Saturday, March 6, 2010
"Iraq's senior Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr urges the Iraqi electorate to help end the US-led occupation of the country by participating in the parliamentary polls.
Speaking at a Saturday press conference in the Iranian capital, Tehran [Make sure that he is on a short leash, and keep him there!], al-Sadr drew a parallel between participation in the Sunday vote and resistance against the invaders [What a revolutionary leader! What Vision! What an Ayatollah in the making!].
More than 6,200 candidates from six major coalitions and several other tribal and minority groups are vying for the 325 seats in the Council of Representatives.
The senior Iraqi cleric called on the Iraqis to opt for the candidates who would best serve the nation and work for Iraq's liberation.
Al-Sadr also warned that any interference by the United States will be unacceptable......"
"Israeli police have fired tear gas at Palestinian protesters in the latest clash between the two sides at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound.
Israeli police said they moved into the compound following Friday prayers after receiving reports that stones were being thrown at the Western Wall, one of Judaism's holiest sites.
As Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros reports, the clashes are linked to Palestinians' anger at what they see as Israel's attempts to lay claim to sacred Islamic sites. "
"The Oscar-nominated film Ajami is centered on a neighborhood in Israel with the same name. It takes a snapshot of life in this rough Arab-Jewish neighborhood.
The makers of the film find themselves in a real life drama when one of the producers Tony Copti, and his brother were arrested, beaten and later released without charge.
Tony Copti says this has become a common phenomenon for many of Ajami's Arab residents.
According to him Israel is trying to push Arabs out of Jaffa by using scare tactics due to increased property prices in the city.
Sherine Tadros reports from Ajami, Jaffa."
This is the district and the city where I was born, 1945.
(Click on cartoon by Khalil Bendib to enlarge)
"....So, why is the scandalous deception and the sanctimonious self-righteousness. The PA has been up to its ears in the promiscuous collaborative relations with Israel which has never stopped murdering our children and women and stealing our land while the Abbas leadership is singing the songs of peace and romantic engagement with a nefarious regime at the helm of which stands some of the most cruel and racist war criminals in history, such as Netanyahu, Barak, Lieberman and Peres.
The PA is also using Arab backing of indirect talks with Israel as a pretext to commit political adultery by reneging on and retreating from erstwhile commitments to refrain from rejoining futile talks with Israel while the settlement aggrandizement scheme persisted unabated.
We all know that the Arab league is mostly made up of either dynastic sheikhdoms guarded and controlled by the CIA or tyrannical authoritarian regimes that deny their own people basic human rights and civil liberties. Hence, it would be more than naïve to expect these despotic regimes to play a truly constructive role in promoting the Palestinian cause.
Needless to say, regimes that can’t do any good to their own masses can’t really be entrusted with helping the Palestinian cause. Besides, haven’t we had enough experience with the Arab league, a rotten body that should have been buried in the graveyard of history a long time ago?
Abbas is most likely to argue that he can’t remain outside Arab consensus as if Arab consensus were more important than safeguarding inalienable Arab and Muslim rights which are coming under attack especially in Jerusalem where Zionist Jews are trying, nearly on a daily basis, to arrogate a foothold at the Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest shrine.
In fact, using "Arab consensus" as a pretext to make concessions to the Nazi-like Israeli regime is a dangerous precedent.
For those who still don’t know, the entire Palestinian cause means virtually nothing to certain Arab regimes, whose paramount goal and ultimate strategy doesn’t go beyond staying in power for as long as they shall live. The rest is just political hanky-panky......"
During a press conference in Gaza City on Saturday, Abu Zuhri said that his family appointed an Egyptian lawyer identified as Nasser Amin, and that the lawyer managed to convince the Egyptian Authorities to reopen the case. [Do you expect justice in a Pharaoh's "court?" How naive!]
The Egyptian prosecution then decided to have Abu Zuhri testify in the court as part of the legal proceedings. The Hamas spokesperson added that he filed a request asking to be allowed to enter Egypt but the Egyptian security rejected his request.
The family of Abu Zuhri demanded the Egyptian Authorities to hold a serious investigation into the death of their son and to allow them to testify. Yousef Abu Zuhri, 38, died in an Egyptian prison last year. His brother, Sami, said that Yousef died due to torture by Egyptian interrogators."
"Once more we have to forget the Armenian Holocaust – the first of the 20th century – in order to appease the Turks. Bill Clinton did it.
George W Bush spinelessly caved in to the Turkish generals. And now our favourite Nobel prize winner – another brave president who promised to acknowledge the Armenian genocide if he was elected and then declined to do so – went whinging and whining to the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington and pleaded with them not to tell the truth about the savage rape and murder of 1.5 million Armenian civilians by the Turks in 1915.....
More seriously – for the Turks – is that this year Turkey did not have the Israeli lobby behind it. In the past, Israel, which disgracefully claims that the Armenian Holocaust was not a genocide, has supported its close ally Turkey. But this year, Israel and Turkey have fallen out and the Israelis are still miffed at Turkey's condemnation of the bloodbath in Gaza.
The Turks sent their generals to bully Bush last time round. This time, the Turkish Foreign Minister warned that "Turkish-US ties are going through a very important phase in which they need strategic co-operation at the highest level in their history." The message is simple. Acknowledge the genocide, and the US will lose its airbases in Turkey and the Turkish roads its military convoys use into Iraq.
The fact, unfortunately, is that these roads are the very highways down which the Armenians were sent on their death marches in 1915. That's not mentioned, of course. Our faithful Turkish ally might even pack up its support for the US in Afghanistan, where they are helping fight "Obama's war"......
One wonders what would happen if Germany suddenly decided that the Nazi Holocaust was not a genocide. Would Chancellor Merkel get away with it?.....
...in 1939, Hitler asked his generals – before setting off into Poland to murder the millions of Jews in eastern Europe – a simple question: "Who now remembers the Armenians?" Well, Hitler got the answer he would have wanted from Obama this week."
By Patrick Cockburn
"Iraqis go to the polls tomorrow in an election which has led to increased tensions between the country's three main communities after a fierce campaign in which some candidates were banned as former supporters of Saddam Hussein's party.....
.....Mr Maliki's own Dawa party had only 10 seats in the last parliament but the Prime Minister will be able to draw on the power of the state, its $60bn (£39.7bn) in oil revenues and several million jobs. The government was able to use its patronage to its own advantage in the provincial election in January 2009 in which Mr Maliki did well. The state is by far the biggest employer in Iraq and nobody gets a job even as a primary school teacher without a letter from a party connected to the government [celebrate democracy now, or else!]......"
Friday, March 5, 2010
"As the Iraqi people are waiting for the polling stations to open for Sunday's parliamentary poll, more than one million Iraqis living abroad started voting in their host countries looking forward to the birth of the new Iraqi government. Iraqi elections were held in Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and Iran.[ Comment: Even some Israelis voted, in Jordan!]
In an interview with Al-Manar website, Secretary General of Imam Al-Hakim Foundation in Lebanon said the Iraqi elections were “decisive” after all Iraqis knew that there is no salvation for Iraq but active participation in the political process where only the constitution and law could secure them [The Constitution written by Bremer?].
Sayyed Ali Al-Hakim, responding to a question asked by Al-Manar editor Wael Karaki, said the importance of this election lies in that it is the base for laying the foundations of consensual democracy [Are you serious? Democracy under US and Iranian boots?] that would maintain civil peace.
Mr. Hakim said Iraqis today have freedom of choice [That is a big lie; thousands have been excluded from running because of supposed ties to the previous regime] after the ruling parties in Iraq were imposing list of candidates that Iraqis had never heard of before noting that Iraq can choose whomever it deems appropriate [Big lie, again!]......"
By Azmi Bishara
".....In calculating the limits of military confrontation in that space between the desire to avoid comprehensive engagement and the rejection of a nuclear Iran it is best to exclude actions that could lead to a full-scale war, even if that is not their initial nature or intent. For example, tactical raids are theoretically possible as an upper threshold of engagement, yet one side or the other could take such an action as an act of war and respond accordingly, on the basis of the reasoning that that is what war is. Thus, attacks against certain locations in Iran could escalate into a full-scale war, but the same might apply to a cut-off of imports of refined gas. Much would depend on the Iranian reaction. If Tehran saw this as grounds for retaliatory skirmishes in the Straits of Hormuz, would the US not respond to the challenge? In other words, might not the imposition of certain types of sanctions feasibly degenerate into all-out war?.
While the US, now, seems to be treading these waters with care, it will still continue its gradual push to notch up sanctions in a way that will guarantee a favourable response from the countries that count. It will simultaneously build on the development of the Iranian opposition. This is now Iran's fundamental problem and it should compel Tehran to deal more seriously with the dialectic of citizenship and the official ideology of the state. The Soviet Union, the countries of Eastern Europe and China have passed through such a phase......"
I posted the Arabic version of this analysis here:
قراءة في احتمالات الحرب: في ثلاث ملاحظات
With Amy Goodman
"At least 14 people have been killed and nearly 60 wounded in a string of attacks in Baghdad on the first day of voting in Iraq’s parliamentary elections. Iraq opened its polls on Thursday for early voting, including for hundreds of thousands of soldiers, police officers and prisoners. We speak to Nir Rosen, an independent journalist who has covered the Iraq war since 2003....."
"Israel has refused to confirm or deny any involvement in the January killing of Mahmoud Mabhouh, a Hamas commander, in a Dubai hotel.
But Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the emirate's police chief in charge of the investigation, is convinced Mossad, the Israeli spy agency, sent a squad to Dubai to assassinate Mabhouh.
Al Jazeera's Dan Nolan has this exlcusive interview with the man fast-becoming a hero across the Arab world for holding Israel to account."
By Robert Fisk
"What keeps old men in power in Egypt? And what keeps middle-aged men wanting power in a country whose crippled society, increasing sectarianism, brutal police force and endemic corruption is only compounded by an electoral system widely regarded as a fraud? Most Egyptians don't think that President Hosni Mubarak is immortal, even though he still reigns supreme at the age of 81. Even the pharaohs believed they would live on only in the next world.....
The real problem, of course, is not ElBaradei's chances – pretty much nil – but Mubarak's age. Both the president and his son, Gamal, deny that Gamal wants to be president, but the son's steady ascent in Egyptian political life suggests otherwise. If he did inherit his father's throne, of course, there would be a second caliphate in the Arab world – the other being Syria, where Bashar al-Assad took over after his father's death and some deft switching of Baath Party rules.....
But when the opposition "Enough!" movement could not get enough support from youth in the streets of Cairo – some of its female members were assaulted by plain-clothes police officers – what chance does ElBaradei have? The internet is watched closely by the security cops, and ElBaradei is going to get no support from the likes of Barack Obama.....
ElBaradei says he is trying to make the connection between economic and social development and political reform, and that "if you move into a democratic system, everything else will fall into place". But why should the Mubarak father-and-son team try to change the system?........"
Thursday, March 4, 2010
"In response to the parliamentary question posed by MK Haim Oron (Meretz) the Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai admitted that 29 settlements breached the settlement freeze order.
Peace Now has recorded at least 5 additional settlements (not included in the list provided by the Deputy Ministry of Defense) in which violations of the freeze were documented."
"Despite the alleged success of the surge, it is now apparent that sectarian hostility between Sunni and Shiite was not permanently reduced in Iraq but only temporarily quieted, and that once American troops leave, or are greatly reduced in number, extensive violence will breakout. This is brought out in the Washington Post article—“Just weeks before elections, specter of sectarian violence resurfaces in Iraq,” by Leila Fadel (February 17, 2010)
Such sectarian violence was the inevitable result of the American invasion and was fully recognized before the US invaded. As I point out in my book “The Transparent Cabal,” the neocons adopted a Middle East war strategy for the US that originated in Israel, which had as its deliberate goal the fragmentation of Israel’s adversaries. As Oded Yinon, the best articulator of this strategy, maintained in his 1982 article, the Arab states were fragile entities that were held together by an authoritarian central governments. A defeat in war would lead to the splintering of those states into conflicting ethnic and sectarian religious groups, which would facilitate Israeli regional hegemony. It should be added that Israel Shahak’s translation of Yinon’s article was entitled “The Zionist Plan for the Middle East.”
Hamas' Strategic Vision at Work! Hamas bans men from women's hair salons. Is This Hamas' "Revenge" for Mabhouh's Assassination?
Since seizing Gaza in 2007, Hamas has taken steps in that direction while avoiding a frontal assault on secularism. The majority of Gaza residents are conservative Muslims, but Hamas is under growing pressure from more radical groups to prove its fundamentalist credentials by imposing ever harsher edicts.
The latest measure irked one of the victims of the ban.
"Next thing you know, they will ban doctors from treating women, and will only let women treat women," said Barakat al-Ghoul, a 44-year-old hairdresser. "Tomorrow, they will ban everything."......
Fares said a small pipe bomb was recently set off outside a male hairdresser's shop, as a warning for him to stop working. Hamas is moving gradually to impose Islamic customs. In the summer, the Islamic group promoted a "virtue campaign," urging women to cover up and sending out beach patrols to enforce modest attire.......
The Hamas police announced the ban on male hairdressers Thursday on their Web site, citing the Interior Ministry. The statement said those violating the ban would face legal consequences but did not elaborate. Interior Ministry spokesman Ehab Ghussein could not be reached for comment..... "
By As`ad AbuKhalil
"The assassination of Mahmoud Mabhouh, a Hamas commander, in Dubai is a watershed moment in the long history of the Mossad.
Israeli officials who ordered the assassination did something that Zionists have always done - underestimate their Arab opponents.
In his first impressions of Arabs, David Ben-Gurion, the first Israeli prime minister, compared them to children.
Ahad Ha'Am, an essayist considered to be the father of cultural Zionism, described the merciless beatings that Arabs were subjected to for no reason by Zionist settlers - the pioneers of the movement - in the late 19th century.
Other Zionists have compared the Arabs of Palestine to animals......
In summation, the assassination in Dubai will only serve to convince the Arabs that Israel is not as formidable as they were led to believe. Ironically, Arab governments also helped in exaggerating the powers of the Mossad because they wanted their citizens to remain passive and inactive. But the Arabs now know better.
They now know that some of the Arab intelligence services that are characteristically ridiculed are in fact more effective and capable than the highly touted Mossad.
The conflict with Israel is a very long one: it spanned over a century, and it will probably be settled before the end of this century, but not to Israel's satisfaction."
Boycott, Divest From, and Sanction Israel?: A Debate on BDS With Omar Barghouti and Rabbi Arthur Waskow
With Amy Goodman
"In 2005, a coalition of Palestinian civil society groups called for people all over the world to engage in a non-violent campaign to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel until it complies with international law. The call was inspired by the international boycott and divestment initiatives applied to South Africa in the struggle to abolish apartheid. We host a debate between Omar Barghouti, a founding member of the BDS campaign and a Palestinian human rights activist and commentator, and Rabbi Arthur Waskow, a longtime anti-war and civil rights activist who is the founder and director of the Shalom Center......"
T-shirts with hard-hitting messages relating to the Israeli spy agency have been selling like hot cakes throughout Israel.
And the agency's official website has reported a "soaring" number of people applying to be agents.
The drastic increase in popularity follows the murder of a Hamas leader in Dubai, in which Mossad has neither confirmed or denied involvement.
Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros reports from Israel."
"Judging from articles written by both Israelis and Palestinians, the next intifada is already in the air. They are predicting it is on the way and the most punctilious know it will be "popular." Bil'in and Na'alin are perceived as its models.
Some Palestinians are guessing it will first erupt in Jerusalem. There, the constant clash between a dispossessing first world and a misery-stricken world is palpable, and the presence of the discriminatory regime is particularly violent because of the daily mingling of the two worlds. In Jerusalem, as opposed to the Ramallah enclave, it is impossible to fake normalcy........"
Global Research, March 4, 2010
".....For the first time in the history of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, a preemptive request to withdraw a nomination—by the nominee—was made.
It was revealed last week that in a letter to the Committee, Mordechai Vanunu had asked for his candidacy to be rescinded. It was unusual enough for Geir Lundestad to acknowledge that a nomination had even been received, let alone publicly disclose Vanunu’s request. But for Vanunu—a man who should have been awarded the Peace Prize long ago—it was in full keeping with the dignity, integrity and uncompromising nature of one to whom the world owes a great debt....."
"RAMALLAH, Mar 4, 2010 (IPS) - Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, with its ubiquitous closures, checkpoints, military raids and arrests, has decimated the Palestinian economy in the West Bank and Gaza.
The World Bank (WB) warned over a year ago that unless Israel eased its restrictions on movement and access in the West Bank the Palestinian economy would further deteriorate.
In February the WB released another report, ‘Checkpoints and Barriers: Searching for Livelihoods in the West Bank and Gaza, Gender Dimensions of Economic Collapse’. The report outlines the devastating impact Israel’s occupation has caused to Palestinians financially, and women in particular......
Sawsan Muhammed Daba, 49, has seven children to support. Her husband lost his job as a construction worker due to spinal injuries while her son was laid off from a local factory due to the closure of many business and factories in Gaza following Israel’s economic embargo of the strip.
"Now I am able to help feed my family. Coming to work also helps me, emotionally and psychologically, to get away from the depressing atmosphere at home," Daba told IPS."
"Washington and its willing mouthpieces in the media have for years been trying to sell us the preposterous war in Afghanistan. While they attempt to convince us that the war is predicated on a faultless military logic and moral wisdom, it remains in fact a tragic adventure with no decipherable objectives, and involving several countries, private contractors, and all sorts of firms seeking to make a quick buck.
The intellectual cowardice of some should not blind the majority to the fact that the war in Afghanistan is morally indefensible and militarily unwinnable....."
"Impolitic as it is to mention this, in rejecting the analogy with apartheid in South Africa, the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen is not only denying realities on the ground in Palestine but also the principal and most awkward difference between the two cases. South Africa’s whites did not have a dedicated cadre of coreligionists or ethnic kin abroad who labored to protect them from the consequences of their deviance from the norms of humane behavior as defined by Western civilization at large. Nor, despite open sympathy for South African whites in the American South and among ardent anti-Communists, did apartheid enjoy international ideological support outside the neo-Nazi fringe. Israel’s policies are supported morally, politically, and financially by large Jewish communities and a vocal minority of Christians abroad, especially in North America, which is where global power remains concentrated. Without that support and those subsidies, Israel manifestly could not act as it does. The dependence of South Africa on external factors was far less direct or clear.
These differences between South Africa and Israel seem to me to be crucial both morally and politically. ....."
"Wanting to go to war with Iran has created some very strange bedfellows. Leading neoconservative Daniel Pipes’ assertion that President Barack Obama can salvage his presidency and get reelected by attacking Iran is about as low as it gets, suggesting as it does that an act of war can and should serve as a diversion from a failed domestic agenda. The soldiers and civilians who would inevitably die in such a conflict might not agree with Pipes that all is fair in politics. They would no doubt consider themselves betrayed and manipulated by a venal and disconnected political leadership, but no matter. It would not be a first time a neocon would consider a non-neocon casualty little more than a disagreeable statistic.
Sarah Palin is on the Pipes bandwagon, showing up at the mid-February Nashville Tea Party convention sporting an Israeli flag lapel pin and subsequently urging the president to do the right thing in supporting Israel by attacking Iran....."
Israel Uber Alles...Got That? Brown to change law on 'political' arrest warrants following Tzipi Livni case
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 4 March 2010
"The government announced plans today to clamp down on attempts to secure "politically-motivated" arrest warrants for visiting foreign officials.
A number of high-profile figures have faced being detained in the UK after applications in the courts by campaign groups, including former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni, who was forced to cancel a recent trip to London.
Announcing a proposed change in the rules, Gordon Brown said Britain risked having its standing in the world "compromised" by "tolerating such gestures".
Under the proposals, the Crown Prosecution Service will take over responsibility for prosecuting war crimes and other violations of international law. Currently magistrates have to consider the case for an arrest warrant to be issued.
A warrant for Livni's arrest was issued by a UK court in December last year after an action by pro-Palestinian campaigners angry at Israel's assault on Gaza earlier that year. The move sparked furious complaints by the Israeli government.
Colin Powell, the former US secretary of state and a leading player in the Iraq war, has also reportedly expressed alarm about the prospect of arrest in Britain......"
Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 4 March 2010
"Brazil last night rebuffed a US plea to back sanctions against Iran, setting the stage for a bruising diplomatic battle in the UN security council.
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva told the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, that he would not be bounced into a western-led effort to punish Tehran over its nuclear programme.
Clinton, stopping in Brasilia during a Latin America tour, had hoped to build support for a UN resolution on sanctions against Iran. As a non-permanent member of the security council, Brazil does not have a veto, but its support is needed for a united front. Russia has signalled its support, but not China....."
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
" Israel’s relentless drive to establish "facts on the ground" in the occupied West Bank, a drive that continues in violation of even the limited settlement freeze to which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu committed himself, seems finally to have succeeded in locking in the irreversibility of its colonial project. As a result of that "achievement," one that successive Israeli governments have long sought in order to preclude the possibility of a two-state solution, Israel has crossed the threshold from "the only democracy in the Middle East" to the only apartheid regime in the Western world. . .
Olmert was mistaken in one respect, for he said Israel would turn into an apartheid state when the Arab population in Greater Israel outnumbers the Jewish population. But the relative size of the populations is not the decisive factor in such a transition. Rather, the turning point comes when a state denies national self-determination to a part of its population–even one that is in the minority–to which it has also denied the rights of citizenship.
When a state’s denial of the individual and national rights of a large part of its population becomes permanent, it ceases to be a democracy. When the reason for that double disenfranchisement is that population’s ethnic and religious identity, the state is practicing a form of apartheid, or racism, not much different from the one that characterized South Africa from 1948 to 1994. The democratic dispensation that Israel provides for its mostly Jewish citizens cannot hide its changed character. By definition, democracy reserved for privileged citizens–while all others are kept behind checkpoints, barbed-wire fences and separation walls commanded by the Israeli army–is not democracy but its opposite."
Breaking News! Surprise, Surprise! Committee of Arab Eunuchs Authorizes Traitor to "Negotiate" (indirectly) for 4 More Months...
The stooge huffed and puffed....and said he will stop "negotiating"....
....Until a Settlement Freeze...
Obama said OK, Clinton told Abbas, "go back to the table or else!"...
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM WHORES?
The child was identified as al-Hasan al-Mohtasib, 12. His 7-year-old brother was also detained but was released later on.
Their father, Fadel, said that his sons were in al-Shallalah Street, in the center of Hebron. His 7-year-old son, al-Amir, was released ten hours after his was kidnapped by the army.
He added that local residents told him that soldiers kidnapped his two children and took them to the nearby al-Karaj military camp.
He went to the camp and the soldiers told him that his sons were moved to al-Haram military camp in the city. Upon arriving at the second military base, he was informed that his children were moved to the police station in Keryat Arba Jewish settlement, in the center of Hebron.
He went to the police station in Keryat Arba’ but to no avail. When he returned back home, he found his 7-year-old child standing in front of the door, shaking and terrified.
By NORMAN FINKELSTEIN
"Editors' Note: This article is excerpted from Norman Finkelstein’s important new book about the Gaza conflict, “This Time We Went Too Far” published this month by OR Books. To purchase a copy of the complete book please visit OR Books. This book is not available from bookstores or other online retailers.
Public outrage at the Gaza invasion did not come out of the blue but rather marked the nadir of a curve plotting a steady decline in support for Israel. As polling data of Americans and Europeans, both Gentiles and Jews, suggest, the public has become increasingly critical of Israeli policy over the past decade. The horrific images of death and destruction broadcast around the world during and after the invasion accelerated this development. “The increased and brutal frequency of war in this volatile region has shifted international opinion,” the British Financial Times editorialized one year later, “reminding Israel it is not above the law. Israel can no longer dictate the terms of debate.”......
The bonds of solidarity being forged between young Jews and Muslims opposing the occupation—the core group on many campuses consists of secular Jewish radicals and observant Muslim women—give reason for hope that a just and lasting peace may yet be achieved. After speaking on the Gaza massacre at a Canadian university, the sponsors presented me with a button reading “I ♥ GAZA.” I pinned the button to my backpack and headed for the airport. As I stood on the queue to board the plane, a passenger behind me whispered in my ear “I like your button.” Hmm, I thought, the times they are a-changing. A couple of hours later I asked the airline attendant for a cup of water. Handing me the cup he leaned over and whispered “I like your button.” Hmm, I thought, there’s something happening here. "
"John Holmes, the United Nation's humanitarian chief, has revisited the Gaza Strip, a year after Israel's assault on the territory ended.
He told Al Jazeera that it was disappointing how little has changed since the war and that there has been no real possibility of reconstruction, mainly because of Israel's siege of the Strip.
He said the blockade resulted in misery for the Palestinians.
"They're living in a kind of open-air prison. They're still suffering this kind of collective punishment they've been suffering for three years now.""
"In the latest fall-out from the assassination of a senior Hamas commader in Dubai, Dubai's police chief has said that individuals suspected of being Israeli - even if they hold foreign passports - will no longer be allowed to enter the United Arab Emirates. What really happened, and will the people responsible for the killing get away with it? "
By James Petras
"In the face of world-wide governmental condemnation (except from the Zionist-occupied White House and US Congress), the PMAJO slavishly backs any brutal murder committed by the Israeli secret police anywhere in the world and at anytime. The recent assassination of Hamas leader, Mahmoud Mabhouh, in Dubai is a case in point. The PMAJO has defended all of Mossad’s criminal actions leading up to the murder, including extensive identity theft and the stealing or falsification of passports and official documents from several European countries, presumably allied to the Zionist state. Among the Mossad agents who entered Dubai to kill Mabhouh, twelve agents used stolen or forged British passports, three Australian, three French, one German and six Irish. These agents assumed the identity of European citizens in order to commit murder in a sovereign nation.
Once again the PMAJO demonstrate that its first loyalty is to the Israeli secret police, even when they violate the sovereignty of major US allies. No doubt the PMAJO would readily support the Israeli Mossad, even if it were shown to have used U.S. documents to assassinate Mabhouh. In fact, two of the 26 Israeli assassins, carrying fake Irish and fake British passports, are known to have entered the United States after the killing and may still be here.....
The American Zionist propaganda campaign in defense of Israeli state terror and, specifically, Mossad’s murder of a Hamas leader in Dubai, relies on lies, evasions and specious legal arguments. This “defense” violates all precepts of a civilized society as well as the most recent American federal laws prohibiting all forms of support for international terrorism. The PMAJO can pursue its defense of Mossad’s acts of international terrorism with impunity in the US because of its power over the US Congress, the Obama White House and the American mass media. This ensures that only its version of events, its definition of legality and its lies will be heard by legislators, echoed by Zionist activists and embellished by its solemn defenders in academic and journalistic circles. To counter the American Zionist defense of Israel’s practice of extra-territorial, extra-judicial executions by the Mossad, we need American writers and academics to step forward. It is time to expose their flimsy arguments, bold-face lies and audacious immorality. It is time to speak out against their impunity, before another Israeli secret police murder takes place, possibly inside the USA itself and with the shameless complicity of Zionist accomplices.
The authorities in Dubai have found clear evidence that the Mossad assassination team received support from European Zionists. The hotels, air tickets and expenses were paid with credit cards issued in the US. Two of the killers may be in the US now. Will a time come when American Zionists, who are unconditional public defenders of Mossad killings, cross the line between propaganda for the deed to become accomplices of the deed? The robust American Zionist defense of Mossad’s overseas assassinations does not augur well for the security of Americans in the face of Israel’s willing U.S. accomplices."
March 2, 2010
"(Beirut) - Saudi Arabia's authorities should quash the January, 2010, verdict of a court that sentenced a woman to 300 lashes and one and a half years in prison for filing harassment complaints without the required accompaniment by a male guardian, and release her from jail, Human Rights Watch said today.
Sawsan Salim was sentenced on charges of making "spurious complaints" against government officials and for "appearing ... without a male guardian" in court. The verdict reflects the discriminatory system of male guardianship in Saudi Arabia, in which women are prohibited from many acts without the presence of a male guardian....."
"UNITED NATIONS, Mar 2, 2010 (IPS/TerraViva) - Against the backdrop of a two-week U.N. meeting on gender empowerment, the London-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has blasted the government of Saudi Arabia for its feudal system of justice where women continue to be victimised because of their gender.
A Saudi court has sentenced a woman, Sawsan Salim, to 300 lashes and 18 months in prison for filing harassment complaints without the required accompaniment by a male guardian. While her husband was in prison, Salim sought the help of a local judge to gain the spouse's release.
The verdict, says HRW, reflects the discriminatory system of male guardianship in Saudi Arabia, in which women are prohibited from many acts without the presence of a male guardian.
"Women's rights in Saudi Arabia are somewhat worse than in other countries in the region because of the male guardianship system," Nadya Khalife, HRW's women's rights researcher for the Middle East, told IPS........"
(Trucks carrying Israeli Golan apples into Syria.)
The Quneitra crossing into Syria opened yesterday to let through the first apple shipment of the year, in what has become an annual tradition since it began as a special arrangement six years ago.
The sale of Golan apples in Syria began in 2004, at the initiative of the Israeli Agriculture Ministry. The move came in response to a request by Druze farmers in the Golan Heights, because there were too many apples in the Israeli market.
The ritual has taken place every year since then, with the exception of 2008 when the apple harvest was meager, and it helps the Druze farmers find buyers for their produce. The operation involves Red Cross trucks driven by drivers from Kenya, who bring the produce to Jordan and Syria.
Everyone benefits. The farmers find a market. The Syrians show their loyalty to Druze living in an area that was under Syrian control until the Six-Day War. And Israeli farmers get higher prices for apples on the local market.
On 15 December 2009, settlers prevented Palestinian farmers from planting olive trees on the farmers land in Deir Nidham, north of Ramallah. Soldiers at the scene did nothing to prevent the harm to the Palestinians. Instead, they closed the area to all civilians, Palestinians and settlers.
"03/03/2010 Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo agreed on Wednesday to back indirect Palestinian-Israeli talks for a duration of four months, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told AFP.
"The Arab foreign ministers meeting at the Follow-Up Committee have agreed to aid the holding of indirect talks between Palestinians and Israelis," Erekat said. "This is so that American efforts to revive the peace process will succeed."
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas began talks on Tuesday with the members of the Arab Follow-Up Committee to weigh up holding indirect talks with Israel. The meetings encompassed a US proposal for the resumption of the talks......."
"This report focuses on one claim. This claim is that military installations were positioned by the Israeli army in proximity to Arab civilian locales. On the basis of the investigation undertaken by the HRA( Human Rights Association) it emerges that temporary military installations from which missiles were fired into Lebanon during the war were indeed positioned in very close proximity to the Arab locales that suffered the gravest attacks during the war. This is in addition to permanent military installations in existence prior to the war. In some cases, the military installations were established inside the Arab locale"
Human Rights Association
IDF hiding among civilians? How surprising!! Not really. It has been already confirmed by the Goldstone report findings in regards to the war on Gaza..
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
By Michael Savage
March 02, 2010 "The Independent" -- An invasion of Iraq was discussed within the Government more than two years before military action was taken – with Foreign Office mandarins warning that an invasion would be illegal, that it would claim "considerable casualties" and could lead to the breakdown of Iraq, The Independent can reveal.
The extent of Whitehall opposition to the policy eventually backed by Tony Blair emerges just three days before Gordon Brown will appear at the Iraq Inquiry, where he will be asked to explain his role in the Government's decision to invade.
Secret Foreign Office strategy papers drawn up by senior civil servants at the end of 2000 have been obtained by this newspaper and are published for the first time today. The Iraq: future strategy document considers options for dealing with the belligerent Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. It is one of the key documents that Sir John Chilcot's Iraq Inquiry has declined to release.
A policy of "regime overthrow" is proposed, but roundly condemned. In an eerily portentous assessment of the consequences of taking military action, it states: "Such a policy would command no useful international support. An overt attempt to be successful would require a massive military effort, probably including a land invasion: this would risk considerable casualties and, possibly, extreme last-ditch acts of deterrence or defiance by Saddam."
The mandarins add: "It would also be illegal. Covert attempts, on the other hand, seem very unlikely to succeed and run the risk of fragmenting Iraq, which runs clearly contrary to our wider interests in the region." Iraq descended into violence in the wake of the March 2003 invasion. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed in the aftermath, as well as more than 100 British troops.
بدا ظهور الدكتور البرادعي كما لو أنه حجر كبير ألقي في بحيرة الركود السياسي المسكون باليأس والإحباط, وأسهم الفراغ المخيم في مصر المقترن برفض ما هو قائم في توفير درجة عالية من القبول له
في اليوم التالي مباشرة للقاء الدكتور البرادعي مع وفد النخبة المصرية عقد في بيروت مؤتمر صحفي أعلن عن تشكيل «الهيئة الوطنية الفلسطينية للدفاع عن الثوابت». وقد تحدث باسم الهيئة الكاتب والسياسي الفلسطيني البارز بلال الحسن، وظهرت معه على المنصة التي أعلنت عن ميلاد الهيئة الجديدة مجموعة من الرموز الفلسطينية التي مثلت -كما حدث في مصر- مختلف اتجاهات العمل الوطني، كان منهم منير شفيق وصلاح دباغ، ومحمد أبوميزر وبيان شفيق الحوت وماجد الزير، وتضمن البيان الصادر في هذا الصدد توقيعات 70 شخصية فلسطينية بينهم الدكتور عزمي بشارة ورزان أكرم زعيتر وسليمان السهلى وآخرون.
قال بلال الحسن في المؤتمر الصحفي (الذي حوصر إعلاميا في مصر) أن الوضع الشعبي الفلسطيني يعيش حالة من الغليان بسبب ما آلت إليه حال القضية وبسبب الأوضاع السياسية الخطيرة التي تحيط بالشعب الفلسطيني ومصيره. لذلك لم يكن هناك بديل عن تشكيل تيار شعبي مستقل وغير مسلح، يرفض نهج التفاوض ويدعم مقاومة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، وهذا التيار لا يتخذ شكل التنظيم، إنما يأخذ صفة الحراك الشعبي. وهو ليس في وارد خوض صراعات مع قوى الأمر الواقع في أراضى السلطة الفلسطينية أو قطاع غزة، أو حتى في داخل مخيمات الشتات. وذكر أن الهدف من إنشاء الهيئة الجديدة هو: بلورة حالة الرفض والرغبة في النهوض الحاصلة في الساحة الفلسطينية، ووصفها في سياق شعبي جماهيري مستقل، يحمى ثوابت القضية ويرفض نهج التفاوض
هو حراك واحد تقوده النخب التي استفزها الفشل في الحالتين المصرية والفلسطينية، وهو يمثل سباحة ضد التيار السائد.
ليس هينا الذي يحدث في البلد الأكبر وفي ساحة القضية الأخطر والأشهر, لأنه حراك إذا حقق المراد منه، فإن أصداءه ستتردد في كل جنبات العالم, ولذلك ليس غريبا أن تبذل جهود حثيثة لإجهاضه وتشويه صورته
(Left: Ghada Karmi standing by the front door of her childhood home in Jerusalem's Qatamon neighborhood in 2005. (Steven Erlanger) )
"During an appearance at Vassar College in early February, controversial New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner was asked about the ongoing evictions of Palestinian families from homes in East Jerusalem which Israel occupied in 1967. Israeli courts have ruled that Jewish settlers could take over some Palestinian homes on the grounds that Jews held title to the properties before Israel was established in 1948.
Bronner was concerned, but not only about Palestinians being made homeless in Israel's relentless drive to Judaize their city; he was also worried about properties in his West Jerusalem neighborhood, including the building he lives in, partially owned by The New York Times, that was the home of Palestinians made refugees in 1948. Facts about The New York Times' acquisition of this property are revealed for the first time in this article.....
The New York Times-owned property Bronner occupies in the prestigious Qatamon neighborhood, was once the home of Hasan Karmi, a distinguished BBC Arabic Service broadcaster and scholar (1905-2007). Karmi was forced to flee with his family in 1948 as Zionist militias occupied western Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods. His was one of an estimated 10,000 Palestinian homes in West Jerusalem that Jews took over that year.
The New York Times bought the property in 1984 in a transaction overseen by columnist Thomas Friedman who was then just beginning his four-year term as Jerusalem bureau chief.
Hasan Karmi's daughter, Ghada, a physician and well-known author who lives in the United Kingdom, discovered that The New York Times was in -- or rather on top of -- her childhood home in 2005, when she was working temporarily in Ramallah.....
Thus, in a sense, Bronner's structural and personal identification with Israel has become complete: when the younger Bronner joins army attacks in Gaza, fires tear gas canisters or live bullets at nonviolent demonstrators trying to save their land from confiscation in West Bank villages, or conducts night arrest raids in Ramallah or Nablus -- as he may well be ordered to do -- his father will root for him, worry about him, perhaps hope that his enemies will fall in place of his son, as any Israeli parent would. And on weekends, the elder Bronner will await his soldier-son's homecoming to a property whose true heirs live every day, like millions of Palestinians, with the unacknowledged trauma, and enduring injustice of dispossession and exile."
CAIRO (IPS) - Activists and opposition groups are stepping up pressure on the Egyptian government to stop constructing a barrier along the border with the Gaza Strip. Officials say the barrier will prevent cross-border smuggling, but critics say it will seal the fate of the people on the Gaza Strip.
"The Egyptian border was the only opening left to the Gazans -- their only means of staying alive," Gamal Fahmi, political analyst and managing editor of opposition weekly al-Arabi al-Nassiri, told IPS.
On 13 February, hundreds of activists from across the political spectrum convened in downtown Cairo to protest construction of the barrier. Demonstrators held banners reading: "The wall of shame must come down" and "No to sponsoring Israeli crimes." The same day also saw anti-wall demonstrations in Lebanese capital Beirut.
Ever since news of the barrier was first reported by Israeli daily Haaretz late last year, officials have attempted to justify it by citing Egypt's right to protect its national sovereignty and security.
Dubai police say they are seeking the arrest of Israel's prime minister and the head of its spy agency over the murder of a top Hamas militant in a hotel room of the Gulf city-state.
Police chief Dahi Khalfan said on Tuesday he had issued the demand for the arrest warrants as he was now certain they ordered the Cold War-style hit on Mahmud al-Mabhuh.
"I have presented the (Dubai) prosecutor with a request for the arrest of (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu and the head of Mossad," Meir Dagan, said Khalfan.
"I am now completely sure that it was Mossad."
"Syria's president has been rubbing shoulders with his Iranian counterpart despite calls from the US to move away from his neighbour. The call comes as Washington takes steps to normalise ties with Syria.
Have US overtures failed to break the three-decade Syrian-Iranian alliance? And how will it affect the nuclear issue?"
"Tens of thousands of Greek workers have taken to the streets to protest the first of a series of budget cuts. The cuts come as the European Union pressures the Greek government to slash its massive budget deficit, or face potential bankruptcy. We spoke to Nikos Nikiasis of the Greek Social Forum, who put forward another option for raising the needed funds, while questioning the importance of being part of the European Union.
Produced by Jesse Freeston."
A Good Comment
Global Research, March 1, 2010
"Muslims are numerous but powerless. Divisions among Muslims, especially between Sunni and Shi’ites, have consigned the Muslim Middle East to almost a century of Western control. Muslims cannot even play together. The Islamic Solidarity Games, a regional version of the Olympics, which were to be held in April in Iran, have been cancelled, because the Iranians and the Arabs cannot agree on whether to call the body of water that separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Gulf.
Muslim disunity has made it possible for Israel to dispossess the Palestinians, for the U.S. to invade Iraq, and for the U.S. to rule much of the region through puppets. For example, in exchange for faithful service, Egypt receives $1.5 billion a year from Washington, which enables President Mubarak to buy off opposition. The opposition had rather have the money than support the Palestinians. Therefore, Egypt cooperates with Israel and the U.S. in the blockade of Gaza.
Another factor is the willingness of some Muslims to betray their own kind for U.S. dollars. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to neoconservative Kenneth Timmerman, head of the Foundation for Democracy, which describes itself as “a private, non-profit organization established in 1995 with grants from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to promote democracy and internationally-recognized standards of human rights in Iran.”
By now we all know what that means. It means that the U.S. finances a “velvet” or some “color revolution” in order to install a U.S. puppet.....
This is the reason that Iraq today is in ruins, with one million dead, four million displaced or homeless, and the professional class having fled the country. Iraq, under the American puppet Maliki, is an American protectorate.
As long as Muslims hate and fear one another more than they hate their conquerers, they will remain a vanquished people."
Sheikh Yousef sent a letter from his prison tent stating that he, his wife and children, hereby disown Mosab, his first born son, who is currently living in the United States after converting to Christianity and collaborating with Israel.
Yousef stated that “by collaborating with the enemy, by doubting the book of God, by betraying the Muslims, Mosab became an atheist”. [Actually the Arabic text did not say that!]
Israel said that Mosab was a “very good inside source of information” as he is the son of a senior Hamas leader in the West Bank, he was also shortly involved with the Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the movement."