Saturday, May 15, 2010

Al-Jazeera Video: Palestinians mark Nakba

"May 15, 2010 — Palestinians across the world are marking on Saturday the 62nd anniversary of Nakba, which means catastrophe.

In 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced [DISPLACED, Al-Jazeera?? Even HAARETZ is more objective than this!] and many became refugees due to the formation of the state of Israel.

Mass gatherings commemorating the day of "catastrophe" in the West Bank and Gaza displayed a rare instance of unity between various political factions.

Al Jazeera's Nour Odeh reports from Beit Jala, a town in the West Bank. "

Real News Video with Transcript: Training makes killing civilians acceptable Pt4

Josh Stieber on the journey from studying "The Faith of George Bush" to refusing to fight in Iraq

More at The Real News

"Josh Stieber enlisted in the army after graduating high school. He was deployed to Baghdad from Feb 07- Apr 08 with the military company shown on the ground in the Collater Murder video. Upon his return from Iraq, Josh was granted conscientious objector status."

Slain Ramallah Youth; Shot By A Settler, Left To Die

"Palestinian medical sources reported that Aysar al-Zaben, 16, who was killed on Friday, was shot by Israeli settlers in Wad Al Haramiyya area near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, apparently bled to death as a bullet struck him in the heart.
Al Zaben, from Al Ma'sara Al Sharqiyya village, was shot and by a Jewish settler and was left to die.

Palestinian medics who were informed of the shooting by local residents searched the area and located his body three hours after he was wounded.

After the body of al-Zaben was located and autopsy revealed he was shot by one live round [Shoot-to-kill policy!]....."

US funds Israel’s 'apartheid' road network

Jonathan Cook
The National
May 15. 2010

"JERUSALEM // The construction of sections of a controversial segregated road network in the West Bank planned by Israel for Palestinians – leaving the main roads for exclusive use by settlers – is being financed by a US government aid agency, a map prepared by Palestinian researchers has revealed.

USAid, which funds development projects in Palestinian areas, is reported to have helped to build 114km of Israeli-proposed roads, despite a pledge from Washington six years ago that it would not assist in implementing what has been widely described by human rights groups and the Israeli media as Israel’s “apartheid road” plan.

To date the agency has paid for the construction of nearly a quarter of the segregated road network put forward by Israel in 2004, said the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ).....

Ingrid Jaradat Gassner, the director of Badil, a Bethlehem-based organisation that has lobbied against road segregation in the southern West Bank, said there was considerable domestic and international pressure on the PA to agree to roads dictated by Israel, if only because they often eased the existing restrictions on Palestinian movement.

Sadly, the PA is helping to build its own Bantustans,” she said. “Palestinian towns and villages connected by back roads and tunnels while the settlers control the main highways is what the US appears to mean when it talks about a viable Palestinian state.”"

Israel's Intimidation Tactics Won't Stop Us: First Ship Sets Sail for Gaza!

The Free Gaza Movement

"London – 14 May 2010 – At 22:45 local time tonight, the MV Rachel Corrie, a 1200-ton cargo ship, part of the eight-vessel Freedom Flotilla, set sail from Ireland on its way to the Mediterranean Sea. There, ships from Turkey and Greece will join her, then sail to Gaza.

This past week reports from Israel have indicated that the Israeli authorities will not allow the Freedom Flotilla to reach Gaza with its cargo of much-needed reconstruction material, medical equipment, and school supplies. According to Israeli news sources, clear orders have been issued to prevent the ships from reaching Gaza, even if this necessitates military violence.

The Free Gaza Movement, which has launched eight other sea missions to Gaza, confirms that Israel has tried these kinds of threats and intimidation tactics before in order to try to stop the missions before they start. “They have not deterred us before and will not deter us now,” said one of the organizers....."

The end of the world as we know it?

By Stephen M. Walt

"For the past 500 years or so, world politics has mostly been driven by the actions and priorities of the transatlantic powers (aka "the West"). This era began with the development of European colonial empires, which eventually carved up most of the globe, spread ideas like Christianity, nationalism and democracy, and created many of the state boundaries that still exist today. (They also screwed a lot of things up in the process).........

I don't want to go all Spenglerian on you (or even Kennedy-esque) -- but I'm beginning to think this era is essentially over, and that we are on the cusp of a major shift in the landscape of world power. Asia's share of world GDP already exceeds that of the United States or Europe, and a recent IMF study suggests it will be greater than the United States and Europe combined by 2030. Europe has already become a rather hollow military power, and the current economic crisis is going to force European states-and especially the United Kingdom -- to cut those capabilities even more. Needless to say, hopes that the euro might one day supplant the dollar look rather hollow today. Politics within many European countries is likely to get nasty as austerity kicks in, and there will inevitably be less money and less support for Europe's various philanthropic projects in Africa, Central Asia, or the Middle East. Such activities won't disappear entirely, but it's hard to see how they can continue at anywhere near their current levels.

America's situation is more favorable for several reasons (greater growth potential, a younger and still-growing population, more flexible labor markets, greater capacity to borrow abroad, etc.), but it will face analogous pressures of its own....."

Silenced for speaking the truth about Guantanamo

Unfair trials

By Robert Fisk

".....Because the case involves a Canadian citizen – and because the Canadian government is doing sod-all for its passport-carrying prisoner – it hasn't been getting a lot of publicity on this side of the Atlantic. It should.

Omar Khadr was 15 when he allegedly – the word "'allegedly" is going to have to be used for ever, since this is not a fair trial – shot and killed a US Special Forces soldier in eastern Afghanistan in July 2002. Last week, a former US serviceman called Damien Corsetti, nicknamed "The Monster" at the Bagram jailhouse where torture and murder were widespread, agreed via a video link to the Guantanamo "court" that Khadr was trussed up in a cage "in one of the worst places on earth". "We could do basically anything to scare the prisoners," Corsetti announced.

Beating was forbidden, "The Monster" acknowledged, but prisoners could be threatened with "nightmarish scenarios" like rendition to Egypt or Israel where, according to Canada's Globe and Mail, "they would disappear". Which tells you a lot about Israel. Or what the Americans think of Israel. Quite a lot about Egypt, too, come to think of it......."

Beware of Small States: Lebanon, Battleground of the Middle East by David Hirst

Fawaz A Gerges on a survey of the troubles of the Middle East

Fawaz A Gerges
The Guardian, Saturday 15 May 2010

"....In his post-2006 war speech, Nasrallah told the immense, euphoric throng that the victory they were celebrating had transformed Lebanon from a "small" state in the Middle East into a "great" one. Hirst agrees that Lebanon is no longer the hapless object of others' actions but also an active agent in its own right because of Hezbollah's powerful influence in the region. "Lebanon – the eternal victim – has now become an active player too, posing no less a threat to greater states than they habitually posed to it."

That is a mixed blessing. Hirst cites Israeli leaders who say they are readying themselves for the "next war", the "second round" against Hezbollah and the Lebanese state, which they deem to be all but inevitable. And while Hezbollah has evolved into a conventional political party with a domestic agenda, he argues it still possesses a potent militia, with an external, visionary, Islamist agenda and is aligned with Iranian and even Syrian foreign policy. In other words, Lebanon is still a battlefield for others' wars. The only difference now is that if Israel fires the first shot in the "seventh Middle Eastern war", the war might not remain confined to Lebanon."

What's to Stop Israel from Going to War in Lebanon Again?


"15/05/2010 The Zionist entity is trying its best to transfer calming messages to Lebanon and Syria not only through foreign politicians who are lately flooding into the region but also through it media and army officials.....

However, Lebanon could still ignite as an outgrowth of developments on the "main front" - the struggle to halt the Iranian nuclear program. In that case, it's doubtful whether the Israeli army's response will be good enough, despite the intensive effort to make improvements since 2006.

The most important question in the north for now is how Israel can avoid repeating past mistakes, so that the next few years do not bring a new variation of the errors of 2006 ("We can deal with the rockets"), 1996 ("There is no alternative to an IDF presence in the security zone" ) - or, worst of all, 1973 ("A political accord can wait, our intelligence will be able to warn us in time before we are attacked, and if worst comes to worst - we'll break the Arabs' bones")."

Jumblatt Warns Lebanese Not to Trust Israeli Assurances


"15/05/2010 Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt said in an interview published in Lebanese daily As-Safir on Saturday that Israel should never be trusted when it says it will not attack Lebanon or Syria. "Whether this reassurance is serious or not, it is a duty to remain cautious at this stage, particularly that experience with Israel hasn't been encouraging," Jumblatt told As-Safir.

"We can never trust it. Israel can never abandon its aggressive intentions," he said. "Such caution calls for a quick and full coordination between the Lebanese government, the resistance and the army."[This is what he says TODAY; tomorrow it will be a different story.]....."

Almost as Much Fun as Watching Saturday Night Live: Ahmadinejad: 'US attack on Iran highly unlikely'

(Click on cartoon by Khalil Bendib to enlarge)

Press TV

"....In an exclusive interview conducted by the Al Jazeera network on Friday, Ahmadinejad stated that no country has the power to confront Iran, and added that Tehran advocates diplomacy as the ideal way to deal with international issues, the Fars news agency reported.

Ahmadinejad said Iran does not even take Israel into account and noted that Tel Aviv is not able to wage a war against the Islamic Republic.

He went on to say that Western countries occupied Iraq and Afghanistan in an effort to protect the "Zionist regime" [Is this why Iran helped the Great Satan?]and asked how a regime that itself needs protection could wage a war on Iran.....

Not only are the Islamic and Middle Eastern countries dissatisfied with Western governments but even the people of Europe are dissatisfied with them, he added. The Iranian president noted that the same is true in the US and the main reason is the West's greed......."

Thailand Uprising

Do You See the Arabs Challenging Their Brutal Dictators Like This?
They Are Too Busy Watching TV!

الحاجز النفسي

وأعترِفُ الآن ( المتكلم هو الكاتب وليس المغنية ماجدة الرومي)، أن تشخيص السادات لزيارته كان بليغا. فما كان بوسعه أن يصف ما فعل بإيجاز أدق. وكنتُ قد وُلِدتُ قبل مرور عقد على النكبة، ولكني ولدتُ في الجانب الآخر من حاجز السادات النفسي. وما أن استشعرته حتى أخذت أغادر سياسيا وثقافيا إلى الجانب العربي، وقد كانت مغادرةً مُراوحِةً في المكان، وعدّتُها مناقضة ومناهضة ومثاقفة مع من أقام مؤسساته على خرائب شعب فلسطين.
وربما كان وقع زيارة السادات التاريخية كي يخاطب الكنيست عظيما علينا وصادما لنا، لأنه فيما كنا نكتشف أحلامنا العربية وننضجها على نار الرجولة والبلوغ، وفيما كنا نتجه نفسيا باتجاه العرب، تجاوز السادات ذلك الحاجز النفسي نحو إسرائيل. فمن فينا كان "ذاهبا إلى الحج والناس عائدة". لم يجبنا التاريخ بعد. وما زال المتفائل منا يؤمن أن بوسعه صنع الإجابة.
وكمنت المشكلة في طبيعة الأنظمة، وفشلها في توحيد الأمة، وإخفاقها البنيوي في بناء الدولة، وفي خصوماتها وتنابذها وتخاوفها.

وبعد خطوة واحدة من تجاوز الحاجز النفسي، لا تبقى حدود وينهار كل شيء. يصبح السلام والاعتراف مطلوبا من إسرائيل. وهي التي تهدد بالحرب.

في عصر تجاوز الحاجز النفسي يتحدث العربي عن كون السلام مصلحة إسرائيلية، وعن الاحترام المتبادل، وعن "ضمان أمن ووحدة أراضي كافة دول المنطقة".
هنا لب المسألة. فمن عبر الحاجز النفسي بقبول إسرائيل، لكي يبرر لنفسه قبول السلام والتسوية معها، لا تبقى حواجز تمنعه من الإعجاب بها. وإذا طويت النكبة في النسيان، وجرى تجاهل كيف قام كيان الصهيونية السياسي؟ وإذا غدا مجرد دولة طبيعية جارة مختلف معها على الأراضي التي احتلت عام 1967، فما الذي يمنع من الإعجاب بها؟ أليست دولة حديثة وديمقراطية لليهود؟ ألا تقوم بكل شيء، بما فيه مصادرة الأرض بشكل قانوني؟ ألا تقيم لجان تحقيق بعد المجازر؟ ألا تقيل قادتها وتحاكمهم على قضايا فساد؟ أليست لديها جامعات أفضل، وتأمينات اجتماعية وسيادة قانون؟

والغريب أن ما يمكن تعلمه فعلا من تجربتها ألا وهو عملية بناء الأمة من شتات وهجرات، وتجديد واستخدام اللغة العبرية والمؤسسات والجيش في بنائها، في الوقت الذي جرى فيه تشتيت الفلسطينيين وتفتيت الأمة العربية، هو بالضبط ما يجري تجاهله من قبل المعجبين، لأنه قد يؤدي إلى مواجهة العجز أمامها.
إنها آخر مسألة استعمارية في هذا العصر. إنها قضية استعمار استيطاني مستمر، يعيد تشكيل بلدان ومجتمعات لمئات ملايين العرب بموجب متطلباته. فإن قبول إسرائيل ككيان طبيعي أو رفض قبولها، يعني رفض أو قبول استعمار فلسطين، ومن شأن أي موقف منهما أن يعيد تشكيل الكيان والوعي العربي كله. أهو وعيٌ مستعمَر أم لا؟ هذه هي المسألة.

والصراع العربي مع إسرائيل ككيان استعماري استيطاني في قلب المنطقة، بما فيه القضية الفلسطينية التي ترتبت على إنشاء إسرائيل، هو قضية الأمة، وليس مسألة تضامن مع الفلسطينيين، ولا هي قضية الفلسطينيين، أو للدقة، ليست "مشكلتهم" التي ينبغي أن يتعاملوا معها وأن يتدبروا أمرهم بشأنها. والمقاومة خيار التحرير في سياق هذا الصراع. أما خارجه، فيكفي المقاومة فخرا أنها صمود فحسب.
وهي قضية العرب لأن النظام السياسي العاجز عن حفظ حقوق المواطن العربي وكرامته هو نفسه النظام العاجز عن الدفاع عن الوطن العربي. وهو نفسه الرافض للانضواء في إطار مفهوم للأمن القومي العربي. إنه النظام السياسي الرسمي العربي الذي لا يعترف أصلاً بالوطن العربي مفهوما وممارسة إلا لأغراض التحريض الطائفي والمذهبي.

وهنالك علاقة جدلية بين التحرر العربي والتحرير. لا ينبغي أن يُقَدَّمُ أحدُهما على الآخرِ آلياً، ولا أن تُؤَجَّل مهمةٌ تاريخية انتظاراً لأخرى. ويشكّل كل تطور اقتصادي سياسي اجتماعي على الساحة العربية دفعاً لقضية التحرير، إذا كان تطوراً مرتبطاً بأجندات وطنية لا بموجب معايير الاستعمار. ويساهم كل إنجاز في الصراع ضد الاستعمار الاستيطاني لفلسطين، وضد احتلال مناطق عربية أخرى، في تعزيز نزعة التحرر العربية من التخلف ومن قيود الاستبداد.

ولا يمكن التوقع من نظام يضطهد شعبه أن يحمل خيراً لشعب آخر.
لقد وصل هذا النوع من التفكير إلى: "لا نريد أن نحارب، ولا نريدكم أن تقاوموا". فمُنِعت المقاومة بداية من الانطلاق من الدول العربية المحيطة بإسرائيل الواحدة تلو الأخرى. ثم تبين في الحرب على غزة أن هذا التفكير يقود إلى منع المقاومة داخل الأراضي العربية المحتلة عام 1967، وليس فقط من قِبَل الدول المحيطة بإسرائيل، والتي كانت تُعرَفُ بدول المواجهة. وقام بعد اتفاقيات أوسلو محور عربي فلسطيني يحاول أن يمنع مقاومة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي من خارج المناطق المحتلة عام 1967 كما من داخلها، لأن الإستراتيجية الوحيدة المسموح بها حتى على الساحة الفلسطينية هي إستراتيجية المفاوضات.

أما "حق الشعوب في مقاومة الاحتلال" فتغدو في نظر هؤلاء مقولة نظرية مهما كانت صحيحة. لقد آن أوان تغييرها لتصبح: واجب الشعوب في مقاومة الاحتلال ودعم مقاومة الاحتلال مثلما هو واجب الشعوب في مقاومة الظلم والاستبداد
Azmi's articles generate a lot of good comments from readers. Read them if you have a chance to get a flavor of the bigger debate going on.

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

The New Middle East!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Iranian Cleric Defends 'Boobquake' Theory

TEHRAN, Iran — A prominent hard-line Iranian cleric elaborated on his claim that promiscuity and immodest dress cause earthquakes, saying Friday that God may be holding off on natural disasters in the West in order to let people sin more and doom themselves to hell.

The cleric, Kazem Sedighi, sparked widespread derision with his pronouncements in a prayer sermon last month that women who don't dress modesty spread adultery in society, in turn increasing earthquakes.

In Tehran's main weekly prayer sermon on Friday, he defended the claim but added some further explanation on why some places are hit more than others.

"Some ask why (more) earthquakes and storms don't occur in the Western world, which suffers from the slime of homosexuality, the slime of promiscuity and has plunged up to the neck" in immorality, he said.

"Who says they don't occur? Storms take place in the U.S. and other parts of the world. We don't say committing sin is the entire reason but it's one of the reasons," he said.

But, he said, "sometimes, God tests a nation. ... (God says) if believers sin, We slap them because We love them and give them calamity in order to stop their bad deeds."

"And those who have provoked God's wrath, He allows them (to commit sins) so that they go to the bottom of hell," Sedighi said.

'We want to live'

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Salam Fayyad's plans for Palestine and the Palestinians are nought but a contrived folk festival where the occupied bow to their oppressors

By Azmi Bishara
Al-Ahram Weekly


I posted the Arabic version of this excellent article on May 4. Highly recommended reading.

"Congratulating Israel on its "independence", or creation, if you will, is equivalent to congratulating it on the success of its armed robbery of Palestine and systematic expulsion of the Palestinian people. So we might say when the congratulations are extended by the US president, France or the Ivory Coast. But when an Arab head of state congratulates the Israeli head of state "on the day of its founding" silence is the only policy. Not a contemplative silence, I hasten to add.....

Not that this is the first time such congratulations have been offered and it probably will not be the last, as much as one might hope. Nor should the phenomenon surprise us. In fact, what would be surprising is to be surprised. Still, things have really gone overboard this year. The majority of the inhabitants of Gaza are among the refugees who were driven out of their homes in 1948, which means that congratulations have been extended to their evictor turned jailor of the world's largest prison. There is something very close and stifling about the phenomenon this time, making the suffocating Gaza tunnels through which people crawl for a gasp of life seem more spacious than the tunnels of Arab politics.

One of these dark political tunnels led to an interview granted by the appointed president of the appointed Palestinian government in Haaretz on 2 April 2010. In it he uttered statements of the sort: "I don't have a problem with people who believe that Israel is the land of the Bible... But there's a lot of uninhabited hills and spaces in it. Why don't you build there and give us a chance to get on with our lives?" He also said, "The chief dispute in the region is not between us, but between moderates and extremists," and "We are building to receive the refugees in the Palestinian state." This is the language of the Israelis. Some phrases even echo the lexicon of the settlers who claim that they are building "on uninhabited hills".....

With consummate ease, the former World Bank official and current employee of the "international community" has reduced the concept of statehood to "inhabited areas" that need to be equipped with the wherewithal to survive. How seamlessly this jives with the Israeli notion of a Palestinian state in the densely populated patches of the Palestinian territories. All he had to do next was to add the whispered aside that this was necessary in order to forestall the growth of terrorist elements and to give it to be understood that the Palestinian right of return only meant that Palestinian refugees would have the right to return to that patchwork Palestinian state.

An elaborate Western-financed optical illusion is in the works. It is intended to pass off life in overcrowded Palestinian enclaves as ordinary, to make the artificial look normal, to impose calm while the Palestinian Authority (PA) builds government buildings with elegant façades, to organise a giant game of make-believe under occupation.....

The man who uttered those ideas that were so remote from the Palestinian national discourse was appointed head of the PA in the aftermath of a coup against an elected government. In those elections, he won one per cent of the popular vote. Not long before that he was the minister of finance imposed by Washington on Yasser Arafat when Arafat was under siege in Ramallah. The Israeli press has dubbed him the "Palestinian Ben- Gurion". Can you imagine? Recently he was ranked tenth on Time magazine's list of the 100 most important persons in the world. Whatever for? One of the perks of imperialism is its power to peg us in its categories (such as moderate or extremist), to rank us according to its grades and hierarchies, and to bestow upon us awards and honours.....from my brief survey I found that in virtually all the interviews the officials used Israeli terms and concepts to describe the Palestinian people and their situation, and offered gratuitous concessions to Israeli public opinion. It was as though they were all driven by a desire to ingratiate themselves or, at best, to court their audience's admiration by means of a mischievous drollery. Nearly all the officials issued denials of some of the statements they made the day after their interview -- in Arabic and without demanding a retraction or a correction on the part of the Hebrew language newspaper in which their interview had appeared. Politicians with inferiority complexes who grow intoxicated on impressing the occupiers one day wake up the next suddenly gripped with fear of how the occupied people will react.....

The day following the announcement of this "initiative" he decided to hasten the Israelis, and perhaps us as well, by holding a television interview on Israel's Channel 2 in order to inter the last remnants of his government's Palestinian national discourse. "There is no crisis of confidence with Netanyahu," he proclaimed. On the right of return, he said, "We're speaking of a just and agreed upon solution. You can't get more flexible than that," and, "We'll agree on the solution and bring it before the Palestinian people." Otherwise put, the Palestinian president handed the occupation power the right to accept or refuse the principle of the right of return and what he will put before the Palestinian people is none other than the Israeli formula for an acceptable solution.....

The Palestinian economy in the West Bank is a camouflage for security arrangements and measures. It is a rentier economy that lives on aid in exchange for security and political services, an economy built entirely on foreign subsidies in exchange for certain political positions and driven by the desire to promote those who accept Israeli conditions and prioritise the protection of Israel's security. The man who promotes this economy is involved in politics up to his ears, but it is the politics of the West and the Quartet. His economy is built on serving these politics, and from the aid money it yields he pays out wages and builds the façades of economic institutions....

The job of political leaders is to help people answer such questions as "How can we live?" "How should we live?" "Will the occupation power let us live once we lay down our arms?" "Who will fund all these economic institutions after the donor countries lose interest in them?" "Who will finance 200,000 jobs that support more than a million people who are living on the hope that the so-called international community will support an unjust settlement?" "What will become of us without the rest of our people?" "What about our obligations towards the refugees and Jerusalem?" "What kind of life is left for a people that gives up their sovereignty for crumbs?" Their job is not to sell apathy packaged as "We want to live". It is a cheap product anyway and like all cheap products it has a short lifespan."

بيان منسوب لشهداء الأقصى يهدد "الخائن دحلان"

"رام الله- المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام

حذر بيان منسوب لـ "كتائب شهداء الأقصى" في الضفة الغربية من أسمته "الخائن محمد دحلان" وفريق التسوية من التواجد بشوارع ومدن وقرى الضفة الغربية، مضيفة "إن لم تطاله رصاص قناصتنا فإن عبواتنا ستطاله وتطال فريقه الأمني"، مطالبة إياه بالرحيل "عن أرضنا المقدسة الطاهرة".

وقال البيان الذي تلقى "المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام"، نسخة عنه اليوم الجمعة (14-5)،: إن "الخائن محمد دحلان وفريق التسوية لا يمثلون إلا أنفسهم ولن نسمح بتمرير مشروع التسوية ومبادلة الأراضي ومشروع الوطن البديل ومشروع التوطين"، رافضة رفضا قاطعا القرار الصهيوني الخاص بإبعاد المواطنين الفلسطينيين من الضفة الغربية إلى قطاع غزة والأردن.

وطالب "برفع الغطاء التنظيمي عن كل قيادي في فتح يساوم على الثوابت الفلسطينية، والتي أهمها حق العودة أو المساومة على أي من الثوابت الفلسطينية"، محذرا كل من يتحدث باسم كتائب شهداء الأقصى ويعلن موالاته للخائن دحلان، وأضاف "وإلا سنضطر إلى قطاع لسانه وجعله عبرة لمن لم يعتبر".

ولفت إلى أن "شهداء الأقصى" ستقوم بعرض صور فيديو اجتماعات "الخائن" دحلان وفريقه الأمني مع جنرالات صهاينة خلال الأيام القادمة بمشاركة الجنرال الأمريكي دايتون، وقالت أن "الجميع سيفاجئ بمن فيهم دحلان كيف حصلنا على تلك الإثباتات".

ودعا البيان "كافة الشرفاء من أبناء كتائب شهداء الأقصى الذين رفضوا تسليم أنفسهم مقابل العفو العام بأن يلتحقوا معنا في ركب المقاومة من جديد"، موجها رسالة إخاء ومحبة إلى كافة المناضلين رفاق الدم والسلاح من كافة الفصائل الفلسطينية الوطنية والإسلامية.

Is There Hope for a Two-State Solution?

Obama and the Middle East

(Chancellor Professor (Emeritus) at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He is the author of Dishonest Broker, published by South End Press, Cambridge, MA.)

"Perhaps it is more appropriate to begin with the question of whether a two-state settlement has ever been possible and/or viable at anytime at all since 1948. This essay begins by delineating the salient factors which dealt a severe blow to the two-state solution. The long diplomatic paralysis and the impediments to a two-state solution, are embedded in the “peace process” itself, and in the ongoing Zionist consensus that pre-1948 Palestine from the River Jordan to he Mediterranean Sea should be a single state under exclusive Israeli sovereignty. In fact, the real function of the “peace process” has been to Shelter Israel from the threat of peace. The peace process is a misnomer that has enabled Israel to escape its obligations to the Palestinian people under international law. Instead, such obligations have been effectively replaced by Israeli decrees presented as American peace initiatives......"

Real News Video: Training makes killing civilians acceptable Pt3

Josh Stieber: I refused to shoot where civilians might be killed and questioned why we were in Iraq

More at The Real News

"Josh Stieber enlisted in the army after graduating high school. He was deployed to Baghdad from Feb 07- Apr 08 with the military company shown on the ground in the Collater Murder video. Upon his return from Iraq, Josh was granted conscientious objector status."

Real News Video: Modern history of Lebanon Pt8

Traboulsi: Syria ends the civil war and elite families get richer

More at The Real News

"Fawwaz Traboulsi is Associate Professor teaching history and politics at the Lebanese American University in Beirut and American University in Beirut. is an associate professor of Political Science and History at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. Dr. Traboulsi has been a visiting professor at New York University; University of Michigan, Columbia University and Cairo University and a visiting fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford. Dr Traboulsi has translated several works, including Edward Said’s Out of Place and Humanism and Democratic Critique. He writes in both English and Arabic on Lebanese history, Arab politics, and social movements, with his most recent book A History of Modern Lebanon (published by Pluto Books, London, 2007)."

Israel must stop harassment of human rights defender

Amnesty International

"Amnesty International has called on the Israeli authorities to end their harassment of a human rights activist whose week-long detention by the Israeli authorities was extended today.

Ameer Makhoul, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, was arrested in a dawn raid at his home in Haifa, northern Israel, by the Israeli security services and police on 6 May. He has been charged with "contact with a foreign agent" on the basis of “secret evidence”.

"Ameer Makhoul is a key human rights defender, well-known for his civil society activism on behalf of the Palestinian citizens of Israel," said Philip Luther, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme.

"His arrest and continued detention smacks of pure harassment, designed to hinder his human rights work. If this is the case, we would regard him as a prisoner of conscience call for his immediate and unconditional release.”....."

Israel's Master of Deception

The Career of Shimon Peres


"The international community has long been enamored by current Israeli President and former Prime Minister, Shimon Peres. Regarded as a voice of reason and a dove among hawks, he adroitly assuages fears and reassures critics with soothing, yet empty words advocating dialogue and the creation of a Palestinian state. By duping the world into believing significant differences exist between his “left wing” views and those of Israel’s far right, he has proven himself a master at deception......

During Israel’s 1996 “Grapes of Wrath” campaign in Lebanon and under the watch of Prime Minister Peres, the Qana massacre occurred.

At a U.N. compound near the village of Qana, 800 Lebanese civilians sought refuge from the fighting. Showing utter disregard for both the U.N. and the civilians they sheltered, the IDF shelled the compound, killing 106 innocents and injuring more than 100.

A U.N. investigation concluded it was unlikely that the shelling was due to gross technical or procedural errors, as Israel had first claimed....

Middle East analysts who appreciate Israel’s expansionist, neo-colonialist nature realize that the country’s major political parties—whether Likud, Labor, Kadima—all are advocates of, or apologists for the settlement and expropriation of Palestinian land, the expulsion of its inhabitants, and deliberately exacerbating tensions with neighboring countries.

Although Peres’ role in these endeavors is often likened to that of a wolf in sheep’s clothing, astute observers of his career are not fooled. They see a wolf without disguise."

Children Fight Off Israel With Music

By Eva Bartlett

"....."Even if they've never played an instrument, they can have the chance to learn. We test their ear: can they hear and hum a melody? And we test their rhythm: can they replicate a rhythm?"

Mahmoud Kohail, 8, has studied the qanoon for just under a year, but took first prize in a Palestine-wide competition in oriental music for ages 7 to 11.

"Everyone asked me how many years he had been studying," laughs Najjar. "When I told them it had been only 80 hours, they couldn't believe me."

Emad Kohail, Mahmoud's father, is an accomplished oud player, and his mother a talented singer. Also a doctor of mental health and alternative medicine, Emad Kohail explains how music has helped his son.

"Mahmoud suffered the same post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that nearly all Gaza's children suffer, as well as an attention deficit disorder," he says.

"Music has made an immense difference in Mahmoud's behaviour. It has been a therapy for his PTSD and as a means of teaching him to focus."

Ibrahim Najjar agrees that music is therapy, and constructive for children's learning and mental health.

"There is a big difference in the students' behaviour from when they first came. Now, they are calmer, and listen and respect each other. I teach them this, but also to behave like this in all aspects of their lives."....."

Shin Bet Arrests Leader of Boycott Movement

By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth
Palestine Chronicle

"The recent arrest of two respected public figures from Israel's Palestinian Arab minority in night-time raids on their homes by the Shin Bet secret police -- brought to light this week when a gag order was partially lifted -- has sent shock waves through the community.

The arrests are not the first of their kind. The Shin Bet has been hounding and imprisoning politicians and intellectuals from the country’s Palestinian minority, a fifth of the population, since the birth of the Jewish state more than six decades ago. Currently, two MPs from Arab political parties, as well as the leader of the popular Islamic Movement, are facing trials.

But the detention of Amir Makhoul and Omar Sayid is seen differently -- as the gathering storm clouds in a political climate already fiercely hostile to its Palestinian citizens.

Mohammed Zeidan, the head of the Human Rights Association in Nazareth, said: “We are used to our political leaders being persecuted but now the Shin Bet is turning its sights on the leaders of Palestinian civil society in Israel, and that’s a dangerous development.”....

“The occupation isn’t news anymore,” Mr Zeidan said. “The big threats facing Israel, in the Shin Bet’s view, are its deteriorating image in terms of human rights and the growing sense abroad that it is an apartheid state.

“Palestinian civil society in Israel, more so even than our political parties, is best placed to make the case on those issues to the international community, to expose the racism and discrimination inherent in a Jewish state. Amir Makhoul’s arrest should be understood in that light.

“The Shin Bet believes we have crossed a red line in our international advocacy.”"

Iraq: The Endless Occupation

Obama's broken promise

by Justin Raimondo, May 14, 2010

"Keeping his campaign promises has not been Barack Obama’s strong point, as those who hoped the closing of Guantanamo would end a shameful chapter in American history have learnt to their sorrow: and surely those who hoped “change” meant a new era in American foreign policy have reason to be disappointed. As usual, on most issues Obama gave himself a lot of wiggle room, so that if a strategic shift were required he could dance around the contradiction with ease, but on one question he painted himself into a corner:

Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.”

He said that, not only during the campaign, but in a speech at Camp Lejeune last year. However, it looks like his administration is preparing to backtrack, as the Guardian [posted here] reports....."

Settlers Shot and Killed Palestinian Teen near Ramallah


"14/05/2010 Israeli settlers shot dead a 14-year-old Palestinian youth in the occupied West Bank overnight near Ramallah Thursday after their car was stoned, Palestinian security sources said.

The Israeli occupation army confirmed that the teen's body had been found, but claimed the cause of death remains unclear at this point.

According to a Palestinian source, witnesses said Ayssar Yasser, from the village of Mizra el Sharquieh, near Ramallah, in the north of the West Bank, was shot and killed after the settlers opened fire when their car was stoned.

An Israeli occupation army source confirmed that shots had been fired in that neighborhood after stones were thrown at the cars of Israeli civilians, but was not able to say if there had been victims.

Some two months ago a 16-year-old Palestinian was killed in a village near Nablus during a clash with Israeli occupation soldiers......"

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rahm Emanuel's father specialized in bus bombings in Palestine

By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

"A well-placed British source informed WMR that Rahm Emanuel's father, Benjamin Emanuel, specialized in the terrorist bombings of buses carrying British troops and policemen during the British Mandate in Palestine.

British MI-6 files contain information on the elder Emanuel's participation in the terrorist activities of Irgun Zvai Leumi, a Jewish terrorist organization that targeted British forces, UN officials, and Palestinian Arabs in the lead up to Israeli independence in 1948.

Benjamin Emanuel, a Jew from Russia whose real name was Ezekiel Auerbach, was arrested by British police for terrorist activities in the months prior to Israeli independence. Many of the British policemen killed by Emanuel and his Irgun colleagues between 1947 and 1948 had been transferred to Palestine upon Indian and Pakistani independence in 1947. Irgun saw the increase of British policemen from the Indian subcontinent as a major threat.

The Jewish terrorist murders of British troops and policemen resulted in massive anti-Jewish riots in London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester, and Cardiff in 1947. In 1946, Emanuel's Irgun bombed the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 91 people, including 28 British soldiers and policemen......"

Indirect Peace Talks should be renounced

By Abdelbari Atwan

".....Indirect negotiations, which began yesterday, according to an announcement by Dr Saeb Erekat [Sa'ib Urayqat], head of the PNA negotiations department, will take place according to Israeli conditions and for goals that have nothing to do with the Palestinian people and their aspirations to return home and regain all their usurped rights.

The "written" approval to participate in the negotiations is unlawful and all those participating in them, on all levels, do not enjoy any legitimate authorization by the people at home and in the diaspora. Therefore, any agreements reached in these negotiations would not be binding on the Palestinian people. The claim that the PNA would submit the agreements to the people in a public referendum is rejected, because it is a falsification of the people's will.....

Indirect negotiations are another attempt to foil a crystallizing Palestinian tendency towards resistance in all its forms, particularly after the people have become convinced that the two-state solution is no longer possible and the peace process has failed. Therefore, the Palestinian people and those participating in the peace process must renounce it before it is too late. We are the first to renounce it....."

Elena Kagan and the Supreme Court: A Barnyard Smell in Chicago, Harvard and Washington

By James Petras

"....A review of her published scholarship after almost two decades in and out of academia turns up four law review articles, two brief pieces and several book reviews and in memoriam. There is nothing even remotely resembling a major legal text or research publication.

Her lack-luster academic publication record is only surpassed by her total lack of any practical experience as a judge: zero years in adjudication....

If you do not qualify on the basis of excellent scholarship or broad-based practical experience, your ethnic tribesman will wax ecstatic over you as a “wonder colleague”, a “superb teacher”, a “brilliant consensus builder” and a “world champion fund raiser”. In other words, if you have the right ethnic connections and political ambitions, they can adjust the criteria for tenure at the University of Chicago, the deanship at Harvard Law School and a lifetime appointment to the US Supreme Court.

Elena Kagan joins a long list of key Obama appointees who have long-standing ties to the pro-Israel power configuration. Like Barack Obama, Elena Kagan started her legal apprenticeship with the Chicago Judge Abner Mitva, an ardent Zionist, who hailed the newly elected President Obama as “America’s first Jewish President”, probably his soundest judgment.

The issue of the composition of the US Supreme Court is increasingly crucial for all Americans, who are horrified by Israel’s devastation of Gaza, its threats to launch a nuclear attack on Iran and its Fifth Column’s efforts to drag us into a third war in ten years. With the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations pressing the compliant US Congress to declare “anti-Zionism” as a form of “anti-Semitism” and “opposition to Israel’s policies” as amounting to “support for terrorism”, thus criminalizing Americans critical of Israel, another active pro-Zionist advocate on the Court will provide a legal cover for the advance of Zionist-dictated authoritarianism over the American people.

Yes, Kagan would be another woman on the Supreme Court. Yes, she would probably adjudicate conflicts among the judges and strengthen Obama’s police powers. And yes, she would likely favor your indefinite detention if you support the right of Palestinians to struggle (“terrorism”) against the Israeli occupation... especially if you defend America against Israel’s Fifth Column.

But remember when you apply for Ivy League law school appointment or a top judicial post and your CV lacks the requisite publications or work experience, just ask Judge Abner Mikva or Larry Summers or Rahm Emmanuel for a recommendation. With such support you will shoot ahead of the competition... because you have the right ethnic connections. "

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

The latest poll asks:

Do you see any justification for extending the emergency law in Egypt?

With over 1,000 responding so far, 93% said no.

Al-Jazeera Video: "life-changing" invention from the West Bank

"May 13, 2010 — Three schoolgirls in the West Bank have developed a life-changing device for the blind.

It's an advanced cane called "Stick-tech", and they're taking it all the way to the U.S. to show it off: They've been chosen from over six million applicants world wide to take part in the International Science Fair.

Nour Odeh reports from the Askar refugee camp. "

Real News Video: Training makes killing civilians acceptable Pt2

Josh Stieber: They put us through psychological tests to see if we were willing to shoot civilians Pt2

More at The Real News

"Josh Stieber enlisted in the army after graduating high school. He was deployed to Baghdad from Feb 07- Apr 08 with the military company shown on the ground in the Collater Murder video. Upon his return from Iraq, Josh was granted conscientious objector status."

Real News Video: Modern history of Lebanon Pt7

Traboulsi: In 80's Lebanon descends into bloody civil war as militias fight for control

More at The Real News

"Fawwaz Traboulsi is Associate Professor teaching history and politics at the Lebanese American University in Beirut and American University in Beirut. is an associate professor of Political Science and History at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. Dr. Traboulsi has been a visiting professor at New York University; University of Michigan, Columbia University and Cairo University and a visiting fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford. Dr Traboulsi has translated several works, including Edward Said’s Out of Place and Humanism and Democratic Critique. He writes in both English and Arabic on Lebanese history, Arab politics, and social movements, with his most recent book A History of Modern Lebanon (published by Pluto Books, London, 2007)."

Is Israel Sliding Towards a Police State?

A Very Good Piece

By Mel Frykberg

"RAMALLAH, May 12, 2010 (IPS) - Israeli nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu has been sentenced to another three months imprisonment for allegedly refusing to perform community service in West Jerusalem. Vanunu, a former employee at Israel’s secret Dimona nuclear facility in the Negev desert, spent 18 years in jail after he revealed information about the facility to the international media.

He was kidnapped by Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad in Rome and brought back to Israel where he served his sentence, most of it in solitary confinement.....

Just how much power Israel’s domestic intelligence agency the Shin Bet has and whether Israel might be turning into a police state has also been the subject of media speculation recently.

This follows the secret midnight arrests of a Turkish national and several Israeli-Arabs on espionage allegations and the gag orders surrounding the arrests.

There are a number of other incidents involving the Shin Bet.....

A number of other Palestinian grassroots activists, involved in the Boycott, Disinvestment Sanctions (BDS) campaign and protests against Israel’s separation barrier, remain incarcerated in Israeli jails in administrative detention or without trial. Abdullah Abu Rahme, a member of Bili’in’s village committee against Israel’s separation barrier, which has expropriated large swathes of the village’s land, has been held for more than five months in administrative detention......"

The Danger of Israel's Nuke Hypocrisy

(Cartoon by Carlos Latuff)

By Robert Parry
May 12, 2010

"The United States finds itself in the curious position of going to the mat on behalf of Israel’s top security concern – preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb – while Israel and its supporters continue to insist that U.S. officials maintain Israel’s decades-old “ambiguity” about whether or not it possesses a nuclear arsenal of its own.

This extraordinary double standard – demanding transparency from Iran, which doesn’t have the bomb and disavows wanting one, and protecting the secrets of Israel, which is believed to have one of the most sophisticated nuclear stockpiles on earth – has forced the Obama administration and many U.S. news organizations into logical and moral contortions....."

Many Voices Singing One Song

by Philip Giraldi, May 13, 2010

"Several weeks ago the redoubtable Charles Schumer of New York announced that Yahweh himself had anointed him Israel’s defender in the US Senate. In a radio interview Schumer explained "You know, my name …. comes from the word shomer, guardian, watcher. My ancestors were guardians of the ghetto wall in Chortkov. And I believe Hashem (God) actually gave me that name. One of my roles, very important in the United States senate, is to be a shomer to be the shomer Yisrael. And I will continue to be that with every bone in my body …"

Schumer’s very interesting comments, suggesting that he has a rather narrow view of his responsibility to represent all the people of New York State, were not reported anywhere in the mainstream media.....

Are these people dangerous? Well, maybe. Many foreigners have come to the United States to make their fortunes and there is nothing wrong with that. But, in this case, there would appear to be a certain unanimity of viewpoint and a marching in lock step that is just a tad disconcerting, particularly as it has helped shape the foreign policy narrative. There is no deviation from hard right Likud positions, never any criticism of Israel, and always complete agreement on the need to confront Iran militarily. One might reasonably ask to what extent it is a coordinated effort to steer Washington in a certain direction, not unlike the neocons in the Pentagon under President George W. Bush. In any event, the presence of so many self-styled agenda-driven "experts" possessing regular media access raises questions about the objectivity of the policy-making process in Washington. If you seed enough partisans into the system and they are all singing the same tune that is then played and replayed in the media even a whole parcel of lies can eventually seem to be the truth."

Surprise, Surprise! What a Convenient Coincidence! Iraq violence set to delay US troop withdrawal

Withdrawal of first large phase of combat troops likely to be delayed for at least a month due to Iraq's instability

The Guardian

"The White House is likely to delay the withdrawal of the first large phase of combat troops from Iraq for at least a month after escalating bloodshed and political instability in the country.

General Ray Odierno, the US commander, had been due to give the order within 60 days of the general election held in Iraq on 7 March, when the cross-sectarian candidate Ayad Allawi edged out the incumbent leader, Nouri al-Maliki.

American officials had been prepared for delays in negotiations to form a government, but now appear to have balked after Maliki's coalition aligned itself with the theocratic Shia bloc to the exclusion of Allawi, who attracted the bulk of the minority Sunni vote. There is also concern over interference from Iraq's neighbours, Iran, Turkey and Syria....."

Al-Rai Reports Suspicious UNIFIL Activity in South Lebanon


"13/05/2010 The Kuwaiti newspaper “Al-Rai” quoted “very close sources to the UNIFIL – U.N. Interim Forces in South Lebanon” as saying that a UNFIL topographic force had secretly went to the “Slouki” Valley in south Lebanon with a GPS-equipped laptop and without official authorization from UNIFIL chief Alberto Asarta Cuevas, to record “coordinates of covert defensive stations for the resistance.” The Kuwaiti newspaper added that the UNIFIL force did not request a Lebanese Army backup. The sources also told Al-Rai that “residents, including Hezbollah activists, blocked the force believing what this UNFIL unit was doing only served Israel, especially that the Slouki Valley is known for its sensitive military nature.”

The Kuwaiti daily report also quoted sources it said were close to the resistance in Lebanon as questioning the goal of this operation. “This could also be a provocative act to draw a reaction that would later be exploited against the resistance,” the source said, according to “Al-Rai.”...."

رائحة كريهة تنبعث رغم التحفظ.

نزار السهلي

إن توسيع دائرة العجز و الفساد عن القيام بمواجهة حقيقية فاعلة على الأرض أصبحت من مسؤوليات م.ت. ف الحالية والسلطة الفلسطينية، وهما باتا لا يمثلان الشعب الفلسطيني ولا قضيته الوطنية، فابن حيفا ويافا وصفد والناصرة وسمخ وطبريا وعكا إلى آخر مدينة وقرية تم اقتلاع أهلها منها لم يفوض السلطة ولا المنظمة بالتفاوض عنه، ومخيمات سوريا ولبنان والضفة والقطاع والأردن والشتات المنتشر بين القطبين، لم يستشرها "كبير المفاوضين" الذي درس علم التفاوض في الجامعات الأمريكية والبريطانية، لم يدرس قضية شعبه على نحو صائب، وهو أمر ينسحب على باقي قطاعات المنظمة والسلطة وهرمها وقاعدتها. وهو أيضا متصل بعمل الفصائل المتمسكة والممسكة بعضويتها بالمنظمة كشاهد زور على ما يجري.

والسؤال المطروح من الشارع الفلسطيني لها: هل إصدار بيانات الرفض بالتفريط بالحقوق الفلسطينية هو ما يتطلبه العمل الوطني؟ ومن جهة أخرى اليد ممدودة للدول المانحة لتقبض مرتباتها كل آخر شهر، من حكومة فياض التي عملت على تدجين هذه الفصائل ضمن البيانات الصادرة عنها، واختيار لغة مدروسة بعناية فائقة كي لا تتهم بالتحريض على العنف و"الإرهاب"، اللغة الفصائلية المتحولة لغوا وهرجا في بياناتها، لم تعد تشكل حائط صد أمام الهجمة الصهيونية، وأمام الدور الوظيفي للسلطة والمنظمة اللتين ابتعدتا عن الشعب الفلسطيني، وبالتالي فقدتا قاعدتهما الشعبية. وأنا لا اقصد إقامة المهرجانات والمسيرات الغاضبة، التي استبدلت بيافطات وبيانات تتلى من وراء الميكروفونات لتوزعها وكالات الإنباء، لتصل للشارع الفلسطيني من خلال شريط الأخبار وكفى الله المؤمنين شر القتال.

مع حال كهذه أصبحت الرائحة الكريهة، للمفاوضات، ومن يديرها، ومن يدعمها، ومن يدعو لها، تزكم العقول
والتصدي للمشروع الصهيوني ومخططاته، لا تحتاج لبيانات التحفظ و"التحفض" حتى بأغلى أنواع الـ"بامبرز"
المستورد، فإن عقولنا قادرة على تحسس رائحة المؤامرة من عقول وضعت عليها "حفاضات"، للتحفظ على ما يجري
. "

FM tells Haaretz that while Israel had made countless gestures, all it got in return from the Palestinians was 'the glorification of terror.'


".....He said that "I think we made countless gestures, and what did we get in return? The glorification of terror." He added that "the day before Israel's acceptance by the OECD, [Palestinian Authority Prime Minister] Salam Fayyad approached dozens of countries with a request to sabotage that acceptance. They keep going on with their stories about war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. After all, [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas himself called and asked us, pressured us to continue the military campaign and overthrow Hamas."

Lieberman insisted that no agreement exists to freeze construction in East Jerusalem, that the United States has not dictated anything to Israel. He called the issue "a misunderstanding."....."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Irish activists urge divestment at CRH annual meeting

(Protestors in Bilin carry signs urging CRH to divest from Mashav.)

Adri Nieuwhof and John Dorman, The Electronic Intifada, 12 May 2010

"Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) activists are pressuring the Ireland-based international building materials group CRH to divest from its Israeli subsidiary Mashav. Last week, IPSC members attended the annual CRH general shareholders meeting as activist shareholders. Their aim was to discuss the involvement of CRH subsidiary Mashav in illegal construction activities in the occupied West Bank. The four IPSC shareholders dominated the hour-long question and answer session and received support from actual CRH shareholders for the company to divest from Israel...

Meanwhile, in the occupied West Bank village of Bilin, the weekly demonstration on 30 April focused on CRH's role in the construction of Israel's wall which effectively annexes to Israel's settlements the agricultural land of villages like Bilin. Carrying placards calling on CRH to divest from Mashav, villagers marched to the site where resident and grassroots leader Bassem Abu Rahmah was killed by the Israeli military last year. While filming the 30 April demonstration, Irish national Tommy Donnellan was injured and detained by Israeli soldiers. He was released after two hours...."

The Nakba and the Two-State Solution

(Click on map to enlarge)

Why Talk of "Realism" is Unrealistic


".....When one listens to the words of a Mahmoud ‘Abbas or a Salim Fayyad, it becomes obvious that it makes no difference who among the “leaders” of the Palestinian Authority (PA) talks. The content is the same, for they are simply delivery mechanisms and not the creators of the message. (The same applies to most other Arab leaders.) Having reached the inevitable terminus of the Peace Process and the Road Map and their interminable negotiations, they are now clutching the straw of the Indirect Proximity Talks. ‘Abbas, desperate to sustain a role for himself, was busy throwing the hot potato to equally ineffectual Arab leaders. The latter, if they do anything at all, they pass on the hot potato to the United Nations or some future conference of the Arab League. In other words, they try to freeze the hot potato to death.

Such “leaders” do not acknowledge that there is no justification for the assumption that a Two State solution is a teleological goal. It has failings that must be examined in light of new forms of reasoning, new events, and new practices. (4) For while, the “vision” of the Two State is “legitimate” in “the international consensus,” legitimacy is in the eye of the beholder. “Whose consensus?” is a legitimate question. What about the point of view of the people who most affected by this consensus?

One need only to look at borders, roads, contiguity, sovereignty dimensions, economic sufficiency, and so forth to realize that the Two State Solution is hardly “realistic.” While the Palestinian Authority is entrenched in political quietism, self-censorship, and obeisance, they nonetheless must confront the effects of that path.....

It is therefore time to re-assess the “realistic” approach. For many years now, the dominant view of Israel in much of the Arab world has reflected an internalization of the myth of Israeli superiority, not morally or ethically, but militarily and economically. Conveniently, it was parroted and propagated by successive different Arab governments in order to rationalize and justify the shirking of their historic responsibility to help Palestinians in achieving self-determination and independence based on the liberation of all usurped land....."

Al-Jazeera Video: Egypt extends emergency law

"May 11, 2010 — The Egyptian parliament has just given the go-ahead for some of the country's emergency laws to be extended.

The decades-old regulations were put in place after the assasination of Anwar Sadat, the former Egyptian president, almost 30 years ago.

Now the government has decided to lift some of those original restrictions - the changes state that the law would only apply to terror and drugs cases.

Analysts argue that the latest step is a legal ploy that masks the law's violation of basic human rights.

Al Jazeera's Amr El-Kahky reports. "

Real News Video with Transcript: Training that makes killing civilians acceptable

Josh Stieber: In boot camp we trained with songs that joked about killing women and children

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"Josh Stieber enlisted in the army after graduating high school. He was deployed to Baghdad from Feb 07- Apr 08 with the military company shown on the ground in the Collater Murder video. Upon his return from Iraq, Josh was granted conscientious objector status."

Real News Video: Modern history of Lebanon Pt6

Traboulsi on the expulsion of the PLO and the start of a Lebanese resistance to Israeli occupation

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"Fawwaz Traboulsi is Associate Professor teaching history and politics at the Lebanese American University in Beirut and American University in Beirut. is an associate professor of Political Science and History at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. Dr. Traboulsi has been a visiting professor at New York University; University of Michigan, Columbia University and Cairo University and a visiting fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford. Dr Traboulsi has translated several works, including Edward Said’s Out of Place and Humanism and Democratic Critique. He writes in both English and Arabic on Lebanese history, Arab politics, and social movements, with his most recent book A History of Modern Lebanon (published by Pluto Books, London, 2007)."