Saturday, December 1, 2007

Study: U.S., Israel should begin planning Iran strike

"Israel and the United States should begin an intense dialogue on ways to deal with Iran's nuclear plans and should study ways to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, a new study states.

The report, by a former deputy head of the National Security Council, Chuck Freilich, says Israel and the U.S. should discuss nuclear-crisis scenarios between Israel and Iran. The report, entitled "Speaking About the Unspeakable," was released over the weekend by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy......"

Gun-shy America is losing the best chance to stop Iran

John Bolton, the hawkish former US ambassador to the UN, says Tehran’s nuclear threat is growing and it will have to be halted by force


"A grippingly topical nightmare unfolded in a television drama last week. Iran had secretly built a nuclear bomb, transforming the balance of power in the Middle East. All the United States could do was cut a deal and hope for the best as Tehran demanded a seat on the security council of the United Nations.

John Bolton snorts with derision at the scenario. But the only bit that he finds remotely funny is the prospect of Iran getting a seat on the security council; to him, long-time hawk and former American ambassador to the UN, the rest is a very real and global danger.....

A year ago Bolton thought President George W Bush would tackle the Iranian dilemma, by force if necessary, before his term ends next year. Now he believes the State Department, which he lacerates for careerist covering of backsides (along with the British Foreign Office), has hobbled the will to act. Bolton says gloomily that the threat remains and will grow worse."

US says it has right to kidnap British citizens


"AMERICA has told Britain that it can “kidnap” British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States.

A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

The admission will alarm the British business community after the case of the so-called NatWest Three, bankers who were extradited to America on fraud charges. More than a dozen other British executives, including senior managers at British Airways and BAE Systems, are under investigation by the US authorities and could face criminal charges in America.

Until now it was commonly assumed that US law permitted kidnapping only in the “extraordinary rendition” of terrorist suspects......."

Claims of chemical weapon use in Gaza

Saturday December 1, 2007
The Guardian

"Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor (Response, November 30) denies Israel used chemical weapons in Gaza. Claims and counterclaims about the use of such weapons have a long history and are often hard to verify. Mr Prosor's denial must be judged against the reports by health workers in Gaza of injured Palestinians suffering from "severe convulsions, muscle spasms, vomiting, amnesia or partial memory loss" after exposure to Israeli gas attacks (multiple references available). Last year the IDF fired powerful gases at a peaceful joint Palestinian and Israeli demonstration against the wall being driven through B'lin, a village in the occupied West Bank. My colleagues and I were able to obtain a sample of the munition. It contained a powerful irritant derived from capsaicin (the analysis was published in the international peer-reviewed journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival in October last year).

Claims that the IDF used white phosphorus in the Lebanon war last year were initially denied. They were finally admitted by the Israeli minister Jacob Edery in October 2006. White phosphorus causes intense burns and generates choking fumes. I suspect the Israeli government is basing its denials on a technical quibble about whether the chemicals concerned are explicitly banned in international law - to which, anyhow, it is not a signatory.
Professor Steven Rose

Traces of poison

Israel's Dark History revealed.

Israel, not Iraq, holds that distinction of being the first country in the region to use weapons of mass destruction with genocidal intent. Salman Abu-Sitta digs into a dark history

The writer is president of Palestine Land Society, London.

".....When confronted with the anomaly, the United States ambassador to the UN, John Negroponti, responds with typical cynicism, "Israel did not use these weapons against its people or its neighbours." Assuming that the ambassador is well-informed, this statement is a patent lie. Israel used biological weapons even before it was created on Arab soil in 1948 and ever since. The purpose, according to Ben Gurion, is genocide, and if not complete, the purpose is not to allow the dispossessed Palestinians to return to their homes......

Acre was to be the next Zionist target. The Zionists besieged the city from the land side, and started showering the population with a hail of mortar bombs day and night. Famous for its historical walls, Acre could stand the siege for a long time. The city water supply comes from a nearby village, Kabri, about 10kms to the north, through an aqueduct. The Zionists injected typhoid in the aqueduct at some intermediate point which passes through Zionist settlements. (see map)

The story can now be told, thanks to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) files which have now become available, 50 years after the event. A series of reports, under the reference G59/1/GC, G3/82, sent by ICRC delegate de Meuron from 6 May to about 19 May 1948 describe the conditions of the city population, struck by a sudden typhoid epidemic, and the efforts to combat it.

Of particular importance are the minutes of an emergency conference held at the Lebanese Red Cross Hospital in Acre on 6 May, to deal with the typhoid epidemic. The meeting was attended by: Brigadier Beveridge, Chief of British Medical Services and Colonel Bonnet of the British Army, Dr Maclean of the Medical Services, Mr de Meuron, ICRC delegate in addition to other officials of the city. The minutes stated that there are at least 70 known civilian casualties, others may not be reported. It was determined that the infection is "water borne", not due to crowded or unhygienic conditions as claimed by the Israelis.....

GAZA POISONING: Two weeks later, after their "success" in Acre, the Zionists struck again. This time in Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of refugees had gathered after their villages in southern Palestine were occupied. The end however was different.

The following cable was sent from the commander of the Egyptian Forces in Palestine to General Headquarters in Cairo:

"15.20 hrs, 24 May [1948] Our Intelligence forces captured two Jews, David Horeen and David Mizrahi, loitering around army positions. They were interrogated and confessed they had been sent by Officer Moshe to poison the army [and the peoples'] water supply. They carried with them water bottles divided in the middle. The top part has potable water and the bottom part has a liquid contaminated with typhoid and dysentery, equipped with a rear opening from which the liquid can be released....

In Ben Gurion's War Diary, the following entry is found on 27 May 1948:

"[Chief of Staff Yigel Yadin] picked up a cable from Gaza saying they captured Jews carrying malaria germs and gave instructions not to drink water". This is typical of Ben Gurion's oblique writing of history......

The criminals were executed three months later. On 22 July 1948, the [Palestinian] Higher Arab Committee (AHC) submitted a 13-page report to the United Nations accusing the Jews of using "inhuman" weapons and waging a genocide war against the Arabs through the use of bacteria and germs, developed in specially-built laboratories. The report also accuses the Jews (the word Israel was not used) of spreading cholera in Egypt and Syria in 1947/48. The story was picked up by the award-winning journalist, Thomas J Hamilton of the New York Times and published on 24 July 1948. The story now has a new twist- adding Egypt and Syria to the Jewish field of operations.






Perhaps the domestic voice in Israel may be listened to more attentively. The Mayor of Nes Ziona, located a mere 10 kilometres away from Tel Aviv centre, complained that the proximity of IIBR to his city poses a great danger to the population, in case of accident. He is right. The Science Committee in the Knesset reported 22 casualties including three fatal cases in the last 15 years. But these were mild cases.

What would be the situation if a big accident happens on a windy day, causing explosion of tons of toxics and its evaporation in the sky, in a congested neighbourhood, where three million people live in an area of barely 1000sqkms, that is 35X35 km? Ben Gurion, while cooking his evil plans to "exterminate" the Arabs, did not envisage this scenario in his wildest dreams. "

The "Never-Never" Peace Talks

What was Said and Not Said in Annapolis


".....One does not have to look hard for evidence of Israel's oppressive military practices against the Palestinians. But, the world does have to look hard at itself and ask why it has allowed a man-made human catastrophe to go on relentlessly for 60 years without a whimper of protest against Israel. Even a cursory look at the last 16 years of peace talks, beginning with the Oslo preliminaries, would show that Annapolis is nothing more than another delaying tactic that is intended to allow Israel to establish its Jewish state in all of Palestine. Experience tells us that this latest process will probably be as drawn out as all the others. And that about sums up a meeting that will now enter the realms of the "never-never" peace talks."

Jordan's Spy Agency: Holding Cell for the CIA

Foreign Terror Suspects Tell of Torture

By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post Foreign Service

"AMMAN, Jordan -- Over the past seven years, an imposing building on the outskirts of this city has served as a secret holding cell for the CIA.

The building is the headquarters of the General Intelligence Department, Jordan's powerful spy and security agency. Since 2000, at the CIA's behest, at least 12 non-Jordanian terrorism suspects have been detained and interrogated here, according to documents and former prisoners, human rights advocates, defense lawyers and former U.S. officials.

In most of the cases, the spy center served as a covert way station for CIA prisoners captured in other countries. It was a place where they could be hidden after being arrested and kept for a few days or several months before being moved on to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or CIA prisons elsewhere in the world......

The General Intelligence Department, or GID, is perhaps the CIA's most trusted partner in the Arab world. The Jordanian agency has received money, training and equipment from the CIA for decades and even has a public English-language Web site. The relationship has deepened in recent years, with U.S. officials praising their Jordanian counterparts for the depth of their knowledge regarding al-Qaeda and other radical Islamic networks......."

An Exchange on Hamas and Tactics

Lucia said this about Hamas and tactics:

"Yes, it is difficult to understand Hamas insistence on institutionalizing the "security bodies". As soon as Palestine is occupied, the stealth fighter is the way to go. Can't they, at least, learn from the occupiers? A few days ago, Zionists disguised as veiled women (!) abducted a top Hamas officer and his wife. The spokesman of PRC was abducted by Zionists disguised as Palestinian peasants that tricked him with a fake car-problem. And so on.

However, the Palestinian resistance appears as neon signs despite its much inferior firepower. I think this is just another by-product of the PA. They want to look like a state. But it is NOT a state; the PA is just a Zionist client for providing them with security at the Palestinian's expense. This is the crude reality. And such type of "formal troops" are the pompous stupidities that Arafat started and liked, and Abbas is more than happy to go along with, for he even likes them more than Arafat did. But Hamas should get rid of this nonsense and just focus on learning guerrilla tactics, training, and being effective.

The PA should be dissolved ASAP. It has taken the Palestinian fight for freedom to square number one. Let the Zios occupy (not much difference with the current situation, anyway) and let them pay dearly for it. Forget about providing them with the "services" they are obliged to by the international law.

I'm aware it is very easy to speak from afar. But I think this issue should be thoroughly examined by the resistance for -at least- two purposes: minimizing losses and gaining in effectiveness."

My Response to Lucia:

What you said is true about the PA, but what about Hamas? Granted that the PA in Gaza is now run by Hamas, but Hamas as a resistance movement (Izziddin Qassam Brigades) is a separate organization and a separate structure; it is not subject to the payroll constraints imposed by the EU donors.

Still the Qassam Brigades also show off in their uniforms; so the problem is more than just the PA. Many explanations are possible: Making political points while showing off, simple ignorance of the principles of guerrilla warfare, compensation for a deep sense of weakness, etc.

I think that Hamas is facing an existential trap in Gaza and it needs to think deep and fast about the coming phase.

I don't buy the bravado that Israel is afraid of big losses if it invaded Gaza. Hamas' military performance does not inspire. Israeli losses won't be anywhere near what Israel suffered in Lebanon in 2006. Hamas is nowhere near a fraction of Hizbullah. I don't mean just equipment; I mean strategy, skill, planning, intelligence, etc.

If we go by the Iraqi experience, invasion always follows the siege. I am sure that this will be the case in Gaza. Yet, Hamas keeps talking about the Arab regimes breaking the siege! What are they smoking? I sincerely hope that Hamas doesn't believe this lie of breaking the siege.

The decision to terminate Hamas as a movement has been made, with full complicity of the Arab regimes. Appointing a former NATO commander as a security coordinator for Condoleezza in the occupied areas has a military significance. Uprooting Hamas in the W.B. is well underway; Gaza comes next.

Hamas can only survive as an underground movement in both the W.B. and Gaza. I am afraid of a blood bath for the movement in Gaza. I think that the movement should try to prepare for the clandestine stage at this time; not much time is left. A look at Iraq and what happened to the Ba'th cadres is instructive.

By Mike Luckovich

Iran Holocaust drama is a big hit

The scene is wartime Paris. Swastikas adorn the Champs Elysees.

"Jackbooted Nazis are rounding up Jews for the concentration camps, while terrified Parisians look on.

It is a familiar plot for a television blockbuster. And this time the formula has been as popular as ever, drawing in massive audiences week after week.

The only difference is that this is a series made for Iranian state TV.....

'Iranian Schindler'

"There's been a menu of demonising Iran to portray it as anti-Jewish, which is not the case at all," argues Iranian commentator and film-maker Nader Talebzadeh.

"This popular television series, which is visually also very attractive, has tackled this issue because of all the propaganda against Iran."

The series has gone a step beyond simply acknowledging the Holocaust.

The central character is an Iranian diplomat, who provides false Iranian passports to enable Jews to flee the Nazi-occupied France, a sort of the Iranian Schindler. He even has a love affair with a Jewish woman......."

Why Annapolis Is About Iran

by Khody Akhavi

"......President Bush's desire to frame Annapolis as an anti-terrorism conference at the expense of seemingly laudable goals of peace may sour many in the region, but the attendance of so many Arab states – notably Iran's ally Syria – suggests that since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the strategic calculus of the region has irrevocably shifted.....

"[Iranian hegemony] became deeply threatening to the Sunni Arab states, and they, and Israel, suddenly found that they were on the same side against the Iranians," said Martin Indyk, a former special assistant to President Bill Clinton, in an interview with National Public Radio the day of the conference. "That created the strategic opportunity which the administration has finally come to recognize, and that's more than anything else what's fueling the move to Annapolis."......

As much as the Bush White House paints Tehran as an unapologetic and ideological nemesis – the very architects of "Islamic terrorism" – Tehran has made overtures to the US in hopes of laying the foundations for normalization......

The US strategy towards Syria also appears to have shifted in an attempt to break Damascus's alliance with Iran. Syria was the only Arab country to support Iran through its Islamic Revolution and its war against Iraq, but many analysts say the alliance between both countries is more out of necessity, and has little to do with ideological commitments.....

Washington's political allies agreed this week to end their opposition to the presidential bid of a candidate viewed as a Syrian favorite, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal......

"If there are serious negotiations, Washington can demand that Assad stop interfering in Lebanon and Iraq, carry out domestic reforms, and drop Syrian support for Hamas and other Palestinian groups that reject peace with Israel."

It remains to be seen how much the US can benefit from isolating Iran from the broader future of the region. "

Sources: “P.A in the West Bank considers Hamas outlawed”

"The Al Quds Al Arabi Newspaper reported on Friday that one of the Palestinian security officers in the West Bank stated that Hamas is considered an outlawed movement.

According to the paper, the official said that that Hamas is an illegal movement “and must be uprooted from the West Bank”.

The paper added that the official also said that the Palestinian government in the West Bank did not make a public announcement regarding outlawing Hamas movement, but the security devices deal with it as such.

Moreover, the paper also reported that a resident from a village near Bethlehem was recently released from a Palestinian security center after being interrogated for several days.

The resident, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that he was interrogated for his affiliation with Hamas. He is a school teacher working at a local governmental school.

According to him, the interrogators said that any resident who is a member or affiliated with Hamas will be treated as an outlaw.

Recently, Palestinian security forces, loyal to Fateh movement, arrested dozens of Hamas members and supporters in the West Bank.

In mid June, Hamas overtook the Gaza Strip and controlled all of the Palestinian security headquarters which were dominated by Fateh. Following the incident, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas declared the Hamas-formed and controlled Executive Force as illegal. "

Bush handed blueprint to seize Pakistan's nuclear arsenal

· Architect of Iraq surge draws up takeover options
· US fears army's Islamists might grab weapons

Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark
Saturday December 1, 2007
The Guardian

Contributed by Lucia in Spain

"The man who devised the Bush administration's Iraq troop surge has urged the US to consider sending elite troops to Pakistan to seize its nuclear weapons if the country descends into chaos.
In a series of scenarios drawn up for Pakistan, Frederick Kagan, a former West Point military historian, has called for the White House to consider various options for an unstable Pakistan.

These include: sending elite British or US troops to secure nuclear weapons capable of being transported out of the country and take them to a secret storage depot in New Mexico or a "remote redoubt" inside Pakistan; sending US troops to Pakistan's north-western border to fight the Taliban and al-Qaida; and a US military occupation of the capital Islamabad, and the provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan if asked for assistance by a fractured Pakistan military, so that the US could shore up President Pervez Musharraf and General Ashfaq Kayani, who became army chief this week......."

The Shameless Syrian Regime: Annapolis Summit a Defeat for the Palestinians

The unprincipled Syrian regime wants to have it both ways. After attending the Annapolis meeting, defending that decision, being pleased that Condoleezza shook hands with its delegation and sent a warm message to its foreign minister, the regime now says the meeting was a defeat for the Palestinians! Was that a surprise for the regime? Of course not; then why did it agree to be a witness and a participant in that defeat? The regime does not tell us that, under the cover of Annapolis, it held secret meetings with the Israelis in Washington, D.C.

How can anyone have any respect left for this despicable regime? I wonder how many Maher Arrars the regime has agreed to torture for the CIA as a result of its meetings in Wahington, D.C.

-- Tony Sayegh

"A Syrian state-run newspaper on Saturday described this week's U.S.-sponsored Mideast conference as a defeat for the Palestinians and for peace in the region. In a surprise move lauded by participants at the time, Syria took part in the U.S.-brokered Mideast conference in Annapolis last week where Israel and the Palestinians announced that talks would resume after a violent seven-year freeze and agreed to try and reach an agreement by the end of 2008.

"The U.S. administration has the right to consider the Annapolis meeting a brilliant victory, but not for the Palestinian people ... only for Israel," said the front page editorial in the Tishrin daily. "While the Bush administration and Israel may consider what happened and what could happen to destroy the Palestinian cause a victory, we consider it a defeat for a just and comprehensive peace," Tishrin said. "That peace," it added, "can only be achieved by ending Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories."

The newspaper, which reflects government thinking, criticized U.S. President George W. Bush's statement at the opening session of the Annapolis meeting in which he referred to Israel as a Jewish state, calling it "a consecration of Israeli racism." It described the conference as "a carnival that reminds us of similar celebrations since Oslo until today, and of agreements that with time have gone with the wind."

Syria, which agreed to attend the conference only after receiving assurances that the issue of the occupied Golan Heights was added to the agenda, left Annapolis without a specific promise to restart stalled talks with Israel."

The New and Improved Uniform Hamas Has Issued to its Fighters
That Ought to Work!

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Palestinians Would Rather Die Than Learn

"استشهد أربعة مقاومين من كتائب القسام الجناح المسلح لحركة المقاومة الإسلامية (حماس) في غارتين إسرائيليتين على جنوب قطاع غزة، وقد أكد جيش الاحتلال أنه استهدف في إحدى الغارتين مجموعة كانت ترتدي ملابس عسكرية في منطقة أطلقت منها صواريخ باتجاه إسرائيل...."

The story in Arabic (from Al-Jazeera) says that 4 Hamas fighters were killed today (4 were also killed yesterday).

Here is the important part of the story. It says that the Israeli air force targeted men WEARING MILITARY UNIFORMS in the area where some rockets were fired.

To me it is dumb to advertise your presence to the enemy when you have no protection; this is not guerrilla struggle. I know that I have said this many times, but why does Hamas keep sacrificing it fighters unnecessarily? It is really discouraging when one sees no learning. When you are facing one of the best armed and trained armies in the world, you have to be smart, cunning and learn! Is dying the objective??

"A Crude War Of Revenge"

By Mike Whitney

Contributed by Lucia in Spain

"The United States is on its way to losing the war in Afghanistan. The eventual defeat will be political not military. Public sentiment is shifting in Europe. The people have had enough. They want to get out. When European troops withdrawal from Afghanistan; NATO will gradually unravel and the Transatlantic Alliance will collapse. That will be a disaster for America. The US will again be isolated by two great oceans. But not by choice. America's days as an empire will be over......

Tariq Ali explained why the United States would eventually fail in Afghanistan in a recent interview with Sherry Wolf of the Socialist Worker:

"Far from being a "good war", Afghanistan is turning out to be a nasty, unpleasant war, and there's no way the US or other Western forces are going to be able to stay there for too long....The situation is a total mess. The US can never win that war, and the main reason is that the Afghans don't like being occupied. They kicked out the British in the 19th century, the Russians in the 20th century, and , now, they're fighting against the US and its NATO allies." "

Terror is a tactic

A Good Interview with Nir Rosen
By Mike Whitney

Contributed by Datta

"......Question: The Gaza Strip has been under Israeli sanctions for more than a year. Despite the harsh treatment---the lack of food, water and medical supplies
(as well as the soaring unemployment and the random attacks in civilian areas)---there have been no retaliatory suicide attacks on Israeli civilians or IDF soldiers. Isn't this proof that Hamas is serious about abandoning the armed struggle and joining the political process? Should Israel negotiate directly with the "democratically elected" Hamas or continue its present strategy of shoring up Mahmoud Abbas and the PA?

Nir Rosen: Hamas won democratic elections that were widely recognized as free and fair; that is, as free and as fair as you can expect when Israel and America are backing one side while trying to shackle the other. Israel and the US never accepted the election results. That's because Hamas refuses to capitulate. Also, Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood which is active in Egypt and Jordan and both those countries fear an example of a Muslim brothers in government, and they fear an example of a movement successfully defying the Americans and Israelis, so they backed Fatah. Everyone fears that these Islamic groups will become a successful model of resistance to American imperialism and hegemony. The regional dictators are especially afraid of these groups, so they work with the Americans to keep the pressure on their political rivals. Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah collaborates with the US and Israel to undermine Hamas and force the government to collapse. Although they have failed so far; the US and Israel continue to support the same Fatah gangs that attempted the coup to oust Hamas. The plan backfired, and Hamas gunmen managed to drive Fatah out of Gaza after a number of violent skirmishes.

Israel should stop secretly supporting Fatah and adopt the "One State" solution. It should grant Palestinians and other non-Jews equal rights, abandon Zionism, allow Palestinian refugees to return, compensate them, and dismantle the settlements. If Israel doesn't voluntarily adopt the One State solution and work for a peaceful transition, (like South Africa) then eventually it will be face expulsion by the non Jewish majority in Greater Palestine, just like the French colonists in Algeria.

This is not a question of being "pro" or "anti" Israel; that's irrelevant when predicting the future, and for any rational observer of the region it's clear that Israel is not a viable state in the Middle East as long as it is Zionist.

Question: The US military is seriously over-stretched. Still, many political analysts believe that Bush will order an aerial assault on Iran. Do you think the US will carry out a "Lebanon-type" attack on Iran; bombing roads, bridges, factories, government buildings, oil depots, Army bases, munitions dumps, airports and nuclear sites? Will Iran retaliate or simply lend their support to resistance fighters in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Nir Rosen: I think it's quite likely that Bush will attack Iran; not because he has a good reason to, but because Jesus or God told him to and because Iran is part of the front-line resistance (along with Hizballah, Syria and Hamas) to American hegemony in the region. Bush believes nobody will have the balls to go after the Iranians after him. He believes that history will vindicate him and he'll be looked up to as a hero, like Reagan.

There is also a racist element in this. Bush thinks that Iran is a culture based on honor and shame. He believes that if you humiliate the Iranian regime, then the people will rise up and overthrow it. Of course, in reality, when you bomb a country the people end up hating you and rally around the regime. Just look at the reaction of the Serbs after the bombing by NATO, or the Americans after September 11.

Iran is more stable than Iraq and has a stronger military. Also, the US is very vulnerable in the region---both in Iraq and Afghanistan. America's allies are even more vulnerable. An attack on Iran could ignite a regional war that would spiral out of control. Nothing good would come of it.

The Bush administration needs to negotiate with Iran and pressure Israel to abandon its nuclear weapons........."

Israeli radio talk-show host calls on army to arrest Palestinian journalist Khalid Amayreh!

You Have to Read This Piece

Al-Quds Press Office, East Jerusalem

"An Israeli radio talk-show host on Friday, 30 November, called on the Israeli occupation army to arrest an outspoken Palestinian journalist for criticizing the Israeli policies and practices “too harshly” and for “inciting the world against Israel and the Jewish people as well as for promoting anti-Semitism.”

Samuel-Flatto-Sharon, an extreme right-winger, who also hosts a popular talk-show called “Flatto Bli Kheshbone (Flatto without accountability) called Palestinian journalist Khalid Amayreh, whom he was interviewing, the “most sinister anti-Semite ever.” “I have seen and heard about many anti-Semites and critics of Israel, but I have never seen a person like you,” said Flatto, speaking in curmudgeonly manner.

Flatto accused Amayreh of publishing lies about Israel and Jews, telling the Palestinian journalist that “you belong to jail.”

Retorting to Flatto’s tirade, Amayreh reminded him that Israeli forces murdered more than 800 Palestinian kids and minors and hundreds of other innocent civilians in seven years and that Israeli soldiers routinely and nonchalantly kill Palestinian civilians in Gaza and the West Bank.

“You surely know that these are incidents, and we don’t do kill people intentionally as Hamas does,” responded Flatto.

Amayreh retorted by arguing that “mistakes happen once, twice, ten times. But when the killing of civilians occurs on a daily basis, it means it is policy. “Besides, killing knowingly is killing deliberately, and when the number of victims is so high, even intent becomes irrelevant.”

Upon hearing this, and before Amayreh could complete the sentence, Flatto shouted “You are a liar, a liar a lair. You are the enemy of the Jews you are full of hate for Jews.”

Amayreh then reminded Flatto that these figures came from Israeli Jewish sources, such as the Israeli human right’s organization, B’tselem.

However, Flatto, running out of argument and becoming increasingly nervous, told Amayreh that “B’tselem is a liar like you.”

Moving to another subject, Flatto asked Amayreh how he could compare the Israeli occupation army’s “defensive actions” in Gaza and the West Bank with Nazi actions during the Second World War. “You have been saying pretty nasty stuff against us. Are we shipping Palestinians to gas chambers and concentration camps.”

In response, Amayreh said “You are not shipping them to gas chambers. You don’t have to, you are killing them in the hundreds and in the thousands using classical means. Besides, we have to remember that the holocaust didn’t start with gas chambers and concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen and Treblinka. It started much earlier with relatively innocuous things, such as a racist book, the promulgation of racist laws targeting Jews and others, a Kristallnacht, and harassment of the perceived enemies of the Germany motherland. “These are the same things that are happening in Israel today. Don’t you hear how your fascist leaders and officials are relating to the Palestinian people these days. So, are we to wait until we see gas chambers and concentration camps in Nablus and Hebron.

“In fact, you are already morphing Gaza into a concentration camp by blockading 1.4 million helpless human beings and barring from accessing food and work. Isn’t that very similar to what the Nazis did at Ghetto Warsaw.”

Flatto got even more furious upon hearing this. He began ranting noisily, calling Amayreh a Nazi, a person full of hate for Jews, a person who should be dumped in prison immediately.” “How could you make these wicked lies. We are not carrying genocide against people. We give you food and work. Is this how you are thanking us?”

First of all, what you are doing in Gaza is very much a silent genocide, at least a slow-motion genocide. Every day, people die in Gaza because you wouldn’t allow them to travel to Egypt or the West Bank for medical care. How would you describe this if Jews, not the Palestinians, were the victims?”

“Ata Meshaker, Ata Meshaker” (you are lying, you are lying,” a raving Flatto shouted, interrupting Amayreh, ostensibly in order to prevent listeners from hearing him clearly. “How can you believe what you are saying. You are just lying and lying. How could you describe us as Nazis,” Flatto ranted again.

I didn’t describe ordinary Jews as Nazis. Jews who value justice and human decency are our allies and partners for peace. My problem is with fascists like you who murder civilians and call it ‘defensive action’ and who adopt hateful racism as their mode of thinking and mode of action and then call it ‘Jewish state.’”

“Are you against Jewish state. You have a lot of Muslim states. Syria is defined as a Muslim state,” asked Flatto.

In Syria, an undemocratic country, every Syrian, regardless of his religion and ethnicity, is viewed as a full citizen. And Syrian state belongs to all Syrians. It doesn’t call itself a Sunni state, or an Alavi state or a Druze state, or Shiite state. But Israel insists that Israel be a Jewish state, although a quarter of its population are not Jews.”

“You see Amayreh you are full of hate, you are a liar, a dirty Arab liar,” Flatto shouted again.

This is all you can say…you have a problem. Your tongue functions much more swiftly than your mind does. Instead of dealing with facts, you are just calling me a liar.

“Besides, what is a Jewish state? Are you telling me that non-Jews who are citizens of Israel and whose existence on this land preceded and predated you by many hundreds of years don’t have the right to equality? What kind of ugly racism is that?” retorted Amayreh.

You can now return to your donkey room…bye…” was Flatto’s last phrase."


Good for you Khalid! You are great!

Please keep writing and standing up to these Zio-Fascists.

Would you buy a used car from these two salesmen?

Rabin and My Father

At the time, people were shocked when my father said that Rabin’s government had no intention of allowing the Palestinians to establish an independent state.

By Miko Peled
Special to

".......At the time, people were shocked when my father said that Rabin’s government had no intention of allowing the Palestinians to establish an independent state. Some even attributed his words to his old age and ailing body. But that was not the case at all. The Oslo accords were flawed, and he knew it then because he took the time to read them. Arafat agreed to recognize the state of Israel and in return he got an agreement to a step-by-step process towards an objective that was never clearly defined. Arafat’s willingness to agree to this exhibited a great deal of faith and courage for which he never received credit. There were others, like Edward Said who had read the accords and refused to be blinded by euphoria of the moment. The bottom line was this: Rabin, the man who swore to break their bones, was not going to let Palestinians establish an independent state of their own......"

Tens of Thousands Protest Chavez Proposals, Is CIA Fomenting Unrest to Challenge Referendum?

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

A Good Interview
Petras' article was posted here two days ago.

".....AMY GOODMAN: This week, President Chavez claimed the US government is fomenting unrest to challenge the referendum. His foreign minister went on television late Wednesday revealing what he said was a CIA plan to secure a “no” victory. The confidential memo was reportedly sent from the US embassy in Caracas and addressed to the director of Central Intelligence, Michael Hayden.

James Petras is a former professor of sociology and Latin American studies at Binghamton University. He is author of a number of books, including Social Movements and State Power. His exclusive article in “Counterpunch” is called "CIA Venezuela Destabilization Memo Surfaces.” Professor Petras joins us now from Binghamton, New York.

Welcome, Professor Petras. Can you start off by talking about what exactly this memo is? Have you actually seen it? What is it reported to say?

JAMES PETRAS: Well, I picked it up off the Venezuelan government program. It describes in some detail what the strategy of the US embassy has been, and most likely the author, Michael Middleton Steere, who’s listed as US embassy, may be a CIA operative, because he sends the report to Michael Hayden, the director of the CIA.

Now, what the memo talks about essentially is, first of all, the effectiveness of their campaign against the constitutional amendments, and it concedes that the amendment will be approved, but it does mention the fact that they’ve reduced the margin of victory by six percentage points. The second part is more interesting. It actually mentions the fact that the US strategy is what they call a “pincer operation.” That’s the name of the document itself. It’s—“pincer” is “tenaza,” and it’s, first of all, to try to undermine the electoral process, the vote itself, and then secondly, once the vote goes through, if they are not able to stop the vote, is to engage in a massive campaign calling fraud and rejecting the outcome that comes from the election......Now, the other part that’s interesting about this document is what it outlines as the immediate tasks in the last phase. And that includes getting people out in the street, particularly the students. And interestingly enough, there is a mixture here of extreme rightists and some social democrats and even some ex-Maoists and Trotskyists. They mention the Red Flag, Bandera Roja, and praise them actually for their street-fighting ability and causing attacks on public institutions like the electoral tribunal.

But more interestingly is their efforts to intensify their contacts with military offices. And what they seem to have on their agenda is to try to seize either a territorial base or an institutional base around which to rally discontented citizens and call on the military—and it particularly mentions the National Guard—to rally in overthrowing the referendum outcome and the government. So this does include a section on a military uprising......"

The Lebanese "Army" Getting Ready for a Tea Party for the IOF?

Canada, Hizballah and Terrorism: An interview with Tariq Ali

by Tariq Ali
and Stefan Christoff
Electronic Lebanon

"In 2002 Canada unveiled an official list of "terrorist" organizations, strikingly similar to that of the the US government. Today the Lebanese political movement Hizballah -- both the military and political wing -- is officially considered a "terrorist" organization by the government of Canada, a policy endorsed by only two additional countries internationally -- the US and Israel.....

In an interview conducted in Montreal, novelist, historian and political campaigner Tariq Ali discusses the history of Hizballah as a political force in Lebanon and the Middle East, as well as Canada's designation of the movement as "terrorist" in the post-9/11 political environment....."

PA police terrorize Palestinian journalists

From Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank

"Palestinian police answerable to Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas have been terrorizing non-conformist Palestinian journalists throughout the West Bank in a manner unprecedented since the creation of the PA following the Oslo Accords in 1993. Assaults on journalists and cameramen increased dramatically recently especially in the aftermath of the American-hosted peace conference in Annapolis , Maryland .

On Thursday, 29 November, crack policemen in the southern West Bank of Hebron brutally beat Muhammed Halayka, a cameraman working for a Gaza-based TV station for filming anti-Annapolis protests in the city.

At least one Palestinian, a 37-year-old man, was killed during protests on Tuesday, when trigger-happy policemen opened fire on demonstrators in downtown Hebron . Dozens of protesters and journalists were injured, some very badly, throughout the West Bank as police were ordered to violently repress any public opposition to the Annapolis conference.

Halayka, who was taken to hospital told reporters, that seven PA policemen ganged up on him, beating him with their fists and butts of their rifles, until he collapsed......Toward the evening, Halayka was transferred to hospital.

According to Halayka, the interrogators warned him that he would have to pay ten thousand dollars if he informed the media of what happened to him.

Earlier, PA police arrested Bassam Duweik for filming protests in Hebron and for “incitement and besmirching PA image.” Duweik is a Hebrew translator who also works for a number of newspapers inside and outside the occupied Palestinian territories.

Moreover, the PA preventive security in the town of Dura summoned Walid Amayreh, also a journalist, for interrogation in connection with his purported intention to write a book critical of the PA. Amayreh was forced to sign a written pledge stating that he wouldn’t criticize the PA or indulge in incitement.

On Tuesday, PA police violently attacked journalists in Ramallah, Bethlehem and several other localities, beating them savagely for covering demonstrations protesting the Annapolis conference. Several journalists were reportedly beaten, including Wael Shoyoukhi, an Aljazeera correspondent, who was badly hurt, having been hit on the head.....

Some Palestinian journalists condemned PA western backers for remaining silent in the face of PA police attacks on press freedom in the West Bank . “The US and the EU keep babbling about press freedom and democracy and these things. But when they watch these beasts gang up and mercilessly beat reporters in the streets of the West Bank, they play blind, dumb and deaf,” said Muhammed Rajoub, a journalist from the Hebron region. “Is this the democracy they are promising us?” Rajoub said “in this case silence means satisfaction and even complicity.”

Since the mid-June events in Gaza , when Hamas militiamen ousted Fatah police forces after a week-long bloody showdown, the western-backed government in Ramallah has been clamping down on press freedom. The PA closed down several press offices and radio and TV stations for “indulging in illegal activities and incitement.” Moreover, as many as 15 journalists were arrested and, in many cases, mistreated and tortured.

The Palestinian justice system in the West Bank is virtually paralyzed and in most cases security agencies don’t heed court decisions."

Annapolis is About War, Not Peace

By Tony Karon

"Those claiming to see signs of a plausible peace process in the events that began at Annpolis on Tuesday are clutching at straws. You only have to look at the joint declaration adopted by the Israeli and Palestinian sides under U.S. prodding to see why....The key statement in the declaration adopted at Annapolis, however, is in its concluding paragraph: “Implementation of the future peace treaty will be subject to the implementation of the road map, as judged by the United States.”

....The Roadmap, of course, requires Mahmoud Abbas to dismantle Hamas. Fat chance. And the Israelis know it better than anyone — Olmert reassured Israelis straight after the conference that Abbas is weak and ineffective. In other words, this whole process is hypothetical.....

....the strategic thinking behind the Annapolis initiative has less to do with the state of Israeli-Palestinian relations than with the wider regional situation: an effort to resolve differences in what the U.S. considers to be the anti-extremist camp in the Middle East in order to strengthen its anti-Iran front. But if that is the goal, Annapolis could as easily inflame the region as calm it.

In fact, though, I think Annapolis itself was kind of a wake for a political order in the Middle East that has passed. Pax Americana quite simply no longer prevails, and those gathered at Annapolis were mostly the regimes most dependent on it, desperately trying to revive it although they can’t really hide from the fact that Washington no longer has either the will nor the capacity to take the steps required to stabilize the region......"

Exposing the Guardians of Power

By John Pilger

"What has changed in the way we see the world? For as long as I can remember, the relationship of journalists with power has been hidden behind a bogus objectivity and notions of an "apathetic public" that justify a mantra of "giving the public what they want." What has changed is the public's perception and knowledge. No longer trusting what they read and see and hear, people in western democracies are questioning as never before, particularly via the internet. Why, they ask, is the great majority of news sourced to authority and its vested interests? Why are many journalists the agents of power, not people?.....

That appeared in the New Statesman. Not a single major newspaper reviewed the most important book about journalism I can remember. Take the latest Media Lens essay, "Invasion - a Comparison of Soviet and Western Media Performance." Written with Nikolai Lanine, who served in the Soviet army during its 1979-89 occupation of Afghanistan, it draws on Soviet-era newspaper archives, comparing the propaganda of that time with current western media performance. They are revealed as almost identical.

Like the reported "success" of the US "surge" in Iraq, the Soviet equivalent allowed "poor peasants [to work] the land peacefully." Like the Americans and British in Iraq and Afghanistan, Soviet troops were liberators who became peacekeepers and always acted in "self-defense." The BBC's Mark Urban's revelation of the "first real evidence that President Bush's grand design of toppling a dictator and forcing a democracy into the heart of the Middle East could work" (Newsnight, 12 April 2005) is almost word for word that of Soviet commentators claiming benign and noble intent behind Moscow's actions in Afghanistan. The BBC's Paul Wood, in thrall to the 101st Airborne, reported that the Americans "must win here if they are to leave Iraq . . . There is much still to do." That precisely was the Soviet line......."

Forget the green technology - the hot money is in guns

Far from saving us from catastrophe, the market is developing fortresses to shield the haves from the victims of the future

Naomi Klein
Friday November 30, 2007
The Guardian

"......The idea that capitalism can save us from climate catastrophe has powerful appeal. It gives politicians an excuse to subsidise corporations rather than to regulate them; and it neatly avoids a discussion about how the core market logic of endless growth landed us here in the first place.

The market, however, appears to have other ideas about how to meet the challenges of an increasingly disaster-prone world. According to Lloyd, the really big money - despite all the government incentives - is turning away from clean-energy technologies, and is banking instead on gadgets that promise to seal wealthy countries and individuals into hi-tech fortresses. Key growth areas in venture capitalism are private security firms selling surveillance gear and privatised emergency response. To put it simply, in the world of venture capitalism, there has been a race going on between greens on the one hand, and guns and garrisons on the other - and the guns and garrisons are winning......."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Flexibility versus escalation

Participating Arabs are walking into another trap in Annapolis

By Nicola Nasser
Al-Ahram Weekly

"......The statements by Livni, Olmert and, before them, Sharon, essentially form the contours of the Israeli project for a Palestinian state. Far from the Arab vision of a sovereign entity for Palestinian national expression, the Israeli version is a strategic vision for ridding the occupying power of two demographic burdens, a vehicle for absorbing Palestinian refugees abroad and Palestinians inside Israel who possess Israeli passports but are otherwise doomed to second-class citizenship. Israel sees in the Annapolis conference, which, whether by design or not, will coincide with the 60th anniversary of the United Nations' partition resolution of 29 November 1948, an opportunity to strike two birds with one stone......."

Demoralisation and absence

How conditional can support for the Palestinians be?

By Ramzy Baroud
Al-Ahram Weekly

"A once profound and widely read commentator recently claimed he no longer writes about the Palestine/Israel conflict because "Palestinians are killing each other". Feeling his words have ceased to carry weight he simply decided not "to take sides".....

But the Hamas takeover of Gaza in June 2006, and the factionalism and bloodshed associated with it should not have come as a surprise. The conflict in Palestine, like any other conflict, is rational, and can serve as a classic example of a regional conflict with international boundaries, allowing opportunity for analysis that does in fact matter to Americans (the role of their country in the conflict, and the power of the Israeli lobby in their midst), the Europeans (who wish to see a truly independent Europe playing a less injurious role in a region where they have a vested interest in stability), the United Nations (whose credibility has been damaged too often by the belligerent US-Israeli alliance), and others.

Many questions must be asked and debated. Should solidarity with the people of Palestine wane because the Palestinians chose a religious group to represent them in democratic elections, hurting the secular sensibilities of many of their supporters? Can the Palestinians be held collectively responsible for the few among them who choose to align their interests with those of power and capital? Is what Mahmoud Abbas did -- working with the coloniser to isolate a large segment of his people -- unprecedented? Has any nation that fought for its freedom actually managed to avoid the peril of infighting?....."

Madrid redux

Bush's peace meeting is nothing but an empty orgy of rhetoric

By Azmi Bishara
Al-Ahram Weekly

Contributed by Lucia in Spain

".....For some reason, Republicans regard the Bush Sr-Baker policy following the war in Kuwait a success story worthy of commemoration and emulation. So we have a conference, today, that has brought the Arabs to Washington, flushed with gratitude to the imperial grace for bestowing its attention again upon the Palestinian cause......

......With Annapolis, the curtains opened to farce. At first people thought that it was to be a conference, only to learn that it was to be an assembly. Then it was billed as a "meeting" and, finally, as an inauguration of a peace process, which is to say a negotiating process. But Madrid, too, turned out to be the inauguration of a negotiating process. How many negotiating process inaugurations can there be?.....

.....What have the Arabs done from Madrid to the present day? They've negotiated. Why do we need another rhetoric orgy to introduce more of the same? Your guess is as good as mine......

.....On the Palestinian right to return, on the other hand, they've made no small amount of headway -- towards the Palestinian and Arab official abnegation of the exercise of that right. This was done by turning a non-subject -- the Jewishness of the state of Israel -- into a negotiating issue on par with all the others, such as Jerusalem, the refugees, borders and settlements......

In all events, before this dream comes to pass, negotiators will have to gather and hammer it together. But first, America needs some fanfare: a Bush-Rice-Blair-Republican Party fete to celebrate their stunning success, at last, in getting a peace conference off the ground, while the Palestinians in Gaza, the Lebanese and the Iraqis are living a very real nightmare.

But the Annapolis meeting was not just borne of American yearning for a PR coup but also of the need to cater to the position of Arab moderates. These have toed the American line on all issues and on every occasion and have not once quibbled with Washington since the neo- conservatives stopped meddling in their domestic affairs......Sure, the Palestinian Authority (PA) president could be heard, in Cairo, talking about the historic opportunity that should not be missed. But everyone knows that he is hostage to the negotiating process and to Israeli handouts, and that he would rather flee forward further into Israeli clutches than entertain the idea of returning to a Palestinian national unity government......

.....Israel has an inexhaustible font of conditions, not just for reaching an agreement with the PA but merely to deign to speak with it. The latest was that the PA had to cease any form of cooperation and parleying with Hamas, which is to say with the representatives of a huge portion of the Palestinian people......

....All this display just to bolster (or "empower" in political science jargon) the position of Palestinian moderates who must be so proud of themselves for having seized the "historic opportunity" that they can already hear the wings of history fluttering over Annapolis. How important a person can feel when he accepts Israeli conditions! How good the US and Israel (and Europe, which just wants to get it all over with) are at making the people they want feel important!.....

.....Now, for talks to make any progress, the Palestinians had to honour their commitments under the roadmap, which were to fight "terrorism" and dismantle the "terrorist infrastructure". By this Israel meant crushing the Palestinian resistance, beginning in the West Bank.......

But there was a third accomplishment: Arab disengagement from the Palestinian cause. The Arabs can see how weak the PA is and in whose hands the PA's decision-making powers reside. They share its weakness and so can understand it very well, which is why they grasp at any "pragmatic" solution that this weakness has made possible. They are not about to be "more Palestinian than the Palestinians,"..... they agreed to sell the cause down the river......

....The only party that signed a peace agreement with Israel since Madrid was Jordan. The only party to have normalised its relations with Israel without a peace agreement was the Palestine Liberation Organisation......

.....In the not so distant past, it would have taken only a quick assessment of how detrimental this inaugural ceremony will be to the Palestinian cause for Damascus to decide not to attend, whether Golan was mentioned on the agenda or not."

Washington: No place yet for Syria in peace process

"WASHINGTON - U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said Thursday it is difficult to see how Syria can fit into the renewed peace process.

"Syria is a state that supports terror, including Hezbollah and Hamas," Hadley told students in a speech at Johns Hopkins University's international studies school in Washington. He spoke just after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert headed home following the Middle East peace conference, held in Annapolis Tuesday.

Hadley said Syria's policy was not compatible with "what we've seen" at Annapolis.

He said Israel would be the one to decide whether to negotiate with Syria, but he left no room for doubt on the United States' position on this issue. Hadley said Syria must make a fundamental decision.

"There is a new spirit in the Middle East, a real chance for peace. Will Syria be left on the sidelines or give up its support for terror, leave Lebanon alone, support the Iraqi government and make a decision in favor of peace?"

If Syria takes this course it will have a chance for an agreement on the Golan Heights, but if it doesn't, "I don't see how it can be part of this process," he said......."


Here is the USraeli plan, which is another round of divide and conquer. Syria will be lured with some meaningless trinkets and simultaneously terrorized by occasional bombings, just like last month.

1) Split Syria from Iran; in this regard Saudi Arabia is playing a role.

2) Get Syria to cooperate with the USraeli plans for Lebanon and to cut off Hizbullah. The political thaw in Lebanon in the past couple of days seems to support this view.

3) Cut off Syrian support for Hamas and the Palestinian resistance in general and support the USraeli stooge Abbas. Canceling the originally planned Palestinian conference in Damascus is a first indication.

4) After Syria offers all of this, and supports the puppet government in Baghdad, it will be taken on a wild goose chase and endless "negotiations" for the Golan. The "peace process" for the West Bank will be the model. Don't forget that the Golan has been formally annexed by Israel.

For those who don't believe what I am proposing and who would say that Assad can't be that stupid, the answer is that his actions so far prove that he is. More importantly, like all Arab regimes, all he cares about is regime survival. He would do anything in service of the Empire, just to survive. If you don't believe me just ask Maher Arrar. Soon Syria will be the destination for many Maher Arrars rendered by the CIA.

-- Tony Sayegh

مفاوضات سورية اسرائيلية برعاية موسكو وتل ابيب تريد استئجار الجولان مدة طويلة

مفاوضات سورية اسرائيلية برعاية موسكو وتل ابيب تريد استئجار الجولان مدة طويلة

زيارات مكوكية لنائب وزير الخارجية الروسي بين عاصمتي البلدين

"الناصرة ـ القدس العربي ـ من زهير اندراوس:
كشف النقاب امس الخميس في تل ابيب عن ان المفاوضات السرية بين اسرائيل وسورية تسير بوتيرة عالية للغاية، برعاية نائب وزير الخارجية الروسي الكسندر سولطانوف.
وفي نفس الوقت قال مسؤول سوري ان مؤتمر السلام في الشرق الاوسط عزز جهود سورية لاستعادة مرتفعات الجولان المحتلة مع انه لم تعقد مباحثات مباشرة مع اسرائيل خلال الاجتماع.
وفي أول تعقيب رسمي سوري علي مؤتمر انابوليس بولاية ماريلاند نقلت رويترز عن أحمد سلكيني المتحدث الرسمي باسم السفارة السورية في واشنطن ان دمشق خطت خطوة دبلوماسية الي الامام بتركيزها الاضواء الدولية علي قضية الجولان.
وقالت صحيفة معاريف الاسرائيلية امس ان الحديث يدور عن تطور دراماتيكي في المفاوضات الثنائية، حيث قام الوسيط الروسي سولطانوف في الفترة الاخيرة بزيارة دمشق مرتين علي الاقل واجتمع هناك الي الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد، واطلعه علي آخر المستجدات. بموازاة ذلك، قام سولطانوف ايضا بزيارة تل ابيب عدة مرات في الفترة الاخيرة واجتمع الي رئيس الوزراء الاسرائيلي ايهود اولمرت والي كبار مساعديه، لافتا الي ان روسيا تريد ان تلعب دورا مهما في العملية السلمية في الشرق الاوسط، كما قال مسؤول اسرائيلي وصفته الصحيفة بانه رفيع المستوي.
ووفق المصادر الاسرائيلية فان نائب وزير الخارجية الروسي يقوم بتوصيل الرسائل من دمشق الي تل ابيب وبالعكس، وان الرسائل السورية تصل الي اولمرت والي وزير الامن الاسرائيلي ايهود باراك، الذي كان دعا قبل اسبوعين الي احياء المفاوضات علي المسار السوري.
ووفق المصادر الاسرائيلية فان حكومة اولمرت فحصت لدي السوريين اذا كانوا علي استعداد لتأجير الدولة العبرية هضبة الجولان العربية السورية المحتلة لفترة طويلة الامد، بالاضافة الي ذلك ارسلت اسرائيل بواسطة سولطانوف اسئلة الي سورية حول استعدادها لقطع التحالف الاستراتيجي مع ايران والتوقف عن دعم الارهاب الفلسطيني واللبناني، أي منظمة حزب الله اللبنانية. وقال الوسطاء الروس، وفق المصادر الاسرائيلية، ان الرئيس الروسي بوتين قال لهم ان روسيا هي الدولة الوحيدة في العالم التي بامكانها ان تحيي المفاوضات بين الدولتين، لان روسيا لها التاثير الاكبر علي صناع القرار في دمشق. وقالت مصادر اسرائيلية مأذونة للصحيفة ان كلام الرئيس الروسي صحيح للغاية.
وشددت الصحيفة علي ان زيارات سولطانوف الي الدولة العبرية يتم اخفاؤها عن الصحافة الاسرائيلية عمدا، لكي لا تفشل الصحافة المفاوضات بين تل ابيب ودمشق، علاوة علي ذلك فان الاسرائيليين لا يريدون اغضاب الامريكيين، وبالتالي فانهم يقللون من اهمية هذه الزيارات، خصوصا وان واشنطن تعارض التدخل الروسي في العملية السلمية في المنطقة.
وكشفت الصحيفة النقاب عن ان الزيارة السريعة التي قام بها اولمرت قبل عدة اسابيع الي موسكو لمدة يوم واحد واجتماعه هناك الي الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين، كانت مرتبطة بالتفاوض علي المسار السوري، موضحا انه قبل الزيارة بعدة ايام كان رئيس الوزراء الروسي سيرغي برماكوف في زيارة الي دمشق برفقة وزير الخارجية الروسي السابق، واجتمعوا هناك الي صناع القرار وعادوا الي موسكو مع رسائل من السوريين.
علاوة علي ذلك، قالت التقارير ان الولايات المتحدة الامريكية وافقت علي الطلب الروسي لعقد مؤتمر سلام في الربيع يكون بمثابة مؤتمر متابعة لمؤتمر انابوليس في امريكا، ومن المقرر ان تتلقي المنظومة المسؤولة عن التقدم في المفاوضات بين الاسرائيليين والفلسطينيين تقارير عن الوضع، الا ان روسيا بحسب نفس المصادر تعمل بكل ما اوتيت من قوة من اجل احياء المفاوضات الاسرائيلية ـ السورية خلال المؤتمر."

US Military versus Israel Firsters

An Important Article

By James Petras
Special to


As the White House and Congress escalate their economic sanctions and military threats against Iran, top military commanders and Pentagon officials have launched a counter-offensive, opposing a new Middle East War. While some commentators and journalists, like Chris Hedges (Truthdig, November 13, 2007), privy to this high stakes inter-elite conflict, attribute this to a White House cabal led by Vice President Cheney, a more stringent and accurate assessment pits the Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC) in the center of the Iran war debate. There is a great deal riding in this conflict – the future of the American empire as well as the balance of power in the Middle East. Equally important is the future of the US military and our already heavily constrained democratic freedoms. The outcome of the continuous and deepening confrontation between top US military officials and the Israel Firsters over US foreign policy in the Middle East has raised fundamental questions over self-determination, colonization, civilian primacy and military political intervention, empire or republic. These and related issues are far from being of academic interest only; they concern the future of America......


The deepening and all-important conflict between the pro-Israel warmongers and the anti-war American senior officers is reaching a bitter climax. As the US military disintegrates under prolonged colonial warfare, the ZPC intensifies its campaign for a third war for Israel and against Iran, a war which will totally shatter the US military forces.

The fundamental question emerging for most senior officers, in private gatherings and informal discussions is ‘Who commands our Commander in Chief?’ The deep animosity of US senior active military officers frequently erupts at the ZPC’s careless and callous disregard for American lives. They disdainfully refer to the Zion-Con policymakers as ‘arm-chair military strategists’ who never fought a war, never shot or been shot. At one level, the senior military officers are appalled by the ignorance of the Zion-Con military ‘experts’ and policy-makers featured by the Zion-Con controlled mass media. One of the most frequent military criticisms is that the Zion-Con policy-makers don’t have an‘exit strategy’ – attributing it to their lack of knowledge or strategic thinking. In reality, the lack of Zion-Con concern for a realistic exit strategy is because the Zion-Cons are concerned (in light of Israel’s priorities) only with an entry policy, namely degrading the invaded countries’ military and economic potential. Secondly the Zion-Cons do not have an exit strategy because they believe the US should stay, colonize, build bases and engage in a prolonged war for a chimerical total victory.

The question of ‘who commands the Commander in Chief’ goes to the entire core of our constitutional order, because it raises the deeper question of ‘who defines the national interests’ for which the military are fighting? If as we have documented, the ZPC has effectively colonized the White House and Legislative Branches (and the Justice Department and the appointment of an ultra-Zionist Attorney General Michael Mulkasey and Israel-First Head of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff), to serve the interests of a foreign power (Israel) in what sense does a colonized political system serve the interests of a democratic public? Does there exist a primary condition that makes it possible to speak of a democracy, namely national self-determination, de-colonization necessary for the re-democratization of American political institutions?

So far the only effective resistance to colonization has comes from the US military. The military is a non-democratic, hierarchical institution but an institution representative of the public’s opposition to colonial encroachments.

What would normally be considered the prime movers challenging Zion-Con colonization, namely the President, Congress, the political parties or even the antiwar movements have abdicated their responsibilities -- they have been in part or whole colonized and neutralized.

By default, it has fallen to senior military commanders who reject being commanded by the ZPC at the service of Israel. Paradoxically, it is the military, which has taken over the struggle against an offensive war with Iran, a struggle where the American peace movement has failed. It is the military, which has challenged the Zion-Con agenda, where the Congress has been corrupted and capitulated for reasons of campaign financing, political blackmail and double loyalty.

Where does that leave us, as democrats and anti-colonists?

We should be able to have both an independent de-colonized and democratic America, governed by patriotic Americans. But suppose we have to choose between de-colonization led by the military or a corrupt colonized electoral system – what should be done?

The ideal solution would be a revitalized civil society including secularist citizens, non-fundamentalist Muslims and Christians, and non-Zionist Jews, organized in an anti-war, anti-colonial movement and political parties allied with patriotic officers to ‘re-found the republic’. The purpose would be to establish a republic to ‘defend the heartland’ from fires, floods, economic pillage, terrorists, ecological predators and foreign agents acting on behalf of alien regimes. Can it happen? We shall see. What is becoming clear however is that the anti-colonial imperative is growing stronger by the day, if it doesn’t come from below, it may have to come from above."

Signs of US-Syria Thaw After Summit

".....Syrian delegates received warm handshakes and words of thanks from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, whose administration has largely shunned Syria since early 2005.

At the close of Tuesday's speeches and meetings focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Rice walked over to the Syrian delegates, according Imad Moustapha, Syria's ambassador to Washington.

"She shook hands with us and thanked us for participating," Moustapha told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Thursday. "She also asked us to pass our greetings to Foreign Minister Waleed al-Moallem."

Syria sent a deputy foreign minister instead of al-Moallem, while other invited nations sent their top diplomats. Syria's move was widely viewed as a subtle snub to the U.S. hosts but U.S. officials said they took no offense.

Rice's handshake may have been a small gesture. But coming on top of the U.S. invitation to Syria to attend the one-day session, and Syria's willingness to attend, it could indicate a slight thaw in the diplomatic chill between Washington and Damascus......."
Contributed by Datta

By Mr. Fish

The One State Declaration


"For decades, efforts to bring about a two-state solution in historic Palestine have failed to provide justice and peace for the Palestinian and Israeli Jewish peoples, or to offer a genuine process leading towards them.

The two-state solution ignores the physical and political realities on the ground, and presumes a false parity in power and moral claims between a colonized and occupied people on the one hand and a colonizing state and military occupier on the other. It is predicated on the unjust premise that peace can be achieved by granting limited national rights to Palestinians living in the areas occupied in 1967, while denying the rights of Palestinians inside the 1948 borders and in the Diaspora. Thus, the two-state solution condemns Palestinian citizens of Israel to permanent second-class status within their homeland, in a racist state that denies their rights by enacting laws that privilege Jews constitutionally, legally, politically, socially and culturally. Moreover, the two-state solution denies Palestinian refugees their internationally recognized right of return.

The two-state solution entrenches and formalizes a policy of unequal separation on a land that has become ever more integrated territorially and economically. All the international efforts to implement a two-state solution cannot conceal the fact that a Palestinian state is not viable, and that Palestinian and Israeli Jewish independence in separate states cannot resolve fundamental injustices, the acknowledgment and redress of which are at the core of any just solution.

In light of these stark realities, we affirm our commitment to a democratic solution that will offer a just, and thus enduring, peace in a single state based on the following principles:
The struggle for justice and liberation must be accompanied by a clear, compelling and moral vision of the destination ­ a solution in which all people who share a belief in equality can see a future for themselves and others. We call for the widest possible discussion, research and action to advance a unitary, democratic solution and bring it to fruition."

Madrid and London, 2007


Ali Abunimah

Naseer Aruri

Omar Barghouti

Oren Ben-Dor

George Bisharat

Haim Bresheeth

Jonathan Cook

Ghazi Falah

Leila Farsakh

Islah Jad

Joseph Massad

Ilan Pappe

Carlos Prieto del Campo

Nadim Rouhana

The London One State Group

UN archives reveal plan to arm Jewish militia

An Explosive Story and A Must Read

Contributed by Lucia in Spain

"It was November 29, 1947. The United Nations General Assembly had just passed Resolution 181 - the Partition Plan, according to which the British Mandate was to be divided into a Jewish state and an Arab state. Civil war broke out between the Jewish and the Palestinian residents, particularly in the mixed cities and on the roads. The UN faced a difficult problem: how to implement the partition resolution together with the economic union of the two states, as specified by the resolution. The UN Secretariat created a Special Committee to deal with what was seen as the first major challenge of the young body.

Dr. Elad Ben-Dror, a historian at Bar-Ilan University, has been studying UN diplomacy after the Partition Plan, at the University Institute for Diplomacy and Regional Cooperation of Tel Aviv University. Last year, he sat in the UN archives and read recently-declassified documents relating to the work of the Special Committee. He made an interesting discovery: The UN had planned to implement the Partition Plan by means of a Jewish militia, trained by the UN and armed, also by the UN, with weapons, combat aircraft and tankettes.

"The plan to establish a militia was the most surprising material I found at the UN," Ben-Dror says. "As part of the Partition Plan, both states were to create militias - a military force under government control and charged mainly with domestic policing duties."

But because the Palestinian leadership viewed Resolution 181 as a pro-Zionist plan and did everything possible to foil it, the UN focused only on establishing the Jewish militia.

"From quite an early stage, due to a lack of cooperation, the UN dropped half of the Partition Plan - the idea of establishing an Arab state," Ben-Dror explained.

"The idea was to implement at least part of the plan - that is, the Jews would create the Jewish state, on the assumption that eventually the UN Security Council would implement the creation of the Arab state," Ben-Dror continued. "As soon as the Partition Plan was adopted, UN Secretary General Trygve Lie and senior UN officials became identified with the idea of the Jewish state. The Arab assault was interpreted as an assault on the UN resolutions, and the UN trusted that the Jews would carry out the partition and not do anything beyond that."

According to the plan, the main role of the Jewish militia was to impose the authority of the Jewish state over its Arab residents; under the partition map, the Arab population within the Jewish state was nearly the same as the Jewish population. The militia command was to be supervised by the UN, which would also appoints its commanders. In practice, however, the Special Committee intended to base the Jewish militia on the Haganah [the pre-state underground Jewish militia].

"It was clear to them that there was no need to create an army out of thin air, and that they could rely on the Haganah," Ben-Dror said. "All that was left to do was to give the UN seal of approval to the Haganah and to provide arms. Among others, there was the question of how to control the Negev Bedouin, who would oppose being under Jewish sovereignty. So they planned to supply the militia with combat aircraft, using British military techniques. At that stage, they didn't think the militias would engage each other."

The story of the Special Committee, in particular its failure to implement the plan created by UN diplomats, is similar to that of many other plans in the following decades that remained on paper only. Ben-Dror attributes the failure of the Partition Plan primarily to opposition from the Palestinians and the Arab states as well as lack of cooperation from Britain......."

Bombs Away?

Arms expert Scott Ritter says the U.S. plans to attack Iran. Metro Times asks why he’s so sure.

by Curt Guyette and W. Kim Heron

A Good Interview

"......To learn what he thinks the future holds for Iran, and the consequences of a U.S. invasion, we recently sat down for a 90-minute phone interview with Ritter. What follows is a condensed version of that conversation.

Metro Times: A year ago, when your book Target Iran came out, you were sounding the alarm about war being imminent. Why do you think that attack hasn’t occurred?

Scott Ritter: Let’s remember that this is an elective war, not a war of necessity. A war of necessity would be fought at the point and time a conflict is required, if somebody is threatening to invade you, to attack, etc. But an elective war is one where we choose to go to war. It will be conducted on a timescale that’s beneficial to those who are planning the conflict.

As far as why it hasn’t happened, there’s any number of reasons. One, the Bush administration has not been able to stabilize Iraq to the level they would like to see prior to expanding military operations in the region. Two, the international community has not rallied around the cause of Iran’s nuclear program representing a casus belli to the extent that the Bush administration would like. They were hopeful that there would be more action from the [United Nations] Security Council. It took a long time to get the issue shifted from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s headquarters to the Security Council. And even when it got shifted to the Security Council, the Council took very timid steps, not decisive steps. The Bush administration sort of tied its hands at that point in time. I think you are seeing increasing frustration today at the slow pace.

Also, the need to redefine the Iranian threat away from exclusively being focused on nuclear activity, because now you have the difficulty of both the IAEA saying there is no nuclear weapons program and the CIA saying pretty much the same thing. So the Bush administration needs to redefine the Iranian threat, which they have been doing successfully, casting Iran as the largest state sponsor of terror, getting the Senate resolution calling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Command a terrorist organization, and creating a perception amongst the American people, courtesy of a compliant media, that talks about the reason why things are going bad in Iraq is primarily because of Iranian intervention.

They have been working very hard to get back on track. I still believe that we are seeing convergence here. The Bush administration is moving very aggressively toward military action with Iran.

MT: Is your conclusion that an attack is imminent based on the administration’s statements and actions, like labeling Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group, or do you also have sources within the intelligence community and the military and the administration telling you what’s going on?

Ritter: I don’t have any current sources of the sort you just spoke of. I was plugged in back in 2006 to good quality current information. But I haven’t been plugged in recently, so I have to use some sort of analytical methodology as opposed to saying, “Aha, I got it from the horse’s mouth.” But there’s nothing that has occurred that leads me to believe the Bush administration has changed its policy direction. In fact there has been much that’s occurred that reinforces the earlier conclusions that were based on good sources of information. We take a look at items in the defense budget, the rapid conversion of heavy bombers to carry bunker-busting bombs on a specific time frame, the massive purchasing of oil to fill up the strategic oil reserve by April 2008. Everything points to April 2008 to being a month of some criticality. It also matches my analysis that the Bush administration will want to carry this out prior to the crazy political season of the summer of 2008......."

Israeli army forcibly evacuate at least 200 Palestinians from Kherbet Qessa to build the Apartheid wall

Contributed by Lucia in Spain

"At least 200 Palestinian residents of Kherbet Qessa in the Hebron district were left homeless after being forcibly evacuated by the Israeli army in order to establish the annexation wall in their place.

On October,29, 2007 Israeli military expelled 200 Palestinians from their homes in Kherbet Qessa, a town established in the fifties and largely inhabited by refugees who came from Beit Jebreen village.

An illegal Israeli checkpoint called Tarqumia checkpoint was established near the town. Residents of the town had lived in tents and caves and earned there living from livestock.

The illegal wall separated the town from the rest of the West Bank causing misery to the residents as they found themselves isolated from other West Bank areas.

A year and a half earlier the Israeli army had threatened to demolish the villagers' homes, claiming that they were not in possession of a valid construction license.

On 25/10/2007 the army placed housing demolition orders under stones at the entrance to the village.

Four days later, bulldozers supported by Israeli patrols broke into the area and started demolishing tents and caves before giving the occupants the chance to collect their belongings.

According to testimonies presented by residents to B'Tselem, one resident was attacked and assaulted by an Israeli soldier as he tried to protect his livestock which were inside one of the caves.

The army confiscated farming equipment and dumped it to the eastern side of the wall.Most of the residents' property was left buried under the rubble.An Israeli officer forced residents to evacuate the area threatening to arrest them and confiscate their livestock.

The following day a car belonging to the Parks and nature authority came to the area and forced the residents to leave their homes.

Currently most of the village residents are homeless and forced to rent temporary housing in the nearby village of Ethana."

Hamas: Palestine could not be partitioned by resolutions or agreements

Contributed by Lucia in Spain

"GAZA, (PIC)-- The Hamas Movement on Thursday held the UN fully responsible for the tragedies that befell the Palestinian people as a result of the "oppressive" resolution 181 that sanctioned the partitioning of Palestine and allowed the creation of the Hebrew state.

It said in a statement on the 60th anniversary of that resolution that the implementation of that decision had led to the displacement of hundreds of thousand of Palestinians and replaced alien invaders in their place.

"We call on those who sanctioned this historic oppression to amend their mistake," Hamas said.

It also said that all those attending the Annapolis conference will shoulder the historical and national responsibility for their participation in a conference that was held under the condition that Palestine is a Jewish homeland.

The Movement urged the Arab and Islamic countries to be aware of the conspiracy that is being hatched against the Palestinians' presence in their own land and to renew political, material and moral support for the Palestinians to bolster their steadfastness.......

In 1947 the UN passed its ominous 191 resolution that allowed the partitioning of Palestine between its indigenous people and the Zionist invaders and even gave those aliens 56% of historical Palestine and left 46% for the Palestinians and internationalized Jerusalem."

Catholic leader calls for return of Palestinian refugees

"An official from the Vatican, representative of the Catholic Church’s leader the Pope, stated on Wednesday that the Palestinian refugees have the right to return to their homeland in what is now Israel. Cardinal Renato Martino said he was encouraged by Tuesday’s peace talk in Annapolis, in the U.S., adding that he heoped that significant measures would be underway by next year.

The right of return of the over 3 million Palestinian refugees was not addressed in Annapolis, and George Bush, who called the meeting, did not make any reference to that internationally-recognized right. Israeli officials have continually called on the Palestinian leadership to give up the right of return of the refugees before Israel would even consider beginning a peace talk. Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said Tuesday that Israel refuses the right of return to Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in what is now Israel. The Palestinians who were disenfranchised during the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 remain in refugee camps, along with their children and grandchildren, to this day. Martino spoke at a news conference to launch Pope Benedict XVI's annual message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which the Catholic Church marks on Jan. 13. The Cardinal is the head of the Vatican’s program on migrants."

Same Old, Same old – Israel Wins Again

While negotiations drag on, while more land is settled, while the brutality of the occupation continues, the Palestinians lose, Israel wins.

By Jim Miles
Special to

"As I sit and read the announcements from today’s first discussions from Annapolis, all I can see is another dismal failure for peace and another year long “negotiation” process that like Oslo, Camp David, the ‘road map’ all lead to the same place. That place, as so clearly denoted by the late Tanya Rinehart, is nowhere......

What the actual outcome of all this is of course an unknown, but my best guess is – not much. Israel is where it has liked to be over the past several decades, allowing itself to be perceived as the victim of terror while at the same time occupying and terrorizing the citizens of Palestine. While negotiations drag on, while more land is settled, while the brutality of the occupation continues, the Palestinians lose, Israel wins. "

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

الهرولة نحو السلام