Saturday, March 14, 2009

Al-Jazeera Video: Gaza - The Blockade - 13 March 09 - Part 1

Part 1:

Part 2:

"In this week's show we look at how the Israeli blockade continues to hinder life in Gaza.

We have an interview with George Galloway and feature a new campaign by an Israeli anti-blockade group.

Plus we follow one fishermen as he tries to provide food for his family. "

Real News Video: Dangerous decisions in Afghanistan Pt. 3

Ahmad: US desperate in Afghanistan, needs deal with Russia - which makes China nervous

Video: Israeli Apartheid Week

By Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein speaks on Israeli Apartheid Week from NOW Magazine on Vimeo.

"Naomi Klein first marched against the South African Apartheid when she was just a student at the University of Toronto. Almost 20 years later the activist and international best selling author of No Logo and the Shock Doctrine joins a new student-led protest against racial segregation. Klein kicked off Israeli Apartheid Week Monday, March 3 at Ryerson University. Lectures, films and other actions will be taking place in more than 40 cities around the world to campaign for equal rights for Palestinian people in Gaza."

Gaza fishing industry reeling

Report, The Electronic Intifada, 13 March 2009

"GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IRIN) - A combination of damage to fishing resources caused by the Israeli offensive, and a restriction on the zone in which Gazans are allowed to fish is reducing catches and adversely affecting people's diets in Gaza, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In January 2009 the Israeli authorities reduced the area in which fishermen can fish from six to three nautical miles from Gaza's coastline.

In Rafah (southern Gaza) fishing has almost completely stopped due to the damage inflicted on fishing gear and boats during the 22-days of attacks that ended on 18 January........"


"No People can leave behind a wall.
Break the siege. Free Palestina. This is an urgent issue.

This video shows International Volunteers acting to defend Palestinian's human rights, that are inalienable for any human being.

This video shows THE SUCCESS OF INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY : 9th Mar 2009 - A convoy of 110 Aid vehicles entered Gaza, breakining the Siege ....for one day.

By defending Palestinian's human rights, they defend ours as well.
Thank you volunteers.
Let's support them as we can.

A special thank to everyone has partecipated with images, music, pictures to this no profit video."

السيد حسن نصر الله - 13/03/2009 - خطاب السيد حسن نصر الله في مناسبة المولد النبوي الشريف واسبوع الوحدة 13-3-2009

السيد حسن نصر الله - 13/03/2009 - خطاب السيد حسن نصر الله في مناسبة المولد النبوي الشريف واسبوع الوحدة 13-3-2009

Video of Sayyed Nasrallah's Speech, March 13
(1 hour, 10 minutes)

Ex-Cal tree-sitter hurt in West Bank protest

San Francisco Chronicle

"An Oakland man who was among the tree-sitters who fought to save a grove of oaks and redwoods next to UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium was critically wounded Friday in the West Bank by an Israeli-fired tear-gas canister, officials and acquaintances said.

Tristan Anderson, 38, was injured during a protest over the separation barrier that Israel erected between it and the West Bank. An Israeli soldier fired the canister during a clash with protesters and hit Anderson in the head, said Ulrika Jenson of Sweden, an activist with the International Solidarity Movement.

Jenson, who saw the incident, said in a statement released by the group that "the Israeli soldiers were standing on the hill looking over us, firing tear-gas canisters straight into the crowd."........"

The West should feel shame over its collusion with torturers

I want to know why those complicit in Almalki’s ordeal are not tried in court

By Robert Fisk

COMMENT: You need to read this to have a better understanding of the despicable Syrian regime and its relations with the Imperial West.

(left) Abdullah Almalki

".....Snooped on by the Canadian secret service and then tortured in Syria while the Canadian authorities did nothing for him – save supplying his perverted torturers with questions – he had much to think about. A carbon copy of Binyam Mohamed, the British resident who had his penis cut up while the Brits sent questions to his perverted Moroccan torturers.

In Abdullah Almalki's case, he wasn't renditioned. He simply flew into Damascus to see his Syrian family, got banged up in the city's secret police headquarters and was then beaten into submission, not much different from an even more famous case – that of Maher Arar, who was a Canadian citizen and got renditioned to Damascus by the Americans while the US authorities sent questions to his perverted Syrian torturers......

For months, he was held in a secret service hellhole in Damascus and whipped with steel while the Syrians acted upon a Canadian letter to them (dated 4 October 2001) which stated that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were suggesting that Mr Almalki was linked through association with al-Qa'ida and engaged in activities that posed an "imminent threat" to the public safety and security of Canada......

No, I don't think Canada as a nation is to blame for all this. But the West is. For it is our public servants in government and our secret service thugs who have been in league with all these perverted men around the world. Indeed, even when Almalki was freed from his Syrian prison, Canadian embassy officials in Damascus would not allow him to stay in their building and ordered him out when the embassy closed at 4pm. One of them reportedly later told Almalki that Canada regularly gave passports to the families of leading Syrian officials. Can this be true?.....

I do know that the Syrians quite recently complained mightily to the Americans as well as the Canadians. First, the West sent its prisoners to be tortured in Damascus – and then complained that Syria abused human rights! Quite so......

But I want to know why those complicit in Almalki's torture – the letter writers, the composers of questions – cannot be tried in court. They are, at the least, accomplices to human rights abuses. So are the Brits who went to question tortured men in Guantanamo. Even more so are the American perverts who indulged in their own torture in Afghanistan and Iraq – and yes, I have noted that our dear President Obama is allowing the illegal detention of prisoners at Bagram in Afghanistan to continue. But what else would you expect from a man whose secretary of state, Lady Hillary, far from going to the Palestinians whose homes were going to be destroyed by the Israelis in Jerusalem and denouncing this outrage, said merely that the home demolitions were "unhelpful".....

But there are an awful lot of men in Western governments who should be in the dock. They won't be, of course. And oh yes – just in case you missed it – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has just admitted that Canadian troops in Afghanistan are not going to win a military victory there. Just think. All that torture – for nothing."

عزمي بشارة يكتب: التفكير الأميركي الجديد ومراجعة نهج التسوية

A Great Piece

By Azmi Bishara (Arabic)

"كنا رأينا أن تسلسل الأحداث من العدوان على لبنان وحتى العدوان على غزة والانطباع الذي خلفته في النفوس، وعزلة قوى التسوية شعبيا، تصلح كلها أساسا لمراجعة نهج التسوية، ولمحاصرته عربيا.

ولكن طبعا لا مفر من التساؤل عن جاهزية القوى المعارضة للتسوية لاقتناص الفرصة التاريخية لمراجعة التسوية، وعدم الخضوع بسرعة لمحاولات الاحتواء الجارية، إذ يبدو أن أميركا وحلفاءها في الغرب والشرق يتعرضون لنفس توارد الأفكار، ولكن على شكل هواجس أو مخاوف من ضياع إرث التسوية، وتشهد المنطقة هجمة أميركية غربية دبلوماسية منذ مؤتمر شرم الشيخ لإعادة الإعمار وحتى اليوم.

كانت الإدارة الأميركية السابقة قد وصلت إلى استنتاج مفاده أن قيادة السلطة الفلسطينية وحدها عاجزة عن الولوج إلى صفقة حل دائم مع إسرائيل بشروط الأخيرة وعن ضبط الساحة الفلسطينية في الوقت ذاته.

ولذلك "شجعت" الدول العربية التابعة لها على أخذ دور أكثر فاعلية وأكثر صرامة في دعم عملية التفاوض الجارية وتقوية الأجهزة الأمنية الفلسطينية، وفي مناهضة ومحاصرة نهج المقاومة فلسطينيا وإقليميا. وكان لها ذلك في أنابوليس وغيرها. لكنها لم تأخذ مصالح الدول التابعة لها بعين الاعتبار
أما النظام في مصر فكان لحظة التحول في السياسة الأميركية متورطا في معركة معاكسة. وتتلخص هذه في إقناع الولايات المتحدة والغرب أنه لا شيء ممكن على المسار الفلسطيني الإسرائيلي دون دوره، وبقي متورطا في هذه المعركة خاصة إزاء الواقع الجغرافي الذي يفرض هذا النظام على قطاع غزة.

وما زال هذا النظام يرى في استيعاب الغرب لهذه الحقيقة مصدر قوة له في الاصطفاف الإقليمي. وقد وصل ذروة تورطه في محاصرة غزة، وأثناء الحرب الأخيرة عليها
وقد استغل الواقع الجغرافي لتحقيق أكبر التفاف رسمي عربي ودولي ممكن حول الدور المصري.. كما استغل تبعات الحرب في فرض الحوار على مضض وبوصاية تشمل إلقاء المحاضرات في القيادات الفلسطينية عن واجباتها وعن مصلحة الشعب الفلسطيني، فيما يعرف الجميع ما يشعر به الجميع وهم يستمعون إلى هذه المحاضرات المبثوثة تلفزيونيا. المسافة من التهديد بتكسير أرجل لمن يخرق الحصار وحتى وعظ الفلسطينيين عن مصلحتهم الوطنية هي مسافة بعيدة جدا.
وترى الإدارة الجديدة أن السلطة الفلسطينية أثبتت نفسها في ضبط الأمن في الضفة خلال الحرب على غزة. كما ترى إسرائيل ذلك وتعتبره أولَّ حصاد جدي لأوسلو، وإثباتا لإدعاءاتها السابقة حول عدم جدية عرفات في مسألة التنسيق الأمني.

لقد تغيرت طبيعة القيادة الفلسطينية منذ اغتيال عرفات، وتغيرت طبيعة وعقيدة الأجهزة، وطبيعة التنسيق بعد أن توقفت إسرائيل عن أن تكون عدوا وأصبحت شريكا فعليا. هذه سلطة تستحق الدعم برأي الولايات المتحدة وإسرائيل. ولكن الدعم المقصود لا يرقى إلى تلبية مطالب الشعب الفلسطيني، بل يقتصر على الدعم المالي والأمني، وهو ما يسمى " بناء القدرة والكفاءة".
يعدد كيري أربعة أسباب للأمل، وذلك رغم انتخاب نتنياهو، ورغم الحروب. وسوف نرى أنه لا يأمل فعلا بحل بل هو متفائل بإمكانية التوصل إلى "خارطة طريق" جديدة:

1- لقد أدى صعود إيران إلى "استعداد غير مسبوق لدى الدول العربية المعتدلة للتعاون مع إسرائيل".. وسوف يؤدي ذلك برأيه إلى إرساء أساسٍ متينٍ للمضي نحو السلام.. أي أن التعاون الاستراتيجي الإسرائيلي العربي يسبق السلام. هنا طبعا يُسْأَل السؤالُ: ما حاجة إسرائيل إلى حلول مع من بات يتعاون معها إستراتيجيا ضد أعداء مشتركين؟

2- يؤكد كيري على مبادرة السلام العربية.. فوجودها يشكل أساسا لبناء خارطة طريق إقليمية جديدة.. وتتضمن هذه الخارطة: "أن تلعب الدول العربية المعتدلة دورا أكثر نشاطا في صنع السلام".

3- يقول كيري، مثل كل ناشط متوسط في حزب العمل الإسرائيلي، وكما قال أولمرت نفسه في المقابلة الوداعية الشهيرة لصحيفة "يديعوت أحرونوت" ( 13 أكتوبر/تشرين الأول 2008) بعد نزع الثقة عن حكومته في الكنيست: إن الخطوط العريضة للحل الدائم باتت واضحة. ويكمن التحدي برأيه في كيفية الوصول إلى هناك. وبرأيه يجب بناء "قوة وكفاءة" السلطة الفلسطينية في المجالين الاقتصادي والأمني بموازاة لأية مفاوضات تقود إلى الحل الدائم.

من الملفت هنا أن كيري يؤكد أن خطوط الحل الدائم باتت واضحة ولكنه لا يجرؤ على التعريف بها صراحة، والأهم أنه يجعل الطريق إليها هو الأساس. عدنا إلى: العملية كل شيء الهدف لا شيء، والحياة مفاوضات
لقد وصلنا إلى انقلاب كامل في الموقف العربي. كان الموقف العربي القومي يقضي بأن فصل القضية الفلسطينية عن عمقها العربي هو تآمر لتصفيتها. ووقع فصل القضية عن بعدها القومي في كامب ديفيد ثم في أوسلو، وتم التسليم به.

ولكن القيادة الفلسطينية فشلت داخليا وخارجيا في التوصل إلى حل مع إسرائيل. وعاد الاستنتاج فجأة بضرورة العودة إلى البعد الإقليمي ليس بسبب البعد القومي العربي، بل لأن الأخير لم يعد يشكل تهديدا
ويضيف كيري في محاضرته حرفيا: إن "الدول العربية المعتدلة تتعاون اليوم مع إسرائيل بأشكال لم يكن ممكن تخيلها قبل سنوات معدودة
هنا وفي إطار التنسيق مع دول الاعتدال وشرح واجباتها لها، تُدّسُّ فجأة في المحاضرة ملاحظة مقصودة ضد قطر. يقول كيري: "لا يمكن لقطر أن تكون حليفة للولايات المتحدة يوم الاثنين، وأن تدعم حماس بالمال يوم الثلاثاء"!!
المطلوب هو دعم السلطة اقتصاديا وأمنيا. وهذا يبدأ بمنع حماس من الاستفادة من إعادة بناء غزة لتجنب ما حصل مع حزب الله في لبنان. فالأخير استفاد من الحرب ومن إعادة الإعمار في الوقت ذاته
ربما يصلح الإطار المطروح أعلاه بما في ذلك تصويره عبر استعراض محاضرة كيري نقديا في فهم الهجمة الأميركية الحالية على المنطقة، وفي فهم بعض التحركات العربية التصالحية الطابع. ولا بد من العودة للتساؤل المطروح في بداية المقال عن إستراتيجية القوى المؤيدة لمراجعة نهج التسوية برمته، فحتى فترة قصيرة كان الظرف مؤات تحديدا لها، وليس لقوى التسوية

Friday, March 13, 2009

CIA report: Israel will fall in 20 years

A study conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has cast doubt over Israel's survival beyond the next 20 years.

The CIA report predicts "an inexorable movement away from a two-state to a one-state solution, as the most viable model based on democratic principles of full equality that sheds the looming specter of colonial Apartheid while allowing for the return of the 1947/1948 and 1967 refugees. The latter being the precondition for sustainable peace in the region."

American badly hurt in clash with Israeli military

American badly hurt in clash with Israeli military

In this image made from TV paramedics carry an injured American man who wasAP – In this image made from TV paramedics carry an injured American man who was severely wounded in a clash …

JERUSALEM – An American demonstrator was critically wounded Friday in a clash between protesters and Israeli troops over Israel's West Bank separation barrier.

Peace activists with the International Solidarity Movement said Tristan Anderson, of the Oakland, Calif., area, was struck in the head with a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops. The military and the Tel Aviv hospital where Anderson was taken had no details on how he was hurt.

"He's in critical condition, anesthetized and on a ventilator and undergoing imaging tests," said Orly Levi, a spokeswoman at the Tel Hashomer hospital. She described Anderson's condition as "life-threatening."

The protest took place in the West Bank town of Naalin, where Palestinians and international backers frequently gather to demonstrate against the barrier. Israel says the barrier is necessary to keep Palestinian attackers from infiltrating into Israel. But Palestinians view it as a thinly veiled land grab because it juts into the West Bankat multiple points.

The military says the area where the protests take place is a closed military zone off-limits to demonstrations.

تعثر الحوار الفلسطيني

A Good Editorial (Arabic, From Al-Quds Al-'Arabi)

تعثر الحوار الفلسطيني

رأي القدس

الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس يريد من حركة 'حماس' والفصائل الاخرى المتحالفة معها، الاعتراف مسبقا باسرائيل وحقها في الوجود، والالتزام بحل الدولتين وخريطة الطريق، وكـل الاتفاقات التي وقعتها السلطة مع اسرائيل، بما في ذلك اتفاق اوسلو واسقاط خيار المقاومة المسلحة.
حجة الرئيس عباس تقول ان اي حكومة تتشكل دون الاستناد إلى هذه الشروط لن تحظى باعتراف الولايات المتحدة واسرائيل، وبالتالي ستقاطع كليا من جانبهما، مما يعني العودة الى المربع الاول، اي المرحلة التي تلت فوز 'حماس' باغلبية المقاعد في المجلس التشريعي، وتشكيلها حكومة وحدة وطنية بمشاركة فتح بناء على اتفاق مكة، وهي الحكومة التي رفضت واشنطن الاعتراف بها او التعامل معها.
حركة 'حماس' قالت انها مستعدة للقبول بالصيغة التي جرى التوصل اليها اثناء مؤتمر المصالحة في مكة، وهي الصيغة التي تقول بـ'احترام' الاتفاقات الموقعة، وليس 'الالتزام' بها. ولكن وفد حركة 'فتح' يرفض ذلك لان امريكا واسرائيل لن تقبلا بهذه الصيغة.
من الواضح ان وفد حركة 'فتح' المفاوض في حوارات القاهرة ينقل الشروط الامريكية ـ الاسرائيلية، ويحاول فرضها على المتحاورين من الفصائل الاخرى، وهذا امر يثير الكثير من اللغط ان لم نقل الاستهجان.
حركات المقاومة محقة في موقفها الرافض لمثل هذه الاملاءات الامريكية، وكان الاحرى بالرئيس عباس ان يطالب اسرائيل وامريكا بالالتزام بهذه الاتفاقات مع السلطة وتطبيقها، لا ان يتوجه بضغوطه الى الطرف الفلسطيني الآخر الذي يتمسك بالثوابت الوطنية.
نفهم ان يصر الرئيس عباس على ضرورة التزام شركائه الآخرين في الحوار بالاتفاقات الموقعة وحل الدولتين لو ان مفاوضاته التي استمرت اكثر من خمسة عشر عاما على اساسها قد توصلت الى نتائج مثمرة، ولكن ما حدث هو العكس تماما، اي زيادة الاستيطان، واعادة احتلال الضفة اسرائيليا، وزيادة الحواجز الامنية، ووصول اليمين المتطرف الى السلطة في تل ابيب.
نجاح الحوار الفلسطيني هو في التوصل الى نتائج تخدم المصالح والطموحات الفلسطينية، لا تلبية الشروط الامريكية والاسرائيلية، خاصة ان سلطة رام الله تلبي مثل هذه الشروط كاملة دون ان تنجح في تفكيك مستوطنة واحدة، او حاجز امني من سبعمئة حاجز تقريبا في الضفة الغربية.

'US Conditions for Dialogue Rejected; We'll Never Recognize Israel'


"13/03/2009 Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah declared on Friday that in case Hezbollah wants to engage in a dialogue with the US, it will impose its own conditions. His eminence pointed out that the new US stance or "openness" was due to the failure of its regional plans, announcing that the US conditions for dialogue with Hezbollah were rejected since the Resistance party would never recognize Israel......


Sayyed Nasrallah concluded his speech by tackling the US new stance towards Hezbollah and Hamas. His eminence remarked that the US administration has put conditions for any potential dialogue with the two resistance parties at the top of which are recognizing Israel and abandoning violence.

The Resistance leader made it clear, however, that in case Hezbollah wants to engage in a dialogue with the US, it will impose its own conditions. "But the question is whether Hezbollah is ready to open a dialogue with the US," Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized.

Yet, his eminence deduced that the new US stance or "openness" was due to the failure of its regional plans. "It places us on a terrorist list, but is ready to talk to us and forgive us if we recognize Israel and reject violence," Sayyed Nasrallah explained. "That is, if we reject the Resistance choice, we will see Americans in Dahiyeh."

However, the answer doesn't need a lot of thinking. "As long as we are Hezbollah, we'll never recognize the Zionist entity for all generations to come," Sayyed Nasrallah affirmed. "Thus, US conditions for dialogue with Hezbollah are rejected and we should ask: Is Hezbollah ready for dialogue with the US?""

Building on bold-faced lies

Leaked Israeli settlement expansion plans prove that interminable peace talks are but cover for the material destruction of Palestinian horizons

By Khaled Amayreh in occupied East Jerusalem
Al-Ahram Weekly

".....If implemented, the plan means that existing settlements would more than double, both in the sheer number of apartments and in terms of the settler population. That population now stands at more than half a million in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. However, one major obstacle that could impede the implementation of the plan is the growing dearth of Jewish immigrants from abroad......"

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This brand New Poll asks:

Do you think that the upcoming Arab summit in Doha can end Arab difference?

With about 400 responding so far (it is early), 85% said no.

Real News Video: Don't cut and run, but get out of Iraq now

Bennis: Debt owed to Iraqi people can only be paid after ending occupation- Non-combat troops Pt2

"Paul Jay speaks with Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies about the impact of US presence and departure from Iraq. At some point the Americans are going to leave and Iraqis are going to have a right to determine their own future. But the US owes reparations and more, but this can only be acted on after military occupation is ended."

Erekat: No talks with any Israeli government that does not recognize international legitimacy"

"Dr. Saeb Erekat, head of the Negotiations Department at the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) [Now known as the Palestine Liquidation Organization], stated on Thursday that there will be no talks with any upcoming Israeli government that does not recognize the two-state solution and the international legitimacy [whatever that means]......."

Gaza 2009: De-Osloizing the Palestinian Mind

A Very Good Piece
By Dr. Haidar Eid

"Not only have the whites been guilty of being on the offensive, but by some skilful manoeuvres, they have managed to control the responses of the blacks to the provocation. Not only have they kicked the black, but they have also told him how to react to the kick. For a long time the black has been listening with patience to the advice he has been receiving on how best to respond to the kick. With painful slowness he is now beginning to show signs that it is his right and duty to respond to the kick in the way he sees fit.
- Steve Biko

One of the most important outcomes of the Gaza massacre (2009) has been the unprecedented tremendous outpouring of popular support for the Palestinian cause; something the signatories of the Oslo accords (1993) must have not been happy with. The return of the pre-Oslo slogans of liberation, as opposed to independence, have, undoubtedly, created a new dilemma, not only for Oslo political elites, but also for the NGOized, Stalinist Left.

The process of "Osloization"i.e, a combination of corruption, Ngoization, and a selling-out of revolutionary principles and sloganeering, fused with the fiction of the two-prison solution, has been dealt a heavy blow in the 2006 elections. Judging from statements made, not only by PA officials, but also by the Left, and even the Hamas government, the ultimate goal of the current river of blood has become the establishment of a Palestinian state in any dimension, i.e. the two-state solution. The contradiction between the tremendous international support, the revival of the BDS campaign, the outpouring of demos against Apartheid Israel and its war crimes against the Palestinians of Gaza, and the reiteration, by most political orgs, of the two state mantra is a strong indication of the need for an alternative program that makes the De-Osloization of Palestine its first priority........"

Border Areas Bombed Again

By Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa Al-Omrani

"CAIRO, Mar 12 (IPS) - Almost two months after the war on the Gaza Strip, the border area between the battered coastal enclave and Egypt continues to come under frequent Israeli aerial bombardment. Israeli officials say the strikes target cross-border tunnels used to smuggle weapons to Palestinian resistance factions.....

"Israel is using earth-penetrating munitions against targets in the border zone, explosions from which cause damage on the Egyptian side," said Al- Bulk, a resident of Al-Arish, located some 40 kilometres west of the border. "Since the beginning of Israel's assault on Gaza until now, hundreds of homes in Egyptian Rafah have been damaged as a result of Israeli bombardments.

"There are also suspicions that Israel might be using depleted uranium in some of these munitions, which could have a catastrophic effect on the local environment," added Al-Bulk.....

Inspections of the sensitive border area by U.S. officials have become commonplace since the end of the recent Gaza crisis. "An official delegation from the U.S. embassy comes to inspect the border about once every five days.....

"Most of the tunnels are of a commercial nature," said Al-Bulk. "Some specialise in transporting livestock and poultry and others are equipped with railways to carry heavier goods. But relatively little is known about tunnels allegedly used for arms smuggling."

"Most of the tunnels are used to transport everyday goods such as food and fuel, in order to offset the depravations of the three-year-old siege," agreed Mansour. "If the siege was lifted, and Gazans had access to basic supplies, most smuggling activity would evaporate overnight."

Over the regular Israeli air strikes on the border zone, Mansour questioned the lack of official reaction from Egypt.

"Egypt isn't raising any objections at all to these regular strikes," he said. "This raises questions about the covert relationship between Egypt and Israel - and even suggests the possibility that Egypt is tacitly permitting the strikes." "

Israel Lobby Knocks Out Freeman

By Melvin A. Goodman

"Editor’s Note: The forced withdrawal of former U.S. Ambassador Charles “Chas” Freeman as chairman of the National Intelligence Council, which oversees the intelligence community’s assessment of threats to the United States, marks an important defeat for the Obama administration over how far it can go in pursuing Middle East peace.

Washington’s powerful neoconservative establishment led the successful assault against Freeman because of his past criticism of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, as former senior CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman notes in this guest essay:

Israel is capable of debating sensitive national security issues dealing with a variety of Israeli-Arab issues, but this does not appear to be possible in the United States......."

Durban II: Politicizing Racism

By Ramzy Baroud
Palestine Chronicle

"Many countries are set to participate in the Conference against Racism, scheduled to be held in Geneva, April 20-25. But the highly touted international meet is already marred with disagreement after Israel, the United States and other countries decided not to participate. Although the abstention of four or more countries is immaterial to the proceedings, the US decision in particular was meant to render the conference ‘controversial’, at best.

The US government’s provoking stance is not new, but a repetition of another fiasco which took place in Durban, South Africa in 2001......

But the main “controversial” issue that led to the US representative’s departure from the conference was the criticism by many countries of Israel’s racism against the Palestinians. A majority of countries called for reinstituting UN General Assembly resolution 3379 which in 1975 equated Zionism with racism.

The conference, then, was not meant to only address the issue of Palestine and Israel. However, the strong American resistance to any criticism of the racially motivated practices of the Israeli state – the extreme violence, the land theft, the Wall, the settlements, the protracted military occupation, etc - pushed the issue to center stage.

The Palestinian struggle is not meant to overshadow the struggles of oppressed nations around the world, but it rather compliments the calls for rights, freedom and liberation that continue to echo around the globe. However, the fact that the illegal and violent mass oppression of Palestinians, as practiced openly by the Israeli state continue unabated – and is rather defended and justified by the United States and other European powers - highlights the historical legacy championed by former colonial powers throughout the so-called third world for so many years........"

British MP Galloway in Gaza - Interview

By Motasem Dalloul – Gaza City
Palestine Chronicle

"British lawmaker George Galloway and hundreds of human and civil society activists braved all odds to come to the bombed-out Gaza Strip.

They travelled through two continents and crossed scores to countries to bring hope and much-needed help to the 1.6 million population of the coastal enclave, reeling under a long-running watertight Israeli siege.

Israel's recent three-week war on Gaza killed more than 1,300 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and left its infrastructure in ruins.

The Viva Gaza aid convoy included 12 ambulances and a fire engine and carried aid worth more than 1.4 million dollars, which were all handed over to Hamas-run government. interviewed Galloway, the main organizer who personally donated three cars and 35,000 dollars, a few hours before leaving the Palestinian territory......."

Charles Freeman's Victory

Forced to withdraw, he took the Israel lobby down with him

By Justin Raimondo

"The nixing of Charles "Chas" Freeman from a post as head of the National Intelligence Council is not, as is commonly averred, a victory for the Israel lobby. It is, instead, a Pyrrhic victory – that is, a victory so costly that it really amounts to a defeat for them. Sure, they managed to keep out a trenchant critic of their Israel-centric and grossly distorted view of a proper American foreign policy, and, yes, they managed to smear him and put others on notice that someone with his views is radioactive, as far as a high-level job in the foreign policy establishment is concerned. And yet – and yet ….

They – the Lobby – have now been forced out in the open. "A lobby," says Steve Rosen, the ringleader of the "get Freeman" lynch mob, "is like a night flower: it thrives in the dark and dies in the sun." If so, then the Israel lobby is slated for oblivion, because as frenetically – and pathetically – as they tried to mask the centrality of their involvement, and as much as they tried to make this about other issues (his alleged ties to Saudi Arabia, his supposed views on China), everybody knows it was really all about Israel and Freeman's contemptuous view of the "special relationship" which requires us giving Tel Aviv a blank check, moral as well as monetary. As a foreign policy realist, he thinks we ought to put our own interests first, in the Middle East and elsewhere, not those of a foreign country, no matter how much political clout – and campaign cash – its American fifth column can muster..........

The real fanatics are the Israel-firsters, who have used every subterfuge, no matter how low, to maintain their parasitic grip on the American policymaking process. The really dangerous ideologues are the Likudniks and their American amen corner who willfully distort and deform American policy into a means to empower and succor a militaristic settler colony that is increasingly anti-democratic and aggressive. The Freeman affair has exposed the Israel lobby for precisely what they are: it has flushed them out of the woodwork, and brought them in from the shadows. That in itself is a great victory, one that means much more in the longterm than anyone presently imagines. "

Thursday, March 12, 2009





PS: Ask Qurei, How Much Money Did He Make Selling Cement to Israel to Build the Apartheid Wall? Why Was This Treason Never Investigated by Hamas and the so-called "Palestinian Government"? Some Government!

But Now, We Don't Want to Spoil the Love in the Air; So Sing Along Everyone.....

Haaretz: Everyone Agrees that War in Gaza Was a Failure


"12/03/2009 Israeli daily Haaretz published on Thursday a report saying that all the Israeli officials agree on one point, it doesn’t matter whether the officials were leftists or rightists since they agree on one thing: Gaza war was a failure.

The report says, “The recent war in Gaza was a failure. The bon ton now is to list its flaws. Flip-floppers say its "achievements" were squandered; leftists say the war "should never have started" and rightists will say the war "should have lasted longer." But on this they all agree: It was a blunder.”

“Of course, the war's blunder was just as serious as its predecessors, but because we did more killing than being killed, because we caused more damage than we sustained, there's nothing deemed worthy of investigation.”

The Haaretz report continues, “It was all in vain: no progress made, no goal achieved, nothing. Deterrence wasn't reestablished, arms smuggling into Gaza was not stopped, Hamas was not weakened and abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit was not freed. On these facts we all agree.”......."

Al-Jazeera Video: Jubilation as Egypt ferry owner sentenced - 11 Mar 09

"The owner of a ferry which sank in the Red Sea in 2006 kiling more than a thousand people has been sentenced to seven years in jail.

The ruling by Egypt's appeals court overturned an earlier acquittal of Mamdouh Ismail, which prompted outrage from the victims' families.

Dozens of people who are believed to have been rescued never returned home....."

Real News Video: Pakistan is boiling

Aijaz Ahmad: Pakistan is in complete chaos - Bad Decisions Pt 2

"The recent leadership shifts in Pakistan coupled with wave of terrorist attacks, and the ongoing US Army drone missile from bases inside Pakistan are all reeking havoc on the Pakistani people, "Pakistan is in complete chaos." says Aijaz Ahmad, Senior News Analyst for The Real News Network."

Israel’s war crimes

Calls for investigation into Gaza attacks

by Richard Falk
Le Monde Diplomatique

"Israel blamed its earlier wars on the threat to its security, even that against Lebanon in 1982. However, its assault on Gaza was not justified and there are international calls for an investigation. But is there the political will to make Israel account for its war crimes?......."

Taliban set to burn the Reichstag?

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"The united Pakistani Taliban are helping to prepare a massive spring offensive directed by Mullah Omar against the surging United States-led coalition in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, cynics in Brussels bet that some weaponized arm of Western arrogance doesn't stand a chance against built-for-war mujahideen who have defeated everyone from Alexander the Great onwards....."

Qassem: Financial disengagement from West facilitates conciliation

"NABLUS, (PIC)-- Dr. Abdul Sattar Qassem, professor of political science in Najah University and former PA presidential candidate, has opined that the Palestinians should find other sources of financial assistance if they really wanted a speedy success of national dialog.

Qassem told the PIC in an exclusive interview on Thursday that as long as "we take our salaries from western countries then we will never agree, because those countries put the condition that Palestinian factions should not agree in order to continue channeling funds to the PA".

Funds, he asserted, are the main obstacle before signing any Palestinian-Palestinian agreement.

He said that the Palestinians should look for alternative financial resources to get rid of foreign pressures, which, he added, are rampant in the Palestinian political arena......"

The Neocons Strike Back

By Robert Parry

"The neoconservatives have demonstrated that their power in Washington remains strong as they have succeeded in keeping veteran diplomat Chas Freeman out of a top intelligence job.....

But the neocons and other rightists retain one important bastion of power: the U.S. news media, which can roughly be divided between the right-wing media infrastructure, from print to radio to TV to the Internet, and mainstream journalism, which includes important pro-neocon outlets like the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and The New Republic.

Now, that strength within the national news media is serving as the neocons’ reserve army, launching counterattacks after its front-line troops of the Bush years were routed.

By driving back the appointment of Chas Freeman, the neocons also have made the point that they have no intention of surrendering to the forces of “realism” or letting go their influence over the country’s intelligence analysis."

Character Assassination

By Charles Freeman

Via Palestine Chronicle

"Editor's Note: Charles Freeman, a veteran diplomat slated to become the top U.S. intelligence analyst, withdrew from consideration Tuesday. He released a statement denouncing the Israel Lobby for "character assassination." Here is the text of the statement......

It is apparent that we Americans cannot any longer conduct a serious public discussion or exercise independent judgment about matters of great importance to our country as well as to our allies and friends.

The libels on me and their easily traceable email trails show conclusively that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired, still less to factor in American understanding of trends and events in the Middle East. The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth. The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors......."

The New Iraqi "Democracy" in Action: Iraq shoe thrower jailed for three years

"A Baghdad court today sentenced an Iraqi reporter who hurled his shoes at former US president George Bush to three years in prison.

Muntazer al-Zaidi worked for Al-Baghdadiya television, and earned instant worldwide fame when he threw his shoes at Bush at a news conference in December, calling him a dog.

"This sentence is harsh and is not in harmony with the law, and eventually the defence team will contest this in the appeals court," said Dhiaa al-Saadi, the head of Zaidi's defence team.

Zaidi's sister Ruqaiya burst into tears, shouting "Down with Maliki, the agent of the Americans," referring to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Zaidi's brother, Uday, said the verdict was politically motivated. "

Obama Caves to Israel Lobby

An Important Article

by Ray McGovern

"......Not one to mince words, Freeman spelled out the strange set of affairs surrounding the flip-flop and the implications of what had just happened. Borrowing the pointed warning from George Washington's Farewell Address against developing a "passionate attachment" to the strategic goals of another nation, Freeman made it clear that he was withdrawing his "previous acceptance" of Blair's invitation to chair the NIC because of the character assassination of him orchestrated by the Israel Lobby.

The implications? Freeman was clear:

"The outrageous agitation…will be seen by many to raise serious questions about whether the Obama administration will be able to make its own decisions about the Middle East and related issues...[It casts] doubt on its ability to consider, let alone decide what policies might best serve the United States rather than those of a Lobby intent on enforcing the will and interests of a foreign government…

"The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views…and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those it [the Lobby] favors.".....

On October 5, 2007 I published an article on Israel's deliberate attempt, on June 8, 1967, to sink the USS Liberty in international waters off the Sinai, killing 34 of the Liberty crew and wounding over 170 in the process.
The lead was:

"So Who's Afraid of the Israel Lobby? Virtually everyone: Republican, Democrat – Conservative, Liberal. The fear factor is non-partisan, you might say, and palpable. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee brags that it is the most influential foreign policy lobbying organization on Capitol Hill, and has demonstrated that time and again, and not only on Capitol Hill."

The point? In June 1967, the Israelis learned that they could get away, literally, with murder and still not endanger their influence in Washington. Events of the past weeks demonstrate that they and their Lobby are equally good at character assassination. It is embarrassingly shameful to watch President Obama acquiesce in all of this. "

Egypt to Palestinian Factions: Unity Agreement by Saturday


"12/03/2009 Egypt wants a power-sharing agreement between the various Palestinian factions by Saturday, a participant in the talks in Cairo said on Thursday.

Negotiator Samir Ghosheh, a member of one of the smaller factions, said that he and his colleagues were told by Egypt that they need to produce an agreement by the weekend. An accord is seen as essential for financing reconstruction in Gaza.

However, efforts to achieve reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas faced difficulties on Wednesday as the Islamic resistance movement accused the Palestinian Authority security forces of pursuing their crackdown on its supporters in the occupied West Bank......."

U.S. Gaza Aid: Too Good to be True!


"12/03/2009 Indeed, it was too good to be true!

The United States has pledged around $900 million to the Palestinians after Israeli occupation army’s latest offensive against them in the Gaza Strip, killing over 1300 people, including 420 children, wounding more than 5300 others and destroying thousands of Gazan homes.

However, Western and Israeli diplomats said Wednesday that the US donation will be withdrawn if the expected Palestinian Authority coalition government between Fatah and Hamas does not recognize Israel.

During her visit to the region last week Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas against forming a coalition with Hamas that will not meet the expectations of “the Quartet”.

Clinton told Abbas that Congress will not approve funding of a Palestinian government that does not recognize “Israel's right to exist” and “renounce violence”. She added that if those requirements are not met the U.S.-funded program under the supervision of General Keith Dayton training PA security forces would be the first to be axed.........

During negotiations Clinton insisted that the money be placed solely under the Palestinian Authority's supervision and strongly rejected offers by Arab states that they assume responsibility for distribution of the funds. In total, a record $4.4 billion was raised at Sharm, with Saudi Arabia making the largest single donation of $1 billion......"

Cheney supervised 'assassination ring'?

Press TV

"Symour Hersh says an 'executive assassination ring' in the US military was in direct contact with the Bush administration's second-in-command.

Hersh, an esteemed investigative reporter, quite unintentionally dropped the bombshell during a "Great Conversations" event at the University of Minnesota on Tuesday that centered on Nixon-style abuses of executive power by succeeding US leaders.

According to Hersh, former Vice President Dick Cheney condoned and was informed about the operations carried out by the alleged covert unit, which he dubbed an "executive assassination ring.".......

Referring to a New York Times article published on Tuesday that mentioned the Joint Special Operations Command, Hersh explained that it was yet another "special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently."

"Congress has no oversight of it "It's an executive assassination ring essentially, and it's been going on and on and on," Hersh stated.

With an almost unlimited authority under Bush, "they've been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That's been going on, in the name of all of us," the Pulitzer Prize winner mused......"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Syria ready for direct talks with Israel

Press TV

"In a swift change of stance Syria says it is ready to hold direct peace talks with Israel should Washington mediate the negotiations.

Stressing determination to get back the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, President Bashar al-Assad said Wednesday that Damascus will make a shift in its strategy in holding peace talks with Israel only if the US acts as a mediator.

"We need the United States to act as an arbitrator when we move from the current indirect negotiations to direct negotiations (with Israel)," Assad told Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper......"

Obama's Pentagon Reforms

Rounding Up the Usual Suspects


".....John Boyd used to say, “It is not true the Pentagon has no strategy. It has a strategy, and once you understand what that strategy is, everything it does makes sense. The strategy is, don’t interrupt the money flow, add to it.” That was true before the Obama administration, it will be true while it is in office, and it will still be true when it ends. The people it has appointed to the Pentagon – again, Secretary Gates excepted – know the strategy, benefit from it and will continue it. They will defend it as if their future incomes depended on it, which, of course, they do.

The one wild card that could change everything is the growing probability of national financial collapse. If that happens – or perhaps when it happens – defense procurement will be on the chopping block along with everything else......."

Palestinian Unity as Elusive as Deal With Israel

Analysis by Mel Frykberg

"RAMALLAH, Mar 11 (IPS) - Intensive unity talks are under way in Cairo as five Palestinian committees, representing 13 factions and independents, face each other across a table in a bid to form a new Palestinian unity government.

But significant obstacles, differences in ideology, internal power struggles and manipulative proxy sponsors with competing geopolitical interests threaten to derail any progress.

This in turn could negatively impact on future peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis, which could have a domino effect on regional stability......"

Chas Freeman Slams "Israel Lobby"

Below is Chas Freeman's full statement following his decision not to serve as National Intelligence Council chairman.

There is a special irony in having been accused of improper regard for the opinions of foreign governments and societies by a group so clearly intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government - in this case, the government of Israel. I believe that the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for US policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics has allowed that faction to adopt and sustain policies that ultimately threaten the existence of the state of Israel. It is not permitted for anyone in the United States to say so. This is not just a tragedy for Israelis and their neighbors in the Middle East; it is doing widening damage to the national security of the United States.

Running Against Barney! You Are Not Even Close, Yassir Wadiah!

ترجيحات بتولي ياسر الوادية حكومة التوافق الفلسطينية

Just Compare the Two: Who Would You Choose?


Video: George Galloway's first speech from inside Gaza

UNICEF head: Gaza children need more support

Report, The Electronic Intifada, 10 March 2009

"GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IRIN) - UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Ann M. Veneman recently paid a visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) to assess the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with special focus on children. As of 5 February, 431 Palestinian children had died and 1,872 had been wounded in the 22-day Israeli offensive which ended on 18 January, according to the Gaza health ministry.

Veneman spoke to IRIN in Gaza City during her visit.

IRIN: After visiting Gaza, what are your first impressions and priorities?......."

Ethnic cleansing in East Jerusalem

Dr. Marcy Newman writing from occupied East Jerusalem, Live from Palestine, 10 March 2009

An Israeli flag hangs from a Palestinian home in Silwan taken over by Israeli settlers.

"Last week when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held a press conference in Ramallah with Mahmoud Abbas, whose term as Palestinian Authority president officially expired on 9 January, a Washington Post reporter questioned her about the 143 Palestinian homes in Jerusalem that Israel intends to demolish in the coming weeks. She responded: "clearly, this kind of activity is unhelpful and not in keeping with the obligations entered into under the roadmap." While some hailed this remark as a condemnation of Israel's ongoing ethnic cleansing project, it appeared to many on the ground as callous and flippant......

Although most of these families are separated by hundreds of checkpoints and established colonies, what the residents of these villages have in common is their steadfast determination to remain in their homes. From Nablus to Jerusalem to Hebron to Nilin they see their most potent means of resistance as remaining in their homes, refusing to live in a constant state of catastrophe, always on the brink of becoming the next refugees. Jawad Abu Ramoz, the son of a refugee from Hebron who fled to Silwan in 1948, is one of the thousands of Palestinians in al-Bustan who rejects a return to the fate of their parents and grandparents, literally and metaphorically."

US: No Talks with Hezbollah, Hamas till They Recognize Israel


"11/03/2009 The White House said Tuesday that both Hamas and Hezbollah must renounce violence and recognize Israel before they can expect even low-level US engagement. "Hezbollah is acting as a state within a state," the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat quoted a U.S. official as saying.

He said U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman met with Deputy Head of the Supreme Shiite Council Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan in Beirut last week in order to make clear to him that President Barack Obama was committed to Lebanon's sovereignty and independence...... "

Saudi Arabia to Sponsor Mini Summit to Boost Arab Relations


"11/03/2009 After a long period of disputes and conflicts, Arabs decided to "reconcile"…

They decided to "reconcile" and consolidate the so-called "Arab unity" against all those who achieve victory when Arabs become crumbled and divided… They decided to "reconcile" and put an end to the long sequence of deadly conflicts and wars that erupted even between the Arabs themselves… Yet, the Arabs who were always the first to pay the prices of their own conflicts, decided finally to "reconcile"…"

Charles Freeman fails the loyalty test

By Glenn Greenwald

(Updated below - Update II - Update III - Update IV - Update V)

"Obviously, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt are rabid, hateful paranoids -- total bigots and anti-Semites -- for having suggested that there are powerful domestic political forces in the U.S. which enforce Israel-centric orthodoxies and make it politically impossible to question America's blind loyalty to Israel. What irrational lunacy on their part:

Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair announced today that Ambassador Charles W. Freeman Jr. has requested that his selection to be Chairman of the National Intelligence Council not proceed. Director Blair accepted Ambassador Freeman’s decision with regret.

In situations like this, it is often impossible to know whether the appointee really did voluntarily withdraw or whether he was forced out and is merely being allowed to say that he withdrew......."

مزاعم عن وجود خطة لإعادة البعث للسلطة في العراق بدعم أمريكي

مزاعم عن وجود خطة لإعادة البعث للسلطة في العراق بدعم أمريكي

"القاهرة- زعمت صحيفة مصرية الأربعاء وجود خطة تنفذها أطراف عربية وتدعمها الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية لإعادة حزب البعث إلى السلطة في العراق.

ووصفت صحيفة الشروق الجديدة الخطة بالصفقة أو المشروع الذي يرتكز على إحياء العروبة كخط دفاع أول ضد الهيمنة الإيرانية.

ونقلت الصحيفة عن مصادر لم تكشف النقاب عنها ان الخطة هي صفقة كبرى لصياغة مستقبل منطقة المشرق العربي والخليج تمهيدا للخروج الأمريكي المتوقع من العراق.

وتشارك فى هذه الصفقة أو المشروع الذي يرتكز على إحياء العروبة كخط دفاع أول ضد الهيمنة الإيرانية الأطراف الدولية والإقليمية الكبيرة، وفى مقدمتها الولايات المتحدة ومصر والسعودية وتركيا.

وأكدت الصحيفة ان سوريا ستكون هى الوكيل المعتمد من هذه الأطراف لتنفيذ المشروع، وستبدأ أولى مراحله بإعادة تشكيل حزب البعث العراقي وتوحيده مع الجناح السوري للبعث، بعد أن يحصل على الشرعية القانونية في العراق.

وذكرت أن مهمة إعادة تشكيل البعث العراقي استندت بالفعل إلى عزت إبراهيم الدوري نائب الرئيس العراقى السابق صدام حسين، وأن خطوات كبيرة قطعت فعلا فى هذا الطريق بعد أن أثبت الدوري نجاحا ملحوظا فى تشكيل مجالس الصحوات لوقف تغلغل تنظيم القاعدة فى المحافظات الشيعية العراقية ومن قبائلها وعشائرها، ثم القضاء شبه التام على فلول القاعدة فى العراق.

وأشارت الشروق إلى ان عملية بناء الصحوات كانت تجرى بعلم وتنسيق بين أجهزة الأمن فى سوريا ومصر والسعودية.

How did Palestine lose its prime minister?

Salam Fayyad's resignation may help reconcile Palestinian factions – but is most likely to benefit Fayyad himself

Ben White, Wednesday 11 March 2009

".......There is also the suggestion that Abu Mazen feels threatened by Fayyad's importance, and worries about a bid for the presidency. Yet it is just as likely that the Fatah rank and file simply share Hamas's disillusionment with Fayyad's intimacy with American and Israeli officials.

Contrary to the impression that Fayyad's departure strikes a blow to US policy, there is the suggestion in some quarters that Fayyad's resignation was coordinated with Washington. This points to the strongest theory of all: that Fayyad's resignation was done for the benefit of none other than Fayyad himself.

Polls have consistently shown that Palestinians prioritise national unity and an end to the bitter political infighting above all other issues. The Europeans, meanwhile, have made it known that a unity government including Hamas would still be accepted – provided that Fayyad heads it........"

US Analyst Withdraws from Post after Criticized over Israel Views


"11/03/2009 Charles (Chas) Freeman, who was slated to be picked as the new chairman of the National Intelligence Council, withdrew his candidacy for the post on Tuesday.

The move was announced in Washington by Dennis Blair, the director of National Intelligence. Since news of Freeman's nomination, Jewish organizations have leveled criticism at the pick due to his history of opposition to Israel's policies in the Palestinian territories.

Some lawmakers protested about remarks he made in the past on Israeli "oppression" of Palestinians, and about China......

The intelligence council that Freeman had been picked to head prepares the formal assessments by U.S. intelligence agencies of major issues such as Iran's nuclear capability.

The council also produced a controversial, and inaccurate, prewar assessment in 2002 that Iraq was continuing its weapons of mass destruction programs. Former President George W. Bush's main justification for the U.S.-led war he launched in 2003 was the threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction....

Freeman is a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia and assistant secretary of defense for international security. He was also a senior U.S. diplomat in China in the 1980s "

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Likud MK confirms he met Syrian official in U.S.

Likud MK Ayoob Kara confirmed on Tuesday meeting a senior Syrian representative in Washington earlier this year on behalf of Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu. News of the meeting was first reported on a Lebanese Web site. 

The site, Lebanon Now, quoted Israeli sources as saying that Kara and the Syrian official agreed to meet after Netanyahu (Likud) forms the next government

"When the day comes, and it's not far, you will hear new things, heartwarming things, which will generate a good atmosphere. And contrary to all expectations, there will be a positive surprise in everything to do with the peace process." 

The Web site, which is affiliated with the anti-Syrian camp within Lebanon, reports that the meeting was initiated by American officials. "Members of the new American administration requested that Netanyahu consider the possibility of holding a meeting with the Syrians in an effort to understand what his plans are and the chances of renewing negotiations with Syria," sources told the Web site. 

Israeli Terrorist Settlers Terrorize Palestinian Villagers

[Rhetorical question : Is there a more vile and despicable  group on earth than those Terrorist Settlers?]
by Mel Frykberg

AT TUWANI, West Bank - "I couldn't run. My pregnancy was too far advanced, and there was nowhere to hide," said Amna Salman Rabaye, 31, as she recalled the terrifying incident several months ago.

Rabaye from the Palestinian Bedouin village of At Tuwani in the southern West Bank was grazing her sheep when she was assaulted by a security guard from the adjacent illegal Israeli settlement of Ma'on.

"We saw a group of masked Israeli settlers armed with sticks and chains heading towards us. The younger shepherds ran and managed to escape, leaving me with the flock of sheep," Rabaye told IPS.

"It was physically impossible for me to run, and I also didn't want the settlers to kill or steal my sheep. The security guard pushed me over, but I was not injured," recalled Rabaye, who was then seven months pregnant.

In 2006 the villagers lost over 100 sheep after the settlers sprayed pesticides on their grazing land. Several donkeys belonging to the village were stabbed to death. The village's water wells have also been poisoned on numerous occasions while crops have been set ablaze. The children of the village and the surrounding villages have been regularly attacked by the settlers as they try to make their way to school.