Sunday, April 5, 2015

Gaza doc named Norway's person of year 
A outspoken Norwegian doctor whose efforts to treat Palestinians wounded in the Gaza conflict garnered worldwide attention has been named person of the year by the country’s largest tabloid, Verdens Gang (VG).

Mads Gilbert, 67,whose day job is head physician and anaesthesiologist as the University Hospital of North Norway, spent more than fifty days treating many of the 11,000 injured in this summer’s conflict.
Gilbert was vocal in his criticism of Israel during the war, describing the country’s actions as “state terrorism at the highest levels.” Israel later banned the doctor from Gaza. The ban was officially for security reasons, but Gilbert himself claimed the ban was due to his comments about the war. Israel denied reports that the ban was for life.
He gave graphic accounts to international media of the situation in Gaza’s hospitals, describing how civilians were “maimed and torne apart”. In an open letter to the Lancet medical journal, he and a number of other doctors said they were “appalled by the military onslaught on civilians in Gaza under the guise of punishing terrorists.”

The Long War against US "adversaries" in the Muslim world

Nafeez Ahmed on 3 April 2015 published an insightful article at the website Middle East Eye that brings together research from David Hearst demonstrating that the US itself, through its Gulf allies, gave the northern Houthis of Yemen a green light for their offensive last September. (See (1) Blowback in Yemen; (2) Saudi Power Struggles ... and (3) US War in Yemen, Saudi-Arabia, Iran,...)
The first of these articles by David Hearst (Blowback in Yemen) revealed that the Houthi offensive was “conducted under the nose of a US military base in Djibouti” from where CIA drones operate. “The Houthis are even protecting the US embassy in Sanaa.” Hearst revealed that the Houthis had been emboldened by a quiet nod from Saudi Arabia, under the watchful eye of US intelligence.
The second article “Saudi's internal power struggles ...”, which analyzed Saudi support for the military coup in Egypt, outlines how Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar met with Houthi leader Saleh Habreh in London. The Saudis wanted to mobilise the Houthis against the Islah Party, Yemen’s Muslim Brotherhood branch that shared power with President Hadi, so that they “cancel each other out” in conflict. But Islah refused to confront the Houthis, and Riyadh’s green light backfired, allowing the militia to march unhindered to the capital.
Nafeez Ahmed explains that “Sources close to Hadi say they were told by the Americans about a meeting in Rome between Iranian officials and the son of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, to secure his assurances that government units loyal to Saleh would not oppose the Houthi advance.” Nafeez Ahmed also unveils the US strategy in promoting full-scale Sunni-Shia regional war-by-proxy: Since 9/11, every country in the region touched by major US interference has collapsed into civil war as their social fabric has been irreversibly shattered: Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya.
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The destructive legacy of Arab liberals

Arab liberals have allied with Israel, the US and Saudi Arabia to wreak an unparalleled record of destruction.

 It has become commonplace to present Arab Islamists of all political stripes (liberals, conservatives, radicals, neoliberals, moderates, extremists, nonviolent, violent, etc.) as a most, if not the most, dangerous political force in the Arab world since the 1967 War.
In fact, and as the following will show, it has been a new brand of Arab liberals — secularists and Islamists (though the former have been far more dangerous) — who have been and continue to be a most dangerous and destructive political force in the post-1967 Arab world.
The Western, Israeli and Saudi war against Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and anti-imperialist Arab nationalism required the birth of a new liberal intelligentsia. Their emergence on the scene in the late 1950s and in the 1960s, before the war, was part of the American-sponsored “cultural Cold War,” which financed intellectuals across the world for the anti-communist and anti-socialist liberal imperial crusade that also targeted anti-imperialist Third World nationalisms.
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Catastrophe in Yarmouk refugee camp as ISIS takes control

An UNRWA photo shows Yarmouk camp in 2014.

Electronic Intifada
Fears over the safety of the 18,000 civilians trapped in Yarmouk, south of the Syrian capital of Damascus, have grown following reports that ISIS has taken control of large areas of the Palestinian refugee camp.
ISIS, also known as the Islamic State or ISIL, notorious for its brutal execution of hostages in the areas it occupies in Iraq and Syria, infiltrated Yarmouk camp on 1 April.
Fierce battles are reported to have ensued since then, as Aknaf Beit al-Madqis, an anti-government militia in the camp aligned with the Palestinian faction Hamas, have pushed back against ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaida’s affiliate in Syria.
Aknaf Beit al-Maqdis stated today that the group is “fulfilling to defend the capital of the Palestinian diaspora and the blood of our people” and denied reports that its fighters had surrendered.
“We shall remain steadfast until Yarmouk camp is cleansed of the darkness and tyranny, if God allows.”
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Saturday, April 4, 2015

When occupation becomes apartheid

Dean Rusk
Israel’s military occupation and control of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza has gone on almost half a century, since it conquered those territories during the 1967 Six Day War. While many fear Israel will become an apartheid state unless it relinquishes all or most of these occupied territories, the evidence is overwhelming that Israel created an apartheid system and became an apartheid state at the end of the 1967 war, 48 years ago.
Read mor-Mondoweiss-