Saturday, November 29, 2008

Real News Video: Gaza: Beyond the blockade

Sameh Habeeb reports on the humanitarian crisis taking place inside Gaza's sealed borders

"It has been almost four weeks since Israel decided to completely seal the borders of the Gaza Strip. While Israel has maintained a partial blockade ever since Hamas took power in June of 2007, this is the first time that the Israeli government has elected to stop foreign journalists from entering the Palestinian territory. On Monday, a small number of trucks bringing much-needed fuel and other supplies were permitted to enter for the first time since the full blockade began on November 5th, but within hours the gates had been sealed shut once again in response to rocket fire emanating from inside Gaza. In our conversation with Sameh Habeeb, via phone from inside Gaza City, we hear first hand of the devastating influence that the blockade is having on the lives of those trapped inside the Gaza Strip."

Nobel Laureate: There is a way towards peace for Palestine

Mairead Corrigan Maguire, The Electronic Intifada, 29 November 2008

The following is a speech delivered by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire at the seventh International Sabeel Conference in Jerusalem on 19 November 2008:

"I am very happy to be here with you and to be invited to speak to you. I want to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Naim Ateek, and all those who helped to organize this conference.

I am deeply grateful to have the freedom to come here to East Jerusalem and the freedom to speak and meet with you.

In this the 2lst century many of us take freedom for granted, but not everyone has freedom here in Israel/Palestine. I realized this, yet again, when I told a Palestinian friend I was attending this conference and he told me that though he was born in Jerusalem he is not allowed to come into East Jerusalem.This brought home to me that East Jerusalem is indeed an integral part of the occupied territory of Palestine and many Arab people born here are not allowed into East Jerusalem.

Many Arabs who do live in East Jerusalem live in fear of their homes being demolished or expulsion by the Israeli Government -- such as the al-Kurd family home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem where the Supreme court has ruled on the expulsion of this family from their home. Since l967 almost 20,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished in the West Bank.

The expulsions and demolitions continue almost daily, along with continuing development of illegal settlements for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem, and the West Bank. A few days ago I visited the site in West Jerusalem where the Israelis are building a Museum of Tolerance upon an ancient Muslim cemetery, where the bones of the Muslims' ancestors are being exhumed.

This is deeply painful to the Muslim people and I would like to appeal for this project to be cancelled....."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

The question is:

Do you believe that Pakistan had something to do with the Mumbai attacks?

With over 1,000 responding so far, 83% said no.

Speaking of Pirates....
By Naser Jafari

Mumbai Massacres as the Defeat of Counter-terrorism

A Good Piece

By Gilad Atzmon
Palestine Think Tank

"....But it doesn’t stop there, throughout this war America has lost its primacy as a super power. It is now financially ruined. Its leadership is regarded by most people around the world as a solid core of evil. It doesn’t take a genius to gather that this enormous defeat is an outcome of a chain of events that started with a single orchestrated attack that took place in September 2001. To those who fail to remember, the 18 terrorists who devastated the world on 9/11 didn’t carry a nuclear bomb, they weren’t equipped with some advanced weaponry. All they carried was knifes. As bizarre as it may sound, all it took to bring the American empire down was a dozen and a half highly motivated people armed with knifes.

Unfortunately, America and Britain, on their way down, have managed to get themselves involved in some war crimes of colossal magnitude. Two million Iraqis and Afghans are dead. Many more millions are gravely wounded, millions of others are refugees. Each of these victims is a direct outcome of an illegal war launched by the Anglo American democracies.

In spite of the carnage these Anglo American colonial wars have left already, they are far from being over. For weeks we are reading about American airplanes dropping bombs on Pakistani villagers. We learn about the so-called allies targeting ‘alleged terrorist suspects’ in rural Pakistan. Evidently our elected democratic leaders see innocent Muslim civilians and villagers as disposable soft targets. Hence, it shouldn’t really take us by surprise that some people out there in the East see us as equally, subject to terror. They see us as potential soft targets. Yet, while British and American crimes are committed in our behalf, in the name of democracy, by leaders we ourselves put in power, the crimes that were committed yesterday in Mumbai were committed by an unknown body and not an elected one. The crimes in Mumbai were committed solely in the name of those who commit them. The Anglo American crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria are committed by elected governments on behalf of the British and the American people......."

Human rights group accuses Abbas's forces for contempt of a high court decision

"RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) has deprecated Friday the PA security forces in the West Bank for circumventing decisions of the Palestinian High Court banning prosecuting civilians before military courts.

In a statement it issued over the matter, ICHR asserted that the ill practices of the PA security forces under PA chief Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank were clear violation of article 106 of the PA basic law stipulating "Judicial rulings should be implemented, and refusing to implement them is a crime punishable with detention, or dismissal from job if the accused was a public servant".

The organization also underlined that most of those detained by Abbas's security forces and prosecuted before military courts were civilians, urging the PA security apparatuses in the West Bank to swiftly implement orders of the High Court without hesitation.

It also called on Abbas to instruct the military court to immediately refer all files to the civil courts if he really wants to implement the law in the PA territories because "supremacy of the law must be taken as a whole and couldn’t be subject to choosing and picking".

Hamas Movement openly accused Abbas's security forces of arbitrarily arresting more than 3000 of its supporters in the West Bank, and that more than 600 were retained in jails and were exposed to severe torture."

Permanet Occupation Ayatollah Sistani: "Iraqi People Will Judge on US Pact." What a Traitor! He Says This After Pushing for Signing!


"A representative of Iraq's top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Husseini al-Sistani has expressed concern about the Washington-Baghdad pact. Ahmad al-Safi, al-Sistani's representative in Najaf, said on Friday that the Iraqi people would judge on the US security pact in a referendum next year [Sure, sure; tell us more lies o "Grand" ayatollah!].....

Al-Safi urged all political blocs, both those who voted in favor of the pact and those who didn't, to work together and attempt to remove the concerns surrounding it......[Is this like closing the barn doors after the horses are gone?]"

Nazis of Our Time: Likud MK calls for using Palestinian prisoners as human shield against Qassam rockets

"Following a barrage of mortar shells and Qassam rockets that wounded 8 Israel Defense Forces soldiers near the border with the Gaza Strip on Friday, a Likud MK proposed using Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners as human shields to deter future rocket attacks.

MK Gilad Erdan suggested Israel build an open-air, unprotected detention facility in the Western Negev, where the majority of rockets and mortars from Gaza land, and fill it with militants currently held in Israeli jails.

Also on Saturday, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said that Israel is "very close to a large-scale operation in the Gaza Strip."

"We have to find the right time, but these actions give us no choice and therefore, a large-scale operation is closer than ever," Vilnai said......."

Anti-Piracy Flotillas Rattle Arab Security

By Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani

"CAIRO, Nov 28 (IPS) - Representatives from states bordering the Red Sea met in Cairo last week to forge a common policy against the threat of maritime piracy. But some local commentators say recent deployments of foreign naval forces to the area to combat Somali corsairs could constitute an even greater threat.

"The stepped-up presence of foreign navies, supposedly here to protect international shipping lanes from piracy, could pose a danger to Arab national security," Gamal Mazloum, retired Egyptian brigadier-general and military expert, told IPS......

Some regional leaders, meanwhile, have voiced fears that the stepped-up deployment of foreign naval forces to the area itself represents a potential threat to regional sovereignty.

"The intensive multinational military presence in the southern outlet of the Red Sea is worrying," Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Kurbi was quoted as saying Nov. 10. He went on to warn that this presence could pose a threat to "Arab national security" and lead to the "internationalisation" of the Red Sea.

According to Mazloum, the Yemeni minister's warning is not without some justification. He suggested the possibility that the piracy issue could be exploited by "foreign elements" with the aim of "internationalising the Red Sea region" to the benefit of the U.S. and Israel.

"In the 1980s, Israel proposed establishing a naval presence in the Red Sea, but the idea was quickly rejected by the Arabs and hasn't been discussed since," Mazloum explained. "But with this new outbreak of piracy, some analysts suspect that Israel will insist on dispatching naval forces to the area on the pretext of protecting commercial shipping."

He went on to question the seeming inability of existing foreign naval flotillas to thwart rampant piracy in the region......"

Al-Jazeera Video: The Listening Post - Gaza media blackout - 28 Nov 08

COMMENT: A very good video. This unprecedented total blackout of news from Gaza, now three-weeks old, is very ominous.

The Israeli objective may very well be not just to obscure the humanitarian disaster caused by the Israeli siege. It could very well be a preparation for a much delayed and threatened massive invasion of Gaza by Israel. The blackout is intended to provide the IOF with the opportunity to literally slaughter thousands of Gaza civilians in a new blitzkrieg, while no one is watching. The massacres in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon, under the direction of Israeli forces with no one watching, come to mind.

I have a gut feeling that something very terrible is about to happen in Gaza. As January 9 approaches, the IOF will try to invade Gaza and to restore their stooge Abbas in it. As in Iraq, siege and starvation is always a prelude to invasion.

Sofa so disastrous

The status of forces agreement has been hailed as the end of the neocon dream in Iraq. If only that were true

A Great Comment and Highly Recommended Reading

Sami Ramadani, Friday November 28 2008

"Encircled by US tanks and marines, stationed in and around the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq's "sovereign" parliament has approved two military, economic, cultural, and diplomatic pacts with the US. The one that has captured the headlines is the status of forces agreement (Sofa). The much more important pact, the strategic framework agreement (SFA), was slipped through almost unnoticed. A copy of it was not available even to the US congress......The pacts were nodded through after days of murky behind-the-scenes bargaining between the corrupt leaders of the pro-US sectarian factions within the government.....

The SFA is an open-ended pact, which ties Iraq to the US militarily, economically, culturally and diplomatically. No more, no less. And in case one is pleasantly surprised by the sentence in the Sofa stating that all US forces would withdraw by end of December 2011, reality takes a firm hold in an another sentence, this time in the all-embracing SFA pact, stating that the US would not seek or request a "permanent" military presence or bases in Iraq. It is the word "permanent" which lets the cat out of the bag. How long is non-permanent one wonders? More than half a century, as in Korea? Or 100 years as John MaCain mused?.....

If one considers that the SFA allows the US to "defend" Iraq in case its security is threatened by others, the celebrated clause that the US would not use Iraq to attack other countries becomes ridiculous when one considers that the US attacked and occupied Iraq itself illegally and by trumpeting a big lie. What would stop them concocting another big lie to attack Iran or Syria? Certainly not Sofa or SFA.....

A pro-US, corrupt regime in Baghdad, that is hated by its own people, will obligingly "request" and "invite" the occupiers to stay. That is if the people haven't toppled it by then.

Nothing in the pacts contradict what Obama has said on Iraq. In my article in the Guardian on Obama, before his election, I argued that Obama wanted to keep US bases in Iraq and some "residual forces." I stand by my analysis there.

It is obvious, when one reads the tens of SFA clauses relating to the military, security, cultural, economic, energy, health, environmental, information technology and judicial spheres, that the US is going to impose on Iraq a series of "agreements" during its "legitimised" occupation of the country in the next three years. They will start with the infamous hydrocarbon law to totally control Iraq's oil resources.....

My assessment is that that US strategy in Iraq is still being pursued, and is blessed by president-elect Obama. It is a strategy to:

• Strengthen and secure a pro-US government in Baghdad.

• Support such a government by all means possible, including using US combat forces and keeping massive military bases.

• Strengthen the Iraqi armed forces to do the US bidding and replace the US forces in fighting against anti-occupation resistance. This is a strategy similar to Vietnamisation, but it will be pushed forward under the banner of fighting al-Qaida terrorism, which is detested and rejected by the Iraqi people. To further reduce its own casualties, the US will rely heavily on aerial bombardment and Apache helicopter gunships.

• Secure lucrative economic contracts, particularly after forcing the oil law on Iraq. Exercising control over Middle Eastern oil remains a key US objective.

• Use Iraq to back US strategy in the Middle East: escalate the war in Afghnistan/Pakistan, strengthen Israel, weaken Iran, Syria, the Palestinians and the powerful resistance in Lebanon.

One achievement of the Iraqi resistance was to force the US neocons to shelve plans to attack Iran, immediately after stabilising Iraq's occupation, and to force them to freeze further "shock and awe" wars against the region's peoples. While an attack on Iran should not be entirely discounted during Obama's time in office, Iran's cooperation over Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine will be the price it has to pay to avoid being attacked........"

Friday, November 28, 2008

Kristallnacht in Hebron

By Khaled Amayreh
Al-Ahram Weekly

"Unconcerned about arrest by the police or prosecution by the Israeli justice system, fanatical Jewish settlers in the Palestinian town of Hebron (Al-Khalil) have been attacking Palestinians, damaging and ransacking their property, exactly like Nazi thugs did to Jewish-owned property in Germany 80 years ago.....

One noted Israeli journalist intimated to this writer last week that Israel was facing two nightmarish scenarios in light of the settlers' determined refusal to leave the West Bank: "We have two alternatives, either we go into civil war or become a fascist or Nazi state. These two choices are becoming starker with the passage of each day.""

Israel's Settlement on Capitol Hill

"This Hilltop and That Hilltop"


".....By any rational, humanitarian standard, Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians amounts to collective punishment and crimes against humanity. Perpetrators of such crimes, whether they are individuals or governments or willing allies, are criminals who should one day sit in the dock of the International Court of Justice in The Hague—just as defendants sat in a Nuremberg court 60 years ago—and be held accountable for their crimes.

Until Israel’s hilltop settlement in our nation’s capital is dismantled, allowing for the possibility of a just and lasting peace in Palestine-Israel, its influence on both branches of our government and its insidious affect on US Middle East policy will continue to make willing—or unwitting—kibbutzniks of all Americans. We will be held as complicit, and as culpable, as the citizens of the country whose leaders sat in the dock at Nuremberg.

The world will ask, “Why didn’t you do something to stop it?”

The majority of us will reply, “We didn’t know!” "

The Broken State

The situation in Afghanistan is not as bad as you've heard its worse. Nir Rosen reports from Kabul and its surrounding provinces as the Taliban attempt to wrest control from Hamid Karzai's government.

By Nir Rosen
The National, UAE

".....“I’m not optimistic,” a longtime NGO official with more than a dozen years’ experience in the country told me. He said the confidence of the Taliban today is beginning to resemble the swagger of the mujahideen he knew during the war against the Soviets. “You can’t help getting this increased uncomfortable feeling that you are waiting for something terrible to happen.” Another senior NGO staffer with decades of experience in Afghanistan told me there was “a loss of hope.” “Afghans with money,” he said, “want to move their families to Dubai or India; they’re looking at an exit strategy.” Perhaps, he suggested, America and its allies should start doing the same: “We’re not up to the task of success in Afghanistan.”......

Training the Afghan army is a worthy goal, but in the meantime the country is increasingly in the hands of a fractious band of Taliban, allied with myriad leaders who think nothing of battling one another. There is no sign that the Taliban are weakening: they have an apparently endless supply of men and arms and they don’t mind losing large numbers of men, because even casualties can be spun into propaganda that suggests they have plenty of followers to spare. They do not have the power they did in the 1990s, when they swept across Afghanistan with little resistance, or the popular support they enjoyed while fighting the Russians. Although the Taliban will never be able to defeat the US-led coalition, that same coalition will not be able to uproot the Taliban from rural Afghanistan, wipe out their bases of support and recruitment in Pakistan, or cut them off from the Afghan population.

The former Taliban government official – who served as a mujahideen commander until 1992 – reminded me that the Soviet army was larger and more powerful than the coalition today, with more than 100,000 troops, and that the Afghan government they supported was stronger than the current one as well.

The end will be like with the Russians,” he said. “The Americans will never succeed in containing the conflict. There will be more bleeding, the evacuation of foreigners. It’s coming to the same situation – by 1985 or 1986, the Communist forces held only the provincial capitals. There were 465,000 military and civilian members of the puppet government. But the Russians were still confined to their bases.”"

Iran in about-turn towards security agreement

Financial Times

"The government of President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad has been unusually silent about the Iraqi government’s approval of the security pact with the US. But that may be because it has been loathe to publicise its dramatic change of attitude towards the agreement.

People close to the government in Tehran said that after initially opposing it – and asking its Shia allies in the Baghdad government to resist it – Tehran has been relatively satisfied with the last-minute changes demanded, and won, by Iraq.

Analysts see an additional reason for the about-turn: the election of Barack Obama as US president. The National Iranian American Council said, the election “has provided a new incentive for Tehran to modify its antagonistic policy toward the security agreement and demonstrate that it can help Washington by not becoming a major stumbling block to US efforts to establish military ties with Baghdad.”

The shift, it said, suggests that Tehran “sees the future of US policy in a new light and seeks to cooperate with Washington, if its interests are also recognized through mutual diplomacy.” .......

Iran has adopted active silence which means it is generally okay with the moderated version even though it does not agree with all of it,” said Sadegh Kharrazi, Iran’s former ambassador to Paris. “Iran’s silence at least shows that it is not unhappy,” said Mohammad Sadr, a former deputy foreign minister for Arab and Africa affairs. “The US accepted changes in the pact at eight phases which was a difficult retreat for them.”........"

Wow; I Am Really Impressed With His Toughness! Now Back to Your "Cultural" and Religious Activities in Qom , Clown!

Sadr declares mourning over US pact

Press TV

"Iraq's Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has declared three days of mourning after the ratification of the 'humiliating' US-Iraq security pact.

Al-Sadr called on his supports on Friday to "put up black flags, organize mourning ceremonies across the country and hold peaceful demonstrations." [I wonder if they will flagellate themselves with chains and slice their foreheads with swords, too.]

The movement pledged to "keep up its rejection of this humiliating accord and resist through all means," Aws al-Khafaji, a close aide to the cleric was quoted by AFP as saying at a press conference.

Earlier a parliamentarian from the movement said the bloc will use its authorization against the deal which "would allow occupation forces to practice violations in the country."....."

This Genocide Will Not Be Televised......

Cartoon by Carlos Latuff

Foreign journalists speak out against ban on entry to Gaza

"The Foreign Press Association held a news conference Thursday to protest the Israeli government's ban on international journalists entering the Gaza Strip.

British Broadcasting Company journalist Jo Floto noted that the only countries in the world where BBC journalists are currently denied access are North Korea, Myanmar (Burma) and Zimbabwe. "We don't want Gaza to join that very select and regrettable club," he said.

In the three weeks since the ban was imposed the FPA sent an open letter to its members and filed an official protest with the Prime Minister's Office, signed by leaders of the world's international news organizations.

Signers of the letter include AP Chief Executive and President Tom Curley, Reuters Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger, New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, ABC News President David Westin, BBC News Director Helen Boaden and other top executives from CNN, the Canadian TV network CTV, the German broadcaster ZDF, and the French news service Agence France Presse........"

Gaza: Salvation in a News Broadcast

By Ramzy Baroud
Palestine Chronicle

".......Gazans' relationship to news media is both complex and unique. Like most Palestinians everywhere, they intently watch and listen to news broadcasts the world over, with the hope that salvation will arrive in the form of a news bulletin. Evidently, salvation is yet to be aired.

That infatuation is hardly coincidental, however, as their purpose of reading, listening and watching is unmistakable. Palestinians deeply care about what the rest of the world is saying about their plight and struggle. Most importantly, they wonder if anyone out there cares.......

Gazans are still flipping through the channels and cranking the radio dials, left and right, as these calls continue to fall on deaf ears. They wonder why their plight is not treated with the same urgency as that of the Red Sea piracy or even that of eastern Congo, despite the fact that their misery has perpetuated for generations, and is worsening.

They also pass by Arabic channels and wonder about the seemingly never-ending party, while Gaza has been reduced to total desolation. They listen to Fatah and Hamas officials spewing insults and fighting over government positions that don't exist and territories that hold no sovereignty. They shake their heads in dismay and carry on, for perhaps tomorrow will bring with it some good news -- for once. "

Now I've Seen Everything

A spy goes to work for a thinktank

By Justin Raimondo

"Of course there's nothing all that unusual about a spy going to work for a Washington thinktank. Ex-CIA employees do it all the time: so do all sorts of other spooks, who would otherwise be haunting the world's darkest corners. No big deal. But what I've never seen, and don't recall ever hearing about, is the spectacle of a spy for a foreign country being hired by any organization that hopes to influence U.S. foreign policy. Well, here's one for the record books: the Middle East Forum has hired Steve Rosen, once the head of policy development for the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Rosen is accused of stealing highly classified information from the U.S. government and passing it on to Israeli government officials.

Rosen was the sparkplug of AIPAC, known for implementing – with notable success – the powerful lobbying group's efforts to influence the executive branch. The very effective modus operandi of this behind-the-scenes wheeler dealer was summed up by his reported comment that:

"A lobby is like a night flower. It thrives in the dark and dies in the sun."

Slinking about in the shadows, Rosen and his sidekick Keith Weissman – an Iran expert – cultivated one Larry Franklin, the Pentagon policy department's top Iran analyst, and pried top secret intelligence from him.......

Jeffrey Goldberg, over at the New Yorker, relates a conversation with Rosen:

"He pushed a napkin across the table. 'You see this napkin?' he said. 'In twenty-four hours, we could have the signatures of seventy senators on this napkin.'"

Rosen may have personally fallen on hard times, having to take up with a loony like Pipes, but one has to remember that the organizational framework that spawned his treason is not only alive and well – but it could still deliver those 70 senatorial signatures on a napkin with the greatest of ease. Crazy, yes – and dangerous, too."

Real News Video: The media and the Venezuelan elections

US media covers Chavez victory and calls it a defeat

"Allies of President Hugo Chavez's won a strong majority in Venezuela's local elections on Sunday, winning 17 of 22 state governorships and 265 of 327 mayoral races. The opposition made important gains, capturing the Caracas mayor's office and two of the most populous states.
Meanwhile Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived in Caracas on Monday to meet with Hugo Chavez, just one day after a Russian fleet docked in the Venezulan port of La Guaira. The Russian navy will be conducting joint naval manouveres with Venezuela in the Carribean. The manouveres are scheduled to begin on December first. In Caracas, Russian and Venezuelan officials signed a series of accords, including one pledging co-operation in nuclear energy for peaceful uses.

The Real News Network spoke to Latin American Studies Professor Miguel Tinker Salas who says, the fact that the opposition was able to make modest gains means it's a victory for Venezuelan democracy, and the Venezuelan political process, and the maturity of the Venezuelan population who participated—over 65 percent in this regional election process. "

Thursday, November 27, 2008

تشريع الانتداب الامريكي للعراق

رأي القدس

وضع العراق بعد اقرار هذه الاتفاقية قد لا يكون افضل مما عليه الحال قبلها، بل ربما يزداد سوءا، لان المقاومة موجودة، ومرشحة للتصاعد، ولن يكون مفاجئا اذا ما شاهدنا بوادر وحدة بين المقاومتين السنية والشيعية على ارضية هذه الاتفاقية.
ويظل من
الجائز القول ان تغييرا في الموقف الايراني، او بالاحرى تخفيف حدة المعارضة الايرانية لهذه الاتفاقية هو الذي ساهم بدور كبير في مرورها عبر البرلمان، والا لما تجرأ التحالف الحاكم على حشد كل هذا التأييد لها.
فهل هذا يعني مقدمة تفاهم امريكي ـ ايراني ينطلق من العراق، أم ان الرهانات الايرانية في هذا الصدد قد تكون في غير محلها؟
الايام المقبلة ستجيب على هذا السؤال وغيره

A whoring, lying state

By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine

"....Unfortunately, very few Jewish religious leaders in Israel or abroad probably with the exception of the anti-Zionist group Naturi Karta, have condemned the sacrilegious acts. Well, Jews shouldn’t think that such virulent behavior is not going to be noticed by Muslims around the world. The next time Jews complain about anti-Semitism in the Muslim or Arab world, they should be reminded of their despicable silence and indifference toward the anti-Islam behavior of their people in Hebron.

What is even more shocking is the refusal of the Israeli occupation army, which according to international law should protect local Palestinians from settler barbarianism and savagery. This writer on many occasions witnessed settler thugs beat, stone and even shoot Palestinians while Israeli occupation soldiers were standing passively as if nothing wrong or abnormal was happening. There is only one explanation and one interpretation of army passivity in this regard. It means coordination, connivance, acquiescence, collusion and coordination.....

Furthermore, it is imperative to remember that the thugs of Gush Emunim don’t really differ in substance from the Hitler Youth and other Nazi groups in terms of ideology and racism. These thugs say openly and unhesitatingly that their goal is to exterminate non-Jews in Palestine or at least expel them, in order to establish a Talmudic Jewish kingdom that would rule according to Halacha or Jewish religious law......

Another stark example of Israeli barbarianism is the recent revelation by the Israeli media that the Israeli occupation army has been carrying out extra-judicial executions of innocent Palestinians. According to reports published in the Israeli press this week, the Israeli army issued orders allowing soldiers to murder innocent Palestinians in the process of murdering so-called “wanted persons.” One Israeli soldier was quoted as saying that “we killed innocent Palestinians knowingly and deliberately.” Of course, none of the murderers has been prosecuted......"

Gaza's death throes, and no one's listening

Sonja Karkar, The Electronic Intifada, 27 November 2008
(Sonja Karkar is the founder and president of Women for Palestine and one of the founders and co-conveners of Australians for Palestine in Melbourne, Australia. She is also the editor of and contributes articles on Palestine regularly to various publications)

".....Today, we are witnessing in Gaza the kind of ghetto the world thought it would never see again and the comparison was conjured up early this year by Israel's Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai when he threatened "a bigger holocaust [shoah]" against the Palestinians in Gaza. Later, he explained away his use of the word as meaning "disaster," when in fact it has emotional connotations well known to everyone. Either way, the threat was ominous enough.

The slow death that is being visited on the Palestinians in Gaza is finding its first victims in more than 400 critically ill patients who are being prevented from leaving Gaza for urgent medical attention in Israeli or Arab hospitals. Thousands of other patients are being turned away from hospitals suffering from a severe shortage of 300 different kinds of medicines.

The hospitals have been deprived of medicines and equipment for so long now, that the trickle of supplies finally being allowed through, can no longer meet the minimum daily needs of the Palestinian civilian population. Similarly, the energy fuel being shipped in, is barely enough to operate the Gaza power plant for one day.

This drip-feeding of aid was suggested by Israeli Prime Ministerial adviser Dov Weissglas who said in February 2006: "The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not make them die of hunger."....."

These Assholes, Meeting in Cairo, Decided on a "President" for the Palestinians.....
They Did it the Arab Regime Way.....
It is Abbas, For Life! Damn the Palestinian People and What They Think!

Take Him, and His Millions, to Riyadh and Let Him Retire and Die There

The Assault on Mumbai

India's Leaders Need to Look Closer to Home


"....But this is a meditated edifice of official India’s political imagination. Its function is to deny that the terrorists could be a homegrown variety, a product of the radicalization of young Indian Muslims who have finally given up on the indigenous political system. To accept this view would imply that the country’s political physicians need to heal themselves.....

Why should it be such a surprise if the perpetrators are themselves Indian Muslims? Its hardly a secret that there has been much anger within the poorest sections of the Muslim community against the systematic discrimination and acts of violence carried out against them of which the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in shining Gujarat was only the most blatant and the most investigated episode, supported by the Chief Minister of the State and the local state apparatuses.

Add to this the continuing sore of Kashmir which has for decades been treated as a colony by Indian troops with random arrests, torture and rape of Kashmiris an everyday occurrence. Conditions have been much worse than in Tibet, but have aroused little sympathy in the West where the defense of human rights is heavily instrumentalised......

None of this justifies terrorism, but it should, at the very least, force India’s rulers to direct their gaze on their own country and the conditions that prevail. Economic disparities are profound. The absurd notion that the trickle-down effects of global capitalism would solve most problems can now be seen for what it always was: a fig leaf to conceal new modes of exploitation."

Real News Video: Iraq: from SOFA to resistance

Michael Schwartz examines the Sadrists' reaction to the US-Iraq security pact Part 3 of 3

"In the final part of this series, professor Michael Schwartz stresses how Iraqi popular resistance was crucial from the beginning in blocking the Bush administration agenda, and how the Sadrist movement led by Muqtada al-Sadr may decide to fight the occupation beyond the signing of the security pact ."

The Gaza Ghetto, by Carlos Latuff

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

Thanksgiving 2008, by Khalil Bendib

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

The struggle is not over: Remembering Mohammed al-Kurd

Pam Rasmussen writing from the United States, Live from Palestine, 26 November 2008

(Left): Abu Kamel and his wife, Um Kamel, eat breakfast with international volunteers at the al-Kurd's family home. (Pam Rasmussen)

"The saying that a man's home is his castle goes back to the 1500s. Whether it is a mansion or a mud hut, a home to which you can retreat and be safe is a basic human need. But since 2001, Abu Kamel (Mohammed al-Kurd), his wife and five children were forced to fight every day for the right to stay in the East Jerusalem home his family had lived in for decades. And although the Jewish settlers who tried to push them out -- literally -- didn't put a gun to his head and pull the trigger, they might as well have.

Two weeks after the al-Kurds were finally evicted from their home on 9 November, Abu Kamel suffered a fatal heart attack. Now, Um Kamel (his wife, Fawzieh) who I grew to admire and respect while I camped on their patio as a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) must wage the fight alone....."

Surprise, Surprise!!......Iraqi Parliament Approves US Pact with Simple Majority


COMMENT: It was a foregone conclusion that the permanent occupation "treaty" will pass. Why? Because Iran gave the nod to its puppets in the Green Zone to approve it. All the delays, "re negotiations," proposed popular referendum to approve it, etc. are shenanigans and cowardice to pass the buck and try to avoid blame while simultaneously signing approval on the dotted line.

This is what you would expect when you have a puppet "government" and "parliament" subservient simultaneously to Washington and Teheran, and protected by occupying U.S. Marines in the Green Zone. Just remember Ahmadinejad's visit to Maliki in the Green Zone; I am sure they were not discussing Iraqi sovereignty.

As I predicted and as I stated before, this is Teheran's love offering to the incoming Obama administration. Hey, what is over a million Iraqis killed? As Madeleine Albright would say, the price was worth it to improve relations between Washington and Tehran.

"The Iraqi parliament on Thursday approved by a vast majority a controversial military pact that will authorize the presence of US occupation troops in Iraq, during a televised session. The accord has drawn fire from certain quarters, including followers of the Muslim Shiite cleric Sayed Moqtada al-Sadr, who reject any agreement with the United States and who protested at the accord in Baghdad on Friday......"

Settlers Stay, Or It's Civil War

By Cherrie Heywood

Left: Baruch Goldstein

"RAMALLAH, West Bank, Nov 26 (IPS) - The resolution of the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict and future stability in the Middle East could hinge on Hebron, a little town in the southern Palestinian West Bank, 30 km south of Jerusalem.

Thousands of Israeli Defence Force (IDF) soldiers were put on high alert over the weekend as 20,000 Israeli settlers from across the West Bank descended on Hebron.

The settlers were there to mark an annual Jewish pilgrimage and lend their support to a group of fellow settlers threatened with eviction by an Israeli court ruling. The Israeli government feared an outbreak of rioting.

Hebron is home to approximately 600 of Israel's most extreme Israeli settlers, who are surrounded by a Palestinian population of more than 170,000, and protected by several thousand Israeli Defence Force (IDF) soldiers.

Baruch Goldstein, a doctor who had emigrated from the U.S. machine-gunned 29 Palestinians to death in 1994 as they prayed in Hebron's Ibrahimi Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan.

Hebron settlers later built a shrine to him, and many settlers from the occupied territory pay their respects to the late doctor, who was beaten to death by survivors, during visits to the shrine.

There are about 430,000 Israeli settlers living in hundreds of settlements throughout the West Bank, which are illegal according to international law and UN Security Council resolutions.

A recent UN report documented 222 settler attacks against Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the first half of this year, against a total of 291 for the whole of last year....."

Surprise, Surprise!.....A Palestinian is Leviev's Partner in Dubai

By Adalah-NY
Palestine Chronicle

"As Lev Leviev’s diamonds went on sale in Dubai’s newly opened Atlantis hotel in the Levant jewelry store, owned by Palestinian-Moroccan Arif Bin Khadra, Adalah-NY released a letter today in Arabic and English from the West Bank villages of Bil’in and Jayyous imploring the Khadra family to end their relative’s partnership with Leviev. The Israeli billionaire’s companies are building settlements on the villages’ land. The September 27 letter from Bil’in and Jayyous said that Arif Bin Khadra’s Dubai business partnership with Leviev “betrays the Palestinian cause and is an insult to the sacrifices and pain of our people.”

The villages of Bil’in and Jayyous are awaiting a response to the letter that was delivered to leaders of the Khadra family in Damascus, Syria in late September. The letter requests the Khadra family “take a firm stand against your son’s betrayal of our people and against working in the service of the occupier that violates the rights of his people and appropriates their land.” The Khadra family is Palestinian, and said to number in the tens of thousands, spread throughout the Arab world, many as refugees from Palestine.

The letter notes Leviev’s companies’ construction of Zufim settlement on the village of Jayyous’ land, Mattityahu East settlement on Bil’in’s land, as well as the strategic settlements of Har Homa and Maale Adumim. Arif Ben Khadra, according to the villages’ letter, “effectively contributes to the campaign against our villages and aids the Israeli occupation” through his Dubai diamond partnership with Leviev. The letter adds, “It is shameful that the campaign by Palestinian and Jewish activists working to bar Leviev from entering Dubai’s markets to increase his profits and from building additional settlements is being undermined by your son, who spares no effort to facilitate Leviev’s access to consumers in Dubai.”......"

ثقافة استجداء السلام

ثقافة استجداء السلام

عبد الباري عطوان

"علمتنا تجارب الشعوب السابقة، والعربية منها على وجه الخصوص، ان الاوطان تتحرر وتستعيد سيادتها بالمقاومة، بأشكالها كافة، والعسكرية منها تحديدا، ولكن لم نسمع مطلقا، ان اوطانا تحررت بالاستجداء والتسول، مثلما تفعل حاليا السلطة الوطنية الفلسطينية وبعض فقهائها في رام الله.
فوجئنا في اليومين الماضيين، بنشر صفحات كاملة في صحف عربية وعالمية، باللغات كافة، وبالألوان، تتضمن النص الكامل لمبادرة السلام العربية، موقّعا من قبل جامعة الدول العربية، والى جانبه بيان حول تأييد منظمة المؤتمر الاسلامي لها، مع وضع العلمين الفلسطيني والاسرائيلي جنبا الى جنب في اعلى الصفحة، وأعلام جميع الدول الاسلامية تزين اطرافها.
مصدر المفاجأة ان السلطة الوطنية الفلسطينية في رام الله هي التي تقف خلف هذه الحملة الاعلانية المكــــــثفة على طول العالم وعرضه، وهي التي تسدد اثمانها من ميزانيتها، وهي قطعا تقدر بملايين الدولارات.
ومن المفارقة ان هذه الاموال الطائلة المهدورة في هذه الحملة الاعلانية، تأتي في وقت لا يجد فيه مليون ونصف المليون فلسطيني من ابناء قطاع غزة رغيف خبز، او ليترا من الوقود، او حتى الحطب لطهي الطعام، هذا اذا توفر الطعام اصلا، بسبب الحصار التجويعي الاسرائيلي الظالم، والتواطؤ الرسمي العربي معه.
من يطالع 'تلفزيون فلسطين' التابع للسلطة في رام الله، والبرامج الغنائية والمسرحيات الراقصة التي قدمها ويقدمها، في الوقت الذي يلجأ فيه ابناء قطاع غزة الى اكل علف الحيوانات والطيور من اجل البقاء على الحياة، لا يستغرب مثل هذه التصرفات الغريبة والشاذة عن القاموس النضالي السياسي الفلسطيني.
تمنيت ان أجد برنامجاً واحداً متعاطفاً مع المحاصرين المجوّعين في قطاع غزة لأكثر من ثلاثة اسابيع منذ انقطاع الماء والدواء والوقود والطعام عنهم، ولكني أصبت بخيبة أمل كبيرة، وكأن هؤلاء ليسوا فلسطينيين بل ليسوا بشراً. فهذه العبقرية الاعلامية التي تقف خلف هذا التلفزيون وتضع سياساته هي نفسها التي تقف خلف هذه الحملة الاعلانية الساذجة والمهينة التي نرى ارهاصاتها في الاعلانات المدفوعة المنشورة في الصحف العربية والعالمية.
لم أكن أتصور في أي يوم من الأيام، أن يأتي اليوم الذي أرى فيه فلسطينيين يخاطبون عدوهم بهذه الطريقة الساذجة، ولكن في هذا الزمن الفلسطيني السيئ كل شيء جائز، وربما تحمل لنا الاسابيع المقبلة مفاجأت أكثر غرابة واستفزازاً."

Real News Video with Nomi Prins: Bailout costs $8.5 trillion (8,500,000,000,000!)

US Federal Government has pledged $8.56 trillion in economic bailout for financial institutions so far

"With the credit crisis continuing to worsen, the US federal government is pledging a seemingly endless amount of money to shore up failing institutions hit hard by toxic assets. Federal government pledges now top $8 trillion with the most recent $800 billion announced Tuesday. The Real News Network spoke to journalist and author Nomi Prins."

Hillary would be Obama's first mistake

The trouble is that she comes with all the baggage of the failed Clinton era

By Adrian Hamilton
The Independent

"For those who hoped that Barack Obama would change the world and America's role in it, the reports of his likely candidates for the top foreign policy jobs must come as an awful disappointment. Robert Gates continuing as Defense Secretary, General James Jones as National Security Adviser and Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State – these are not names to conjure up the promise of change or renewal.

Nor, to be fair, are they meant to be. Liberal revolution is not the game that this President-elect is pursuing, particularly in foreign affairs. That was always the mistake made by Obama's many supporters in the world at large.....

.....Circumstances have changed and the balance of power altered out of all recognition since Bush came to power and Clinton left it.

The trouble with Hillary is that she comes with all the baggage of that Clinton era – the reach to express US predominance in the post-Cold War, the reshaping of Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union, the re-ordering of alliances in Asia in favour of India against Pakistan and China against its neighbours and the attempt to reach a Middle East peace balanced in favour of Israel. None of them really worked and none of them are relevant to today's conditions. And yet not only is Hillary Clinton still locked in the Clinton past and the backward-looking Clinton advisers such as Dennis Ross on the Middle East and Madeleine Albright on Europe and Russia but also Obama himself who leaned their way once the primaries were over.

The only element that Hillary Clinton added in her time as New York Senator was a progressively more and more openly pro-Zionist stance, while the major swerve in Obama's foreign policy statements during the presidential election was to become more overt in his support of the Israeli government. That is the way American politics work, of course. Obama is nothing if he is not a politician who knows (as FDR did) the penalties of pulling against public opinion, be it on Georgia, Iran, Afghanistan or Jerusalem........"

'Nobody supports the Taliban, but people hate the government'

As he leaves Afghanistan, our correspondent reflects on a failed state cursed by brutal fundamentalism and rampant corruption

By Robert Fisk

"The collapse of Afghanistan is closer than the world believes. Kandahar is in Taliban hands – all but a square mile at the centre of the city – and the first Taliban checkpoints are scarcely 15 miles from Kabul. Hamid Karzai's deeply corrupted government is almost as powerless as the Iraqi cabinet in Baghdad's "Green Zone"; lorry drivers in the country now carry business permits issued by the Taliban which operate their own courts in remote areas of the country......

The Afghan Minister of Defence has 65,000 troops under his dubious command but says he needs 500,000 to control Afghanistan. The Soviets failed to contain the country even when they had 100,000 troops here with 150,000 Afghan soldiers in support. And as Barack Obama prepares to send another 7,000 US soldiers into the pit of Afghanistan, the Spanish and Italians are talking of leaving while the Norwegians may pull their 500 troops out of the area north of Heart. Repeatedly, Western leaders talk of the "key" – of training more and more Afghans to fight in the army. But that was the same "key" which the Russians tried – and it did not fit the lock.

"We" are not winning in Afghanistan. Talk of crushing the Taliban seems as bleakly unrealistic as it has ever been. Indeed, when the President of Afghanistan tries to talk to Mullah Omar – one of America's principal targets in this wretched war – you know the writing is on the wall. And even Mullah Omar didn't want to talk to Mr Karzai......."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Obama's Odious Entourage

Same Old Gang


"......Not one of the 23 Senators and 133 House Representatives who voted against the war in Iraq are on his transitional team or even on a short-list for an important post in his Cabinet. The only promise that might be kept is to close Guantanamo, though he could hardly do less. The entire US legal establishment seems to be pushing to end this outrage.

Keeping on uberhawk Robert Gates as secretary of war, despite the continued slaughter in Iraq and Afghanistan under his capable mismanagement, his uncompromising position on missiles for Poland, and his shady past (including Iran-Contra) gives little cause for hope. Russia can probably kiss improved relations with the US good-bye. It looks like there will be neocon policy as usual. Hillary Clinton as secretary of state just confirms this......."

The PLO Has Placed Ads Promoting the Saudi "Peace" Initiative in Arab Papers.

Look who is riding this "initiative": None other than the former Mossad operative, Tzipi Livni!

(Click on cartoon by Naser Jafari to enlarge)

Israel's Slow-Motion Genocide in Occupied Palestine

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, November 26, 2008

"Imagine life under these conditions:

Living in limbo under a foreign occupier. Having no self-determination, no right of return, and no power over your daily life. Being in constant fear, economically strangled, and collectively punished.

Having your free movement denied by enclosed population centers, closed borders, regular curfews, roadblocks, checkpoints, electric fences, and separation walls. Having your homes regularly demolished and land systematically stolen to build settlements for encroachers in violation of international law prohibiting an occupier from settling its population on conquered land.

Having your right to essential services denied - to emergency health care, education, employment, and enough food and clean water. Being forced into extreme poverty, having your crops destroyed, and being victimized by punitive taxes. Having no right for redress in the occupier's courts under laws only protecting the occupier.

Being regularly targeted by incursions and attacks on the ground and from the air. Being willfully harassed, ethnically cleansed, arrested, incarcerated, tortured, and slaughtered on any pretext, including for your right of self-defense. Having no rights on your own land in your own country for over six decades and counting. Vilified for being Muslims and called terrorists, Jihadists, crazed Arabs, and fundamentalist extremists. Victimized by a slow-motion genocide to destroy you.

According to Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, Israel has conducted state-sponsored genocide against the Palestinians for decades and intensively in Gaza. In a September 2006 Electronic Intifada article titled "Genocide in Gaza" he wrote......"

Obama Chooses Wall Street Over Main Street

By Robert Scheer

"Maybe Ralph Nader was right in predicting that the same Wall Street hustlers would have a lock on our government no matter which major party won the election. I hate to admit it, since it wasn’t that long ago that I heatedly challenged Nader in a debate on this very point....."

…And You Will Call Upon Allah With No Response...


"26/11/2008 Gaza... A name that has become an attribute to Arab languor, silence, weakness, tacit consent, collusion…and the list stretches all the way back to 1948.
Gaza has become the worst faces of agony under the eyes of hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims worldwide.

I have seen pictures of Arab princes cars adorned with diamonds. I have seen Arab bathrooms with golden (utilities). I have seen ten meters long Arab banquets, just for two. I have seen prayer rugs but not that much people praying. But never have I really seen an old man on his knees holding his stomach in one hand and in the other a sack of serum with a chair and a pillow on it in front of him, just to hit his head with from pain. Yes, I have seen this yesterday on Al-Manar. This man just couldn’t stand the pain. His only sanctuary was this chair as tears flooded out of the eyes of his helpless family. He’s got cancer but he also has a martyred son. Israeli occupation authorities would not let him out of Gaza for treatment or at least to ease his pain before he dies......"

Akef calls on Egyptian people to participate in relief convoys to Gaza

COMMENT: The question is, will the effort to organize relief be more massive and determined than last time, when the goons of the Pharaoh stopped the convoys and the convoys meekly went home?

"CAIRO, (PIC)-- Mohamed Akef, the leader of the Muslim brotherhood, on Tuesday called on the Egyptian people to participate in relief convoys from all governorates to the besieged Gaza Strip, stressing the importance of participating in peaceful protests and pickets in solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian people.

During a press conference held by national and political forces in Egypt, Akef stated that he invites all Egyptian political parties to participate in the convoys to be organized in a timely fashion.

For his part, Dr. Mohamed Habib, the first deputy head of the Muslim brotherhood, criticized the inflammatory campaign which the PA leadership waged against the brotherhood in Egypt in an attempt to bypass its role in tightening the siege on Gaza.

Dr. Habib refuted the PA accusations against the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt of seeking to pressure the Egyptian regime in order to help Hamas, saying that the siege is not only imposed on Hamas but on all Palestinian citizens in Gaza which moves the conscience of every free human being in Egypt. He noted that the Egyptian national forces are not less keen on lifting the siege on Gaza.

In a related context, about 3,000 Egyptian students from the Zagazig university participated Tuesday in a peaceful protest in solidarity with the Gaza people, where they expressed their outrage at the Egyptian and Arab silence towards the suffocating Israeli siege imposed on Gaza.

More than 10,000 Egyptian students from the Azhar university affiliated with the Muslim brotherhood organized Tuesday evening a massive rally in protest at the ongoing Israeli siege on Gaza and the closure of the Rafah border crossing.

The students called in a statement on the Arab and Islamic decision-makers to intervene to open the Rafah crossing constantly and the other crossings in order to break the siege on Gaza.

The students carried banners condemning the Egyptian authorities for providing Israel with gas while the Gaza people die of cold and poverty.

In a statement received by the PIC, Yemeni scholars and intellectuals called on the Arab and Islamic governments to take urgent steps to end the Israeli aggression and siege on Gaza.

The statement stressed the need to establish an Arab and Islamic charity fund to finance the project of linking Gaza with the Egyptian electricity network and paying its power consumption.

The statement called on the Yemeni government to direct all official mass media to carry out a campaign highlighting the catastrophic effects of the Israeli aggression and siege on Gaza. The statement also urged the government to invite an emergency Arab summit to take and implement decisive resolutions breaking the siege on Gaza."

UN aid chief to EI: Gaza people "stripped of their dignity"

Rami Almeghari, The Electronic Intifada, 25 November 2008

"The Electronic Intifada's correspondent in Gaza, Rami Almeghari, sat down with UNRWA Chief of Operations in the Gaza Strip, John Ging, to discuss how the siege, and the latest closures are affecting UNRWA and the civilian population in Gaza. UNRWA is the UN agency responsible for providing aid to millions of Palestinian refugees. On 4 November, Israel sent tanks into the Gaza Strip and carried out attacks which killed six Palestinians, breaking a ceasefire that had generally held since June. Palestinian militias retaliated by firing rockets at Israel. Since then Israel has tightened its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The Electronic Intifada: Mr. Ging, How do you describe the situation in the Gaza Strip under strict Israeli closure for more than two weeks now?

John Ging: The situation is very desperate at the humanitarian level, I mean people have been stripped of their dignity here, it is a struggle to survive for every body. 750,000 of the people here in Gaza are children of the one and half million population......"

As if Rahm Israel Emanuel Was Not Enough......Israel asks Bush to explain its 'special relationship' with U.S. to Obama

"WASHINGTON - Israel is asking U.S. President George W. Bush to describe to his successor, Barack Obama, the American commitment to ensure that its strategic deterrence is not compromised. The subject was the focus of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's farewell meeting in the White House on Monday with Bush and top administration officials.

"I discussed with the president and his most senior staff issues connected to the core of the special relationship between Israel and the U.S., strategic matters of the utmost importance, and the ability to preserve those ties in the coming years," Olmert told reporters Tuesday......"

Rights group: Only 6% of abuse claims against IDF yield charges

"The Israel Defense Forces indicted just 6 percent of all soldiers accused of criminal offenses against Palestinians between September 2001 and the end of 2007, an Israeli human rights group said Wednesday.

The Yesh Din group said that from the beginning of the second Palestinian uprising, more than 1,200 investigations into suspect activities by Israeli soldiers were conducted, but only 78 of the investigations resulted in charges being filed...."

While Thousands in Gaza Starve, Arab Puppet Ministers Meet, Again!

Arab FMs: We won't tolerate a division within Palestinian ranks

"....The meeting comes three days after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah movement controls the West Bank, threatened to call elections early next year if his Hamas rivals controlling Gaza don't open reconciliation talks - an ultimatum that could deepen the rift.

Arab League Amr Moussa who called the Wednesday emergency meeting said Arabs should not accept any "political vacuum" in Palestinian Authority and not "tolerate a division in the Palestinian ranks."

Hamas has rejected Abbas' threat to call the elections, widely seen as an effort to pressure the Islamic militant group and pave the way for Abbas to restore his authority over Gaza.

According to diplomats at the meeting in Cairo, Abbas is pressuring Arab countries to punish Hamas for its refusal to give up control of the Mediterranean strip. They say, however, that the Arab stand is not unified and that some countries, such as Qatar and Syria, favor a softer approach to accommodate the militant movement.

The diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks, said Moussa also made it clear he would not support any condemnation or isolation of Hamas at this point......"

Because The Pharaoh Can't Be Questioned: Egypt arrests pro-Hamas blogger

"Egyptian police have arrested a blogger who criticized the government and expressed support for the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas, a human rights organization said on Tuesday.

The Cairo-based Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said 40 officers had confiscated books and CDs from blogger Mohamed Adel's house before arresting him.

"An enormous security force and special forces to take into custody a young blogger who owns nothing other than a keyboard and a blog!" said Gamal Eid, director of the Network. "This is the law of the state of emergency which has ruled Egyptians for 27 years."

The group said there had been no word of or from Adel since November 20. An interior ministry spokesman said he was not aware of the case.

Egypt sentenced a blogger to four years' jail last year after finding him guilty of insulting Islam and President Hosni Mubarak......"

Seeking Integrity at the CIA

By Ray McGovern

"Underlying many of the national security crises facing the United States has been the loss of integrity in the intelligence community, where politics has trumped sound analysis...."

The Bailout, the Media, and the War Party

Yes, they're connected…

By Justin Raimondo

"One is hardly ever shocked anymore: that seems to be the defining characteristic of modernity. Yet I got to experience that rare sensation the other day when I read this blog item on Aha! I thought. So that's why the MSNBCers are hailing the Big Bailout at the top of their lungs – their parent company, General Electric, also owns GE Capital, which was declared "too big to fail" and given its bailout infusion the day after the election.

The timing of this announcement was fairly interesting, as noted by conservative-libertarian columnist Jim Pinkerton. Pinkerton was rightly outraged when, in response to MSNBC's Chris Matthews' comment that his job is to "make this presidency work," he told a Fox News panel.....

With two wars in the can and another one on the burner, the War Party has been busy lately, and there's hardly anyone keeping an eye on them. The usual media myopia is worsened by the financial disaster, which hasn't encouraged reporters to look much further afield than Wall Street and Washington. And even if they did notice something fishy in the works, would they sound the alarm, or keep quiet because it's their job to "make this presidency work"?"

Video (6 parts): "Imperial Crusades: The Corruption of U.S. Foreign Policy" by Alexander Cockburn

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

A monument to intolerance?

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre's plan for a 'Museum of Tolerance' on top of a Muslim cemetery is causing anger in Jerusalem

Abe Hayeem
(an architect, peace activist and founder member of Architects & Planners for Justice in Palestine), Wednesday November 26 2008

(Click on cartoon by Khalil Bendib to enlarge)

"The whittling away and destruction of Muslim memory and history has been a key aim in Jerusalem's development (as in the rest of Israel). This is especially so with the recent acceleration of the Judaising of illegally-annexed East Jerusalem, by infiltrating it with more Jewish settlements built on expropriated land and homes in the heart of Palestinian neighbourhoods. In Silwan, below the Old City wall, fundamentalist settlers, wishing to establish "the City David" in the Arab neighbourhood, are illegally digging under people's houses, and ancient burial remains are being bundled away into boxes, preventing documentation of important evidence of the Islamic era of Jerusalem.

The Muslim cemetery in Mamilla, West Jerusalem, is suffering a similar fate in one section, where hundreds of skeletons are being unearthed and boxed, to make way for the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's euphemistically-named "Museum of Tolerance". The recent judgment by Israel's Supreme Court to allow the construction of the museum complex to proceed on top of this cemetery of religious and historical importance defies all satire and irony, making it a flashpoint for more conflict and hatred, and still engendering strong protests......"