Saturday, November 20, 2010

Al-Jazeera Video: Muslim Brotherhood supporters clash with police in Alexandria

"Supporters of a Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary candidate marching in Alexandria on Friday night (10/19/10) encountered state security forces as more than 200 people were arrested across the country."

Real News Video: War is a Lie

David Swanson: All wars require lies

More at The Real News


By Eric Margolis

"Amazing as it sounds, NATO, the world’s most powerful military alliance, may be losing the only war the 61-year old pact every fought. All its soldiers, heavy bombers, tanks, helicopter gunships, armies of mercenaries, and electronic gear are being beaten by a bunch of lightly-armed Afghan farmers and mountain tribesmen....

The loss of the Afghan War by the US and its reluctant allies will call into question the reason for the alliance and likely hasten Europe building an integrated military independent of US control. America’s grip on Western Europe would be ended.

That is why Afghanistan so unnerves Washington’s right wingers. The defeat of Soviet armies in Afghanistan in 1989 began the collapse of the Soviet Empire. Could the same fate be in store for the American Raj? "

An American bribe that stinks of appeasement

By Robert Fisk

"In any other country, the current American bribe to Israel, and the latter's reluctance to accept it, in return for even a temporary end to the theft of somebody else's property would be regarded as preposterous. Three billion dollars' worth of fighter bombers in return for a temporary freeze in West Bank colonisation for a mere 90 days? Not including East Jerusalem – so goodbye to the last chance of the east of the holy city for a Palestinian capital – and, if Benjamin Netanyahu so wishes, a rip-roaring continuation of settlement on Arab land. In the ordinary sane world in which we think we live, there is only one word for Barack Obama's offer: appeasement. Usually, our lords and masters use that word with disdain and disgust.....

Yes, they have joined the true brotherhood of mankind. Israel will be safe at last. That this infantile narrative now drives the woman who told us 11 years ago that Jerusalem was "the eternal and indivisible capital of Israel" proves that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has now reached its apogee, its most treacherous and final moment. And if Netanyahu has any sense – I'm talking abut the Zionist, expansionist kind – he will wait out the 90 days, then thumb his nose at the US. In the three months of "good behaviour", of course, the Palestinians will have to bite the bullet and sit down to "peace" talks which will decide the future borders of Israel and "Palestine". But since Israel controls 62 per cent of the West Bank this leaves Fayyad and his chums about 10.9 per cent of mandate Palestine to argue about.

And at the cost of $827 a second, they'd better do some quick grovelling. They will. We should all hang our heads in shame. But we won't. It's not about people. It's about presentation. It's not about justice. It's about "security". And cash. Lots of it. Goodbye Palestine."

Be under no illusion, Nato is in no shape to make progress in this graveyard of empires

By Patrick Cockburn

"If Iraq was bad, Afghanistan is going to be worse. Nothing said or done at the Lisbon conference, which is largely an exercise in self-deception, is going to make this better and it may well make it worse.

It is not just that the war is going badly, but that Nato's need to show progress has produced a number of counter-productive quick fixes likely to deepen the violence. These dangerous initiatives include setting up local militias to fight the Taliban where government forces are weak.....

The Taliban currently controls or has influence in half of Afghanistan. While US reinforcements have been pouring into Helmand and Kandahar provinces, the Taliban have been expanding their enclaves in the north....

The differences between the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan underline that the latter is more dangerous for foreign occupiers. In Iraq the anti-US guerrillas sprang from Sunni Arabs, a community to which less than one in five Iraqis belonged. The post-Saddam government in Baghdad was supported by the Kurds and the Shia, making up four-fifths of the population. Afghans are more xenophobic than Iraqis. "Suspicion of foreigners is part of every Afghan's DNA," said a Western diplomat in Kabul [Give due credit to the Afghans and let the Iraqis learn from them.]......."

أخيراً وليس آخراً: الاعتراف بإسرائيل دولة يهودية../

By Azmi Bishara
د. عزمي بشارة

"تكرر مؤخراً المطلب الإسرائيلي الجديد من السلطة الفلسطينية الاعتراف بإسرائيل كدولة يهودية، أو كدولة الشعب اليهودي. لقد انتقلت اسرائيل من مطلب "الاعتراف بإسرائيل ونبذ الإرهاب" كشرط للتفاوض مع م. ت. ف عشية اتفاقيات أوسلو إلى مطلب الاعتراف بها كدولة يهودية، أي كتعبير عن حق تقرير المصير لشعب تربطه بما يسمى أرض إسرائيل علاقة "حق تاريخي". وهي تطرح هذا المطلب منذ فترة كشرط للحل الدائم. وكانت حركة "كاديما" التي أسسها شارون قد طرحت هذا المطلب كشرط للحل الدائم المؤسس على مبدأ "دولتين لشعبين"، وهو مبدأ طالما نادى به اليسار الصهيوني الذي يرى في قيام دولة فلسطينية (بالشروط الاسرائيلية طبعا) نوعا من الضمان الديموغرافي ليهودية إسرائيل. كما رأى أن من الضروري أن يعترف الفلسطينيون بهذا ,الحق اليهودي في تقرير المصير" وإقامة دولة على أرض فلسطين (والمقصود هو حق اليهود في كافة أنحاء العالم، وليس حق اليهود الاسرائيليين فحسب). لقد اصر اليسار الصهيوني على أن من الضروري ألا يتوقف العرب عند الاعتراف باسرائيل كواقع قائم. كانت عبارة "دولتين لشعبين" شعارا رفعته قوى السلام الصهيونية في إسرائيل، وتلتها قوى غير صهيونية مثل الحزب الشيوعي الإسرائيلي، و"الجبهة الديموقراطية للسلام والمساواة" طيلة عقدي الثمانينيات والتسعينيات.

لا يعني هذا المطلب الذي تحول إلى شعار سوى دولة للشعب الفلسطيني وأخرى للشعب اليهودي. ولا يتحكَّم رافعو شعار "دولتين لشعبين" لا بتعريف "الشعب اليهودي" (أي بحدوده)، ولا بحدود أرض الدولة الفلسطينية، ولا بحدود سيادتها. فهي قضية لها أصحابها، وقد تركت دوليا لتوازن القوى في المفاوضات. وتوازن القوى في المفاوضات ومن دون مرجعيات واضحة ينتج إملاءات اسرائيلية. وقد أسقطت تلك المفاوضات مرجعية القرارين 242 و338، كما أسقطت العديد من القرارات الدولية الأخرى... وبقي من شعار "دولتين لشعبين" مطلب الاعتراف بإسرائيل كدولة يهودية، ومطلب دولة فلسطينية في أقل من حدود عام 1967 معدومة السيادة ومرفقة بالتخلي عن القدس وعن حق العودة.

وقد حوَّل رئيس الحكومة نتنياهو ووزير خارجيته ليبرمان هذا المطلب إلى لازمة تُغنّى (أو للدقة تدندن) بسهولة، وتطرح كشرط لأي تجاوب مع مطالب فلسطينية خلال المفاوضات، حتى لو كان متعلقا بتجميد آني للاستيطان. وساعدهما في ذلك ان رئيس الولايات المتحدة في مرحلتهما، باراك أوباما، يكرر التزام الولايات المتحدة بأن تبقى إسرائيل "دولة يهودية" وذلك منذ خطابه أمام مؤتمر منظمة "إيباك" عام 2008 قبل الانتخابات الرئاسية، ومؤخرا في خطابه أمام الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة في أيلول 2010.
يصعب فصل هذا المطلب عن الحمى الاسرائيلية لسنّ قوانين في الكنيست ذات طابع يهودي تمييزي ضد المواطنين العرب في الدورات البرلمانية الثلاث الأخيرة. ولكن لا بد من الفصل لغرض التحليل لأن هنالك فرقاً بين الصراع القائم نتيجة تناقض الدولة اليهودية والديموقراطية والمواطنة، وهو موضوع لنضال وتحليل مستمرين ناجمين عن تعريف هذه الدولة لذاتها ووظائفها وممارستها، وهي في ذلك صهيونية ويهودية منذ أن قامت، وبين المطلب الاسرائيلي المستجد، أي أن يعترف بها العرب على هذا الأساس.

أما من يعتقد أن إسرائيل تعلن بواسطة هذا المطلب عن نفسها الآن فقط كدولة يهودية، وأن هذا الإعلام سوف يؤدي الى طرد العرب المقيمين في إسرائيل، فلا ندري أين كان يعيش حتى الآن. لقد أعلنت إسرائيل عن نفسها "دولة يهودية" في وثيقة الاستقلال، وخططت الحركة الصهيونية لذلك قبلها بنصف قرن، وقد ادى الإصرار على ان تكون الدولة يهودية فعلا (وليس من حيث المفهوم فقط)، أي بأغلبية يهودية، إلى طرد الأغلبية العربية من فلسطين خارج حدود الهدنة عام 1949،المسماة الخط الأخضر.

لقد تم طرد الغالبية العربية فعلا عام 1948، ومنذ ذلك التاريخ تبني إسرائيل ذاتها ومؤسساتها كدولة يهودية، وتصادر الأرض على هذا الأساس، وتستوعب الهجرة اليهودية، ويتنازع علمانيّوها ومتديّنوها على التعريف الأدق لمعنى يهودية الدولة. ومنذ ذلك الوقت يعيش فيها عرب فلسطينيون أصبحوا أقلية في وطنهم. وقد تطوّر لديهم مؤخرا (منذ منتصف تسعينيات القرن الماضي) الوعي بالتناقض بين المواطنة المتساوية ويهودية الدولة، كما صاغت هذا الوعي نخب وطنية جديدة.

لقد أدى مفهوم الدولة اليهودية وواقعيتها بعد قيامها الى نوعين من الصراعات:
أولا، صراع بين المتدينين والعلمانيين على تعريف يهوديتها، بدءا بمن هو اليهودي، ونهايةً بالفصل بين الدين والدولة، ورفض الإملاءات الدينية فيما يتعلق بالحياة اليومية وقوانين الأحوال الشخصية، وإمكانية نمط الحياة العلماني المتطور فيها.

ثانيا، تولد صراعبين يهودية الدولة وفكرة المواطنة، بما فيها مواطنة العرب الفلسطينيين الذين بقوا كمواطنين فيها. ويتخذ هذا الصراع أشكالا مختلفة مثل حق العودة لليهود ورفض حق العودة للفلسطينيين، واعتبار مصادرة الأرض من العرب لتوطين اليهود مصادرة لأجل المصلحة العامة في دولة ترى أن مهمتها الرئيسية هي استيعاب الهجرة اليهودية، والتمييز الحكومي الممارس ضد المواطنين العرب في نواحي الحياة المختلفة. لقد تعايش تعريف اسرائيل كدولة يهودية مع وجود أقلية عربية تتعايش مع يهودية الدولة، وذات مواطنة من الدرجة الثانية. وتجد اسرائيل الرسمية والشعبية صعوبة متزايدة في هضم صوغ قوى سياسية عربية منذ منتصف التسعينيات لفكرة ان الدولة يجب ان تكون لجميع مواطنيها، وأن من حق العرب المحافظة على هويتهم كعرب فلسطينيين يتواصلون مع الأمةالعربية بهذه الصفة. وقد ارتبط هذا الصراع الأخير بمدى استعداد العرب لصوغ هذا التناقض بشكلٍ واعٍ وتحويله إلى برنامج، وبمدى الإصرار على أن المساواة لا تتوافق مع الصهيونية.

لم تعلن إسرائيل عن نفسها دولة يهودية في السنوات الاخيرة، بل أعلنت ذلك منذ قيامها، وخطّطت الحركة الصهيونية لذلك ما قبل قيامها. ولم يتناقض هذا الواقع مع وجود عرب فيها طالما كانوا أقلية تُعَرَّف كمجموعة أقليات، وطالما جرى التعامل معهم كمواطنين من الدرجة الثانية يقبلون بهذا الواقع. إن التناقض ليس بين "أقلية عربية في إسرائيل" وبين يهودية الدولة، بل بين المساواة للعرب كمواطنين وبين يهودية الدولة.

تاريخ قصير

يبدو أن أول من استخدم التعبير على مستوى السياسة الخارجية هو وزير خارجية بوش كولن باول في خطاب له عام 2001. ولا يذكر هو كيف تسربت العبارة الى خطابه ولماذا دخلت الخطاب. ولكن دافيد عبري السفير الاسرائيلي في واشنطن آنذاك يذكر أنه كان له دور في ذلك.

لم يستجب "الطرف الفلسطيني" لهذا المطلب في مؤتمر العقبة. ولكن بوش أورد العبارة في خطابه في المقام نفسه يوم 4 حزيران 2003، مؤكدا التزام الولايات المتحدة لإسرائيل "كدولة يهودية نابضة بالحياة" على حد تعبيره. وتبناها أوباما مرات عدة في خطاباته. وكان كلينتون قد تحدث قبلهما في كامب ديفيد عن دولة فلسطينية تشكل بيتاً قومياً للفلسطينيين إلى جانب اسرائيل كدولة تشكل بيتاً قومياً لليهود. ولكن بعد أن فشل كامب ديفيد باشرت إسرائيل المطالبة بالاعتراف بها كدولة يهودية ضمن شروطها لقبول حل الدولتين، وكصيغة مبدئية نهائية للتنازل عن حق العودة قبل المفاوضات.

إن للاعتراف بدولة اسرائيل كدولة يهودية هدفاً إضافياً هو التحول من الاعتراف باسرائيل كأمر واقع الى الاعتراف بالصهيونية، اي الاعتراف بأن الصهيونية كانت على حق، وأن العرب والفلسطينيين كانوا على خطأ حين لم يقبلواعلى الأقل بأن الصراع هو بين حقين متساويين على الارض نفسها. و"الحق اليهودي"المطروح هذا هو بالطبع أكثر تاريخية، إذا صح التعبير. وهو في الوقت ذاته حق أكثر قدرة على التحقق بفعل موازين القوى أيضا، فينتهي الفلسطينيون اذا ما اعترفوا بذلك بحق تاريخي يهودي فقط، وحق آني فلسطيني غير متحقق ومشروط بالموافقة الصهيونية عليه.

لا شك في أن القضية هي أيضا قضية عرب الداخل، أي المواطنين العرب الفلسطينيين في إسرائيل. ولكن هذا ليس جديداً، حتى لو اقترح ليبرمان طردهم في تصريحات متكررة عن التبادل السكاني. فليبرمان ليس صاحب قرار سياسي في إسرائيل. ولكنه مزاود خطير يدفع الليكود الى التساوق معه خشية على أصواته، وذلك في ظروف هيمنة أمزجة سياسية يمينية متطرفة تصل حد توقع عشرين مقعداً لليبرمان في الانتخابات اذا جرت في المرحلة الراهنة.

أنتج التناقض بين يهودية الدولة والسكان الأصليين النكبة وقضية اللاجئين. وهو ينتج تمييزا عنصريا مستمرا ضد عرب الداخل. ومنذ أن وعى عرب الداخل أن الدولة يجب أن تكون لجميع مواطنيها، وناضلوا في سبيل كشف التناقض بين الصهيونية والمواطنة المتساوية، إلى جانب التمسك بالهوية العربية الفلسطينية، لم تتوقف إسرائيل عن محاولة تقييد هذا الوعي بالتخويف وبالاتهامات وايضاً بسن قوانين، ولكن ليس هذا هو سبب طلب الاعتراف بإسرائيل كدولة يهودية على المستوى الدولي والفلسطيني والعربي بشكل خاص.

ولا يفوتنا أن نذكر أن في الاستخدام الإسرائيلي الحالي لهذا المطلب جانباً متعلقاً بالمماطلة وعرقلة عملية التفاوض ذاتها بإضافة شروط جديدة في كل مرة. وهذه عملية لا تنتهي، لأن لا وجود لمرجعية واضحة تحكم عملية التفاوض، ولأن التفاوض يجري بعد أن تخلى الفلسطينيون عن الخيارات الأخرى. هكذا يكون قبول الشروط الاسرائيلية عملية تراجع تدريجي، في مقابل خطة على مراحل انقلبت وأصبحت إسرائيلية. كل مطلب اسرائيلي هو مجرد مرحلة نحو مطلب آخر.


قبلت م. ت. ف. الشروط الاسرائيلية المسبقة التي فرضت لكي تقبل إسرائيل التفاوض معها في إطار اتفاقيات أوسلو، أي أنها كانت مستعدة أن تعترف باسرائيل و"تنبذ الإرهاب" وتعدّل الميثاق. ذلك كله في مقابل أن تعترف إسرائيل بها وليس بالحقوق الفلسطينية. ثم اكتشفت في المفاوضات مطالب إسرائيلية أخرى أهمها أن تتحول إلى شرطي في حراسة أمن إسرائيل قبل زوال الاحتلال.

وفي الماضي، أي بعد احتلال الأراضي العربية عام 1967 طرحت إسرائيل معادلة "الأرض مقابل السلام". يجب أن نذكر أنها معادلة اسرائيلية في الأصل. فقد صرّحت الحكومة الإسرائيلية أنها تحتفظ بالمناطق التي احتلتها كأمانة (شطحيم موحزكيم)، أو كـ"مناطق مدارة" (شطحيم منوهليم)، لمقايضتها بالسلام والاعتراف العربيين. وعندما قبلت الدولة العربية الأكبر بهذه المعادلة فإنها حققت بذلك أهداف حرب 1967 الإسرائيلية، وهي الاعتراف العربي والسلام مع إسرائيل من دون حل قضية فلسطين، أي تثبيت واقع النكبة ومنحه شرعية عربية. وعندما تبنَّت بقية الدول العربية هذه المعادلة الاسرائيلية وحوّلتها إلى مرجع تفاوضي، تحت مسمى "الأرض مقابل السلام" أو ما سمي بمعادلة مدريد، رفضتها اسرائيل. وواجهها رئيس الحكومة إسحاق شامير بطرح "السلام مقابل السلام". وبعد شامير عادت إسرائيل لمعادلتها هذه، ولكنها ما عادت تقبل بها الا معدّلة، وأضافت إليها شروطا أخرى.

سياسات خاطئة

لقد فهم بعض المسـؤولين ووسـائل الإعـلام المطلب الإسرائيلي بالاعتراف الفلـسطيني، ثم العـربي، بإسرائيل كدولة يهودية كأنه يعني طرد العـرب في الداخـل. هذا النوع من الفهـم يخطئ مرتين حتى في حالة حسن النيات: فهو ينتقص من الدور العربي ويتهرّب من مسؤولـياته من ناحـية، ويهوِّل من الناحية الاخرى. لقدأعلنت اسرائيل كدولة يهودية قبل ستة عقود ونصف العقد. هذا واقعها وايديـولوجيتها وممارستها منذ عام 1948. وقد عنى ذلك طرد الأغلبـية العربـية من وطنـها من جـهة، والتمـييز القـومي ضد من بقي من جهة أخرى. لقد سادت سـياسة التمـييز على مستـوى المواطـنة، وعلى مسـتوى تفتـيت الهـوية العربيـة الفلسطـينية. ولكن إسرائيل لم تلجأ الى طرد العرب في الداخل لأنها يهودية، وليست بحاجة الى ذلك ما دامت تعيش فيها أغلبية يهودية كبيرة. وخطة الطرد يكاد تنفيذها ان يكون مستحيلاً عمليا بسبب الوضع الدولي، وبسبب وعي العرب أنفسهم ورفضهم التهجير. والتعامل مع هذا الموضوع بهذه السهولة غير المحتملة، والترويج لمخاوف من طرد العرب في الداخل لأسباب داخلية أحيانا، يجعلان التعامل مع فكرة مرفوضة تماما تعاملا عاديا، إلى درجة تحويل الفكرة إلى فكرة ممكنة. فكرة كهذه يجب أن تطرح كفكرة مستحيلة وغير قابلة للتحقيق، عدا عن أن المؤسسة الاسرائيلية لم تعلن عن نفسها يهودية الآن. لا يحمل هذا المطلب بالاعتراف بيهودية الدولة جديدا لعرب الداخل، بل للدول العربية والسلطة الفلسطينية و م. ت. ف. فمسار تنامي العنصرية والنزعة المستمرة نحو اليمين على المستوى الداخلي قائم أصلا. ويتصاعد معه التشدد الرسمي والشعبي الإسرائيلي تجاه الوعي والمتنامي، ومعه الجرأة لدى المواطنين العرب في الداخل في طرح معارضة الطبيعة اليهودية الصهيونية لإسرائيل.

الجديد هو طرح هذا الموضوع للاعتراف به فلسطيينا وعربيا. ولا يكون الرد باللجوء إلى القديم أي التخويف من تشريد العرب الذين بقوا في وطنهم. لقد سبق أن تم تهجير العرب لأن الدولة اليهودية أعلنت استقلالها، وشنت الحرب لاحتلال فلسطين وتهجير غالبية سكانها. يكون الرد بالتمسك بحق العودة من جهة، وبرفض الصهيونية ورفض منح الشرعية لإسرائيل من جهة اخرى. وهذ موقف سياسي، وهو عملية سياسية وتربوية وتثقيفية في الوقت ذاته.

What Is Israel’s Purpose from Ghajar Withdrawal?


"20/11/2010 Sane person cannot believe that Israel will withdraw from the Village of Ghajar unconditionally, or for no reasons. At least there is a package of goals the Zionist entity is trying to achieve through this attempt....

In this context, many observers see Israel as using the village of Ghajar in order to present t self as internationally “responsible”, “sticking” to the United Nations’ resolutions and “fulfilling” its international commitments, while as Lebanon and especially Hezbollah is “violating” international laws.

Officials said that Israel is aiming to demand an official recognition from the UN that it is respecting the international laws. And this recognition surely will be in the face of "condemning" Hezbollah for its armament.

Also in this context, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams on Friday voiced “concerns” that Hezbollah’s arms supply is “worrisome”.

Hezbollah’s weapons are mostly Iranian-made, and the arms’ transfer to Lebanon raises concerns,” Williams told Al-Arabiya television.

Observers can’t consider this Israeli “propaganda” as far away from the huge “scheme” aiming at targeting the defiant resistance in Lebanon. Israel and the west behind it have been hardly trying to target the resistance. They had waged a destroying war in July 2006 in order to “topple” Hezbollah. However, they haven’t succeeded. "

AIPAC: Fighting for survival

(Cartoon by Khalil Bendib)

With the flailing lobby distracted by a legal battle with a former employee, peace may just have a chance.

MJ Rosenberg

Take this article with a big grain of salt, but it is worth reading.

"The latest Aipac (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) scandal has not found its way into the mainstream media, although the Jewish media has done a great job in highlighting this very explosive story. (LATE UPDATE: The Washington Post is now reporting on the story.)....

There is no need to recapitulate the story here. Nathan Guttman in the Forward explains it well. The bottom line is that Steve Rosen, Aipac's former #2 guy, who was indicted under the Espionage Act and then fired, is now suing the organisation for $20mn.

Ironically, the organisation spent $4.5mn to save their former employee from imprisonment (and more money than that to save itself). In the end, the government dropped the case probably because it believed it would not prevail in court, especially with Aipac's buddies in congress breathing down the justice department's neck.

Nonetheless, Rosen, off the legal hook, was furious. How could Aipac have fired him when, in the end, the government could not prove its case? His life was in tatters thanks to being terminated, in his opinion, without cause......

But, thanks to Rosen, Aipac is spending $10mn of its donors' money on legal fees. Its top people are working with lawyers virtually nonstop. And the whole place is in the grips of fear - fear that one former employee who has the goods on Aipac will bring the whole house down...."

Friday, November 19, 2010

DePaul University suspends sales of Sabra hummus

Today marks another win for the global boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement against corporations that profit from severe human rights violations. Chicago’s very own DePaul University just announced that their dining services will be discontinuing the sale of hummus manufactured by Sabra, an Israeli brand known for its vocal and material support of Israeli Defense Forces. The administration has temporarily suspended the sale of Sabra products and will likely move towards permanently banning the brand from campus.
A little over two weeks ago, members of DePaul’s Students for Justice in Palestine expressed concern over the sale of Sabra products after discovering that Chartwells, which provides dining services to the university, had introduced the Israeli-brand hummus to food and dining facilities throughout campus. Acting on their concern, the students compiled research and revealed that the Strauss Group, co-owner of Sabra, has direct monetary ties with elite Israeli military forces currently and historically involved in the illegal occupation of Palestinian land. One week after bringing the issue to the attention of campus administrators, the university informed campaign organizers that Sabra products are set to be removed from shelves for the remainder of the school quarter and will most likely not be sold on campus in the future.

How the US and Israel Hope to Destroy Hezbollah

Attacking Nasrallah


(Left: Zionist former US ambassador to Lebanon, Jeffrey Feltman)

""I’ve got these [expletive deleted] just where we want them Maura! Watch the 1000 slow cuts as we shred Hezbollah--who do they think they are? And we’ll do it by using 1757 and this time we’re going all the way. I told Israel to stay out of Lebanon because the IDF can’t defeat Hezbollah plus the whole region would burn. I will handle this and it will be my Christmas present to Lebanon.”

So, reportedly, said Jeffrey Feltman in conversation with his former office staffer, now US Ambassador to Lebanon, Maura Connelly during October 17, 2010 visit with MP Walid Jumblatt at his Clemenceau residence.....

Feltman is now again assuring his Lebanese allies that he’s Santa Claus and Hezbollah’s head will adorn his sleigh during his Christmas eve rounds. The reason for his optimism is that US and Israel are quietly confident that they can achieve with UNSCR 1757 what was intended but fell short with UNSCR 1559, stripping Lebanon’s Resistance of its defensive weapons. On November 11th, Vice Premier and Regional Development Minister Silvan Shalom predicted that “a Special Tribunal for Leban (STL) indictment against Hezbollah will lead to the implementation of Resolution 1559 and the forced disarming of the Party as well as the collapse of the effort at a Syrian-Lebanese-Iranian-Turkish alliance.”....

Based on interviews with two former staff members of the Office of the STL prosecution, as well as numerous public statements by US officials, there are reasons to take seriously the "all the way" intensions of Jeffrey Feltman and Silvan Shalom. Their governments assert the that STL is legitimate under both international law, given that it was established in accordance with a U.N. Security Council resolution issued under Chapter 7, and also under Lebanon's legal and constitutional principles contrary to what is being claimed by Hezbollah and STL's adversaries in Lebanon....

Efforts by Hezbollah and Syria to derail the STL are viewed in Tel Aviv and Washington as futile, because Lebanon is thought to have nothing to say about the STL. It is created by the UNSC and nothing the Lebanese Parliament, Cabinet or people do will affect it. The only reason Lebanon is in the picture at all is that it is the crime scene. And it happens to harbor some suspects. Apart from that Lebanon is essentially irrelevant to the STL work.

Following the STL indictments, assuming they include Hezbollah, Washington sources expect that the Israel lobby will launch an international media campaign of defamation against Hezbollah, Syria and Iran and they will be joined by the US government and some of its European allies. The objective will be to essentially unite the world against the presumed Shia killers of the Sunni Prime Minister...."

Cantor Crosses the Line

Way Beyond Chutzpah


"Even the United States Congress’ most rabid pro-Israel supporters have not dared propose what incoming House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) has.

Cantor told the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) that he wants to see Israel’s massive three billion dollar annual stipend—the largest of any U.S. aid recipient—reclassified and not considered “foreign” aid. Its enormous subsidy would no longer be the purview of the State Department, but the Pentagon. If he had his way, Israel would be directly funded by the U.S. military......

It is only natural to speculate where Cantor’s loyalty lies. Readers are left to draw their own conclusion. What is clear, however, is that Cantor has crossed the line, and more than once. Unlike Israel, he must not be given a free pass. "

National Outcry Over TSA Body Scanners and Invasive Pat-Downs

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"As one of the busiest travel seasons of the year approaches there is a public outcry over new airport security measures that include full-body scanners and invasive police-style pat-downs. We speak with the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the ACLU as well as New York City Councilman David Greenfield who introduced a resolution to ban the use of the full body scanners in New York...."

All U.S. embassies and consulates around the world spying on host nation citizens

By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

"(WMR) -- With revelations that U.S. embassies in Oslo, Copenhagen, and Stockholm have carried out spying operations against the host citizens of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden from the respective embassies, comes news to WMR that the system carrying out the secret surveillance -- the Security Incident Management Analysis System or SIMAS -- not only also spies on citizens of the two Nordic partners of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, namely Iceland and Finland, from U.S. embassies in Reykjavik and Helsinki, respectively, but spies on individuals from all U.S. embassies and consulates around the world -- from Santiago, Chile, and Canberra, Australia, to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, to Maputo, Mozambique...."

Welcome to NATOstan

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"Be afraid. Be very afraid. At the Lisbon summit this Friday and Saturday, a gargantuan, innocuously sounding, self-described "military alliance of democratic states in Europe and North America" that happens to be a Cold War relic sits in its own nuclear-adorned couch to speculate what it is actually all about.

In this otherwise Freudian scenario, the guest of honor is United States President Barack Obama, who imperially presides over the other 27 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies, all duly acknowledging their tributary vows and commitments on everything from European-wide missile defense (subjected to the US global missile shield) and permanent stationing of hundreds of US nuclear bombs in Europe to the turbo-charging of cyber warfare (subjected to the Pentagon's new Cyber Command), a blitzkrieg of navy patrol stunts on the globe's strategic sea lanes, and the spread of military bases guarding strategic nodes of Pipelineistan.....

But part three of this equation is exactly what the Pentagon has in mind - especially now that the axis Ankara-Tehran-Damascus is a reality, not to mention the developing entente cordiale between Ankara and Moscow. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu anyway has made it clear, "We do not want a Cold War zone or psychology around us."

But Cold War remix it is, and Turkey runs the risk of being just a pawn in their game. Profiting from NATO's new Strategic Concept, the ultimate goal of the US global missile dome - complete with cyber warfare and Prompt Global Strike - is to encircle the heart of Eurasia and isolate, who else, Russia, Iran and China. War is peace. Welcome to the pleasure dome. Welcome to NATOstan. "

Soaring Food Prices Squeeze Poor

By Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa Al-Omrani

"CAIRO, Nov 19, 2010 (IPS) - Prices for most basic food commodities in Egypt have finally returned to earth - more or less - after soaring to unprecedented levels over the summer. But steadily rising food costs in recent years, along with the government's seeming disinclination to take effective steps to regulate the market, continue to be the source of mounting public anger...."

Lebanon Pressured to Improve Palestinians' Lot

By Ray Smith

"....Abu Yussif is a pharmacist. But the massive discrimination against Palestinians on the Lebanese labour market has forced him to give up his profession and work as a taxi driver.

Palestinian refugees and their descendants have been living in Lebanon for 62 years. Unlike their relatives in Jordan or Syria, they face massive legal discrimination. Lebanon is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention. But it has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and embodied the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its constitution.

"According to the Refugee Convention, we'd have the right to access our host country's labour market freely after three years," says Suhail al-Natour at his office in Beirut. Al-Natour heads the Human Development Centre, a Palestinian human rights organisation. "After Palestinians were excluded from working in the public sector, the Lebanese government has restricted their access to employment in the private sector," he says. "What was left were the lowest, hard jobs that most Lebanese wouldn't do."....

Rola Badran, observing the conference for the Palestinian Human Rights Organisation, says she's satisfied with the UPR session. "It showed that the rights issue of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon is on the international agenda. The Lebanese delegation seemed annoyed and under pressure and repeatedly insisted on directly responding to states' interventions that criticised the situation and recommended improvements," says Badran.

Criticism mainly focused on the denial of property rights, discrimination on the labour market and the lack of freedom of movement, as most of the Palestinian camps are encircled by the Lebanese army. But Badran is pessimistic about Lebanon changing its policy.

"At the UPR session, they repeated their usual excuses by stressing Lebanon's limited size and financial means." And, with a slightly sarcastic laugh in her voice she adds: "Lebanon's unwillingness is best illustrated by the delegation's statement that the Palestinians' presence has already been for so long and that Lebanon is still waiting for the Palestinians' return to their homeland." "

Why the TSA Gets to Grope Us

It's the foreign policy, stupid!

by Justin Raimondo, November 19, 2010

"The Transportation Safety Administration is bringing the war home – and the American people don’t like it one bit. Stories of TSA outrages are everywhere, from the "Don’t touch my junk" guy to that photo of a nun in full robes being searched by a TSA thuglet. Talk radio is up in arms, Judge Napolitano is having a conniption, and both liberals and conservatives seem to be uniting around a general consensus that this level of intrusiveness cannot be allowed to stand. Yet what is to be done?....

When the Soviet empire teetered and fell, we took credit for it instead of heeding the lesson of imperial exhaustion, and this escalated our hubris beyond anything yet seen. More "American exceptionalism." No, there is no security at the top of the world. Furthermore, at these dizzying heights, it is hard to see anything at all, beyond our own mythology of Manifest Destiny and other self-regarding hallucinations. Our vision obscured by conceit, and our other senses deadened by complacency and impending decadence, we are blind to the very real danger that comes at us with the persistence of Nemesis.....

Last [Wednesday] night, I heard Keith Olbermann interview Isaac Yeffet, former head of security for El Al, the Israeli state-owned airline, who scoffed at the TSA, his voice dripping with disdain as he described the porno-scanners and the body searches as worse than useless. Scanners? No, Yeffet has a better idea.....

In that world, as Yeffet explains: "First of all, we have to understand that people are waiting in line to go to the ticket counter. While they are waiting in line, this is opportunity for us as security people to go in to interview every passenger.

Every American a Palestinian.

"We must hire qualified people. We must train them well. And we need to teach them how to approach with the passengers, to let them understand we are not coming to investigate you; we are not coming to insult you; we are coming to help you to fly safe and secure, to go where you go to your destination." We’re the government, and we’re here to "help" you. Oh, the future is as bright as Olbermann is dim:

"Passenger profiling. You helped to develop it for El Al. What does it mean? Why does it work? And for people who jump when they hear the word, uh-oh, profiling, who are you profiling? It‘s not members of an ethnic group, is it?"

"YEFFET: No. We are interviewing every passenger with no exception....."

The religious excuse for barbarity

Why are we sitting silently while our treatment of many of our animals regresses to the standard of the sixth century?

By Johann Hari
The Independent

"If you are engaged in an act of cruelty, there is an easy, effective way to silence your critics and snatch some space to carry on. Tell us all that your religion requires you to do it, and you are "offended" by any critical response. Erect an electric wire fence around your nastiest actions and call it "respect".

There's a good example of this religious modus operandi playing out on a dinner table near you – and this week, we found out it is becoming more and more common. In Britain, it is a crime to kill a conscious cow or sheep or chicken for meat by slashing its throat without numbing it first. The reasons are obvious. If you don't numb an animal, it screams as you hack through its skin, muscle, trachea, oesophagus, carotid arteries, jugular veins and major nerve trunks, and then it remains conscious as it slowly drowns in its own blood – a process that can take up to six minutes. So we insist that an animal is stunned before its throat is slashed, to ensure it is deeply unconscious....

But there is a loophole in the law. You are allowed to skip all this and slash the throats of un-numbed, screaming animals if you say God told you to. If you are Muslim, you call it "halal", and if you are Jewish you call it "kosher". Back in the Bronze Age, or the deserts of sixth-century Arabia, it was sensible to act this way. You needed to know your meat was fresh and the animal was not sick, so you made sure it was alive and alert when you killed it.....

We need to be much more self-confident in criticising religious claims. Your ideas do not deserve any special status because you say they came from an invisible, supernatural being.

(Right: "Sheep Without Borders" is accusing Abu Mahjoob of war crimes.)

No, we don't respect your desire to needlessly torment animals because some hallucinating desert nomads did it centuries ago. We don't respect it at all. You can cry that we are "persecuting" you if we stop you committing acts of cruelty if you want.
It's what the religious – Christian, Jew and Muslim alike – did when we stopped you tormenting women and gays and anybody else you could get your hands on. One of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is that the howls you will hear are from the Men of God."

How to win power in Egypt

Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin examines the key to controlling Egypt ahead of a parliamentary election.

Ayman Mohyeldin

Sad to say, the engine is puttering along and could use a kick-start, but the question on everyone's mind, both inside and outside government, is when, how and who exactly will begin the process.

Most Egyptians agree on one thing, though - they are all tired of being kicked around.


Sure, the democratic processes in Egypt are there, well written on paper for all to see. Yes, pluralism exists in the political parties. Indeed, civil society is robust, holding workshops to train cadres of election monitors and observers. True, the media has been emboldened to be more daring in issue-driven coverage of the country.

So what is missing in Egypt's democracy or, as it is often called, "sham-ocracy"?

The short answer is: belief. Nobody in Egypt believes they can make a difference, and more importantly no one in Egypt is entitled to believe they can make a difference.

Everyone believes it is someone else's responsibility rather than his or her own. Neither the individual voters, nor election monitors, opposition papers or political parties believe they can make a difference. That lack of belief stems from the systematic and deliberate marginalisation of a people for nearly half a century.....

From the top

ElBaradei pro-democratic calls would certainly be better received by businesses which have been quiet about their support for him, but it is believed he has the backing of some wealthy Egyptians who are watching what he can do on street level.

He would not be a favourable option for the military, however, which would most likely fear he might curb their influence through a reinvigorated system of checks and balances.

Regardless of which two of these groups are controlled, one thing is certain: change in Egypt has historically been driven from the top down.

For those who are hoping the future of Egypt rests with the rise of the people, history shows if you rise to the top from within you have a much better chance of making the people believe they actually matter and bringing about the change that all agree is needed but few dare to pursue."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The deadly lie of democracy in Iraq

The inaccuracy of the results and the subsequent drama only tell part of the story. An elections process cleverly diverts all attention from the colossal incompetency of the government, and spins the tall tale of a young, fledgling born-again country instead. The reality is that democracy in Iraq does not exist beyond the show business of sham elections.

In the absence of food, electricity, water, education, health, safety and dignity, the vote exists merely as a tool to stretch the life expectancy of the occupation and ironically works to quell any grassroots movements that would build genuine democratic institutions in the country. Students, workers, community organizations, women, single mothers, the disabled, orphans, the poor and all other marginalized sectors of society continue to watch democracy from a painful distance while bearing the brunt of its epic failures.

Historically, the emergence of a sovereign, self-sustained, secular, progressive, economically powerful country in the region was a worrisome possibility for an oil-hungry United States, obsessed with growing Soviet expansionism in the post-Second World War era. As such, the last forty years have witnessed a program of pillaging and exploitation that has eaten its way through some of the most fertile land in the world.

Under Saddam Hussein's Baath party, civil society in Iraq was destroyed, personal freedoms exterminated and the majority of the country's resources were wasted on a paranoid dictatorship and an American proxy war with Iran. Under the sanctions, Iraq's infrastructure was annihilated, millions of people were killed and theft and corruption took a stronghold in the mismanagement of the country's affairs. Since the occupation, millions more have had their lives destroyed, the greatest systematic extortion of a country's resources successfully executed and the language of sectarianism has choked the aspirations of many generations to come. Throughout this time, America also unleashed the most violent warfare in the history of mankind.

The elections are just another part of this death sentence issued to Iraq.

Liar, Liar

(Cartoon by Khalil Bendib)

(Scroll down for more new posts)
By Philip Giraldi

"....His administration’s retreat from any confrontation with Israel in an attempt to make a recalcitrant Netanyahu conform even to minimal standards of behavior confirms what all the world already knows: Israel will act and the United States will follow, even if those actions will inflict grave damage on the American people and on the US national interest.

And what will that mean for the United States? It means that the decision about going to war for the US is essentially controlled by Israel because Tel Aviv can start a conflict with Iran at any time that will quickly draw Washington in. Those who think that the White House still is managing the situation are completely naïve. There is no indication that the Obama administration has warned Israel against bombing Iran because the US has no cards to play, having ruled out exerting any sort of economic or military pressure on Netanyahu. And there should be no doubt that an attack by Israel on an Iranian nuclear facility would trigger Iranian retaliation and immediate calls in Congress and the media to support Tel Aviv, leaving the president no option but to enter the conflict.....

Meanwhile Steny Hoyer, who calls himself a Zionist and frequently expresses his love for Israel, and has spoken of "our responsibility to stand by Israel and the Jewish people," is poised to take over as Minority Whip in the House of Representatives. On the other side of the aisle, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Eric Cantor are unrelenting advocates of Israel who are about to step into senior positions in the Republican dominated congress. Cantor recently met privately with Bibi Netanyahu and said the Republican Party would serve "as a check on" the Obama Administration over its policies in the Middle East. Then "He made clear that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other." In other words, Cantor was meeting with the leader of a foreign country and promising to do whatever he could to influence and even subvert the foreign policy of his own country. Think about that one for a minute or two.

And while Cantor, Hoyer, Biden and company are ceding US national security to the Israelis, who actually is calling the shots on shaping American policy? None other than the redoubtable Dennis Ross, perched in the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the Central Region. Ross, who has been described as Israel’s lawyer, is poison in the very heart of the policy making apparatus. He recently spoke at an AIPAC Conference in Hollywood Florida where he said "Just last week, I participated in the US-Strategic Dialogue, a biannual event that includes a comprehensive exchange of views on regional issues crucial to both the United State and Israel. But more importantly, the Strategic Dialogue is just one of many, ongoing, and high-level exchanges that occur regularly between the United States in Israel. I’m not aware of another country that we engage more regularly on such a wide range of issues. These types of exchanges not only provide opportunities for discussion of ideas on policy, but they also help solidify connections between our two governments. Over the last two years, I have seen four-star generals, intelligence officers, and high-ranking diplomats all develop personal relationships with their Israeli counterparts. Frankly, this degree of coordination is unprecedented. I have participated in these types of discussions for the last 30 years, and they have never been as intense or focused, reflecting the serious cooperation that we have today with Israel. But our commitment to Israel’s security is defined not by talk. It is defined by the kinds of actions and deeds that help make both of our countries safer and stronger in the face of common threats."

So if you doubt that the United States is tied hand and foot to Israel in terms of its ability to take independent action in the Middle East, just listen to what Dennis Ross, Joe Biden, and Eric Cantor are saying. Does it sound like they are articulating policies beneficial to the US? They are insisting that Americans have to support Israel unquestioningly no matter what it does and are little more than advocates for monsters like Bibi Netanyahu, pure and simple. The word Quisling comes to mind when one thinks of them and also Hoyer and Ros-Lehtinen. If their failure to be truly loyal to the country that has nurtured them brings about a new war in which many of their fellow citizens will die, their actions and posturing should be defined by one and all as treason. If America is to be taken back in a new revolution that will lead to a restoration of the vision of the Founding Fathers it will only take place after the betrayers of our constitution are removed from government, every single one of them. When American politicians and senior government officials speak of their love of a foreign government that pursues policies inimical to US values and interests they should be disowned by every true patriot and also by every respectable media outlet. It should be grounds for their immediate removal. "

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This brand new poll asks:

Do you believe that there are restrictions on religious freedom in Europe?

With over 700 responding so far, 83% said yes.

كل الطرق تؤدي إلى الدولة الفلسطينية المؤقتة

"من الصعب علينا إحصاء عدد المرات التي وقع فيها التصريح بحل الدولة المؤقتة من قبل مسؤولين إسرائيليين أو أميركيين، كما أن من الصعب إحصاء عدد المرات التي أعلن فيها مسؤولو السلطة الفلسطينية (هم أنفسهم مسؤولو المنظمة وحركة فتح) رفضهم لحل الدولة المؤقتة، متجاهلين حقيقة أنهم يكرسونه بهذا الشكل أو ذاك.....

والخلاصة أن كل الطرق تؤدي إلى الدولة المؤقتة، ولا قيمة تبعا لذلك لرفضها في المؤتمرات الصحفية والاحتفالات العامة، ما دامت تتأسس على الأرض بوعي وإدراك من الجميع، ولن يغير في الحقيقة ذلك التذكير الدائم بأن حماس قبلتها عبر ورقة لأحمد يوسف أنكرتها، بل واستنكرتها قيادة الحركة في الداخل والخارج.

من الصعب بالطبع استبعاد صفقة نهائية يتورط في توقيعها القوم بعد وقت يطول أو يقصر، يجرب فيه الفلسطينيون العيش الهادئ في ظل دولة الجدار، وهو أمر يمكن أن يحدث في حال قدم الإسرائيليون بعض التنازلات في ملف القدس.

ما يمكن أن يُفشل هذا المخطط برمته هو: أولا تحولات عربية وإقليمية لصالح تيار المقاومة والممانعة، وثانيا جرأة استثنائية من قبل قوى المقاومة الفلسطينية تدفعها إلى قلب الطاولة في وجه السلطة وقيادتها (حماس في مقدمة هذا الخيار في حال أثبتت أنها لن تقدم مسألة السيطرة على قطاع غزة على مصلحة القضية برمتها، وهي مؤهلة لذلك)، وثالثا استلام الشارع الفلسطيني لقيادة القاطرة وتفجيره لانتفاضة جديدة في وجه الاحتلال عنوانها رفض استمرار تهويد القدس والمقدسات (الأرجح أن يتواصل ذلك بوتيرة أكبر)، وفي وجه السلطة عنوانها رفض مقايضة التحرير والكرامة والمقدسات بأموال المانحين.

NATO'S True Role in US Grand Strategy

Encircling Russia, Targeting China



"....This is partly because NATO as such has no strategy, and cannot have its own strategy. NATO is in reality an instrument of United States strategy. Its only operative Strategic Concept is the one put into practice by the United States. But even that is an elusive phantom. American leaders seem to prefer striking postures, “showing resolve”, to defining strategies.....

“Democracies” to replace the United Nations

The European members of NATO add relatively little to the military power of the United States. Their contribution is above all political. Their presence maintains the illusion of an “International Community”. The world conquest being pursued by the bureaucratic inertia of the Pentagon can be presented as the crusade by the world’s “democracies” to spread their enlightened political order to the rest of a recalcitrant world.

The Euro-Atlantic governments proclaim their “democracy” as proof of their absolute right to intervene in the affairs of the rest of the world. On the basis of the fallacy that “human rights are necessary for peace”, they proclaim their right to make war.

A crucial question is whether “Western democracy” still has the strength to dismantle this war machine before it is too late."

Real News Video: 'Dancing with Dynamite' in South America

Ben Dangl: Many social movements now opposing the same leaders they helped bring to power

More at The Real News

Gatekeepers close door to Iran diplomacy

By Kaveh L Afrasiabi
Asia Times

"United States President Barack Obama has told Tehran that a deal can be reached to end the impasse over Iran's nuclear program. But the truth is that gatekeepers, including the Israel lobby in the US, have made sure that the diplomatic door never really opens...."

Book review: An Israeli academic's struggle against McCarthyism

Raymond Deane, The Electronic Intifada, 17 November 2010

"The Israeli historian Ilan Pappé's new memoir Out of the Frame (Pluto Press, London and New York, 2010) is subtitled "The Struggle for Academic Freedom in Israel." This manages to link Pappé's personal struggle against Israeli McCarthyism with a broader struggle for human and political rights of which "academic freedom" is merely one aspect.....

Nonetheless, this book makes riveting reading. Pappé refers to his "modest sense of achievement in that many of my Palestinian friends mourned my departure [from Israel], and kindly bestowed on me gifts -- that I will bring back when I return -- and honors that I do not deserve" (166). Readers of Out of the Frame will be convinced that he fully deserves such honors, and that if he does one day return to Israel, he will have contributed much towards making it a place worth returning to."

American Arab & Muslim Cowards V. Americans Of Courage


"While Arab and Muslim Americans representing CAIR, ADC, and the ATFP have praised George W. Bush for drawing a distinction between “Good and Bad” Muslims (See Photo in previous post below) even as he bombed Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq, American voices of courage and conscience condemn him for his war crimes and call for his arrest. During a groundbreaking for Bush’s presidential center in Dallas this week protestors raise a “Bush for war crimes” banner and call for his arrest. Would Sarra Najjar-Wilson, Ziad Asali, Nihad Awad, or James Zogby ever join such a protest? Would they be willing to stand next to their fellow Americans in these pictures rather than posing for a photo with a US official or Zionist member of Congress? Or would that be too “radical” and “extreme” for them?"

Republican Cantor recants on Israel

Incoming House Majority Leader tries to explain why he pledged allegiance to Israel's leader over the US President.

MJ Rosenberg

"......For now, forget Cantor's ridiculous assertion that the security of Israel and the United States are "reliant upon the other." No, the United States provides Israel with the security assistance to survive - it is not the other way around.

But lay that aside. It is Cantor's statement of loyalty to Netanyahu that is the shocker. Specifically, it is his promise that he would ensure that Republicans in the US House of Representatives "will serve as a check" on US Middle East policy.

Almost immediately, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency's bureau chief in Washington, Ron Kampeas, declared that Cantor's statement was "extraordinary".

He wrote that he could not "remember an opposition leader telling a foreign leader, in a personal meeting, that he would side, as a policy, with that leader against the President."

Kampeas was clearly shocked, but he was understating the enormity of Cantor's offense..... "

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Will Julian Schnabel's 'Miral' be this generation’s Exodus?

Julian Schnabel's Miral - Trailer. Stars Freida Pinto, Willam Dafoe, Hiam Abbass and Vanessa Redgrave.

Based on the novel by Rula Jebreal, the movie revolves around a real-life orphanage established by a Palestinian woman (Abbass) following the 1948 creation of the Israeli state. (Pinto) was sent to the orphanage in 1978. When, later in life, she goes to teach at a refugee camp and falls for an activist, Miral is torn between resistance and education as separate paths to political change.
(Via Mondoweiss)

List of Israeli War Criminals

The following information was received anonymously; presumably from a member of the Israeli Military. It was presented as follows:

Underlining the following people is an act of retribution and affront. They are the direct perpetrators, agents for the state of Israel that in Dec.- Jan. 2008- 2009 attacked scores of people in the besieged Gaza. The people listed here held positions of command at the time of the attack therefore not only did they perform on behalf of a murderous state mechanism but actively encouraged other people to do the same. They bear a distinctive personal responsibility. They range from low-level field commanders to the highest echelons of the Israeli army. All took an active and direct role in the offensive.

In underlining them we are purposefully directing attention to individuals rather than the static structures through which they operate. We are aligning people with actions. It is to these persons and others, Like them, to which we must object and bring our plaints to bear upon.

This information was pirated. We encourage people to seek out other such similar information, it is readily available in the public sphere and inside public officials' locked cabinets. This is a form of resistance that can be effectively sustained for a long while.

This project for one, has only just begun, do your bit so that this virtual list may come to bear upon the physical.

Disseminate widely.

Obama's Bribe

Palestinians Will be the Losers ... Again



"Watching the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians drag on year after year without conclusion, it is easy to overlook the enormous changes that have taken place on the ground since the Oslo Accords were signed 17 years ago.

Each has undermined the Palestinians' primary goal of achieving viable statehood, whether it is the near-trebling of Jewish settlers on Palestinian land to the current numbers of half a million, Israel's increasing stranglehold on East Jerusalem, the wall that has effectively annexed large slices of the West Bank to Israel, or the splitting of the Palestinian national movement into rival camps following Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005......"

Real News Video and Transcript: Chomsky on Post-Midterm America

Noam Chomsky: Liberal-conservative divide no more than an illusion amongst ordinary Americans

More at The Real News

Have (infinite) war, will travel

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"It's got night ops, air strikes, drone missions and special-forces skullduggery. It's horrendously expensive, as bloody as a slasher film and it keeps the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization busy in the strategic heartland of the world. Withdraw from Afghanistan? The fun is just getting started....

But for the Pentagon/NATO axis, Pakistan is just a drop in the ocean. Next Friday and Saturday, at the Lisbon summit, the world will be presented with a NATO-goes-global narrative. Team Pentagon/NATO will be convinced to abandon its privileged outpost of infinite war - Afghanistan - over its dead nuclear bombs. After all, Washington/Brussels has implanted a precious foothold in the heart of Eurasia - arguably for life.

The Lisbon summit, moreover, will see NATO formally adopting a new strategic concept - which essentially means keeping its nuclear arsenal in perpetuity, including US nuclear bombs stationed in Europe. You know, those nuclear bombs that Iran does not have (but Pakistan and India, not to mention Israel, do)....."

CAIR Finally Off The Hook


"A collective sigh of relief could be heard around Council of American Islamic Relation’s (CAIR) offices this morning. CAIR proclaimed it “welcomed an anti-terror statement by Saudi Arabia’s top religious leader made in a sermon at the peak of the Hajj, the most important event on Islam’s spiritual calendar.” The misogynist Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al-Sheikh “called for religious moderation and said Islam prohibits terrorism, extremism and injustice.” CAIR’s Nihad Awad professed that “This statement from Islam’s spiritual capital should put to rest once and for all the false claim that Muslim leaders do not condemn terrorism.”

Awad appears to believe the oppression of Muslims, women, and foreign laborers within the Arabian Peninsula by the Saudi regime, and its peace overtures to the Zionist entity should be ignored because the Saudi regime is the American-approved representative of the Arab and Muslim worlds....."

Sayyed Nasrallah Says Opposition Managed to Defuse Indictment: Report


"17/11/2010 Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah was quoted on Tuesday as saying that Hezbollah and its allies have scenarios to implement after the Special Tribunal for Lebanon's anticipated indictment against the Resistance party, stressing that the national opposition has actually managed to undermine the indictment.

“Ever since Hezbollah took its decision to engage in a battle against the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, it was able to defuse the indictment that is expected to be issued,” Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar quoted Sayyed Nasrallah during a speech he delivered before a number of the party's cadres at their graduation ceremony.

Sayyed Nasrallah said that the indictment will be issued sooner or later. “But what changed is that the idea that this indictment is a "political decision" has been instilled in the minds of the public opinion,” his eminence pointed out....."

A ‘Sustainable’ Empire?

Cutting the military budget: the debate begins

by Justin Raimondo, November 17, 2010

"If only people were chaining themselves to the White House fence to protest our outrageously extravagant military budget instead of demanding the right to join the armed forces of a country that spends more on “defense” than all other nations of the world combined.

Ah well. We live in a highly imperfect world, a Bizarro World where up is down, morality is turned on its head, and common sense has fled. Oh, but there are certain compensations: we may be low on morality, but we’re high on technology. We have devices that can measure our madness down to the tenth percentile, such as this handy dandy interactive calculator published by the New York Times which challenges readers to balance the federal budget themselves..... "

Turkish James Bond enters dangerous waters to take on Israeli flotilla raiders

A film in which a Turkish hero seeks revenge for attack on Gaza aid ships could further strain ties between Turkey and Israel

Ben Child and agencies, Tuesday 16 November 2010

"He is known as the Turkish James Bond, a seemingly invincible special forces agent who has taken on the country's enemies time and time again in a series of TV shows and movies. Now Polat Alemdar, star of the Valley of the Wolves franchise, is turning his attention to the Israelis.

The latest Alemdar film, titled The Valley of the Wolves – Palestine, is due to hit cinemas on 28 January. It portrays its hero leading a revenge attack against the Israeli commandos involved in the raid on a flotilla of activists heading for Gaza in May which led to the deaths of nine[Turkish] people....."

Stoning the Devil

2.8 Million Muslims Stoning the Imaginary "Devil"....

While CHOOSING to Ignore the Real Devil....
Devouring Jerusalem...
And Undermining Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Go Figure.