Saturday, January 5, 2008

A hostile president

By Gideon Levy

Contributed by Lucia in Spain

"......There are also few other countries where the lame duck from Washington would not be greeted with mass demonstrations; instead, Israel is making great efforts to welcome him graciously. The man who has wreaked such ruin upon the world, upon his country, and upon us is such a welcome guest only in Israel.

A man is coming to Israel this week who has left a trail of killing, destruction and global hatred. Never has the U.S. been so despised as during Bush's seven years in office, which abruptly brought his county back to the not-so-merry days of Vietnam.

He led the U.S., and the free world in its wake, into two brutal and completely futile wars of conquest, first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq. He sowed mass killing in these two wretched countries under the false pretext of a battle against global terror......

In Western Europe, in South America, in Asia, in all parts of the Arab and Muslim world and in parts of Africa, the sole global superpower has come to be viewed as a hostile, arrogant and ostracized entity. This is not good for America and it is not good for the world.......

Closer to home, it is worth remembering the damage Bush has caused to the Middle East. His seven years in power have been wasted years, barren and dangerous. Never has there been a president who gave Israel such an automatic carte blanche and even encouraged it to take violent action, to deepen and entrench the occupation.

This is not friendship with Israel. This is not concern for its future. A president who did not even try to pressure Israel to end the occupation is a president who is hostile to it, indifferent to its future and fate......."

The myth of sectarianism - The policy is divide to rule

A Very Good Article

By Dahr Jamail

"IF THE U.S. leaves Iraq, the violent sectarianism between the Sunni and Shia will worsen. This is what Republicans and Democrats alike will have us believe. This key piece of rhetoric is used to justify the continuance of the occupation of Iraq.

This propaganda, like others of its ilk, gains ground, substance, and reality due largely to the ignorance of those ingesting it. The snow job by the corporate media on the issue of sectarianism in Iraq has ensured that the public buys into the line that the Sunni and Shia will dice one another up into little pieces if the occupation ends.

It may be worthwhile to consider that prior to the Anglo-American invasion and occupation of Iraq there had never been open warfare between the two groups and certainly not a civil war. In terms of organization and convention, Iraqis are a tribal society and some of the largest tribes in the country comprise Sunni and Shia. Intermarriages between the two sects are not uncommon either.......

Large mixed neighborhoods were the norm in Baghdad. Sunni and Shia prayed in one another’s mosques. Secular Iraqis could form lifelong associations with others without overt concern about their chosen sect. How did such a well-integrated society erupt into vicious fighting, violent sectarianism, and segregated neighborhoods? How is one to explain the millions in Iraq displaced from their homes simply because they were the wrong sect in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Back in December 2003 Sheikh Adnan, a Friday speaker at his mosque, had recounted a recent experience to me. During the first weeks of the occupation, a U.S. military commander had showed up in Baquba, the capital of Diyala province located roughly twenty-five miles northeast of Baghdad with a mixed Sunni-Shia population. He had asked to meet with all the tribal and religious leaders. On the appointed day the assembled leaders were perplexed when the commander instructed them to divide themselves, “Shia on one side of the room, Sunni on the other.”......

It is evident that this puppet troupe deployed at the onset of “democracy” in Iraq was mandated to establish to the population that it was in the larger interest to begin thinking, at least politically, along sectarian and ethnic lines. Inevitably, political power struggles ensued and were cemented and exacerbated with the January 30, 2005, elections.......

In Baghdad during November and December 2004, I heard widespread accounts of death squads assassinating Sunni resistance leaders and their key sympathizers. It was after the failure of Operation Phantom Fury, as the U.S. siege of Fallujah that November was named, that the Iraqi resistance spread across Iraq like wildfire. Death squads were set up to quell this fire by eliminating the leadership of this growing resistance.

The firefighting team had at its helm the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte, ably assisted by retired Colonel James Steele, adviser to Iraqi security forces. In 1984–86 Steele had been commander of the U.S. military advisory group in El Salvador. Between 1981 and 1985 Negroponte was U.S. ambassador to neighboring Honduras. In 1994 the Honduras Commission on Human Rights charged him with extensive human rights violations, reporting the torture and disappearance of at least 184 political workers. A CIA working group set up in 1996 to look into the U.S. role in Honduras has placed on record documents admitting that the operations Negroponte oversaw in Honduras were carried out by “special intelligence units,” better known as “death squads,” of CIA-trained Honduran armed units which kidnapped, tortured, and killed thousands of people suspected of supporting leftist guerrillas. Negroponte was ambassador to Iraq for close to a year from June 2004......

U.S.-backed sectarian death squads have become the foremost generator of death in Iraq, even surpassing the U.S. military machine, infamous for its capacity for industrial-scale slaughter. It is no secret in Baghdad that the U.S. military would regularly cordon off pro-resistance areas like the al-Adhamiyah neighborhood of Baghdad and allow “Iraqi police” and “Iraqi army” personnel, masked in black balaclavas, through their checkpoints to carry out abductions and assassinations in the neighborhood.

Consequently, almost all of Baghdad and much of Iraq is now segregated. The flipside is that violence in the capital city has subsided somewhat of late now that the endgame of forming the death squads, that of fragmenting the population, has been mostly accomplished......."

'Absentee' land slated for Har Homa homes in E. Jerusalem

Contributed by Lucia in Spain

"The Housing Ministry is pushing forward with the construction of more than 1,000 residential units in East Jerusalem's Har Homa neighborhood on land held by "absentee" Palestinians from the Bethlehem area. The move is in violation of both an instruction from the attorney general to stop applying the absentee law in East Jerusalem and explicit promises to the U.S. not to apply that law in the capital's eastern quarters.

About four weeks ago, the Housing Ministry published a tender to build 300units to complete Stage B of the Har Homa plan. The tender evoked international outrage and U.S. and Palestinian pressure to block the construction. It is now evident that most of the land for the 300 units belongs to residents of Beit Sahur who were declared absentee, so their lands were taken by the state without compensation or legal hearings......"

Barhoum: IOF onslaught on Nablus vengeful; blessed by Fayyad's government

"NABLUS, (PIC)-- Hamas Movement has affirmed on Saturday that the IOF troops incursions into Nablus city and the havoc they wreaked on the city for the past three days was sanctioned by the Fayyad government to punish the city's inhabitants for supporting the Palestinian resistance.

"We confirm that those criminal IOF operations in Nablus city were carried out on request of [Salam] Fayyad who publicly allied himself with the Israelis and the US administration against his own Palestinian people without a sense of shame on his part in order to protect his narrow personal ambitions and interests", underlined Fawzi Barhoum, the spokesman of Hamas Movement in Gaza Strip, in a press statement he made Saturday.

He also added that a broad trend within Fatah faction was supporting the dismissal of the "Zionist" Fayyad government, describing the presence of this "illegitimate" government as dangerous to the Palestinian national project and greatly contributes in deepening inter-Palestinian political rift further.

According to Barhoum, the visits made by Israeli war minister Ehud Barak, IOF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi, and US security coordinator in the PA Keith Dayton to the city to check the performance of Fayyad's government against the Palestinian resistance had paved the way for the "vicious" IOF military campaign against the city.

In this context, Barhoum highlighted that Hamas will remain firm on the path of the legitimate resistance against the Israeli occupation, and that it will reject all deals and agreements of surrender that "defamed the Palestinian history and struggle", and denied the Palestinian people their legal rights, urging the Palestinian people to rally behind the resistance option.

Heavy losses in three days:
The three-day IOF atrocities in the city inflicted heavy material losses estimated at approximately 10 million dollars, in addition to wounding around 80 Palestinian citizens and arresting scores others.

"The IOF aggressions against the city, if they persisted, could lead to disastrous economic catastrophes and could produce destructive economic burden on the city and on the governorate as well", said Shaher Sa'ad, the secretary general of the general union of the Palestinian workers.

He also accused Israel of attempting to coerce Palestinian citizens dwelling in the city's old quarters out of it by means of destroying and ransacking their homes and shops."

Nazareth protestors demand end to Gaza siege

Representatives of nearly all Arab factions and parties demonstrate in Nazareth for 'an end to siege on Gaza'. MK El-Sana: Israel cannot destroy Palestinian desire for freedom, independence

"Some 10,000 Israeli-Arabs took to the streets of Nazareth Saturday afternoon in a mass demonstration demanding an end to the “siege on the Gaza Strip”.

This mass protest, orchestrated by the Balad Party, the two factions of the Islamic movement, and the “Bnei Hakfar” Israeli-Arab movement, was comprised of representatives of virtually every Arab political party and social movement in Israel.

Also taking part in this demonstration were the three Balad MKs, as well as MKs Ibrahim Sarsur and Talab El-Sana of the United Arab List-Ta`al Party......."

And the "Peace" Circus Goes On And On And On....

U.K. seeks new international conference on Mideast peace in London

"British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is interested in convening an additional international conference in London in March order to promote the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

Brown, who formerly served as the U.K. finance minister, wants the conference to focus on economic issues. He spoke by telephone with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert some 10 days ago, and raised the idea. Olmert did not express any opposition to the conference.

Political sources in Jerusalem stressed that the objectives and the format of the conference remain unclear, but added that the U.K., which opposes Russian plans to hold the next conference in Moscow, is interested in moving the location to London......"

Getting Ready to Replace the Traitor Abbas? Time for a New Face? Barghouti Was Saved For Times Like These; Is it Barghouti Time?

Deputy defense minister: Israel should free Barghouti

"Vilnai declares jailed Fatah leader will likely be on list of prisoners to be included in exchange deal for Gilad Shalit. 'I'm willing to go a long way to see a soldier like Gilad return home,' he states......"

The Iraq Charade

The BBC represents only a mild example in this charade, which is instilled mostly by the Bush administration and its allies in the military and in the mainstream media.

By Ramzy Baroud
Special to

"In recent months, we have been inundated by media reports bringing good news from Iraq, with countless testimonials to the great improvement in security enjoyed by the country in general and the Baghdad area in particular.

This progress is attributed solely to the judicious ‘surge’ of US military presence, and the astute tactics enacted by occupation forces in a place that once personified despair and violence. Indeed, reports repeatedly point to the figure indicating that violence in Iraq has dwindled by 60 per cent in the past three months......

A third source of news is the implausibly huge number of statements made by various organisations in Iraq — some fighting the US and British forces, others fighting amongst themselves due to differences of ethnicity or agenda. Moreover, many of Iraq’s death squads were found to be no other than Al Badr Brigades, the militant arm of some leading members of the Iraqi government. Much of the killing was also attributed to Al Mahdi Army, based mostly in Baghdad’s Al Sadr City. Internal politics and secretive dealings have contributed to the cessation of violence attributed to Al Mahdi militias. The Iraqi army and police are said to be assembled from these two large Shia militants groupings, and much of the violence seems to be of their own making.

Isn’t possible that the US allies decided to cease their violence and ethnic cleansing in Baghdad to give the impression that President Bush’s genius ‘surge’ strategy has paid off, thus discrediting all of his detractors, both at home and abroad?

Is it not ingenious that the Iraq ‘success story’ is now, retrospectively, associating such upbeat and positive terminologies - security, peace, safety, hope - with a most sinister act, that of military invasion of a sovereign country and the subjugation of its people? Why isn’t the media asking these questions instead of indulging in ‘good news’ which is likely to propagate and justify the unwarranted and humiliating occupation?....."

One Clinton Was One Too Many....
Bush I - Clinton I - Bush II - Clinton II?
And They Call This Democracy??

Norman Finkelstein in The Netherlands

Are American Jews Beginning to Distance Themselves from Israel?


"On the 5th and 6th of December Norman Finkelstein toured the Netherlands and gave three speeches. I attended all of them, and in the meanwhile had the opportunity to ask Finkelstein some questions. What follows is a summary of his speeches and the interview.

The topic of his first speech, in Amsterdam, was 'The coming break-up of American Zionism.'

In a surprisingly optimistic lecture he talked about the demise of the Israel-lobby, that began after the first Intifada. Ever since it has become more and more difficult to reconcile liberal values with Israel and American Jewry is forced to choose. Historians, human-rights organizations and the International Court of Justice have all rendered an overwhelmingly negative verdict on Israel's record. Now that Israel's record has caught up with it, American Jewry is slowly choosing to distance itself from Israel......

The situation in Gaza, in the meanwhile, is turning ever more horrible. Richard Falk warned of a Palestinian Holocaust, and Ilan Pappe said a genocide was taking place.

Finkelstein: "Everything doesn't have to be a Nazi Holocaust or genocide for it to be awful. There are conditions short of genocide which are also terrible. I think the Palestinians rations are being cruelly reduced to get them to repudiate Hamas. Is it the Holocaust, is it a genocide? No in my opinion it's not. Is it horrible? Yeah, I think it's horrible. I think it's better to avoid the labels and just stick to the facts. This is what's happening. This is what the human rights organizations are reporting, this is what the UN organizations are reporting. Is this right, is it just, is it collective punishment, is it terrorism, i.e., the targeting of civilians to achieve a political aim? People are intelligent enough to draw the right conclusions on their own."......

And how about the argument that with a two-state solution the Palestinians will only get 22 % of their homeland, would that just be a pragmatic question, saying, yeah but it's better than what we have now?

"Yes, I think 22 is better than zero. If it is something viable there. If it's just going to be, what they used to call Oslo, "a leopard-skin" , these patches of Palestinian territory surrounded by Israeli settlements, then it is ridiculous. I hate it when these things are personalized with me, I have no moral authority whatsoever. It has nothing to do with me. This is the international consensus. It is built on the two-state settlement. The reports of the human rights organizations, the votes in the United Nations, the World Court advisory opinion are all premised on Israel being an occupying power and the two-state settlement being the desirable resolution of the conflict. You think you can undo that consensus? You think you can reverse it? You can create one state in the face of it? I don't see from where the power to do that comes. I haven't seen the supporters of the Palestinians able to force Israel to withdraw one inch. And now you want to defy the whole international community? Fine, show me how you're going to do it, apart from in somebody's living room.""

When will the Ramallah regime wake up?

By Khalid Amayreh in occupied East Jerusalem

"The Fatah leadership in Ramallah had thought that the American-Israeli onslaught against Hamas, including the ongoing Nazi-like blockade of the Gaza Strip, would benefit their organization and help consolidate its standing among Palestinians. Proceeding from this inherently faulty thinking, Fatah has been doing all it could do to weaken, even decimate Hamas in the West Bank, all in the hope that this would prompt Israel to treat the Ramallah regime as “equal partner” and accord it a modicum of respect.

To realize this impossible task, Fatah militiamen, in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority (PA) security agencies, and often in collusion with the Israeli army, arrested, humiliated and tortured hundreds, if not thousands, of mostly innocent people suspected of affiliation with Hamas. Other free-minded Palestinians, who reject Palestinian subservience to Israel and the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), were also persecuted.

In fact, a number of Palestinians were brutally killed in order to prove to the Israelis and the Americans that the Abbas-Fayyadh regime was tough and was capable of fighting “terror,” a sin-qua-non for advancing the proverbial peace process, which is actually more a process of lying and deception than a process of peace.

Moreover, the Ramallah-based regime closed off hundreds of Hamas-affiliated institutions, including charities upon which thousands of poor and impoverished families had been dependent for years for their livelihood. Along the same lines, PA security and political officials have committed and continue to commit every conceivable act of treachery and treason against the Palestinian masses and their enduring cause, all in order to appease, please and endear Israel.

These acts of perfidy are too numerous to be listed in one or even two articles. But every Palestinian man and woman is well aware of the occupier-quisling formula that came to identify and characterize the PA-Israel relationship. However, instead of receiving a certificate of good conduct from Israel, like allowing the PA to exercise a modicum of authority in Palestinian population centers, Israel has proved repeatedly that it doesn’t have permanent allies or even permanent quislings, but only permanent interests.

This week, thousands of Israeli troops, backed by armored personnel carriers, invaded the northern West Bank town of Nablus, brutalizing, terrorizing and humiliating the town’s estimated 200.000 inhabitants. Nablus had been repeatedly declared a “liberated city” by a naïve PA that failed rather scandalously to understand that Palestinian national sovereignty and the Israeli occupation couldn’t really coexist under any circumstances.

That was during Yasser Arafat’s era. Now, with the more American-accepted leadership of Mahmoud Abbas in power, which means very little in real terms given overwhelming Israeli army domination, the same obscene blunders are being re-enacted again and again, with the imbeciles of Ramallah and their legions of talkative but stupid spokespersons telling the exhausted Palestinian masses that freedom from the Nazi-like Israeli occupation is around the corner.

The act of rape in Nablus, which is continuing unabated as of this time, is being carried out, despite the presence in the town of thousands of American-armed Palestinian security men who are answerable to the Fayyadh government.

According to local sources, the moment Israel informed PA security officials the Israeli army was about to invade Nablus on 3 January, PA forces were instructed to dwell inside their security buildings and close their doors behind them and never to venture into the streets with their arms or uniforms. Well, no one is asking these pitiable young men to commit suicide by challenging the invading terrorists of the Israeli army.

However, the PA and its leaders in Ramallah should immediately think of dissolving its security apparatuses, whose very existence, let alone the tasks they carry out, has become a huge embarrassment to the Palestinian people and their long struggle for justice and freedom.

Reacting to the invasion in Nablus, the Ramallah government was at loss as to how it should relate to the rampage of murder and terror and vandalism in Nablus. After all, this rampage was ordered by the very men with whom Abbas and Fayyadh were exchanging cordial kisses in West Jerusalem just a few days ago.

One PA official, quoted by the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, accused Israel of seeking to evade the road map, as If Israel had ever wanted to honor that hapless mendacity. Similar frustrated words came from Fayyadh himself, who accused Israel of seeking to ruin an internal Palestinian security plan. “These operations destroy our efforts in the field of security, which started bearing fruits lately in a way that people felt the change.” Well, Sah al Noum, a happy wakeup, Mr. Fayyadh.

Abbas and Fayyadh would be naïve, if not outright stupid, if they thought that a genuine and free Palestinian government could function properly in the shadow of Israeli tanks. They should realize that a government under occupation could only be a quisling government, a sort of a Judenrate-like authority that has no choice but to be at the occupier’s beck and call. It makes no difference if the occupiers are Nazi Germany or Israel.

The Fayyadh government did every thing it was asked to do in order to demonstrate “good will” toward Israel. And now Israel is rewarding it with this rampage in Nablus.

Given the ongoing Israeli atrocities in Gaza and the rampage of murder and terror in Nablus, coupled with the massive settlement expansion drive now underway in the West Bank, it is time the leaders of the PA regime, reconsider and review their ignominious subservience to Israel, a state that very much thinks, behaves and acts like Nazi Germany. It is time they stop deceiving themselves and their people by thinking that the more they submit to Israel and meet its whims and desires, the closer Palestinians will be closer to realizing their freedom from the wicked hands of Zionism. "

This is Zionism in Action, While the "Peace Process" Circus Goes On

Twilight Zone / Five masked men
By Gideon Levy

"In a dirty and neglected room in the surgical department of Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus, an elderly shepherd lies injured, the victim of a vicious attack. Five masked men assaulted him last week. They beat him with sticks as he was tending his grazing sheep to the west of his home village of Til. The five came down from the direction of Havat Gilad, an illegal outpost in the territories, sprayed teargas in his face and at his companions, and then began hitting them with sticks, drawing blood, while he lay helpless on the ground. Now the shepherd, Hashem Hamed, has two fractures in his left arm, fractures in his skull, large stitches on his head, in front and back, and is severely traumatized......

A little after 10 A.M., he noticed several figures approaching from behind, from the direction of nearby Havat Gilad. There were five young men - three with black masks over their faces. The other two were not masked, he said. They were not carrying firearms, but had heavy sticks and a dog with them.

The five didn't say a word, not even when Hamed's friend Asida asked them what they wanted. When they got close to the shepherds, they started spraying tear gas in their faces from a can they had with them. Amer Hamed, 15, quickly ran away and the two older shepherds fell to the ground, their eyes burning from the gas. Then the three masked men started savagely beating Hamed with their sticks, which he describes as "like the shaft of a hoe, only bigger." They beat him on the arm and head. Soon he was bleeding profusely from the head, with two deep wounds in the front and back.

The beating went on for about five minutes. The strong beating the weak, attacking the helpless older man who lay on the ground, starting to lose consciousness. Thus shall be done to the shepherd who dares to graze his sheep near the illegal outpost......

Hamed the shepherd did not try to resist. When they finished beating him, he heard his attackers speaking Hebrew to one another - Let's go back, they said. They headed off the way they had come, toward Havat Gilad.....

Omar Shatiya, head of the Til village council, is at Hashem's bedside in Rafidiya. He says that about six months ago, another shepherd from the village, Suleiman Hamed, 63, was also beaten and ended up in the hospital. "They warn us to stay away from our olive groves and our grazing pastures and then they come and steal our olives." An olive grove was set on fire not long ago. Will you return to that area to graze your sheep? we ask Hamed. "Yes. I can't give up," he says, struggling to get to his feet, his face pale........"

The New Gulf

Why Bush's Iran Strategy is Failing


""Everywhere you turn, it is the policy of Iran to foment instability and chaos," Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned Gulf dignitaries in Bahrain last month. But in reality, everywhere you turn, from Qatar to Saudi Arabia to Egypt, you now see Iranian leaders shattering longstanding taboos by meeting cordially with their Arab counterparts.

The Gulf has moved away from American arguments for isolating Iran. American policymakers need to do the same.

The states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are accommodating themselves to Iran's growing weight in the region's politics. They remain key parts of America's security architecture in the region, hosting massive US military bases and underwriting the American economy in exchange for protection. But as Saudi analyst Khalid al-Dakheel argues, they are no longer content sitting passively beneath the US security umbrella and want to avoid being a pawn in the US-Iranian struggle for power. Flush with cash, they are not interested in a war that would mess up business......."

IOF troops withdraw from Nablus after inflicting 80 casualties

"NABLUS, (PIC)-- The IOF troops on Saturday withdrew from the West Bank city of Nablus after wreaking havoc for almost three days that ended with destroying a number of buildings in the Old City.

Violent confrontations took place before the soldiers' withdrawal in a number of areas that led to the injury of citizens with rubber coated bullets and gas canisters.

The IOF invasion of the city started on Saturday morning when big numbers of soldiers stormed the city in more than 70 army vehicles, including bulldozers, and imposed a curfew on the Old City after sealing it off.

The soldiers blasted their way into shops and broke into civilian homes at the pretext of looking for wanted activists.

More than 80 citizens were wounded in the IOF barbaric incursion the most serious being that of Mohammed Abu Hantash who was hit with a bullet in the head.

Many Palestinian youths were detained in the campaign.

Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas Movement, fired 21 mortar shells at a group of IOF special units east of Gaza city on Saturday.

It said that the attack was in response to the constant IOF incursions and assassinations against the Palestinian people and their Mujahideen."

Defining Israeli Zionist Racism: Part 7/12

by Kim Petersen and B.J. Sabri / January 5th, 2008
Dissident Voice

"Section 1: (Continuation: G: Israeli Zionist Racism in their Own Words)
A: The case of Barbara Kay
.....CONCLUSION: We do not need to generalize; but the replies of Kay are indicative of a mentality that is common to most, if not all, Zionists. That is, to be accepted, all quotations, tales, anecdotal stories, witnessed events, analyses, and history facts must conform to Zionist dogmas and promote Zionist issues. If this does not happen, then whatever all negative things said about Israeli Zionist racism is false!

B: The Case of Raphael Patai
Patai is a Hungarian-Israeli-American lecturer and author. In his book The Arab Mind,3 Patai, animated by extreme anti-Arab racism and by intense prejudice against Islam and the social culture of the Arabs, improvised himself as an “authoritative Psychoanalyst” of the collective Arab mind, although he was targeting the Palestinians in particular.4 Interestingly, while he concentrated on Muslim Arabs, he spared the Christian Arabs for an obvious tactical reason intended to isolate Islam as the only source of discord between the West and Israel from one side and the Arabs on the other.....


In analyzing the reviewer or Patai’s summary one cannot but notice a Zionist deception at work:

1. The most notable thing about The Arab Mind is the fact that the author adheres to the racist ideology of Zionism. As such, his vantage point is structurally adversarial to the Arabs; hence, thematically it is tendentious and worthless. In addition, a patently chauvinistic author such as Patai is neither qualified nor trustworthy to be an independent observer of the Arab mind (or any other mind) since deep-seated prejudice impedes a minimum level of objectivity. On the other hand, being an adversary of the Arab nation and, specifically of the Palestinians, Patai, as an emigrant Zionist to Palestine, is, unavoidably, in the business of denigrating his adversaries and victims alike. Lending credence to this point, we have never heard that Patai wrote a book about the minds of Japanese, Bolivians, Danes, or Canadians. He only abused and denigrated the Arabs. And that is targeted racism.....

CONCLUSION: The above discussion is unequivocal: Zionists move in one direction only. Those who oppose their ideology and the state of Israel are dubbed “minority”, “uncritical” thinkers, and leftist-leaning pro-PLO. One more note: imagine an Arab writer using the Zionist tactics in writing a book with the title: The Israeli Mind. Now, imagine the frenetic Zionist reaction assuming that such an author could ever find a publisher…"

"In the State of Israel the Jewish mother is disappearing"

by Nurit Peled-Elhanan

Global Research, January 4, 2008

"I thank Women in Black for inviting me to speak here today.

At this hour, I would like to dedicate my words to the children of the Gaza Strip, who are withering slowly from hunger and disease, and to their mothers, who continue to bring children into the world, to feed and to educate them wonderfully. The rate of literacy in the Gaza Strip today stands at 92% - among the highest in the world, and all that in the most terrible concentration camp on earth, the residents of which are being strangled as the civilized world looks on in silence.

I wish we could celebrate today the conclusion of the activities of the Women in Black. But the truth is that their activities are becoming harder every day.

In a state in which the gods of death and money rule, in a state where the economy is flourishing while the children are hungry , where the mythological heroes are fearless murderers, where the leaders openly and publicly admit that human life is not worth a fig in their eyes, in a state that sends its sons to be killed without even bothering to invent a reason for it, in a state that imprisons millions of human beings in ghettoes and enclosures and kills them slowly, the persistent quiet voice of the Women in Black is the strongest conscientious voice of refusal.

The Women in Black are example and paragon of refusal to worship the god of death, refusal to obey the racist laws of the State of Israel .

The action of The Women in Black is in itself the rejection of racist education and the routine systematic poisoning of minds that sustains the schools, the media and the speeches of the nation's elected representatives.

In the State of Israel the Jewish mother is facing extinction......

The State of Israel does all it can to ensure that that voice will be muted and silenced forever.

Outside the peace organizations that are considered in the general discourse to be marginal sleepwalkers and extreme leftists, the voice of the Jewish mother ceased long ago to be a maternal voice. The Israeli mother as she exists today embodies a motherhood that is distorted, lost, confused and sick.

The Jewish mothers like Yochabad the mother of Moses; like Rachel who wept for her children and refused to be comforted; like Mother Courage; the mother who cannot find solace and healing in the death of the children of another mother, have been replaced by mothers who are nothing but golems that have turned on their creators and are more terrible and cruel than they, who dedicate their wombs to the apartheid state and to the occupation army , who educate their children in uncompromising racism and are prepared to sacrifice the fruits of their bellies on the altar of their leaders' megalomania, greed and bloodthirstiness.

Those mothers are also to be found among the teachers and the educators of our day.

And only the women who stand here week after week, in the rain and the sun, they are the one and only reminder that the voice of the other motherhood, the natural one, has not completely disappeared from the face of this wasteland that had once been the Holy Land..

Few are the parents in Israel who admit to themselves that the murderers of children, destroyers of houses, uprooters of olive trees and poisoners of wells are none other than their own beautiful sons and daughters, their children who have been educated in this place over the years in the school of hatred and racism.

The children who have learned for 18 years to fear and despise the stranger, to always fear the neighbours, the gentiles, children who were brought up in the fear of Islam – a fear that prepares them to be brutal soldiers and disciples of mass murderers . And not only do those boys and girls kill and torment; they do so with the full support of Mom, with the full appreciation of Dad, encouraged by this entire nation, which does not so much as raise an eyebrow at the deaths of children, of old and of disabled people.

A nation that rallies around pilots who do not feel a thing except a bump on the wing** when they drop bombs on entire families and crush them to death.

In this hell in which we live, in the daily inferno under which stirs and grows the underground kingdom of dead children, the role of the Women in Black, the mothers and the grandmothers who stand at this square*** and in similar squares all over the world, is to be the guardian of sane natural motherhood and to ensure that its voice is not silenced and does not disappear from the face of the Earth.

To remind a world that has lost its human image that we were all made in His Image; consistently and tirelessly to say that still, despite the apartheid Wall, despite the cruel siege of Gaza, despite the wars without cause, and in the face of the fury of the rulers of this country, all of whom down to the last one are criminals against humanity, the voice of women and mothers – the voice of compassion, justice and hope – will not be silenced. More power to you. "

Report: Israel seeks to regain control of Rafah crossing

London-based al-Quds al-Arabi reports Israel sent letters to Washington, EU requesting permission to establish military base on Gaza-Egypt border, place control over Rafah crossing in hands of international monitors

"Israel has asked the United States' approval to recapture the Rafah crossing on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, European sources told London-based Arabic newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi.

The paper reported Saturday that Israel has sent letters to Washington and to the EU's headquarters in Brussels protesting Egypt's decision to allow hundreds of Palestinian pilgrims to return to the Gaza Strip last Wednesday, without being subjected to security checks by the Israeli army.

In the letter, Israel demanded that the current status quo on the Gaza-Egypt border be changed, and that Israel would be allowed to set up a military base in the area. Israel also demanded that control over the Rafah crossing would be placed in the hands of international monitors......."

تل أبيب تطالب واشنطن بالموافقة العاجلة علي خطة لاجتياح معبر رفح

"غزة ـ القدس العربي من اشرف الهور: قالت مصادر اوروبية ان اسرائيل قدمت رسائل احتجاج لدي واشنطن وبروكسل مقر الاتحاد الأوروبي ضد مصر لسماحها بفتح معبر رفح امام الحجاج الفلسطينيين.
وطالبت الرسائل بضرورة تغيير الأوضاع الحالية علي معبر رفح بحيث لا تستطيع مصر وحدها التحكم في المعبر الحدودي وان يخضع لتواجد ومراقبة من القوات الدولية الموجودة علي بعد اميال قليلة من المعبر.
وقالت المصادر ان اسرائيل طالبت واشنطن بالموافقة العاجلة علي خطة تسمح لها بإعادة احتلال وانشاء قاعدة عسكرية بالقرب من المعبر لضمان عدم سيطرة حماس عليه

Mishaal: Our people has no other option but to resist occupation

"DAMASCUS, (PIC)-- Khaled Mishaal, the chairman of Hamas's political bureau, has affirmed that the Palestinian people had no other option but to resist occupation, revealing that he refused a European offer to mediate truce with Israel.

Mishaal, in an address at a Hamas rally organized to commemorate it 20th anniversary held in the Syrian capital on Friday, went through the stages of Hamas's anti-occupation struggle.

He affirmed that Hamas shifted the struggle against Israel into the occupied homeland, adding that Hamas would pursue the path of resistance until liberation of Palestine.

The Hamas leader categorically rejected claims that his Movement had conducted negotiations with Israel, revealing that a European country had offered to mediate truce between Hamas and Israel.

He explained that the European country, which he did not name, had offered to invite both parties to its lands and host indirect negotiations between his Movement and Israel but the Hamas leadership absolutely refused the offer.

Mishaal also asserted that the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit would not be freed unless the Israeli occupation government met the conditions set by his captors for his release.

The Hamas leader further called on all Palestinian factions to initiate unconditional dialogue in order to end the current Palestinian political deadlock and to restore cohesion to the Palestinian national lines.

He denounced Ramallah government's practices in the West Bank in coordination with the IOF, affirming that Salam Fayyad's illegitimate government had turned into a tool that carries out IOA policies.

Mishaal called on PA chief Mahmoud Abbas to discharge the government of Fayyad.

He refused to describe what happed in Gaza seven months ago as a "coup", and refused to apologize over what happened as demanded by Abbas. He explained, "We are the legitimacy, so how can we topple ourselves?!"

He demanded formation of a neutral third party committee to determine what was responsible for the events in Gaza, and announced readiness to accept the findings of this committee. He recalled that the PA leadership had refused to deal with the Arab League fact-finding committee over the Gaza incidents.

Shifting to the issue of early elections, he said, "Let us sit at the negotiating table and anything would be then tabled for discussion including early elections".

Mishaal lashed out at the PA negotiations with the Israeli occupation, saying that over many years of talks they could not remove one barrier off the West Bank roads but on the contrary the IOA continued construction of more settlements and continued aggressions."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

The question is:

Who is responsible for the Lebanese crisis: Lebanese disputes, U.S. and French pressure, or Syrian pressure?

With over 900 responding so far, here are the results:

Lebanese disputes..........33%
U.S. & French pressure....53%
Syrian pressure.............14%

Friday, January 4, 2008

Olmert says 'hand of God' favours Israel in peace talks

"JERUSALEM (AFP) - Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the "hand of God" had helped create an international climate that is favourable to Israel in its peace negotiations with the Palestinians, according to an interview published on Friday.

"If there's a chance to reach an agreement in the presidential term of George Bush, that's preferable," Olmert said in an interview with the English-language Jerusalem Post published ahead of Bush's landmark visit to the region next week.

"It's not merely Bush's presidency. It's a concidence that is almost 'the hand of God:' that Bush is president of the United States, that Nicolas Sarkozy is the president of France, that Angela Merkel is the chancellor of Germany, that Gordon Brown is the prime minister of England and that the special envoy to the Middle East is Tony Blair."

"What possible combination could be more comfortable for the state of Israel? So why would I gamble on what might be?"......"


The "hand of God" = Jewish $$$$$$!

Off limits and beyond the borders

Has the time come for Egypt to re-visit its relationship with Israel?

By Dina Ezzat
Al-Ahram Weekly

Contributed by Lucia in Spain

"......In the analysis of certain quarters within official Cairo, what the recent episode shows is somewhat disturbing: it sheds light on how far Israel is willing to go in antagonising Egypt with the support of the Palestinian Authority.

"This is a new factor that has to be carefully addressed," commented one Egyptian official source. He said the recent Fatah-Israeli coordination of stands against Hamas seems to be taking a new shape, one that might at times target Egypt."

مشعل: ليس أمام شعبنا سوى المقاومة وجاهزون لحوار بدون شروط

مهرجان مركزي ضخم في دمشق في عشرينية "حماس"

"دمشق - المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام

دعا رئيس المكتب السياسي لحركة المقاومة الإسلامية "حماس"، خالد مشعل، حركة فتح والفصائل والقوى الفلسطينية إلى العمل من أجل "معالجة الأزمة الفلسطينية الحالية، وإعادة اللحمة إلى الصف الوطني الفلسطيني عبر الحوار غير المشروط"، وأكد استعداد "حماس" لبذل جهود مكثفة من أجل إنجاح الحوار، مشدداً على ضرورة التوصل إلى "توافق وطني على برنامج نضالي".

وندّد مشعل بالممارسات التي ينتهجها فريق رئاسة السلطة الفلسطينية برام الله بحق المواطنين الفلسطينيين والجمعيات الخيرية والوطنية في الضفة الغربية بالتنسيق والتعاون مع قوات الاحتلال، وأكد أنّ "حكومة" فياض غير الشرعية قد تحوّلت إلى أداة لتنفيذ سياسات الاحتلال، مطالباً بإسقاط تلك الحكومة، وقال "حكومة فياض لابد أن ترحل".
"تيار ثالث" في الساحة الفلسطينية
وأوضح مشعل أنّ الخلاف الذي تشهده الساحة الفلسطينية "هو خلاف سياسي، وليس خلافاً على سلطة"، ونبّه من "تيار ثالث" في الساحة الفلسطينية يسعى لتكريس الانقسام الداخلي وتفكيك بنى المقاومة، وأكد أنّ الأموال التي رُصدت في لقاء باريس كانت مخصصة لملاحقة المقاومين وتفكيك بنى المقاومة، محذراً من سياسة التفريط والتنازل التي ينتهجها هذا التيار.

وأشار خالد مشعل في هذا الصدد إلى "التنسيق الأمني" الجاري في الضفة الغربية بين جيش الاحتلال و"حكومة" فياض والأجهزة الأمنية التابعة لرئاسة السلطة، مؤكداً أنّ حركتي "حماس" و"فتح" هما مستهدفتان من قبل هذا التيار.
الخلاف ليس بين "حماس" و"فتح"

ونفى مشعل أن يُوصَف الخلاف القائم في الساحة الفلسطينية بأنه خلاف بين "فتح" و"حماس"، ووجّه التحية لحركة "فتح" في ذكرى انطلاقتها التي تصادف الأول من شهر كانون الثاني (يناير) الثاني، مشيداً بالدور النضالي الذي لعبه الحركة في الثورة الفلسطينية المعاصرة.

وأكد القيادي الفلسطيني البارز أنّ الانقسام الداخلي ليس في مصلحة أي من الفصائل والقوى الفلسطينية، مذكِّراً بأنّ ما حصل في قطاع غزة في منتصف شهر حزيران (يونيو) الماضي، كان ممرّاً إجبارياً ولم يكن اختيارياً بالنسبة لحركة حماس، لافتاً الانتباه إلى أنّ الحركة ومنذ اللحظة الأولى للأزمة طالبت بإجراء حوار وطني جاد ومسؤول لإعادة ترتيب البيت الداخلي على أسس تكفل حماية المشروع التحرري وتحافظ على الثوابت والحقوق الوطنية.

Sky News Video: Israel Blockade: Children In Crisis

Iraqis resort to selling children


"Abu Muhammad, a Baghdad resident, found it difficult to let go of his daughter's hand but he had already convinced himself that selling her to a family outside Iraq would provide her with a better future.....

By mid-2007, conditions for his family had become desperate and his children, once healthy and bubbling with life, had become gaunt and lethargic.

It was then that a translator and a Swedish couple claiming to be part of an international NGO arrived in the makeshift refugee camp.

"They heard about my situation and the woman, who said she could not have babies, offered some money to give her my youngest daughter of two years old," he said.

"I refused in the beginning but the Iraqi translator was constantly coming at the camp and insisting with the same question. One day I found that my children would die without food and a clean environment and the next time he came to my tent, I told him that I agreed."......

Alarming disappearances

Local officials and aid workers have expressed concern over the alarming rate at which children are disappearing countrywide in Iraq's current unstable environment.

Omar Khalif, vice-president of the Iraqi Families Association, (IFA), a NGO established in 2004 to register cases of those missing and trafficked, said that at least two children are sold by their parents every week.

Another four are reported missing every week......"

Defining Israeli Zionist Racism: Part 6/12

by Kim Petersen and B.J. Sabri / January 4th, 2008
Dissident Voice

"Section 1: Analysis of Israeli Zionist Racism [Continuation]
F: Examples of Israeli Zionist Racism

As the guiding ideology of Israel (and a highly influential, if not guiding, ideology now in the United States), Zionism has concrete sides. That is, its basic tenets moved from being agenda items to a tangible reality. However, while the scope of the Zionist enterprise in Palestine is now clear: an exclusive Jewish state that is also the dominant military power in the Middle East, the wider objective is the accomplishment of the scope of American imperialism (as dominated by American Zionists) for world domination managed through Israel but with direct participation of the United States and Europe. In essence, it is correct to characterize the ongoing wars against the Arab states as principally the Americo-Israeli wars with Canada and European states in ancillary roles.

To accomplish its own specific objective, Israeli Zionism adopted four measures:

1. The attainment of an exclusive state for “Jews” through ethnic-religious cleansing of Palestinians;

2. Expanding the boundaries of this state through the continuing occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, Shebaa Farms, and claims over other parts of contiguous Arabs states, as the recent claim that Syria sold part of its territory to Zionist organizations under the direction of Baron Rothschild in the 1920s.1

3. The reliance on the systematic use of extreme racist violence to achieve the objectives set by the Zionist manifesto,2 as well as by the successive developments of the ideology of imperialism inside the Israeli ruling class; and

4. Using American-supplied military hardware and technology to project the Israeli Palestinian experience to other countries as has been happening in Iraq, Lebanon, and Somalia, the latter of which is also a member of the Arab League.

The aforementioned Israeli Zionist measures in Palestine astoundingly resemble the American measures on what came to be called the United States. Through extermination and expropriation, British and European colonialists and their American successors exterminated and destroyed most of the socio-economic structures of the Original Peoples, and then declared them “Domestic Dependent Nations” (granting them US citizenship in the early 1920s). Likewise, European Jewish settlers repeated the American colonialist example as when the installed Zionist state granted the Original People of Palestine a political status called the “Palestinian Authority”, which in effect, is a copy of the American concept of “domestic dependent nation”, only it is far worse and more cynical......."

War Crimes Airbrushed from History

Evidence of Israeli "Cowardly Blending" Comes to Light

Another Great Article

"It apparently never occurred to anyone in our leading human rights organisations or the Western media that the same moral and legal standards ought be applied to the behaviour of Israel and Hizbullah during the war on Lebanon 18 months ago. Belatedly, an important effort has been made to set that right.

A new report, written by a respected Israeli human rights organisation, one representing the country's Arab minority not its Jewish majority, has unearthed evidence showing that during the fighting Israel committed war crimes not only against Lebanese civilians -- as was already known -- but also against its own Arab citizens. This is an aspect of the war that has been almost entirely neglected until now.

The report also sheds a surprising light on the question of what Hizbullah was aiming at when it fired hundreds of rockets on northern Israel. Until the report's publication last month, I had been all but a lone voice arguing that the picture of what took place during the war was far more complex than generally accepted......

In the last days of the fighting, as a UN-brokered ceasefire was about to come into effect, Israel dropped more than a million cluster bombs on south Lebanon, of which several hundred thousand failed to detonate. Since the end of the war, 39 Lebanese civilians have been killed and dozens more maimed from these small landmines littering the countryside.

Israel's own inquiry into its use of the cluster munitions wrapped up last month by exonerating the army, even while admitting that many of the bombs had been directed at civilian population centres. In Israel's books, it seems, international law sanctions the targeting of civilians during war.......The only reasonable conclusion is that Israel wanted south Lebanon uninhabitable at any cost, possibly so that another ground invasion could be mounted......

HRW did made a brief reference to the possibility that Israeli military installations were located close to or inside civilian communities. It cited examples of a naval training base next to a hospital in Haifa and a weapons factory built in a civilian community. Its researchers even admitted to watching the Israeli army firing shells into Lebanon from a residential street of the Jewish community of Zarit.

This act of "cowardly blending" by the Israeli army -- to echo the UN envoy Jan Egeland's unwarranted criticism of Hizbullah -- was a war crime. It made Israeli civilians a potential target for Hizbullah reprisal attacks......

Fortunately, we no longer have to rely on Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International for a full picture of what took place during what Israelis call the Second Lebanon War. Last month the Arab Association for Human Rights, based in Nazareth, published its own report, "Civilians in Danger", covering the ground its much bigger cousins dared not touch......

But despite these obstacles, the Human Rights Association has taken a brave stand in unearthing the evidence to show that Israel committed war crimes by placing much of its military hardware, including artillery positions firing into Lebanon, inside and next to Arab towns and villages. These were not isolated instances but a discerible pattern.....

Israel has cited these deaths as further proof that Hizbullah's rocket fire was indiscriminate. The Human Rights Association, however, reaches a rather different conclusion, one based on the available evidence. Its research shows a clear correlation between an Arab community having an Israeli army base located next to it and the likelihood of it being hit by Hizbullah rockets. In short, Arab communities targeted by Hizbullah were almost exclusively those in which the Israeli army was based.....

Such findings lend credibility to complaints made during the war by Israel's Arab legislators, including Bishara himself, that Arab communities were being used as "human shields" by the Israeli army -- possibly to deter Hizbullah from targeting its positions......

(Again noteworthy is the fact that Israel has built several weapons factories inside Arab communities, including in Nazareth. Arab citizens are almost never allowed to work in Israel's vast military industries, so why build them there? Part of the reason is doubtless that they provide another pretext for confiscating Arab communities' lands and "Judaising" them. But is the criticism by Arab legislators of "human shielding" another possible reason?).....

So far the Human Rights Association's report has received minimal coverage in the Hebrew media. "We are facing a very difficult political atmosphere in Israel at the moment," Ibrahim told me. "Few people inside Israel want to hear that their army and government broke international law in such a flagrant manner."

It seems few in the West, even the guardians of human rights, are ready to hear such a message either."

Praying for the Pharaoh: Israeli premier says he prays daily for Egyptian president's health

"JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday that he is grateful for President Hosni Mubarak's leadership of neighboring Egypt and prays for him daily, in comments apparently aimed at defusing tension between the two countries which soared after Israeli accusations that Egypt turns a blind eye at Palestinian arms smuggling into Gaza.

"When I even think of how things would be if we were dealing with people other than Mubarak, well, I pray every day for his well-being and good health," Olmert told the English-language Jerusalem Post daily in a New Year interview published Tuesday......."

Sheikh Kasem: Lebanon Presidential Void is US Decision

Al-Manar Exclusive

"04/01/2008 Hezbollah deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Kassem unveiled a decision by Washington to keep Fouad Saniora as "Prime Minister." Sheikh Kassem's words came as Lebanon is witnessing strained political wrangling and rows between the loyalty and opposition blocs over the guaranteeing one third of ministers in a national unity government. "We know exactly why you (loyalty) don't want the guaranteeing third. Two months ago, and I have to reveal this, one of the main figures in the country held a meeting with Feltman (US Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman) and the dialogue was related to us by a third party. Feltman said that he had told the February 14 bloc that they only have two choices; either to elect a president with the half-plus-one formula or to let Saniora's government continue ruling. When asked about seeking a way to bring MP Saad Hariri on top of the government, Feltman said that we (Washington) prefer Saniora over Hariri to top the government; however we cannot accomplish this through normal procedures. It is best that Saniora's government keeps ruling even if this goes on until parliamentary elections (2009)." Sheikh Kassem challenged the February 14 bloc to go for early elections if this dialogue never took place......"

'Fall of Saniora Poses Strategic Danger on Israel'

Al-Manar Exclusive

"04/01/2008 Since the rise of the head of the unconstitutional government Fouad Saniora to power, the Israeli overt and covert support to him has not yet ceased. Reviewing a series of Israeli positions makes it crystal cleat that Tel Aviv reckons Saniora's fall would pose a strategic danger on Israel. Yoram Binur, Israeli specialist in Arab affairs told Israeli Channel 2 that "for Israel, the success of demonstrations to topple Saniora is not only a tactical danger but a fundamentally strategic one as well."
After Israel's 2006 aggression against Lebanon, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed craving for meeting Saniora. Olmert had announced on November 7, 2006 that mediation between him and Saniora is underway to fix a meeting for them.
"I hope things would happen in Lebanon, and I can say that two great leaders are working upon my request to pave the way for personal meeting between me and Saniora," Olmert said.
Moreover, Olmert told the German Newspaper Der Spiegel on December 14, 2006 that he had tried to remove any force that endangers Saniora, adding that nothing would strengthen Saniora more than weakening Hezbollah. For his part, then vice PM Shemon Perez told the 'Kol al-Arab' weakly newspaper, that he had met with Lebanese officials without disclosing their identities, and that Israel is concerned that Saniora's government doesn’t fall.
Meanwhile, former military intelligence chief, Aharon Zeevi, praised Saniora's government saying that "from what we are reading we have no doubt that Saniora's government is considered a Jewish government and the steps that we are taking to support Saniora overtly are in fact hurting him."
Some Israeli parties even demanded the government stops IAF overflights over Lebanon "because they can weaken Saniora on the one hand and give Hezbollah more legitimacy," according to Yediot Aharonot. Perhaps the clearest evidence of Israeli support to Saniora and his ruling bloc is the Winograd Report. Parts of the "Partial Winograd Report" have been removed because they include names of the Lebanese figures from the February 14 bloc who had played a major role in starting the Second Lebanon War, according to Israeli media. "

The Israeli army attack in Nablus continues for the second consecutive day

"The Israeli army attack continued on Friday morning in the northern West Bank city of Nablus. In the second consecutive day of the military attack they continued to assault medical crews obstructing them from doing their work.

In the old city of Nablus a Palestinian with special needs was injured, the army claimed that he had broken the curfew imposed by the Israeli army in the city. After they injured him the army then helped transfer him to a hospital outside of the old city.

According to reports from the residents in the old city, the army is carrying out ransacking operations in civilians' homes based on maps in their possession. Scores of poor families who live in the old city of Nablus have appealed for Human Rights organizations to provide them with their basic needs as they were not prepared for the curfew.

Israeli sources claimed that the objective of the operation is to kidnap what Israel call "wanted Palestinians" and to find weapons. They claim they have found a weapons cache containing home-made missiles and explosive devices. The also kidnapped at least six Palestinians.

The medical care committee in Nablus reported that military forces captured the head of the voluntary work department who is also a medic, they handcuffed and blindfolded him, leaving him for more than five hours in the very cold weather. They then moved the man to an unknown detention center claiming that he is a "wanted Palestinian". Another two medics were also injured while they were working.

The offensive started on Thursday at dawn as Israeli troops, supported by dozens of armored vehicles and jeeps, invaded Nablus and imposed a curfew in the Old City and the surrounding neighborhoods. By Thursday midday the Israeli army had injured 33 Palestinian civilians among them four critically injured. Of the 33 Palestinians injured, 4 are children and 1 is an ambulance driver."

To invade or not to invade

Israel's policy of assassinations in lieu of re-occupation in Gaza is doomed

By Saleh Al-Naami
Al-Ahram Weekly

"Last Thursday at 8pm, in a home in an alley of the eastern quarter of the Al-Bureij Refugee Camp, a very human scene was taking place between a mother and her eldest son. The mother was trying with all her power to prevent her son, who is wanted by the occupation forces, from leaving the house. She had noticed pilotless reconnaissance planes flying in the area and was worried that harm would befall him. Yet her efforts were to no avail. Mohamed Abdullah Abu Murshid, 30, a military leader for the Islamic Jihad movement in central Gaza Strip, insisted on going out to join some of his colleagues on a visit to a comrade who was in hospital after an Israeli shelling.

Murshid and his three colleagues left his home for Shuhada's Al-Aqsa Hospital on the eastern edge of the nearby city of Deir Al-Balah. After their car had travelled two kilometres, one of the reconnaissance planes in the area fired two missiles at the vehicle, killing the four and injuring 10 bystanders, one of whom died from his injuries three days later. The car was turned into a pile of scrap metal. Not an hour passed before Israeli reconnaissance planes attacked another car transporting four others. This targeting of Islamic Jihad activists came two weeks after another assassination campaign in which 11 members of the military department of Islamic Jihad were killed, including Majed Al-Harazin, the leader of the movement's military wing, which calls itself Saraya Al-Quds......

Khaled Al-Butsh, a prominent leader in Islamic Jihad, holds that Israel will eventually realise its errors. He notes that Israel previously assassinated everyone it was able to among the leaders and cadres of the resistance movements, and the result was that the resistance grew, contrary to the hopes of Tel Aviv. In a statement to Al-Ahram Weekly, Al-Butsh stressed that Israel will "be surprised by the failure of its bet on intensifying assassination operations against Islamic Jihad". He noted that Israel previously assassinated the movement's founder and leader, Fathi Al-Shiqaqi, and that "this did not affect the movement other than by increasing its strength and well-being.""


A Comment by Tony Sayegh

This is the stupidity of the resistance about which I constantly complain. Members of the resistance are known by name and address. The mother had more sense than her son; she knew that the drones overhead were watching the house. The IOF knew that one of the comrades was wounded and in the hospital; so it was a question of watching the house and waiting for the visit to the hospital, to launch a missile and to kill four Islamic Jihad fighters.

A few months ago I posted the story of the Islamic Jihad commander (may be the one just killed) who was called by the Israelis on his cell phone! He confirmed to the Israeli caller that it was his number, and waited while a missile was launched which homed in on the phone signal! He survived that attack, miraculously.

Only about 2 weeks ago, Islamic Jihad finally told its fighters to turn off their cell phones and to remove the batteries! In addition they were told not to ride in cars! It took them that long! Worse, they did not listen to the order for long. A week or so later they started riding cars again; and in groups!


This is the kind of stupidity I am talking about. This is not guerrilla war; this is a bunch of untrained, undisciplined and not too bright "commanders" leading so many 20 year-olds to unnecessary death.

Why can't the Palestinians ever learn secrecy? Why the need to show off? One rocket is fired and four groups take credit! Did each make 1/4 of the rocket? This is becoming a farce. The Palestinians need to get serious about resistance if they want to resist. On the other hand, if this is all a show (as Arafat did) to get to the "negotiating" table, then no Palestinian should be willing to die for such a charade.

Intifada Part Three?

New settlements being built under Abbas's nose are a time-bomb

By Khaled Amayreh
Al-Ahram Weekly

"......However, on the central subject of settlement expansion, which is a central final-status issue, Olmert made it clear to Abbas that he couldn't and wouldn't halt the construction since such a step would mean the collapse of his coalition government. Interestingly, this is the same pretext and the same rationale that successive Israeli prime ministers have always cited whenever they were pressed, even by the US, to stop or freeze settlement expansion.

Olmert didn't tell Abbas outright that Israel would fly in the face of the Annapolis spirit and go ahead with building new settler units all over the West Bank. Instead, he resorted to prevarication and stratagems. He told Abbas that Israel wouldn't create new settlements in the West Bank, but made no mention of plans to expand existing settlements by building thousands of apartments on newly- confiscated private Arab land in the vicinity of these settlements. The extent of Olmert's deception and mendacity was revealed soon after his photo-op with Abbas......

The latest meeting between Abbas and Olmert was dismissed even by pro-Fatah pundits as a fiasco, with Hani Al-Masri, a prominent columnist, accusing the PA leadership of effectively dropping East Jerusalem from the negotiations. "If beefing up Jewish settlement activities in Jerusalem, the future capital of the Palestinian state everyone is talking about, isn't prejudicial to the final status settlement, then what issues are they talking about," asked Masri......

Having to repeat the same platitudes every day and mouthing words about the illegality of Jewish settlements, Palestinian officials are finding themselves facing an unenviable situation. On the one hand, they realise, although they wouldn't say so openly, that talks with Israel are doomed to failure, even if these talks go on for 100 to come. They also realise that neither the Bush administration nor any other subsequent American administration have either the will or the inclination to pressure Israel to end the occupation that started in 1967......

The frozen rage accumulating as a result of the murderous Israeli onslaught, coupled with the Israeli policy of deception, as evident from continuing settlement expansion, is deepening in the hearts of Palestinians. "I think most people are convinced that Israel is deceiving the Palestinian leadership and that it is not sincere about reaching peace with the Palestinians. To put it in a nutshell, the policy of murdering Palestinians and expanding settlements is not compatible with a genuine desire for peace," said Ziad Abu Zayad, himself a former Palestinian negotiator......

Fayyad recently alienated many in Fatah when he reportedly stopped paying salaries to thousands of Fatah cadres who had been on the PA payroll since the mid-1990s. Fayyad also infuriated many Palestinians recently when he publicly offered condolences to the families of two off-duty Israeli soldiers killed by Palestinian guerrillas in Hebron in the southern West Bank. Israel killed many hundreds of Palestinians in 2008, including dozens of children.

According to some Palestinians observers, the most expected scenario in case the peace process collapses, which most Palestinians see as a foregone conclusion, will be a new Intifada, this time against both Israel and the PA government itself."

Qadhafi the Clown is Washington's Latest Ally!

Libya hails relations with US

"Libya's foreign minister has declared an end to confrontation with the US and hailed new co-operation between the two countries.

Mohammed Abdel-Rahman Shalgam made the comment after meeting Condoleezza Rice, his American counterpart in a rare visit to Washington aimed at cementing ties between the former foes.

"We don't speak any more about war or confrontation or terrorism. No, the contrary: wealth of the people, co-operation, investments, peace and stability," said Shalgam, who was in Washington for the highest-level official contact between the two countries in 35 years......."


The "revolutionary" Qadhafi is more than happy to be a party to the U.S. siege and starvation of the Palestinians. Long live "revolutionary" Arab regimes.

They Would Rather Die Than Learn.....
Not Too Smart

By Mike Luckovich

George Bush celebrates the fruits of his Iraq chaos with a special friend.

Al Jazeera No Longer Nips at Saudis

"DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — When a Saudi court sentenced a young woman to 200 lashes in November after she pressed charges against seven men who had raped her, the case provoked outrage and headlines around the world, including in the Middle East.

But not at Al Jazeera, the Arab world’s leading satellite television channel, seen by 40 million people. The station’s silence was especially noteworthy because until recently, and unlike almost all other Arab news outlets, Al Jazeera had long been willing — eager, in fact — to broadcast fierce criticisms of Saudi Arabia’s rulers.

For the past three months Al Jazeera, which once infuriated the Saudi royal family with its freewheeling newscasts, has treated the kingdom with kid gloves, media analysts say.

The newly cautious tone appears to have been dictated to Al Jazeera’s management by the rulers of Qatar, where Al Jazeera has its headquarters. Although those rulers established the channel a decade ago in large part as a forum for critics of the Saudi government, they now seem to feel they cannot continue to alienate Saudi Arabia — a fellow Sunni nation — in light of the threat from Iran across the Persian Gulf [This is not the real reason; the reason according to people who know is American pressure on Qatar to control Al-Jazeera. Criticism of the U.S. occupation of Iraq and other U.S. policies in the M.E. has been muted in recent Al-Jazeera coverage and "improvements" in Iraq have been featured.]......."

The War and the Elections

Is the antiwar wave cresting?

By Justin Raimondo

"The last election was all about the war, a referendum on a policy that has led us ever deeper into the Middle East, and the verdict was clear: the voters have had enough. In the interim, however, we've had a veritable D-Day-style propaganda campaign, designed to fool the public into believing that the so-called "surge" has worked, we're on the path to a "drawdown," and never mind that – look over here!

Whether that worked, or not, is the real back story – or, at least, a fascinating aspect – of this election season.

The lesson, almost universally acknowledged, of the last electoral go-round was that the American people want out of Iraq – a sentiment a majority of Iowa Republicans tend to agree with. Yet sentiment doesn't translate easily into a political campaign, or support for a particular candidate......."

The Sack of Annapolis

by Patrick Foy

"If you want to appreciate just how hopelessly entangled America has become in the fate of modern day Israel and Zionism, you may want to take a look at an eye-opening article of December 5th in the Jerusalem Post. It is entitled “Annapolis—A True Zionist Victory” by Dr. M.K. Ephraim Sneh. He is a former Deputy Defense Minister of Israel and Head of the Civil Administration for the occupied West Bank. Regrettably, you can’t check the article out online, because it has been removed from the JP site......

We learn in a side remark at the end of the article that Dr. Sneh’s father was instrumental in bringing about the 1947 UN partition of Palestine:

“Last week marked the 60th anniversary of the UN partition plan which sought to establish two nations in the land of Israel. I would like to mention my father, Moshe Sneh, zihrono li’vraha (May his memory be blessed), who in 1947 stood at the head of the political delegation in Europe which lead to the decision. This ruling gave 56% of the land to Israel and 44% to the Palestinians. When we complete the permanent agreement, we will hold 78% of the land while the Palestinians will control 22%. After sixty years, seven wars and two intifadas, the upcoming agreement will be a true Zionist victory.”......"

The left that I want

The left does have a part to play in emancipation, but it needs a large dose of historical consciousness and cultural humility

By Soumaya Ghannoushi
The Guardian

".......This left is humane, heeds the cries of the downtrodden, but does not appoint itself as their guardian or benefactor. It does not assume moral superiority, does not see the oppressed as a mass of passivity awaiting its help, does not wish to fill her role, speak on her behalf, or dictate to her how she should be liberated.

It is not culturally arrogant but humble, puts itself at the service of the oppressed, and allows them to define their own priorities and agendas and chart their own paths to liberation. Its solidarity is not conditional on a list of requirements - like those imposed by the World Bank on poorer nations in need of assistance. It does not expect the Muslim woman to model herself after its image, nor does it expect to see its reflection in her face.

A few years ago, I had an interesting and rather irritating encounter with a group of socialist women picketing in front of my university against veiling (I was later to make friends with some of these when we worked together in the anti-war movement). Without consulting me, they had decided I was a victim, without my authorisation they appointed themselves my liberators. When I argued with these white middle-aged women, one of them shouted "If I were you I'd tear off that scarf of yours and be free". Her comrades cheered.

I was later to meet the same condescending attitude of cultural smugness and euro-centrism from many leftists - albeit expressed more quietly and less explicitly. They seemed to have absorbed their dominant culture's certainties and prejudices unquestioningly. I was and continue to feel intrigued at this paradox of a left so critical of what it sees as economic and political imperialism yet blissfully oblivious, and often party to imperialism's cultural side. In the name of universality, progress, and liberation it wants to impose its own parochial norms and experiences as an absolute, complete and ideal model for others to emulate......"

Al-Qaeda to the rescue for Bush's legacy

By M K Bhadrakumar
Asia Times

"For the George W Bush administration, the best it can hope for in the wake of Benazir Bhutto's assassination is to pin blame for it on al-Qaeda and get on with old business. The dynamics of the region have changed, though. Overnight, Pakistan has replaced Iran on the US's radar screen. Moscow's cooperation in the "war on terror" could be conditional on Washington rolling back its containment policy toward Russia. And the US's ability to retain its trans-Atlantic leadership role is itself in the firing line.....

Clearly, with Bhutto's assassination and with Pakistan tottering on the abyss, what stares the Bush administration in the face is a potential unraveling of its global strategy built around the "war on terror" and "Islamofascism". The easy way out will be to goad General Kiani to become Washington's "new man in Pakistan" so that the hunt for al-Qaeda goes on."

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Aid chief says Taliban control a quarter of Afghanistan at night

Canadian broadcast sees 'Mission Impossible'

"It has been "a bad year in Afghanistan," according to CBC News, with thousands killed, including hundreds of Afghan police, and large areas of the country still outside government control. The NATO forces battling Taliban guerrillas are stretched thin, unable even to guard key roads, and now some are asking, "Is it Mission Impossible?"

One problem is that NATO has never fought this far from its home bases in Europe. Another is that Afghanistan is twice the size of Germany, "with a rugged geography that dwarfs military efforts of any size and that seems to mock military planning.".....

NATO has only 41,000 troops in Afghanistan, including some from the US, while the US has another 7000 under separate command. The Afghan army is also considered to have a reliable core of about 20,000. Although the Taliban only fields about 15,000 or 20,000 guerrillas and cannot hold territory, it is able to play havoc through roadside bombings.......

"Historically, Afghanistan is the great breaker of armies," CBC concluded. "Could it also break NATO? That's no longer idle speculation.""

As the "Peace Process" Circus Goes On....
One of the Palestinian Victims of Israeli Shelling of Khan Yunis (Gaza Strip) Today....
A Family of Five (Mother, Daughter and 3 Sons) Was Murdered When Their Home Was Bombed....
This, Under the Political Cover Which the Traitors Abbas and Fayyad Have Given Israel

"حماس": اجتياح نابلس نتيجة مباشرة لزيارتي باراك وفياض الأخيرتين للمدينة

قالت إن هدفه إكمال دور أجهزة عباس في سحق المقاومة

"نابلس ـ المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام

اعتبرت حركة المقاومة الإسلامية "حماس" أن الاجتياح الصهيوني لمدينة نابلس (شمال الضفة الغربية)، اليوم الخميس (3/1) "يأتي نتيجة مباشرة لزيارتي وزير الحرب الصهيوني إيهود باراك ورئيس "الحكومة" في رام الله سلام فياض الأخيرتين للمدينة"، مشيرة إلى أن أن هدف هذا الاجتياح "إكمال دور الأجهزة الأمنية في سحق المقاومة".

وقالت الحركة في الضفة الغربية، في بيان صحفي لها اليوم، تلقى "المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام" نسخة منه: "إنّ هذه العملية العسكرية مكشوفة الهدف والغاية، وهو سحق جيوب المقاومة الفلسطينية الباسلة التي لم تتمكن الأجهزة الأمنية (الفلسطينية) من الوصول إليها، وهي نتيجة مباشرة ومتوقعة لزيارتي فياض وباراك الأخيرتين للمدينة والتي أعلن فيها الاثنان عن عزمهما على اجتثاث ما تبقى من خلايا المقاومة في المدينة وتحديداً في البلدة القديمة من حماس وفارس الليل والجبهة الشعبية".

وشددت "حماس على أنّ خطط التنسيق الأمني المستمرة يومياً بالضفة "لن تزيد المقاومة إلا عزماً وتصلباً في وجه هذه العملية القذرة، وستثبت الأيام فشل كلّ من يقف أمام الحقّ الفلسطيني وثوابت الشعب حتى لو كان فلسطينياّ ضُلل وغُرر وفقد البوصلة التي يتبناها شعبه وأهله".

وأكدت الحركة "على أنّ كل الضغوطات والوعودات التي مارستها الأجهزة الأمنية ضدّ مطاردي فتح وفارس الليل والتي تمكنت من إرغام الكثيرين منهم على تسليم أنفسهم وسلاحهم مقابل العفو عنهم ما هي إلا أوهام تبددها عجرفة الاحتلال واجتياحاته اليومية واغتيال واعتقال العديد منهم، والفطن لا يُلدغ من ذات الجحر ألف مرة"، مشيرة إلى أنه "على مقاومي فتح وباقي الفصائل أن ينتبهوا للتاريخ قليلاً، ومُخطئ من ظنّ بالاحتلال أو من يساوقه خيراً".

ودعت "حماس" كافة المطاردين والمقاومين إلى "توحيد بنادقهم في وجه الاحتلال، وحذّرتهم من خطورة الانصياع لأي "صفقات مهينة تنتهي بهم وبدون أي مقابل في غياهب السجون الفلسطينية أو الإسرائيلية"."

Israeli army continue to attack Nablus city, 33 injured among them four critical

"Palestinian medical sources in Nablus city located in the northern part of the West Bank reported on Thursday midday that the Israeli army had injured 33 Palestinian civilians among them four critically injured, during the continuing military offensive targeting the city.

The offensive started on Thursday at dawn as Israeli troops, supported by dozens of armored vehicles and jeeps, invaded Nablus and imposed a curfew in the Old City and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Soldiers started a wide scale house to house search campaign targeting what the army calls "wanted Palestinians". A number of civilians were kidnapped during the early morning house searches, witnesses said.

Dr. Ghassan Hamdan director of the Union of the Palestinian Medical Relief committees told IMEMC that 33 Palestinians have been injured by army fire since this morning and four of those are in a critical condition. Hamadan added that the army is chasing local youths all over the city.......

Of the 33 Palestinians injured, 4 are children and 1 is an ambulance driver. The army has surrounded the hospitals and are attacking ambulances."

Defining Israeli Zionist Racism: Part 5/12

by Kim Petersen and B.J. Sabri / January 3rd, 2008
Dissident Voice

"Section 1: Analysis of Israeli Zionist Racism [Continuation]E: Reports by Israeli Media
.....Beyond that, it is no exaggeration to postulate that excising the Zionist ideological malignancy from Israel society requires generational commitment and enormous battles against ignorance, psychological dependency on racism, abandonment of mythological motives supporting racism, and most importantly the decoupling of Israel from the western imperialist project. Could that happen?

We do not know. But with a quasi conviction, and considering the fraudulent ideological foundations of Israel, this is not going to happen — the lure of profits, hegemonic dominance, lust for territorial expansion, and entrenched superiority complex coupled with violent racism make such a proposition senseless.

We can enforce this by stating that 1) considering the alliance between Zionism and US imperialism, and 2) considering role of the United States in reviving militant colonialism and the subscription of colonial powers (Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, etc.) to the American-Israeli world agenda, predicting any change in the dangerous Israeli mentality is futile. Consequently, and from an evolutionary historical point of view, only future, revolutionary forces of history could resolve, to a certain extent, that existential struggle between imperialist slavery and freedom. None can escape this logic. "