Thursday, February 28, 2013

Israeli highway hits Palestinian village "like a tsunami"

Residents in Beit Safafa, south of Jerusalem, are resisting a planned highway that will cause irreparable harm to their village.
Highway 50, as the project is known, is planned to connect the Gush Etzion bloc of Israeli settlements with settlements in the northern part Jerusalem. The project is part of Israel’s wider plan for asserting its control over the greater Jerusalem area, as it continues to annex and confiscate lands south of the city in violation of international law.
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Benedict still saying good-bye

In a round-up of today’s news, the pope is still saying good-bye, making it the longest farewell in human history. Word is they caught him trying to make off with some of the Vatican silverware. We’ll miss him as much as we miss Nicholas Psychozy. This is a photo of the papal conclave proving that the Vatican does not discriminate on the basis of age. Gender yes, but not age.

Buckingham Palace sent HHHHairy on a charity tour to Lesotho to rehabilitate his reputation as a playboy. To avoid in flagrante delicto, Lesotho officials closed down the strip joints, had him on a curfew, & deported him as soon as the press got pictures.

Police are excavating a driveway in Roseville, Michigan looking for the bones of Jimmy Hoffa without offering an explanation for why in the hell they’re still looking since everyone who cares is long since dead.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is dating again proving that money can buy you love. And lastly, Joe Francis, the guy who owns “Girls Gone Wild” has gone bankrupt due to litigation. Joe probably ought to talk to HHHHairy.

(Photo by ANSA/Zuma Press/MCT)

Good riddance--hopefully for the last time!

They’re reporting that General Norman Schwarzkopf is being laid to rest today at West Point. He died last year but they haven’t been able to get his stinking corpse to go away. Nobody wanted it buried near them & even hell wasn’t willing to receive him. So let us repeat our anti-eulogy & hope the worms get him before Satan does.

General Norman Schwarzkopf is dead. You might think of him as the Pentagon’s own General Omar Suleiman. Schwartzkopf was the US commander of the first US war against Iraq in 1990-1991, codenamed Operation Desert Storm by the Pentagon. Many refer to it as the “video game war” since that is precisely how the media treated it to distance viewers from the barbarism of that siege against the people of Iraq. It was a war noted for the US use of depleted uranium & other chemical weapons. The weapons caused a debilitating, incurable illness among US combatants called the Gulf War syndrome. But most importantly, it left a legacy in Iraq of unimaginable human suffering, especially for the children. Hundreds of thousands died or have since been born with deformities & disabilities--& without resources to cope since so many hospitals were bombed.

Civilians were a deliberate target of the thousands of sorties flown against Iraq cities, civilian shelters, hospitals, schools, factories (including those for medical supplies), roads, power stations, & the entire infrastructure of the country. (Now we know where Israel learned its tactics in Gaza!) There were tens of thousands of civilian casualties & no possible accurate accounting since the intention was to bring the Iraqi people & any possible resistance to their knees.

The sanctions against Iraq as a result of this war led to the death of 500,000 Iraqi children. Then US secretary of state, the despicable Madeleine Albright, notoriously made the statement on the 60-Minutes TV program (in 1996) that the US considered the price paid by these innocent children “worth it” to accomplish US goals.

The war was so daunting in its barbarity that it had a dampening affect on antiwar activity in the US & weakened a vibrant, active movement--from which it is still recovering. But be assured it will.

There’ll be eulogies galore for this war criminal. Our only regret is they weren’t written decades ago & delivered to his prison hospital. May he rest comfortably in the fires of hell. And we look forward to writing the obituary for Madeleine Albright.

(Caricature by Gene Haas)

Video: Israeli settler lecturing Palestinian farmers — ‘You’ll all be our slaves, if you’re worthy, if you behave well’

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The fantasy of silence

This poem by Indian poet, Musab Iqbal, could describe the personal; it could describe the political; or most likely it describes the intersection between the two. That's why it's so compelling.

The fantasy of silence is
most unknown of all mysteries.
While the web of distant dream
Is becoming fragile,
Confusion is the landscape
Where I weep, and see the empire
Of death breaking into
Pieces and scattering like
the stars in sky.

- 27th February 2013

No US aid to Guatemala!

There is something so powerful & so moving about the human refusal to forget or forgive the loss of loved ones who died under tyranny. Even decades later, victims come back to haunt justice in photographic displays & we have seen this in country after country. They will not be laid to rest until justice is served. But just as uncompromising are government attempts to thwart justice & put on dog & pony shows as substitution.

This is a photographic tribute in Guatemala City to the 200,000 Mayans executed & gunned down, disappeared, raped & tortured, subjected to atrocities too unspeakable to describe, forced to relocate & dispossessed of their ancestral lands during the killing field of 1960-1996. It is often referred to as a civil war but in fact it was a holocaust & a genocide by Guatemalan military & paramilitary death squads trained & equipped by the US Pentagon & CIA. Using a scorched earth policy, buildings were vandalized & demolished, crops destroyed, livestock slaughtered, water supplies contaminated, sacred places & cultural icons violated.

A Guatemalan judge has just ruled the US-backed dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt can stand trial on charges of genocide & crimes against humanity. The next legal hurdle is a three-judge panel who will decide whether to proceed to trial or exonerate Ríos Montt who’s already had nearly 20 years of impunity. The ruling is a positive development but it is not justice. Ríos Montt is nearly 87 years old & unlikely to see the inside of a jail cell since those within the Guatemalan government who colluded with his crimes will put up all kinds of resistance & impediments to his prosecution.

Most importantly, any real prosecution would necessarily be filing genocide charges against the US Pentagon & CIA--who are still in Guatemala doing their dirty work. Without calling the US government & all of their Guatemalan henchmen to account, this prosecution is not much more than a dog & pony show & by no means justice for the tens of thousands of Mayans who suffered unspeakable crimes & who survive to see justice not just denied but mocked.

No US aid to Guatemala! Withdraw all US military & mercenaries from Guatemala!

(Photo by Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images)

A pogrom in Qusra..Settlers and soldiers attack isolated villagers

A history of violence in Qusra: Not 'clashes,' but 'pogroms' 
By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz

IDF soldiers and settlers enter the land of Qusra, 23.2.2012
A group of settlers coming from the direction of one of the most notorious outposts, Esh Kodesh, raided the Palestinian village of Qusra yesterday (Saturday). Some six Palestinians were wounded. The Israeli media reported a “clash” in the village. There wasn’t one.
A clash is what happens when two sides of more-or-less equal strength face off with one another. What took place in Qusra is much more similar to the Czarist period and to the American South before the passage of the civil rights laws: a group of bullies attacking a persecuted minority, and then received the protection of law enforcement forces.

Settlers attack Palestinians in Qusra as IDF soldiers stand by
Look at the pictures, taken yesterday: settlers and soldiers firing together at the residents of Qusra, while the latter stand on their lands. The regular Israel, whose media makes an effort not to report what goes on in the West Bank – more on this below – will automatically excuse it by saying the army has to put down “disturbances of order.” Okay. So what were the settlers doing there?

A settler (far on the right) pointing a gun to Palestinians at the plantations of Qusra village
Qusra is a target of particularly wild attacks from settlers to the point where Yesh Din sent an urgent letter to the commander of the Judea and Samaria Division and the commander of the Police District of Samaria and Judea (‘SHAI’) two months ago, demanding they protect the residents from the settlers. We have dozens of complaints by Qusra residents about attacks by settlers. At this point, as far as we know, not a single raider was indicted.
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Larry Derfner: Palestinians wielding new power against Israeli rule

Threat of Palestinian Authority’s collapse forces Netanyahu, who has humiliated Abbas and his people as often as possible, to try to placate them.

Thousands congregate at the center of Sa’ir village for the funeral
 of Arafat Jaradat.
At the beginning of this week, when Palestinian riots threatened to get out of hand, especially if one of the hunger-striking prisoners died, what did Netanyahu do? He gave in. He announced on Sunday he was giving the Palestinian Authority its customs taxes for January, which he’d held back to punish Mahmoud Abbas for winning recognition for Palestinian statehood at the UN last November.
Palestinians throw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers, PA security troops do nothing to stop them – and Bibi Netanyahu immediately rewards them with a hundred million dollars! (That’s how he would frame it if some other prime minister had done what he just did.)
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Ugly Americans

"I am reminded of the cliche of “the ugly American” — the garrulous, arrogant and wealthy (usually white) American tourist who travels to exotic locales and fails to seriously engage with the reality of his surroundings. Let me be plain: This cliche does not represent my group’s outlook or political orientation, but it does reflect the content of our trip. Traveling around Israel, meeting with Israeli military leaders and hearing Jerusalem Post correspondent Gil Hoffman heap praise on right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu were all a part of my winter break. Connecting with Palestinian community leaders, traveling more deeply into the West Bank and meeting anti-occupation activists from the West Bank and Israel, on the contrary, were not."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike.

Sawsan Shaheen, one of the solidarity hunger strikers with hunger striking prisoners in the protest tent next to the UN headquarters in Ramallah, lost consciousness and was transferred to Ramallah hospital yesterday.

Senior UN official calls for investigation into death of Palestinian in Israeli detention

 25 February 2013 – A senior United Nations official today voiced concern about the death in Israeli detention of Arafat Jaradat and called for an independent and transparent investigation into the circumstances of the Palestinian’s death.
Mr. Jaradat, who was arrested on 18 February, died on Saturday, according to a statement released by the office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry.
“The Special Coordinator takes note of the preliminary findings of the autopsy that was conducted on Mr. Jaradat’s body with the participation of Israeli and Palestinian experts,” said the statement.
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Israel steals 90% of the Dead Sea's tributaries' water
 Colonist pig enjoying the spoils
The looting is well advanced

The Palestinian civil environmental organizations Network confirmed that the percentage of diverted and transfered from the Dead Sea reached about 90% of its sources, and held Israeli occupation full responsibility for the deterioration of the dead sea conditions. The network said that Israel dug more than 100 wells to withdraw groundwater from nearby areas that feed the Dead Sea also, in addition to the establishment of factories to extract salts especially bromide, which is one of the main reasons behind the deterioration of the water level of the Dead Sea. Israel loots more than 650 million cubic meters of water annually from Tiberius Lake and the Jordan River, which feed the Dead Sea, in addition to establishing more than 18 projects to divert water of the Jordan River to the Israeli agricultural projects in the Negev desert; and transferred the water streams collecting rainwater in the valleys towards the colonies near the Dead Sea.

There are times when you feel you just had enough with the scum!

Ultra Orthodox women assault a Palestinian woman for no reason. Since pogroms are already there how long before gas chambers?

"The woman stood at the station in Kiryat Moshe capital, suddenly several young women passing by began beat her and remove her head covering. Eyewitness told the nrg: "Young people were drunk and light rail security officer watched the incident with a smile and did not intervene"
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – A group of Jewish women attacked a Palestinian woman Monday while she was waiting at a light rail station in Jerusalem and beat her severely, Israeli media reported.

Hebrew-language Israeli daily Maariv reported that an ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman passed by the Palestinian woman and punched her all of a sudden. Other women, friends of the assailant, then joined her and together they started to beat the woman forcefully.

The victim tried to defend herself, but the number of attackers was big enough to subdue he and continue to beat her.
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Senate confirms Hagel as Secretary of Def. 58-41 -

Getty Images
Chuch Hagel confirmed by the Senate as a Secretary of Defense by 58 to 41. The hysterical lobby and its groupies tried hard to stop it but failed. More about it here.
The Senate voted along party lines on a stormy Tuesday evening to confirm the embattled former Republican Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel as the nation’s next secretary of defense, capping a turbulent months-long battle over the nominee’s controversial past. - See more at:
The Senate voted along party lines on a stormy Tuesday evening to confirm the embattled former Republican Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel as the nation’s next secretary of defense, capping a turbulent months-long battle over the nominee’s controversial past. - See more at:
The Senate voted along party lines on a stormy Tuesday evening to confirm the embattled former Republican Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel as the nation’s next secretary of defense, capping a turbulent months-long battle over the nominee’s controversial past. - See more at:
The Senate voted along party lines on a stormy Tuesday evening to confirm the embattled former Republican Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel as the nation’s next secretary of defense, capping a turbulent months-long battle over the nominee’s controversial past. - See more at:
The Senate voted along party lines on a stormy Tuesday evening to confirm the embattled former Republican Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel as the nation’s next secretary of defense, capping a turbulent months-long battle over the nominee’s controversial past.
Opposition to Hagel mounted even before his formal nomination by the White House and reached a fevered pitch following a widely panned confirmation-hearing performance in which the nominee struggled to answer basic foreign policy questions.
- See more at:
The Senate voted along party lines on a stormy Tuesday evening to confirm the embattled former Republican Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel as the nation’s next secretary of defense, capping a turbulent months-long battle over the nominee’s controversial past.
Opposition to Hagel mounted even before his formal nomination by the White House and reached a fevered pitch following a widely panned confirmation-hearing performance in which the nominee struggled to answer basic foreign policy questions.
- See more at:
The Senate voted along party lines on a stormy Tuesday evening to confirm the embattled former Republican Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel as the nation’s next secretary of defense, capping a turbulent months-long battle over the nominee’s controversial past.
Opposition to Hagel mounted even before his formal nomination by the White House and reached a fevered pitch following a widely panned confirmation-hearing performance in which the nominee struggled to answer basic foreign policy questions.
- See more at:

200 days + without a mention

 Protesters in London rally outside BBC Offices for totally ignoring the plight of Palestinian hunger striking prisoners in the Occupier's jails. 212 days now for Samer Issawi.

PBS special on the women's movement

PBS is broadcasting a three-hour special on the women’s movement tonight. It’s called “Makers: Women Who Make America.” Among the women interviewed are Hillary Clinton & Oprah Winfrey--two women with absolutely no relationship to the movement & inexplicably considered trailblazers for women’s rights. But they also interview a woman coal miner & others like Kathrine Switzer who entered the Boston marathon which at that time excluded women & who was attacked while running by the race organizer, Jock Semple.

Betsey West, the executive producer of the documentary, repeated the misconception that the movement was all white middle-class women who did not address the concerns of Black, Latina, or Native American women. That accusation comes primarily from malicious media misrepresentation, Third Wave feminist writers who appear to derive their history of the movement from media, & writers like Angela Davis who abstained from participation because the Communist Party (of which she was a national leader) considered feminism (as well as homosexuality) “bourgeois degeneracy.” To explain her abstention, she accused the movement of racism & neglected to mention the huge conferences of Black & Latina feminists.

In fact, every one of the demands of the August 26, 1970 march--that threw down the gauntlet of women’s rights & heralded the birth of the movement--affected the lives of all women & not just those of the white middle-class. The demands were for equal employment, abortion & reproductive rights, & childcare. The demand emblazoned on every poster of “No forced sterilizations,” directly impacted Black, Latina, & Native American women who were subjected to ethnic cleansing by the use of sterilizations without consent.

West said she was shocked to see how dismissive the media was toward feminism but she didn’t note how dishonest media reporting remains. It went from contemptuous & lesbian-baiting to misrepresenting the movement as elite white professionals trying to break the “glass ceiling.” The purpose of this is to deter working women as well as Black, Latina, & Native American women from identification with feminism. But the weight of women’s oppression is much greater than the sheer tonnage of media lies. Feminism is the ideology of women’s rights & those who oppose it or try to talk their way around it only make themselves irrelevant or ridiculous.

(Photographer not identified)

An additional post on the beating of Hassan Ausruf

Hassan Ausruf is a Palestinian man who works as a street cleaner in Tel Aviv. He was filling the water tank of his work vehicle when 15 Israeli youths attacked him with bottles & shards of glass & kicking. He has deep cuts to his face requiring stitches, skull fractures, & doctors are still working to save his eye. The racist youth are practicing for their compulsory service in Israeli Defense Forces occupying Palestinian lands. Of course no arrests have yet been made by Israeli authorities but 100 Israelis in Tel Aviv protested this assault.

Certainly one of the ugliest & most regrettable features of Zionism is the racism inherent to it. Imagine that rather than using the historic persecution of Jews to educate & campaign against racism, Zionism is teaching its young the ideology of the jackboots. Anti-Semitism is a problem but Zionism is not the answer. Anti-Zionists have always argued that Israel is a death trap for Jews. It is also a hot house for corrupting generations of young people bred to hatred, racism, & misanthropy.

(Photo by Neriman Ausruf)

The Palestinian uprising was written on Hollywood's red carpet

While neither local documentary won an Oscar this year, the hoopla surrounding the films helped wake Israelis up to the ugly reality of the occupation. 

 Barak Ravid (Haaretz)
The local documentaries nominated for Oscars, “The Gatekeepers” and “Five Broken Cameras,” reveal the makeup of the occupation from which the next violent conflagration will erupt. Like a punch in the gut or a slap in the face, they try to shock Israelis out of the escapist stupor we have allowed ourselves to drift into. They pry open our tightly shut eyes, making it hard for us to remain blind to the fact that the Palestinians exist and that conscripting ultra-Orthodox men into the army and bringing down housing prices are not our most pressing national concerns.
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Fascistic Jewish youths attack Palesatinian cleaner in Tel Aviv. He's an Arab, they said.

Hassan Ausruf
"Ausruf's wife, Nariman, told Haaretz that a group of about 15 people started to bully and attack Hassan without provocation. "He asked them why they were attacking him and they told him with utmost chutzpah 'because you're Arab,'" Nariman told Haaretz. "They attacked him with whatever they could get their hands on, bottles and shards of glass and they inflicted serious wounds to his head and in one of his eyes." She added, "At some point he managed to escape with his entire face covered in blood and reached a friend where he collapsed.""
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Boycott all Israeli products

This is a photo of Arafat Jaradat, a 30-year-old Palestinian man arrested in the West Bank for opposing Zionist colonizing by throwing stones against tanks, bulldozers, & bullets. He was tortured to death in an Israeli prison. He was the father of two small children; his wife is pregnant. Tortured to death for throwing stones! Another young man’s life taken for opposing colonialism. There are 4,600 Palestinians, including children, being held in Israeli prisons--most of them for throwing stones & all of them for opposing colonialism. Many are held without trial or charges or access to lawyers in what is called “administrative detention” but is more honestly called an attempt to crush Palestinian resistance to expropriation.

Thousands of mourners attended the funeral of Jaradat. Israeli officials are concerned this crime will lead to another intifada. But has intifada ever ceased since 1948? May our brother RIP. We can pay tribute to his life & support Palestinian justice by boycotting all Israeli products (barcode beginning 729) & demanding “No US aid to Israel!”

(Photographer not identified)

Suck it up, Ben; victory is short lived! From here it's the remainder section in the video store

Let me “man up” (could there be a more repugnant or dishonest term!?) & admit I watched the Oscars. Does that make me a bad person? Or just expose my banality? I love the gowns (so reminiscent of feudalism, high school proms, & my beauty queen days) but hate the phony posing; I cringe for the losers when cameras target their reactions & only wish I could laud the winners. But I hate treating art like a horse race. As much as I regret the Leni Riefenstahl category took home the prize this year, I also know that in video stores the least patronized section is the Oscar winning one. So much for ass-kissing your way to the top! As for Michelle Obama’s cameo appearance? It was a tip of the hat, a gesture of gratitude to those who make propaganda & call it art. But she was just “manning up” for US imperialism. This is Leni Affleck receiving his award. The road from here leads straight to hell.

(Photo by Robert Gauthier/LA Times)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Why 5 Broken Cameras or the Gatekeepers could not win at the Oscars

Jonathan Cook
"Guy Davidi, the Israeli co-director of 5 Broken Cameras, one of the finalists, said industry insiders had warned him that pressure was being exerted on the Academy to stop the films winning the award.
“Many people in Hollywood are working very hard to make sure that neither film wins,” he said. “From Israel’s point of view, an Oscar would be a public relations disaster and mean more people get to see our films.”
Not that we could not figure it out, mind you.

That awkward moment at the Oscars

Ted And Mark Wahlberg @ 2013 Oscars Academy Awards

The CIA Goes To Hollywood: How America’s Spy Agency Infiltrated the Big Screen (and Our Minds)

Tom Hayden (Los Angeles Review of Books)
AT A TIME WHEN THE CIA is still hiding the details of its extra-juridical drone strike assassination program from congressional watchdogs and the media, one would think it an awkward moment for Hollywood to confer Academy Awards on films that celebrate its secret agents.
But apparently not. While a robust debate has emerged about Zero Dark Thirty’s depiction of torture, the film largely celebrates the tireless spycraft of a CIA analyst who was complicit. Meanwhile, Argo is an unqualified nod towards the CIA’s collaboration with Hollywood in liberating hostages held in Iran in 1979.
Argo and Zero Dark Thirty are only the latest film productions the CIA has influenced in the 15 years since the Agency opened its official liaison office to Hollywood. Tricia Jenkins examines the history of this version of “Hollywood confidential” in The CIA in Hollywood: How the Agency Shapes Film and Television. Short and dry, her book raises serious ethical and legal questions about the relationship between the CIA and Hollywood, and the extent to which we consume propaganda from one through the other.
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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Emad Burnat (director of 5 Broken Cameras) and family arrive at the Oscars.

Emad Burnat, his wife Soreya, and their son Jibreel arrive at the Oscars.

Died of torture

Detainee Arafat Jaradat died under interrogation. Evidence of torture visible on his face. Forehead, eyes and cheekbone show evident signs of thorough beatings.

Settlements are illegal, so settlers must leave

Palestinians have waited for more than six decades following their Nakba, or catastrophe, in 1948, and more than four decades of occupation until the world has finally admitted that colonies or "settlements" in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are not only illegal, but are also in violation of international law and constitute war crimes.

Israel is responsible for the millions of Palestinian refugees scattered throughout the world, the hundreds of thousands of prisoners and victims since Israel was founded, and is still responsible despite the fact that the world community believes that Israel is an occupying power and settlements in occupied Palestinian land are illegal.

More than half a million Jewish settlers in more than 250 colonies must leave the settlements they have built illegally on stolen Palestinian lands since the occupation of the West Bank in 1967; this was the conclusion of the UN investigators who convened in Geneva a few days ago.
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Photographing tragedy: What victims need is change

Winner of World Press Photo of the year

When one looks at scenes of fleeing refugees from Syria via images of their squalid refugee camps and hears their pleas for solidarity, mercy or for God's help to end their suffering, one finds eerie similarities between their experiences and those of the Palestinians, Lebanese and Iraqis.

However, the worse part of the tragedy occurs when it is so prolonged that video footage, photos and personal accounts meant to delineate an urgent reality, wind up becoming the ever-present state of affairs, a painful and humiliating status quo.
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Farmers kicked off their land by settlers and soldiers

HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Settlers and Israeli forces attacked a number of farmers while working in their lands in Susiya area of southern Hebron on Saturday, landowners said.

Fuad al-Shamsi said that they were surprised when they headed to their lands as they do every Saturday when a group of settlers were shepherding sheep in their lands which is planted with blooming trees.

When farmers tried to enter their own lands, settlers attacked them and released their dogs toward them, frightening young children. Israeli forces looked on but did not intervene.
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Settlers destroy 50 olive trees near Hebron

HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Settlers uprooted over 50 olive trees in the Hebron village of Beit Awwa on Sunday, locals said.

Khalid Muhammad al-Suiati told Ma'an that his father found at least 50 olive trees uprooted and a number of grapevines damaged after arriving to work on his land early Sunday.

The trees were planted 35 years ago, al-Suiati added.
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Jewish youths beat Palestinian cleaner in Tel Aviv (Because he's an Arab, they said)

TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Jewish youths on Sunday attacked a 40-year-old Palestinian cleaner in Tel Aviv, Israeli media reported.

Hassan Ausruf was filling the water tank of his street cleaning vehicle when around 15 youths attacked him, his wife told the Israeli daily Haaretz.

"He asked them why they were attacking him and they told him with utmost chutzpah 'because you're Arab,'" Nariman told Haaretz.
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Autopsy reveals Arafat Jaradat died of extreme torture in Israeli custody

Father of Arafat Jaradat, after identifying his son's tortured body, Abu Kabir Forensic Institute, Feb. 24,2013 (Photo: Yotam Ronen/

 BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An autopsy has revealed that Arafat Jaradat died of extreme torture in Israeli custody and did not have a cardiac arrest, the PA Minister of Detainee Affairs said Sunday.

At a news conference in Ramallah, Issa Qaraqe said an autopsy conducted in Israel in the presence of Palestinian officials revealed that 30-year-old Jaradat had six broken bones in his neck, spine, arms and legs.

"The information we have received so far is shocking and painful. The evidence corroborates our suspicion that Mr. Jaradat died as a result of torture, especially since the autopsy clearly proved that the victim's heart was healthy, which disproves the initial alleged account presented by occupation authorities that he died of a heart attack," Qaraqe said.
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Israel’s Wall of Madness

The wall carving into Palestinian territory. 
The wall carving into Palestinian territory.


If someone would say: “Israel, Palestine and Golan Heights! And you have only two seconds to describe what first comes to your mind.”
Then I would immediately put into words two images that would enter my mind: “Mental asylum, and enormous bag full of the intertwined professional wires.”
Mental asylum, because how else to describe those long decades of lies, half-truths, and deceptions? How else to describe the state of things when the language loses its meaning, words turn to fragmented squeaks and shouts and people just don’t seem to get through to each other.
The wires would come to mind, because I am not only a writer, but also a filmmaker and photographer. Not by choice, but simply because sometimes, actually quite often, I also feel that the words do not suffice in describing reality. While working, I have to use wires, many of them. And I hate wires: all those chargers and fire-wires, the USB wires and other stuff. You put them to one bag and they tangle; you can never separate them, straighten them, and find two ends.
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Good riddance, pontiff!

Pope Benedict has given (hopefully) his last benediction to throngs of cheering nuns & other half-wits. And aint that a misery!? Women who are tasked with the care of children & other vulnerable people are in St. Peter’s Square lauding a creep who moved from Hitler’s youth brigade to protecting clerical pedophiles. He says he hasn’t the mental or physical strength to continue leading the church. That’s because criminal irresponsibility toward children is so taxing even on those bereft of conscience & human decency. He says God is calling him to prayer & meditation in a monastery. Meditate away Bucko, on the crimes you have sanctioned against children--& then hit the confessional box! From there it’s a straight shot to hell.

(Photo by Alessandra Tarantino/AP)

Reflections By An Arab Jew

Ella Habiba Shohat
Ella Habiba Shohat
 I am an Arab Jew. Or, more specifically, an Iraqi Israeli woman living, writing and teaching in the U.S. Most members of my family were born and raised in Baghdad, and now live in Iraq, Israel, the U.S., England, and Holland. When my grandmother first encountered Israeli society in the '50s, she was convinced that the people who looked, spoke and ate so differently--the European Jews--were actually European Christians. Jewishness for her generation was inextricably associated with Middle Easterness. My grandmother, who still lives in Israel and still communicates largely in Arabic, had to be taught to speak of "us" as Jews and "them" as Arabs. For Middle Easterners, the operating distinction had always been "Muslim," "Jew," and "Christian," not Arab versus Jew. The assumption was that "Arabness" referred to a common shared culture and language, albeit with religious differences.
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Palestinians demand international inquiry following suspicious death of detainee in Israeli prison

 Arafat Jaradat died today in Majido prison under interrogation
Palestinian officials are demanding an international investigation over the untimely death of Arafat Jaradat, a 30 year old  Palestinian from a village near Hebron who died today in an Israeli prison.
Jaradat leaves behind a pregnant wife and 2 children. According to his family he was arrested a few days ago on suspicion of being a member of a Fatah cell and immediately transferred to Israel's Majido prison.
Palestinian Minister of Prisoners Issa Qaraqea claims Jaradat died under interrogation.
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Israel to drill for oil in Occupied Syrian Golan Heights

"Israel “annexed” the Golan Heights in 1981, 14 years after the occupation began, but that is not recognized by any other nation. Israel had refused to grant any oil permits for 20 years, as negotiations were ongoing which were liable to return Golan to Syria as part of a peace deal."

Friday, February 22, 2013

The hilarity of propaganda

There’s no question North Korea is run by a repressive regime exacting conformity. But that differs from many other countries how!? Photojournalist reportage is hilarious parody which focuses on signs of conformity among North Koreans like goose-stepping, marching band shows, choruses, & synchronized swimming. You can see all that on any given day at any US high school.

This photo hanging inside a Pyongyang beauty salon shows the 18 officially sanctioned haircuts. Just more damning evidence of communist conformity! Doesn’t it make you want to bomb them!? On second thought, outside of freaky fashion subcultures & old ladies with blue hair, those 18 styles are the same as those worn here. There may even be more of them. Is it unpatriotic to mention the trending phenomenon where every young girl wears the latest celebrity do like the Jennifer Aniston cut? We’re told North Korean men have similar strict guidelines. But how many ways are there to cut a man’s hair anyway?

The US government is destroying the Bill of Rights, shredding due process, declaring its right to assassinate citizens, surveilling our social network posts, & flying drone aircraft overhead to hunt down the dissidents & we’re supposed to worry about how North Koreans cut their hair!?

(Photo by David Guttenfelder/AP)

Arson in Manila?

Every year, 240,000 displaced rural residents (displaced by the IMF model of agribusiness plantations) move to Manila, Philippines, making it the fastest growing city in the world. The World Bank reports squatters now comprise 40% of 12 million Manila residents. They are mostly unemployed or part of the informal economy & live on USD$1.00 a day or less. They live along waterways including Manila Bay, railroads, around garbage dumps. Hundreds of thousands live in Tondo, a section of Manila which fronts Manila Bay & is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. For the past many years there have been dozens of slum fires in Tondo with tens of thousands made homeless but with no place to go & no public housing most simply move back to the site & rebuild.

Waste management has long been a massive problem in Manila. It is excluded or privatized under IMF austerity programs. Factories operate without waste management facilities while the municipality generates over 6 thousand tons of garbage every day. An estimated 500 tons of garbage along with industrial wastes, sewage water, & fecal sludge are illegally dumped daily into numerous waterways & the seven major rivers which eventually discharge into Manila Bay. Eighty-percent of discharged wastes come from industries & businesses situated along the bay. Manila Bay is a major shipping harbor sustaining discharge of garbage, raw sewage, oil, & chemical effluents from vessels & oil rigs. Manila Bay has become a 1,200 square mile septic tank. The pollutants & contamination combined with an immense volume of floating plastic trash has smothered vital marine ecosystems & the plant & animal life these support & directly affected the health & livelihoods of millions of people.

Degradation of Manila Bay has long been at alarming levels so it would seem laudatory that in December 2008 the Philippine Supreme Court ordered the Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR) to rehabilitate the bay & restore its waters to suitable for public swimming & spawning fish. This is not just a monumental engineering feat but a daunting political undertaking since the project involves conflicting jurisdictions of several municipalities & provinces whose waste management affects the bay. The first priority would be developing a strategy to get collaboration between the contending agencies & governments. The purpose would be to lay down the law & force compliance from polluting industries. The court set the date for enjoining industrial waste management facilities at “the earliest possible time.” At a 2011 court review of progress made, there were no sanctions for ignoring the mandate to set up waste management facilities & no sanctions for continued industrial dumping--which explains why no progress has been made to date.

The 2008 Supreme Court ruling also authorized the Manila Development Authority to demolish all “illegal structures & dwellings” along all waterways connected to Manila Bay & ordered it over & done with by December 2015.  The court ordered authorities to clear out the shanty residents with no relocation guidelines established. President Aquino & other government minions have made it quite clear they intend aggressive action to clear tens of thousands of squatters & to relocate them to the rural areas they originally fled from to find work. One government official said he had received orders from Aquino that “If push comes to shove, we will have to blast those houses.” This is the court & government’s way of blaming the fishers & urban poor for the deterioration of Manila Bay.

The reason resident relocation takes priority over waste management facilities is because the Philippine government (the Supreme Court, the Executive branch, & other agencies like the Philippine Port Authority & Philippine Reclamation Authority) are pulling a fast one. Under the IMF investment strategy, public domain lands now inhabited by squatters must be privatized for commercial & industrial development, including expansion of harbor facilities for international shipping, a casino & resort complex, mega-shopping malls, special economic zones. Cleaning up Manila Bay has very little to do with it since shipping-generated contamination will only increase. There are many Philippine laws, including the 1987 Constitution & historic heritage laws which prevent the sale of public lands for commercial or industrial purposes. It will come as no surprise that USAID is consulting with the Philippine Reclamation Authority (the agency tasked with privatizing public lands) to overturn or dodge these restrictions to unfettered plunder. As Aquino has stated, clearing public lands of slums is preparation for private developers to move in.

There are hundreds of slum fires every year in dozens of countries since one billion people now live in sprawling urban squatter colonies of makeshift housing. Fire forensics are seldom reported but fire officials routinely cite a list of causes including faulty & pirated power lines, inflammable building materials (including cardboard, wooden planks, & plastic), gas tank explosions. Residents often claim arson & criminal negligence by municipal authorities. The locations of slums in areas targeted for gentrification & development renders the claim of arson entirely credible--even likely. One telling indication is that in these fire-prone zones, there are very few functioning fire hydrants.

In Manila, slum residents, fishers, health, church & environmental groups are organizing themselves against government aggression & taking to the courts to fight the encroachments & violations of human rights & Philippine law. Their efforts make clear that resident concerns about arson are not misplaced or paranoid. Here Tondo residents use a firefighter’s hose to battle a fire last Tuesday which killed three people, including a small girl, & made thousands homeless.

(Photo by Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Israeli Journalist Lia Tarachansky returns to the settlement where she grew up, to uncover a buried history and a landscape of denial

"My name is Lia Tarachansky and I’m a Russian-Israeli (and Canadian) video journalist covering Israel/Palestine for The Real News. I’m also the director of this upcoming documentary, Seven Deadly Myths (working title).
This film tells the stories of four veterans of the 1948 war that erased from the Israeli landscape hundreds of Palestinian villages and connects their stories to the modern-day Palestinian dispossession through the occupation and settlements. The film also profiles my personal journey from a place of denial, growing up in a settlement in the heart of the occupied West Bank, to confronting a landscape of erasure and denial.
This film is important not just as a documentary about the Middle East and our conflict. It is a film that challenges taboos and sheds light into the darkest corners of colonialism. Thanks to this film I have already had the privilege of addressing audiences all over the world, from South Africa to North America, Europe and Israel itself, and discover that because the voices in this film are of those who themselves participated in the processes of denial, it opens conversations and spaces for change that otherwise remain barbwired in contention.
I have now finished filming this documentary, and I need funds for its post-production. In collaboration with such innovative projects as Jaffa 2030 and Zochrot, this film will become part of a campaign of discourse and relearning for Israelis and Palestinians, and for audiences around the world. "
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Trailer: Israeli film maker Lia Tarachansy's "The Seven Deadly Myths", (Busting Israeli myths)

Seven Deadly Myths is a story of denial and awakening. Only three years after the holocaust the "Jewish nation" was born, but those who fought for it built a parallel reality in which they both physically and psychologically erased what was there before. This is their story and the story of the remnants that endured, refusing to be buried under the deadly myths of denial.

What Obama will discover in Jerusalem and Ramallah

In March, after Bibi Netanyahu forms Israel’s new government, U.S. President Barack Obama intends to arrive for a first historic visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Obama wants to talk with the Israeli people, but has nothing of note to tell them. First on the American president’s crowded agenda will be Iran, and then Syria. Last will be the Palestinian issue, concerning which he has no new initiative.

That Obama is distancing himself from the Palestinian question is unsurprising. He has already crashed and burned on that one, when he named George Mitchell his special envoy, in vain. In response to Obama’s demand, Netanyahu did freeze settlement construction for ten months, but then he renewed it with greater vigor. Meantime another term in office has passed, both in Israel and in the United States, without even the semblance of an Israeli-Palestinian political process, and four more arid years lie ahead. Netanyahu committed himself to the principle of two states, but his actions belied it – the settlements expanded and the would-be Palestinian state continued to shrink.
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With Livni as his fig leaf, Netanyahu can now form an extremist government

After signing Tzipi Livni onto his coalition, Netanyahu doesn’t need Yair Lapid anymore – he can have the haredim and Naftali Bennett while pacifying Obama.

Larry Derfner (972 magazine)
 Give the devil his due: Bibi pulled off a masterstroke yesterday by signing Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah party to his coalition. Now he’s got clear sailing to his ideal government – one made up of the right wing and ultra-Orthodox, his base, but one that also keeps Obama and the Europeans off his back by giving the appearance – completely hollow – that he intends to try to move toward peace with the Palestinians. That’s Livni’s role, and she’ll be happy to play it; she’s been given the job of heading up negotiations with the Palestinians, which is what she always wanted, and it saves her from dying politically in the opposition with her six measly Knesset seats.
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Yossi Gurvitz: The conflict won’t end unless Israel admits to the injustice it caused.

Pretending away the Nakba only perpetuates the conflict

Yossi Gurvitz (972 magazine)

 When the Czechs prefer to keep silent and repress their history, it’s a problem, but it is not an imminent danger to the country. When Israelis prefer to pretend there was no ethnic cleaning here, it’s a wholly different question: the conflict won’t end unless Israel admits to the injustice it caused.


Palestinian refugees ‘making their way from Galilee in October-November
A few weeks back I watched The Gatekeepers, a movie which interviews six of the chiefs of Shin Bet, from Avraham Shalom to Yuval Diskin. The movie is shocking and well worth your time. The most surprising character was Diskin, who obviously underwent a great change upon leaving the service: at the end of the movie he adamantly agrees with Yishayahu Leibowitch’s famous dictum that the occupation will turn Israel into a ”Shin Bet state.” And over the weekend we learned Diskin went through another metamorphosis: he recommended to the Turkel Committee that the Shin Bet start video-taping its interrogations, which the service has long resisted.
Diskin is merely the latest in a series of senior security officials who, as soon as they leave office, see the light and understand just how ruinous the office they headed was, and how they represented positions that were damaging to the country. The last great show in this genre was the bunch of senior commanders of the IDF’s Northern Command, who upon retirement were astonished to find out that the Security Zone in Lebanon was a huge mistake – often, after defending it in uniform as vital to security just a few weeks prior.
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Facts on Israel's systemic discrimination against non-Jewish inhabitants.

Susan abulhawa
 • Section 5 in the Law of Political Parties and section 7A of the Basic Law: Stipulates that any party platform that calls for full and complete equality between Jews and non-Jews, can be disqualified from any political post. The law demands that Palestinian Arab citizens may not challenge the state's Zionist identity.
• Law of Return: “Every Jew has the right to become a citizen no matter where they come from” while the indigenous non-Jewish inhabitants who were expelled in 1948 are expressly barred from returning to their homes
• Nakba Law: Penalizes any institution that commemorates or publicly mourns the expulsion of the native Palestinian population
• Anti-boycott law: Provides anyone calling for the boycott of Israel, or it’s illegal settlements, can be sued by the boycott's targets without having to prove that they sustained damage. The court will then decide how much compensation is to be paid.
• Admission Committees Law formally allows neighborhood screening committees to prevent non-Jewish citizens from living in Jewish communities that control 81 percent of the territory in Israel. In March 2011 Israel passed a law to allow residents of Jewish towns to refuse non Jews from living in their communities.
• Amendment to the Citizenship Law: Stipulates that an Israeli citizen who marries a Palestinian cannot live as a couple in Israel with his or her spouse. A Palestinian spouse can neither gain citizenship nor residency.
• 93% of the land, the vast majority of which was confiscated from Palestinian owners after 1948, can only be owned by Jewish agencies for the benefit of Jews only. One of these agencies is the Jewish National Fund, which, in its charter forbids sale or lease to non-Jews.
• Specified Goods Tax and Luxury Tax Law [art 26, Laws of the State of Israel, vol. 6, p. 150 (1952)] Authorizes lower import taxes for Jewish citizens of Israel compared with non-Jewish citizens of Israel.
• National Planning and Building Law (1965) Through various zoning laws freezes the growth of existing Arab villages while providing for the expansion Jewish settlements and creation of new ones. The law also re-classifies a large portion of established Arab villages as "unrecognized” and therefore nonexistent, allowing the state to cut off water and electricity as well as to simply appropriate that property.
• Appropriations are carried out under The Requisitions Law which allows a “competent authority” to requisition the land – called “land requisition order” – so that only he may “use and exploit the land” as he sees fit. This applies to “home requisition orders” as well, whereby another “competent authority” who can “order the occupier of a house to surrender the house to the control of a person specified in the order, for residential purposes or for any other use, as may be prescribed in the order. “
• In the education sector within Israel, as an example, the state spends $192 per year per non-Jewish student compared to $1,100 per Jewish student.
• There is a planned Mosque Law that will prohibit the broadcasting of the Muslim call to prayer, which has been sounding over that land since the beginning of Islam.
• Non-Jews living in the West Bank are denied access to the holy places of Jerusalem, which are only a few kilometers away from them.
• ALSO, for the first time in the history of Islam and the history of Christianity, Palestinian Muslims and Christians in the West Bank and Gaza are denied access to their holy Places of Jerusalem, even on the high holy days of Eid, Christmas, and Easter Sunday.
• Since Israel took the West Bank, the Christian population has declined from 20,000 in 1967 to less than 7500 today.
• Military Order 1229: authorizes Israel to hold Palestinians in administrative detention for up to six months without charge or trial. Six-month detentions can be renewed indefinitely, without charge or trial.
• Military Order 329 and 1650 effectively prevents Palestinians from being anywhere in the West Bank without a specific permit to be there, making it a criminal offense to go from one Palestinian town to another.
• Military Oder #92 and #158: gives the Israeli military control of all water resources in the West Bank, which belongs to Palestinians.
• Israel then allows the Palestinians access to only a fraction of the shared water resources, while unlawful Israeli settlements there receive virtually unlimited supplies creating a reality of green lawns and swimming pools for Jewish settlers and a parched life for Palestinians, whose access to water, according to the World Health Organization does not meet the minimum requirements for basic human water needs.
• Furthermore, that fraction of confiscated Palestinian water is sold to Palestinians at 300% more than what it costs Jewish settlers in the same area. ($1.20/cubic meter vs $.40/cubic meter).
• Military Orders #811 and #847: Allows Jews to purchase land from unwilling Palestinian sellers by using “power of attorney”.
• Military Order #25: forbids public inspection of land transactions.
• Militar Order #998: requires Palestinians to get Israeli military permission to make a withdrawal from their bank account.
• Military Order #128: gives the Israeli military the right to take over any Palestinian business which is not open during regular business hours.
• Military Order #138 & #134: forbids Palestinians from operating tractors or other heavy farm machinery on their land.
• Military Order #93: gives all Palestinian insurance businesses to the Israeli Insurance Syndicate.
• Military Order # 1015: requires Palestinians to get Israeli military permission to plant and grow fruit trees. This permit expires every year.
• Through various military orders, according to the WHO, Israel has uprooted 2.5 million trees belonging to Palestinians, and which often represent their only means of sustenance.

And here are the numbers that scare me and break my heart the most. These are the cold prose of statistics pertaining to Palestinian children, that reflect the systematic destruction of Palestinian society:

• (UNICEF): “Conditions have rarely been worse for Palestinian children.” One in 10 Palestinian children now suffer from stunted growth due to compromised health, poor diet and nutrition and 50% of Palestinian children are anemic, and 75% of those under 5 suffer from vitamin A deficiency.
• Palestinian children are routinely imprisoned for months and years for throwing stones at Israeli jeeps, tanks, and soldiers. Many of them, as young as 12 years old, are tortured and held in solitary confinement.
• Meanwhile, for bludgeoning a 10 year old Palestinian boy (Hilmi Shusha) to death with the butt of his rifle, an Israeli settler received community service and a fine.
• A Palestinian man was convicted of rape and sentenced to 1.5 years in prison for having consensual sex with a Jewish woman, because he did not disabuse her of her assumption that he was Jewish.

Bill Maher: ‘The Israelis are controlling our government’

"It might not be Saturday Night Live, but when the well-known and popular host of an HBO talk show, Bill Maher, can say, “the Israelis are controlling our government,” and win a round of applause, it’s clear that truth-telling on the dysfunctional relationship between Israel and the United States is going mainstream. Maher wasn’t taking a wild shot in the dark. He knew his comment would be well received.

For others who still hold back, it’s not that they are unaware about what kinds of views would resonate with ordinary left-leaning younger Americans. It’s a question of whether media figures in the spotlight are willing to catch negative attention in corporate board rooms. Unlike the networks, HBO isn’t beholden to advertisers, so that obviously gives Maher some extra latitude.

The responses of Maher’s panelists were telling. The Daily Caller‘s Jamie Weinstein, clearly aware that he faced an unfriendly audience, seemed to have put himself in a curious position. He was faulting Hagel for saying that the State Department is Israeli-controlled — by implication, other branches of government (e.g. Congress) could more reasonably be described that way. The Democratic Donna Brazile assumed responsibility for changing the subject, while Jon Meacham turned his back on Maher to make it clear there was no way he would get drawn into a discussion on Israel."
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Settlers resume the dumping of waste in Palestinian residential area

Residents told the Jerusalem based Palestinian newspaper, Al-Quds, they had noticed settlers’trucks off-loading their garbage in the deserted dump, which became full with hundreds of tons of waste in a very short period. 
The dump is located 100 meters away from the residential houses and close to two artesian wells that supply drinking water to thousands of people in the two villages and several parts of Nablus.
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Germany is to delay compensation payments for holocaust survivors until Israel halt its settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli media sources reported that Germany is to delay compensation payments for holocaust survivors until Israel halt its settlement building in the occupied West Bank.
 The Israeli daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, reported Israeli government sources have conveyed their anger to the office of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. The sources refused the “deliberate delay” to pay the compensation for the holocaust survivors.
The sources, according to the newspaper, said that it is inappropriate to link between a “humanitarian issue, connected to survivors of the Nazi’s crimes during the Second World War, and a political issue concerning Israel’s relations with its neighbours.”
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Why have the white British left London?

"Something quite remarkable happened in London in the first decade of the new millennium. The number of white British people in the capital fell by 620,000 - equivalent to the entire population of Glasgow moving out.
The consequence, as revealed by the latest census, is that white Brits are now in a minority in London, making up just 45% of its residents.
So where have they gone to - and why did they leave?
I've been analysing and mapping the census data, and what emerges is a much more positive story than some headlines would make you think."
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Ramsis II vizier's tomb cover discovered

A group of Belgian archaeologists uncovered the remains of a mud-brick pyramid-shaped tomb cover in Luxor belonging to Ramsis II's vizier Khay.
The Belgian archaeological mission from the Free University of Brussels and Liege University uncovered the 15 metre-tall structure during their routine excavation work at Sheikh Abdul Gorna noblemen's necropolis on Luxor’s west bank.
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Galloway shows the way!

George Galloway walks out of a debate at Oxford University after his opponent claimed to be Israeli.

Not too soon. Saudi Arabian women take seats on advisory body

Women will be given a voice in shaping Saudi Arabia’s laws for the first time after the country officially swore in 30 female members to the Shura Council.

The council is an appointed body that advises the government on new laws, and functions in place of an elected parliament.
The move represents the first time in country's history that women have been able to hold any political office, and has riled conservative clerics in the Islamic monarchy.
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They broke in, they looted and to finish defecated on the beds. Glorious IDF!

Soldiers’ confessions prove shocking Israeli Instagram photo soldiers not just a few bad apples
The Israeli veterans’ organization Breaking The Silence has documented numerous confessions over the last nine years.
These shocking admissions from Israeli soldiers document the maltreatment of Palestinians under Israeli occupation. The confessions prove that the immoral behavior seen in the disturbing images posted on Israeli soldiers’ Instagram accounts, as revealed by The Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah are not the case of a few bad apples.
Here follows a selection of a few of the group’s confessions.

There was no such a thing called Palestine? How about this football match Australia V Palestine which took place in 1939?

It's often that one hears stupid, ignorant and brainwashed Zionists that Palestine never existed and that the Palestinians only started to call themselves as such in the 60s. Though the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming, the psychopathy of a Zionist mind does not make room to accommodate such things as facts but here is a contribution nevertheless to a wealth of evidence.  This match between Australia and Palestine recorded by the famous Pathe Gazette took place in Sydney in 1939. 



Double click the bottom photo to watch the video in the source.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Michael Moore: '5 Broken Cameras' Oscar nominee detained at LAX, threatened with deportation

 <p>"5 Broken Cameras" co-director Emad Burnat</p>
"5 Broken Cameras" co-director Emad Burnat
 "Emad Burnat, Palestinian director of Oscar nominated '5 Broken Cameras,' was held tonight by immigration at LAX as he landed to attend the Oscars," documentary filmmaker and Academy branch governor Michael Moore Tweeted to his 1.4 million followers this evening. "Emad, his wife and 8-year-old son were placed in a holding area and told they didn't have the proper invitation on them to attend the Oscars."
According to Moore, Burnat texted him for help after being detained. "Apparently the Immigration & Customs officers couldn't understand how a Palestinian could be an Oscar nominee," Moore continued. "I called Academy officials who called lawyers. I told Emad to give the officers my phone number and to say my name a couple of times."

BDS: Veolia suffering "expensive" damage due to Palestine campaigners’ publicity says financial expert

Protest in London against Veolia’s role in the Israeli occupation
For years, the French transnational Veolia has tried to downplay the effect of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns which aim to hold the company to account for its role in the Israeli occupation.
But now a top Norwegian financial advisor has boldly acknowledged the impact of the BDS movement.
Activists in many countries have pressurized local authorities, public institutions, socially responsible investors, and pension funds to do no business with Veolia as long as it is complicit in Israel’s violations of international law.
In a recent presentation [PDF], Hege Sjo said that “disasters are expensive” for businesses, mentioning Veolia as an example of a company that has experienced “reputational damage as a result of publicity and pending litigation” due to “operations in troubled regions. Involvement in infrastructure project in the occupied territories.”
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The bump watch

Contemplate this sentence from NBC News--& weep: “Royal watchers worldwide have been waiting for this: the first public glimpse of Duchess Kate's growing baby bump.”

According to the Urban Dictionary, a royal watcher is someone who enjoys news about people with royal titles. An alternate definition they offer is someone with an empty life who compensates by stalking royalty. Why such flattering definitions!?

A more honest definition would be: a royal watcher is a snob who is at heart a sycophant--one who grovels before those of superior social status & despises those they deem beneath them. Who else could possibly give a damn about poor, starving KKKKaty’s belly? Unless it’s child protective services.

Betty hasn’t produced such smart cookies so they better start feeding KKKKaty & stop treating her like a mannequin or they’ll have another Chuckles on their hands.

(Caricature of KKKKaty from Daily Mail)

From the archives of the anti-Vietnam War movement

From the archives of the anti-Vietnam War movement:  a Chicano march against the Vietnam War in East Los Angeles in 1970.

The National Chicano Moratorium Committee was a movement of Chicano (US citizens of Mexican descent) antiwar activists who organized opposition to the Vietnam War. Chicano soldiers suffered disproportionate casualties in the war (from 1967 to 1969, 19% of the casualties from the Southwest US were Chicano while they were only 12% of the region’s population). Activists began to challenge why they should fight for US colonialism abroad while victimized by it in the US.

On August 1970, they organized protests in over 20 cities drawing thousands of Chicanos. The march in Los Angeles, which drew 30,000 protestors, was attacked by police for several hours using extreme violence & tear gas. Three protestors were killed, including Ruben Salazar, a reporter killed by a tear-gas projectile police fired indiscriminately into the bar where he sat.

In response to community outrage at the assault on peaceful protestors, hundreds of riot cops occupied the barrios of East Los Angeles like an invading army--confirming the colonial analogy made by Chicano activists.

Many Chicano activists of that era remain active today in the immigration rights movement & in the antiwar movement.

(Photo from files of Los Angeles Times)

Israeli soldier posts Instagram image of Palestinian child in crosshairs of rifle

Israeli soldier posts disturbing Instagram photo of child in crosshairs of his rifle
Israeli soldier Mor Ostrovski, 20, has sparked controversy after posting this image on his Instagram account. Photograph:
An Israeli soldier has sparked outrage by posting a photograph appearing to show the back of a Palestinian boy's head in the crosshairs of his sniper rifle on a social networking site.
The context of the picture, posted on the personal Instagram site of Mor Ostrovski, 20, could not be verified but the aggressive message is clear. The minarets and Arabic architecture of the village captured in the background suggest the boy and the town are Palestinian. Ostrovski is an Israeli soldier in a sniper unit.
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Antony Loewenstein: Israel’s image takes another hit with the ‘Prisoner X’ scandal

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The case of Australian and Israeli citizen Ben Zygier and his alleged suicide in an Israeli jail in December 2010 provides an instructive window into the secretive relationship between Canberra and Tel Aviv as well as the dynamics between the Zionist state and friendly Western nations. The death of the former IDF soldier and Mossad agent has triggered a global media storm after last week’s ABC TV’s  Foreign Correspondent story revealed the identity of Prisoner X.
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"First they stole our books, then they took our story"

Susan Abulhawa
I finally watched The Great Book Robbery at the University of Pennsylvania this weekend with some friends. It’s a film documenting Israel’s systematic looting of over 70,000 books from Palestinian public and private libraries after Jewish gangs in Palestine proclaimed the state of Israel and ethnically cleansed the native population.....

........As Zionists did with our homes, bank accounts, photographs, farms, orchards, and all remaining worldly possessions, they also stole our books. A large number of them were looted from wealthy families from Jerusalem and Haifa, and in the process of watching this documentary, the viewer gets a sense of the cultured and highly-educated Palestinian society that was dispossessed of home and history by foreign Jewish newcomers. One man in the audience made reference to this in a comment to the director. This film clearly changed the image of Palestinians in his mind from something other than cultured, to people he could relate to. That says something about the film’s power.Read more

Street Art Utopia: Dihzahyners Project - In Beirut, Lebanon

By DIHZAHYNERS in Beirut, Lebanon
(Thanks vza)