Saturday, October 2, 2010

Why Sanchez was fired

I must point out that Rick Sanchez, who was unceremoniously fired by CNN today for talking some trash about Jon Stewart and the Jewish ownership of networks, was one of the few network anchors to give any attention to the Palestinian side of the story. He was plainly alarmed by the Israeli assault on Gaza in 08-09. He interviewed Palestinian lawyer Diana Buttu. And below, he interviewed Mustafa Barghouti, and showed that Israel broke the cease-fire ahead of the Gaza onslaught. 

Obama's Dud Svengali


"Obama is losing his strong right arm. Dark days lie ahead, in which the president will lose traction with Congress, needlessly offend key constituencies, lose control of his legislative agenda. Why? His chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is quitting the White House, prelude to a bid to become mayor of Chicago.

But wait! Aren’t those dark days already here? Isn’t the president’s approval rating sinking steadily? Doesn’t he face the possible loss of both houses of Congress to the Republicans? Aren’t Democrats facing uphill fights in the midterm elections begging him to stay away and not doom them with his shadow?

All these things are true.....

By the time Obama hired him, Emanuel already had a proven record of toadyism to corporate America and the neocon lobby, Emanuel was a relict of all that was sleazy in the Clinton White House....

As Andrew Cockburn and later John Walsh described on this site at that time, Emanuel did his best to recruit candidates, preferably rich ones, guaranteed to eschew vocal opposition to the Iraq war, which Emanuel, a veteran of the Israeli army strongly favored.

After the midterm election John Walsh totted up the scorecard achieved by the man hailed as the Democrats’ can-do guy, as efficiently ruthless as the Great Satan himself, Karl Rove.
Emanuel had chosen chose 22 key races, open or Republican seats, where Democrats might win. “By any reasonable criteria,” Walsh wrote, “ all the candidates chosen by Emanuel, save perhaps for one, were pro-war as Emanuel himself......

Emanuel’s political profile was scarcely a secret , and so the fact that Obama picked him as his chief of staff was a painful kick in the stomach for all those foolish souls who thought Obama’s victory presaged exciting changes in America’s course......

Obama had Emanuel guiding him into one disaster after another.....Obama can see that his presidency is in a fix beyond rescue by the elevated streams of verbiage that won him the White House back in 2008. Emanuel blames his boss, and his boss blames the progressives for letting him down! I blame the progressives for pumping Obama up in the first place. Realism is the first, best tool in politics......"

Friday, October 1, 2010

After France, Israel considers 'banning the burqa'

“When I followed the campaign in France, I started asking questions. But not questions about why the ban on the burqa was being proposed. Rather, I asked why it was not proposed beforehand! So late... Where were the Western liberals when they saw what was going on in their own countries, to their own citizens?” Two days after France's lower house of parliament banned the burqa, Solodkin proposed her own anti-burqa bill to the Israeli Knesset.
Several European countries are currently considering measures that would outlaw articles of clothing associated with Islam. Sometimes proponents of the law contend that it is necessary to prevent political and economic crimes. Others object to the head coverings because they symbolize a rejection of the dominant cultural norms. Many maintain that the Muslim headdresses worn by women are symbols of misogyny, tools of totalitarian patriarchy. Solodkin iterates this claim.[Talk about Chutzpah !! this Colonizer from Russia ,a racist and someone who sees nothing wrong with subjugation and  occupation of Palestinians and using extreme violence against defenseless population INCLUDING WOMEN and children , has the audacity to speak about misogyny and totalitarian patriarchy as if he gives a damn about the plight of muslim women in Israel]

Land theft on a massive scale: Annexation of the Jordan valley

Israeli annexation of Jordan Valley bleeding Palestinians dry
The Irish times

Since occupying East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967, Israel has regarded the valley as its eastern border. Israel says it would never withdraw because the valley, 30 per cent of the West Bank, provides strategic depth and a buffer zone. Over the past 43 years Israel has planted 36 settlements and half a dozen military camps here.

These assets also give Israel control of the valuable resources of the valley which Palestinians insist must belong to their future state.

Officials argue that a Palestinian entity without the valley would would have no sovereignty, no control over any of its borders, an essential component of statehood. If Israel were to retain the valley, the West Bank would be another Gaza, a place where Israel exercises complete control of land, sea and air space.

Targeted Citizen

The film “Targeted Citizen” (15 minutes), produced by filmmaker Rachel Leah Jones for Adalah, surveys discrimination against the Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Targeted Citizen - English from Adalah on Vimeo.

Israeli Arab MK: Racism in Israel has reached frightening levels

Some 6,000 Israeli Arabs marched Friday from the Galilee town of Kfar Kanna in a procession that marked the commemoration of the October 2000 riots, in which 13 Israeli Arab youths were killed by Israel Police officers.

Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) urged Israeli officials to try the police officers allegedly responsible.
"Failure to put the criminals on trial is like making sure the victims are really dead," Tibi said on Friday. He also said that since the events of October 2000, the level of racism in Israel increased and has reached "frightening levels."
Approximately 45 percent of the general Israeli Arab population lives in poverty – a figure even higher among the sector's children, at 57 percent.
Only some 20 percent of Israeli Arab women are employed. While the figure for Israeli Arab men is higher – 60 percent – most of those jobs are in physical labor and many are laid of between the ages of 40 and 45.
Nearly 8 percent of Israeli Arab youths drop out of high school – a figure nearly three times the national average.
Public transportation is either completely lacking or insufficient about 80 percent of Israeli Arab towns and villages, and overcrowded housing in these communities is 70 percent higher than in Jewish communities.

Border police stationed on rooftop breaks window enter and orders palestinian woman to make him coffee

On Tuesday evening, Israeli border police and special Yasma forces rampaged through the East Jerusalem city of Silwan. Their presence on the ground was due to unrest that has been engulfing the city since last week’s murder of a 35 year old Palestinian at the hands of a private settler security guard. Recently, I was on the ground and witnessed soldiers urinating and defecating on the roofs of private Palestinian homes, throwing bottles (water and beer) on to Palestinians pedestrians on the street and breaking windows left and right.

They also defecate and urinate on their rooftops!

“Soldiers are trashing roof tops with urine and feces in Silwan. We are cleaning up and putting the waste in front of the settler house”
“The police have no shame at all. They have broken a window now and poked their heads into the house demanding coffee”
“They are also throwing bottles from roofs on to the main streets. The border police are doing this that is”

Above is the first in a series of videos that document these petty, routine and all to familiar crimes of occupation which the Israeli army commits on a daily basis.

Joseph Dana

Nazis Torture Boy put him under house arrest for 5 month

HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe was received on Friday by the family of a 13-year-old Hebron boy on Friday, days after the child's release from Israeli prison.

Karem Khaled Da’na, from the Wad Al-Bustan neighborhood in the West Bank city of Hebron, was taken from his family home by Israeli forces on 22 September, who said he had thrown stones at settlers on his way home from school. 

The minister pledged to support the family in any way possible, as part of the ministry's ongoing efforts to secure the release of the 280 children under the age of 18 currently in Israeli prisons. Since 2000, Quraqe said, 8,000 minors were detained by Israeli forces. 

According to lawyers and testimony from Karem, he was tortured and kept for six days in Israel's Ofer detention center, and later released on 3,000 shekels ($824) bail under house arrest for a period of five months without exception including going to school. 

Hariri's House of Cards

Will the STL Bring Down the Lebanese Government?


"A war of words has erupted between Lebanon’s Hezbollah-led March 8 Coalition and Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri’s ruling March 14 Coalition, posing the greatest challenge to Hariri’s leadership yet and threatening the viability of his “national unity” government.

As indictments loom following the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s (STL) investigation into the February 2005 assassination of the late premier Rafiq al-Hariri, his now-prime minister son finds himself trapped between diametrically opposed forces. Those in his parliamentary bloc and own Future Movement back the STL—and importantly, its funding—while the March 8 opposition has called for it to either seriously consider claims of alleged Israeli involvement in Hariri’s killing or be shut down......

Hariri’s government is now more fragile than ever; a proverbial house of cards erected on fabricated witness testimonies and one likely to be brought down by the upcoming indictments of a discredited tribunal. "

Ominous signs in Iran under siege

By Kaveh L Afrasiabi
Asia Times

"An Iraq war in slow motion, the impasse between Iran and the United States has all the ingredients of a major crisis. With Washington - still angry at the Iranian president's audacity in New York - leading a concerted destabilization campaign, and oil majors adding bite to sanctions, the stage is set for more ominous developments....

With the risk scenarios many, and a poisoned climate evaporating the chances for selective cooperation on regional issues such as Ahmadinejad's offer of cooperation with the US on Afghanistan, the future of US-Iran relations looks hopelessly bleak at the moment. A familiar story since the onset of the anti-Western Islamist regime in Iran however, the new level of hostilities between the two countries may be followed by a cooling off period caused by the mere threat of an unwanted spiral toward physical confrontation......"

Who’s Your Daddy? By Mr. Fish

PA Recommends Whitewashing War Crimes

By Stephen Lendman
Palestine Chronicle

"Who do they serve anyway? It's clear from the sham peace talks and a new development. The Mahmoud Abbas-controlled Palestinian Authority (PA) wants Israel absolved of accountability for Cast Lead crimes of war and against humanity. No matter that conclusive evidence exposed them, the result of the IDF's 23-day day rampage, killing over 1,400, injuring over 5,000, many severely, and practically leveling wide areas of Gaza, affecting mostly civilian and non-military related targets.

Besides other investigations, two UN Human Rights Council (HRC) ones unequivocally condemned Israel's lawlessness, each demanding accountability....

According to one human rights official:

"They killed the Goldstone process. There will be nothing to follow up on." They plan the same thing for the HRC's Committee of experts. "The decision of the PA not to pursue international criminal justice perpetuates this practice and denies victims' rights."

Their action is inexcusable, absolving Israel, effectively letting its killing machine maraud freely - murdering, destroying, and plundering with impunity, Palestinians again denied justice."

Where is Carlos Latuff?

I have not seen a new cartoon by Carlos in more than a month, and I check his site daily.

This is quite unusual. If anyone knows more about this absence, or if Carlos himself reads this post (I know that he visits this blog), please write in the comment section.

Invading Pakistan

Phase two of Obama's war

by Justin Raimondo, October 01, 2010

""We will have to see whether we are allies or enemies," said Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik after a US/NATO manned air strike took out three Pakistani soldiers and wounded three others. If it isn’t clear to the Pakistani minister, it is crystal clear to the people of Pakistan, who live in fear of constant US drone attacks – and, now, open violations of their country’s sovereignty. Anti-American sentiment is at an all-time high, and the increasingly fragile government – which hangs by a very thin thread – is being rapidly undermined by US actions.

The attack was launched "in self-defense," according to the US military, but the Pakistanis weren’t appeased: they promptly cut off a vital supply route into Afghanistan. ....

Obama-Men: Innocents Abroad; Politicos at Home

by Ray McGovern, October 01, 2010

"Paging through Bob Woodward’s Obama’s Wars, I should not have been surprised that the index lacks any entry for "intelligence." The excerpts that dribbled out earlier this week had made unavoidably clear that there was, in fact, no entry for intelligence in the disorderly process last fall that got the Obama administration neck-deep in the Big Muddy — to borrow from Pete Seeger’s song from the Vietnam era.

Before reading through Woodward’s book, the excerpts already published had left doubts in my mind that the Obama White House could be host to such an amateurish decision-process-without-real-process. I had seen a lot of White House fecklessness in my 30 years in intelligence analysis, but it was, frankly, hard to believe that it could be so bad this time....."

The second intifada, 10 years on

For Israelis and Palestinians the legacy of the 2000 uprising is a cycle of trauma and violence – making prospects for peace bleak

Seth Freedman, Friday 1 October 2010

".....Given that the prospects for peace today are as bleak as they were a decade ago, it is almost inevitable that the cycle will continue long into the future, affecting untold numbers of Israelis and Palestinians for generations to come. This latest milestone only serves to remind all connected parties – young and old, Jewish and Muslim, rightwing or leftwing – that the only variables now are time and place. The conflict is embedded far too deeply for cosmetic actions to have any real, lasting effect at ground level. The best that can be hoped for is a delay until the outbreak of the next intifada. That it will erupt at some point is all but set in stone."

Obama offering Israel incentives to extend freeze on settlement construction, say reports

US president said to have listed a range of inducements in letter sent to Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu

The Guardian

"Barack Obama has offered a range of inducements to Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu in return for a two-month extension to the partial freeze on settlement construction, it was reported today.
Obama wrote a letter to Netanyahu in an attempt to break the deadlock in talks which has occurred since the expiry of the freeze at the weekend. In it he sets out a list of commitments and guarantees the US was willing to offer in exchange....."

'US unable to afford its huge war costs'

Press TV Interview with
Gareth Porter

"A new study shows that the long-term costs of the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq doubles initial estimates, suggesting the revised six-trillion-dollar figure.

Apart from the new estimates by the Nobel Prize winner for economics Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard University Professor Linda Bilmes, more than a million of the American veterans are either seeking post-combat care or applying for disability benefits.

The following is the transcript of Press TV's interview with Gareth Porter, historian and investigative journalist from Washington....."

Video: Viva Palestina aid convoy leaves Ankara

Press TV

Thursday, September 30, 2010

الحرب الأميركية على الفلسطينيين

BY Professor Abdul-Sattar Qassem

"تشن الولايات المتحدة الأميركية حربا شعواء لا هوادة فيها على الفلسطينيين في الوسط الشرقي من فلسطين (الضفة الغربية)، وهي تستعمل أساليب صفيقة وحقيرة وصلفة من أجل تركيع الشعب وتذليله وإذلاله وإخضاعه، وتحويله إلى مجرد جثث هوجائية تحل في أجساد بشرية حيوانية لا تعرف حقوقا، ولا تثأر لكرامة، ولا تبحث عن عزة وشأن.

يتعرض الوسط الشرقي من فلسطين لخطر داهم على يد الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وهو خطر أشد من الخطر الذي يمثله الاحتلال الصهيوني، ذلك لأنه يهدف إلى هدم الشعب وتحويله إلى أفراد مرتزقة يقايضون، بوعي أو بدون وعي وطنهم وأعراضهم ومستقبل أبنائهم وأحفادهم بحفنة بسيطة من المال، وبمصالح معيشية يومية غير دائمة
أمركا تعمل بجد واجتهاد على تحويل الفلسطينيين في الضفة الغربية إلى فرقة من المرتزقة في روث الأجهزة الأمنية الإسرائيلية، وهناك من السياسيين والأكاديميين والعسكريين الفلسطينيين من يساعدها في ذلك، ويبرر لها أعمالها

الهدف واضح وهو نزع الإرادة السياسية الفلسطينية من خلال نزع القدرة الفلسطينية على الاعتماد على الذات. صحيح أن الوسط الشرقي غير قادر على تحقيق الاكتفاء الذاتي، لكن السياسة الاقتصادية القائمة على تطوير الاقتصاد بطريقة متناسبة مع متطلبات التحرير لا يمكن أن تقبل زيادة الاعتماد على الآخرين، وخاصة عندما يكونون أعداء.

لقد أوجز لي أحد موظفي السلطة الأمر عندما دار حديث حول سحب جزء من السيارات الحكومية من أيدي مستخدميها بالقول: لقد تنازلت عن فلسطين مقابل السيارة، والآن لدي الاستعداد لأقاتل من أجل بقائها معي
لقد ربّت أميركا العديد من الأشخاص على يديها على مدى سنوات طويلة، ومنهم الآن من يتبوؤون مراكز عليا في السلطة، ومنهم من يفاوضون. وفي كل مرة أسمع أحاديث عن المفاوضات والمقترحات والمقاربات، أشعر بالأسى على هذا الشعب الفلسطيني الذي يقدم التضحيات لأن إسرائيل في الغالب تفاوض نفسها، أو تناقش مع ممثلي الولايات المتحدة الفلسطينيين
هناك عدد لا بأس به من أساتذة الجامعات انضموا إلى أسطول المثقفين المتأمركين، والذين يتغذون على الحقوق الوطنية للشعب الفلسطيني. هؤلاء المثقفون هم أبطال الغسيل الثقافي الذي من شأنه طمس ثقافة الشعب والأمة لصالح ثقافة غازية لا تهدف إلا إلى السيطرة والهيمنة
ومن يحكم الوسط الشرقي؟.. الذين يحكمون الوسط الشرقي هم المنسق الأمني الأميركي، والقنصل الأميركي في القدس، والمخابرات المركزية الأميركية. أما الوجوه التفلزيونية فهي فلسطينية. يعتمد هذا الثالوث على وكلاء أمن سريين وظاهريين، وعلى مؤسسة "يو أس إيد"، والبنك الدولي، وعلى المثقفين والسياسيين الفلسطينيين الذين قدموا أنفسهم لخدمة السياسة الأميركية، وعلى أجهزة أمنية فلسطينية. ربما لم يكن بعضهم راغبا في تقديم هذه الخدمة بداية، لكنه الآن متورط فيها حتى أذنيه، ولا يستطيع أن يخرج إلا إذا تغيرت الأحوال الفلسطينية في الوسط الشرقي بصورة جوهرية.

وخلاصة القول: إن الأميركيين في حربهم على الشعب الفلسطيني يحققون نجاحا في الوسط الشرقي (الضفة)، لكنهم لم يحسموا المعركة بعد. فما زالت هناك قوى كبيرة ومنتشرة على الساحة تقف في وجه هذا العدوان المستمر، وهي في الحقيقة فاعلة ومن الممكن أن تضع كوابح على التقدم الأميركي.

لكن هذا الغزو يمكن أن يصاب بضربة قوية إذا نشطت المقاومة الفلسطينية في مواجهة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي.

Al-Jazeera Video: Palestinians mark anniversary of second Intifada

"It is ten years since the start of the second Intifada in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The uprising claimed 5,500 Palestinian lives as well as more than 1,000 Isrealis.

Al Jazeera talks to Ahmad Abed Rabbo, the young Palestinian who was part of President Yasser Arafat's presidential guard at the time of the fighting.

This is his story."

PA decision at UN a "betrayal of Gaza victims' rights"

Press release, various undersigned, 29 September 2010

"As members of the Palestinian Council of Human Rights Organizations, we strongly condemn the decision of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to support a UN Human Rights Council resolution that accords further time for ineffective domestic investigations, thus effectively failing to pursue accountability for crimes committed during the Israeli offensive code-named "Operation Cast Lead."....

Once again, we urge the PA to act as a genuine representative of Palestinian victims and not to sacrifice their rights on the altar of political expediency.

Members of the Palestinian Council of Human Rights Organizations:

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
Al-Dameer Association for Human Rights - Gaza
Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights
BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights
Defence for Children International - Palestine Section
ENSAN Association for Democracy and Human Rights
Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center
Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies
Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling "

Real News Video: UN: Israel Executed Flotilla Activists


Gareth Porter: UN Fact-Finding Mission Says Israelis "Executed" US Citizen Furkan Dogan

More at The Real News

Israeli Commandos Accused of Murder

By Gareth Porter
September 29, 2010

(Left: Furkan Dogan)

"The following article by investigative reporter Gareth Porter focuses on evidence that a U.S. citizen was one of the six passengers summarily executed by Israeli commandos:

The report of the fact-finding mission of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla released last week shows conclusively that U.S. citizen Furkan Dogan and five Turkish citizens were murdered execution-style by Israeli commandos.

The report reveals that Dogan, the 19-year-old U.S. citizen of Turkish descent, was filming with a small video camera on the top deck of the Mavi Marmara when he was shot twice in the head, once in the back and in the left leg and foot and that he was shot in the face at point blank range while lying on the ground....."

BBC and Murdoch, on the Same Side

By John Pilger

"Britain is said to be approaching its Berlusconi Moment. That is to say, if Rupert Murdoch wins control of Sky he will command half the television and newspaper market and threaten what is known as public service broadcasting. Although the alarm is ringing, it is unlikely that any government will stop him while his court is packed with politicians of all parties.

The problem with this and other Murdoch scares is that, while one cannot doubt their gravity, they deflect from an unrecognised and more insidious threat to honest information [the BBC]. For all his power, Murdoch’s media is not respectable....

So it was entirely appropriate that Blair, in hawking his self-serving book, should select Marr for his "exclusive TV interview" on the BBC. The headline across the Observer’s review of the interview read, "Look who’s having the last laugh." Beneath this was a picture of a beaming Blair sharing a laugh with Marr.

The interview produced not a single challenge that stopped Blair in his precocious, mendacious tracks.....

Instead, Blair used the convivial encounter to deceive, yet again, even to promote an attack on Iran, an outrage. Murdoch’s Fox would have differed in style only. The British public deserves better. "

Wake Up, America!

by Philip Giraldi, September 30, 2010

"Let us suppose for a moment that an individual enjoying the full confidence and trust of the United States government was given access to the most secret information possessed by the US military, to include how it would react to an attack by an aggressor armed with nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Let us further suppose that that individual violated his trust in the most egregious and vile fashion, offering to sell the information to anyone, but eventually settling on a nation ostensibly friendly to the US but not in any way a formal ally. The individual then proceeded to deliver defense secrets literally by the carload, not only information that might plausibly have been construed as relevant to the buyer’s own security, but also strategic defense information that could conceivably have led to the deaths of millions of American citizens. That information was then bartered and re-sold to an enemy who was in a position to use it to devastate the United States, together with sources and methods information on intelligence operations that in short order led to the deaths of many American citizens and also foreigners who had been cooperating with the United States......

The latest criminal outrage is a quartet of congressmen who are calling on the Obama Administration to free Pollard to "advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks." Well, first of all, everyone knows that the talks are kabuki, designed to accomplish absolutely nothing while advancing the standing of Obama prior to the US congressional elections in November......

It is time for the American people to rise up and throw these bums out. Putting them in jail for malfeasance and corruption would be even better. I would like to see a panel of USS Liberty survivors and widows and orphans of the dead intelligence officers question Franks, Weiner, Pascrell, and Towns about their plan to free Pollard.....

An opportunity is coming in November to remove the snakes from Congress. Let’s organize to get rid of Franks, Weiner, Pascrell, and Towns. To be sure they will be replaced by others who are probably just as attached to Israel or fearful of its lobby as they are, but the time will inevitably come when allegiance to a foreign nation that is a strategic liability for the United States will become unseemly. May that day come soon."

The Traitor Refuses to Take a Hint, by Emad Hajjaj

Yemen's veneer of legality

New media restrictions, erected under the cover of state security, will snuff out what little remains of press freedom in Yemen

Mohamed Abdel Dayem
(Middle East and North Africa program coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists.), Wednesday 29 September 2010

""In Yemen, you conceal your identity as a journalist. Your journalism ID is a liability, not an asset. It turns you into a target." Those were among the first words that journalist Abdulelah Hider Shaea said to me as we sipped tea on a breezy Friday afternoon in July in the capital, Sana'a.

Shaea works for the official Saba news agency and is a frequent commentator on Islamist groups. Those ominous words reverberated in my ears when, less than a handful of days later, I heard that Shaea had been snatched off a busy street by armed men in civilian clothing and taken to an unknown location.

When I met with him just a few hours after his release, Shaea told of unidentified security personnel who wanted "to frighten and silence" him, adding that he would not be dissuaded from continuing his work as a journalist.

In mid-August, agents of the national security apparatus took Shaea again, this time holding him incommunicado for an entire month before referring him to a prosecutor. At the time of writing, Shaea had just been charged with "providing assistance" to al-Qaida. The evidence: nothing more than his publicly available news and analysis....."

US politics is angry, polarised, and gridlocked. Can it be reformed?

Washington moves at the pace of Brezhnev's Soviet Union. It needs to be more like Silicon Valley if it is to compete with China

Timothy Garton Ash, Wednesday 29 September 2010

"If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would say that Osama bin Laden was a Chinese agent. And maybe America's banks, credit card companies, advertising agencies and government have been secretly working for China too. For while the United States has spent more than $1 trillion on foreign wars since the 9/11 attacks, and piled up a Mount Everest of debt at home, China has spent the last decade quietly growing, saving, investing and rising. If the winner of the war in Iraq was Iran, the winner of America's decade-long struggle against violent Islamism may be China...."

In search of a great Arab leader?

(Nasser and Fidel Castro)

Forty years after his death, no Arab leader has been able to fill the role left vacant by Gamal Abdel Nasser.

By Lamis Andoni

"Forty years after the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the late Egyptian president, his position remains unfilled: No other leader has emerged as a symbol of pan-Arab unity and the struggle for independence from Western influence.

Nasser, who was the president of Egypt between 1956 and 1970, wielded great influence on the Arab intelligentsia and masses alike. His weekly speeches brought Arab streets to a standstill as the people listened, mesmerised, to his every sentence broadcast on Egyptian radio.

His words resonated in the alleyways of neighbourhoods across Arab cities and towns - at times in defiance of pro-Western governments in countries such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia, whose regimes viewed him with fear and suspicion.....

But, he was very much the product of an era - an era that helped him to loom large in a way that no leader from the South can in our time of pervasive US hegemony and the delegitimisation of resistance movements.

The 1952 revolution against the Western-backed Egyptian monarchy that eventually brought Nasser to power reflected a broader Arab and international trend towards rejecting European colonialist powers and the regimes they installed to maintain their influence in their former colonies.....

Nasser's emergence was not unique or isolated from the emergence of other nationalist leaders who challenged Western control over people and natural resources.

Patrice Lumumba, the Congolese prime minister, engaged in a fierce battle against the Belgian colonialists, while Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, the prime minister and then president of Ghana, fought against the global capitalist system's attempts to control his country's wealth.

In Cuba, revolutionaries battled and defeated the US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista - offering new friends and models to Arab revolutionaries, including Nasser....

Younger generations of Arabs are not as captivated by Nasser's legacy as their parents and grandparents. Some do not understand the nostalgia that has poured forth in Arab newspapers on the occasion of the anniversary of his death. They feel that they have inherited defeat and that the glory of the past has brought neither victory nor democracy.

That is partly because the rulers that followed dismantled many of the achievements of Nasser and other leaders of popular movements from that era.

But it is also partly because Nasser and other pan-Arab leaders failed to establish democratic institutions and were themselves guilty of repressing - to different degrees - dissent and opposition.....

And while Nasser remains a great inspiration, his legacy must also teach us that we should not place our hopes in the emergence of a larger-than-life leader to be our saviour."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

University of Johannesburg ultimatum to Israeli university

The South African University of Johannesburg (UJ) senate has warned to end its relationship with Israeli university Ben-Gurion (BGU) unless certain conditions are met.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the South African university's highest academic body agreed that the Ben-Gurion University would have to work with Palestinian universities on research projects and stop its "direct and indirect support for the Israeli military and the occupation".

"The conditions are that the memorandum of understanding governing the relationship between the two institutions be amended to include Palestinian universities chosen with the direct involvement of UJ," the university said in a statement.

"Additionally, UJ will not engage in any activities with BGU that have direct or indirect military implications, this to be monitored by UJ's senate academic freedom committee.
"Should these conditions not be met within six months, the memorandum of understanding will automatically lapse on April 1 2011," UJ said.

Message to all Zionists trying to use the Holocaust Card

We are getting many Zionists from both inside the USA and Israel trying revise history and blame the Arabs or link them to the Holocaust. It is essential to revisit this classic video by Norman Finkelstein talking about the use of the Holocaust Card to justify Israel's crimes against the Palestinians.

Abbas is unfit to lead the Palestinian people

September 28, 2010

By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem


Khalid, "unfit to lead?" Is that all?

Stop being nice to this bastard and his Mafia. He should be tried for the highest treason to Palestinian rights and interests. He should be sentenced to death if convicted of this high crime. This would be comparable to what Hizbullah did when it sentenced Antoine Lahad to death in absentia.

Abbas, just like Lahad, should have only one safe home: in Tel Aviv.

Enough of this half-hearted condemnation of Palestinian traitors! When are the Palestinians (including Hamas which wants "reconciliation" with the bastard!) going to get as serious and as committed as Hizbullah?

Palestine is finished and we still do not have the guts to even speak!

This is the biggest Nakba, disguised as an "authority!"

"The reaction of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the latest Zionist provocations, including the all-out settlement expansion drive in the West Bank, has been disastrous and calamitous.

Abbas has issued a plethora of conflicting statements, some signaling his willingness to remain engaged in the so-called "peace process" with Israel. This is despite the fact that Israel keeps trampling on that damned, whoring process, if only by embarking on more settlement building, and more land theft at the Palestinians' expense........"

The Talking Abbas, by Khalil Bendib

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

UN vote could 'kill the Goldstone process'

A draft resolution backed by the Palestinian Authority at the United Nations Human Rights Council could undermine the recommendations of a UN-sponsored inquiry into Israel's assault on Gaza, experts say. 

Ma'an has learned that the draft chooses not to pursue accountability for crimes committed during Israel’s 2008-2009 offensive on the Gaza Strip, and instead requests further time to conduct domestic investigations. 

The UN rights body is voting to endorse the conclusions of a follow-up committee that determined last week that Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip failed to undertake credible investigations into their forces actions during the Gaza assault. The conflict killed 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. 

But the draft resolution supported by the PA will not send the report to the ICC, a deficiency that human rights organizations are condemning as another violation of the rights of Palestinian victims. 

Time spent on ineffective domestic procedures will achieve nothing, rights experts in Geneva said Wednesday.
"They killed the Goldstone process," one official said. "There will be nothing to follow up on." 

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Mahmoud Abbas' dilemma

"Settlement building in the West Bank is once again underway after the Israeli government allowed the ten month moratorium on settlement expansion to expire. With the peace process under serious threat, what will Abbas do next? And can diplomacy find a way out of this dilemma?"

Ed Miliband, British Labor Party’s first Jewish leader, has some in Israel worried

By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

"The election of Ed Miliband, Tony Blair’s one-time Energy Minister and London School of Economics alumnus, as leader of the British Labor Party, and hence, Leader of the Opposition of Great Britain, over his more pro-Israeli brother, former Blair Foreign Secretary David Miliband, clearly has some Israeli leaders concerned.

Marion Kozak, the Miliband brothers’ mother, is a supporter of Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JJP), which has dispatched an aid ship from Northern Cyprus to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Kozak’s support for the Palestinians cause has sent the Israeli media and leadership into a frenzy over the “left-wing” affiliations of Kozak and her son, Labor’s first Jewish leader. JJP also favors negotiations between Israel and Hamas, as well as the freeing of all Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons...."

Hamas Prisoner In P.A Jail Hospitalized Due To Torture

"Palestinian media sources reported Tuesday evening that a political prisoner of the Hamas movement was moved to hospital after being reportedly tortured by security personnel of the Fateh movement.

The prisoner, Bilal Abu Asba, was moved to Salfit Hospital due to extreme torture during interrogation, the Hamas movement stated in a press release.

Abu Asba was arrested more than sixteen days ago and was placed under interrogation by the Preventive Security [Whose security? Israel's of course!] Forces since then.

The Hamas movement accused Fateh and its security forces in the West Bank of targeting the resistance and of arresting hundreds of members and supporters of the movement. "

The Ass That Can't, by Mike Luckovich

Hungry in Gaza, More and More

By Eva Bartlett

"GAZA CITY, Sep 29, 2010 (IPS) - "Sometimes, for a day or two we don't even have bread, nor flour to make bread. There's a store nearby that, when we are truly desperate, lets us take a bag of bread or something simple, on credit. I owe them a lot of money for the food I've brought from them, but I still can't pay them."....

Ard al-Insan's Dr. Al-Wahaidi sees it clearly. "The main reason for hunger in Gaza is Israeli politics on the people Gaza. Gaza is different than other places. When we have a disaster, we cannot leave our small piece of land to find work or safety elsewhere. We are trapped inside." "

Is South African Foreign Policy with Palestine Tied in Knots?

By Iqbal Jassat – Pretoria
(Iqbal Jassat is chairperson of the Media Review Network (MRN), an advocacy group based in Pretoria, South Africa. )

"In a recent interview, South Africa's ambassador to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, Ted Pekane, made an intriguing observation:

“Currently we have no intention of breaking ties with Israel. That would be counter-productive. Our policy of engagement applies to Israel as well. Only if the [Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas] asked us to support the disinvestments and sanctions campaign against Israel would we consider packing our bags”.

This admission is the closest any senior foreign ministry official has come to in revealing an inherent weakness in this country’s relations with Israel/Palestine.

It is shocking too in that it implies our diplomatic engagement in the world’s number one conflict zone is blinded and being pursued while voluntarily having our hands tied behind our back!....

Yet the argument for maintaining relations with Israel is underpinned by a depraved view that we also have diplomatic presence in Ramallah.

It’s obviously a presence that has extolled a huge price. In addition to granting Israel full carte blanche, it has legitimized the occupation......"

Obama: ‘The Generals Made Me Do It!’

What's a community organizer to do?

by Justin Raimondo, September 29, 2010

"All Washington is atwitter: the grand old man of the Court Historians, Bob Woodward, has come out with yet another “book” – i.e. another long-winded press release on behalf of the Powers That Be – explaining, “reporting,” and rationalizing the war policies of the current regime. Oh, glory be! Drop everything and run to the nearest bookstore – or just go online and download the excerpts at the Washington Post‘s incredibly cumbersome web site.....

What’s interesting, here, is that our commander-in-chief automatically took one option – a negotiated settlement with the Taliban, followed by withdrawal – off the table. It is not even mentioned as a possibility, however distant. This is not surprising, given the Washington consensus, which is that the Empire never stops expanding, but only pauses once in a while to catch its breath.....

This is the most ominous development, among many, of the post-9/11 political atmosphere: the rise of the generals as an almost co-equal force with the President. The elevation of the Pentagon was the logical outgrowth of the “war on terrorism” and the Bushian magnification of the president’s wartime powers. If we think of the presidential persona as invested with a trinity of identities – citizen, chief executive, and commander-in-chief – it’s clear that the first has been obliterated since at least the advent of the cold war, and the second has been subordinated to the third since 9/11. With Congress gone A.W.O.L. on foreign policy, it’s only natural that the Pentagon would replace the legislative branch.

A stronger chief executive could challenge and reverse this militarist trend: unfortunately, Obama is not up to the task. Indeed, if Woodward’s portrait of the President is even half accurate, we haven’t seen such a weak chief executive since the days of James Buchanan."

South Africa's Israel boycott

An international boycott helped end apartheid – now South Africans are leading world opposition to racism in Israel

Ronnie Kasrils
(Ronnie Kasrils is a South African politician. He played a prominent role in anti-apartheid activism.), Wednesday 29 September 2010

"When Chief Albert Luthuli made a call for the international community to support a boycott of apartheid South Africa in 1958, the response was a widespread and dedicated movement that played a significant role in ending apartheid. Amid the sporting boycotts, the pledges of playwrights and artists, the actions by workers to stop South African goods from entering local markets and the constant pressure on states to withdraw their support for the apartheid regime, the role of academics also came to the fore.

One significant move was the resolution taken by 150 Irish academics not to accept academic posts or appointments in apartheid South Africa....

The campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel has now launched in South Africa. Trade unions in South Africa have publicly committed their support; most notably with the action by South African Transport and Allied Workers Union dockworkers early last year to refuse offloading Israeli goods at Durban harbour – a commitment that was renewed in July this year.

The consumer boycott has also been gaining ground, including the launch of the recent public campaign by leading South African activists to boycott Ahava Dead Sea Cosmetics and to join the international movement to boycott Israeli products.

The boycott and sanctions campaign ultimately helped liberate both black and white South Africans. Palestinians and Israelis will similarly benefit from this international non-violent campaign – a campaign that all South Africans can take forward....."

Tough Days Lie Ahead in Lebanon


"29/09/2010 Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem stressed the Special Tribunal of Lebanon (STL) “has been irredeemably politicized,” and that Damascus has received word that members of Hezbollah were soon to be formally charged with the murder case of former PM martyr Rafiq Hariri.

Moallem told the Wall Street Journal in remarks published Wednesday that “such developments risked plunging Lebanon into a new round of sectarian strife and that the U.N.'s investigation should be replaced by a purely Lebanese investigation to ensure fair treatment.”

In short, tough days could be lying ahead in Lebanon.....

Hezbollah sees the end of the crisis through the persecution of the false witnesses and an end to aiming at the party.

The coming days are not expected to witness any improvement in the situation in Lebanon, as it appears that all players agree that they are playing in the lost time and that they have taken their positions to take the confrontation to its second level, regardless of its nature. "

أخطأت السلطة.. ولم تصب 'حماس'

أخطأت السلطة.. ولم تصب 'حماس'
عبد الباري عطوان

"الصمت المريب الذي نراه حاليا تجاه مهزلة المفاوضات الفلسطينية ـ الاسرائيلية المباشرة، وما يدور حولها من اختزال للحقوق الفلسطينية في مسألة تجميد الاستيطان، امر يبعث على الغثيان.
فمن المؤسف ان رد الفعل الفلسطيني، سواء ذلك المتعلق بالسلطة ورئيسها محمود عباس في رام الله، او بحركة 'حماس' وبعض الفصائل الفلسطينية الاخرى، مخيب للآمال، ولا يرتقي الى مستوى الاخطار التي يمكن ان تستهدف عصب القضية الفلسطينية.
الرئيس محمود عباس الذي اقسم بأغلظ الايمان بانه لن يستمر في المفاوضات يوما واحدا اذا استمرت الحكومة الاسرائيلية في مخططاتها الاستيطانية بعد السادس والعشرين من الشهر الحالي (يوم الاحد الماضي) فانه سينسحب منها، ما زال يتفاوض وينتظر غطاء عربيا للاستمرار في التفاوض في ظل الاستيطان مثلما فعلت سلطته، وباشرافه شخصيا، منذ توقيع اتفاقات اوسلو قبل سبعة عشر عاما الذي كان مهندسها.
الاصل ان يستمر الرئيس عباس في المفاوضات والاستثناء هو الانسحاب، نقول هذا من تجارب سابقة، وحتى لو انسحب فسيكون انسحابا شكليا قصير الامد، فالجميع داخل سلطته يرددون هذه الايام نغمة 'انعدام البدائل'، و'عدم تكافؤ القوى' و'غياب الدعم العربي' و'الانحياز الامريكي لاسرائيل'، وهذه ليست لغة من يبحث عن البدائل او حتى يفكر فيها، بل هي لغة من يريد الاستمرار في المفاوضات الى الابد. الم يقل الرئيس عباس ان الانتفاضة المسلحة دمرت الفلسطينيين ولا يمكن العودة اليها بأي حال من الاحوال، ونسي ان شمعون بيريس رئيس اسرائيل كان يتوسل الفلسطينيين اثناءها وقف 'الجنازات' لمدة اسبوعين حتى يتسنى له تطبيق خريطة الطريق؟ ألم تدمر هذه الانتفاضة الاقتصاد الاسرائيلي وصناعة السياحة احد اعمدته الرئيسية، ألم تخفض معدلات النمو الى اقل من نصف في المئة سنويا بعد ان كانت اكثر من سبعة في المئة، ألم تخلق حالة من الرعب والهلع وعدم الامان بالنسبة الى معظم الاسرائيليين؟
لا نستغرب مواقف سلطة رام الله فقد تعودنا عليها ولكننا نستغرب 'صمت' حركة 'حماس' وقيادتها على المفاوضات المباشرة، وحتى لو كانت هناك اصوات معارضة فهي خافتة للأسف. وليقل لنا قادة حماس في دمشق عن الحكمة في استقبال وفد من السلطة في دمشق بالاحضان والابتسامات لبحث المصالحة الفلسطينية، واطلاق تصريحات بازالة معظم العقبات من طريقها، بحيث بات التوقيع على ورقة الاتفاق المصرية وشيكا.
فاذا كانت الحركة ضد المفاوضات المباشرة، ونهج السلطة، وتشكك في شرعية تمثيلها للشعب الفلسطيني والتفاوض باسمه، وهي محقة في ذلك، فلماذا تستقبل وفدها في هذا التوقيت بالذات، وتبحث معه المصالحة، وتضفي الشرعية على السلطة التي يمثلها.
نحن مع المصالحة الفلسطينية، ومع وضع حد للانقسامات على الساحة الفلسطينية بأسرع وقت ممكن، ورص الصفوف في خدمة الاهداف السامية للشعب الفلسطيني والامتين الاسلامية والعربية، ولكن نريد ان نعرف على اي ارضية ستقوم هذه المصالحة... على ارضية المقاومة ام ارضية المفاوضات، وهل سمعت حركة 'حماس' من الوفد الزائر رغبة في المصالحة على ارضيتها... وهل نرى استئنافا للمقاومة باشكالها المتعددة من الطرفين 'حماس' و'فتح' في الايام المقبلة؟ نأمل ذلك، وان كنا نشك في امكانية حدوثه.
المفاوضات الحالية مباشرة او غير مباشرة، في ظل استمرار الاستيطان او تجميده، هي خدعة لكسر الحصار عن اسرائيل، وتسهيل خطواتها لتبييض وجهها الذي تلطخ بدماء شهداء قوافل الحرية والحرب الاخيرة الدموية على قطاع غزة.
الادارة الامريكية تبذل جهود اللحظة الاخيرة لانقاذ اكثر من 'ماء وجه' بحثا عن صيغة لابقاء المفاوضات مستمرة، انقاذ ماء وجهها، وماء وجه السلطة، وماء وجوه وزراء خارجية عرب، او ما تبقى منها. فقد اتصلت بالمعنيين في لجنة مبادرة السلام من العرب طالبة او ضاغطة لتشجيع الرئيس عباس على البقاء في المفاوضات، واوفدت مبعوثها السناتور ميتشيل الى كل من القدس المحتلة ورام الله لالهاء المنطقة بجهوده واطلاق بالونات امل، والحيلولة دون فراغ يمكن ان يؤدي الى تسلل بعض التطرف الى السلطة ورئيسها.
فرص نجاح الادارة الامريكية في نحت صيغة مضللة تبدو كبيرة بالقياس الى تجارب سابقة، فاملاءاتها تقابل دائما بالطاعة من العرب والسلطة، فقد طلبت مفاوضات غير مباشرة وكان لها ما ارادت، واعلنت الانتقال الى المباشرة دون تحقق اي تقدم في الاولى، وفي حضور نتنياهو، ولم يعترض الوزراء العرب، بل هرعوا لعقد لقاء في الجامعة للبصم على هذا الطلب، و'تحليل' هذه المفاوضات وبذل السيد عمرو موسى امين الجامعة جهودا خارقة في تسويق هذا التراجع ببلاغته اللغوية.
لم يطالب احد الرئيس عباس بان يقسم على المصحف الشريف بانه 'لن' يذهب الى المفاوضات المباشرة طالما لم يتم تحقيق تقدم في غير المباشرة، ولم تطالبه اي مؤسسة وطنية فلسطينية بان يصدر 'لن' اخرى مشددة بعدم الاستمرار في المفاوضات المباشرة يوماً واحداً اذا لم يتم تمديد اجراء تجميد الاستيطان، وها هو يحنث بالقسم، ويتراجع مجدداً عن 'لناته' وهذا ليس جديداً على اي حال.
الدكتور صائب عريقات الذي لا يتوقف دقيقة واحدة دون الادلاء بتصريحات للصحف ومحطات التلفزة، ادرك فضيلة الصمت بدوره، ولم يقل لنا ماذا سيفعل في ظل هذا الموقف الاسرائيلي، وما هي خياراته، وهل سيكون من بينها خيار 'حل السلطة' مثلما لوح وهدد اكثر من مرة؟
كثيرة هي المنعطفات الصعبة التي مرت بها القضية الفلسطينية، ورغم كراهيتنا لاستخدام هذا التعبير المستهلك، الا اننا نقول دون تردد بان الفلسطينيين بمختلف انتماءاتهم يقفون امام اختبار اسرائيلي هو الأكبر. فبعد ان نجحت حكومة نتنياهو في كسب معركة الاستيطان، وثبتت تهويد القدس المحتلة من خلال فرض مبدأ تبادل الارض على السلطة، تقترب الآن من انتزاع التنازل الاكبر، وهو اجبار السلطة على القبول بيهودية دولة اسرائيل حتى تتخلص من مليون ونصف مليون عربي مسيحي ومسلم في المناطق المحتلة عام 1948، وتلغي حق العودة نهائياً، والأخطر من ذلك الانتقال من مسألة تبادل الارض الى تبادل السكان، اي المستوطنين بالسكان العرب الاصليين من 'مواطني' الدولة الاسرائيلية.
نتنياهو اقنع الادارة الامريكية بالقبول بيهودية اسرائيل، واوباما قال بذلك علناً في خطابه امام الجمعية العامة الاسبوع الماضي. والرئيس عباس يسير على الدرب نفسه، ويمهد لهذا الاعتراف تدريجياً، فقد بشّر يهود نيويورك الذين التقاهم قبل ايام بانه يعترف باسرائيل، وعليها ان تسمي نفسها ما تشاء: يهودية.. علمانية.. هذا شأنها وليس هذا شأناً فلسطينياً.
عندما يقول الرئيس اوباما بانه يتوقع ان يرى ممثلي دولة فلسطين يجلسون على مقاعد الجمعية العامة للامم المتحدة في دورتها القادمة، فهذا يعني ان هناك 'طبخة ما' يجري الاعداد لها. فليس صدفة ان السقف الزمني للمفاوضات المباشرة مدته عام، والدكتور سلام فياض يحتاج الى عام لاكمال البنية التحتية لهذه الدولة. كيف ستكون هذه الدولة.. 'نصف كم'.. ربع.. حكماً ذاتياً مضخماً ومزوراً.. حدوداً هلامية.. منزوعة السلاح والدسم والكرامة..؟
عمليات التبرير للمضي قدماً في المفاوضات حتى في ظل استمرار الاستيطان جزئياً او كلياً بدأت منذ زمن بعيد، فالنغمة السائدة حالياً على ألسنة المقربين من السيد عباس تقول بانعدام الخيارات، وغياب الدعم العربي الرسمي، والخلل الواضح في موازين القوى، وضرورة الالتزام بما يريده العرب، لان العمق العربي ضروري. واحترام القرار العربي مسألة مقدسة.
نسأل اصحاب هذا التبرير ما اذا كانت موازين القوى لصالح المقاومات اللبنانية والجزائرية والليبية والمغربية والسورية، عندما قررت اللجوء الى خيارها المقاوم، ثم لماذا لم يحترم الرئيس عباس وسلطته القرار العربي عندما تفاوض سراً من وراء ظهر العرب في اوسلو ووقع اتفاقاً دون التشاور مع احد؟ لماذا لم يكن الرأي العربي مقدساً في حينها؟
نضع ايدينا على قلوبنا مرة اخرى هذه الايام. فدول الممانعة والاعتدال تلتزم 'الصمت'، وعدم المعارضة لهذه الكارثة الزاحفة إلينا المتمثلة في 'طبخة اوباما' بالتنسيق مع عباس ونتنياهو.
يوم الاثنين المقبل، حيث ستجتمع لجنة متابعة مبادرة السلام العربية في مقر الجامعة، قد يدخل التاريخ على انه نقطة الانطلاق لنكبة اخرى، تسدل الستار على قضية فلسطين وثوابتها التي نعرفها، وتثبت يهودية دولة اسرائيل العنصرية وعاصمتها 'اورشليم' حيث معبد سليمان او الهيكل المزعوم

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jewish Gaza-bound activists: IDF used excessive force in naval raid

Israel Defense Forces soldiers used excessive force while taking over a Gaza-bound aid ship organized by Jewish and Israeli activists, the boat's passengers said Tuesday, countering the military's official version claiming that the takeover had been uneventful.

Shapira said the activists, who he said displayed no violence, were met with extreme IDF brutality, adding that the soldiers "just jumped us, and hit us. I was hit with a taser gun."
"Some of the soldiers treated us atrociously," Shapira said, adding that he felt there was a "huge gap between what the IDF spokesman is saying happened and what really happened."
Reuben Moscowitz, a Holocaust survivor who took part in the mission, expressed his disbelief that "Israeli soldiers would treat nine Jews this way. They just hit people."
"I as a Holocaust survivor cannot live with the fact that the State of Israel is imprisoning an entire people behind fences," Moscowitz said, adding that "it's just immoral."

UN mission finds Israel used "incredible violence" in Flotilla raid

Press release, Human Rights Legal Aid Fund, 28 September 2010

The following press release was issued by the Palestine Legal Aid Fund on 25 September 2010:

"No one was safe," once Israeli soldiers began using live ammunition on board the Mavi Marmara, says an authoritative UN investigation team into the Israeli attacks on the Gaza aid flotilla.

Their report is now going to be considered by the 57-member UN Human Rights Council that has the chance to finally ensure that Israel is held accountable for committing what the UN Fact-Finding Mission (UNFFM) found to be serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law including war crimes of willful killing and torture.

The UNFFM found that Israeli military personnel used "incredible violence" against civilians who the investigators describe as "persons genuinely committed to the spirit of humanitarianism." These persons include the British passengers who were on board the Gaza-bound aid flotilla. They have both welcomed the findings of the UN inquiry -- which found a strong prima faciecase of the commission of several war crimes -- and have urged UK government and Human Rights Council members to refer these war crimes allegations to the International Criminal Court.

British passenger Alex Harrison, a 32-year-old activist, responded to the report by saying, "I sincerely welcome the UN mission's confirmation that Israel's siege on Gaza is an unlawful collective punishment and their finding that the attack on our flotilla was unjustified and brutal."

The report affirmed the Gaza blockade and flotilla interception as illegal. These findings underscore the legal arguments put forward by lawyers who have been working with the passengers since 31 May and supported in part by the Human Rights Legal Aid Fund (

The Mission recommends that the perpetrators of the attacks should be brought to justice. The Mission has indicated that these breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention could give rise to individual criminal responsibility.