Saturday, October 16, 2010
“Israel must apologize to Turkey and pay compensation for the state terrorism in the Mediterranean," Erdogan said while addressing members of his Islamic-oriented party at a weekend retreat, adding that "If it does not, it will be doomed to remain isolated in the Middle East.”
"On the Listening Post this week we look at the media squeeze in the lead up to Egypt's parliamentary elections. We also have a report on media-savvy rebel leaders and how they play the PR game."
15 October 2010
"Amnesty International today urged the Israeli authorities to abandon plans to construct 238 new housing units in Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.
“The Israeli authorities must immediately halt expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied West Bank,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“Not only does the building contravene international law, it also compounds the litany of abuses of the human rights of Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including their rights to adequate housing and water.”.....
“Discrimination on grounds of nationality and religion is the dominant feature of Israel’s settlement policy,” said Philip Luther.
“The policy violates the rights both of Palestinians in East Jerusalem living under civil law and of those in the rest of the West Bank where they are subject to Israeli military law.”
Israel’s land grab and dissection of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have had a devastating impact on the lives of Palestinians....
According to the UN, in 2009 alone more than 600 Palestinians were displaced in East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, more than half of them children, after their homes were demolished under order from the Israeli authorities, often to make way for Israeli settlements.
Under Israeli military law, Palestinian families evicted from their homes are not entitled to alternative housing or compensation. The result is that many then face homelessness and destitution.....
“We have repeatedly documented the connection between settlements and the destruction of Palestinians’ homes, crops, agricultural lands, and livelihoods.”
Israel’s policy of settling its civilians on occupied land violates the Fourth Geneva Convention and is considered a war crime, according to the statute of the International Criminal Court."
د. عزمي بشارة
وهنا يُسأل السؤال: هل يتناقض النضال مع التفاوض؟ وهل يمكن تصور نضال بلا نهاية لا تتبعه مفاوضات؟
لقد تخللت مراحل الاخيرة من نضال حركات التحرر في العالم جميعها محادثات سياسية ومفاوضات، بما فيها تلك التي انتهت بإنهاء الاحتلال كما في الجزائر، وبتفكيك النظام القائم، كما في جنوب أفريقيا. هذه ليست القضية. ومن يناقشها يختلق قضية وهمية. النضال يجري على كافة الجبهات والوسائل من الكفاح المسلح، وحتى النشاط الثقافي والتربوي والنقابي، والرأي العام الدولي، والرأي العام في دولة الاحتلال. النضال الوطني نضال شامل. وقد تتخلله هدنات وترافقه مفاوضات ومحادثات سياسية، وغير ذلك. المهم أن المفاوضات لا تُطرح كبديل للنضال قبل تحقيق الحقوق.
وعندما يُلقى سلاح النضال، ويتم التخلي عن استراتيجية النضال الشامل تغدو المفاوضات تفاوضا على الحقوق، وليس لإحقاق الحقوق. إن شرط المفاوضات النهائية مع أية قوة احتلالية هو اعتراف هذه القوى بنهاية الاحتلال، ورغبتها أن تجري النهاية بشكل منظم، وأن تتفاوض على كيفية إنهاء الاحتلال، أما المفاوضات الجارية بين السلطة وإسرائيل فلا تجري على تفكيك الصهيونية والاحتلال، بل على تفكيك التاريخ والجغرافيا الفلسطينية. وبذلك فإنها تقدم نموذجا حيا للتناقض بين النضال والتفاوض عند من تخلى عن النضال قبل تحقيق الأهداف.
رابعا: أفق النضال الفلسطيني:
لقد أصبح رفض الرأي العام الفلسطيني التنازل عن حقوق الشعب الفلسطيني شرط استعادة البعد العربي لقضية فلسطين حاليا، خاصة بعد أن تذرعت الأنظمة الرسمية العربية بمقولات مثل "الممثل المثل الشرعي والوحيد"، و"أهل مكة أدرى بشعابها"، و"لن نكون فلسطينيين أكثر من الفلسطينيين". وهو شرط تفعيل حركة التضامن الدولي. وهذا ممكن. ولكن لا يمكن تحريك تفعيل التضامن مع من يحرجه التضامن، وتحرجه مقاطعة إسرائيل، ويعتبرهما تدخلا في المفاوضات وفي "علاقته الثنائية مع إسرائيل".
لا بد من التمسك بحقوق ثابتة غير قابلة للتصرف، مثل حق العودة، وزوال الاحتلال، وعروبة القدس، وغير ذلك لغرض استعادة هذا الأبعاد. وكلنا يعرف أن هذا التمسك يحبط التسوية، فإسرائيل لن تقبل بتسوية هذه شروطها. ومن هنا فعاجلا أم آجلا يجب أن يطرح أفق أوسع للنضال يمكن أن نعتبره عنوانا سياسيا جامعا لمئات المبادرات الفلسطينية المحلية التي قامت من دون إذن من أحد في مرحلة تهميش السلطة الفلسطينية ل م. ت. ف.. يجب أن تُجمع مئات المبادرات الشبابية والطلابية، واللجان المحلية في مختلف أماكن تواجد الشعب الفلسطيني، تحت سقف سياسي. وعنوانه رفض التنازل عن الحقوق الثابتة غير القابلة للتصرف، وأنه تعذّرَ التوصل إلى تسوية عادلة بين كيانين في دولتين. وما تطبيق نموذج الدولتين إلا هذه الحالة المشوهة المحققة حاليا على الأرض، مع تعديلات طفيفة في المستقبل في أفضل الحالات. والأفق الوحيد لأي تحرر يحمله جيلنا والجيل القادم هو أن يعيش السكان في فلسطين كلها كمواطنين متساوي الحقوق في دولة واحدة. ولكي يحصل ذلك يجب تقوم هذه الدولة على المواطنة الديمقراطية المتساوية، فتفكيك الصهيونية شرط لتحقيق المواطنة، وأن تنتمي فلسطين الديمقراطية هذه إلى حاضنة أكبر هي الوطن العربي...
وإن البديل لهذا الحل العادل على المدى البعيد هو ليس حل الدولتين، فنحن نرى تطبيقه جاريا أمام أعيننا، وإنما أن يجري التعامل مع هذا الكيان من قبل شعوب المنطقة (خلافا لأنظمتها) كدولة صليبية جديدة تزول عاجلا أم آجلا. ومجرد التفكير بذلك يجعل حل الدولة الواحدة في فلسطين يبدو كما هو فعلا حلا عادلا، وليس شعارا متطرفا.
Friday, October 15, 2010
The poll also found that 69% of Israeli Jews support the amendment to the Citizenship Act approved by the government.
However the poll found differences in this category between natural-born citizens of Israel and immigrants. Just 20% of the former population said they would back a dictatorship, while 53% of immigrants who were not raised in Israel did the same.
The usual suspects (the lobby and its cutouts on Capitol Hill) don't think settlements are such a big deal.
They should go to Hebron, a major city on the occupied West Bank — one that right-wingers say Israel will hold on to no matter what. It won't change their calculations on the Middle East, but at least they will know what they are defending in the name of political expediency.
I have visited Hebron a half-dozen times, most recently as part of an official U.S. government delegation. Much of what follows comes from a report I wrote then. (Note: the situation has only deteriorated.)
Some 400 settlers live in H-2 in the midst of 20,000 Palestinians, protected by soldiers from the IDF.
On my last visit to Hebron, I walked into the heart of H-2 following a short inquisition by a soldier. The soldier was pretty nasty and, when I complained, he asked me how I would feel if I was risking my life to defend settlers who routinely called him and his fellow Israeli soldiers "Nazis." (The settlers hate the IDF because the Israeli army prevents them from tormenting the Palestinians even more than they already do. The army imposes restraints and the settlers want to be able to attack the unarmed Palestinians whenever they feel like it.)
Until now, naturalizing residents, like the country's soldiers, pledged an oath to Israel and its laws. That is the situation in most countries. But soon, if the Israeli parliament passes a bill being advanced by the government, aspiring citizens will instead be required to uphold the Zionist majority's presumption that Israel is a "Jewish and democratic state."
My application for citizenship is due to be considered in the next few months, seven years after my marriage to a Palestinian citizen of Israel. The country's 1.3 million Palestinians -- usually referred to by officials as "Israeli Arabs" -- are a fifth of the population. I, like a few others in my position, am likely to make such a pledge through gritted teeth and with my fingers crossed behind my back. Whatever I declare publicly to interior ministry officials will be a lie. Here are the reasons why.
One is that this law is unapologetically racist. It applies only to applicants for citizenship who are non-Jews. That is not because, as most observers assume, all Jews in Israel would willingly make the pledge but because one significant group would refuse, thereby nullifying their right to become Israelis. That group is the ultra-Orthodox, religious fundamentalists distinctive for their black dress, who are the fastest growing group among Israel's Jewish population. They despise Israel's secular state institutions and would make a loyalty oath only to a state guided by divine law.
So Israel is demanding from non-Jews what it does not require of Jews.
Another reason is that I do not believe a Jewish state can be democratic, any more than I believe a democratic state can be Jewish. I think the two principles are as incompatible as a "Christian and democratic state" or a "white and democratic state." I am not alone in this assessment. Eminent academics at Israel's universities think the same. They have concluded that the self-declared Jewish state qualifies not as a liberal democracy but as a much rarer political entity: an ethnocracy.
The third reason is that the new oath itself strengthens an elaborate structure of institutionalized discrimination based on Israel's citizenship laws.
Next in Lieberman's sights, of course, are all of Israel's 1.3 million Palestinians, who will be expected to become Zionists or face a loss of citizenship and possibly expulsion. I may be one of the first non-Jews to make this pledge, but many are sure to be forced to follow me.
• UK, Sweden, Turkey, South Africa, and Ireland will not attend controversial conference hosted by Israel
• Many countries undecided or set to only send low-level delegations
• OECD General Secretary warns Netanyahu over Israeli Tourism Minister comments
• Palestine Legislative Council appeals for more countries to boycott conference
• Israeli membership of OECD ‘illegal under international law’
By RANNIE AMIRI
".....One Lebanese aptly stated the reasons behind the hero’s welcome accorded to Ahmadinejad:
“We love Ahmadinejad because he helps the poor and he helped us rebuild after the 2006 war with Israel … Iran helped us more than Arab states did.”
Israel’s July 2006 war against Lebanon killed 1,200 Lebanese (mostly civilians), and decimated homes and infrastructure in southern Lebanon and the dahiyeh. During the Israeli assault, Saudi clerics of the Wahabi school said Muslims should not support Hezbollah because they are Shia (and issued fatwas to that end) while regional powerbrokers like Egypt and Jordan remained conspicuously silent throughout the 34-day offensive.
In “Spider Webs - The Story of the Second Lebanon War” (2008, published in English as “34 Days: Israel, Hezbollah, and the War in Lebanon”) Haaretz correspondents Amos Haren and Avi Issacharoff write:
“For the first time, we reveal … that moderate Arab states and the people close to the Lebanese government have conveyed messages to the Israeli government via different sides demanding Israel continue the war until Hezbollah was completely crushed.”
Iran helped rebuild homes devastated by Israel in 2006, as did Qatar. When the (Sunni) emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani recently visited the south, he too was given an enthusiastic welcome.
Although the Shia form a plurality in Lebanon, power has historically been in the hands of Christian and Sunni elites. Many of them, now in the March 14 Coalition, still blame the victims for the Israeli attack instead of the perpetrators. According to Haron and Issacharoff, they hoped Israel would achieve its military objectives even while their country burned.
The manner in which Ahmadinejad was warmly received should be seen in the above light. It was not about him, but rather about the Lebanese thanking those who had extended a helping hand when no other one was forthcoming. To those in March 14 and other Arab governments, it was a small shove back."
"It is an industry working in reverse. Tunnels in Gaza are now being used to export goods out of the besieged strip.
The smuggling industry has been in decline ever since Israel loosened its trade blockade on Gaza.
Now tunnel operators are finding new ways of making money, as Nadim Baba reports."
"The Palestinian Authority (PA) says Israel is "closing all doors on attempts to revive the direct talks" after Tel Aviv approved expansion of new units in the Palestinian territories.
Top PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Friday that the move proved Israel was intent on destroying the continuation of the talks between the two sides [Duh! No Shit, Genius!]....."
"If one tried to fit music compositions into an equivalent literary style, Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble’s latest release would come across as a most engaging political essay: persuasive, argumentative, rational, original, imaginative and always unfailingly accessible.
But unlike the rigid politicking of politicians and increasingly Machiavellian style of today’s political essayists – so brazen they no longer hide behind illusory moral façades - the band’s latest work is also unapologetically humanistic.
Those familiar with the writings of Gilad Atzmon - the famed ex-Israeli musician and brilliant saxophone player, now based in London – can only imagine that Gaza was the place that occupied his thoughts as he composed The Tide Has Changed......."
"In all likelihood, I will be one of the very first non-Jews expected to swear loyalty to Israel as an ideology rather than as a state.
Until now, naturalizing residents, like the country’s soldiers, pledged an oath to Israel and its laws. That is the situation in most countries. But soon, if the Israeli parliament passes a bill being advanced by the government, aspiring citizens will instead be required to uphold the Zionist majority’s presumption that Israel is a "Jewish and democratic state."
My application for citizenship is due to be considered in the next few months, seven years after my marriage to a Palestinian citizen of Israel. The country’s 1.3 million Palestinians — usually referred to by officials as "Israeli Arabs" — are a fifth of the population. I, like a few others in my position, am likely to make such a pledge through gritted teeth and with my fingers crossed behind my back....
Next in Lieberman’s sights, of course, are all of Israel’s 1.3 million Palestinians, who will be expected to become Zionists or face a loss of citizenship and possibly expulsion. I may be one of the first non-Jews to make this pledge, but many are sure to be forced to follow me."
(Left: Sayyed Nasrallah presents as a gift to Ahmadinejad an Israeli rifle captured in south Lebanon)
Do you see the warm reception of Ahmadinejad in Lebanon as an indication of the appreciation for Iran's support of Lebanon or as an affirmation of the Iranian influence in Lebanon?
The number of responders is still small, so the results will probably change; but the early indication is that the vote is roughly split down the middle.
With over 1,300 responding, 60% say that it is in appreciation for Iran's support of Lebanon.
By Johann Hari
"Imagine if, an hour from now, a robot-plane swooped over your house and blasted it to pieces. The plane has no pilot. It is controlled with a joystick from 7,000 miles away, sent by the Pakistani military to kill you. It blows up all the houses in your street, and so barbecues your family and your neighbours until there is nothing left to bury but a few charred slops. Why? They refuse to comment. They don't even admit the robot-planes belong to them. But they tell the Pakistani newspapers back home it is because one of you was planning to attack Pakistan. How do they know? Somebody told them. Who? You don't know, and there are no appeals against the robot....."
"The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum have written to the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, to express concern over recent attacks on independent media.
Television programme Al-Qahira Al-Yawm, presented by
journalist Amr Adeeb, was also suspended last month for "political reasons".
The letter, which reminds Mubarak of the press freedom principles enshrined in the 2007 "Declaration of Table Mountain", concludes:
"We respectfully call on you to take all necessary steps to halt the campaign of intimidation and censorship of independent media so that the press is able to report free from government pressure.
We ask you to ensure that in future your country fully respects international standards of press freedom.""
وقال في مؤتمر صحفي مع رئيسة جمهورية فنلندا تاريا هالونين في رام الله الخميس إن القيادة الفلسطينية اعترفت بدولة إسرائيل عام 1993 "من خلال ما سميناه الاعتراف المتبادل، وبالتالي فإننا معترفون بإسرائيل".
وأضاف إذا أراد الإسرائيليون أن يسموا أنفسهم أي اسم فعليهم أن يخاطبوا الأمم المتحدة والمجتمع الدولي "لأن هذا الموضوع ليس من شأننا".
وشدد عباس على حل الدولتين، دولة فلسطين في حدود عام 1967 إلى جانب دولة إسرائيل، تعيشان جنبا إلى جنب بأمن واستقرار، معربا عن تمسكه بهذا الخيار.
ودعا الرئيس الفلسطيني إسرائيل لإيقاف الاستيطان من أجل استئناف المفاوضات، مشيرا إلى ضرورة التركيز على "الأمل وليس على الفشل".
Thursday, October 14, 2010
AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT PIECE
By JONATHAN COOK
"Israel secretly staged a training exercise last week to test its ability to quell any civil unrest that might result from a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority requiring the forcible transfer of many Arab citizens, the Israeli media has reported.
The drill was intended to evaluate the readiness of the civil defence units, police, army and prison service to contain large-scale riots by Israel's Arab minority in response to such a deal. The transfer scenario echoes a proposal by Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's far-right foreign minister, for what he has termed a "population exchange".
Lieberman proposes land swaps that would force many of Israel's 1.3 million Arab citizens into a future Palestinian state in return for annexation to Israel of most of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The scheme has been widely criticised as a violation of international law.
He outlined his proposal to the United Nations General Assembly last month. Although Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, said he was not consulted about the speech, he did not admonish Lieberman.
The training exercise has fuelled fears among Israel's Arab minority that the government might be hoping to pressure Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, to agree to land and population swaps as part of US-sponsored peace negotiations, which have stalled.
Dov Chenin, a member of the Israeli parliament representing the joint Jewish-Arab Communist Party, called Tuesday for more details of the exercise from the government during a speech in the chamber, although officials offered no immediate response. Chenin said the drill was a sign Israel was heading in an “extremely dangerous direction”. “A few years ago, only the extreme right-wing parties talked about transferring Arab citizens, but now we see that even the security forces are preparing concrete plans for carrying out such a scenario.”
Netanyahu demanded this week that the Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state before further progress was possible -- a move seen by the Arab minority as a threat to its status inside Israel. A US State Department spokesman referred to recognition as “a core demand” and said it had Washington’s support.
Haneen Zoubi, an Arab member of parliament, said the exercise was designed to send “very clear messages” to the Arab minority and Abbas’ negotiators. “Netanyahu is letting us know that we are not part of his vision of Israel's future as a Jewish state and that, if we try to resist his plans, our protests will be greeted with violent repression,” she said. “He also wants the Palestinian negotiators to understand his minimum requirements for an agreement. He is not interested in justice for the Palestinians or in creating a viable state.”
Details of the five-day drill were reported last weekend on the Voice of Israel radio station by Carmela Menashe, one of Israel’s most respected military correspondents. The exercise envisioned extensive disturbances by Israel’s Arab citizens, one-fifth of the population, as security forces prepared to enforce border changes that would forcibly relocate many to a new Palestinian state, according to her report.
In the operation, code-named Warp and Weft, the security services established a large detention centre in the Galilee region between Nazareth and Tiberias to cope with an “unprecedented” number of arrests of Arab citizens. The drill anticipated a rapid takeover of the West Bank by Hamas following the signing of the peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority. In the exercise, the security forces had to handle the firing of hundreds of rockets into Israel, terrorist attacks, prison riots and breakouts.
As Chenin raised his concerns, Lieberman opened a new front in his attacks on Israel’s Arab citizens, following his repeated statements questioning their loyalty to the state. While hosting the Finnish foreign minister on Tuesday, he accused groups of Arab citizens of plotting to secede from the state under orders from the Palestinians in the occupied territories. “The Palestinians will try, through various groups among Israeli Arabs, to overturn the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state and will work to create different autonomous areas within the state,” he said.
Aluf Benn, a senior columnist for the Haaretz newspaper, wrote yesterday that Netanyahu was “hiding behind” Lieberman and that the prime minister was the “true instigator” of the wave of anti-Arab policies and laws the government was promoting. On Sunday the cabinet approved a bill that would demand a loyalty oath from non-Jews seeking citizenship.
In the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Ahmed Tibi, an Arab MP, accused Netanyahu of being behind “a gradual ethnic-cleansing scheme -- removing as many Arabs as possible while creating a Jewish, homogenous Israel”.
Opinion polls among Israel’s Arab minority have repeatedly shown strong opposition to any plan to revoke their citizenship or force them into a Palestinian state. The Association of Civil Rights in Israel, the country’s largest human-rights group, wrote to Netanyahu this week calling the media reports “alarming” and demanding assurances that there were no plans for “population transfer”. It added that the impression was being created that “an issue which is completely illegitimate -- the forced revocation of the citizenship of some of the country’s Arab citizens -- is perceived by the government as a reasonable and even likely possibility”.
Some observers have speculated that the public security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, who is a member of Lieberman’s Yisraeli Beiteinu Party, may have been the driving force behind the exercise. However, Chenin said such an extensive drill involving so many different branches of the security forces could not have been carried out without the involvement of other government ministers, including Ehud Barak, the defence minister. Barak, leader of the Labor party, has presented himself in Washington as a moderating influence on Israel’s right-wing government."
Addressing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Lebanon, Knesset Member Arieh Eldad (National Union) said, "History would have been different if in 1939 some Jewish soldier would have succeeded in taking Hitler out. If Ahmadinejad will be in the crosshairs of an IDF rifle when he comes to throw rocks at us, he must not return home alive."
"Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's president, is in Lebanon for his first official state visit. But why is he visiting now? Is it a visit to express support to Lebanon or a celebration of rising influence there? And why is the West so concerned?"
"The rescue of 33 miners in Chile is an extraordinary drama filled with pathos and heroism. It is also a media windfall for the Chilean government, whose every beneficence is recorded by a forest of cameras. One cannot fail to be impressed. However, like all great media events, it is a facade.
The accident that trapped the miners is not unusual in Chile and is the inevitable consequence of a ruthless economic system that has barely changed since the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Copper is Chile's gold, and the frequency of mining disasters keeps pace with prices and profits. There are, on average, 39 fatal accidents every year in Chile's privatized mines. The San Jose mine, where the trapped men work, became so unsafe in 2007 it had to be closed - but not for long. On 30 July last, a labor department report warned again of "serious safety deficiencies," but the minister took no action. Six days later, the men were entombed.
For all the media circus at the rescue site, contemporary Chile is a country of the unspoken...."
"CAIRO, Oct 14, 2010 (IPS) - Since June, Egypt's Sinai Peninsula has witnessed an unusual flurry of local crises. The peninsula shares a border with both the Gaza Strip and Israel, and is inhabited mostly by the Bedouin tribe....
Tribal leaders have repeatedly demanded a halt to police violations against local residents, and the release of Bedouin prisoners detained without charge since the spate of bombings. Of the latter, there are still some 4,000 languishing in police custody, according to Bedouin spokesmen.
Bedouin activists also demand the economic development of the peninsula, which has been historically neglected by the central government, as well as more employment opportunities for the local population.
Following the attempted sabotage of the gas pipeline -- through which Egyptian natural gas flows to buyers in Israel -- the Interior Ministry vowed to release an unspecified number of Bedouin detainees....
Gabr believes that clear and present "threats to Egypt's strategic interests", such as commercial crossings and gas pipelines, ultimately prompted the government to offer the Bedouin concessions, including the subsequent release of more than 100 detained tribesmen.
"The Bedouin have learned to exploit the government's vulnerabilities," said Rabie. "For example, they'll stage protests on the border with Israel, block the commercial road to Al-Auja, or threaten the gas lines as a means of pressuring the government to address their grievances."
"What's more, Bedouin traditionally don't take kindly to being given orders," he added. "And police methods in Sinai tend to be violent and cruel."
Under the terms of the 1979 Camp David peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, the former is prohibited from deploying significant numbers of police or soldiers on its north-western frontier. Cairo is also keen to avoid any diplomatic or political escalations on its fraught border with Israel."
"You don't think BDS is having an effect? Here two New Mexico Jewish org officials seek to smear Ali Abunimah as an anti-Semite, and bar him from speaking, because he supports BDS, which they say is about demonizing and destroying Israel. Laughably, they say that describing Israel as a colonial project is anti-Semitic. What has happened to the intellectual tradition in Jewish life? Ali Abunimah at his blog:
It has come to my attention that the Jewish Federation of New Mexico and Hillel at the University of New Mexico are actively trying to censor my lecture at the University of New Mexico next month by writing to departments and professors who may co-sponsor it as they co-sponsor countless other educational events on campus. Below is a copy of a letter that has been sent to departments, signed by Sam Sokolove, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico and Sara Koplik, Director of Hillel at the University of New Mexico.
"The following is a Code-Orange Advisory to patriotic truth-tellers, sometimes called whistleblowers or leakers: It is anachronistically naïve to expect the New York Times or other organs of today’s Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) to publish classified material like the Pentagon Papers without their first clearing it with the government.
What brings this issue to the fore is the powerful, Academy Award-finalist documentary, "The Most Dangerous Man in America," which paints a profile in courage by (1) Daniel Ellsberg, who risked serving life in prison by copying classified material exposing the lies behind the Vietnam War, and (2) the New York Times, which dared to publish reams of Ellsberg’s material in June 1971.....
Sadly, those times – and that Times – are over. Potential whistleblowers disregard this new reality at their own peril.
The good news is that, with the demise of the Fourth Estate, there is now a Fifth Estate offering unprecedented opportunity to those who feel a need — and have the courage — to get the truth out quickly and confidentially.
The Web site WikiLeaks offers one such avenue, but there are myriad other ways to exploit the Web — to use the censorship-immune (so far, at least) ether — to expose information the world needs to know.
And so, note well, patriotic truth-tellers: if you have access to documents that, let’s say, show planning for another unnecessary war or that expose the self-defeating nature of wars already under way, and if you have the courage of a Dan Ellsberg, don’t bother the folks at the New York Times with it....."
"Twenty-first century going-to-war requires that the proper procedures be observed, even if the United States Congress has become shy about declaring war as required by the constitution. There was never any doubt that George W. Bush and his neocon team would go to war with Iraq, but they first obtained what they believed to be adequate justification from the United Nations and a green light in the form of a congressional resolution before they actually initiated conflict. Currently, there is no piece of paper relating to a possible new war that is more important than the impending National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran, which has been a work in progress for more than a year and a half. The last NIE on Iran, released in late 2007, was controversial in that it concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and had not resumed it. The document was immediately attacked by neoconservatives and the media, who responded that the Iranians might have a secret program and were intending to revive their efforts. Israel and its supporters have since been insisting that there is, in fact, a hidden program and have been constantly sending out alarms suggesting that a nuclear weapon is only six months or a year away. They keep revising forward the date whenever six months or a year passes without a weapon actually making an appearance.
"....There's simply no point under these circumstances in pursuing peace negotiations. There isn't the basis on which an Israeli government of this hue would accept let alone support a separate Palestinian state. Which is what most Palestinians and Arabs already conclude. But, under pressure from the US, they feel they have no choice but to persist in the fiction of a possible settlement, just as Netanyahu, also under pressure from Washington, feels that he can't dismiss the talks outright.
Only US pressure on the two parties isn't equal. The Palestinians, still looking to America to provide a solution they themselves are too weak and divided to provide, know they have to do their best by Obama or lose their only hope. Netanyahu, on the other side, knows full well that the White House will never pull the plug from under him, however frustrated they may be with his refusal to prolong the suspension of settlement building.
And so the negotiations will totter on. And, while the Arab league conveniently keeps things ticking over on their side until after the US elections, Israel's government pursues a direction inimical to a negotiated agreement.
Is there no end to Palestinian humiliation? The answer is no, not until they give up on America and get their own act together and take a unilateral course to statehood."
"14/10/2010 Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday stressed that Iran had no scheme of its own to implement in Lebanon and the region.
Speaking through a giant TV screen during a mass rally in honor of the visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, his eminence said: "There are those ... who speak of an Iranian scheme for Palestine, for Lebanon, for the Arab region ... and work to strike fear into governments and peoples."
“There are those who continually spread [the idea] that Iran is a source of strife and strives to tear apart the ranks. Here we must testify that the Iranian Islamic Republic is one of the greatest guarantees for an end to wars and the support of the people in our Islamic world today,” Sayyed Nasrallah told an ecstatic crowd of tens of thousands that gathered at the Raya stadium in Beirut Southern Suburbs....."
With all due respect to Sayyed Nasrallah, who I admire for his intellect and honesty, I partially disagree with his characterization of the role of Iran. It is not a role above reproach nor a role motivated by pure and altruistic motives.
True, Iran has supported Lebanon and is supporting the Palestinians. But in each case, Iran has its motives. In the case of Lebanon, south Lebanon is Iran's front line to strike back at Israel, in case it decides to strike Iran.
In the case of the Palestinians, this is a hot button issue and supporting the Palestinians is like motherhood and apple pie. It is always very popular politically, especially when the Arab regimes not only have abandoned the Palestinians, but have taken Israel's side against them (witness the Pharaoh for example).
But to go as far as saying that what Iran wants is what the Arabs want, I disagree Sayyed Nasrallah. Iraq is the best illustration of that. In Iraq, Iran played a dirty role and it indirectly helped the US invasion and prevented the Shi'a from resisting the invaders. The Fatwas of Sistani were crucial in that regard. Also, supporting the puppet regime of Maliki and supporting a sectarian constitution and a sectarian "government" under occupation, all have contributed to the dismemberment of Iraq. The role of the death squads, armed and directed by Iran, in the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad and in deepening the sectarian division can hardly be construed as "what the Arabs want."
You let me down Sayyed Nasrallah; my respect for you is still high, but it went down a notch. You could have been more honest about Iran's role in Iraq, but you chose not to tell the truth to power.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
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وردا على تصريحات الناطق بلسان الخارجية الأمريكية يوم أمس الثلاثاء، قال عبد ربه لصحيفة "هآرتس" إن السلطة تريد تلقي مسودة خارطة لدولة إسرائيل التي يريدوننا أن نعترف بها.
وأضاف أنه "في حال كانت الخارطة على أساس حدود 67، ولا تشمل القدس الشرقية، فسوف نكون على استعداد للاعتراف بإسرائيل خلال ساعة بموجب معادلة الإدارة الأمريكية".
وقال أيضا إنه "من المهم بالنسبة لنا أن نعرف حدود إسرائيل، وأين تقع حدود فلسطين. وكل معادلة يضعها الأمريكيون، حتى لو أسموا إسرائيل بالدولة الصينية، سوف نوافق عليها، ولكن بشرط أن يعطونا حدود 67.. لقد سبق وان اعترفنا في السابق بإسرائيل، ولكنها لم تعترف بالدولة الفلسطينية".
وعقبت صحيفة "هآرتس" بالقول إن السلطة الفلسطينية تحاول، بحسب التقديرات، أن تعيد الكرة إلى الجانب الإسرائيلي. وأشارت إلى أن الحديث هو عن تغيير موقف واستعداد تاريخي للاعتراف بإسرائيل كدولة يهودية، بيد أن السلطة تعرف جيدا أن الحكومة الإسرائيلية لن توافق على ترسيم حدود الدولة الفلسطينية على أساس حدود الرابع من حزيران، وبالتأكيد لن توافق على أن تكون القدس المحتلة مشمولة ضمن الدولة الفلسطينية.
وكان الناطق بلسان الخارجية الأمريكية، فيليب كراولي، قد صرح يوم أمس، الثلاثاء، أن واشنطن تريد أن يقدم الفلسطينيون اقتراحا مضادا إلي نتنياهو.
وقال للصحفيين "رئيس الوزراء نتنياهو عرض أفكاره سواء بشأن استعداده للمساهمة في العملية والنتيجة التي يعتقد أنه يريدها لشعبه من العملية.. نأمل بأن يفعل الفلسطينيون الشيء نفسه".
وقدم كراولي أيضا دعما لموقف نتنياهو قائلا إن الولايات المتحدة تعتبر إسرائيل دولة يهودية.
وقال "تعلمون إننا نعترف بأن إسرائيل هي -كما تقول بنفسها- دولة يهودية."
وردا على سؤال إذا ما كانت الولايات المتحدة تدعم المطلب الإسرائيلي بشأن الاعتراف الفلسطيني بإسرائيل كدولة يهودية، قال كراولي إن الولايات المتحدة تعترف بماهية إسرائيل الخاصة. وقال "هذه دولة بالنسبة للشعب اليهودي، وهي أيضا دولة بالنسبة للمواطنين من ديانات أخرى".
وتابع أن ما طلبه نتانياهو هو مطلب أساسي لحكومة إسرائيل تدعمه الولايات المتحدة من جهة كونه اعترافا بأن إسرائيل جزء من المنطقة، واعتراف المنطقة بالتعايش إلى جانب إسرائيل كبيت قومي للشعب اليهودي، على حد تعبيره.
النائب د.زحالقة: يجب إقالة عبد ربه فورا
هاجم النائب د.جمال زحالقة، رئيس كتلة التجمع الوطني الديمقراطي البرلمانية، بشدة تصريحات ياسر عبد ربه، التي عبر فيها عن استعداده للاعتراف بإسرائيل دولة يهودية وبأي شكل آخر تختاره إسرائيل.
وقال زحالقة في حديثه لموقع عــ48ـرب إنه على ياسر عبد ربه الاستقالة فورا، وإذا لم يفعل ذلك على اللجنة التنفيذية لمنظمة التحرير إقالته من منصبه كأمين سرها.
وأضاف أنه "لا يحق لياسر عبد ربه أو غيره أن يبيع حقوق الفلسطينيين في الداخل، وأن يتنازل عن حقوق اللاجئين في الشتات، وأن يمنح شرعية فلسطينية لذلك عبر الاعتراف بإسرائيل كدولة يهودية".
كما أكد د. زحالقة على أن "ياسر عبد ربه يتخلى بهذا الموقف عن الرواية التاريخية الفلسطينية، وينتهك حرمة ذاكرة الضحية الفلسطينية، ولا يمكن المرور على كلامه بدون رد فلسطيني رسمي"."
Palestinian sources reported on Wednesday that settlers attacked Palestinian olive groves in Boreen village, in the southern part of Nablus. The attack comes at the beginning of this year's olive harvest.
Settler colonists violently attack Ezra Nawi’s car in the South Hebron Hills, Joseph Dana
Last Saturday afternoon, Ta’ayush activists were helping Palestinian farmers in the South Hebron Hills near the settlement of Susya as is the custom for the last seven years. The group’s name, which means ‘working together’ in Arabic, conveys its mission to work together and break down the physical and psychological barriers between Israelis and Palestinians. The majority of Ta’ayush’s work is based on the joint agricultural work with Palestinian farmers. The agricultural work on Saturday began quietly as it usually does. After one hour of peaceful work, settlers from the illegal outpost of Mitzpah Yair descended on the group and incited violence against them. Army patrols quickly joined the settlers and monitored the situation while the settlers verbally threatened the Israeli and Palestinian peace activists. The double standards of the occupation were on display as the settlers incites violence towards peace activists under the eye of the army while a non-violent human rights defender has just been put in jail for one year on the grounds of incitement for leading non-violent demonstrations against Israel’s separation barrier in Bil’in.
Settler Colonists Expand A Settlement Near Nablus
On Tuesday, Ghassan Doughlas, the Palestinian official in charge of monitoring Israeli settler and settlement issues in the northern West Bank, said that Israeli settlers began to expand the settlement of Eli, South of the city of Nablus.
Settler colonists learn how to circumvent IDF to strike at Palestinian olive harvest
Settlers are believed to be entering Palestinian olive groves before IDF can send troops to protect the harvesters and in the darkness harvesting the olives themselves.
Losing our deterrent power
"Efforts to find a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem have been littered with failures. So is it time to consider the one-state alternative?"
"Apart from threatening to throw a stone in Israel's direction, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad hopes to achieve a lot during his two-day visit to Lebanon that started on Wednesday, from reiterating support for Hezbollah to improving trade and economic ties. Paramount, though, will be a warning of a frontal attack from south Lebanon should Israel dare to attack Iran...."
"....The reality is far from glamorous. Rather than helping to nurture institutions that could prove essential in a future Palestinian state, both the EU and US are acting as proxies for the Israeli occupation. Moreover, they are acquiescent in human rights abuses perpetrated by Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces against the Palestinian people.
Contrary to the impression frequently created by news stories, the PA does not have a police force that can justifiably be viewed as independent of Israel.....
The extent to which Dayton may have advised forces loyal to Fatah to resort to brutal means in attacking Hamas supporters has not yet been revealed. One thing that is clear, however, is Dayton's understanding that his job was to underscore the Palestinian Authority's subordination to Israel. "We don't provide anything to the Palestinians unless it has been thoroughly coordinated with the state of Israel and they agree to it," he has said.
Daud Abdullah, director of Middle East Monitor, a research institute in London, says it is inconceivable that Dayton was unaware of the abuses conducted by Palestinian security forces. "There has been no let-up in abuses as far as we know," Abdullah added. "The fact that money is still flowing and [international] officials are still on the ground makes them culpable for what is happening."
COPPS has a budget of nearly 7 million euros ($9.7 million) for this year. This sum appears small on its own. Yet it cannot be separated from the wider support that the EU gives to the Palestinian Authority, which amounts to 947 million euros since 2008.
Europe's representatives rarely miss an opportunity to trumpet their generosity to the Palestinians. Although donors are undoubtedly financing the provision of many essential services in the occupied territories, tough questions need to be asked about a great deal of this aid and how it is being tailored to serve Israel's interests. Few taxpayers would be pleased to know that their hard-earned euros are subsidizing an illegal occupation and the systematic human rights abuses that go with it."