states to local human rights groups. The enforcement of this law would chill Israeli democracy and what remains of our once-vibrant society."

Read more

Ron Paul: Sanctions against Iran are 'acts of war'

Ron Paul Paul, one of the leading contenders to win next week's Iowa caucuses, said Iran would be justified in responding to the sanctions by blocking the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz. He compared the western sanctions to a hypothetical move by China to block the Gulf of Mexico, which Americans would consider an act of war.
He also said he would not respond militarily to keep the strait open—because he would not consider it an act of war against the U.S. But if he were president, he would report to Congress on the issue, leaving it up to lawmakers to declare war if they wanted.

"I think we're looking for trouble because we put these horrendous sanctions on Iran," Paul told a midday audience at the Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa. He said the Iranians are "planning to be bombed" and understandably would like to have a nuclear weapon, even though there is "no evidence whatsoever" that they have "enriched" uranium."
Read more-Latimes

Amira Hass: On anniversary of Gaza war, we will remember IDF soldiers who destroyed Palestinian families

"We will remember the pilot who delivered the bomb that killed Mahmoud al-Ghoul, a high-school student, and his uncle Akram, an attorney, at the family's home in northern Gaza. We will remember the soldiers who analyze photographs taken by drones, who decided that a truck conveying oxyacetylene cylinders for welding, owned by Ahmad Samur, was carrying Grad rockets - a decision that led to an order to bomb the vehicle from the air which, in turn, led to the deaths of eight persons, four of them minors.
We will remember the soldiers who turned the Abu Eida family home in eastern Jabalya into a base and place from which to shoot, and confined in one room an elderly invalid, a blind woman and two older women. We will remember how these soldiers did not allow these four persons to go to the restroom for nine days. We will remember the soldiers who herded members of the Samouni family into one house and were themselves positioned 80 meters from it when it was shelled, with all its residents inside, under orders from brigade commander Ilan Malka - someone else whom we will remember, of course. "
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American drone killings leading to one thing; predictable blow-back

Washington’s drone wars against countless countries receives far too little media scrutiny (is it because the White House says they’re killing “terrorists” and clueless reporters believe it?) and private companies are increasingly involved. Joshua Foust writes in the Atlantic that the US should be worried: