Saturday, September 26, 2009

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

Jerusalem is Ours!......

Jerusalem is Ours!......

Too Big to Jail, by Mike Luckovich

The risks of de-contextualizing Gaza war crimes

Goncalo de Almeida Ribeiro, Vishaal Kishore and Nimer Sultany, The Electronic Intifada, 26 September 2009
(Goncalo de Almeida Ribeiro is a doctoral candidate at Harvard Law School, working in the fields of Private Law Theory, Jurisprudence and Political Philosophy. He holds an LL.B. from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal).

Vishaal Kishore is a doctoral candidate at Harvard Law School, working in the fields of International Economic Relations, Political Economy and Legal and Social Theory. He holds degrees from the University of Melbourne (Australia).

Nimer Sultany is a Palestinian citizen of Israel and currently a doctoral candidate at Harvard Law School. He has worked as a human rights lawyer in the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and as the head of the political monitoring project at Mada al-Carmel (the Arab center for applied social research).)

Despite expressly claiming to take into account the historical background to the Gaza events, the report, by its very nature, singles out a particular set of facts, and a limited period of time as the primary locus for investigation. In part this is justified. The conflict in Gaza involved levels of violence that are more or less exceptional. Yet, we fear that such a high-profile report, crafted specifically to address what is perceived to be an extreme or peculiar period of time in the lives of Palestinians under occupation, might have significant negative consequences. Particularly, we maintain that such a report, by focusing on one "drastic" period in the Israeli occupation, might in fact have the effect of overshadowing or downplaying the harsh and ongoing reality of the last 43 years of Israeli occupation........

Does this mean that we should do away with reports and leave the history of human rights violations untold? Obviously not -- that question involves a false choice. Rather, what human rights reports (and the mandates upon which they rely) should attempt to do is stretch beyond the confines of a period of extreme violence. Human rights violations have to be placed in a larger factual and moral context. Doing so may, of course, come at the cost of political controversy and the hostility of those who are content with half-truths. That, it seems to us, is a moderate price to pay when so much is at stake."

Israeli forces arrest anti-wall organizer

Press Release, Addameer, 25 September 2009

"Addameer expresses its concern at the arrest and detention of human rights defender and activist Mohammad Othman on 22 September 2009. Mohammad, 33, originally from Jayyus village, is a human rights activist and a volunteer with the grassroots Stop the Wall Campaign.......

Addameer stresses that Mohammad's case is not isolated. In a report ("Repression allowed, Resistance denied") jointly published with Stop the Wall last July, Addameer argues that arrests of demonstrators and human rights defenders is a strategy designed to stifle activism and deter Palestinians from participating and organizing weekly protests against the Apartheid Wall, as a form of resistance to land confiscation. Collective punishment, including night raids and curfews, as well as individual threats of detention are also often applied. There is strong evidence that the Israeli Occupying Forces target the more active youth for arrest, such as the members of youth committees, but also members of popular committees, in order to break up protests and create disunity........"

Israel should pay attention to criticism from its own people

They wouldn’t accept that the casualties of this war were disproportionate

By Robert Fisk

"I met Judge Richard Goldstone at The Hague at the height of the Bosnian war, a small, dapper man whose belief in the righteousness of justice shone through his every word.........He was Jewish – and not afraid to talk of his hatred of apartheid in his native South Africa – and I thought he was a fine man.

So would he be pissed on by the Israelis when he investigated the crimes of the winter war in Gaza? Or would Israel – just this once – desist from its usual venom for all critics......

For not long before the Gaza war, Gadi Eisenkot, the Israeli army northern commander, defined his doctrine very carefully. "We will wield disproportionate power against every village from which shots are fired on Israel, and cause immense damage and destruction... This isn't a suggestion. This is a plan that has already been authorised." No wonder the world watches, amazed, at Israel's response to Goldstone's conclusions. And the United States – which, of course, once defined Hiroshima as "a military base" – was either silent or took Israel's side. Barack Obama's UN ambassador, Susan Rice, condemned the Goldstone investigation with the pathetic (and, again, typical) remark that "our view is that we have to remain focused on the future".

But these things come by the bucketful. Take the Toronto Film Festival that ended this week....... ....Naomi Klein, one of the most brilliant of North America's journalists, was abused in Canada's National Post ("the strange, enduring rage of Naomi Klein"), thus cementing the paper's role as Canada's version of the Jerusalem Post.

But there was just one little hiccup for the protesters and their letter. I noticed Jane Fonda's name among them.......But I went back to my files (paper, of course) and discovered that doughty Jane turned up in Lebanon in 1982 when Israel was besieging Beirut – with plenty of white phosphorous shells falling among civilians, of course – to entertain the Israeli soldiers whose war was to claim 17,000 lives. According to Yediot Ahronot (4 July 1982, if readers want to check it out), she "expressed her identification with Israel's struggle against Palestinian terror...", later announcing her "unqualified support for Israel", attributing protests at the invasion to "anti-Semitism". (Please read Al-Hamishmar of 5 December 1982.)

Years later, she turned up in Egypt to marvel at the temples of Luxor, but refused to take questions from me on her enthusiasm for the 1982 Israeli invaders. But then, bingo, up she pops in Toronto. Until last week, when she said she'd signed the letter "without reading it carefully enough... some of the words in the protest letter did not come from my heart... Many (Israeli) citizens now suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder..." The letter did not "hear the narratives of both sides" and could be "inflammatory".

Ye gods! With Jane as a friend, you don't need enemies. But given her previous behaviour and now this grovelling backtrack, you have to admit that the Toronto protesters must have some right on their side. Like Judge Richard Goldstone."

Keeping Iran honest

Iran's secret nuclear plant will spark a new round of IAEA inspections and lead to a period of even greater transparency

Scott Ritter, Friday 25 September 2009

Rather than representing the tip of the iceberg in terms of uncovering a covert nuclear weapons capability, the emergence of the existence of the Qom enrichment facility could very well mark the initiation of a period of even greater transparency on the part of Iran, leading to its full adoption and implementation of the IAEA additional protocol. This, more than anything, should be the desired outcome of the "Qom declaration".

Calls for "crippling" sanctions on Iran by Obama and Brown are certainly not the most productive policy options available to these two world leaders. Both have indicated a desire to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Iran's action, in declaring the existence of the Qom facility, has created a window of opportunity for doing just that, and should be fully exploited within the framework of IAEA negotiations and inspections, and not more bluster and threats form the leaders of the western world."

My dinner with Ahmadinejad

We didn't talk about the secret nuclear plant, but dining with Ahmadinejad revealed the way forward for US-Iran relations

Stephen Kinzer, Friday 25 September 2009

The most insightful observation I heard from any of the guests came from Hillary Mann Leverett, a former diplomat who participated in US-Iran talks in 2002 that she said produced "very positive" prospects for co-operation on issues related to Afghanistan. She said those talks fell apart for reasons "that had nothing to do with Afghanistan", which has led her to conclude that future talks will succeed only if they address all outstanding issues dividing the countries, rather than focusing on a few specific problems.

I came away from this dinner believing that there might still be a prospect for a US-Iran breakthrough – but only if the job is given to visionary diplomats like those who broke bread with Ahmadinejad in New York."

Jihad armed wing denies its slain operatives were planning to fire rockets

"GAZA, (PIC)-- The Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad Movement, denied that its three operatives who were killed by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Friday evening were planning a rocket attack on Israeli targets.

Abu Ahmed, the armed wing's spokesman, said in a statement that the martyrs were on an ordinary mission and did not plan to fire rockets or any other military operation.

He said that his armed wing would retaliate at the opportune time and place to the "cowardly" killing of its three members.

The armed wing said in a statement that the three Kamel Al-Dahdouh, Mahmoud Al-Banna and Mohammed Marshud were visiting other activists when an IOF air raid targeted their car.

Medical sources said that the three were killed on the spot while a fourth man was hospitalized for serious wounds."

COMMENT: I wonder whether the leader of the Islamic Jihad group which was killed by an IOF missile was contacted (by the IOF) on his cell phone in the car in which they were riding. This happened more than once before, and in one case the dim-witted "commander" even confirmed his cell phone number to the caller, even though he knew she was Israeli! The IOF caller even asked the commander to stay on the line for just one more minute (while the missile was launched which homed in on the cell phone signal). In that instance the commander managed to escape just before the car was hit.

This is the caliber of some of the resistance leadership; but not to worry, they all memorize the Quran.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Honduran Coup leader Roberto Micheletti, by Carlos Latuff

Elliott Abrams on Salam Fayyad:

Angry Arab

"A source from Williams College in Massachusetts sent me this report (and does not want to be identified): "Elliot Abrams gave an "off the record" talk on Obama and Israel to a small group at my college today. No press or publicity; one plus is they know the man stinks like rotted meat. Interestingly, the talk turned into an hour of Neocon love for Salam Fayyad, including a substantial amount of praise for his decision to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state; his name came up more than any other person's in the the talk by a great factor. I'll admit that I was cautiously optimistic about Fayyad, but hell, there's no better way to judge a Palestinian's worth to the resistance than the love a man like Abrams has for him. Abrams' praise for Fayyad speaks for itself. He is still treating arafat as if he is alive; after Fayyad, arafat beat out even Abbas in mentions by Abrams, which I thought was odd. The best part was that he referred to Fayyad (no joke) as a Palestinian Herzl; he quoted Hertzl to summarize what Fayyad was doing and said that just as Hertzl laid the groundwork for a Zionist state, Fayyad was laying the ground for a Palestinian state. Odd to think that Palestinians, in order to have basic human rights and self determination, must go through the work that the Zionists did in order to justify taking away those rights. Either way in Abrams' mind Fayyad=Hertzl. He stated that he felt that a west bank under fayyad had the potential to be a 'shining beacon' in the middle east, whatever that means. Most of the talk was standard neocon talking points; said that Obama and Bush are making the same mistakes in the Palestine, meaning relying on talks and what they should be doing is allowing Palestinians to construct their own state apparatuses under occupation. In essence, he was pushing for normalizing the defacto apartheid. Praise for Dayton, praise for Palestinian police forces. He did say that settlements east of the apartheid wall would have to be dismantled. The Fayyad obsession is something that I've seen from people like Friedman but not from anyone like Abrams. This Fayyad as a Palestinian Hertzl thing, though, is quit a new one." "

Real News Video: The siege of Tegucigalpa

Repression ordered to the neighborhoods of the Honduran capital, forcing the poor to fight or starve

More at The Real News

"As the anti-coup resistance approaches 90 consecutive days of civil disobedience, it counts itself a new international ally. The government of Brazil has replaced the United States as international organizer in bringing down the coup government of Roberto Micheletti. The Real News gets an update on the situation in the capital from independent journalist Sandra Cuffe, and a fresh analysis from Al Giordano...."

Khalid Amayreh Interview

"the mental landscape of every Palestinian man, woman and child is overwhelmed with the Israeli nightmare"

By Mary Rizzo
Palestine Think Tank

"......The characteristic of this type of writer is that there is a distinctive voice or style, and more than that, there is a strong sense that the coherent and authentic ethics of this person are part of the message. It is not just reporting facts and intelligent analysis, but creating within us a consciousness of the moral situation that underlies the events. Khalid Amayreh is one such “source”. He is a very prolific author, and he is often able to correctly analyse the event of the day and place it into its overall context. This makes his work almost a diary of Palestinian events. However, as useful as it would be if he limited himself to reporting, Khalid Amayreh is far more important as a writer. He is concerned with the human condition and knows that the reader should not be left only with a cold reportage, because that would be telling only half of the story, and the less important half at that. His voice is the one speaking to the human heart, to the reader who sees the oppression that Palestinians are living under......"

America's Teacher

By Naomi Klein and Michael Moore

The Nation

" On September 17, in the midst of the publicity blitz for his cinematic takedown of the capitalist order, Moore talked with Nation columnist Naomi Klein by phone about the film, the roots of our economic crisis and the promise and peril of the present political moment. To listen to a podcast of the full conversation, click here.

Following is an edited transcript of their conversation. - - Nation Editors

Obama's peace effort has failed but our struggle continues

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 24 September 2009

"There is the old joke about a man who is endlessly searching on the ground beneath a street light. Finally, a neighbor who has been watching him asks the man what he is looking for. The man replies that he lost his keys. The neighbor asks him if he lost them under the streetlight. "No," the man replies, pointing into the darkness, "I lost them over there, but I am looking over here because here there is light!"

The intense focus on the "peace process" is a similarly futile search. Just because politicians and the media shine a constant light on it, does not mean that is where the answers are to be found.......

For years, scholars and activists calling for serious research and discussion about a unified state guaranteeing the rights of all who live in it, were ignored or ridiculed by defenders of the failed two-state solution. But the growing appeal of a vision that inspires and attracts individuals because of its universalism is terrifying the high priests of partition. The peace process industry, its think tanks and "experts," understand that they can no longer monopolize the discussion. Peace will not be made at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan; it will be made everywhere that people of conscience are prepared to join the struggle for liberation, justice and equality for all the people who live in Palestine/Israel.

In one sense then, the significance of the New York meeting was its utter insignificance. The real struggle for justice carries on regardless."

Ousted Honduran President: Israelis Sent to Kill Me


"25/09/2009 Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who returned to his country this week after three months in exile, is accusing his government of hiring Israeli mercenaries to torture him with high-frequency radiation in his safe haven in the Brazilian Embassy.

In a conversation with the Miami Herald, Zelaya said that he has begun to suffer from throat pains resulting from poisonous gases being leaked into the embassy in Tegucigalpa. He also said that he fears mercenaries will enter the building and murder him. "They are threatening to kill us," he said.

Witnesses said that soldiers were noticed installing some kind of satellite in front of the embassy on Friday that emitted loud noises......."


Arab Unity!........
Celebrate it Now or Else.......

You Might be Renditioned to Syria......
For a Maher 'Arrar Vacation!
(Airfare Paid by the Mukhabarat)

More Palestinian Children Getting Jailed

By Mel Frykberg

"BI'ILIN, West Bank, Sep 24 (IPS) - Eight children between the ages of 10 and 17 were arrested and detained by Israeli soldiers during military raids Monday night and Tuesday morning in the northern West Bank cities Nablus and Qalqilia.

Defence for Children International (DCI) Palestine has released a statement that the number of children detained in Israeli jails and temporary Israeli army detention centres this year has risen by 17.5 percent compared with 2008.

"The average number of Palestinian children held in Israeli detention in 2009 remains high, at 375 per month compared with an average of 319 in 2008," says DCI.......

Israeli human rights organisation B'Tselem describes the tiny cells where Palestinian children are often held in solitary confinement.

These include the 'lock-up', a dark cell of 1.5 by 1.5 metres. The 'closet' is a narrow cell the height of a person that one can stand in but not sit or move. The 'grave' is a box closed by a door from the top and measuring approximately one metre by 60 cm with a depth of about 80 cm.

DCI has documented at least seven cases during Israel's war on Gaza at the beginning of the year where Gazan children were used as human shields by Israeli soldiers......"

Trilateral "Summit" in New York, by Emad Hajjaj

How to Trap a President in a Losing War

Petraeus, McChrystal, and the Surgettes

by Tom Engelhardt, September 25, 2009

".....It’s one thing for the leaders of a country to say that war should be left to the generals when suddenly embroiled in conflict, quite another when that country is eternally in a state of war. In such a case, if you turn crucial war decisions over to the military, you functionally turn foreign policy over to them as well......

The question is: will an already heavily militarized foreign policy geared to endless global war be surrendered to the generals? Depending on what Obama does, the answer to that question may not be fully, or even largely, clarified this time around. He may quietly give way, or they may, or compromises may be reached behind the scenes. After all, careers and political futures are at stake.

But consider us warned. This is a question that is not likely to go away and that may determine what this country becomes.

We know what a MacArthur moment was; we may find out soon enough what a Petraeus moment is. "

Who is Barack Obama?

When it comes to foreign policy, the mystery deepens...

by Justin Raimondo, September 25, 2009

".......What’s wrong with these wimps?

I’ve seen this kind of thing happen time and again on the left. As a disinterested and somewhat bemused observer on the sidelines, I’ve been continually astonished at the almost masochistic willingness of the so-called progressives to be pushed around by the "centrist," "moderate" wing. On every issue, from healthcare to gay rights, they have conceded in the name of "unity": just give in this one time, the Mod Squad argues, and you’ll get what you want in the end. Just not now.

I wonder if the left will ever run out of patience. For the moment, at least, they’ve put their complete trust in the Dear Leader. Which raises the question: will they follow him wherever he wants to go – even if it’s into the wilds of Waziristan?

Some will, some won’t, with the former, I fear, outnumbering the latter. What’s especially troubling, however, is that at the very moment when maximum pressure on the President to get out of Afghanistan would do the most good, the antiwar movement has gone A.W.O.L. When the shameful history of this rotten war is written, their craven passivity will make for an especially shameful little footnote. "

Summits are a farrago of show-offs.

Gaddafi just does it better than mostThe UN and the G20 are gigantic junkets, giving leaders the glamour of the world stage while precisely nothing is done

Simon Jenkins, Thursday 24 September


The man who has the measure of all this is Muammar Gaddafi. On Wednesday he strutted, ranted, joked and did everything but "confer" for an hour and 40 minutes. His rambling parody of the blogosphere encapsulated the vapid spirit of a UN plenary session. He mused on swine flu, JFK's assassination and the rotten constitution of the UN. He tore up the UN charter, pointing to the hypocrisy of security council members proclaiming equality between nations while rich ones waged war on poor ones. He even told his listeners that they were jetlagged and should go to sleep.

Gaddafi brilliantly mimicked the tedium of such farragos. The uncritical respect accorded them by statesmen and commentators is absurd – largely because they are all enjoying a gigantic junket. Like meetings of the G8 and G20, they are not just a waste of time and money – they convey a false impression that statesmen are acting, rather than parading. They imply that policy is somehow being influenced by the physical communion of the great and not so good. As such they induce cynicism among those they claim to be helping........

To most non-nuclear nations it is hypocritical for Obama, Brown and leaders of the other nuclear states to declare that nuclear arms are vital (and safe) for their national security, but unnecessary (and dangerous) for anyone else. There is no realistic scenario that renders Nato deterrence meaningful, but there are plenty that might apply to Iran, with potential nuclear threats across its west, north and east borders. Why should a weapon that is claimed to "work" for a dozen or so states – not all stable or democratic – be an intolerable aspiration for others? That at least is how many of those others see it.......

The UN exaggerates rather than resolves these hypocrisies and bullyings. It accords them the glamour of the world stage, of screaming limousines, bodyguards and lobster, posing, posturing and pretence. Apologists may claim that it does the world good to see such awfulness on display. The diplomatic sceptic Conor Cruise O'Brien used to say with a shrug: "It is so the world can let off steam." I am no longer sure. Such gatherings reinforce a belief in the public mind that grandstanding has become a statesman's substitute for action."

Five US troops killed in AfghanistanThree die in roadside bombing in deadliest year for international forces since invasion

Haroon Siddique and agencies, Friday 25 September 2009

"......Three troops died in a roadside bombing, one was shot by insurgents and another died in an attack while on patrol. All five died yesterday.

Roadside bombs now account for most US and Nato casualties in what has been the deadliest year for international forces since the 2003 US-led invasion. They have been especially deadly in the south, which is largely controlled by the Taliban. In July, the number of incidents involving improvised explosive devices was 828, the highest level of the war and more than twice as many as in July 2008......"

الفلسطينيون كحراس لجنرالات الاحتلال

الفلسطينيون كحراس لجنرالات الاحتلال
رأي القدس

"ان يزور الجنرال الاسرائيلي آفي مزراحي قائد المنطقة الوسطى مدينة بيت لحم، ويتجول فيها بهدف التعرف عليها في بداية توليه لمهامه الامنية، فهذا امر طبيعي لان المدينة، مثل كل مدن الضفة الغربية الاخرى، تخضع للاحتلال الاسرائيلي رسميا، وللسلطة الفلسطينية شكليا، لكن ان تتم هذه الزيارة بحماية من سيارات امن هذه السلطة، فهذا هو الشيء غير الطبيعي الذي لم نتصوره مطلقا، ولم يتقبله اهالي المدينة الذين اصيبوا بالذهول.
شهود العيان قالوا ان الجنرال الاسرائيلي وصل الى بيت لحم في موكب يضم ثلاث عربات اسرائيلية مدرعة، تتقدمها سيارات عسكرية تابعة للامن الفلسطيني بهدف توفير الحماية الامامية، واخرى في مؤخرة الموكب بغرض الحماية الخلفية، بينما ارتدى افراد الامن الفلسطيني في هذه السيارات الحديثة ذات الدفع الرباعي، اقنعة سوداء تحت خوذاتهم، ووضعوا اصبعهم على الزناد.
ومن المفارقة ان قوات الامن الفلسطينية هذه التي تولت مسؤولية حماية الموكب الاسرائيلي تتبع حرس الرئاسة الفلسطينية، اي انها تتولى اعمال التنسيق هذه مع نظيرتها الاسرائيلية بتعليمات من الرئيس الفلسطيني ومكتبه في مدينة رام الله.
بمعنى آخر، ان قوات حرس الرئاسة الفلسطينية باتت مكلفة بحماية الجنرالات الاسرائيليين من اي 'اعتداء' قد يتعرضون له من قبل ابناء الشعب الفلسطيني، حتى لو كان من خلال رجم الموكب بالحجارة، مثلما كان عليه الحال في الانتفاضة الاولى، او اطلاق النار عليه على غرار ما حدث في الانتفاضة الثانية التي اطلق شرارتها، بعد ان أعد لها جيدا، الرئيس الراحل ياسر عرفات.
لا نستغرب هذا المنظر الذي اثار استياء اهالي مدينة بيت لحم، فهذه القوات الامنية يشرف على تدريبها الجنرال الامريكي كيث دايتون، ويشرف على تسليحها جيش الدفاع الاسرائيلي، ويتم اختيار المجندين فيها من خلال عملية اختبار صارمة من قبل اجهزة المخابرات الاسرائيلية والامريكية والفلسطينية والاردنية.
المجرم الحقيقي في عرف هذه القوات وضباطها الكبار هو اي مواطن فلسطيني ينتفض لكرامته، ويقرر مقاومة الاحتلال بالطرق السلمية او العسكرية، اي التعرض لقوات الاحتلال. اما اذا قامت هذه القوات باطلاق النار على الفلسطينيين او اغارت على منازلهم لاعتقال بعض النشطاء، فان قوات الامن الفلسطينية تشاركهم بحماسة في هذا الاتجاه.
عندما هاجم المستوطنون منازل ومزروعات فلسطينية في منطقة الخليل وقفت قوات الامن الفلسطينية موقف المدافع عن هؤلاء، ووفرت لهم الحماية وبادرت باعتقال الفلسطينيين الذين حاولوا التصدي لهم بصدورهم العارية. ولعل الخدمة الاكبر التي قدمتها هذه القوات وعجزت عنها القوات الاسرائيلية، تلك التي تمثلت في اقتحام منازل كان يحتمي فيها مطاردون من حركة 'الجهاد الاسلامي' و'حماس' وتصفيتهم جميعاً بعد معركة بالذخيرة الحية.
لا نعرف كيف سيرد المتحدثون الفلسطينيون باسم السلطة على هذه الظاهرة، وكيف سيبررونها، ولكن ما نعرفه ان السلطة الفلسطينية اصبحت تلعب دور 'قوات لحد' في جنوب لبنان، بل ان دور تلك القوات يتوارى خجلاً امام دور نظيرتها الفلسطينية، والمهام التي يؤديها جنودها وقياداتها، السياسية قبل العسكرية في حماية الاحتلال.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Israeli drive to prevent Jewish girls dating Arabs

By Jonathan Cook

NAZARETH // A local authority in Israel has announced that it is establishing a special team of youth counsellors and psychologists whose job it will be to identify young Jewish women who are dating Arab men and “rescue” them.

In a related development, the Israeli media reported this month that residents of Pisgat Zeev, a large Jewish settlement in the midst of Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, had formed a vigilante-style patrol to stop Arab men from mixing with local Jewish girls.

Hostility to intimate relationships developing across Israel’s ethnic divide is shared by many Israeli Jews, who regard such behaviour as a threat to the state’s Jewishness. One of the few polls on the subject, in 2007, found that more than half of Israeli Jews believed intermarriage should be equated with “national treason”.

Last year, the municipality of Kiryat Gat, a town of 50,000 Jews in southern Israel, launched a programme in schools to warn Jewish girls of the dangers of dating local Bedouin men. The girls were shown a video titled Sleeping with the Enemy, which describes mixed couples as an “unnatural phenomenon”.

توفير قوات الامن الفلسطينية الحماية لقوات الاحتلال في بيت لحم يثير حالة من الذهول لدى المواطنين

Contributed by Fatima

توفير قوات الامن الفلسطينية الحماية لقوات الاحتلال في بيت لحم يثير حالة من الذهول لدى المواطنين

"رام الله ـ القدس العربي ـ من وليد عوض ـ اكدت مصادر محلية في بيت لحم لـ"القدس العربي" الخميس بان اهالي بيت لحم اصيبوا بحالة من الذهول يوم الاربعاء حينما شاهدوا سيارات قوات الامن الفلسطينية التي كان افرادها يعتمرون الخوذ العسكرية توفر الحماية الى 3 حافلات عسكرية اسرائيلية تتجول في وسط المدينة.

وقالت المواطنة اسمى جابر لـ"القدس العربي" بانها اصيبت بالذهول عندما رات قوات امن فلسطينية مرتدية الخوذ العسكرية تسير في سيارات عسكرية امام سيارات عسكرية اسرائيلية وخلفها كذلك.

وحسب المواطنة فان قوات الامن الفلسطينية التي كانت تستقل السيارات الامنية المكشوفة كانت في حالة استنفار حيث ارتدوا الاقنعة السوداء تحت الخوذة العسكرية في حين كانت ايديهم على "زناد" الاسلحة التي يحملونها.

وعلمت "القدس العربي" بان قوات حرس الرئاسة الفلسطينية هي التي وفرت الحماية لقائد المنطقة الوسطى الاسرائيلي خلال زيارته لبيت لحم الاربعاء والتجول فيها.

ولا بد من الذكر بان جهاز حرس الرئاسة الفلسطينية هو من اكثر الاجهزة الامنية الفلسطينية تدريبا وتسليحا حيث تم تزويده بسيارات دفع رباعي امريكية في حين زود افراده باسلحة حديثة وخضعوا لعملية تدريب وتاهيل وفق خطة الجنرال الامريكي كيث دايتون الذي يشرف على اعادة بناء الاجهزة الامنية الفلسطينية.

ومن جهتها اكدت مصادر امنية اسرائيلية زيارة مسؤول امني اسرائيلي رفيع المستوى لبيت لحم الاربعاء والاجتماع مع مسؤولين امنيين فلسطينيين.

وذكرت صحيفة "يديعوت احرنوت" الاسرائيلية ان قائد المنطقة الوسطى الجديد في جيش الاحتلال افي مزراحي اجرى جولة تنسيق امني في مدينة بيت لحم الاربعاء، بمرافقة سيارات عسكرية فلسطينية.

واضافت الصحيفة "في الوقت الذي تصاعد التوتر في نيويورك بين السياسيين، وجرت المصافحة الفاترة، جلس في بيت لحم ضباط اسرائيليون وفلسطينيون معا كاصدقاء حقيقيين، واجروا تنسيقات امنية وتبادلوا المساعدات".

وتابعت الصحيفة: "مشهد غير عادي شوهد يوم - الاربعاء- في شوارع بيت لحم: 3 جيبات عسكرية اسرائيلية مجهزة بالمعدات وفيها قائد المنطقة الوسطى الجديد اللواء افي مزراحي، وكبار ضباط مركز قيادته يجوبون شوارع المدينة بمرافقة مركبات عسكرية تابعة للامن الفلسطيني. استقل تلك المركبات عسكر من قوى الامن الفلسطيني يعتمرون الخوذ العسكرية ويحملون بنادق "كلاشنيكوف"، وقد انهوا مؤخرا تدريبات عسكرية في الاردن على يد مدربيهم الامريكيين".

وتتابع: "واكد مسؤولون فلسطينيون ان الجولة المشتركة اجريت في اطار التنسيق الامني بين الجيش الاسرائيلي وبين الاجهزة الامنية الفلسطينية من اجل مساعدة قائد المنطقة الجديد في التعرف على المنطقة".

وتنقل الصحيفة عن مسؤولين امنيين اسرائيليين ان "التعاون والتنسيق الامني مع اجهزة الامن الفلسطينية يجري على قدم وساق وبافضل المستويات بشكل غير مسبوق".

ويضيف المسؤولون ان "جلسات تنسيق دورية تعقد بين رئيس الادارة المدنية العميد يواف مردخاي وبين رئيس الوزراء الفلسطيني. وعلى المستوى العسكري تعقد لقاءات دورية بين قائد فرقة "يوش (الضفة الغربية)"، العميد نوعم تيفون وبين قائد الامن الفلسطيني في الضفة، وتعقد ايضا لقاءات على مستوى قادة الالوية".

ويقول قادة عسكريون اسرائيليون ان "اسباب الهدوء الامني في الضفة هي التنسيق الامني، وليس اقل من ذلك، النشاطات المتواصلة لاجهزة الامن الفلسطينية ضد حماس".

من جهة اخرى اكدت مصادر اسرائيلية بان ترتيبات امنية عالية المستوى يجريها مسؤولون امنيون اسرائيليون وفلسطينيون لتسليم مناطق بالضفة الغربية للسيطرة الامنية الفلسطينية عقب النجاحات التي حققتها اجهزة الامن الفلسطينية في فرض النظام وتطبيق القانون وانهاء ظاهرة الفوضى التي شهدتها مناطق الضفة خلال السنوات السابقة.

وقالت المصادر في تصريحات خاصة لـ"وكالة قدس نت للانباء" الاربعاء ان الجنرال الامريكي كيث دايتون قدم مؤخرا خطة لتسليم مدن في الضفة الغربية للجانب الفلسطيني، مع انتشار لقوات الامن الفلسطينية فيها، دون تدخل من قوات الجيش الاسرائيلي، الامر الذي تتم دراسته من قبل الاوساط الامنية ومناقشة الاحتمالات الواردة لامكانية تسليم مدن من بينها بيت لحم للسيطرة الامنية الفلسطينية".

وكانت مصادر اسرائيلية ذكرت "ان قائد المنطقة الوسطى في الجيش الاسرائيلي افي مزراحي قام مؤخرا بجولة استطلاعية في مدينة بيت لحم بمرافقة سيارة عسكرية فلسطينية".

After 20 Years of Filmmaking on US Injustices, Michael Moore Goes to the Source in “Capitalism: A Love Story”

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"....It was a year ago today when President George W. Bush gave a primetime address urging Americans to support the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. Bush spoke just days after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the fall of AIG. Despite public opposition, Congress eventually approved the bailout package. Our next guest went to Wall Street to try to get the bailout money back.

Michael Moore’s new film “Capitalism: A Love Story” opened in New York and Los Angeles yesterday. It opens nationwide on October 2. The Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore joins us in the Firehouse for the rest of the hour ......"

Al-Jazeera Video: Zelaya supporters 'mistreated' - 24 Sep 09

"Clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted president Manuel Zelaya broke out following his return to the country on Monday.

Pressure is growing on the interim government to return Honduras' deposed leader to power.

Al Jazeera's Monica Villamizar reports from Tegucigalpa on allegations that the authorities are mistreating Zelaya's supporters."

Israeli Commander Inspects His "Palestinian" Surrogate Forces in Bethlehem

Mizrahi tours Bethlehem

"Avi Mizrahi, head of the Central Command of the Israeli Army, and a number of senior Israeli military officials, toured Bethlehem on Wednesday along with Palestinian security forces and senior security officers.

Mizrahi was in one of four Israeli military jeeps accompanied by a number of Palestinian security forces vehicles. The Israeli Radio reported on Thursday that Mizrahi conducted the tour after an extended meeting with Palestinian security officials in Bethlehem.

An Israeli security official stated that Mizrahi toured recently several Palestinian cities in coordination with the Palestinian Authority of president Mahmoud Abbas.......

Bethlehem governor, Abdul-Fattah Hamayil, told the Maan News Agency, that this is a traditional event and refused to provide any further details.

Maan added that according to some sources, Israel intends to hand the security control over some areas in the Bethlehem district to the Palestinian Authority. The report was not confirmed by any official. Palestinian and Israeli security forces used to conduct these routine drives in the Bethlehem area before the outbreak of the Al Aqsa Intifada in late September 2000. "

The president is in the trunk

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

As much as the 2008 financial crisis exposed the economic fallacy of US-propelled neo-liberalism, the June 28 oligarch-directed military coup in Honduras has exposed the fallacy of the Barack Obama administration's pledge to uphold democratic values around the world. Stolen elections in Afghanistan? We don't like it, but ... Military coup in Honduras? We don't like it, but ...

Brazil is a key G-20 member at the Pittsburgh summit - the largest economy in Latin America, swinging its way towards great power status, and still a key ally and trading partner of the US. Brazil may not solve the crisis in Honduras. But Lula - whom Obama immensely respects - may convince him it's time to finally come clean, and side with the people of Honduras. This might do wonders for Obama's global credibility - especially now that he has seemingly backed down on his demand for a freeze on Israeli settlements on the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (See Netanyahu and Obama: Who's fooling who?, Asia Times Online, September 24)

Were Obama not to make his move, the impression would remain that if he can't even control his own reactionary/militarist backyard in Washington, not to mention Latin America, how will he face up to Russia and China on the global stage? "

Libyan Leader Thrashes All and Sundry in U.N. Debut

By Thalif Deen

"UNITED NATIONS, Sep 23 (IPS) - Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi, in his maiden visit to the United Nations Wednesday, made a highly predictable speech - long on rhetoric and short on substance.

In a rambling statement before the General Assembly, the loquacious Qaddafi thrashed the big powers for their veto powers, rebuked the United States for its military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and reiterated his call for a permanent seat for the 53-member African Union (AU) in the Security Council......."

How Israel Suppresses Opposition to Its Annexation Wall

A Very Good Piece

By Stephen Lendman - Chicago
Palestine Chronicle

"Established in 1992, the Addameer (Arabic for conscience) Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association helps Palestinian prisoners, and works to end torture, arbitrary arrests and detentions, other forms of abuse, and unjust, unequal treatment in Israel's criminal justice system that handles Jews one way and Palestinians another.

In July 2009, in cooperation with the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall) and the Palestinian Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association, Addameer published a report titled "Repression allowed, Resistance denied" that documents resistance to Israel's apartheid wall and the "staggering level of repression, arrests and violence" by Israeli authorities.......


Israeli authorities act in violation of the fundamental right to assemble, demonstrate, and protest peacefully. Violent and aggressive measures are used repeatedly in violation of international law. Palestinian activists risk arrest, interrogation, long detentions, kangaroo trials, imprisonment, torture and other forms of abuse. Nonetheless, they persist, and according to one interviewee:

"The army has created a lot of obstacles but it hasn't prevented the protests." Those arrested do it again, at times more cautiously, but others with a determination to prevail.

The entire judicial process is racially biased and blatantly discriminatory. Indiscriminate arrests are made. Demonstrators are intimidated and targeted. Popular committee leaders and youths are most vulnerable. State terror is common practice, and in detention humiliation, torture and other abuses are employed for extended periods - to break their spirit, crush their will to resist, make them docile and submissive, or simply give up and leave. For over four decades under occupation, Palestinians, on their own, have continued their struggle to live freely on their own land, in their own country as international law affirms......"

Listening to Sibel Edmonds

by Philip Giraldi, September 24, 2009

"Sibel Edmonds, the FBI Turkish translator turned whistleblower, is the most gagged person in the history of the United States. The Justice Department under George W. Bush’s Attorney General John Ashcroft twice silenced her using the rarely employed state secrets privilege. The government and the mainstream media have presented a united front against her, calling her a "kook" and a liar, even though the gag order in itself confirmed that she had a tale to tell about massive government corruption that was all too credible and would embarrass Democrat and Republican alike.......

Why is Sibel’s tale important for every American and why is it being ignored by our elected officials and the Fourth Estate? The story is important because it is about massive and systematic corruption of our elected officials and senior bureaucrats with the active connivance of the media. Worse, the corruption was carried out by agents of several foreign governments and involved nuclear secrets stolen from American defense laboratories and military bases that were, in some cases, sold to the highest bidder......."

Mangling everything in its path, Typhoon Sarah blows in to Asia

Our writer is there to witness the carnage as Alaska's former mom-in-chief touches down in Hong Kong

By Robert Fisk

"Grotesque, unprecedented, bizarre, unbelievable. Sarah Palin was all of that in Hong Kong yesterday. And more. Dressed in a cutesy virgin-white blouse and black skirt with the infamous bee-hive hairdo, she was a blessing to every predicting spectator.

"There'll be one or two self-deprecating remarks, a reference to healthcare, taxation, out-of-control spending and a poorly told joke," my investor companion muttered when the lady walked on to the stage of the Hyatt conference room. All he forgot was the bit about Islamic terror.......

She spoke too fast. She gabbled her words. Scatty was the word for it. We slalomed between the fall of the Berlin Wall, the break-up of Yugoslavia and 9/11. Then it started. The war on "vicious terrorism", the war against "violent fanatics who wished to end our way of life", our battle against "radical Islamic extremists" with "twisted vision". This was not a clash of civilisations but "a war within Islam". We slalomed again. Asia – "what an amazing place!" – was at its best "when it was not dominated by a single power".

What on earth was happening?......"

Has America reached the turning point in Afghanistan?

Barack Obama has committed America to the long haul in Afghanistan – but heavy losses and mounting dissent are forcing him to consider turning the strategy on its head

By Rupert Cornwell
The Independent

"Six months after proclaiming a new commitment to the war in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama is under growing pressure to make what would amount to a U-turn in US policy and scale back America's commitment to a conflict that many experts – and a majority of the public – now fear may be unwinnable......

As Republicans constantly remind him, for the US to wind down its commitment would send a message of weakness and inconsistency to friends and foes alike. But to press on with a long, inconclusive war in a distant corner of Asia carries well-known and equal perils.

Once again, events are bearing out the famous aphorism of Mark Twain, that "while history doesn't repeat itself, it rhymes".

The making of Salam Fayyad

To the west, the Palestinian Authority's PM seems a perfect driver for an Obama peace plan; yet at home he has no mandate

Ben White, Thursday 24 September 2009

"Palestinian Authority prime minister Salam Fayyad is the man of the moment, according to a lot of recent Middle East coverage in the western media. From The Economist and the LA Times, to The Huffington Post and Harper's, the man reportedly referred to by Shimon Peres as a "Palestinian Ben-Gurion" is certainly getting a lot of column inches. Thomas Friedman has lauded what he calls "Fayyadism", while Newsweek published an extensive report on the PM's performance described by Tony Blair as "absolutely first class"........

A third explanation for the western media's love of all things Fayyad is that it forms an important part of talking up the Obama-driven "peace process". It is possible to see Fayyad's focus on security and development as sitting well with Netanyahu's idea of an "economic peace", and in the desperation to find a hint of progress, a US-educated, ex-World Bank man of "moderation" is a useful way for the western media to avoid the gloom of discussing the Gaza Strip, Hamas, and Israeli intransigence over settlement growth. Not to mention Fayyad's own patchy record on civil liberties.

Fayyad has proven himself a canny political operator. In March, in an episode now often forgotten, Fayyad offered Abu Mazen his resignation, a move I observed at the time was most probably being done "for the benefit of none other than Fayyad himself". At the same time as Fayyad was (temporarily) quitting, a poll revealed that only 24% of Palestinians saw the appointed PM's government as legitimate. Back in charge, Fayyad's western media blitz and photo-op traversing of the West Bank are the moves of a man seeking to create a mandate from almost nothing."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Most Stupid Statement by Habila Yet! The Hamas Emirate is Taking Shape!

هنية: حفظة القرآن هم الأحق بقيادة الشعب وكل شيء في فلسطين يتحرك باتجاه تحرير القدس

COMMENT: I will post the English version of this most stupid statement by Habila, when available.

"متمنيًا تسمية غزة بـ"قطاع حفظة القرآن

"أكد رئيس الوزراء الفلسطيني إسماعيل هنية أن حفظة كتاب الله تعالى هم الأحق بقيادة الشعب الفلسطيني؛ لأنهم يشكلون سور الحماية والوقاية له من كل ما يخطط له أعداؤه، مشددًا على أن القرآن يمس كل شيء في حياة الإنسان؛ ابتداءً من الأمن والسياسة والاقتصاد والحرب، وانتهاءً بالسلم والتهدئة والتصعيد؛ فهو النبراس الذي يتم السير عليه.
ودعا هنية إلى الاستمرار على هذا الطريق والمنهج بعض النظر عن أي عواقب تعترضه، قائلاً: "نحن نريد أن نصل بقطاع غزة إلى اللحظة التي نستطيع أن نسمِّيَه فيها "قطاع حفظة القرآن"؛ وذلك للانطلاق نحو تحرير القدس".

ونوَّه أن "أمن البلد وأمن المقاومة والقيادات مرتبط بالقرآن؛ فهو حجاب من الزنانات والرادارات ومن أجهزة التنصت والتجسس"، وأضاف: "نريد أن نصل بالقطاع إلى لحظة نسمِّيه فيها "قطاع حفظة القرآن" 10 و20 حتى 100 ألف أو يزيد، قطاع الانطلاق نحو القدس".


The man made a very stupid statement which belie all the Hamas claims of pluralism and dedication to democracy and free elections. It is a very sectarian statement which reveals a Chauvinistic agenda.

He is saying that not only those who know the Quran, but those in particular (like himself and his son) who have memorized the Quran, are the ones more worthy of leading the struggle! All others have simply to ride in the back of the bus!

So, George Habash, by this criterion is an infidel who is not qualified to lead the struggle, and by implication should ultimately be fought!

This goes to the very heart of the issue of why resorting to religion, and a very narrow definition of it, is very divisive of the Palestinian society and is very dangerous before liberation is achieved. Before liberation is even attempted, let alone achieved, Hamas is pitting one segment of society against another. First came the suppression of women. Next came that against those who do not know or memorize the Quran! Where is this leading?

Seriously, I did not at first give much weight to the fact that the Israeli occupation initially encouraged the emergence of Hamas as a counterweight to the nationalist liberation movement (at that time it was led by Fatah). But now I am beginning to see the advantages to Israel by having a movement like Hamas that is dividing the society and diverting energies from real liberation to religious Fatwas and slogans about who is fit to lead the struggle.

One final word: Memorizing the Quran, does not mean understanding the Quran. Understanding the Quran does not mean applying the Quran. The Muslim world is full of hypocrites who, as Abdul-Halim Qandil said in an Arabic article I posted a few days ago, go to the mosque in the morning and open their pockets for bribes at noon, and pray for the Pharaoh to stay in power! They recite the Quran and receive Netanyahu in the middle of Ramadan. They issue Fatwas about what the Quran supposedly says, while looking the other way while Jerusalem is Judaized and its Palestinian inhabitants kicked out of their homes.

Enough hypocrisy and ignorance! To those who are proud of memorizing the Quran, I say that even parrots can memorize many phrases!

Obama Admin Urges Israeli-Palestinian Final-Status Talks But Abandons Insistence on Israeli Settlement Freeze

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"The Obama administration has abandoned a demand that Israel freeze settlement expansion before the resumption of peace talks. President Obama signaled the shift on Tuesday as he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. We speak to Diana Buttu, a Palestinian lawyer and former legal adviser to the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and Israeli historian Avi Shlaim, a professor of international relations at the University of Oxford, author of several books, including his latest, Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations......"

The Waldorf-Astoria Summit

The Drama and the Farce


(Cartoon by Khalil Bendib)

"NO POINT denying it: in the first round of the match between Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu, Obama was beaten.
Obama had demanded a freeze of all settlement activity, including East Jerusalem, as a condition for convening a tripartite summit meeting, in the wake of which accelerated peace negotiations were to start, leading to peace between two states – Israel and Palestine.
In the words of the ancient proverb, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Netanyahu has tripped Obama on his first step. The President of the United States has stumbled......."

The United States in Afghanistan

Eight Years Later


"The United States scarcely knew what a complex disaster it was confronting when it went to war in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001. It will eventually - perhaps years from now - suffer the same fate as Alexander the Great, the British, and the now-defunct Soviet Union: defeat.

What is called “Afghanistan” is really a collection of tribes and ethnic groups - Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, and more - there are seven major ethnic groups, each with their own language.....

Meanwhile, Obama thinks he will win the war by escalation - an illusion that also marked the futile war in Vietnam. He also believes he can “Afghanisize” the war - like Nixon thought he could “Vietnamize” that conflict - even though recruits for Karzai’s army have little motivation apart from collecting their salary, and are scarcely a match for the Taliban - a quite divided, complex organization which today dominates much of the country.

A growing majority of the Afghan population now oppose the U.S. effort because they have led to frightful civilian casualties without attaining decisive military successes. “The mission is on the verge of failing,” a writer in the U.S. Army’s quarterly, Parameters, concluded last spring.

That, indeed, may be an understatement."

Al-Jazeera Video: Riz Khan- The question of Palestinian refugees-22 Sep 09

Part 1:

Part 2:

"....but one thing is clear: the question of what to do with the millions of Palestinian refugees is still on the backburner.

The refugees have been demanding to return to their original homes in what is now Israel for the past 61 years, but Tel Aviv insists that will never happen, because it would mean the end of the Jewish majority in the country.

In the meantime, the 58 refugee camps spread throughout the region are constant reminders that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is far from resolved.

In New York for a special series of programmes as world leaders gather for the UN general assembly Riz talks to the head of the UN agency in charge of Palestinian refugees, UNRWA Commissioner-General Karen AbuZayd."

Real News Video: Zelaya's return to Honduras met with force

Ousted president makes surprise return to the capital, coup government responds with vicious crackdown

More at The Real News

"Eighty-six days after he was summarily kidnapped and forced out of the country by the military, and on his third attempt to return, ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya appeared at the Brazilian embassy in the capital city of Tegucigalpa on Monday morning. Hondurans flooded into the streets to support his return, to which the coup regime responded by instituting a curfew. When thousands of Hondurans refused to adhere to return to their homes, the regime resorted to brute force.

Produced by Jesse Freeston."

The Travels of Abu Mazen

By Tony Karon

"Sometimes, pictures render words superfluous......."

The Goldstone report and the battle for legitimacy

Richard Falk, The Electronic Intifada, 22 September 2009

In the end, the Goldstone report is unlikely to break the inter-governmental refusal to challenge the Israeli blockade of Gaza or to induce the UN to challenge Israeli impunity in any meaningful way. Depending on back room diplomacy, the US may or may not be able to avoid playing a public role of shielding Israel from accountability for its behavior during the Gaza war or its continuing refusal to abide by international humanitarian law by lifting the blockade that continues to impinge daily upon the health of the entire population of Gaza.

Despite these limitations, the report is an historic contribution to the Palestinian struggle for justice, an impeccable documentation of a crucial chapter in their victimization under occupation. Its impact will be felt most impressively on the growing civil society movement throughout the world to impose cultural, sporting and academic boycotts, as well as to discourage investment, trade and tourism with Israel. It may yet be the case that as in the anti-apartheid struggle the shift in the relation of forces in the Palestinian favor will occur not through diplomacy or as a result of armed resistance, but on the symbolic battlefield of legitimacy that has become global in scope, what might be described as the new political relevance of moral and legal globalization."

De-developing Palestine, one "visit permit" at a time

Rima Merriman writing from Jenin, occupied West Bank, Live from Palestine, 22 September 2009
Electronic Intifada
(Left: A view of AAUJ in Jenin)

"I am an American citizen of Palestinian descent and have been employed by the Arab American University-Jenin (AAUJ) in the occupied West Bank as an assistant professor of American literature for the past two and a half years. This month, while attempting to re-enter the West Bank through the land border with Jordan to start the academic year, I was denied re-entry by the Israeli authorities and questioned at length about my Palestinian heritage. The stated reason for the denial was that I had broken the law.

Through the office of a lawyer in Jerusalem that AAUJ had to hire at great cost and the support of the Israeli Committee for Residency Rights and the Palestinian Campaign for the Right of Entry/Re-Entry to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, as well as efforts initiated by the US consulate and AMIDEAST, I am now back in Jenin.

I have managed to avoid the fate of Dr. Stacy Krainz, also an American citizen and the former chair of the English Department at AAUJ, who left on vacation in 2006-2007 only to be denied re-entry and disappear forever and, in the process, incapacitate teaching and learning at the fledgling department for some time to come. She too was told that she had broken the law........"

She is Back in the News! If you want another 9/11, leave Afghanistan, Rice says

Press TV

"Former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice has said that the United States could experience another terrorist attack like 9/11 if troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan.

"If you want another terrorist attack in the US, abandon Afghanistan," she said in an interview with Fortune magazine on Tuesday.

"The last time we left Afghanistan, and we abandoned Pakistan, that territory became the very territory on which al-Qaeda trained and attacked us on September 11th.

"So our national security interests are very much tied up in not letting Afghanistan fail again and become a safe haven for terrorists," Rice added........"

Time to Break Free from Partition Straightjacket

By John V. Whitbeck
( John V. Whitbeck, an international lawyer who has advised the Palestinian negotiating team in negotiations with Israel.)
Palestine Chronicle

"The desperate and desultory New York 'summit' among Barack Obama, Binyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas and the evident capitulation of Obama to Israeli defiance of even his minimalist effort to achieve mere maintenance of the status quo have left most observers who genuinely seek peace with some measure of justice in an understandable state of despair.

However, there is an alternative to despair -- breaking free from the partition straitjacket and runaround and demanding democracy and equal rights for all in the unitary state which, de facto, has already existed for the past 42 years......"

Last Exit Before Quagmire

by William S. Lind, September 23, 2009

If President Obama and Congress accept Gen. McChrystal’s report and adopt a new operational plan in support of the current strategy, building an Afghan state around the regime now in Kabul, they will guarantee an American defeat. Sending more American troops to Afghanistan will only magnify the defeat. Ironically, what Washington needs to do is follow Gen. McChrystal’s own recommendation and refuse more resources without a new strategy.

Let’s hope the politicians realize this is their last exit before a bottomless quagmire."

US Afghan Campaign Plan Says Key Groups Back Taliban

by Gareth Porter, September 23, 2009

"The leak of the "initial assessment" of the war in Afghanistan by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top commander in the war, with its blunt warning that "[f]ailure to provide adequate resources" is likely to result in "mission failure," was part of an obvious effort to force the hand of a reluctant President Barack Obama to agree to a significant increase in U.S. troops.

The version of the classified McChrystal assessment published on the Washington Post Web site Monday has many redactions, indicating that it had been prepared especially for the purpose of leaking it to the press......"

McChrystal’s Conundrum

by Justin Raimondo, September 23, 2009

That’s the gist of a memo [.pdf] sent to the White House by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, which was leaked to Bob Woodward and published – with "unclassified " stamped all over it – in redacted form (redacted, according to Woodward, "at the request of the government"). The fact that it was leaked is receiving far more attention than the actual content, as everyone tries to decipher who leaked it and why. The conventional explanation is the simplest: it was leaked by someone who supports McChrystal’s position – more troops, more resources, more casualties – in order to back the president into a corner. Then there are those who speculate this was a "reverse leak," i.e., someone was trying to get the president mad at the general for presumably having something to do with the leak. Not to forget the "fake leak" theory, whose adherents accuse the administration itself of being the source of the leak: the assumption being they’re trying to back themselves into a corner and cut short any congressional debate......

McChrystal is clearly itching to strike targets in Pakistan with more than just a few drones every now and then – and before you know it, we’ll be launching yet another invasion and occupation, while the good general exhorts his troops to decrease their "distance" from the Pakistanis and tells us we ought to build more schools and hospitals. Yes, well, they’ll need more hospitals, no doubt about that.

McChrystal’s conundrum is that invaders cannot be turned into faux-insurgents, "living with the people" and "protecting" them from those awful mujahedin. This can only happen in the fantasy world constructed by military theoreticians and deluded politicians, whose hubris blinds them to simple truths. "

The Daily Cartoon, by Dave Brown, The Independent

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Manuel Zelaya returns home, by Carlos Latuff

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

"In a dramatic move that seemed like something out of a Hollywood movie, ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya sneaked back into his country and turned up Monday at the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, the capital."

EXCLUSIVE: Israel makes secret offer on settlements

The Washington Times

"Ahead of the Obama administration's first U.S.-Palestinian-Israeli summit, Israel has agreed to a partial freeze of settlement construction for six to nine months but still wants to build more than 2,500 new housing units, said Israeli officials and an Israeli specialist familiar with the country's evolving policy......

What the Israelis are offering is still shy of Mr. Obama's demands. The two Israeli officials and the Israel specialist said Mr. Netanyahu wants to move forward with 2,500 to 3,000 housing units already approved and to exempt East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians foresee as a future capital, from the freeze. The U.S. also sought a yearlong freeze, while Mr. Netanyahu is offering six to nine months, the Israelis said......

A U.S. official, speaking on the condition that he not be named because the negotiations are continuing, said Mr. Mitchell has received private assurances from some Gulf Arab and North African states to grant over-flight rights to Israeli jets, open interest sections in Israel and end a travel ban against Israelis if Israel freezes settlement construction......."

Report from Honduras: Ousted President Manuel Zelaya Returns to Honduras in Defiance of Coup Government

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"We go live to the Brazilian embassy in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, where Manuel Zelaya has sought refuge. After Zelaya’s dramatic return, the coup government ordered a curfew, but thousands of Zelaya supporters defied the ban and rallied outside the Brazilian embassy. Earlier this morning police fired tear gas outside the embassy to disburse the crowd. We hear Zelaya speak from inside the embassy and speak to Andres Conteris and Mark Weisbrot......"

The Afghan Folly


Europeans Don't Follow Their Leader


"Italian, British and German soldiers are being returned from Afghanistan to their countries in coffins. Why? Through no fault of their own but because politicians of centre-right/centre-left despatched them to fight an imperial war on behalf of Washington. In Italy, to its eternal shame, Rifondazione voted to continue the Italian presence in the Hindu Kush. Die Linke in Germany was far from principled, in a country where 80 percent are not in favor, albeit ignored by mainstream politicians. In Britain and Italy, too, there are large sections of the population opposed to the war. Their voices remain unheard in the corridors of power: Brown and Berlusconi have become blood-brothers.......

The EU is a gutless and useless entity on the political level. It cannot speak with one voice, but its citizens must learn not to emulate their weak and pathetic politicians but demand with increasing vigor a withdrawal of all European troops from Afghanistan."

Mel Zelaya back in Honduras! US Imperialism Must Be Defeated In Honduras: Mass Action Needed NowTo Remove The Coup Without US Imperialist Conditions!

By Fenian Rising

"Zelaya has returned to Honduras, and this of course is dealing a shock to US imperialism...
Don't be fooled about the Obama double speak about not supporting the coup there. They are supporting it behind the scenes, that is why the Obamarama has not met with Zelaya even though Zeyala came to Washington to meet with him on a number of occasions...And it appears that the Obamarama regime is behaving in a schizophrenic way...In actuality it must not appear to be supporting this coup, while it really does... Obama does a soft soap about the coup, and he sways back and forth about calling it for what it is... A coup... and then using the terms that Hillary has been using that it is a so-called defacto regime... This is the US imperialist way of recognizing the regime as legitimate without having to out right call it that..."