Saturday, July 4, 2009
Another Good Analysis
By Azmi Bishara
I posted the Arabic version of this article on June 28.
"There is a difference between the outlook of a secular generation of Iranian youth, yearning for a life in which religion (in the form of a clergy directing a theological state) refrains from meddling in their personal lives and individual fates as citizens, and the foreign and domestic policy considerations of the reformist trend. A larger distance separates the premises of both of these groups from the calculations of the band of conservatives whose interests were harmed under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's presidency and who now take issue with his domestic and foreign policies. As different as their interests are domestically, all three have converged against Ahmadinejad and in favour of reducing the power of the supreme guide. At the same time, their calculations converge in a national vision of Iran as a state that, in their opinion, should have matured beyond the founding principles of the Islamic Revolution. Arab causes, in particular, do not figure high in their priorities, especially if supporting them conflicts with the aim of ending the international isolation and blockade of Iran. If they are not opposed or reluctant to support Arab causes, they see such support primarily from an instrumental perspective......
While an organised nation state such as Iran can weather such a massive assault, shielding itself behind its national project and institutions, imagine what affect it would have on a pre-state region such as the Arab world. Everything in this region screams the absence of the nation and citizenship in equal measure. This absence produces only various configurations of rulers and subjects: tribal, sectarian and dynastic leaders and followers. Here, one still speaks in terms of family, kin, religious and regional origin and affiliations, not in terms of substance.
In their partial to total absence of a national and civic life, the Arabs are more than vulnerable to media winds: the slightest media breeze sweeps them up and scatters them like leaves. So you get reactions that vary from parroting The New York Times and even Twitter, and the translation into Arabic and dissemination of the most outrageous Israeli lies and rumours, to the deafening of ears to any piece of information or opinion, the only common denominator between them all being lack of scrutiny and critical thought."
Friday, July 3, 2009
By GARETH PORTER
"The Barack Obama administration has given new prominence to a Bush administration charge that Iran is providing military training and assistance to the Taliban in Afghanistan, for which no evidence has ever been produced, and which has been discredited by data obtained by IPS from the Pentagon itself.
The new twist in the charge is that it is being made in the context of serious talks between NATO officials and Iran involving possible Iranian cooperation in NATO's logistical support for the war against the insurgents in Afghanistan......"
Written by Free Gaza Movement
"GENEVA - The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk, denounced the unlawful naval seizure by an Israeli gunboat on the high seas of a ship carrying medicine and reconstruction material to blockaded people of Gaza.
“This Israeli action implements its cruel blockade of the entire Palestinian population of Gaza, in violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that prohibits any form of collective punishment directed at an occupied people”, said the human rights expert.
Mr. Falk pointed to a recent report on the impact on health resulting from the two year blockade, issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross, stressing that Israeli actions not only restrict such vital supplies as food, medicine, and fuel to bare subsistence levels, but has in unprecedented fashion, disallowed the entry to Gaza of building materials and spare parts needed for repairing some of the widespread damage caused by its attacks on the Strip that took place for 22 days starting on December 27, 2008.
“Such a pattern of continuing blockade under these conditions amounts to such a serious violation of the Geneva Conventions as to constitute a continuing crime against humanity”, added the independent human rights expert......"
"Cynthia and 20 others were detained after being seized by Israeli Navy while in international waters. They were attempting to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza."
".....Carter’s insistence on involving Hamas in any future peace arrangement took him from Damascus, to Cairo to the West Bank, then, to Gaza. His recent visit to the Strip on June 16 was more than that of solidarity, but it was aimed at convincing Hamas to agree to the vision of two states and the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002. The alternative conditions are meant to present a more dignified exit than the belligerent and one-sided demands of the quartet. It’s unclear whether Hamas would fully embrace his call. But what is clear is that Hamas is sending various signals, such as its willingness to engage in dialogue with the Obama administration, and, again, acceptance of the two-state solution, which according to any reasonable estimation of the Israeli ‘facts on the ground’ created in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank, is now a far-fetched possibility.
Needless to say, Hamas as a political movement, with an elected government with some jurisdiction over nearly one-third of the Palestinian people has the right, and even more, the obligation to politically maneuver, reposition and even re-brand itself. Breaking the siege on Gaza requires steadfastness, true, but political ingenuity as well. That said, Hamas must be wary of the political, and historic price that will be paid if it fails to learn from the experience of the discredited and corrupted Fatah. Palestinian rights are enshrined in international law, and corroborated by the endless sacrifices of the Palestinian people, in Gaza and elsewhere. Therefore, the price of engagement, dialogue and political validation must not happen at the expense of the Palestinian people wherever they are, as stipulated in numerous UN resolutions including 194, pertaining to the right of return of Palestinian refugees. "
"....This week, Peres participated in an interfaith conference in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan , where he had the audacity to lecture delegates representing the world’s major religions on peace, human dignity, moral ethics and religious tolerance.
During his speech, Peres, whose country carried out a virtual genocide in Gaza only six months ago, urged believers to show respect toward those who differ with them.
He also called on the King of Saudi Arabia to meet with him in occupied Jerusalem , in Riyadh or in any other place “in order to fulfill his prayer for peace among all people, without differences of religion.”.....
So, Peres wants to make peace with the Saudis, the Kazakhs, the Indonesians, the Mauritanians, even Muslims in the innermost parts of Black Africa. It is only the Palestinians he insists on stealing their land, arrogating their rights and narrowing their horizons.
Peres represents and embodies a country that lives and thrives on murder, theft and mendacity. Hence, it is sufficiently obvious that he can’t be honest about Israel’s criminal behavior.....
It was also sad that only one delegation, the Iranian delegation, walked out of the conference hall when the terrorist President of Israel began giving his speech.
Unfortunately, many of these official delegates represented tyrannical and despotic regimes which are only Muslim by name and don’t really represent the real spirit of Islam which upholds the dignity of human beings and rejects racism, tyranny and oppression."
"علمت الجزيرة نت من مصادر فلسطينية موثوقة أن حركة المقاومة الإسلامية (حماس) جددت رفضها خلال جلسة الحوار السادسة التي أعلن تعليقها قبل يومين في القاهرة التعامل المصري معها وتفضيل حركة التحرير الوطني الفلسطيني (فتح) عليها.
وتشكو حركة حماس من تعامل الوسيط المصري معها في جانبين، الأول رفضه الاعتراف بشرعيتها المنتخبة، إضافة إلى رفضها التعامل الأمني المصري مع الملف الداخلي الفلسطيني.
وقالت المصادر التي اشترطت عدم كشف هويتها إن القيادي البارز في حركة حماس محمود الزهار اعترض على الضغوط التي مارسها مدير المخابرات المصرية عمر سليمان على وفد حركته، وأنه طالب بممارسة الضغوط على حركة فتح والرئيس محمود عباس.
وبينت المصادر أن كلاما بين الرجلين اقترب من المشادة الكلامية حصل عقب محاولة سليمان فرض الاتفاق على حماس والطلب بتأجيل ملف المعتقلين السياسيين من حماس في سجون السلطة الفلسطينية في الضفة، وهو ما تتمسك حماس برفضه.
وأضافت أن "سليمان حاول خلال الجلسة الأولى للجولة السادسة أن يعطي غطاء شرعيا ودستوريا لحركة فتح، بينما حاول نزعه عن حماس التي تمتلك الغالبية في المجلس التشريعي الفلسطيني".
وذكرت المصادر أن حماس قدمت احتجاجا لسليمان على بعض وسائل الإعلام المصرية وخاصة التابعة للحكومة واتهمتها بتلفيق الأكاذيب عن الحركة وحكومتها في قطاع غزة، ودعت إلى ترك هذا الأسلوب الذي لن يجدي معها نفعا
"03/07/2009 The Israeli Navy has returned to sailing through the Suez Canal, recently sending one of its advanced Dolphin-class submarines through the waterway to participate in naval maneuvers off the Eilat coast in the Red Sea, the Jerusalem Post has learned.
According to the daily, Israeli sources said the decision to allow navy vessels to sail through the canal was made recently and was a definite "change of policy" within the service.......
However, the Dolphin-class submarine sailed through last month to get from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. Israeli officials said it passed through the canal above water, and that it was not done covertly. "It is a question of policy," a senior officer explained. "Navy vessels have sailed through the canal on several occasions recently."
“The significance of the move was debatable, but it could be interpreted as a message to Iran and a demonstration of strengthening ties between Egypt and Israel,” the Post said.
In the event of a conflict with Iran, and if Israel decided to involve its three Dolphin-class submarines - which according to foreign reports can fire nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and serve as a second-strike platform - the quickest route would be to send them through the Suez Canal......"
"03/07/2009 Syrian president issued a public invitation Thursday night to US President Barack Obama to discuss peace efforts in the Middle East.
Assad told Sky News that he would be happy to meet with Obama on Syrian soil, and that the date of the meeting was up to the Americans to decide.
"We would like to welcome him in Syria, definitely. I am very clear about this," Assad told Sky's Middle East correspondent Dominic Waghorn. Asked whether this could happen soon, the Syrian president said, "That depends on him."
This invitation is a significant move on the part of Syria......"
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Nothing to See Here.....
Just a 17-Year Old Palestinian Girl, Named Hiyam......
Murdered by an Israeli Shell, Today in Gaza......
Now if This Were an Iranian Protester, You Would See This Face Splashed Around All Over Western Media.....
But She is Palestinian, So Who Cares!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
The Washington Post
"With Iran's hard-line mullahs and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps unmistakably back in control, Israel's decision of whether to use military force against Tehran's nuclear weapons program is more urgent than ever.....
Those who oppose Iran acquiring nuclear weapons are left in the near term with only the option of targeted military force against its weapons facilities. Significantly, the uprising in Iran also makes it more likely that an effective public diplomacy campaign could be waged in the country to explain to Iranians that such an attack is directed against the regime, not against the Iranian people. This was always true, but it has become even more important to make this case emphatically, when the gulf between the Islamic revolution of 1979 and the citizens of Iran has never been clearer or wider. Military action against Iran's nuclear program and the ultimate goal of regime change can be worked together consistently.
Otherwise, be prepared for an Iran with nuclear weapons, which some, including Obama advisers, believe could be contained and deterred. That is not a hypothesis we should seek to test in the real world. The cost of error could be fatal. "
التفريق بين ما هو شاذ وما هو ضمن القاعدة العامة في انتخاب باراك أوباما لرئاسة الولايات المتحدة، ضروري لئلا يؤدي الالتباس إلى إصدار أحكام خاطئة في فهم الرجل وعلاقته بالمؤسسة الأميركية الحاكمة وبالمصالح الأميركية العليا
أوباما أثبت منذ الآن وسيثبت أكثر مستقبلاً أنه ابن الحزب الديمقراطي وليس ابن أفريقيا أو حسين أوباما، وأنه ابن المؤسسة الأميركية الرأسمالية الإمبريالية العسكرية وليس ابن التغيير الذي وعد به
لم يخرج أوباما وإدارته قيد أنملة عن السقف الذي وضعه بوش وإدارته للمشكلة الفلسطينية، سواء ما يتعلق بحل الدولتين أو الموقف من حماس أو الاعتراف بإسرائيل باستثناء المستوطنات، فبوش طالب بوقفها مع استمرار المفاوضات وأوباما طالب بوقفها قبل العودة إلى المفاوضات
انظروا إلى أوباما كيف يتصرف في الحرب التي يخوضها في باكستان وماذا يفعل في أفغانستان حتى يُرى ابنا باراً للمؤسسة الإمبريالية الصهيونية العدوانية الأميركية، على الضد من كلامه المعسول في تركيا ومصر وهو يخاطب العالم الإسلامي
Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire Speaks from Israeli Jail Cell After Arrest on Boat Delivering Humanitarian Aid to Gaza
With Amy Goodman
"Irish Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire speaks to us from her jail cell in Israel. She was taken into custody along with twenty others, including former US Congress member Cynthia McKinney, when the Israeli military boarded their ship in international waters as it tried to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza.....
JUAN GONZALEZ: We begin today with the latest news of the ship that was seized by the Israeli military Tuesday as it tried to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. Israeli forces boarded the ship and towed it to the Israeli port of Ashdod. The twenty-one activists on board include former Congress member and presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney and the Irish peace activist and Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire. Huwaida Arraf and Lubna Masarwa were released, while the other nineteen remain in detention.
AMY GOODMAN: Huwaida Arraf is the founder of the Free Gaza movement. She joins us now on the phone from Israel.
Huwaida, welcome to Democracy Now! Explain why you took this boat trying to get to Gaza and then what happened to you on board......"
"The Belgian-French financial group, Dexia, has declared that it is stopping all financial support to Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, through its Israel Branch.
The decision came as an outcome of a tireless campaign in Belgium. The campaign was supported by NGO’s, local authorities, trade unions, political parties in Belgium and several other organizations.
The Bank administration stated that it found out that financing Israeli settlements in the occupied territories violates its own code of ethics, and decided to stop giving loans to Israel.
The Bank was pressured by organizations and institutions active in supporting the legitimate Palestinian rights.
The campaign lasted for one month and resulted in the Bank stopping all finances to Jewish settlements.
Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, stated that the Israel branch of Dexia provides huge loans and grants for settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
This issue pushed 61 Belgium organizations to collect thousands of signatures against the Bank’s conduct. The organizations also published advertisements raising awareness on the issue...."
The statement also outlines plans for the march, which will take place on January 1, 2010. “We will march the Long Mile across Erez checkpoint alongside the people of Gaza in a nonviolent demonstration that breaches the illegal blockade,” it said, adding that “We conceive this march as the first step in a protracted nonviolent campaign … If we bring thousands to Gaza and millions more around the world watch the march on the internet, we can end the siege without a drop of blood being shed.”
Professor Norman Finkelstein, a political analyst and author of several books on the Israel-Palestine conflict, is one of the organizers of the march. “We want to send over several thousand people from around the world to march alongside several hundred thousand Gazans,” he told The Daily Star.
Finkelstein hopes that large numbers of international activists and world leaders will attend the march, and as a result, prohibit a violent response from Israeli authorities. “If the likes of Jimmy Carter, Noam Chomsky, Bishop Tutu and Nelson Mandela are at the head of the march; if behind them are students holding high signs of the schools from which they hail - Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge; if behind them are the ill and the lame, the young and the innocent of Gaza; if behind them are hundreds of thousands of others, unarmed and unafraid, wanting only to enforce the law; if around the world hundreds of thousands are watching the internet to see what happens - Israel can’t shoot,” he said.
“The first formal organizational meeting of the coalition is set for July 13,” said Finkelstein......"
The Dayton Forces Doing Their Job; All in a Day's Work. But....the "Dialog" will go on; Stay Tuned for Breakthroughs!
Four citizens kidnapped, three taken to hospitals in W. Bank
"WEST BANK, (PIC)-- The PA security apparatuses kidnapped Wednesday four Palestinian citizens thought to be affiliated with Hamas in different West Bank areas, while three political prisoners were reportedly transferred from PA jails to hospitals as a result of their exposure to severe torture.
It was also reported that these security apparatuses refused to release prisoner Mahmoud Al-Hilo despite a court decision demanding his release.
Palestinian sources in Bethlehem reported the transfer of prisoner Fathi Al-Ramlawi, a noted reformer in the city, to the intensive care unit in Beit Jala hospital because of the torture inflicted on him by PA officers......"
"Nearly a day after the detention of former US lawmaker Cynthia McKinney by Israeli forces, Washington has yet to make a reaction.
Israeli Navy detained former US congresswoman and Nobel Prize laureate Cynthia McKinney and twenty other human rights activists on board a relief boat outside Israel's territorial waters on Tuesday as they were heading to Gaza on a humanitarian mission.....
Ms McKinney -- the 2008 Green Party nominee for President of the United States-- has accused Tel Aviv of violating the international law by seizing an aid vessel in international waters.
"This is an outrageous violation of international law against us. Our boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip," McKinney said in a statement.
"We are asking the international community to demand our release so we can continue our journey," she added.
"My wife and I are very concerned about her safety," Cynthia's father told Press TV in a phone call.
Bill McKinney said that the US government should support Cynthia's message and added, "Her major concern is human."
Green Party leaders have called on the White House and the US State Department to intervene and demand the immediate release of all the activists......"
"RAMALLAH, Jul 2 (IPS) - The future of Palestinian unity talks is far more complex than the bitter rivalry, bloodshed and division which represent the yawning chasm separating Palestine's two main political factions, Hamas and Fatah.
There are serious issues within Fatah that need to be resolved. After two decades of power struggles and acrimony within the organisation, Fatah's Revolutionary Council has agreed to hold its sixth general conference Aug. 4 in Bethlehem in the Palestinian West Bank. Fatah, founded in 1964, is affiliated with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority (PA), which controls the West Bank.
The conference, due to be attended by over 1,500 members, is significant in that it is the first to be held on Palestinian territory. Hitherto, Israel banned leaders from returning to the Palestinian territories....
The conference will be an indicator whether the fragmented Fatah is a spent political force and a mere footnote in the history of the Palestinian national liberation struggle.....
But the divisions in Fatah go beyond generational and accountability issues. Fragmentation has come around patronage, shared history, geography and foreign policy.
Some members support the international peace process, while others call for a return to armed resistance. Some Fatah members want the PA, which was formed after Oslo, to be dismantled; others don't.
Many Palestinians are disillusioned with a lack of democracy and human rights in the West Bank under Abbas's leadership. This is exacerbated by disappointment with a peace process which to many appears to be going nowhere."
"......The drumbeat that terrorists are everywhere and that all terrorists are America’s problem continues. One of the most recurrent themes is that Hezbollah is the "A-team" of terrorist groups, far exceeding al-Qaeda in its proficiency and lethality. This view was first posited in 2003 by deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage. It was jumped on by Florida Democrat Senator Bob Graham, who was running for president at the time. Graham said "It has a significant presence of its trained operatives inside the United States waiting for the call to action. They are a violent terrorist group. And they have demonstrated throughout their now 25-year history a hatred of the United States and a willingness to kill our people." Graham did not provide a scintilla of evidence to support his assertion that the US is awash with Hezbollah operatives, information that might have proven to be of interest to the FBI if it were true.
The Hezbollah threat warnings have surfaced again, more recently, in a speech given by Richard Falkenrath, New York City’s Deputy Commissioner for Counterterrorism....."
"Prior to the demonstration a press conference took place, where a representative of the village's popular committee, a member of the Palestinian Boycott National Committee and world renowned Canadian journalist and author Naomi Klein spoke of the local struggle, of the village's new court case in Canada against Canadian companies building the new neighborhoods on Bil'in land, on the boycott, and of the inability to detach art and politics."
2 July 2009
"Israeli forces killed hundreds of unarmed Palestinian civilians and destroyed thousands of homes in Gaza in attacks which breached the laws of war, Amnesty International concluded in a new report published on Thursday. Operation 'Cast Lead': 22 days of death and destruction, is the first comprehensive report to be published on the conflict, which took place earlier this year.
"Israel's failure to properly investigate its forces' conduct in Gaza, including war crimes, and its continuing refusal to cooperate with the UN international independent fact-finding mission headed by Richard Goldstone, is evidence of its intention to avoid public scrutiny and accountability," said Donatella Rovera, who headed a field research mission to Gaza and southern Israel during and after the conflict.
"The international community, led by the UN Security Council, must use all its leverage to ensure that Israel cooperates fully with the Goldstone inquiry, which now offers the best means to establish the truth."......."
"Israel inflicted "wanton destruction" in the Gaza Strip during its 22-day war on the coastal enclave in December and January, Amnesty International, the London-based human rights group has said.
In a 117-page report released on Thursday, Amnesty cited evidence that Israeli troops put children and other civilians in harm's way "by forcing them to remain in or near houses which they took over and used as military positions".
Accusing Israel of "breaching laws of war", Amnesty said: "Much of the destruction was wanton and deliberate, and was carried out in a manner and circumstances which indicated that it could not be justified on grounds of military necessity."....."
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
A Good Piece by Professor Abdul-Sattar Qassem, in Arabic
"من هو دايتونفريق العمل الدايتونيالهدفآليات العملالنتيجة
يبدو أن العرب لم يتعلموا كثيرا منذ عهد لورانس العرب الذي مثّل عليهم وكسب ثقتهم وساقهم سوقا نحو القيام بالنشاطات التي خدمت بريطانيا وسياستها الاستعمارية في المنطقة؛ ولم يتعلموا من تجربتهم مع غلوب باشا الإنكليزي الذي كان قائدا للجيش العربي الأردني.
لورانس وغلوب موجودان الآن تحت اسم دايتون فلسطين، الذي يعرف تماما مدى سذاجة العقل العربي، ويعرف كيف يقوم بأدواره التمثيلية بهدف كسب ثقة الناس المستهدفين.
دايتون يقوم الآن بدور البطل الذي سيقيم دولة للفلسطينيين مثلما لعب لورانس دور البطل الذي كان سيقيم مملكة عربية متحدة بقيادة الشريف حسين؛ وهو الآن يدخل في قلوب العديد من العسكريين الفلسطينيين ويقنعهم بأن طريقته في التدريب والأداء والاستهداف هي التي ستؤدي حتما إلى قيام دولة فلسطينية مستقلة.
يركز دايتون وفريقه على ضرورة تحقيق المصلحة الوطنية الفلسطينية، ويتحدثون بإسهاب عن أهمية إقامة الدولة الفلسطينية, وفي كثير من الأحيان، يبدو دايتون وفريقه وكأنهم فلسطينيون أكثر من الفلسطينيين، وهذا جزء مهم من المقاربة لكسب الود والثقة
يقول دايتون إن قيادته لا تقبل للتدريب كل من يرغب في ذلك, حيث يتم فحص كل عنصر من قبل أجهزة الأمن الأميركية والإسرائيلية قبل الموافقة على الانضمام، وإذا كان التدريب سيتم في الأردن فإنه يتم فحص العنصر من قبل المخابرات الأردنية
لا يبدو أن العقل العربي يستفيد من تجاربه، ولا يبدو أن المسؤولين يدرسون التاريخ, وما دام دايتون قد وعد بدولة، فما عليهم إلا أن ينتظروا
MachsomWatch discovered the policy, which Palestinian workers confirmed to Haaretz.
MachsomWatch told Haaretz that Sunday, a 32-year-old construction worker from Tul Karm, who is employed in Hadera, was not allowed to carry his lunch bag through the checkpoint. The bag contained six pitas, 2 cans of cream cheese, one kilogram of sugar in a plastic bag, and a salad, also in a plastic bag.
The typical Palestinian laborer in Israel has a 12-hour workday, including travel time and checkpoint delays. Many leave home as early as 2 A.M. in order to wait in line at the checkpoint; tardiness to work often results in immediate dismissal. Workers return home around 5 P.M. The wait at the checkpoint can take one to two hours in each direction, if not longer.
By Mel Frykberg
"RAMALLAH, Jul 1 (IPS) - Twenty-one international peace activists were seized by Israeli naval frigates in international waters Tuesday as their boat 'The Spirit of Humanity' tried to carry humanitarian aid to Gaza.
The activists, including former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Irish Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire, and nationals from 11 other countries were part of the Free Gaza Movement (FGM) efforts to break Israel's naval and border blockade of Gaza.
The activists were taken to Israel's Ashdod port and from there to detention cells at Ben Gurion international airport in Tel Aviv where they await deportation.
"They simply kidnapped the passengers," said FGM founding member Greta Berlin.....
Arraf, a law lecturer, was born in the U.S. to a Palestinian family from within Israel's Green Line, or internationally recognised borders. She is also a U.S. citizen.
Deporting her could be problematic, and she may face court for attempting to enter Gaza. Israeli law bans Israeli citizens from entering the coastal territory.
Several attempts by IPS to contact Arraf in detention were unsuccessful. FGM reported that it had also been unable to contact activists on their cell phones in detention......"
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
"On June 30, the government of Israel committed an act of piracy when the Israeli Navy in international waters illegally boarded the “Spirit of Humanity,” kidnapped its 21-person crew from 11 countries, including former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and Nobel Laureate Mairead MaGuire, and confiscated the cargo of medical supplies, olive trees, reconstruction materials, and children’s toys that were on the way to the Mediterranean coast of Gaza. The “Spirit of Humanity,” along with the kidnapped 21 persons, is being towed to Israel as I write.....
What we have been witnessing for 60 years is a replay in modern times, despite the United Nations and laws strictly preventing Israel’s theft of Palestine, of the 17th, 18th, and 19th century theft of American Indian lands by US settlers. An Israeli government spokesman recently rebuked the President of the United States, a country, the Israeli said, who stole all of its land from Indians, for complaining about Israel’s theft of Palestine.....
And so it goes. There’s no money for California, or for Americans’ health care, or for the several million Americans who have lost their homes and are homeless, because Israel needs it. Israel need the Americans’ taxpayers money to that it can create even more enemies, and, therefore, need more American money to spend with the American armament industries to oppress more Palestinians and to make more enemies, requiring more American money to protect Israel from its folly and its evil.
And the brainwashed American public goes along year after year."
The Israeli Medical Association (IMA) has ignored repeated requests to examine such evidence, the rights groups say, even though it has been presented with examples of Israeli doctors who have broken their legal and ethical duty towards Palestinians in their care.
The accusations will add fuel to a campaign backed by hundreds of doctors from around the world to force Yoram Blachar, who heads the IMA, to step down from his recent appointment as president of the World Medical Association (WMA).
More than 700 doctors have signed a petition arguing that Dr Blachar has disqualified himself from leadership of the WMA, the profession's governing ethical body, by effectively condoning torture in
In one case, a prison doctor, under pressure from interrogators, agreed to retract a written recommendation that a detainee be immediately hospitalised for treatment.
Global Research, July 1, 2009
"In his new book, "Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order," F. William Engdahl explained a new form of US covert warfare - first played out in Belgrade, Serbia in 2000. What appeared to be "a spontaneous and genuine political 'movement,' (in fact) was the product of techniques" developed in America over decades.
In the 1990s, RAND Corporation strategists developed the concept of "swarming" to explain "communication patterns and movement of" bees and other insects which they applied to military conflict by other means. More on this below.
In Belgrade, key organizations were involved, including the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the International Republican Institute (IRI), and National Democratic Institute. Posing as independent NGOS, they're, in fact, US-funded organizations charged with disruptively subverting democracy and instigating regime changes through non-violent strikes, mass street protests, major media agitprop, and whatever else it takes short of military conflict......."
Habila is Discouraged by the way the "Dialog" is Proceeding, but (being the good trooper that he is) he will continue with the "Dialog"....Stay Tuned
هنية: جولة الحوار الأخيرة كانت صعبة.. و"فتح" مُتعنتة في ملف الاعتقال السياسي
"غزة - المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام
أكد رئيس الوزراء الفلسطيني إسماعيل هنية أن جولة الحوار الأخيرة التي انتهت يوم أمس الثلاثاء كانت صعبة ومشدودة، مرجعًا السبب في ذلك إلى رفض حركة "فتح" التعاطي بشكل إيجابيٍّ مع ملف
المعتقلين السياسيين أو وقف سياسة الاعتداءات على حركة "حماس" في الضفة
Haneyya: The latest round of dialog was uneasy and strained
(By Patrick Chappatte, The International Herald Tribune)
By Robert Scheer
"Bernard Madoff should be exhibit A in why the dark world of totally unregulated private money managers and hedge funds should be opened to the light of systematic government supervision. Instead, he is being treated as an aberrant menace...."
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 11:29
Written by Free Gaza Team
"(Larnaca, 1 July 2009) Yesterday, the Israeli Navy boarded the Free Gaza Movement boat, SPIRIT OF HUMANITY and kidnapped the 21 human rights activists, humanitarian workers and activists on their way to Gaza. As of today, none of them have had the right to see an attorney even though they came to the detention center to see them.
The Free Gaza Movement is calling for their release and the release of our boat, seized in international waters off the coast of Gaza as our SPOT locator clearly shows.
But more importantly, twenty-one internationals can get headlines. What about the 11,000 Palestinians who languish in jail, many of them tortured. We will update you on the status of our kidnapped passengers and our impounded boat, but who will do the same for the Palestinians and their boats?
We will insist that Israel stop interfering with our voyages to Gaza, since they do not have the right; legal or moral, to enforce a siege that collectively punishes 1.5 million Palestinians.
Our demand is that our passengers re-board the boat and continue on to the port in Gaza, so we can deliver the building supplies and the humanitarian supplies that we loaded and inspected by the Cypriot authorities.
Kidnapped Passengers from the Spirit of Humanity include....."
"GAZA CITY, Jul 1 (IPS) - "They told us 'go west or we will shoot you'," says Ashraf Sadallah. "Initially, we refused, so they began shooting very close all around our boat."
At 6am on Jun. 16, Sadallah and his brother Abdel Hadi Sadallah, in their early twenties, went roughly 400 metres out to sea off the coast of Sudaniya in Gaza's northwest. "We wanted to bring in nets we had left out the night before," says Sadallah.
Their small fishing boat, known as a hassaka, was in Palestinian fishing waters when three Israeli navy boats approached the brothers......
Since Jan. 18 this year when the assault on Gaza ended, five fishermen are known to have been wounded at sea, five more injured on the shore, more than 40 abducted, at least 17 boats taken, and dozens more damaged. Of the boats that have been returned, all have suffered damage or theft of equipment while in custody of the Israeli authorities.
Sultan believes one reason for the severe attacks on Palestinian fishermen is political. "The water near the 'K' area is rich in fish. The Israelis know this and don't want Palestinian fishermen benefiting from it. It's part of the siege." "
"JERUSALEM, Jun 30 (IPS) - The concerted effort of international human rights activists to rein in violations of laws of war was given a major impetus when Human Rights Watch researchers presented a report Tuesday on the unbridled use by the Israeli military of unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCLAV), commonly known as drones, during Israel's 22-day assault on Hamas in Gaza at the beginning of the year.
Entitled 'Precisely Wrong', the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report focuses on six cases of Israeli drone-launched missile attacks in which 29 Palestinian civilians, eight of them children, were killed. Based on cross-referenced eyewitness accounts corroborated by doctors, as well as ballistics and forensic evidence collected on the attack sites, the report asserts that "in none of the cases did HRW find evidence that Palestinian fighters were present in the immediate area of the attack at the time.
"These attacks violated international humanitarian law," the report states in unequivocal terms, following a ten-day investigation....."
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 30 June 2009
"01/07/2009 Palestinian Prime Minister designate, Salam Fayyad, appears to have his own agenda, or rather the same agenda as US General Keith Dayton's.
Dayton is appointed by former US President George W. Bush and maintained by the new Obama administration, to the post of Coordinator for US Security in the Palestinian Territories.
Since Dayton’s arrival, Fayyad seems to be following his guidelines, stipulating Israel will always have the upper hand over Palestinian rights.
According to Palestinian columnist, Mounir Chafik, the goal is not to repress the factions of the Palestinian resistance, Hamas and Jihad, but also to eradicate Fatah elements from the circles of the Palestinian Authority and civil security services.
Thus, Dayton was able to train and arm a 900-strong force dependent on the paramilitary leader of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. The force is named Bader and it is aimed at replacing the various Palestinian security forces under Fatah, founded by the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Having participated actively in the second intifada against the Israeli enemy, the decision was made to sack them.
Effectively, Keith Dayton dismissed 7000 Fatah members to recruit new ones, teaching them a whole new ideology hostile to the resistance, and whose mission is to perform the dirty jobs of the soldiers of the Israeli occupation in the West Bank: liquidate the cells of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah. Charity associations, educational and health facilities belonging to those factions will not be spared as well.
Quoting the words of Dayton, in his speech at the Washington Institute in May 2009 that "the performance of Bader force has stunned the Israelis," Chafik concludes that it is through this Palestinian force that Israeli troops in the West Bank were able to go to Gaza, to conduct the war in December-January.
Chafik also discussed Fayyad’s last speech on June 21, which he delivered at the University of Jerusalem, in the town of Aboudiss. The US-backed PM designate said he would "create institutions of an independent state within two years , based on a mature power ... ".
Fayyad’s comments suggest a process similar to that adopted with the security forces: a smooth removal of the remaining Fatah officials to replace them with "elements loyal to Fayyad and the duo (George) Mitchell-Dayton," says Chafik.
But what worries the Palestinian analyst the most in Fayyad’s speech is a five-word sentence that may have gone unnoticed: "We are meeting in Jerusalem,” he began his speech, knowing that he was speaking in Aboudiss, a city located outside the occupied holy city of Jerusalem; the same city that the Israelis insist on trying to impose as the capital of the "state" of Palestine......"
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
[Regime Apologist will deny this story and say it is Propaganda, the hard core Assad fans will take it a step further and say the hummus contained non detectable poison aimed at killing Olmert , and that Assad is a mad genius who figured out how to get the Golan by hummus and not by force]
In a peaceful gesture two years ago, Syrian President Bashar Assad sent a tub of hummus to then-prime minister Ehud Olmert, Channel 2 reported Thursday.
According to the report, Assad was meeting a visiting US businessman in Syria and asked what Olmert liked to eat.
The businessman said hummus particularly tickled the then-prime minster's taste buds, and so the Syrian president sent the tub, which eventually reached Olmert via Jordan.
By ESAM AL-AMIN
"....On May 24, 2007, Brian Ross, ABC News’s Chief Investigative Correspondent broke a story about the elements of soft power utilized by the CIA and authorized by Bush. “Current and former intelligence officials told ABC News that the CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount what is known as a black or covert operations to destabilize the Iranian regime, and it is underway,” he reported. He then added, “Those officials describe the Iranian plan as non-lethal involving a campaign of coordinated propaganda broadcasts, placement of negative newspaper articles, the manipulation of Iran’s currency and international banking transactions.” The ABC correspondent stated, “Propaganda was one of the most important tools utilized by the CIA.”
Three day later, the British Daily Telegraph, detailed CIA plans for “a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilize, and eventually topple” the regime......
According to Saeed Behbahani, a fierce critic of the current Iranian regime, and founder of Mihan TV outside Washington D.C., the American administration exchanged messages with the campaign of Mir Hossein Mousavi in early June. He claims that, at that time, an unidentified Iranian-American businessman, who is close to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, met with Mousavi’s campaign manager, Mehdi Khazali, in Dubai.
The following day, Khazali was prominently interviewed and hailed by the Voice of America’s Persian language broadcast.....
But a study by the website, www.chartingstocks.net, concluded that during three days after the election, the overwhelming majority of Tweets (over 30,000), were manipulated through a handful of accounts; all created within one day of the elections on June 13. It is interesting to note that only 0.6 percent of Twitter accounts are used by Iranians (as compared to 44 percent by Americans).
In a recent interview with the BBC on June 19, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the foreign policy icon and ultimate insider, exposed Washington’s deep involvement in the Iranian affair......."
"23 miles off the coast of Gaza, 15:30pm] - Today Israeli Occupation Forces attacked and boarded the Free Gaza Movement boat, the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, abducting 21 human rights workers from 11 countries, including Noble laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (see below for a complete list of passengers). The passengers and crew are being forcibly dragged toward Israel.
"This is an outrageous violation of international law against us. Our boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip," said Cynthia McKinney, a former U.S. Congresswoman and presidential candidate. "President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that's exactly what we tried to do. We're asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey."
According to an International Committee of the Red Cross report released yesterday, the Palestinians living in Gaza are "trapped in despair." Thousands of Gazans whose homes were destroyed earlier during Israel's December/January massacre are still without shelter despite pledges of almost $4.5 billion in aid, because Israel refuses to allow cement and other building material into the Gaza Strip. The report also notes that hospitals are struggling to meet the needs of their patients due to Israel's disruption of medical supplies.
"The aid we were carrying is a symbol of hope for the people of Gaza, hope that the sea route would open for them, and they would be able to transport their own materials to begin to reconstruct the schools, hospitals and thousands of homes destroyed during the onslaught of "Cast Lead". Our mission is a gesture to the people of Gaza that we stand by them and that they are not alone" said fellow passenger Mairead Maguire, winner of a Noble Peace Prize for her work in Northern Ireland.
Just before being kidnapped by Israel, Huwaida Arraf, Free Gaza Movement chairperson and delegation co-coordinator on this voyage, stated that: "No one could possibly believe that our small boat constitutes any sort of threat to Israel. We carry medical and reconstruction supplies, and children's toys. Our passengers include a Nobel peace prize laureate and a former U.S. congressperson. Our boat was searched and received a security clearance by Cypriot Port Authorities before we departed, and at no time did we ever approach Israeli waters."
Arraf continued, "Israel's deliberate and premeditated attack on our unarmed boat is a clear violation of international law and we demand our immediate and unconditional release."...."
"The NUJ is calling on the Israeli navy to strop threatening an unarmed aid ship which has journalists on board – including a documentary film maker from London.
The boat – called Spirit of Humanity - set off from Cyprus yesterday with medical supplies, children's toys, and reconstruction kits for besieged Palestinians in Gaza.
People on board say that early this morning Israeli warships surrounded the civilian craft and threatened to open fire if it did not turn around.
NUJ member Fathi Jaouadi, aged 37, from Edgware is on the boat filming the trip. There is also a news crew from Al Jazeera TV.
Fathi’s pregnant wife Renee, aged 34, also a freelance journalist and NUJ member said: “I am deeply concerned for the safety of all the passengers on board. “This is an unarmed civilian boat that has been surrounded and threatened.”
Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, said: “This boat received security clearance from the authorities in Cyprus. It is outrageous that the Israeli navy should confront it and put the lives of everyone on board in danger.
“Fathi and the other journalists on board are just doing their jobs reporting on a story that is of interest to the whole world.”
The ship has a crew of 21 human rights activists, humanitarian workers and journalists from 11 different countries - including Nobel peace prize winner Mairead Maguire from Northern Ireland and former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.
Reports from the ship say that the Israeli forces have jammed their instrumentation, blocking their GPS, radar, and navigation systems.
This is the Free Gaza Movement’s eighth sea mission, successfully arriving in Gaza on five occasions. They say that on two earlier occasions Israeli forces stopped the ships – ramming one in December 2008."
"The Barack Obama administration badly fumbled after a magnificent start in addressing the situation in Iran. The White House must now deal with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at the peak of his political power, and President Mahmud Ahmadinejad - who will now negotiate from a position of unprecedented strength. All things taken into account, there has been a policy crisis in Washington.....
Arguably, it helps when your adversary is strong so that he can take tough decisions, but in this case the analogy doesn't hold.
Ahmadinejad left hardly anything to interpretation when he stated in Tehran on Saturday, "Without doubt, Iran's new government will have a more decisive and firmer approach towards the West. This time the Iranian nation's reply will be harsh and more decisive" and will aim at making the West regret its "meddlesome stance". Most certainly, Tehran will not be replying through the Twitter. "
By Gilad Atzmon
Palestine Think Tank
"For very many years the Palestinian solidarity discourse was dominated by leftist ideology carried largely by Jewish Marxists. Though the support of Jewish leftists was rather important at an early stage, it lost its primacy and urgency as Palestinian resistance and the Palestinian solidarity discourse evolved into a vivid autonomous discourse based on widely accepted ethical grounds. The Israeli war crimes against Palestinians are now well documented. No one needs the odd kosher ‘righteous Jew’ to approve that this is indeed the case.
And yet, in spite of the clear fact that Palestinian solidarity discourse moved ahead, Jewish Marxists are still insisting upon dictating their tribally orientated pseudo-analytical vision of reality.
Jewish Marxism is very different from Marxism or socialism in general. While Marxism is a universal paradigm, its Jewish version is very different. It is there to mould Marxist dialectic into a Jewish subservient precept. Jewish Marxism is basically a crude utilisation of ‘Marxist-like’ terminology for the sole purpose of the Jewish tribal cause. It is a Judeo-centric pseudo intellectual setting which aims at political power.
Palestinian thinkers were probably the first to realise that the situation in Gaza, Nablus and the refugee camps had little in common with 19th century Europe. This was enough to defy Marxism as a sole analytical political tool. However, the Jewish Marxists had a far more adventurous plan for Palestinians, Arab people and the region in general. They wanted Arabs to become cosmopolitan atheists. They suggested that Arabs should drop ‘reactionary Islam’ and liberate themselves as ‘the Jews did’ a century ago......"
June 29. 2009
"NAZARETH, ISRAEL // Israel’s watchdog body on medical ethics has failed to investigate evidence that doctors working in detention facilities are turning a blind eye to cases of torture, Israeli human rights groups claim.
The Israeli Medical Association (IMA) has ignored repeated requests to examine such evidence, the rights groups said, even though it has been presented with examples of Israeli doctors who have broken their legal and ethical duty towards Palestinians in their care.
The accusations will add fuel to a campaign backed by hundreds of doctors from around the world to force Yoram Blachar, who heads the IMA, to step down from his recent appointment as president of the World Medical Association (WMA)......."
(Eva Bartlett is a Canadian human rights advocate and freelancer who arrived in Gaza in November 2008 on the third Free Gaza Movement boat. She has been volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement and documenting Israel's ongoing attacks on Palestinians in Gaza. During Israel's recent assault on Gaza, she and other ISM volunteers accompanied ambulances and documenting the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip.)
Seventeen-year-old Wafa al-Najjar was about 800 meters from the border with Israel when she was shot in the kneecap by an Israeli soldier.
".....For almost a decade, Israel has unilaterally imposed an off-limits area solely on the Palestinian side of the boundary between Israel and Gaza. This "buffer zone" has ranged from 50 meters wide to more than two kilometers in some northern areas. On 25 May, Israeli authorities officially announced the current boundaries of the buffer zone to be 300 meters, within which anyone walking on the land would be subject to Israeli fire......"
The Idiots are Celebrating!
The "Withdrawal" of U.S. Occupation Troops from Inside the Iraqi Cities.....
But They Will Continue Surrounding the Cities, and are only a "Phone Call" Away!
The Prisoners are Celebrating Because the Jailers are ONLY Surrounding the Prison!
Is This Not the Gaza Model?
The Long Goodbye
By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune
"We keep making the mistake of dealing with each new foreign crisis as a distinct and unique event, rather than as part of a historical-political continuum. Here is a sad example:
In 1982, my old friend and Georgetown University Foreign Service School classmate, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, was executed in Tehran after mounting a failed attempt to overthrow Iran’s Islamic Republic.
I cite Sadegh’s death because of the increasingly strident demands by Republicans and some pro-war Democrats for President Barack Obama to intervene in Iran’s post-electoral crisis.....
America’s past involvement in Iran has too often produced fiascos, or worse. In fact, Iran has become something of a curse for the United States. This is one political-historical continuum we need to remember."
"....If Gen. McChrystal is to represent any real hope that the U.S. might get out of Afghanistan with some tailfeathers intact, he must confront a host of challenges. Let’s look at just four:
* The Second Generation American armed forces must learn how to make war by means other than putting firepower on targets. However, that is all they know how to do.....
* The U.S. touts its "new" counter-insurgency doctrine, but there is nothing new about it. It merely represents a recovery of knowledge thrown away after the Vietnam War. However, Fourth Generation conflicts are different from the Vietnam War.....
* No doctrine, including the above manual, offers a magic potion for winning Fourth Generation wars. As the basic 4GW field manual FMFM-1A warns, even if an invader does everything right, he will still probably lose......
* The Obama administration has decided to continue its predecessor’s Quixotic commitment to unattainable strategic objectives, i.e., changing entire societies......"