Saturday, February 9, 2008

EGYPT: Living in a cemetery (video)

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

"This video short looks at how up to a million poor people have made one of the biggest burial grounds in Egypt their home. Dubbed ‘the City of the Dead’ and located on the outskirts of the capital, Cairo, many of the families who live there migrated from rural areas in search of work. In the cemetery grounds, they can live rent-free in exchange for guarding tombstones housed in mud houses.

As Cairo’s population of an estimated 18 million continues to grow every year, so too does the demand for housing. Yahya Mohammed and his family of three moved to the cemetery five years ago. It’s a basic existence for them, without sanitation or electricity. He digs graves in exchange for a roof over his head."

SYRIA: Wealth gap widening as inflation hits poor

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

"....The contrast of Samir’s life with the growing affluence of Damascus is palpable. Expensive Western-style stores selling Prada shoes and Swiss watches are growing more numerous by the month, but for most Syrians they remain firmly out of reach.

“Prices have gone crazy and it continues day by day,” said Samir. “Now I see many more rich people, but also many more poor people.”.....

The plight of Samir reflects a worrying trend in Syria: the widening gap between rich and poor and the inability of a large segment of Syrian society to survive financially as their economy makes the painful adjustment from Soviet-era central control to the perilous freedom of market forces.

According to a recent survey of 1,000 people in Damascus conducted by the Syrian Economic Centre (SEC), 70 percent of respondents believe their financial situation has “deteriorated seriously” in the last two years.

Safi Shujaa, director of the SEC, says the wealth gap between rich and poor has expanded notably. “In Syria the growth rate is a strong 6 percent but the question is: who gets this growth? According to some economists, 70 percent of gross domestic product goes to only 30 percent of Syrians.”....."

Falling Out Between U.S. Puppets?

Iraqi groups 'withdraw' US support

Contributed by Roger

"Sunni armed groups known as Awakening Councils appear to have withdrawn their support for US forces and the Iraqi government in Diyala province.

The move has been seen as a significant blow to the US, which has hailed the groups' work in securing towns and neighbourhoods as a rare success in increasing security in the country......

In Diyala province, a curfew has been imposed after the Sunni Awakening Councils ended patrols of towns and neighbourhoods.

The councils, comprised of mostly Sunni tribesmen who have worked with American troops to force al-Qaeda and other fighters from their home towns, are refusing to return to the streets unless the chief of police resigns.....

"This is a way to pressure the Iraqi government to compromise its position and take the Awakening Council militias on the government payroll," he said.

He also seemed sceptical about the groups' threatened suspension.

"I do not believe they are genuinely going to withdraw support, so it is not really going to affect security, but it is going to increase pressure and force the Iraqi government to compromise its position," he said......"

The Mediterranean Union: Dividing the Middle East and North Africa

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Global Research, February 10, 2008

"The Middle East and North Africa are in the process of being divided into spheres of influence between the European Union and the United States. Essentially the division of the Middle East and North Africa are between Franco-German and Anglo-American interests. There is a unified stance within NATO in regards to this re-division.

While on the surface Iraq falls within the Anglo-American orbit, the Eastern Mediterranean and its gas resources have been set to fall into the Franco-German orbit. In fact the Mediterranean region as a whole, from Morocco and gas-rich Algeria to the Levant is coveted by Franco-German interests, but there is more to this complex picture than meets the eye.

Unknown to the global public, several milestone decisions have been made to end Franco-German and Anglo-American squabbling that will ultimately call for joint management of the spoils of war. Franco-German and Anglo-American interests are converging into one. The reality of the situation is that the area ranging from Mauritania to the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan will be shared by America, Britain, France, Germany, and their allies.

These spheres of influence are really spheres of responsibility in a long campaign to restructure the Middle East and North Africa. The services agreement between Total S.A. and Chevron to jointly develop Iraqi energy reserves, NATO agreements in the Persian Gulf, and the establishment of a permanent French military base in the U.A.E. are all results of these objectives. Militant globalization and force is at work from Iraq and Lebanon to the Maghreb......"

Language - a tool to transform different into dangerous

Alastair Crooke interviewed by Christian Porth, Daily Star, February 2, 2008

"“If thought corrupts language,” the English author George Orwell wrote in his famous 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language,” “language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation, even among people who should and do know better.” Alastair Crooke, a fellow Briton, would agree. A former British intelligence officer and co-founder of Conflicts Forum - a Beirut think tank and international movement which engages with Islamist movements broadly - Crooke spends much of his time advocating that the West move toward serious intellectual engagement with Islamists, unfortunately more often than not to no avail.

For Crooke, the origins of the current dialogue (or lack thereof) between the West and Islamists are fundamentally a function of two things: language and power.

If you want to look at why we use language like this, you would have to look very much at the philosophical origins,” he told The Daily Star. “You have to look clearly at how in the West we now see power.”....."

Media Language and War: Manufacturing Convenient Realities

To convey a version of a story that is as close the true story as possible, a media person has to comprehend the context himself, analyse the motives and follow the line of logic: cause and affect.

By Ramzy Baroud

".....The corporate media’s depiction of the Gaza story which has been unfolding for months might be summed up in one overriding headline: Hordes of Palestinian Breach Gaza Border with Egypt, Israel Concerned over Its Security.

The imprisonment of 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza – where poverty stands at 79 percent and unemployment hovers around a similar number, and where the majority of the population is ‘food insecure’ according to United Nations agencies – should have been depicted first and foremost as a humanitarian disaster compelled by an Israeli siege. The dates related to the successive stages of the siege follow a line of Israel’s political, not ‘security’ logic. Any reasonable timeline of recent events could easily verify that (the formation of the Hamas government in March 2006, the ousting of the pro-Israeli Palestinian security apparatus in June 2007 and so on being followed by dramatic Israeli moves to tighten the siege on Gaza, Hamas’ stronghold).

But little of that seemed relevant to the way the Gaza story was amply reported. Like the Iraq story, where the two main trusted sources are the occupation and its puppet Iraqi government, any story of relevance to Israel and Palestine has to be validated by the official Israeli source and to a lesser but growing extent by their allies among Palestinians. The rest are ‘extremist’, radical and hell-bent on the destruction of the ‘Jewish state.’ Note how the Jewishness of Israel is often emphasised whenever the word ‘destruction’ or similar words are infused......."

Aib Ya Abu al Ghait

Comment by Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank

"Instead of taking a firm stand against Israel’s Nazi-like criminality in Gaza and other Zionist covert efforts to destabilize and weaken Egypt, the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu al Ghait reportedly lashed out at the Palestinians recently, vowing that Egypt would “break the legs of those who would cross the borders again.”

These harsh remarks, to say the very least, are unacceptable and shouldn’t have been uttered by the foreign minister of the largest and most powerful Arab country. We simply shouldn’t be talking to each other or about each other in this way. Have we gone mad?

Moreover, the timing of these remarks which are music to Zionist ears, makes them utterly detestable and injurious to the feelings of millions of Arabs and Muslim and their friends around the world who don’t want to see Israeli-Arab contradictions morphed into inter-Arab contradictions......

However, the ill-conceived statements by the foreign minister of Egypt, which coincided with a virulent anti-Palestinian campaign in some quarters of the Egyptian media, are making us doubt what we always thought were unquestionable truisms pertaining to the Arab and Muslim umma (nation)......

Indeed, through this annual aid, the Israeli-controlled American government has been holding Egypt by the throat, robbing the biggest Arab country of its free will to develop its industry and economy.....

It is lamentable that Egypt is willingly accepting to castrate itself for the sake of an annual handout of $2 billion which Egypt effectively pays off in terms of its national dignity, sovereignty and independence.

Egypt is not poor. Egypt has a huge inventory of brainpower which if utilized properly can make wonders. But in order to do that, Egypt needs democracy, an indispensable prerequisite that can transform Egypt’s huge potentials into tangible economic achievements...

Aib Ya Abu al-Ghait”!!! Shame on you! Don’t you utter these words again, because the people whose legs you would break are your brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. Do good people treat their family in such a manner? Does the big brother break the legs of his younger brothers? Besides, you know who the real bone-broker is.!!

I am saying this because your words were so hurtful, so painful and so sad. Didn’t the Arab poet say “The oppression of relatives is more painful than the blow of a sharp sword!”

We Palestinians are not going to relate to your unfortunate remarks with vindictiveness and malice. Because your wound is our wound and your sorrow is our sorrow. And we both know quite well that Israel is the only beneficiary from an Egyptian-Palestinian misunderstanding.

But, my most dear brother, we must never forget who the real enemy is. It is Israel, our existential enemy, not these impoverished and penned-in Gazans who were forced to break into Egypt to buy flour and food to keep their children alive as President Mubarak himself testified.

Is this too difficult or too complicated for you to understand? "

It Takes Billions to Buy Palestinian Stooges and Traitors

US sees Palestinian forces needing billions in aid

"American officials estimate billions of dollars needed to train and restructure PA security forces; only $86 million spent so far. None of funds garnered from Palestinian donor conference earmarked for security overhaul....

A Palestinian security plan backed by Washington calls for consolidating President Mahmoud Abbas' forces into a nearly 50,000-member gendarmerie that can both police civilians and rein in militants who could try to block any future peace deal....."

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit: "whoever (Palestinian) breaks the border line will have his legs broken."

Al-Aqsa brigade announce unilateral truce

"The al-Aqsa brigade, the armed wing of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party announced on Saturday that they are committed to a truce with Israel......

The brigade called upon all its fighters in Gaza Strip and the West Bank to halt attacks against Israeli targets and to give a chance for the political efforts carried out by the Palestinian President....."

(Graphic by Ben Heine)

Contributed by Fatima

كوهين يختتم ولايته بطلب تدريس العبرية في المدارس المصرية

على جانب آخر، لم ترد مصر على طلب السفير الإسرائيلي شالوك كوهين بتدريس اللغة العبرية في المرحلتين الإعدادية والثانوية العامة، وذلك لتسريع خطوات التقارب الثقافي بين الشعبين المصري والإسرائيلي، على حد ما جاء في مذكرة قدمها لوزارتي التربية والتعليم والثقافة.
وتعهدت إسرائيل بكافة نفقات طباعة وتجهيز كافة الكتب والمناهج لتدريس مقررات العبرية، لكن الوزارتين لم تردا على المذكرة وهو الأسلوب الذي تتعامل به العديد من الوزارات المصرية مع مثل هذه المطالب.
وعلمت "المصريون" أن الوزارتين أحالتا الطلب وفقا للإجراءات المعمول بها إلى وزارة الخارجية والأجهزة السيادية وذلك لاتخاذ القرار بشأن الطلب، الذي ترمي إسرائيل من خلاله إلى تنشيط عملية التطبيع، بعد أن فشلت على مدار نحو 30 عامًا من تحقيق هذا الهدف، كما اعترفت بذلك في تقارير رسمية.
واعتبرت المذكرة، أن عدم وجود تبادل ثقافي تربوي بين مصر وإسرائيل هو المسئول عن تراجع مستوى التطبيع بين الجانبين وعدم تحقيقه قفزات مثلما حدث مع الأردن وموريتانيا والعديد من الدول العربية، لافتة إلى أن الموافقة على تدريس العبرية ستكون لها انعكاسات إيجابية على مسيرة التطبيع ومجمل العلاقات المصرية الإسرائيلية.
لكن من غير المرجح موافقة مصر على هذا الطلب باعتباره تدخلا في الشئون السيادية لمصر، ويعد سابقة في تاريخ العلاقات الدولية، حيث لم يسبق أن طلبت دولة من أخرى فرض مقررات دراسية بعينها، علمًا بأن العبرية لا تدرس كلغة أجنبية في المدارس المصرية، التي تدرس الإنجليزية غالبًا كلغة أجنبية أولى

Hillary’s List

Republican strategies to guarantee that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination

by Michael Carmichael
Global Research, February 9, 2008

"“Clinton will be the Democrat, and I don’t know who the Republican will be, but the election will be about the war on terror and the Republican will win.”

Karl Rove, Fox News, December 2007.....

Senator Hillary Clinton’s vulnerabilities present an extremely attractive target for Republican strategists. Enticed by the very thought of her presidential candidacy, Republican operatives will stop at nothing to ensure her nomination and the devastation of her primary opponents. On Super Tuesday, 2008 - only one opponent to Hillary Clinton remains: Senator Barack Obama.

The cover story on a recent edition of Newsmax, a Republican Party magazine that frequently features the writings of Dick Morris, is adorned with a large and flattering photograph of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton while the headline proclaims: “She can save our party.” She probably can."

The Beast of Burden ('Humar) Fails Again

Presidential Vote Delayed as Mussa Leaves Lebanon


"09/02/2008 A parliamentary session to elect Lebanon's president has been postponed from Monday to February 26, the speaker's office announced on Saturday. Speaker Nabih Berri "has decided to postpone the session that had been scheduled on February 11 to elect a president until Tuesday, February 26," the statement said.

Berri’s postponement was announced shortly after Arab League chief Amr Mussa left Lebanon after failing to mediate a solution to the protracted crisis. After failing again to end the stalemate despite a round-table meeting with feuding politicians, Mussa left the country on Saturday. "We did not accomplish the required progress but we will pursue our contacts until a new meeting is held in the second half of February," Mussa told the Lebanese daily As-Safir. "The situation is complicated and there is a lack" of trust between the two camps, he said......"

IRAQ: More Bombing Creates New Enemies

By Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail

"BAGHDAD, Feb 8 (IPS) - Now that the smoke has cleared and the rubble settled, residents of a group of bombed Iraqi villages see the raid as really a U.S. loss.

Many Iraqis view the attack Jan. 10 by bombers and F-16 jets on a cluster of villages in the Latifiya district south of Baghdad as overkill.

"The use of B1 bombers shows the terrible failure of the U.S. campaign in Iraq," Iraqi Major General Muhammad al-Azzawy, a military researcher in Baghdad, told IPS. "U.S. military and political tactics failed in this area, and that is why this massacre. This kind of bombing is usually used for much bigger targets than small villages full of civilians. This was savagery.".....

"On Jan. 10, huge aircraft started bombing the villages," Ahmad Alwan from a village near Juboor told IPS. "We took our families and fled. We have never seen such bombardment since the 2003 American invasion. They were bombing everything and everybody."

Residents said two B1 bombers and four F-16 fighter jets dropped at least 40,000 pounds of explosives on the villages and plantations within a span of 10 minutes.

"The al-Qaeda name is used once more to destroy another Sunni area," Akram Naji, a lawyer in Baghdad who has relatives in Juboor told IPS.....

"Apache helicopters later fired at the trucks that were carrying the families out of the area, and killed so many civilians. They took some wounded people to their military base. I am sure hundreds of people would have been killed. It is just like the Fallujah crime."......"

مسؤولون كشفوا أوامر صريحة لعباس بإسناد تنفيذ المهمة لتيار دحلان ...لماذا فشلت "فتح" في هزيمة "حماس"عسكريا؟

Contributed by Fatima

"القدس المحتلة - محمد جمال :

كشفت خلافات "فتحاوية" علنية تراشق خلالها قياديان بارزان في الحركة الاتهامات والشتائم عبر وسائل الإعلام، عن إصدار الرئيس محمود عباس أوامر صريحة بالقضاء على حماس عسكرياً بيد أن هذه الجهات فشلت في مهمتها، في أخطر إقرار من نوعه منذ أحداث يونيو الماضي.
وأقر عضو اللجنة المركزية لحركة فتح حكم بلعاوي، في غمرة دفاع عن اتهامات بالفشل والعجز وجهها قيادي آخر في حركة فتح للرئيس عباس بأن الأخير منح تيار محمد دحلان، القرار بحسم المعركة عسكريا مع حركة حماس في قطاع غزة، مانحا إياه كافة الإمكانيات والدعم المعنوي.. لكن بلعاوي أكد أن دحلان وتياره، خذلوا حركة فتح، مؤكدا أن حركته أخطأت حينما منحته تلك الثقة وذلك القرار "حسم المعركة عسكريا مع حماس".وقال يجب أن تعترف "قيادة فتح" أن ذلك كان الخطأ بعينه لأن القرار يجب ألا يعطى إلا لمن يحقق لحركته الانتصار وليس لمن يدعي ويفاخر ويصرح بالقدرة التي لا يمكن أن تكون لديه لأنه مشغول بالذات والمكاسب والمصالح الخاصة والأحلام العابثة وهي تطوف في خياله ".
إقرار بلعاوي جاء في تصريح رسمي وزعه السبت بصفته عضواً في اللجنة المركزية لحركة فتح ومتحدثاً باسم القائد العام محمود عباس وتم نشره في العديد من وسائل الإعلام التابعة لحركة فتح؛ ردا على تصريحات عضو المجلس الثوري لحركة فتح "عبد العزيز شاهين" "أبو علي" والذي اتهم فيها عباس بأنه "قائد فاشل"، ولم يصدر قراره بحسم المعركة عسكريا مع حركة حماس في الوقت المناسب.

Somalia: The World's forgotten catastrophe

According to the UN, the worst catastrophe in Africa is not taking place in Kenya, or even Darfur. Fifteen years after the disastrous Black Hawk Down incident, Somalia has more refugees than any country in the world

A special report by Steve Bloomfield
Saturday, 9 February 2008
The Independent

"......There are no Black Hawk helicopters in Mogadishu today. No UN tanks patrolling the streets. But 15 years on, the United States is back in Somalia. CIA agents are operating in Mogadishu. Unmanned Predator drones circle above the city gathering intelligence. US forces have carried out at least four attacks inside the country in the past 12 months. Civilians in Somalia and neighbouring Kenya have been "extraordinarily rendered" to prisons in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, where they have been interrogated by US officials.

Last time the US arrived in Somalia in dramatic fashion: hundreds of marines swarmed on to the Mogadishu beach in the full glare of television news crews. This time there hasn't even been a press release. Officially, the US has no involvement in Somalia. It is a secret war, a third front in America's global war on terror. It is also a war that the US and its allies are losing......"

AP Poll: Leaving Iraq will help economy

AP Poll: Stimulus Checks Welcome, but to Really Help the Economy US Should Leave Iraq

"The heck with Congress' big stimulus bill. The way to get the country out of recession — and most people think we're in one — is to get the country out of Iraq, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll.

Pulling out of the war ranked first among proposed remedies in the survey, followed by spending more on domestic programs, cutting taxes and, at the bottom end, giving rebates to poor people in hopes they'll spend the economy into recovery......

Forty-eight percent said a pullout would help fix the country's economic problems "a great deal," and an additional 20 percent said it would help at least somewhat.....

In the poll, 61 percent said they think the economy is already in a recession.....

In fact, economic problems have contributed to pulling the president's approval ratings to all-time lows. Only 29 percent approve of his handling of the economy, the lowest mark yet in this polling. Bush's overall job-approval rating slid to 30 percent, also a record low......"

Five US Soldiers Killed on Friday in Iraq


"09/02/2008 Five U.S. occupation soldiers were killed on Friday in Iraq in two separate attacks, including one in Baghdad, the US military said in statements on Saturday.

"Four soldiers were killed when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device while the soldiers were conducting a combat patrol northwest of Baghdad" on Friday, said the US military.

Another soldier was killed and three wounded by a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle in the At Tamim province north of Baghdad on Friday, said another statement.
The latest deaths bring to 3,957 the number of US occupation soldiers killed in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, according to a tally based on independent website

The frequency of attacks on US troops in Baghdad has picked up noticeably in the past weeks. Since the beginning of January, occupation soldiers have been targeted in attacks with improvised explosive devices (IEDS) once every three days on average, according to US military commanders."

West Point Graduation by Latuff

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

UK Student Societies, NGO’s, to launch antiapartheid week on Monday

"Several nongovernmental organizations and student societies in the United Kingdom are set to launch the Antiapartheid week in order to protest the Israeli apartheid policies on Monday February 11, 2008. Nearly 30 universities in several UK cities will participate in the event which comes in coherence with similar campaigns in South Africa , the USA , Canada , Mexico and Palestine...."

Friday, February 8, 2008

"Major Arab-media crackdown planned"

From Missing Links

"Arab interior ministers meeting last week in Tunis agreed on what they called an adjustment to their common strategy respecting terrorism, with the aim of criminalizing possession of information or tapes of terrorist groups, or any propagation or incitement [to terror] on the part of any person or media organization. In a similar vein, an Egyptian newspaper yesterday reported that the Egyptian information minister had agreed with his Saudi counterpart to press for revisions to the laws regulating operation of satellite TV stations, at a meeting of Arab information ministers in Cairo next week. The proposed revisions, according to a report in Al-Masry al-Youm, would require the state that is issuer of the station's operating licence to warn the station, and then to issue final closure orders, in the event of the station going beyond the terms of [said] warnings in political discussion programs. (According to the summary by Abdulbari Atwan in his Al-Quds al-Arabi opinion piece today).

And finally, also in the same vein, Atwan notes that pressure from Saudi Arabia and the United States have already resulted in Al-Jazeera completely stopping its coverage of Saudi Arabia and developments there, particularly in the area of activism for democracy, and freedoms, and constitutional monarchy.

Taken together, Atwan says these developments and proposals represent the imminent end of the "honeymoon of the semi-independent Arab media". For instance, under this new regime, the Maliki government will be able to request having any Arab satellite station closed down if it doesn't, for instance, start describing national resistance to the American occupation as "terrorism" and curtail coverage of the national-resistance point of view. Similarly, the Saudi and Egyptian governments would be able to shut down any channels that broadcast any of the statements of Bin Laden or Zawahiri, for example. More broadly, the thrust of this is to return Arab media to "the age of ignorance", where news means praise for the regime, celebration of its exploits, and gratitude for the various benevolent regime projects and solicitude for the well-being of the people. (Atwan says a major recent impetus in this direction was the elation in some Arab circles over the busting of the Gaza-Egypt wall. Egyptian regime-anxiety over this is reflected in a recent round of newspaper-essays criticing those events from an Egypt-sovereignty point of view).

(Of course there are many differences, but American media policy seems to be in some ways the model for where Arab media policy is headed. The proposed criminalization which could extend to news-reporting of AlQaeda statements and other jihadi points of view seems to echo something that has already happened in America; and certainly the conflation of national-resistance with "terrorism" is something that the American media has already well and truly accomplished, and in a much more thoroughgoing way than the Arab world is yet capable of, because in American media there isn't even such a thing as bona fide national-resistance to the Israeli occupation, not to mention the American occupation of Iraq. And of course the "age of ignorance" reference can hardly fail to remind us more generally of the fog of bland stupidity put out by our own regime-friendly media)."

ابو الغيط وتصريحاته الكاريكاتورية

ابو الغيط وتصريحاته الكاريكاتورية

A Great Editorial!
عبد الباري عطوان

"لم نصدق انفسنا ونحن نتابع تصريحات السيد احمد ابو الغيط وزير خارجية مصر التي هدد فيها بكسر رجل أي فلسطيني يجتاح الحدود المصرية، ووصف فيها صواريخ المقاومة بانها مضحكة و كاريكاتورية .
مصدر الغرابة لا ينحصر فقط بالموقف السياسي الذي اراد الوزير المصري التعبير عنه، وانما اللغة الفظة التي استخدمها، والتي لا تليق بشخص مثله يحتل موقعا مثل موقعه.
فالسيد ابو الغيط يترأس اكاديمية دبلوماسية عريقة لها تقاليد راسخة، وكانت وما زالت، رائدة في محيطها العربي، تخرج منها مئات بل آلاف الدبلوماسيين والسفراء ووزراء الخارجية العظام تفتخر بهم، وقدراتهم، الأمة العربية بأسرها، مثل اسماعيل فهمي ومراد غالب وعمرو موسي ومحمود رياض ومحمد ابراهيم كامل وعبد الرحمن عزام.
فالتهديد بتكسير ارجل واطراف اناس جائعين محاصرين، اجبرتهم الظروف القاهرة علي الاستجارة بشقيقتهم الكبري، لغة لا علاقة لها بالدبلوماسية ولا الموروثات المصرية الاسلامية والقبطية علي حد سواء. فديننا الحنيف، وقرآننا الكريم حث المسلمين علي حماية كفار مكة اذا ما استجاروا بهم وعدم ايذائهم، واكرام وفادتهم. ولا نعتقد ان اهل غزة الذين يقاومون الاحتلال الاسرائيلي، ويدافعون عن شرف الأمة والعقيدة، يجب ان يعاملوا من قبل اشقائهم بالصورة التي عوملوا بها من قبل الحكومة المصرية، واعلامها الرسمي.
جياع غزة لم يتدفقوا الي الحدود المصطنعة هذه، التي لم تكن موجودة اصلا قبل الاحتلال الاسرائيلي، من اجل النهب والسلب وتهديد الامن القومي المصري، وانتهاك السيادة المصرية، وانما لشراء الخبز وعلب الحليب لاطفالهم، ولذلك يجب ان لا يهدد وزير خارجية مصري بكسر ارجلهم، لان مثل هذه التهديدات يستحقها اللصوص والمهربون وحاشا لله ان يكونوا كذلك.

يبدو ان معلومات السيد ابو الغيط الجغرافية، والسياسية، بل والديموغرافية، ضعيفة جدا، وليسمح لنا بتذكيره بأمرين اساسيين، الاول ان قطاع غزة ظل ولأكثر من ربع قرن خاضعا للادارة العسكرية المصرية حتي احتلاله عام 1967، ويحمل ابناؤه وثائق سفر تصدرها وزارة الخارجية المصرية التي يرأسها، وكذلك السفارات التابعة لها في مختلف انحاء العالم. اما الامر الثاني والاساسي، فهو انه لم تكن هناك اي حدود او حواجز بين الاراضي المصرية في سيناء وقطاع غزة، وكان المواطن الفلسطيني يركب دابته ويجوب سيناء بأسرها دون تصريح او اذن، ولا يحتاج لمثل هذا التصريح الا اذا كان يريد الذهاب الي القاهرة، اي عبور قناة السويس. وكانت نقطة العبور الاساسية والرسمية في مدينة القنطرة.
الظروف تغيرت، لان النظام المصري تغير، واصبح اكثر حرصا علي صداقته مع اسرائيل، التي قتلت اطفاله في بحر البقر ودمرت مدن القناة واحتلت سيناء وسرقت نفطها وآثارها، من حرصه علي اشقائه المحرومين المحتلين المهانين في قطاع غزة.
وليت هذا التفاني في ارضاء اسرائيل يقابل بالتقدير والعرفان بالجميل من المسؤولين فيها، بل يقابل بما هو مغاير لذلك تماما، فقد قررت الحكومة الاسرائيلية مكافأة النظام المصري بإقامة سور حدودي علي طول حدودها معه البالغة 250 كيلومترا دون اي مشاورات مسبقة، ومن طرف واحد، كما رفضت طلبا مصريا رسميا بتعديل اتفاقات كامب ديفيد بما يسمح بارسال 750 شرطيا مصريا اضافيا الي الحدود مع غزة لاحكام اغلاقها، وتدمير انفاق التهريب تحتها، وبما يلبي المطالب الاسرائيلية في هذا الخصوص.
النظام المصري، وعلي مدي الثلاثين عاما الماضية، اصابنا، واعلامه الرسمي، بالصداع، وهو يتحدث عن تحرير سيناء من خلال اتفاقات كامب ديفيد هذه، واستعادة السيادة المصرية كاملة عليها، فأين هذه السيادة التي لا تسمح بارسال هذا العدد المتواضع من قوات الامن، بسلاحهم الخفيف الي الحدود مع قطاع شقيق، كان خاضعا للسيادة المصرية نفسها، ونسبة كبيرة من ابنائه من اصول مصرية، او من امهات مصريات؟

لا نجادل في حق السيد ابو الغيط في التقليل من اهمية الصواريخ الفلسطينية وفعاليتها، ولكن ان يسخر من هذه الصواريخ ويصفها بالكاريكاتورية والمضحكة، فهذا امر معيب في كل القواميس السياسية والدبلوماسية والاخلاقية، لان مثل هذه السخرية لا تليق برجل ينتمي الي بلد حارب الاستعمار البريطاني بالعصي والبنادق البدائية حتي حرر بلاده.. بلد خاض اربع حروب من اجل قضية عربية اسلامية عادلة، وقدم الآلاف، بل عشرات، الآلاف من الشهداء، ومثل هذه الالفاظ والتوصيفات تشكل اهانة لدماء هؤلاء الزكية والطاهرة.
فاذا كانت هذه الصواريخ مضحكة وتسقط في الصحراء، فهذا لا يعيب مطلقيها، وانما الحكومات العربية، ومنها المصرية خاصة، التي تخلت عن دعم هؤلاء بالصواريخ الحديثة والفاعلة وغير المضحكة. فالمضحك المبكي في رأينا، هو موقف الدول العربية المتخاذل تجاه شعب شقيق يتعرض للجوع والحصار والموت اليومي، وقوافل الشهداء اليومية في قطاع غزة والضفة الغربية من جراء الغارات الاسرائيلية المتواصلة.
الحكومات العربية لم تعرض علي الفلسطينيين المدافعين عن الاقصي وكنيسة القيامة صواريخ كروز و توماهوك ، و سكود ورفضوها وفضلوا التمسك بهذه الصواريخ البدائية التي يصنعونها بسبب الحاجة التي هي ام الاختراع، الحكومات العربية اكتفت، وعلي مدي السنوات الثلاثين الماضية بتزويد الفلسطينيين بمبادرات السلام والمشاركة في الحصارات الخانقة ضدهم بطريقة مباشرة او غير مباشرة. وسمعنا الرئيس حسني مبارك يتباهي بان قواته دمرت اكثر من سبعين نفقا علي حدود قطاع غزة لمنع تهريب الاسلحة للفلسطينيين.

لا يوجد فلسطيني علي وجه الخليقة الا ويكن لمصر وشعبها كل التقدير والاحترام، ويعترف بجميلها في الوقوف الي جانبه في جهاده لاستعادة ارضه ومقدساته، ولا يوجد فلسطيني في الوقت نفسه الا ويستغرب هذه الحملة المسعورة التي يتعرض لها شعب محاصر من قبل المسؤولين وبعض وسائل الاعلام المصري الرسمي، حملة تعتمد التزوير، والتلفيق، والفبركة والترويج لاكاذيب رخيصة لتكريه الشعب المصري باشقائه، ولمصلحة اسرائيل.
ندرك جيدا انها حملة يائسة من قبل اعلام نظام مأزوم ، يعيش حالة من الارتباك غير مسبوقة، بعد ان قزّم دور مصر، وفقد الكثير من هيبته واحترامه في الداخل والخارج، لدرجة انه بات يخشي علي امنه القومي من بضعة آلاف من الجياع المسالمين وهو الذي استقبل مساعدات عسكرية امريكية تصل الي اربعين مليار دولار لتعزيز قواته المسلحة، ليس من اجل حماية مصر وسيادتها وانما لحماية اسرائيل."

Hamas: We hoped that Arabs would break the siege not the legs of the besieged

"GAZA, CAIRO, (PIC)-- Hamas said that it was hoped that the Arabs would "break the siege rather than breaking legs of the besieged", in response to comments made by the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmad abu al-Ghait, who threatened to break the legs of Palestinians if they tried to cross the border again.

Mushir al-Masri, secretary of the Hamas parliamentary block, told PIC correspondent that he hopes that these comments do not represent an official Egyptian stand and added that the movement is in constant communication with the Egyptian brothers.

He expressed his astonishment at the statement of Abu al-Ghait saying that such comments do not reflect the mood of the Egyptian street.

Masri said that the solution is to open the Rafah crossing as a first step towards breaking the siege.

Masri also stressed that the relationship with Egypt is more deep rooted than to be influenced by such statements.

Abu al-Ghait was critical of the Palestinian resistance for continuing with an asymmetric confrontation and thus causing heavy losses on the Palestinian side, to which Masri replied that never in history has a people under occupation possessed similar resources as the occupier, but that did not stop people fighting for their freedom."

Waterboarders for God

As George W. Bush reminded the National Prayer Breakfast to treat all God's creatures as "precious," his subordinates around Washington defended the use of waterboarding on terror suspects. The juxtaposition stunned former CIA analyst Ray McGovern

By Ray McGovern

"After one spends 45 years in Washington, high farce does not normally throw one off balance. But I found the events of Thursday to be an acid test of my equilibrium......"

Al-Jazeera Interview: Seymour Hersh

By Sarah Brown

"Seymour Hersh, one of the world's best known investigative journalists, has turned his attention to the mysterious and controversial bombing of a Syrian facility by Israel last year.

In a new article for the New Yorker magazine, the Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, best known for his work exposing the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the horrific mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, says evidence indicates the bombing was a warning to Syria and its allies, including Iran.

Al Jazeera spoke to him about the bombing, why he feels the media failed on the story, and what it means for the Middle East......

....Syria of course compounded the problem by being hapless and feckless in response. It took them, I think, until October 1, almost four weeks after the incident before the president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, acknowledged it had actually been bombed.....

...So what happened is: A raid takes place, they announced rather quickly there was an intrusion by the Israelis, they initially say after a couple of days that munitions were bombed, then the foreign minister says in Turkey four or five days after the incident that nothing was bombed however, bombs fell but nothing was hit.

Then, three weeks later, the president says: "Oh, well actually a building was destroyed". You can't programme something that inept and that's a reality. They just weren't very good.....

Q: Was the raid's purpose to act as a potential deterrent to Iran?

A: Of course that was the idea for the US, to let the Iranians know that despite the national intelligence estimate "We're ready to ... we have a proxy and the Israelis will go bang for us if we need.".....

....And also it was seen as a message to Bashar Assad, the president of Syria, who the Israelis believe has become cocky after the Hezbollah war because he was a big supporter of Hassan Nasrallah [Hezbollah leader] – he is Assad's big buddy.

The Israelis thought that they could take him down a peg, and also the message to Bashar Assad is: "So, what's Iran doing for you now, buddy? We go and pop you in the head and is Iran doing anything?".....

[On Israel] it's very hard, you know in America there's just no questioning. The American Jewish influence is enormous. There's a lot of money.

I just wish many American Jews would read the Israeli papers - particularly Haaretz - more carefully and they would see there's really a vibrant criticism of the Israeli government ... and you just don't see that today.

I'm Jewish and I'm not anti-Semitic and I'm not anti-Israel - [Israelis] understand that, just as by the way a lot of Americans don't understand that many of the leadership of Hamas and others....."

The Values of the "Civilized" West: More Than a Million Iraqis Slaughtered, Two Countries Totally Devastated and the Prize Winning Photo is of.......

Image of U.S. soldier wins World Press Photo prize

"AMSTERDAM, Feb 8 (Reuters) - An image of an emotionally and physically spent U.S. soldier in a bunker in Afghanistan by Britain's Tim Hetherington for Vanity Fair magazine won the top World Press Photo prize for news photography on Friday.

Judges described the photo as an image that shows "the exhaustion of a man -- and the exhaustion of a nation," adding people everywhere were tiring of the world's numerous conflicts.

"We're all connected to this. It's a picture of a man at the end of a line," said jury chairman Gary Knight, describing it as an "intelligent photograph".

"It represents the exhaustion I have and you may also have with the numerous conflicts in the world."......."


My heart bleeds for the "exhausted soldier." I wonder how many Afghanis had he killed to be so exhausted.

The Misinformation Trash of Abbas, The Traitor

Breach 'let jihadis flood into Gaza'

"THE Palestinian Authority claims the two-week breach of the border between southern Gaza and Egypt last month allowed up to 2000 global jihadi militants to infiltrate the restive strip to take up the fight against Israel.

Security sources in the West Bank say the men, many of whom battled coalition forces in Iraq, brought with them weapons and explosives to add to an already formidable arsenal controlled by Hamas....."


This traitor is worse than the Mossad, and should be dealt with accordingly.

For the record

By Imad Khadduri

"Juan Cole wrote on February 8, 2008:

"Iraqi scientist Saad Tawfiq, the closest thing the CIA had to a horse's mouth, warned the US before the war that Saddam had closed all of his WMD programs by 1995. He was blown off and ignored. It may be that the CIA analysts most willing to listen to him were marginalized and even fired by the pro-war faction around VP Dick Cheney.

Other Iraqi scientists, such as Imad Khadduri, also tried to tell the world that Iraq had no nuclear weapons program. I cited this article at my blog before the war in Feb. 2003 at a time when the corporate media were parroting Bush's fantastic and false allegations.

Someone should do a study of how many times the corporate media brought Khidir Hamza, a Chalabi plant, on evening news programs in 2002 and early 2003, and look into exactly who kept booking him and who kept pushing him on the producers and why Tawfiq's and Khadduri's stories were buried. Hamza was a computer scientist who had something to do with the nuclear program for like six months in 1989 and had no way of knowing anything later than that, but he got all our media face time. The US media system is corrupt, and it is harming and sometimes even killing us

For the record, and to elucidate and correct Cole's comments, I have written and posted the following concerning the above.

On Hamza:

''Saddam's bombmaker' is full of lies'' November 27, 2002

''Khidhir Hamza: The bogus intelligence source'' September 29, 2003

On the "intelligence" of the the American Intelligence and the US corporate media system:

But, but .. "It's just a -- it's unnatural" July 04, 2005

The "we did not know" lie January 03, 2006

An Arabic saying: “the rope of lying is short but enough to hang oneself""

"حماس": نتمنى عربياً كسر الحصار وليس كسر أقدام المحاصَرين

بعد تهديد أبو الغيط بكسر أقدام من يكسر الحدود

"غزة/ القاهرة ـ المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام

دعت حركة المقاومة الإسلامية "حماس" إلى "كسر الحصار وليس كسر أقدام المحاصَرين"، في الرد على وزير الخارجية المصري، أحمد أبو الغيط، الذي هدّد بكسر أرجل الفلسطينيين إذا فكّروا باجتياز الحدود المشتركة، والذي هاجم المقاومة بشدة.

وقال مشير المصري، أمين سر كتلة "حماس" في المجلس التشريعي الفلسطيني، في تصريح خاص لمراسل "المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام"؛ "بالتأكيد نحن نأمل أن لا تكون هذه التصريحات تعبِّر عن الموقف المصري، ونعتقد أنّ قنوات الاتصال بالإخوة المصريين معروفة ونحن على اتصال دائم معهم".

وأضاف المصري "كنّا نتمنى عربياً كسر الحصار وليس كسر أقدام المحاصرين"، مشدداً على أنّ "هذه التصريحات المستهجنة لا تعبر عن نبض الشارع المصري".

وشدّد القيادي البرلماني الفلسطيني على أنّ "الحل ليس في مواجهة الشعب؛ وإنما بحلّ الأزمة بقرار مصري وعربي مسؤول وجريء؛ بفتح معبر رفح كخطوة على طريق فك الحصار".

وأكد النائب مشير المصري أنّ العلاقة مع مصر هي "علاقة التاريخ والجغرافيا والدم والعقيدة، ولن تتأثر بإذن الله بموقف هنا أو تصريح هناك؛ من منطلق أنّ القضية الفلسطينية هي قضية كل الأمة، وأننا نرى الإخوة في مصر جزءاًَ من مشروع القضية والدفاع عن حقوق شعبنا، وليسوا طرفاً أو حتى على الحياد؛ لذلك لا يمكن أن يساووا بين الضحية والجلاد أو يعفوا الاحتلال من مسؤوليته عن الجرائم التي يقترفها".

وشدّد النائب المصري على أنّ "الأدرى بإدارة المعركة في الصراع من هم في الميدان وليس من هم في موقع المتفرج، ونحن نقول لمن يدين صواريخ المقاومة ويصفها بالكرتونية: أعطونا ما لديكم من صواريخ لنستخدمها في مواجهة الاحتلال".

وقال القيادي الفلسطيني إنّ "الحديث عن موازين القوة بين الحين والآخر لا معنى له ولا قيمة كذلك له، فشعبنا ككل الشعوب التي كانت تحت الاحتلال يخوض مواجهة ومقاومة من أجل أن يتخلص من هذا الاحتلال، وهو يراكم الإنجازات"، مشدداً على أنّ "شعبنا مارس مقاومة آتت أكلها وحققت أهدافاً كبيرة".

وأوضح النائب مشير المصري أنّ هذه المقاومة "ضربت منظومة الأمن الصهيوني، وضربت العمق وقهرت أسطورة الجيش الذي لا يقهر، وأحدثت توازناً في الرعب بين الآلة الصهيونية وبين وسائل المقاومة المصنّعة محلياً، حتى بات العدو يحسب لها ألف حساب، لذلك بات يفكر ألف مرة في اجتياح كامل لقطاع غزة". وتابع قائلاً إنّ جيش الاحتلال "حسب حساب المقاومة الفلسطينية رغم أنه لم يكن أي حساب لدول وجيوش كاملة. وشدّد المصري على أنّ "هذا التوازن في الرعب تحقق على الرغم من عدم التوازن في أدوات الصراع؛ شأننا في ذلك شأن كل الشعوب التي خاضت مقاومة ونضالاً من أجل الحرية، مع الأخذ بعين الاعتبار بأنّ وضع شعبنا أصعب لأنه لا توجد دولة مجاورة تنحاز لهذا الخيار المقاوم.

وكان أحمد أبو الغيط، وزير الخارجية المصري، شنّ هجوماً عنيفاً على المقاومة الفلسطينية والمواطنين الفلسطينيين في قطاع وكذلك على حركة "حماس"، محذراً من أنّ "من سيقدم على كسر الحدود (بين مصر وقطاع غزة) ستُكسر قدمه".

وعلى الرغم من إعلان الاحتلال الصهيوني أنّ عملية "ديمونا" الاستشهادية أسفرت عن مقتل عالمة نووية صهيونية وإصابة زوجها العالم النووي أيضاً بجراح خطيرة، وإقرار عدد من المسؤولين الصهاينة بأنّ المقاومة الفلسطينية باتت تقوِّض أحلام المشروع الصهيوني برمّته؛ اعتبر أبو الغيط أنّ مواجهة حركة "حماس" مع الاحتلال "كاريكاتورية ومضحكة"، وهو ما أثار استياء واسعاً في الشارع المصري.

ولم يتطرّق أبو الغيط إلى تسعة شهداء ارتقوا في غارات صهيونية في قطاع غزة بعد يومين من مجزرة خلّفت تسعة شهداء آخرين، سبعة منهم من أفراد الشرطة الفلسطينية استُشهدوا وهم يؤدّون صلاة العصر.

وشدّد أبو الغيط على أنّ "مصر لن تسمح باقتحام حدودها ثانية"، وقال في تصريحات للتلفزيون المصري "من سيكسر خط الحدود المصرية، ستُكسر قدمه، وأضاف أنّ "الوضع الراهن في غزة تتحمّل مسؤوليته "إسرائيل" لأنها ردّت على إطلاق الصواريخ الفلسطينية بعقاب جماعي، وهو أمر مخالف للقانون الدولي"، لكنه انتقد في الوقت نفسه استمرار إطلاق هذه الصواريخ، دون الإشارة إلى أنها انطلقت بالأساس للرد على مجازر الاحتلال.

وزعم أبو الغيط أنّ "حماس قرّرت عقب سيطرتها على القطاع الاشتباك مع "إسرائيل"، لكنّ هذا الاشتباك يبدو كاريكاتورياً ومضحكاً، لأنّ الاشتباك مع خصم في معركة يعني أن تلحق به ضرراً، لكن لا تشتبك لكي تتلقى أنت الأضرار. هم اليوم يطلقون الصواريخ، فإما أن تعود (الصواريخ) مرة أخرى لتقتل أبناء فلسطين أو تُفقَد في الرمال داخل "إسرائيل"، فتعطي الفرصة لضرب الفلسطينيين"، على حد ما ذهب إليه.

وحذّر معلقون مصريون تعقيباً على تلك التصريحات من أنّ أبو الغيط بهذا الموقف والحديث عن الربح والخسارة كأنه يتنكر للتضحيات التي دفعها الشعب المصري خلال حرب الاستنزاف مع قوات الاحتلال، التي كانت تغير على المدن المصرية وتقتل وتدمر قبل أن ينتهي ذلك بإجبار تلك القوات على الانسحاب والتراجع."

Here Come the Brownshirts, Again

Does the Republican Party Have Aces Up Its Sleeves?


"The Brownshirt Party has chosen John "hundred year war" McCain as its presidential candidate. Except for Cheney, Norman Podhoretz, and Billy Kristol, McCain is America's greatest warmonger.

In a McCain Regime, Cheney will be back in office with another stint as Secretary of War. Norman "Bomb-bomb-bomb-Iran" Podhoretz will be Undersecretary for Nuclear War with General John "Nuke them" Shalikashvili as his deputy. Rudy Giuliani will be the Minister of Interior in charge of Halliburton's detention centers into which will be herded all critics of war and the police state. Billy kristol will be chief White House spokesliar.

The whole gang will be back--Wolfowitz, Perle, Wurmster, Feith, Libby, Bolton. America will have a second chance to bomb the world into submission......

On the other hand maybe the Brownshirts have a plan.

What could the plan be?

They can steal the election with the Diebold electronic voting machines and proprietary software that no one is allowed to check....

Or what about a well-timed orchestrated "terrorist attack" to drive fearful Americans to the war candidate. False flag events are stock-in-trade. Hitler used the Reichstag fire to turn German democracy into a dictatorship overnight.....

The neocons control most of the print and TV media, and the right-wing radio talk hosts are no friends of Democrats. As Americans have fallen for every other fraud perpetrated upon them, they are likely to be suckers as well for "investigations" or rumors of investigations of the Democratic candidate. Hillary is widely disliked and easy to distrust. Obama is a new face with which voters have little experience. He is partly black and has a funny name......"

How governments handle the news

Governments are looking for new ways to suppress news they don't like

The Economist

"PREDICTABILITY is a trait that few would ascribe to the Middle East, yet Arab interior ministers have gathered quietly, every winter for the past 25 years, to talk about how better to secure the regimes they serve. At this year's summit, in Tunis, the security chiefs agreed to toughen rules on publishing, recording or distributing material that might promote terrorism. A worthy goal, surely, except that the region's authorities have a habit of defining as crimes the kind of things their critics would deem legitimate dissent.....

With satellite dishes proliferating even in remote villages across the Middle East, television has proved harder to control by such means. Governments have instead put pressure on the states that host stations. A recent rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, for instance, has produced a marked toning down of news about the kingdom on al-Jazeera, which is based in Qatar. The mooted new rules on incitement to terrorism may have been partly intended to stop the channel, still by far the most popular across the region, from broadcasting statements by Islamist militants. But the last time al-Jazeera aired a video from al-Qaeda's fugitive leader, Osama bin Laden, Islamist radicals fumed that the footage was so heavily edited that it completely distorted the message. "

Shame on The Gate Keepers For Zion: Bahraini MP: Egypt is barring us from leaving the Gaza Strip

"Gaza, (PIC)-- Sheikh Naser al-Fadalah, Head of the Committee for Supporting Palestinian people in the Bahraini parliament, expressed astonishment at the Egyptian step of barring him and the delegation visiting the Gaza Strip from leaving the Strip.

Al-Fadalah told the PIC correspondent on Thursday that the Egyptian security stationed at the Rafah crossing stopped him and the rest of the Bahraini delegation from crossing the border into Egypt through which they traveled to Gaza to bring in humanitarian aid and to see the situation for themselves. He also said that the delegation have been trying to cross the border for the past three days and that the Bahraini Foreign Ministry and the PA government and the PLC in Gaza were exerting intensive efforts to facilitate the crossing of the delegation.

Al-Fdalah also said that on Thursday they waited for six hours at the crossing, during which they made contacts with Egyptian officials who told them they don't have orders to allow them to cross, and that they were only allowing Egyptians who went into the Gaza Strip to leave it. He also said that they were in contact with the Bahraini Foreign Ministry which contacted the Egyptian authorities to allow the delegation out of the Gaza Strip after they have ended their humanitarian mission but so far all efforts have failed.

He said if he and the rest of the delegation were having this problem despite their diplomatic immunity, then one can imagine how it is for Palestinians of Gaza; students waiting to join their universities, patients waiting to be allowed out to seek medical treatment abroad and employees who are working abroad and who cannot return to their jobs.

He called upon Arab leaders to shoulder their responsibilities towards the Palestinians and to support their steadfastness. At the same time he praised the steadfastness of the people of Gaza despite all the hardships caused by the Zio-American siege imposed on the Strip."

PRC: Israeli Settlers Should Evacuate Sderot


"08/02/2008 The Popular Resistance Committees called on the Israeli settlers residents in the southern occupied territories to evacuate their families from the line of fire on Friday afternoon. In all at least 22 Qassam rockets have been launched towards the occupied territories from northern Gaza on Friday. Abu Mujihad, a spokesman for the Salah al-Din Brigades (the military wing of the PRC) claimed responsibility for the barrages and said the attacks were in retaliation for the killing of one of the organization's senior commanders, Abu al-Sa'ad.

A senior PRC official, Abu Abir, warned the attacks would only increase and urged the evacuation of Sderot and its neighboring communities. "What was up until now is nothing compared to what will be. We call on them (the Israelis) to evacuate for their safety and the safety of their children," he said.

Two of the rockets launched on Friday landed in Netiv Haasara and damaged several greenhouses. Another rocket landed in Ashkelon's industrial zone. The rest landed in open areas in the western Negev and north of Sderot. No injuries were reported in any of the attacks."

"Saudi-Israeli Coop. Through Welch's People in Lebanon


"08/02/2008 The former chief of the (Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire DST, France's internal security service) and one of the most prominent experts in security and counter-espionage in France Yves Bonnet said that there are three states that are seeking to set foot in Lebanon, The United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Bonnet was speaking to the Al-Intiqad weekly. He added that these three countries have common interests stressing "deep Saudi-Israeli cooperation in Lebanon through "David Welch's people, namely the head of the Progressive Socialist Party MP Walid Jumblat, Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea, Future Movement chief MP Saad Hariri and the head of the unconstitutional government Fouad Saniora."
The security expert said the US wants Lebanon to be its ground to pressure Syria and Hezbollah. Bonnet warned of sheer divisions in Lebanon which resulted in weakness within the Christian society. He accused the United States of obstructing every effort to form a national unity government in the country, "because divisions in Lebanon serve Israel's interests in the first place." Yves Bonnet underlined an American will to set military foot in Lebanon through the north of the country, "and this is why the incident of Nahr el-Bared and the Fatah al-Islam problem took place."

On assassinations in Lebanon, Bonnet ruled out Syrian hands in any of them, "because they know very well that they are under the microscope." He commented on the latest murder case of Internal Security Forces Major Wissam Eid saying that his assassination was carried out by people close to him and work in his milieu. "It is not important to know who pushed the button; what's important to know is who's directing the killer," Bonnet said adding that the purpose of such assassinations is to keep the crisis going with all its complications.

Bonnet tackled the Memorandum of Understanding between Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement saying that MP General Aoun has worked through this understanding to avert civil war. He added that Aoun is working hard to preserve the existence of the Christians through the understanding. "Hezbollah is a strong support that reassures the Christians and their important role in Lebanon and the Middle East."

The former French security officer described Paris' policy in Lebanon since the last days of former President Jacques Chirac in the Elysee as "pitiful". "Chirac did not differentiate between his pocket and France's interests whereas President Nicholas Sarkozy is close to the Americans and his Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has his own beliefs which rule his conduct," Bonnet said adding that Kouchner was among the very few in France who backed the US invasion of Iraq."

A War Criminal Defending Another: Blair 'shocked' by Dichter fears of arrest in U.K.

"Tony Blair, the Quartet's envoy to the Middle East, expressed surprise on Friday when Public Security Minister Avi Dichter told him he feared he would be arrested should he travel to the United Kingdom.

Dichter canceled a trip to Britain in December over concerns he would be arrested due to his involvement in the decision to assassinate the head of Hamas' military wing in July 2002.

Sources close to Dichter said that Blair, who resigned in June from the British premiership, told the Israeli minister during a meeting in Jerusalem that he was "shocked" to hear those concerns, and called them "utter nonsense."

The sources also said Blair told Dichter that he was under the impression that the matter had been settled while he was still prime minister.

Dichter's concerns pertain to the 2002 bombing of Salah Shehade's house in Gaza, which killed fifteen people, among them his wife and three children. At the time, Dichter was head of the Shin Bet security service. He is the first minister to have to deal with a possible arrest.

The public security minister planned to visit Britain in December, but the Foreign Ministry wrote him that it did not recommend he do so because of a high probability that an extreme leftist organization there would file a complaint, which might lead to an arrest warrant. The ministry also wrote that because Dichter was not an official guest of the British government, he did not have immunity from arrest......"

Using the Internet as a weapon

A Very Interesting Explanation

Commentary: Internet interruption in the Middle East looks fishy

"BERKELEY, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- Nobody knows what caused the cut cables in the Mediterranean that interrupted Internet service to parts of the Middle East last week, but there are now conspiracy theories galore written by bloggers and pundits.....

This concept seems a little farfetched until you look at the details which were provided to me by one of my readers, Martin Kuplens-Ewart who has been following the story from the outset. He notes: "there is a substantial event that has effectively been killed by the loss of connectivity: the launch of the Iranian Oil Bourse.

"A marketplace for oil, gas, and various petrochemicals, the Iranian Oil Bourse would trade exclusively in non-dollars and probably substantial negative impact to the U.S. economy and financial system. The bourse was scheduled for launch this week (between Feb. 1 and 11. With complete elimination of Internet connectivity to the country, this launch is now impossible and unlikely to be achievable before month's end (given the estimate 10-14 days for repairs to fiber-optic cables).".....

In most instances Internet connectivity can be rerouted, and much of the Middle East has already done this. But what makes this situation unique is that the bourse was being established on Kish Island, a free-trade zone set up by the Iranians in hopes of creating a cool tourist destination......

There doesn't seem to be an alternate Internet connection to the island other than the cut cables. I attempted to email the three top hotels on the island and all the email bounced. I was also unable to make a telephone call there indicating a large telecommunications failure. The Web sites for the hotels are likely to be hosted off the island and are still working.

This sort of telecom and Internet failure/collapse, no matter what the cause, is unlikely to give anyone confidence in an international oil trading system on Kish Island. Too much money is at risk. The island obviously needs satellite access or some form of connectivity back up that is foolproof.

There has always been talk about disrupting commerce by screwing up the Internet. We've just seen a proof of concept, whether done on purpose or by accident......"

Al-Jazeera Cartoon: Fighting Terrorism??

(Remember that in Arabic you read right to left)

The Cable-Cutter Mystery

Spies, lies, and "conspiracy theories" – what's behind the Middle East internet outage

By Justin Raimondo

".....Given the context in which these cable cuts are occurring – heightened tensions in the region, and not only with Iran – I think it is probable that they are deliberate, and that the diversion of internet traffic for purposes of eavesdropping is clearly the intent. After all, ask yourself this question: which is more plausible, an "accidental" cutting of four cables in one week in an area of the world which is the current focus of US military and diplomatic efforts, or the scenario outlined by Prof. Bellovin?

None of this is at all surprising. The US government currently claims the right to spy on Americans, in their own country, as well as when they're in communication with overseas individuals. They don't hide this, but proclaim it from the rooftops: does anyone doubt they are capable of commandeering the world's internet cable network in order to utilize it for their own purposes? You don't have to quaff the "conspiracy theorist" Kool-Aid to find this credible: a dose of realism will do."

Geopolitical Rebirth

By Pablo Ouziel

"Solidarity flourishes the more adverse our external reality gets. Somehow during hardship, as humans we have an innate intuition which draws us closer to each other. Sure, it seems unreal in a time of such consequential conflict in the global society we are constructing, to be talking about fraternal unity. After all, what we are witnessing are the repercussions of a divided world between the rich and the poor and the East and the West. Despite all this, the truth remains that if we observe closely enough there is right now a structural battle being fought which will determine the future of the next generations and our own.

Yes, it is true that there are unjust wars being fought on our behalf without our true consent or educated knowledge; the suffering of innocent people in Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan and many others which receive far less media attention, will sit on our consciousness for generations......"

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Manufacturing Consent to Attack Iran: Syria upgrades missiles thanks to Iranian support

"Syria has successfully developed a new surface-to-surface missile that would enable it to target with greater accuracy Israeli installations - such as airports, ports and factories - according briefings recently presented to senior ministers.

According to the information, Syria developed the new missile with Iranian support, which is further indication of the tight strategic bonds between the two countries. Much of these strategic ties revolve around military and intelligence cooperation.

sraeli defense circles estimate that Damascus and Tehran shared technical know-how that has allowed Syria to upgrade the Iranian-made Zelzal surface-to-surface missile......"

U.S. heading to war in Iran, says former inspector

".....Scott Ritter, UN weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998, and Edward Peck, onetime chief of mission in Baghdad and former ambassador to Mauritania, spoke recently at a forum sponsored by Cleveland Peace Action Now and Trinity Cathedral. Before the event, this reporter and a journalist from The Plain Dealer talked to Ritter and Peck.....

There is an 80% chance of war with Iran, probably in March or April, insisted the impassioned Ritter, who was last in Iran in September 2005. A second window of opportunity for an air assault opens in October or November, he added.....

The current U.S. military buildup will peak this spring, and Ritter told the CJN that America would begin a 30-day limited, but massive, air strike against Iran. Neither Congress nor the corporate-controlled media will check the president’s power, Ritter maintained.

Iran will retaliate with missiles launched at Israel, Ritter predicted. The Islamist state will also shut down oil production by blocking the route out of the Persian Gulf through the Straits of Hormuz. And Iran will unleash Shia Muslims in southern Iraq to target American forces there, Ritter asserted.

Now we have a major conflict. We’re caught in a spiral of events out of our control. After 30 days, the military will be putting Marines in Hormuz, soldiers in Iran. Israel, especially, stands to lose.”......"

تحالف عربي لارهاب الاعلام

An Important Editorial (Arabic)

تحالف عربي لارهاب الاعلام

عبد الباري عطوان

"يبدو ان شهر عسل الاعلام العربي شبه المستقل في طريقه للانتهاء بسرعة قياسية، والشيء نفسه يقال عن الهامش المحدود للحريات في المحطات الفضائية العربية، فوزراء الاعلام العرب باتوا ينسقون بطريقة يحسدون عليها، لوأد هذه الحريات، واعادة الاعلام العربي الي العصور الجاهلية، اي اعلام اشاد و استقبل و ودع ، وتخصيص نشرات الاخبار بكاملها لمكارم الحاكم، وانجازاته العظيمة، ومشاريع الخير التي يفتتحها في سهره علي راحة المواطنين.
ما يدفعنا الي ابداء هذه النظرة التشاؤمية ثلاث وقائع اساسية ظهرت ارهاصاتها بشكل واضح في الاسابيع القليلة الماضية، نرصدها فيما يلي:
اولا: تبني وزراء الداخلية العرب في اجتماعهم الذي اختتم اعماله في العاصمة التونسية في الاسبوع الماضي ما اسموه بادخال تعديلات علي استراتيجية مواجهة الارهاب، تجرّم اي ترويج له او تحريض عليه من قبل اشخاص او وسائل اعلام، وكذلك امتلاك مواد او اشرطة لجماعات ارهابية.
ثانيا: نشرت صحيفة المصري اليوم المستقلة في عددها بالامس نبأ قالت فيه ان السيد انس الفقي وزير الاعلام المصري ونظيره السعودي الدكتور اياد مدني اتفقا علي تقديم مشروع بادخال تعديلات علي القوانين المنظمة لعمل الفضائيات العربية اثناء اجتماع وزراء الاعلام العرب المزمع عقده في القاهرة الاسبوع المقبل، بحيث تتضمن نصا يلزم الدولة مانحة الترخيص، بإنذار المحطة الفضائية، والغاء ترخيصها نهائيا، اذا تجاوزت الضوابط والمحاذير السياسية في برامجها الحوارية السياسية.
ثالثا: الضغوط التي مورست من قبل الحكومة السعودية، والولايات المتحدة الامريكية علي ادارة قناة الجزيرة الفضائية التي احدثت ثورة في الاعلام العربي بجرأتها، وهي الضغوط التي ادت الي توقف القناة القطرية كليا عن تناول الشأن السعودي وتطوراته، خاصة علي صعيد مطالبة النشطاء بالديمقراطية، والحريات، والملكية الدستورية.

اللافت ان هذه الحملة التي تهدف الي تكميم الاعلام العربي، تأتي من قبل الدولتين المسيطرتين كليا علي هذا الاعلام، عبر المال او النفوذ، اي مصر والمملكة العربية السعودية، وساعدت الطفرة المالية الهائلة، الناجمة عن الارتفاع الكبير في اسعار النفط، الدولة الثانية، اي السعودية، لإحكام سيطرتها بشكل اكبر علي وسائل الاعلام العربية، والمشرقية علي وجه الخصوص.
المملكة العربية السعودية تمــــلك اكبر امــــــبراطورية اعلامية، مرئية ومكتوبة ومسموعة في المنطقة، وتمتد اذرع نفوذها الي وسائل اعلامية في لبنان واوروبا ودول الخليج، وتسيطر بطريقة شبه كاملة علي المـــناطق الاعلامية الحرة في الوطن العربي خاصة في دبي، في دولة الامارات العربية المتحدة.
التهديد للاعلام العربي شبه المستقل، والباحث عن المهنية والموضوعية في حدودهما الدنيا، يتكون من شقين اساسيين، فإما التجريم تحت تهمة الارهاب والتحريض عليه وفق قرارات وتعديلات وزراء الداخلية العرب، او المصادرة والاغلاق وسحب التراخيص وفقا للتعديلات التي يريد ادخالها وزراء الاعلام العرب.
فحكومة السيد نوري المالكي في العراق الجديد تستطيع ان تطالب باغلاق اي محطة فضائية عربية بمقتـــــضي استراتيجية وزراء الداخلية العرب المعتمدة بالاجماع، اذا رفضت وصف المقاومة العراقية للاحتلال الامريكي بالارهاب، واستمرت في استضافة قياداتها او المتعاطفين معها في قنواتها الفضائية.
وتستطيع الحكومة السعودية، او المصرية، وفق المبدأ نفسه، اصدار امر قضائي بالقبض علي اي معلق سياسي او مدير محطة فضائية يعرض شريطا للشيخ اسامة بن لادن زعيم تنظيم القاعدة او نائبه الدكتور ايمن الظواهري في محطته، بتهمة الترويج للارهاب، ونشر او اذاعة مواد ارهابية ممنوعة تهدد امن الدولة.
سبب هذه الهجمة هو حالة الصحوة المحدودة التي سادت بعض اوساط الرأي العام العربي اثر الحصار التجويعي الفاجر من قبل اسرائيل لقطاع غزة، والتأييد العربي الشعبي العارم لحادث اقتحام الحدود المصرية مع قطاع غزة، وتدمير السور الفاصل بين الجانبين.
وما يعزز هذا التفسير، الحملة الاعلامية الرسمية المصرية المبالغ فيها التي نراها هذه الايام في الصحف ومحطات التلفزة، وتعمل علي تحريض الشعب المصري ضد اشقائه الفلسطينيين في هجوم مضاد يركز علي سيادة مصر، ومدي ثراء الجياع في قطاع غزة، وكتابة المقالات المطولة عن قوائم مشترياتهم في محاولة مدروسة للعب علي تواضع احوال المواطن المصري المادية.

الذين يكتبون هذه المقالات في الصحف المصرية ويتحدثون عن سيادة بلادهم المهدورة من قبل ابناء قطاع غزة الجياع، لا يقولون كلمة واحدة عن فشل هذه السيادة وحكام القاهرة، في زيادة عدد الجنود المصريين بمقدار الضعفين، اي ارسال 750 جنديا اضافيا لحماية الحدود من الاجتياح مرة اخري بسبب الفيتو الاسرائيلي.
الحكومات العربية، والسعودية والمصرية من بينها علي وجه الخصوص، تريد اعادة الرأي العام العربي الي مرحلة الموات السابقة التي سادت قبل الطفرة الفضائية، ولعب الاعلام الرسمي فيها دورا بطوليا، اي مشاهدة برامج سياسية ليست لها علاقة بالواقع، وتعكس وجهة نظر خبراء اجهزة المخابرات وحكامهم.
والاخطر من ذلك ان الدولتين من خلال بعض الممولين التابعين لهما هما الاكثر استثمارا في محطات الترفيه واللهو التي تتناسخ وتتكاثر بشكل مرعب هذه الايام، ويعتقد الكثيرون انها تهدف الي افساد النشء الجديد، وحرفه عن القضايا الاساسية والجوهرية، التي تؤثر علي مستقبله مثل البطالة والفساد وانتهاك حقوق الانسان والحريات باشكالها كافة.
انه ارهاب يتعرض له الاعلام العربي هذه الايام يهدد بالحيلولة دون تطوير مجتمعاتنا العربية، ولحاقها بركب الامم المتحضرة، ويكرس الاستسلام لمخططات الهيمنة والتبعية الامريكية الحالية، وربما الاسرائيلية مستقبلا. ارهاب سيعرقل وصول الحريات الديمقراطية الي المنطقة الوحيدة في العالم التي لم تصل اليها، وما زالت تحكم من قبل انظمة دكتاتورية شمولية.
ندرك جيدا اننا مستهدفون مثل القلة القليلة من امثالنا الذين فضلوا التغريد خارج السرب، وانحازوا الي المواطن ومصالحه، ولكن ندرك ايضا ان من واجب كل الاعلاميين الشرفاء الحريصين علي مهنتهم، وتقدم مجتمعاتهم وأمتهم ان يرفعوا صوتهم في وجه هذا الارهاب الزاحف، الذي لا يقل خطرا عن الارهاب المسلح، ان لم يكن يفوقه، لان الزمن الذي كان يذهب فيه المواطن العربي الي اذاعة الـ بي بي سي لمعرفة اخبار بلده من المفروض ان يكون ولّي الي غير رجعة."

10 members of EU Parliament managed to visit Gaza on February 5

"During a press conference conducted by ten members of the European Parliament from different political groups, led by Luisa Morgantini, Vice-President of the EU parliament, the members stated that they broke the siege and travelled into the Gaza strip on February 5, 2008.

The ten EU MP’s stated that this blockade is an illegal act of collective punishment against the civilian population in the Gaza Strip, and stresses on the urgency of lifting it.

The delegates visited Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza and expressed deep concern over the extreme difficulties under which the hospital is operating as patients who suffer from cancer and other serious illnesses cannot receive the needed treatment as the siege emptied the hospital and medical centers from medical supplies.

They also stated that there are 30 premature babies who are now in incubators but are facing the risk of death if the generators stop due to the lack of fuel resulting from the siege imposed by Israel.

Moreover, the delegation met with several businessmen in Gaza who said that they cannot carry out their commercial activities as the Israeli siege resulted in increasing unemployment rates among the residents to 80%.

The visiting members of the EU parliament said in a press conference, broadcasted by several major Arab stations, that they are impressed by the steadfastness of the Palestinian people, called on all factions to achieve unity, and stressed on the importance of unity between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

They also called for opening the Rafah Border Crossing between Gaza and Egypt and called for free movement of people and goods......

On February 4, the MP’s visited the southern west Bank city of Hebron and described it as a “Ghost Town”, as the residents are under ongoing violations by the soldiers and settlers. They added that Hebron is occupied by hundreds of Israeli soldiers who are guarding 400 fanatic settlers."

تقرير: عباس يقدم لولده الملايين والاستثمارات.. والزهار يقدم أنجاله للشهادة

Contributed by Fatima

"في الوقت الذي كان فيه الدكتور محمود الزهار القيادي البارز في حركة "حماس" يقدم نجله الثاني حسام شهيداً في مواجهة قوات الاحتلال التي حاولت اجتياح الأجزاء الشرقية من غزة، كان رئيس السلطة محمود عباس منشغلاً في إنجاز صفقة مع سلطات الاحتلال الصهيوني لإنشاء شركة اتصالات جديدة يحظى نجله طارق بمساهمة كبيرة فيها.
هذا ما كشفت عنه القناة العبرية الأولى وأكده الموقع الالكتروني الإخباري لقناة العربية الفضائية، ليعكس أمام الجمهور الفلسطيني والعربي الفارق الشاسع بين قيادة تدفع أبناءها لتقدم الصفوف في مواجهة الاحتلال، وقيادة أخرى استغلت مناصبها لصالح أبنائها الذي يعيشون في الدول الغربية وتقام لهم الشركات.
القناة العبرية الرسمية بثت خبر إقامة شركة اتصالات جديدة فلسطينية تحمل اسم "لئوميت" (الوطنية) لتنافس شركة "جوال"، وهو الخبر الذي تابعته فيما بعد شبكة قناة "العربية" الالكترونية.
القناة العبرية الأولى تكشف .. وفضائية تتابع
وقالت القناة العبرية إن رأس مال الشركة يقدر بالملايين وإن المساهمين هم من الكويت وقطر إلى جانب طارق نجل رئيس السلطة محمود عباس، وأضافت أن البنية التحتية لهذه الشركة تم تجهيزها بانتظار الحصول على الموجات اللازمة التي تتطلب موافقة عدة جهات إسرائيلية.

Israel's Palestinian Hire-A-Cop Protecting Israel

Israel's Palestinian Hire-A-Cop

PA: We foiled 2 attacks on Israel

"The Palestinian Authority foiled two terror attacks on Israel in recent days, a senior Palestinian security official told Ynet Thursday evening. According to the official, PA security forces in Ramallah uncovered an Islamic Jihad car bomb meant to explode inside Israel.

In an unrelated development, PA security forces detained a Fatah operative who was planning to carry out a suicide bombing in Israel on behalf of the al-Aqsa Brigades, the official said.

The Palestinian security official refused to reveal the intended targets of the would-be bombings. He added that the Palestinian Authority relayed the information regarding the foiled attacks to Israeli authorities.

The Palestinian source added that in both cases the PA detained the suspects and that the investigation into the planned attacks continues. Turning his attention to IDF raids in Ramallah in recent days, the official refused to say whether they were related to the two thwarted attacks.....

Tuesday night, IDF troops raided a Ramallah refugee camp, searched homes, and arrested some suspects.

"The Israelis told us to stay in our headquarters and refrain from coming out because they are engaged in security operations," the Palestinian source said. "They did not say whether this activity was related to the planned attacks we uncovered."

Meanwhile, a senior figure in the al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad's military wing, denied in a talk with Ynet that a car bomb beloning to his organization was seized by the PA.

"No car of ours was seized in Ramallah," he said. "PA security apparatuses are apparently trying to curry favor with Israel." The Jihad member stressed that his comments did not mean that the group is not working to carry out attacks within Israel.

"Israel's crimes deserve a response, and it will come in the right time and place for us," he said."

The Brave Palestinian Agents of the IOF: Palestinian "security" forces attack a Palestinian family in Bethlehem

A child from Al Masa'dah family showing the rounds fired at their home – Photo IMEMC' Ghassan Bannoura

"Around 50 Palestinian security officers attacked a family house located in the Aida refugee camp in the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem on Thursday afternoon.

Eyewitnesses told IMEMC that Palestinian troops entered the camp in the late afternoon, officers then tried to remove Hamas flags which were put by a family on their roof tops.

Um Ramizi, a family members and who was attacked by the security troops told IMEMC that her son is going out from the Israeli jail tonight and therefor the family who is known for being Hamas supporters decorated their house with Hamas flags and Palestinian flags.

Um Ramizi added that when Palestinian forces started to shoot at her house and the house next to it she tried to stop them but instead they beat her up.

When Mohamed Al Masa'dah, her son came to help his mom they attacked him too and tried to arrest him, "they attacked me like animals, I was trying to help my mom, they called all the women who came to help me bad names."

The Palestinian security forces left after removing the Hamas flags, they told the family that the Hamas flags are illegal."

Big Media and The New World Order

The Murdoch Empire

by Stephen Lendman

Global Research, February 7, 2008

"......Orwell also knew a thing or two about truth and said telling it is a "revolutionary act in times of universal deceit. " Much else he said applies to the man this article addresses and the state of today's media. He was at his allegorical best in "Animal Farm" where power overwhelms freedom, and "All animals are equal but some....are more equal than others." And he observed in "Nineteen Eighty-Four" that "Those who control the present control the future (and) Those who control the future control the past."

Today's media barons control the world as opinion makers. Like in Orwell's world, they're our national thought control police gatekeepers sanitizing news so only the cleansed residue portion gets through with everything people want most left out - the full truth all the time. They manipulate our minds and beliefs, program our thoughts, divert our attention, and effectively destroy the free marketplace of ideas essential to a healthy democracy they won't tolerate.

None more ruthlessly than Murdoch and the info-entertainment empire he controls......"

Qatar PM sues Kuwaiti paper which criticized his ties to Israel

"Qatar's prime minister has sued a Kuwaiti daily and one of its columnists for damaging his reputation because of a series of editorials criticizing his policy of opening ties with Israel, his lawyer said Thursday.

Sheik Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, who is also Qatar's foreign minister, has led his tiny natural gas-rich nation's policy of developing contacts with Israel and is believed to be behind the tiny emirate's policy of carving out a prominent foreign role for itself.

The columns by writer Fouad al-Hashem in the independent Kuwaiti daily al-Watan criticize Sheik Hamad for his ties to Israel, including claims he is financing the development of an Israeli diabetes drug. Qatar is home to Israel's only diplomatic mission in the Gulf, a trade mission. In January 2007, then Israeli deputy prime minister Shimon Peres visited Qatar and met with its ruler.

Al-Hashem said the female anchor's welcome for Peres on Qatar's al-Jazeera satellite news channel was so effusive that one would have thought he was her long-lost husband stranded on an island before a helicopter owned by Sheik Hamad rescued him......."

Finally....Some Learning: Hamas adopts Hizbullah tactics

"Palestinians implement Lebanon war lessons: IDF troops operating in northern Gaza Strip Thursday uncover remote-controlled rocket launching positions concealed underground; new tactic enables terrorists to evade IDF counterattacks

Hamas adopts Hizbullah's modus operandi: IDF Forces who operated early Thursday in the northern Gaza Strip uncovered, for the first time, two rocket launchers concealed in underground firing positions.

The new method is considered a sophisticated tactic aimed at enabling terror groups to fire at Israel while evading IDF counterattacks immediately following the launching of rockets. The two launching positions were uncovered at the outskirts of the Gaza town of Jabalya.

Forces from the elite Egoz unit who operated in the area discovered pits in the ground used to conceal Qassam launchers. IDF officials estimate that terror cells fired the rockets by utilizing remote-controlled devices. By the time the army pinpointed the launch locations, the terrorists were long gone......"

Potholes Bigger Than Ever for Palestinians

Justice Unlikely in Near Future


"......The most important of these powerful forces in the U.S. arises from a critical element in the U.S.-Israeli relationship that one can see in Washington almost every day. This critical element is the competition that has grown stronger and stronger between the Republicans and the Democrats over which party can demonstrate the greater support for Israel. The competition, which overrides everything else in the U.S. affecting Palestine, will not just be important from now until the presidential election in November. It will last well beyond that and will still be important in future elections through 2012 and beyond. The Republicans are trying to replace the Democrats as the party receiving the most support from Jewish-Americans, and Democrats are trying to prevent that from happening. The battle may continue for years, and, to repeat, it underlies everything affecting Palestine.

Next, we need to broaden the discussion beyond just this competition between the two major U.S. political parties. All the policies of the U.S. in the Middle East and Central Asia are interrelated. Everyone here today knows this. But under the George W. Bush administration, the U.S. side of the uniquely close Israeli-U.S. partnership either concentrates on, or fails to concentrate on, Palestinian affairs depending in part on how involved the U.S. is at any moment in other parts of the region such as Iraq or Iran. The 80 or 90 percent of the U.S. electorate that is generally apathetic to all international affairs is even more willing to ignore anything that is happening in Palestine when the corporate-controlled and Israel-lobby-dominated U.S. media is devoting its limited international attentions to, say, Iran. At such times, the inclination of U.S. governments is to let the Israeli government, supported particularly by those U.S. officials most friendly to Israel, do practically anything it wants to the Palestinians, as long as Israel does it without making too much noise about it.

Anyone who is realistic simply must recognize that the situation of the Palestinians, and the future outlook for them, is bleak today, and for the next five years, and possibly even for an unknown length of time beyond that......"

Tony Blair: the occupation must end and peace efforts should be doubled

"The Quartet Envoy to the Middle East, Tony Blair, visited the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Thursday, during his visit Blair stated that the Israeli occupation must end and peace efforts should be doubled......"

Pharaoh Ehud Mubarak's Minister: Whoever breaks border will have his legs broken

"The Egyptian foreign ministry on Thursday warned Palestinians against attempts to breach the Gaza Strip border, saying, "whoever breaks the border line will have his foot broken."

Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in comments carried by
the state-run Middle East News Agency (MENA) on Thursday that Egyptian efforts were continuing with Israel and the European Union to re-open the Rafah border crossing "in a legal way."

Aboul Gheit blasted Hamas for recent fighting with Israel that it called "cartoonish and comical"......"


Is the Pharaoh's foreign minister Yitzhak Aboul Gheit?

Thanks to Emanuel for reminding us of an earlier threat to break Palestinian bones. That threat was made by Yitzhak Rabin during the Palestinian first Intifada. In the words of Amira Hass
, "For Palestinians, Yitzhak Rabin is remembered first of all as someone who instructed soldiers to break their arms and legs, when they began their popular uprising against the Israeli occupation in 1987."

Yitzhak Rabin was a pioneer, now Ehud Mubarak and Yitzhak Aboul Gheit are following his footsteps.