Saturday, June 9, 2007

The 1967 War: The Palestinians and the Arab Regimes

A Comment by Tony Sayegh

A lot has been said and written on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the 1967 war. In this comment I would like to focus on the impact of that war on Palestinian nationalism and its relationship with the Arab regimes.

In 1948 the Palestinians relied mostly on the Arab regimes and their armies to forestall the Zionist takeover of Palestine and to protect the rights of the Palestinians who were emerging from under the 30-year British Mandate. The Palestinians should have known better than to trust their destiny to corrupt regimes that were mostly still directly or indirectly controlled by Imperial Britain. This was certainly the case with Egypt, Jordan and Iraq.

Following the defeat of the Arab armies and the Nakba of 1948, Palestinian refugees who were scattered in various Arab countries still kept hoping and waiting for the Arab regimes to enable them, one way or another, to return to their homes in Palestine. Of course, it was misplaced hope and trust, but the Palestinians in their scattered trauma had few options. The underlying hope was that the corrupt regimes would be swept aside sooner or later and the new nationalist regimes would have the ability to help the Palestinians restore their rights.

For a period, events seem to be moving in the right direction with the military coups in Egypt (1952) and Iraq (1958) bringing to an end corrupt monarchies controlled by the British. One exception was the corrupt Hashemite kingdom of Jordan, which not only survived but extended direct control over the Palestinians in the West Bank by annexing the West Bank to Jordan. The Gaza Strip, the only remaining part of Palestine not annexed, was administered by Egypt.

The rising star of president Nasser of Egypt and his pan Arab rhetoric, gave hope to the Palestinians that he would be able to develop the political, economic and military strength to help them restore their lost rights and return to their homes in Palestine. The brief unity between Egypt and Syria stirred hopes of eventual Arab unity which would make the Arabs a force to reckon with. The key point is that from 1948 to 1967 the Palestinians placed all their hope in the Arab regimes and waited. Little did they know that those regimes were not up to the challenge and were interested instead in controlling their Palestinians and in using the “Palestinian cause” to enhance their own regimes. Nasser even created the forerunner of the PLO in 1964 and put it under the control of a Palestinian quisling.

The war of 1967 changed all of that. The key Israeli/American objective in attacking Egypt was to crush Nasser and his military and to show the ineptness of his regime. The bigger targets were Arab nationalism and pan Arabism. The crushing defeat of the Arab regimes in Egypt, Syria and Jordan was a watershed for the Palestinians. They finally realized that the Arab regimes were useless scarecrows, unable to protect themselves, let alone help the Palestinians restore their rights.

Shortly after 1967 rapid growth of the Palestinian resistance took place. At various levels, political, economic and military, great ferment was taking place among Palestinians everywhere. They finally realized that they had to rely on themselves. A great sense of Palestinian nationalism was emerging. Even the Palestinians in the Diaspora were integrated in this new movement. There was a great sense of unity and togetherness.

Being leaderless for so long, the Palestinians latched on the first Palestinian leader who presented himself as a true Palestinian leader, independent of the Arab regimes. That, of course, was Yasir Arafat, who was far from being independent of the Arab regimes. In fact he was totally dependent on Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the various Arab oil producers. His cleverness was to keep his ties with the same corrupt regimes while at the same time presenting himself to the Palestinians as a revolutionary. It worked thanks to the power of his money to buy and influence various Palestinian organizations.

The crowning achievement for Arafat was the 1974 Arab summit in Rabat, Morocco, in which all Arab leaders, including the king of Jordan, agreed that the PLO (under Arafat) was the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians. Those were heady times for the Palestinians which witnessed Arafat addressing the United Nations.

The reality, which most Palestinians refused to believe or to deal with, was that Arafat managed (thanks to Saudi money) to become just another regime. The Palestinians, under his control, were not allowed to establish a true revolutionary movement that would find natural alliances with other emerging Arab revolutionary movements. Naturally, this led to the bitter defeats in Jordan (Black September, 1970) and the expulsion from Lebanon (1982).

The final capitulation of Arafat was his acceptance of the Oslo agreement in 1993, his forming of the so-called Palestinian Authority, and his move to the West Bank. The Oslo agreement was a pivotal turning point for the Palestinian movement, the beginning of the end of the PLO as a real liberation movement. By accepting Oslo, Arafat agreed to become a quisling of the occupation and he willingly established repressive “security” services whose real function was to repress resistance and act as a de-facto extension of the occupation.

Now the Palestinians have come around a full circle. There is little of substance left of the PLO and most Palestinians do not regard it as representing them anymore. There is no one organizing and speaking for the Palestinians in the Diaspora. The Palestinians in the refugee camps are left to be slaughtered by the Lebanese Army while the so-called PA supports that Army and does nothing to help them. The situation in the occupied areas is not any better, with struggle over a non-existent Authority and some Palestinian mercenaries fighting other Palestinians, with arming by the U.S., Israel and the same corrupt Arab regimes.

So, it is back to the future. With the Palestinians fragmented and leaderless it is no wonder that the Arab regimes are stepping forward to speak for the Palestinians and to control them. We had the Mecca agreement bought by Saudi petro-dollars to forge the so-called “unity government.” Next we witnessed the launch of the much more dangerous “Arab peace initiative,” which effectively removed the Palestinians from the decision making and instead allowed the Arab League as represented by the Arab “Quartet” (KSA, Jordan, Egypt and the UAE) to normalize relations with Israel at the expense of the Palestinians and their right of return. Is it any wonder that proposals are being floated that would see troops from the Arab League controlling Gaza and Jordanian forces working jointly with the IOF in suppressing any Palestinian resistance on the West Bank?

I should say that it is primarily the fault of the Palestinians for never learning the right lessons. We thought that the lesson was learned in 1967, but it clearly was not.

According to Al-Jazeera, Today the Lebanese "Army" Shelled the Nahr El-Bared Palestinian Refugee Camp at the Rate of 15 Shells a Minute.....

But Keep in Mind, This is Done for the Benefit of the Resident Refugees, According to the Lebanese PM Fouad Siniora Orwell.

Is There a ‘Foxification’ Underway at Al Jazeera Television?

An Important Article

by Danny Schechter

"Sources inside Al Jazeera who are in a position to know what is going on now confirm to that there is an internal struggle underway that may dilute Al Jazeera’s independence and steer it in a more pro-western, pro-US direction. “There is already a change of tone and focus in the news,” a veteran insider reveals. He blames the shift on a reorganization of the network’s governing structure a month ago that has put a former Ambassador from Qatar to the USA in a commanding position......

“Nobody is talking about it publicly and nothing is quite clear yet but it looks like there is new pressure from the government of Qatar [the oil and natural gas rich Gulf state that bankrolled Al Jazeera], as well as a political battle over how to manage the channel inside its government with the US and its supporters, including the editor of the Arabic edition of Newsweek, lobbying in the shadows.”

The United States is a major trading partner with Qatar and maintains a vast military facility there. The high profile Coalition Media (ie. propaganda) Center was based in the country, and the Pentagon has used the base airfield to supply the war effort in Iraq. Lebanese sources report that US planes airlifted cluster bombs from that base to Israel for use in its recent war against Hezbollah. Israel’s relations with Qatar are said to be close......

You don’t need to bomb Al Jazeera to change its direction,” said my source. “There is a softer way to influence its direction by taking it over from within and it can happen quietly almost as if in slow motion. You ‘broaden’ some programs, announce new ‘guidelines,’ issue new edicts reinforcing top-down control, purge some professionals you don’t like, and then give more positive unchallenged airtime to backers of US foreign policy. Washington would not be open about any behind the scenes role it is playing in all this for fear of triggering a very negative public reaction.”

The irony here is that for many years Al Jazeera made a point of giving substantial airtime to US officials and their surrogates to show fairness. This even led some hardliners in the Arab World years ago to accuse of the station of being CIA-backed and even pro-Israel. But whatever exposure they got was never enough for a Pentagon that practices “Information Dominance” and seeks to exclude all contrary views. They expect the kind of uncritical coverage they received on American TV......

“It is rumored that the new pro-US Board of Directors (which include the former Qatari Ambassador to the United States, Hamad Al Kuwari and Mahmood Shamam who are both are clearly sympathetic to the US Agenda in the region) and their representative at station, the new Qatari Managing Director, Mr. Ahmad Kholeifi is a result of pressure placed on the Emir of Qatar by the US Administration. Rumours of a ’soft editorial shift’ towards a more pro-Qatari and pro-US agenda are already floating around media circles in the region. Sources inside AlJazeera have confirmed that the Board has already instituted radical changes that threaten the stations editorial integrity and independence. In less than a month since the pro-American Board of Directors was appointed, sweeping edicts affecting the whole of AlJazeera have been passed down by the newly appointed Qatari Managing Director, Ahmad Al Kholeifi.”

My source believes the rumors of an imposed top-down change are true.....

In this case, why is a pro-US diplomat being given managerial authority while a respected and experienced journalist/general manager is apparently being ousted?......

What is disturbing is that Al Jazeera had the potential of bringing real diversity to the global news agenda with more reporting from the Third World and even about the news world itself. In an increasingly monopolized media marketplace with concentration of ownership on the rise, with Rupert Murdoch bidding for Dow Jones and Thompson taking over Reuters, there are fewer and fewer highly visible independent outlets. A recent scandal at the ineffective US created Al Hurra station may have led the Bush Administration to stop competing with a more popular brand and try to take it over instead.......

It may be time for its viewers and friends to demand that Al Jazeera be allowed to remain the respected and crusading force it has become in broadcasting and world journalism. Let’s hope some combination of insiders and backers will be able to insure that outsiders with parochial or imperial agendas cannot “fix” what isn’t broken. Journalists and media activists worldwide may need to get engaged to send a message of concern to the Emir and the media hitmen (ie. consultants) who are apparently now sneaking around in Washington and Doha with the hopes of turning Jazeera into Foxeera.

Let Al Jazeera Be Al Jazeera!"


To support this view, the Palestinian journalist Khaled Amayreh who used to report for the English language Al-Jazeera Online, wrote more than a year ago how his articles were not being published upon the instructions of a newly hired British manager. Amayreh was finally squeezed out because of his direct and honest reporting from occupied East Jerusalem. Now his articles appear on many sites including Al-Ahram weekly and are regularly posted here.

Dark Plots in Byzatine Beirut

Prelude to a Conflagration


".......So, what happened? In their effort to isolate Iran and Syria, did Cheney, Abrams, Khalizad, and Bandar ramp up an anti-Hezbollah militia that went haywire and attacked the Lebanese Army instead? Or was that the plan from the beginning: use the fighting as an excuse to ship arms to the Siniora government, turn those arms on Hezbollah in conjunction with another Israeli invasion, and reignite Lebanon's civil war?

"The dangers of a conflagration that could spread across the country are serious," Professor Charles Harb of American University of Beirut wrote in the Guardian. "The U.S. once nurtured the mujahideen in Afghanistan, only to pay the price much later. In the dangerous game of sectarian conflict, everyone stands to lose.""

Israel's New Anti-Boycott Task Force

Tzipi Livni's Campaign of PR and Retaliation

(a Professor of History at West Chester University)

"On June 8th Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni announced that the Israeli government was forming a "task force" to combat the academic boycott. This is not their first attempt at such an endeavor. A year or two ago Jerusalem commissioned Benjamin Netanyahu to argue its case against the boycott. It seems that effort came to naught.

Now, with a big step taken in the direction of boycott by the British faculty union, and a host of other UK unions and organizations considering endorsement of the boycott, the Israeli government is trying again. The task force, which is characterized as a "public relations" endeavor, will be headed by Foreign Ministry Deputy Director General for Europe Rafi Barak and have among its members folks from both the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Education. There will also be representatives from the Histadrut (which will attempt to interface with foreign unions) and heads of Israeli universities and colleges.......

The boycott movement, in its academic and other manifestations has no power to intervene in the Occupied Territories and make stop Israeli killing, robbing and ethnic cleansing. It only has the power to bring the reality of this barbarism to the rest of the world and insist that as many people as possible shun Israel because of its behavior. Make it a pariah state as once was done to its apartheid cousin country South Africa. Ms Livni's blind callousness and her feeble attempts at "public relations" cannot stop this process. Indeed, her hypocrisy will only serve to make the boycott stronger."

Searching for the Truth About the USS Liberty

Forty Years Later


"Forty years ago this week, I was asked to investigate the heaviest attack on an American ship since World War II. As senior legal counsel to the Navy Court of Inquiry it was my job to help uncover the truth regarding Israel's June 8th 1967 bombing of the USS Liberty.

On that sunny, clear day 40 years ago, Israel's combined air and naval forces attacked our American intelligence-gathering ship for two hours, inflicting 70 percent casualties. Thirty four American sailors died and 172 were injured. The USS Liberty remained afloat only by the crew's heroic efforts.

Israel claimed it was an accident. Yet I know from personal conversations with the late Admiral Isaac C. Kidd -- president of the Court of Inquiry -- that President Johnson and Secretary of Defense McNamara ordered him to conclude that the attack was a case of "mistaken identity".

The ensuing cover-up has haunted us for forty years. What does it imply for our national security, not to mention our ability to honestly broker peace in the Middle East, when we cannot question Israel's actions ­ even when they kill Americans?......

I join the survivors in their call for an honest inquiry. Why is there no room to question Israel ­ even when they kill Americans -- in the halls of Congress?

Let the survivors testify. Let me testify. Let former intelligence officers testify that they received real-time Hebrew translations of Israeli commanders instructing their pilots to sink "the American ship".

Surely uncovering the truth about what happened to American servicemen in a bloody attack is more important than protecting Israel. And surely forty years is long enough to wait."

Prism of Peace: The Failure of the Israeli Left and the Two-State Solution

by Remi Kanazi

Global Research, June 9, 2007

"Time and again one is told of the Israeli “left,” the many number of Israelis, ranging from members of the Knesset to shop owners, dedicated to peace. The 40 year occupation is of particular concern to putative peace activists and purported individuals of conscience. “The burden of occupation” and its ugly realities, as many so-called dovish Israeli politicians have pointed out, tear at the moral fiber of the Jewish state. Yet, even when one looks at the horrors of the occupation in the Israeli media and political circles, it is at best through the Israeli prism, which juxtaposes the pain of Israel in equal magnitude to the pain of the Palestinian people. This Israeli pain, without its counterpart’s suffering, is transferred to the papers of the US press and is ultimately exponentially magnified, giving the American people a distorted awareness of the Israeli narrative.

Nonetheless, there must be a clear understanding that only one people is living under occupation—many after being dispossessed in 1948 and again in 1967. By even phrasing today’s climate as a conflict, it lends support to the assumption that this is a dispute between two equal sides, with equal grievances. The complexities of the Palestine question is further complicated by issues beyond the 40 year occupation, including the Palestinian right of return, the Israeli settler movement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the third class status of Palestinians living in a Jewish state.......

The only way to break down a racist and exclusivist structure is to chip away at its base and force an alternative reality. This would require not only ending the occupation, but looking internally at the Israeli state, a Jewish state, a state which doesn’t and can’t function as democracy for all its people. Many Palestinians leaders and supporters within Israel have come to realize this and have been ostracized for bringing this notion to light, namely Azmi Bishara, while many more will be undermined and attacked in the future. Yet, divestment, boycott, and sanctions coupled with a movement forward for both Israelis and Palestinians to live as equals in a shared society is the only hope for true peace. This new path must run counter to the Oslo mentality of submissiveness and acquiescence: a model much like South Africa, Northern Ireland and Belgium. It is time for an end to the occupation, but more importantly, it is time to look through a new prism, one that sees a better solution for Israel/Palestine."

Hizbullah's "Red Line"

Hizbullah's "Red Line" Against the Lebanese Army Storming and Destroying Nahr El-Bared Palestinian Refugee Camp......
Credibility is Like Virginity, Once You've Lost it, You've Lost it!

Lies and outrages... would you believe it?

It was Israel which attacked Egypt after Nasser closed the straits of Tiran

By Robert Fisk
The Independent

"When I was a schoolboy, I loved a column which regularly appeared in British papers called "Ripley's Believe It or Not!". In a single rectangular box filled with naively drawn illustrations, Ripley - Bob Ripley - would try to astonish his readers with amazing facts.....

The problem, of course, is that these are all extraordinary facts which will not offend anyone. There are no suicide bombers in Ripley, no Israeli air strikes ("Believe It or Not, 17,000 Lebanese and Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon"), no major casualty tolls ("Believe It or Not, up to 650,000 Iraqis died in the four years following the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq"). See what I mean? Just a bit too close to the bone (or bones)......

But I was reminded of dear old Ripley when I was prowling through the articles marking the anniversary of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Memoirs there have been aplenty, but I think only the French press - in the shape of Le Monde Diplomatique - was prepared to confront a bit of "Believe It or Not".

It recalled vividly - and shamefully - how the world's newspapers covered the story of Egypt's "aggression" against Israel. In reality - Believe It or Not - it was Israel which attacked Egypt after Nasser closed the straits of Tiran and ordered UN troops out of Sinai and Gaza following his vituperative threats to destroy Israel. "The Egyptians attack Israel," France-Soir told its readers on 5 June 1967, a whopper so big that it later amended its headline to "It's Middle East War!"......

Only the president of France, General de Gaulle, moved into political isolation by telling a press conference several months later that Israel "is organising, on the territories which it has taken, an occupation which cannot work without oppression, repression and expulsions - and if there appears resistance to this, it will in turn be called 'terrorism'". This accurate prophecy earned reproof from the Nouvel Observateur - to the effect that "Gaullist France has no friends; it has only interests". And Believe It or Not, with the exception of one small Christian paper, there was in the entire French press one missing word: Palestinians......"

Withdrawal won't happen

The US plans permanent military bases in Iraq, confirming to many that it really was all about oil

Patrick Seale
Saturday June 9, 2007
The Guardian

"Almost unnoticed, the war in Iraq entered a new phase last week. Laconic statements from the White House and the Pentagon confirmed what had long been suspected - the US is planning a long-term military presence in Iraq. This is a geopolitical development of the first importance. In spite of current difficulties - May was the most lethal month for American soldiers since 2004, with 119 killed - the United States firmly intends to maintain control of Iraq and its vast oil reserves. Iraq's neighbours, and energy-hungry states and oil companies, will take note......

Such statements, and the planning that goes with them, make nonsense of the current debate - in Congress, the press and the public - about a date for withdrawal from Iraq, and whether the surge is producing results. The administration is looking way beyond that.

What are the motives driving such long-term ambitions? The wish to retain control of energy resources, bearing in mind potential rivals such as China, is clearly one. If there were no oil in Iraq, the US would not be there. Another is the ability to project US power over the whole of the oil-rich Gulf and beyond, a vast area from central Asia to east Africa. Other motives include confronting hostile Iran and Syria; making up in Iraq for the loss of bases in Saudi Arabia; and, not least, being on hand to protect Israel. Indeed, these were the main reasons for the invasion four years ago......

Seen in this light, the US enterprise - for all the talk of democracy - is an unmistakable neo-colonial or imperial project such as the region suffered at the hands of Britain and France in an earlier age. Jimmy Carter was prescient when he declared last year: "There are people in Washington ... who never intend to withdraw military forces from Iraq ... the reason that we went into Iraq was to establish a permanent military base in the Gulf region."....."

1967: A birth in prison

I was three months pregnant when the Israeli soldiers came to our house in Tulkarem refugee camp.

By Manal Ghanem
The Guardian

"My youngest child was born in a prison. I named him Nour ("Light"), to signal the hope that he brought to me. Nour was loved by all the prisoners as well - when the prison guards banned the Red Cross from delivering any toys to him, we sewed a teddy bear for him ourselves, using cloth ripped from our brown uniforms......

I was three months pregnant with Nour when the soldiers came to our house in Tulkarem refugee camp. There must have been 50 of them, all heavily armed. My three children were ordered out of the house. Ihab was nine and my daughter Nivine was six. While I was trying to shield and protect little Majid, they started beating me. He was only five at the time and had sickle-cell anaemia......

Although I was a civilian, I was convicted by a military tribunal for political acts I had not even committed. I was sent to Telmond prison, a military facility notorious for incarcerating Palestinian women and children. Telmond has no windows, and in its yard (which we could use three hours a day), the sun is entirely blocked by huge iron sheets placed on top of a roof of barbed wire. It was an especially bad environment for a pregnant woman.....

I'm 31, so I feel I am still young and I have a life ahead of me. I was released nearly two months ago. Things seem better - my husband has found a stable job with UNRWA and I'm spending a lot of time with my children. Nevertheless I'm overwhelmed, knowing that although I got out, 105 women, 359 children and more than 9,000 men are still behind bars. That is but one consequence of the naksah of 1967 and the subsequent occupation of the small corner we have left of Palestine. Every day I think to myself: can a woman feel truly free while her people are occupied?"

Bush Flunks Geography, Again!

In the case of Israel, it is more than a U.S. missile shield.....
It is mother's milk.
(In Arabic, the words for shield and breast are very similar)

Mofaz: All options, including military one, on the table regarding Iran

"All options, including the military one, are on the table when it comes to dealing with Iran's nuclear program, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz said Saturday, after talks in Washington with senior U.S. officials.

"For now, sanctions are the best way to go," said Mofaz, a former defense minister and Israel Defense Forces chief of staff.

He said Israel and the U.S. agreed to review the effectiveness of sanctions at the end of 2007. "Regarding a timeline ... we decided that the end of 2007 will be the point of assessing the effectiveness of the sanctions and the amount of influence they are having on the Iranians."

"The strategy shared by the U.S. and Israel has three elements," Mofaz told Israel Radio. "One is a united international front against the Iranian nuclear program. Secondly, at this time, sanctions are the best way to act against the aspirations of Iran."

He said the third element is a very, very clear signal and a clear statement that all options are on the table.

Mofaz added: "I never said there is no military option, and the military option is included in all the options that are on the table, but at this time it's right to use the path of sanctions, and to intensify them."

The United States has been urging the five other powers spearheading efforts to persuade Iran to abandon uranium enrichment - Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China - to get to work on a new UN sanctions resolution.

"If the sharpening of the sanctions is not accepted by the Security Council, then the United States will lead its own measures, together with other countries, to place economic and financial sanctions, and not renew Iranian oil infrastructure," Mofaz said."

Syrian and Iranian Generals in Intensive War Consultations

I know that DEBKA is a propaganda and black ops tool; however this article makes sense and is worth reading.

".....During most of last week, two high-ranking Iranian delegations spent time in Damascus. One was composed of generals who held talks with Syrian leaders on coordinated preparations for a Middle East war in the coming months.

At the Iranian end, a similar high-ranking Syrian military delegation called in at Iranian army and Revolutionary Guards headquarters to tighten operational coordination between them at the command level, as well as inspecting the Iranian arsenal......

Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki’s three days of talks in Damascus at the end of May further consolidated the strategic partnership between the two governments under the mutual defense pact they signed a year ago......

The regime heads in Tehran are basing their common front with Damascus on intelligence reports whereby the US and Israel have drawn up plans for coordinated military action against Iran, Syria and Hizballah in the summer.

According to this hypothesis, Iranian leaders foresee the next UN Security Council in New York at the end of June or early July ending with an American announcement that the sanctions against Tehran are inadequate because Russia and China has toned them down. Therefore, the military option is the only one left on the table. The ayatollahs have concluded that US president George W. Bush is determined to bow out of office on the high note of a glittering military success against Iran to eclipse his failures in Iraq......

According to the Iranian scenario, the timeline for hostilities has already been fixed between Washington and Jerusalem - and so has the plan of action. The US will strike Iran first, after which Israel will use the opportunity to go for Syria, targeting its air force, missile bases and deployments, as well as Hizballah’s missile and weapons stocks which Iran replenished this year.

Officials in Tehran and Damascus find confirmation of their intelligence evaluations in the visit Israel’s transport minister Shaul Mofaz paid to Washington last week at the head of a large military delegation. They are certain Mofaz, a former defense minister and chief of staff, used the strategic talks to tie the last ends of the planned offensive. They were perturbed in particular by the Israel minister’s reported advice to secretary of state Condoleezza Rice of the importance of setting a deadline, beyond which the US will abandon sanctions as ineffective and turn to its remaining options for dealing with Iran’s advance towards a nuclear weapons capability.

Considering the climate in Damascus and Tehran and their active pursuit of preparations for imminent attack, it is not surprising that Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert received no reply to the note he sent to Assad proposing peace talks and offering the Golan as an incentive. Assad was not inclined to take the Israeli prime minister seriously. According to DEBKAfile’s sources in Jerusalem, Olmert did not really expect him to. The offer was more in the nature of clearing the decks ahead of Olmert’s White House visit later this month."

Friday, June 8, 2007

Video:Israeli troops shoot Hebron family - 05 June 07

A Shocking 2-Minute Video

Click Here to Watch

Israeli troops shoot Hebron family

"Israeli soldiers have killed an unarmed 67-year-old Palestinian and wounded four members of his family in a raid in the West Bank town of Hebron.

Yehia al-Jabari was shot dead by soldiers who raided his home on Wednesday to detain one of his sons......

Residents of Hebron disputed the army's version of events.

One witness said: "They [Israeli soldiers] came like wild dogs and when they did, they opened the door and started shooting. The soldier killed an old man, the head of the household.

"His wife came out screaming so the soldier shot her and then he shot his brother and then the children. Go and look at the house. It's a pool of blood."......"

Israeli Historian Tom Segev, Palestinian Physician Mona El-Farra and U.S. Scholar Norman Finkelstein on 6-Day War and Its 40-Year Legacy

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

".....AMY GOODMAN: To talk more about the Six Day War of 1967, we are joined by three guests. Tom Segev is an Israeli historian and columnist for the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz. He is the author of the new book 1967: Israel, the War and the Year that Transformed the Middle East. The Palestinian doctor and human rights activist Mona El-Farra also joins us here in New York, director of the Gaza Projects for Middle East Children's Alliance, writes the blog From Gaza with Love. She's just begun her first US speaking tour. And,Norman Finkelstein joins us in Chicago, where he’s Professor of Political Science at DePaul University. His latest book is Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History. We welcome you all to "Democracy Now!"......

MONA EL-FARRA: Yes, I was born in [inaudible], in the south of the Gaza Strip. During the war I was only 13 years old, and it was sort of a shock for me. We stayed in the basement for about five or six days. And after that, after the war ended and I realized that the Israeli – and now I am face to face with the Israeli army, with the Israeli people – I did not see any Israeli before, so it was sort of shock for me. And, all my life has changed because of the occupation. As a teenager, I was in demonstrations protesting against the occupation, so I am surprised about what Tom just have said. The resistance to occupation started in the first few months of the occupation. For me, I experienced it as a teenager in the school, school student, actually......

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, there are two aspects to the Israel-Palestine/Israel-Arab conflict. There's the relationship to the Arab world in general and there’s a relationship to the Palestinians. June 1967 was not really about the Palestinians; it was about Israel's relationship to the Arab world generally. The main purpose of the June ‘67 war, and Tom Segev is quite clear about in his book, was depending on who you quote, to crush Nasser, to deal a knock-out blow to Nasser, and to defeat Nasser. The Israelis, in particular, David Ben-Guri, the first prime minister, feared from early on that an equivalent to Ataturk in Turkey would emerge in the Arab world, namely a secular nationalist leader who would modernize the Arab world. And so from early on the Israelis were dead-set on defeating Nasser and dealing a blow to him. Already by 1954, the Israelis were trying desperately to provoke a war with Nasser. Unfortunately for the Israelis Nasser didn't take the bait and in 1956 they launched an invasion with the British and the French. Now come 1967, through a concatenation of events, a new opportunity arose to knock out Nasser, and that was the chief aim in ‘67. A ancillary aim was to conquer various parts of various areas bordering Israel, mainly the West Bank, the Sinai, and the Golan, but that wasn’t the primary goal. The primary goal was to deal a deathblow to Arab nationalism, to Pan-Arabism......."

Destruction by the IOF in Rafah

Nahr El-Bared Palestinian Refugee Camp Destroyed by the Lebanese "Army"

Jenin Palestinian Refugee Camp Destroyed by the Israeli Army

Driving While Palestinian in Lebanon; That is a Crime...

Three Flat Tires

Dr. Marcy Newman writing from Beirut, Live from Lebanon, 8 June 2007

"......I asked why our truck was getting flats while the other trucks taking shipments up the highway were not. The answer was simple. Palestinians are not allowed to drive trucks which have two tires on each corner of the vehicle like the regular delivery trucks do.

The laws in Lebanon affecting Palestinians' freedom and mobility (economic or physical) are extensive. It is a favorite argument used by Zionists in the U.S. to argue that Israel is not the only state repressing Palestinians as if that somehow absolves them of their brutal regime and illegal occupation. But it somehow feels more painful here in Lebanon given the discourse of brotherly Arab love that exists side-by-side such laws. This week all Palestinians living in refugee camps received a letter from Fouad Siniora and the Committee for Lebanese Palestinian Dialogue. This letter -- which should actually have gone out to Lebanese citizens instead -- was addressed to "My Palestinian Brothers and Sisters." It tells Palestinians that "the raid on Nahr al-Bared refugee camp is not a raid on Palestinians" and that the army is merely practicing "self defense." It tells them "the Lebanese soldier is your brother" and that he is "only after the terrorists who threaten your security." As if Palestinians need reminding that Fatah al-Islam has nothing to do with the Palestinian civilians from the camps or Palestinian resistance more generally, it reiterates this point, a point that ironically should be made to Lebanese people. The series of ironies spelled out in this letter tells the people of Nahr al-Bared that "it is for your protection and your families' protection" that the army is bombing the camp "to stop you from becoming hostages to these terrorists."......

The anti-Palestinian rhetoric one hears in Lebanon these days compounds the situation of the Nahr al-Bared and now Ein al-Helweh refugees moving from camp to camp in search of a safe space. After the massacre in Shatila refugee camp and neighboring Sabra, African American poet June Jordan found it difficult to speak about the unspeakable atrocities she read about in the newspaper in her poem "Moving Towards Home." She ends the poem by telling us she does need to speak, especially about "home" and about "living room":

I need to speak about living room
where my children will grow without horror
I need to speak about living room where the men of my family between the ages of six and sixty-five
are not
marched into a roundup that leads to the grave
I need to talk about living room
where I can sit without grief without wailing aloud
for my loved ones
where I must not ask where is Abu Fadi
because he will be there beside me
I need to talk about living room
because I need to talk about home......"

Israel's Attack on the Liberty, Revisited

Rockets, Napalm, Torpedoes & Lies


"In early June of 1967, at the onset of the Six Day War, the Pentagon sent the USS Liberty from Spain into international waters off the coast of Gaza to monitor the progress of Israel's attack on the Arab states. The Liberty was a lightly armed surveillance ship.

Only hours after the Liberty arrived it was spotted by the Israeli military. The IDF sent out reconnaissance planes to identify the ship. They made eight trips over a period of three hours. The Liberty was flying a large US flag and was easily recognizable as an American vessel.

A few hours later more planes came. These were Israeli Mirage III fighters, armed with rockets and machine guns. As off-duty officers sunbathed on the deck, the fighters opened fire on the defenseless ship with rockets and machine guns.

A few minutes later a second wave of planes streaked overhead, French-built Mystere jets, which not only pelted the ship with gunfire but also with napalm bomblets, coating the deck with the flaming jelly. By now, the Liberty was on fire and dozens were wounded and killed, excluding several of the ship's top officers.

The Liberty's radio team tried to issue a distress call, but discovered the frequencies had been jammed by the Israeli planes with what one communications specialist called "a buzzsaw sound." Finally, an open channel was found and the Liberty got out a message it was under attack to the USS America, the Sixth Fleet's large aircraft carrier.

Two F-4s left the carrier to come to the Liberty's aid. Apparently, the jets were armed only with nuclear weapons. When word reached the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara became irate and ordered the jets to return. "Tell the Sixth Fleet to get those aircraft back immediately," he barked. McNamara's injunction was reiterated in saltier terms by Admiral David L. McDonald, the chief of Naval Operations: "You get those fucking airplanes back on deck, and you get them back down." The planes turned around. And the attack on the Liberty continued......

A somewhat more likely scenario holds that Moshe Dayan wanted to keep the lid on Israel's plan to breach the new cease-fire and invade into Syria to seize the Golan.

It has also been suggested that Dayan ordered the attack on the Liberty with the intent of pinning the blame on the Egyptians and thus swinging public and political opinion in the United States solidly behind the Israelis. Of course, for this plan to work, the Liberty had to be destroyed and its crew killed.

There's another factor. The Liberty was positioned just off the coast from the town of El Arish. In fact, Ennes and others had used town's mosque tower to fix the location of the ship along the otherwise featureless desert shoreline. The IDF had seized El Arish and had used the airport there as a prisoner of war camp. On the very day the Liberty was attacked, the IDF was in the process of executing as many as 1,000 Palestinian and Egyptian POWs, a war crime that they surely wanted to conceal from prying eyes. According to Gabriel Bron, now an Israeli reporter, who witnessed part of the massacre as a soldier: "The Egyptian prisoners of war were ordered to dig pits and then army police shot them to death."....."

Saturday 9 June: a global day of protest against the oppressive Israeli occupation of Palestinian land

"Bethlehem - Ma'an - This week marks the fortieth anniversary of the June 1967 'Six-Day War' and the subsequent Israeli military occupation of the West Bank (including east Jerusalem), the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights. Apart from Sinai, all these territories remain under Israeli control.

Tomorrow, Saturday, demonstrations will take place across the globe protesting what is fast becoming the longest occupation in history.


Protest marches are planned in occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah during the day. The Palestinian network of non-governmental organisations plans to submit on Saturday an open letter to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding the 40-year occupation.

Tel Aviv

In Tel Aviv, a large protest march is expected on Saturday evening. A coalition of left-wing Israeli groups and activists are calling for an end to the 40-year occupation of Palestinian land, a start of negotiations to achieve regional peace and a comprehensive ceasefire, including the dismantling of Israeli settlements and military checkpoints in the West Bank......

Around the world

Around the world large demonstrations condemning the ongoing occupation are planned.

In London, organisers say thousands of supporters are predicted to attend their rally. Speakers at the rally will include Palestinian Information Minister Mustafa Barghouthi; the Jerusalem-based Anglican Bishop Riah Abu El Assal; Palestinian General Delegate to the UK,......

Other demonstrations and rallies are planned in Washington, D.C, Sydney, Brussels, Sao Paolo, Toronto, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Dublin, Rome, Osaka, Amsterdam, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Geneva, Berlin, Madrid, Graz (Austria), Wellington (New Zealand and others.

Further conferences

Palestinian civil society groups are planning various other conferences on the subject of occupation later in the month.....

International aid agencies add their voice

30 members of this association of international development and humanitarian agencies also issued a joint statement on Friday calling on their governments and the United Nations to "renew their efforts to end the occupation and to ensure the respect of international humanitarian law and human rights in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory."....."

It Finally Dawned on Habila!

PM Haniyeh accuses Arab states of favouring one Palestinian party over another

"Gaza - Ma'an - Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh launched a fierce attack on some unnamed Arab countries on Friday. In his Friday speech, he accused these unnamed countries of supporting one Palestinian party over another.

During his speech following the Friday prayers in a Gaza mosque, Haniyeh called on the Arab countries to deal with the Palestinian parties indiscriminately, and to stop sending arms to one party at the expense of others.

Haniyeh also accused Palestinian parties, without stating their names, of attempting to abort the unity government.

In a different regard, the joint Palestinian security force leader, who is in charge of implementing the security plan, submitted a report to Prime Minister Haniyeh in which he said, "the joint force lacks ammunition.""


To put it mildly, Habila was made a "PM" precisely because he is not that sharp and the various Arab regimes can manipulate him and use him; he does not stand up for much. But, even a battered wife, can only take so much abuse.

Middle East Meltdown

The crisis accelerates

By Justin Raimondo

"As the situation on the ground in Iraq veers out of control, the rest of the Middle East is coming undone – a state of affairs directly attributable to our policy of "regime change" throughout the region......

......The outcome is likely to be a UN-sponsored intervention that will be little more than a fig-leaf for American (and Israeli) meddling in the internal affairs of a supposedly sovereign nation – and, perhaps, a confrontation with Iran, which supports the nationalist-Shi'ite Hezbollah.

Also on the western front: the Turks have launched what is to all intents and purposes an invasion of Kurdistan, sending thousands of troops into a region effectively controlled by the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), a terrorist group that has wreaked death and destruction on thousands of Turkish civilians and foreign nationals over the years. The Turks legitimize this open violation of Iraqi sovereignty in the name of "hot pursuit,"......

Seismic tremors – rippling outward from the center of the earthquake set off by the invasion and ongoing war in Iraq – are shaking the entire region, and the shockwaves are sure to hit Washington, London, Paris, and Tokyo with gale force. Whether our fragile freedoms and the bubble of inflated prosperity will survive the storm is an open question, but of one thing we can be sure: we're about to be tested as never before......"

Palestinians face more restrictions than ever

(Click on map to enlarge)

By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
The Independent

".....While it only concerns a single stretch of road, the petition from the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (Acri) in several respects goes to the heart of the heavy restrictions on Palestinian movement and access in much of the West Bank. This is graphically illustrated in a UN map showing road closures and territory - about 40 per cent of the West Bank- which are either barred or heavily restricted for Palestinians, severing the sectors of the West Bank from each other, and from Jerusalem.

The map highlights restrictions imposed by the barrier and road closures largely to protect Jewish settlements, and the unimpeded travel of settlers in the West Bank, resulting in what critics call the "cantonisation" of the territory into enclaves separated from each other and Jerusalem. Closures imposed since the intifada began in 2000 mean that Palestinians are probably more restricted now than at any time during the past 40 years......"

In Iraq's four-year looting frenzy, the allies have become the vandals

British and American collusion in the pillaging of Iraq's heritage is a scandal that will outlive any passing conflict

Simon Jenkins
Friday June 8, 2007
The Guardian

"Fly into the American air base of Tallil outside Nasiriya in central Iraq and the flight path is over the great ziggurat of Ur, reputedly the earliest city on earth. Seen from the base in the desert haze or the sand-filled gloom of dusk, the structure is indistinguishable from the mounds of fuel dumps, stores and hangars. Ur is safe within the base compound. But its walls are pockmarked with wartime shrapnel and a blockhouse is being built over an adjacent archaeological site. When the head of Iraq's supposedly sovereign board of antiquities and heritage, Abbas al-Hussaini, tried to inspect the site recently, the Americans refused him access to his own most important monument.......

As long as Britain and America remain in denial over the anarchy they have created in Iraq, they clearly feel they must deny its devastating side-effects. Two million refugees now camping in Jordan and Syria are ignored, since life in Iraq is supposed to be "better than before". Likewise dozens of Iraqis working for the British and thus facing death threats are denied asylum. To grant it would mean the former defence and now home secretary, the bullish John Reid, admitting he was wrong. They will die before he does that.

Though I opposed the invasion I assumed that its outcome would at least be a more civilised environment. Yet Iraq's people are being murdered in droves for want of order. Authority has collapsed. That western civilisation should have been born in so benighted a country as Iraq may seem bad luck. But only now is that birth being refused all guardianship, in defiance of international law. If this is Tony Blair's "values war", then language has lost all meaning. British collusion in such destruction is a scandal that will outlive any passing conflict. And we had the cheek to call the Taliban vandals."

By Steve Bell, The Guardian

An insurgency beyond the Taliban

By Syed Saleem Shahzad
Asia Times

"HERAT - Most insurgency-related activity in Afghanistan over the past year, with the Taliban at the core, has been concentrated in the southwest and southeast of the country.

However, trouble is brewing in the northwest, along the Iran-Afghanistan border, although the underlying motivations for opposing the Kabul administration and North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led forces are markedly different from other regions......

Haji Bismal, a middle-aged villager, continued the theme. "NATO has a bizarre explanation for everything. Once they arrested some people from our area and took them to Bagram base [near Kabul]. They were asked to recite some verses from the Koran. When they did, they were declared as Taliban.

"I tell you, the Soviet army was far better than the Americans. At least they used to warn us before an attack to withdraw our families and children. NATO does not care about anything, and it bombs an area without caring about women and children. You will have seen our devastated homes; what relation do we have with any fighting or with the Taliban?".....

During the Taliban regime (1996-2001) many people from Shindand joined the Taliban, but eventually moved on to exile in Iran. Now they are being returned against their will. And incidents like the bombing of Bakht serve as a catalyst to increase the anti-foreign movement in northwestern Afghanistan, even if it has nothing to do with the Taliban movement. "

Everlasting US pyramids in Iraqi sands

By Tom Engelhardt
Asia Times

"Finally, the great American disconnect may be ending. Only four years after the invasion of Iraq, the crucial facts on the ground might finally be coming into sight in the United States......

After all, those US bases, like the vast embassy inside the Green Zone (sardonically dubbed by Baghdadis "George W's Palace"), were monstrous in size, state-of-the-art when it came to communications and facilities, and meant to support large-scale US communities - whether soldiers, diplomats, spies, contractors or mercenaries - long-term. They were imperial in nature, the US military and diplomatic equivalents of the pyramids. And no one, on seeing them, should have thought anything but "permanent".

It didn't matter that those bases were never officially labeled "permanent". After all, as the Korea model (now almost six decades old) indicates, such bases, rather than colonies, have long been the US way of empire - and, with rare exceptions, they have arrived and not left. They remain immobile gunboats primed for a kind of eternal armed "diplomacy". As they cluster tellingly in key regions of the planet, they make up what the Pentagon likes to call the United States' "footprint".

As Chalmers Johnson has pointed out in his book The Sorrows of Empire, the United States has, mainly since World War II, set up at least 737 such bases, mega and micro - and probably closer to 1,000 - worldwide. Everywhere, just as Tony Snow has said, the Americans would officially be "invited" in by the local government and would negotiate a "status of forces agreement", the modern equivalent of the colonial era's grant of extraterritoriality, so that the US troops would be minimally subject to foreign courts or control. There are still at least 12 such bases in South Korea, 37 on the Japanese island of Okinawa alone, and so on, around the globe.

Since the Gulf War in 1991, such base-creation has been on the rise. The George H W Bush, Bill Clinton and younger Bush administrations have laid down a string of bases from the old Eastern European satellites of the Soviet Union (Romania, Bulgaria) and the former Yugoslavia through the greater Middle East (Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates), to the Horn of Africa (Djibouti), into the Indian Ocean (the "British" island of Diego Garcia), and right through Central Asia (Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan, where the US "shares" Pakistani bases)........"

By Tom Toles

Thursday, June 7, 2007

LEBANON: Unexploded ordnance hampering aid deliveries to refugees

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

"BEIRUT, 7 June 2007 (IRIN) - Unexploded ordnance and booby-trapped buildings are hindering an already highly restricted relief effort trying to provide vital food and water and evacuate the injured from the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in north Lebanon. Up to 8,000 people remain caught in a deadly stand-off there between the military and Islamist militants.

It is becoming extremely difficult to mount relief operations, not only because of the deteriorating security conditions, but also because debris, rubble
and unexploded ordnance on the camp's roads are obstructing the way for ambulances and relief vehicles,” said Jordi Raich Curco, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) head of delegation in Lebanon
, in a statement......

The Palestine Red Crescent (PRC) remains the only emergency service entering the camp, both due to lack of security guarantees and because rubble and the winding alleys of the camp make access practical only for smaller vehicles.

First ICRC delivery in a week

The ICRC through the PRC on 7 June made its first delivery of water and food into the camp for a week, providing 800 litres of bottled water, one and half tones of bread and some fifty boxes of tinned tuna and soup.......

Since 3 June the PRC and Lebanese Red Cross have evacuated 72 vulnerable people from Nahr al-Bared, including pregnant women, children and the elderly. Only a few were injured......

The US has dispatched several military cargo planes from its bases in the region to Beirut over the past two weeks carrying ammunition and other undisclosed equipment to re-supply the Lebanese army, part of a hugely increased $280m US military aid package to Lebanon......"

It's not just the occupation

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 7 June 2007

"......The exclusive focus on the occupation serves increasingly to obscure that the conflict in Palestine is at its core a colonial struggle whose boundaries do not conveniently coincide with the lines of June 4, 1967.

I do not often agree with leaders of the settler movement, but they speak a truth Israeli and American liberals prefer to ignore when they point out that the settlements in Gaza and the West Bank built after 1967 are not morally different from towns and kibbutzim inside Israel's pre-1967 borders. The Israel that was created in 1948 was established on land violently expropriated from ethnically-cleansed Palestinians. Israel has been maintained as a "Jewish state" only by the imposition of numerous laws that maintain the inferior status of its Palestinian citizens and forcibly exclude Palestinian refugees.

Even Israelis who condemn the occupation support these racist laws. There is an Israeli consensus that it is legitimate to defend the Jewish state against the so-called "demographic threat" from Palestinians who will be again, as they were prior to 1948, the majority population group in Palestine-Israel despite six decades of Israeli efforts to reduce their numbers with expulsions, massacres and administrative ethnic cleansing. It is the imperative to gerrymander an enclave with a Jewish majority rather than any recognition of Palestinian equality that underpins whatever limited rhetorical Israeli support exists for a Palestinian state.

The slogan "end the occupation" has come to mean all things to all people. For Israel's ruling elites, the quisling leaders of Fateh and the Quartet it can even include Israel's permanent annexation of most settlements. Demanding an end to the occupation only so Israel can continue to function as a racist ethnocracy within "recognized borders" is not a progressive position any more than supporting apartheid South Africa's bantustans would have been.

Because Israel's colonialism harms all Palestinians, not just those living in the 1967 occupied territories, we cannot limit ourselves to demanding that the 40-year old infrastructure of military dictatorship be dismantled in the West Bank and Gaza. We must simultaneously demand the abolition of all racist laws throughout the country, including those allowing foreign Jews to immigrate while Palestinians are kept out, as well as discrimination in land allocation, housing, education and the economy.......

....Leaders of Israel's one million Palestinian citizens have put forward imaginative and concrete proposals for democratization and equality. They are already paying the price: Israel's Shin Bet secret police has received official blessing to subvert even legal activities that challenge the superior rights reserved for Jews. Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza have failed to offer a compelling vision, even though many recognize that the two-state solution is a mirage......"

“Resisting the Empire”: Documentary Filmmaker John Pilger on Struggles for Freedom in Israel-Palestine, Diego Garcia, Latin America and South Africa

Don't Miss this Great Interview with John Pilger

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"This week marks the fortieth year of Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip which Israel seized during the Six Day War. It has also been forty years since the British government expelled the indigenous population of Diego Garcia, an island in the Indian Ocean, and made way for the third largest US military base, used to launch air strikes against Afghanistan and Iraq. While Palestinian refugees still dream of the right to return, the exiled islanders recently won an appeal in British courts for their right to return to Diego Garcia. However, following their protracted battle with the US and British governments, it is unclear whether they will be allowed to do so. At the same time, sections of the Bush administration are further stepping up their efforts to justify a possible attack on Iran in terms of an alleged link with Al Qaeda.

Today, we spend the hour with John Pilger, a reknowned investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker who can tie all of this together. He has spent the better part of his life documenting the destructive footprint of American empire and the resistance it has met. John Pilger has made over fifty documentaries and is the author, most recently, of "Freedom Next Time: Resisting the Empire," which looks at ongoing struggles in Afghanistan, Diego Garcia, India, Palestine, and South Africa......"

'USS Liberty' veterans demand investigation

"Conclusions submitted in October 2003 to the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense by the USS Liberty Veterans Association, Inc., in demanding a congressional investigation into the aborted rescue during the attack of the USS Liberty and subsequent alleged cover-up.

The group also calls for a new Naval Court of Inquiry and that June 8 be officially recognized as USS Liberty Remembrance Day.

1. That on June 8, 1967, after eight hours of aerial surveillance, Israel launched a two-hour air and naval attack against USS Liberty, the world's most sophisticated intelligence ship, inflicting 34 dead and 173 wounded American servicemen (a casualty rate of 70 percent, in a crew of 294);

2. That the Israeli air attack lasted approximately 25 minutes, during which time unmarked Israeli aircraft dropped napalm canisters on USS Liberty's bridge and fired 30mm cannons and rockets into our ship, causing 821 holes, more than 100 of which were rocket-size; survivors estimate 30 or more sorties were flown over the ship by a minimum of 12 attacking Israeli planes which were jamming all five American emergency radio channels;

3. That the torpedo boat attack involved not only the firing of torpedoes, but the machine-gunning of Liberty's firefighters and stretcher-bearers as they struggled to save their ship and crew; the Israeli torpedo boats later returned to machine-gun at close range three of the Liberty's life rafts that had been lowered into the water by survivors to rescue the most seriously wounded;

4. That there is compelling evidence that Israel's attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew; evidence of such intent is supported by statements from Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Undersecretary of State George Ball, former CIA Director Richard Helms, former NSA Directors Lt. Gen. William Odom, USA (Ret.), Adm. Bobby Ray Inman, USN (Ret.), and Marshal Carter; former NSA deputy directors Oliver Kirby and Maj. Gen. John Morrison, USAF (Ret.); and former Ambassador Dwight Porter, U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon in 1967;

5. That in attacking USS Liberty, Israel committed acts of murder against American servicemen and an act of war against the United States;

6. That fearing conflict with Israel, the White House deliberately prevented the U.S. Navy from coming to the defense of USS Liberty by recalling Sixth Fleet military rescue support while the ship was under attack; evidence of the recall of rescue aircraft is supported by statements of Capt. Joe Tully, Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, and Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis, the Sixth Fleet carrier division commander, at the time of the attack; never before in American naval history has a rescue mission been cancelled when an American ship was under attack;

7. That although Liberty was saved from almost certain destruction through the heroic efforts of the ship's captain, William L. McGonagle (MOH), and his brave crew, surviving crewmembers were later threatened with "court-martial, imprisonment or worse" if they exposed the truth; and were abandoned by their own government;

8. That due to the influence of Israel's powerful supporters in the United States, the White House deliberately covered up the facts of this attack from the American people;

9. That due to continuing pressure by the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, this attack remains the only serious naval incident that has never been thoroughly investigated by Congress; to this day, no surviving crewmember has been permitted to officially and publicly testify about the attack;

10. That there has been an official cover-up without precedent in American naval history; the existence of such a cover-up is now supported by statements of Rear Adm. Merlin Staring, USN (Ret.), former Judge Advocate General of the Navy; and Capt. Ward Boston, USN, (Ret.), the chief counsel to the Navy's 1967 Court of Inquiry of Liberty attack;

11. That the truth about Israel's attack and subsequent White House cover-up continues to be officially concealed from the American people to the present day and is a national disgrace;

12. That a danger to our national security exists whenever our elected officials are willing to subordinate American interests to those of any foreign nation, and specifically are unwilling to challenge Israel's interests when they conflict with American interests; this policy, evidenced by the failure to defend USS Liberty and the subsequent official cover-up of the Israeli attack, endangers the safety of Americans and the security of the United States."

Iraq Occupation Coming to a Head Over Oil

The Oil Workers' Strike Threatens Maliki Government


"The situation in Iraq is coming to a head. Oil workers have been on strike for three days and are being threatened by the Iraqi government and surrounded by the Iraqi military. The Parliament passed a resolution urging an end to the U.S. occupation and has refused to act on the oil law the U.S. is demanding. Both the Democrats in Congress and the Bush Administration have united around the passage of the oil law as the top benchmark for the Iraqi government.

If these trends continue it will become evident to the world what this war was about all along--oil. Even the U.S. media will have to publish an honest analysis of the Iraq oil law and why Iraqis are resisting it.

Perhaps the greatest threat to the U.S. occupation came this week when the Iraq Parliament passed a law opposing the continuation of the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq. The law requires the parliament's approval of any future extensions of the mandate, which have previously been made by Iraq's prime minister. Law makers say they plan on blocking the extension of the coalition's mandate when it comes up for renewal six months from now......

The recent comments by representatives of the Bush administration that the U.S. presence in Iraq will be much like the U.S. presence in South Korea--which has lasted 50 years--is relevant to the oil law because U.S. oil companies are seeking 30 year contracts in Iraq. Thus, having a strong U.S. military presence in Iraq will help to assure enforcement of those contracts.

The "coming out" of oil as the central goal of the invasion and occupation of Iraq is going to make the occupation more difficult. And, coming at a time when Bush is escalating the number of troops to approximately 200,000 it is going to assure more violence, and more death. The chant, mocked at the beginning of the invasion by many, "no war for oil" is now becoming to be seen for what it is--the truth. And it will be a truth seen by the entire world."

Sari Nusseibeh, the president of Al Quds University in East Jerusalem has urged an end to an academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions

Palestinian University President Urged the End to British Academic Boycott

Hiyam Noir, PalestineFreeVoice

"Sari Nusseibeh, the president of Al Quds University in East Jerusalem has urged an end to an academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The boycott is initialized by Britain's Higher Education Union.Nusseibeh made a joint declaration with Menachem Magidor, the president of the Hebrew University in West Jerusalem, in the international gathering in London last week, of scholars debating human rights.

The declaration from the two, said - "Our position is based upon the belief that it is through cooperation based on mutual respect, rather than boycotts or discrimination, that our common goals can be achieved ," it said. "Our disaffection with, and condemnation of, acts of academic boycotts is predicated on the principles of academic freedom, human rights and equality between nations and among individuals."

The announcement by the two university deans or presidents came one week, after that the Britain's Association of University Teachers reconsidered the decision to bar Israeli faculty members at Haifa University and Bar-Ilan University from academic conferences and joint research.The boycott was in response to an appeal by 60 Palestinian groups urging attention to the Israelis criminal conducts on the occupied Palestinian territories......"

Sailing to Gaza

An Interview with Greta Berlin

A Very Good Piece About a Most Innovative, Civil Disobedience Act!

"Greta Berlin, 66 years old, is a businesswoman from Los Angeles, CA. She is the mother of two Palestinian-American children and has been to the occupied territories twice in the past four years with the International Solidarity Movement. She is also a member of Women in Black Los Angeles.

She is one of many other people, who have organized an unusual project, sailing a boat to Gaza. They intend to challenge Israel's claim that they no longer occupy Gaza. Talking to her, she explains why she and the other courageous people are going.

Silvia: Your mission states," We tried to enter Palestine by ground. We tried to enter by air. Now we are going to go by sea."1 This is an exceptional attempt. Why Gaza in particular? And why go by boat in one of the most patrolled places in the world?

Greta Berlin: Israel says that Gaza is no longer occupied. Well, if that's true, then we have every right to visit. The truth is that Israel controls every entrance into Gaza, and the population is completely isolated from the rest of the world. Internationals can no longer go through the border with Egypt, and, of course, the Eretz border with Israel is closed to almost everyone.

So, 50 to 80 of us, men and women, will begin our journey in Cyprus toward the end of this summer. Many of us are over 50, and we come from all over the world Palestinians, Israelis, Australians, Greeks, Americans, English, Spanish, Italians, just to name a few we will embark on a boat called FREE GAZA. One of the passengers, Hedy Epstein, is a holocaust survivor, and two or three Palestinians are Nakba survivors.

Many of us have also been stopped from entering the occupied territories, because we have gone before to non-violently bear witness to what Israel does to the Palestinians......."

Precision Bombing of Nahr El-Bared

As you can see, the Lebanese "Army" uses precise targeting in Nahr El-Bared Palestinian refugee camp.......
That is why, if you were to believe the Lebanese "government," only one Palestinian civilian has been killed.......
I remember Ehud Olmert and Amir Peretz saying the same thing about the IOF attacks on Lebanon last summer

CIA running black propaganda operation against Iran, Syria and Lebanon, officials say

Some intelligence sources more wary of covert Pentagon operations

by Larisa Alexandrovna

Global Research, June 7, 2007
Raw Story

"The Central Intelligence Agency has received approval at least twice in the last several years to conduct an “information war” against several countries in the Middle East, including Iran, Lebanon and Syria, according to current and former intelligence officials.In addition, the Bush Administration has been running operations out of the Defense Department that are not subject to Congressional oversight, intelligence sources say. These programs appear murkier, and have included support for an alleged terrorist group in Iran......

According to current and former intelligence officials, the various presidential findings are not limited to Iran. Several countries within the Middle East – including Syria and Lebanon – as well as groups such as Hezbollah, are being targeted through what sources call “black propaganda” efforts.....

Another former intelligence official said that the CIA has been cleared to target Iran's economic interests, but that the approval is limited to non-aggressive activities. The CIA “has been empowered to put economic pressure on Iran,” the former intelligence officer stated, but would not elaborate on what the meaning of “pressure” is......"

Ban products with a criminal flavour

Adri Nieuwhof and Mieke Zagt, The Electronic Intifada, 7 June 2007

".....Settlement products taste fishy

The about 160 settlements built on confiscated Palestinian land, harbour around 450,000 Jewish settlers. International humanitarian law prohibits Israel from transferring parts of its own civilian population into occupied Palestinian territory. The International Court of Justice confirmed the illegality of the settlements in its advisory opinion of 2004. Moreover, the Court urged the international community not to support settlements nor the building of the wall.

Businesses and companies operating in the settlements contribute directly to the perpetuation of Israel's colonization. Agriculture demands relatively large tracts of stolen land and are a drain on Palestinian water resources. Settlers dig deep for water, while Palestinians are forbidden by Israeli military rule to pump deeper than nine metres. In June 2005 the Israeli ministry of agriculture announced a two-year US dollar 22 million programme to double the number of settlers in the Jordan Valley through the construction of houses and the provision of grants for agricultural development. The Jordan Valley is one of the most fertile parts of the West Bank.

The organically cultivated fruits and vegetables from the settlements taste fishy, because they are grown on stolen land with stolen water, and the profits fuel the Israeli occupation machinery......"

Video: Prince Bandar, challenged as to whether there is corruption in deals with the Saudi royal family, replies: "Yes. So what?"

Click Here to Watch Bandar Bush Defend Corruption

BAE accused of secretly paying £1bn to Saudi prince

· Money moved via US bank
· £30m payments a quarter
· Sanctioned by MoD

David Leigh and Rob Evans
Thursday June 7, 2007
The Guardian

"The arms company BAE secretly paid Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia more than £1bn in connection with Britain's biggest ever weapons contract, it is alleged today. A series of payments from the British firm was allegedly channelled through a US bank in Washington to an account controlled by one of the most colourful members of the Saudi ruling clan, who spent 20 years as their ambassador in the US.

It is claimed that payments of £30m were paid to Prince Bandar every quarter for at least 10 years......"

Palestinians Fear Civil War, Nix Peacekeepers

"(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Most Palestinians believe the current tension in their territories could spiral into a full-blown civil war, according to a poll by Near East Consulting. 65 per cent of respondents think this possibility is likely or very likely to become a reality.

Polling Data

Do you think a a full-blown civil war in the occupied territories is likely or unlikely to happen?

Very likely



Very unlikely

Do you support or oppose allowing an international presence in Gaza to stop the violence from spreading?


Oppose "

Rebellion in the British Army

By John Pilger

"An experienced British officer serving in Iraq has written to the BBC describing the invasion as "illegal, immoral, and unwinnable," which, he says, is "the overwhelming feeling of many of my peers." In a letter to the BBC's Newsnight and he accuses the media's "embedded coverage with the U.S. Army" of failing to question "the intentions and continuing effects of the U.S.-led invasion and occupation." He says most British soldiers regard their tours as "loathsome," during which they "reluctantly [provide] target practice for insurgents, senselessly hemorrhaging casualties and squandering soldiers' lives, as part of Bush's vain attempt to delay the inevitable Anglo-U.S. rout until after the next U.S. election." He appeals to journalists not to swallow "the official line/White House propaganda."

In 1970, I made a film in Vietnam called The Quiet Mutiny in which GIs spoke out about their hatred of that war and its "official line/White House propaganda." The experiences in Iraq and Vietnam are both very different and strikingly similar. There was much less "embedded coverage" in Vietnam, although there was censorship by omission, which is standard practice today.

What is different about Iraq is the willingness of usually obedient British soldiers to speak their minds, from Gen. Richard Dannatt, Britain's current military chief, who said that the presence of his troops in Iraq "exacerbates the security problem," to Gen. Michael Rose who has called for Tony Blair to be impeached for taking Britain to war "on false grounds" – remarks that are mild compared with the blogs of squaddies......

Gaga day at the London Guardian was May 22. "Iran's secret plan for summer offensive to force U.S. out of Iraq," said the front-page banner headline. "Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaeda elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq," wrote Simon Tisdall from Washington, "in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition intended to tip a wavering U.S. Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, U.S. officials say." The entire tale was based on anonymous U.S. official sources. No attempt was made to substantiate their "firm evidence" or explain the illogic of their claims. No journalistic skepticism was even hinted, which is amazing considering the web of proven lies spun from Washington over Iraq.

Moreover, it had a curious tone of something-must-be-done insistence, reminiscent of Judith Miller's scandalous reports in the New York Times claiming that Saddam was about to launch his weapons of mass destruction and beckoning Bush to invade. Tisdall in effect offered the same invitation; I can remember few more irresponsible pieces of journalism. The British public and the people of Iran deserve better."

By Hamed Najeeb

By Naser Jafari

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Ronnie Kasrils' speech to S. African Parliament on 40th anniversary of occupation

Transcript, The Electronic Intifada, 6 June 2007

"The following is a speech given to the South African Parliament by Minister Ronnie Kasrils, MP, on 6 June 2007:

Madam Speaker, Honourable members, this speech is dedicated to the memory of David Rabkin, South African freedom fighter, who died in Angola.

Forty years ago this week Israel's military unleashed lightning attacks against Egypt, Jordan and Syria, alleging provocations as justification for its strikes.

Within six days the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Golan Heights had been captured.

Apart from the Sinai from which Israel withdrew in 1977, the other areas remain under Israeli military occupation and control to this day.

Whilst some justify Israel's actions on the grounds of pre-emptive self-defence, the obverse was the truth. From the horse's mouth we learn whom the aggressor was:

Israel's military Chief of Staff, Yitzhak Rabin stated: "I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent into Sinai on May 14 [1967] would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it." [1].......

Moshe Dayan unabashedly explained:

"Before [the Palestinians'] very eyes we are possessing the land and villages where they, and their ancestors, have lived ... We are the generation of colonizers, and without the gun barrel we cannot plant a tree and build a home." [4]........

In support of these demands let us join with the people of our country, and the international community, in the solidarity marches, rallies and demonstrations this week, the 40th anniversary of Israel's unjust occupation. And we make it clear to our Jewish community, these peaceful and disciplined actions, are aimed solely at that government. The struggle for freedom and justice is against a system and not a people.

Let me conclude with the words of President Mandela, who declared in 1998 during the visit to South Africa by Chairman Yasser Arafat:

"We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians." [10]"