Saturday, May 30, 2009

Al-Jazeera Video: The Arab Street - Beirut - 30 May 09

Part 1:

Part 2:

"As the Lebanese elections approach, The Arab Street takes the political pulse of Beirut, interviewing its citizens about the state of their own country and the wider Arab world. "

Real News Video: Thoroughly modern Marx Pt.1

Leo Panitch: Marx was a realist; the real romantics think you can have capitalism without great crisis

More at The Real News

"Leo Panitch, economist and Professor at York University, talks to Paul Jay about the relevance of Marxist theories in studying today’s global economy. Panitch discusses the ideological crisis of the free market theory and notes that at this time “Marx would not be offering policy advice to governments about what is to be done in the face of this crisis; he would tell people to overcome their social isolation, form new collective organizations and identities, and make a social revolution.”"

This suppression is symbolic of a state that fears its past

By Nadim Rouhana
(Director of the Arab Centre for Applied Social Research in Haifa, Israel, and a professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Boston)
The Independent

"For the Palestinian citizens of Israel, life is becoming a collective Kafkaesque experience. For years, their state has been determined to buttress its Jewish identity by legal, constitutional, cultural, and political means, in spite of the fact that one in five of its residents is an Arab. This latest series of bills is just another part of that effort. In addition to the discrimination they already face in all walks of life, Palestinians will not be able to mourn the Nakba, the loss of their homeland, or express their opposition to Israel as a Jewish state.....

People are short of words to describe what is happening in Israel. It is becoming clear that Israel is fearful not only about the future, it is most fearful about history – and for a reason. Israel can suppress among its Jewish citizens – those who enjoy the privileges of superiority and of taking over a whole homeland – the history of the Nakba and the reality of its continuation for every Palestinian. But Israel must believe that Palestinians are subhuman if it thinks that it can suppress their feelings about the Nakba and their desire for democracy and equality and the yearning for the return of their people. For Israel to face its fear of the future it must first face history. Instead, in defiance of human nature, it is hopelessly seeking to suppress it."

Threat of the 'thought police' alarms Israel's Arab minority

Freedom to oppose Israel's right to exist among acts that right-wing politicians are attempting to outlaw

By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem

"Israeli Arab leaders have called an emergency meeting today to discuss their growing alarm over a series of "racist and fascist" bills being promoted by right-wing members of the country's parliament. One of the bills has already brought fierce accusations from two prominent Jewish Knesset members that its backers are trying to create a "thought police" and "punish people for talking".

The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee – the main umbrella body of Arab political and civic leaders in Israel – cited special concern over another bill which would outlaw the commemoration of the Nakba or catastrophe on Israel's Independence Day......"

Lebanon on 'Full Alert' ahead of Israel’s Most Extensive Drill

"30/05/2009 Lebanese army sources said on Saturday that the country's military had been placed "on full alert," ahead of Israel's large-scale Home Front Command drill expected to begin on Sunday till Thursday......"

Toothless counsel

Opposition forces have been reduced by Arab regimes to servile advice givers, neglecting the aspirations of the people whose interests they exist to better defend

By Azmi Bishara
Al-Ahram Weekly

"Some Arab opposition forces criticise this regime or that for pursuing policies that run counter to its own interests. On what grounds does the opposition presume it is more aware of the regime's interests than the regime itself? The very charge is a sign of weakness in the opposition force that levels it. It is not the job of the opposition to offer advice on what is in a regime's best interests. Its job is to criticise a regime's policies on the basis of their assessment of what is in the country's and the people's best interests.....

If the interests of the regime are founded on notions and policies that the opposition believes run counter to the welfare of the country then it's the job of the opposition to expose this on the basis of facts and logical arguments that proceed from these facts. The opposition should make solid criticism its mission, even if the prospect of attaining power is beyond it or not on its agenda. In the pursuit of this mission it should take the interests of the country -- as opposed to the interests of the ruling regime -- as its springboard."

Netanyahu's new quest

Just as before, Israel's extremist premier is gearing up to direct US foreign policy from Tel Aviv

By Ramzy Baroud
Al-Ahram Weekly

".....In 1996, Netanyahu spoke of the immediate danger facing Israel, in reference to Iraq. Now Iraq, which had no weapons of mass destruction after all, is no longer an "existential threat" to the state of Israel.

And now the Israeli leader has set his sights on Iran. "The challenge is the potential arming of Iran with nuclear weapons capabilities. That is a great danger to all of us... We have to do this in tandem... I was very encouraged to learn that this is the American policy. We're going to try to do it together, because if we do it together we'll get a lot further, a lot faster."

It might not take 13 more years before Netanyahu's wishes come true -- before getting a lot further, a lot faster, ie unleashing a war against Iran. But mark my words, Netanyahu, as well as those before him, as well as those after him, have no intentions of making peace with the Palestinians. He is simply waving a carrot before Obama to get what Israel wants, an attack on Iran. It's as simple as that......."

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's Speech on May 29, 2009, in Arabic (1 hr., 21 min.)

السيد حسن نصر الله
عيد المقاومة و التحرير

Sayyed Nasrallah: Hezbollah Faces New and Dangerous Challenges



"......“We have been calling for building a strong state and we will be very relieved to have a strong state, but who is ready to finance and arm the Lebanese army? After all these experiences, we all know that the US and the West as well as the vast majority of world is not willing to arm the Lebanese army against Israel. Their justification is that the weapons will reach Hezbollah; this is ridiculous. Hezbollah has enough weapons that can destroy the Israeli army’s divisions; it does not need the weapons that the US will give to anyone in Lebanon. The real reason is the US does not consent giving the Lebanese army weapons to fight Israel. Who is ready to arm the Lebanese army? Vote for the opposition and I will then tell you who. For instance, did the government ask for weapons from Syria and it said no? I followed up President Sleiman’s visit to Iran. True, Iran did not offer arms to Lebanon and will not offer, because this is not logical. But, until this moment, Lebanon did ask for weapons from Iran. If Iran had offered to arm the Lebanese army, they would have said that Tehran wants to push Lebanon into war and include it in the Syrian-Iranian axis. This is why no one should wait for Iran to offer arms, however any Lebanese government in the future will have to ask Iran for arms. The US Vice President brought us a few tanks and a few cannons; what are they good for? Had Lebanon asked Iran for weapons, what would the Islamic Republic’s response be? Will it help Lebanon or not? I know the answer but I will not say it; you all know it. I know that Iran and Imam Khamenei in particular will not withhold anything that could render Lebanon a strong and honorable country without preconditions. I tell you this: if the opposition alliance won the upcoming elections and formed a national government will work on having a strong national army capable of defending Lebanon. They ask us to hand over our arms to the Lebanese army. This cannot be because the types of weapons we have are of no use for a regular army; they are only useful for a popular resistance.”....."

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

Two State "Solution"

Death and devastation in Gaza neatly filed and documented

Like exhibits in a museum, every house, school and hospital that has been turned to rubble is noted in a book of destruction

Peter Beaumont in Gaza, Friday 29 May 2009

"We have a way of codifying the consequences of conflict. We collect the dead into lists and tidy ruins into databases. We map gravesites and calculate the cost. It is a process that produces sums and totals, graphs and tables, which in the end are far less meaningful than the reality of what occurred. It numbs and dehumanises even as the gathering is done.

In Gaza the shells of buildings have been labelled and collated, exhibits from a violent event already passing into history after only half a year. G1086-01 designates the parliament building, a collapsed grey ribcage of concrete. The site of the ruined ministries in the Tal al-Hawa district of Gaza City is recorded as G10177-01, green and grey towers gutted by the bombs dropped from Israeli F-16s.

The numbers are entered in the book of Gaza's destruction. There are houses – more than 1,300 of them – and police stations, apartment blocks and offices, schools and hospitals, each labelled with neat spray-painted letters. Tagged fetishistically in blue and green......."

Despite No Links to Violence, Founders of Muslim Charity Sentenced to Lengthy Terms for Donations to Needy Palestinians in Occupied Territories

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"Five founders of the Holy Land Foundation, once the nation’s largest Muslim charity, have received prison terms of up to sixty-five years on charges of supporting the Palestinian group Hamas. The five were never accused of supporting violence and were convicted for funding charities that aided needy Palestinians. The government’s case relied on Israeli intelligence as well as disputed documents and electronic surveillance gathered by the FBI over a span of fifteen years. We speak to Noor Elashi, daughter of Ghassan Elashi, the chair of the Holy Land Foundation who was sentenced to sixty-five years; and Nancy Hollander, a defense attorney who represented former Holy Land CEO Shukri Abu Baker....."

During His Trip to Egypt, Obama Should Visit Gaza

Code Pink delegation at the Rafah border crossing - co-founder Medea Benjamin in the center.

by Medea Benjamin

".....But the administration has said almost nothing about the devastating Israeli invasion of Gaza that left over 1,300 dead, including some 400 children. To many in the Middle East, this is an unfortunate continuation of past policies that condemn the loss of innocent Israeli lives, but refuse to speak out against the disproportionately greater loss of Palestinian lives at the hands of the Israeli military.

The Israeli invasion of Gaza began on December 27, 2008, when Obama had just won the election but had not yet taken office. While he spoke out against the November 26 Mumbai terrorism attack, he refused to even call for a ceasefire in Gaza, saying coldly, “When it comes to foreign affairs it is particularly important to adhere to the principle of one president at a time."
Once inaugurated, Obama appointed George Mitchell as a special peace envoy and immediately sent him on a “listening tour” to key places in the Middle Eastexcept Gaza. Mitchell returned for a second trip to the region in late February, visiting Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Israel and the West Bank but once again bypassing Gaza. The same thing happened on his third trip in April.....

Obama should take the opportunity, during this visit to Egypt next week, to visit Gaza. He should express his condolences for the loss of so many innocent lives, call for a lifting of the inhumane siege that continues to imprison an entire population, and support an investigation of how U.S. military funds to Israel are being spent.
Those actions, more than any fine words he may speak during his talk at Cairo University, will do wonders to repairs our relations with the Arab world that were so tattered during the Bush years."

Real News Video with Pepe Escobar: Mr. Obama, do we have your attention?

North Korea wants to be accepted by the US as a nuclear power

More at The Real News

"North Korea has conducted its second underground nuclear test, and also tested short-range missiles. Predictably, the UN Security Council is still debating how to react. China, North Korea's window to the world, basically wants to maintain the current status quo. Pepe Escobar argues going nuclear is the only way North Korea's Great Leader Kim Jong-Il, 67, and not in very good health, knows when it comes to calling for Washington's attention. Demonizing North Korea is counter-productive; as soon as North Korea is recognized as a nuclear power, negotiations can really advance, and the regime will cease to be so idiosyncratic."

Against the tortured logic of Obama's placebo presidency, a call for the audacity of hopelessness

By Phil Rockstroh
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Contributed by Datta

"From time to time, events unfold that are so large in scope, so all-encompassing in their implications that one's initial response is muted by an inability to categorize it all within the realm of experience. Previous reference points prove of little service. One's image of oneself and one's place in the world is under siege, perhaps even in danger of being torn away. One stare's into the abyss, until the abyss removes its dark shades and makes direct eye contact. The mind buzzes; one's thoughts scuttle in circles like stunned insects......

Again our choice: Either open up the decay within the system to the light of day and start the process of rebuilding and renewal, or allow the republic-ravening pestilence to continue unchallenged, hence unabated, and let the nation go bughouse crazy as the house comes down around us to the strains of the insect-brain stridulations of Beck, Hannity, and Limbaugh."

The Pathologies of Israel’s Guilty Conscience

By Tony Karon

"The proposal to legally bar the commemoration of the Nakba on Israel’s Independence Day reflects growing trepidation in Israel about the inevitable encounter with the Palestinian Nakba and the understanding that the Nakba is a foundational part of Israeli identity. Until recently, the threat of exposing the Nakba was barely felt. There was no need to fight this repressed demon, which might suddenly reveal itself and disrupt the seeming calm of a harmonious Jewish democracy. But the Nakba is not a demon, not the fruit of deceptive imagination, and therefore we should not underestimate the challenge facing Israeli society: to recognize Israel’s part in the expulsion of most of the Palestinian inhabitants of the land in 1948, the destruction of most of their localities (upwards of five hundred), the annihilation of urban Palestinian culture, and tens of massacres, rapes, incidents of looting, and dispossession. Looking into so dark a mirror takes courage and maturity, demonstrated in the research of such scholars as Morris, Gelber, Milstein, Khalidi, Pappe, and others, as well as in the diaries of Netiva Ben Yehuda and Yosef Nahmani.

It is not surprising that the “appropriate Zionist response,” to inscribe the forgetting of this human horror into law, comes from the circles of the political right-wing. They have always been more sincere in their racist attitudes toward Arabs in Israel, compared to the Left, which marketed to the world and to us its honest (yet illusory) longing for peace......."

Manipulation: How Financial Markets Really Work

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, May 29, 2009

"Wall Street's mantra is that markets move randomly and reflect the collective wisdom of investors. The truth is quite opposite. The government's visible hand and insiders control markets and manipulate them up or down for profit - all of them, including stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies......

She says structural bear markets typically last 13 - 16 years so this one has a long way to go before "complet(ing) the repair process." She calls the current rebound "a bungee jump," very typical of bear markets. Numerous ones occurred during the Great Depression, 8 alone from 1929 - 1932, some deceptively strong.

Expect market manipulators today to produce similar price action going forward - to enrich themselves while trampling on the unwary, well-advised to protect their dollars from becoming quarters or dimes. "

Mr. Abbas goes to Washington

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 29 May 2009

".....And as Obama continues to remind us of America's "shared values" with Israel, another proposed bill passed its first reading in the Knesset this week. According to the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, the law would prescribe "one year in prison for anyone speaking against Israel's right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state" -- making it a thought crime to advocate that Israel should be a democratic, nonracial state of all its citizens.

It would be sad indeed if the first African-American president of the United States were to defend in Israel exactly the kind of institutionalized bigotry the civil rights movement defeated in this country, a victory that made his election possible."

[Video Free Gaza] Mary Hughes Thompson 27th May 09

The Free Gaza Movement

"We will start to update this list every week. Last week's update has already been posted onto YouTube. Here is this week's update with Mary Hughes Thompson. Stay tuned next week when we announce the date of our next voyage."

'Defying Rules on Arms Sales to Israel'

By David Cronin

"BRUSSELS, May 29 (IPS) - French arms sales to Israel are "in total contradiction" of European Union rules on the defence industry, the author of a new study has said.

Between 2003 and 2007 France issued licences worth more than 446 million euros (623 million dollars) for arms exports to Israel. This made France by far the largest supplier of weapons to Israel in the EU....."

Israel Threatens to Outlaw Palestinian Memory

By Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler

"JERUSALEM, May 29 (IPS) - Israel is set to approve a radical new bill which threatens to legalise discrimination against its sizeable Arab minority for the first time.

The bill, approved this week by the ministerial committee for legislation, would make it illegal to relate to the creation of the State of Israel on May 15, 1948 as a day of mourning, thereby banning Arab Israeli citizens from marking what Palestinians call the Nakba - their "Great Catastrophe".....

This proposed new law is seen as the first translation of that slogan into a tangible loyalty test which would demand of Arab citizens that they swear allegiance to Israel as a "Jewish, Zionist and democratic" state if they want to be accepted as citizens.

It is also viewed as the first tangible translation of a populist mood that is inclined to disallow freedom of expression for Arab Israelis and liberal Jews who line up with them......"

Colin Powell: No Good Samaritan

By Ray McGovern
May 28, 2009

"Watching retired Gen. Colin Powell cite Jesus's parable of the Good Samaritan during Sunday’s Memorial Day ceremonies on the Mall in Washington, it struck me that Powell was giving hypocrisy a bad name......"

Spies, Lies, and Mr. Lebanon's Demise

By Rannie Amiri
Palestine Chronicle

".....The confluence of the aforementioned events – discovering the extent of Israeli spy networks in Lebanon, followed by publication of the Der Spiegel article two weeks prior to crucial elections accusing Hezbollah of ordering the hit on Hariri – is no coincidence.

So how do they relate to one another?

Nasrallah stated it candidly:

The Israelis are acting preemptively before it is discovered that their spy networks were involved in assassinations in Lebanon.”

Could it be that information fed from Israel to a friendly German periodical was done not just to foment Sunni-Shia tension prior to the June election or divert attention away from an imploding espionage ring, but to obfuscate Israel’s role in Hariri’s murder (which may be disclosed by their captured spies)?......

But, division and destabilization in Lebanon works to Israel’s advantage, and instigating political disorder and civil turmoil has always been its modus operandi. Indeed, the fallout from Hariri’s assassination nearly sparked another civil war.

Should Israel be implicated in his death however, all of Lebanon’s political parties and confessional groups would unite against them in an instant......"

The Depth of Corruption

by John Pilger, May 28, 2009

".....The answer lies in a deeper corruption, which tales of tax evasion and phantom mortgages touch upon but also conceal. Since Margaret Thatcher, British parliamentary democracy has been progressively destroyed as the two main parties have converged into a single-ideology business state, each with almost identical social, economic, and foreign policies. This "project" was completed by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, inspired by the political monoculture of the United States. That so many Labor and Tory politicians are now revealed as personally crooked is no more than a metaphor for the anti-democratic system they have forged together......

Something is changing in Britain that gives cause for optimism. The British people have probably never been more politically aware and prepared to clear out decrepit myths and other rubbish while stepping angrily over the babbling brook of bullsh*t. "

Despite Israel's Rejection of 2 States, Abbas Trusts Zionist Entity's Good Will!


"......On Tuesday, Israeli vice president and Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon ruled out the creation of any “Palestinian entity” at a conference at the Knesset entitled "Alternatives to the Two-State Outlook." He added that “efforts to find a solution to the conflict must stop.” According to Israeli media, the Knesset conference was intended to send a message that opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state was common among mainstream Israelis and politicians not considered extremist. He said the best that could be done now was to stop efforts to find a solution to the conflict and manage it instead, “by encouraging reforms and economic development in the Palestinian Authority.”.....

Asked about his impression of the meeting with Obama, Abbas expressed confidence in Obama as well as the Israelis and said: "It was a serious and open meeting and President Obama seems determined on what he has said...I believe that if the Israelis would withdraw from all occupied Palestinian, Syrian, and Lebanese land, the Arab world will be ready to have normal relationships with the state of Israel.”"

Assad Praises Obama’s Dialogue Efforts


"29/05/2009 Syrian President Bashar Assad praised his US counterpart Barack Obama's policy for dialogue and told two U.S. lawmakers his country is hoping for better relations with Washington.....

Obama's new top Middle East envoy, Jeffrey Feltman [COMMENT: Zionist, former U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, and hated in Lebanon for his Israeli stand], visited Syria in March in what was the first high-level US trip in four years. He returned earlier this month for further meetings, describing them as constructive and vowing to pursue dialogue. Other congressional delegations have also visited Syria."

Photos of US soldiers' alleged rape, sexual abuse in Iraq

Press Tv

"New photos obtained by Press TV have revealed alleged sexual harassment and rape of Iraqi prisoners at US-run Abu Ghraib detention center by American soldiers.

The alleged pictures illustrate American soldiers raping and sexually harassing Iraqi detainees.

Wayne Madsen, an investigative journalist from Washington, told Press TV that there is a lot of information about these photos.

"That is exactly what was taking place in Abu Ghraib and that information came to me from many many different sources some of whom actually stationed in Abu Ghraib at the time," according to Madsen.

Madsen added that the information that these photos being fake came from neoconservatives media.

To clarify the issue, Madsen said when some of these photos first surfaced in 2004 by the Boston Globe random, the paper was attacked immediately by known neoconservative propaganda......"

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fresh Off Worldwide Attention for Joining Obama’s Book Collection, Uruguayan Author Eduardo Galeano Returns with “Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone”

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"We spend the hour with one of Latin America’s most acclaimed writers, Eduardo Galeano. The Uruguayan novelist and journalist recently made headlines around the world when Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave President Obama a copy of Galeano’s classic work, The Open Veins of Latin America. Eduardo Galeano’s latest book is Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone. We speak to Galeano about his reaction to the Chavez-Obama book exchange, media and politics in Latin America, his assessment of Obama, and more....."

Abu Ghraib abuse photos 'show rape'. Obama Says, "Let's Move On; There is Nothing to See Here."

Photographs of alleged prisoner abuse which Barack Obama is attempting to censor include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse, it has emerged.

The Telegraph

"At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.

Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.

Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts.

Detail of the content emerged from Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq......"

The Dangers of False Optimism in the Middle East

Nothing to be Done

(Senior Fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies)

".......Supporters of a two-state solution have taken to arguing that it must be implemented quickly, before it is too late. It is therefore surprising that so little thought has been given to preparing for its passing: for now, at least, false optimism is preferred to reckoning with the consequences.

In this respect, it has become increasingly common to argue that a one-state solution (whether a binational entity or unitary democracy) is the logical alternative to the disappearing two-state paradigm. Yet this outcome - while admittedly the closest approximation of a just peace - is even less likely to materialise than a two-state settlement.....

The status quo is also increasingly untenable, and the more likely scenario for the coming decade, if not longer, is that Israel's determined efforts to perpetuate it will produce increasing - and increasingly existential, regionalised and bloody - conflict. With the train derailed, the light at the tunnel's end is liable to remain very dim for the foreseeable future."

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Identity and isolation in Israel - 26 May 2009

"Inside Story discusses the controversial law proposal by Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's foreign minister, which would see Arab Israelis pledging allegiance to a Jewish state. Is it a quest for identity, or the isolation of a people? "

MK Zahalka: New law, Racist and constitutes a thought crime

"As the Israeli Knesset was debating the new law, which punishes any citizen who does not recognize Israel as a Jewish Democratic State, Arab member of Knesset Jamal Zahalka, described the law as racist and a thought crime.

Zahalka said that any person who demands democracy and equality would be punished and imprisoned, and that this means dozens of Jewish and Arabs university lecturers, intellectuals and politicians who propose a bi-national state or a state for all of its citizens would be punished and imprisoned.

He also said that what this law means is that the state “would have to form a police unit that targets the thoughts of the residents, the intellectuals, and imprison them for having ideas and thoughts that are not coherent with the State’s policies.

Zahalka also said that no matter what laws are passed, the Arabs and progressive movements in Israel will not accept a Jewish State that is based on Zionism, and would always reject Zionism regardless of the price they would have to pay.

You are presenting racist laws, day by day, your government is sick with delusions and racism”, Zahalka added.

His statements were met with anger by right wing members of the Knesset who shouted at him and said “if you don’t like our laws, then get out of here, and leave the country”.

He responded by saying “we are the natives of this land, you are the immigrants and we will remain in this country like a fork in your throats”.

Right wing MK’s then started insulting Zahalka and uttered dirty words against him, before the Knesset head forced him out and ignored the racist statements of right wing MK’s.

After he was forced out of the Knesset hall, Zahalka said that the atmosphere at the Knesset is poisoned with racism, and added that this law is a challenge to democracy and a challenge to Israel as a state for all of its citizens.

He added that Israel regards itself as the state of the Jewish people, which places the Arabs as an unwanted ethnicity."

Netanyahu Chooses Warehousing

By Jeff Halper

"Would Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu say the magic words "two states" after his meeting with President Obama? All Israel held its breath. (He didn't). The gap between the two is wider than those words could ever have bridged, however. Obama, I believe, sincerely - perhaps urgently - seeks a resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, a pre-condition, he understands, to getting on with larger, more pressing Middle Eastern issues. Netanyahu, who rejects even the notion of a Palestinian mini-state as grudgingly accepted by Barak, Sharon and Olmert, is seeking a permanent state of "warehousing" in which the Palestinians live forever in a limbo of "autonomy" delineated by an Israel that otherwise encompasses them. The danger, to which we all should be attuned, is that the two sides might compromise on apartheid - the establishment of a Palestinian Bantustan that has neither genuine sovereignty nor economic viability......."

Israel’s “Existential Threats”

by Dina Jadallah
Global Research, May 28, 2009

"The last few days have witnessed an inflection point in the history of Israel. It has effectively shed its democratic veneer and blatantly embraced its racist, fascist and colonialist ideology. I am referring to the passage of three bills in the Knesset. One would require loyalty oaths to maintain citizenship. A second states that citizens must recognize Israel as a Jewish state or else face up to one year in prison. And the third makes commemoration of the Nakba (Catastrophe – referring to the creation of Israel in 1948) a crime. (1) These come on the heels of PM Netanyahu’s demands that the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a State for the Jewish People in return for “economic development.”......."

Pipelineistan goes Iran-Pak

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"A deal was finally signed this week in Tehran by which Iran will sell gas from its South Pars mega-fields to Pakistan by way of the 2,100-kilometer, US$7.5 billion Iran-Pakistan pipeline. For the moment, Iran, Pakistan, China and Russia win. Washington and NATO lose, not to mention Afghanistan. But will Balochistan also win? If not, all hell will break loose, from desperate Balochis sabotaging IP to "foreign interference" manipulating them into creating an even greater, regional, ball of fire......"

Finnish-Israeli arms trade flouts EU regulations

Bruno Jäntti, The Electronic Intifada, 27 May 2009

"...... These dealings made Finland the second largest provider of missile technology to Israel, playing second fiddle only to the United States. Finland is also Israel's ninth most important supplier of arms and ammunitions, according to Amnesty International. Besides these exports, Finland purchased medium-range missiles from Rafael in 2000 and 2001 for a value of more than 37 million euros. Amnesty International also reports that Patria, a Finnish military contractor, has done service work and tests with Elbit Systems, one of Israel's biggest military manufacturers. Finnish Defence Forces has also purchased electronics from Israel for at least $21 million since the year 2000 ("Missä soditaan suomalaisilla aseilla," Suomen Sadankomitea ry, 2009 [PDF]).......

Keeping this in mind, as well as Israel's blockade and attack on Gaza, the illegal occupation and colonization with settlements of Palestinian territory, the wall declared illegal by the International Court of Justice, all of which violate international law and human rights, the Finnish-Israeli arms cooperation is morally despicable and violates EU regulations. It is thus illegal and should be discontinued immediately."

Israel's little Hitler

By Khalid Amayreh

"There is always fresh evidence justifying the Israeli-Nazi analogy. In recent days and weeks, a number of Israeli officials and lawmakers proposed "draft laws" that would effectively formalize Israel's de facto racism and seriously restrict the human and civil rights of Israel’s non-Jewish citizens.

One of the proposals being discussed would criminalize the commemoration of Nakba by Palestinians holding the Israeli citizenship. Predictably, the brazenly racist proposal has infuriated Israel’s 1.5-million- strong Palestinian community.

One Israeli Palestinian parliamentarian compared the proposed law with an imagined promulgation by Germany of a law banning all Jewish activities commemorating the holocaust.....
One of the most thuggish Israeli leaders who has been promoting Israel's manifestly racist discourse against non-Jews in general and Palestinians in particular is Aryeh Eldad of the Nazi-like Ichud Leumi, or National Union....."

Amnesty slams Israel for killing Gazans dream

Press TV

"Human Rights group Amnesty International has condemned Israel for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

In its annual report, the London-based group says Israel's massive offensive on Gaza has brought the situation in the strip to "the brink of catastrophe".

The group also said Israel's crippling blockade on the impoverished enclave has worsened an already dire humanitarian situation adding that more than one-and-a-half -million people are at the risk of poverty, malnutrition and health problems because of the siege.

"The blockade exacerbated an already dire humanitarian situation, health and sanitation problems, poverty and malnutrition for the 1.5 million residents."

The report includes cases in which Palestinian patients dying due to lack of medical care in the enclave.

"Seriously ill patients in need of medical care not available in Gaza and hundreds of students and workers wishing to study or travel to jobs abroad were among those trapped in Gaza by the blockade."....."

Click Here to Download the Amnesty International 2009 Report

Israel Rejects Two-State Solution; Ball in West’s Court


"28/05/2009 In contrast to previous Israeli leaderships who refused surreptitiously to adopt the two-state solution in occupied Palestine, the Benjamin Netanyahu cabinet is distinguished by frankness.

Israeli vice president and Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon played his cards and ruled out the creation of any “Palestinian entity” at a conference at the Knesset on Tuesday entitled "Alternatives to the Two-State Outlook." He added that “efforts to find a solution to the conflict must stop.”....

In view of this rampant Israeli stubbornness, European and American “requests” have always been vain and the Israelis have always managed to “absorb and prevent” western powers from taking actions against the zionist state, like sanctions.

The masks of Netanyahu, Lieberman and others have fallen as they reject the two-state solution and want no end to the conflict. Accordingly, the international community no longer has any reason not to move to sanctions, unless it is an accomplice. In this case, the mask of this community should fall as well."

Humanitarian Crisis Deepens in West Bank

By Mel Frykberg

"RAMALLAH, May 28 (IPS) - "I heard voices, I turned around to look, and saw a group of Israeli settlers assaulting my brother Hammad," says Abdallah Wahadin, 82, a Palestinian farmer from Beit Ummar near the southern West Bank city of Hebron......

Settler attacks against Palestinian civilians, and the occasional retaliatory attacks by Palestinians continue to dominate media headlines on an almost daily basis.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reported that an increase in settler attacks, as well as Israeli military raids, are part of an overall deterioration in the humanitarian situation in the West Bank.

"During April four Palestinians, including two boys, were killed by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and another 145 were injured by Israeli soldiers and settlers. The number of Palestinians injured rose by 40 percent compared with the 2008 monthly average," the report says.

"We have noticed a significant increase in the incidents of both settler and soldier violence against Palestinian civilians since the new Israeli government took power at the beginning of the year," says Ronen Shimoni from B'Tselem.

"This is probably related to an increase in settlement activity in the West Bank as the rightist government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tries to establish facts on the ground," Shimoni told IPS......."

'Comrades, Your Enemy is Yourselves!'

By Mats Svensson
Palestine Chronicle

".....Mavivi was very clear during the whole conversation. She did not have any pointers. She just told her own story, South Africa’s story. A story about struggle, about resistance, about a strategy, about unity. “I don’t know,” said Mavivi, “what is right in Palestine, I only know what was right for us. We listened to our friends. Our friends gave us good advice but our actions, our actions were our own. Had we listened to all the advice and followed them we would never have become free. The struggle against apartheid was our struggle.”

She had finished speaking. I thought the conversation was over. I was wrong. Mavivi now turned to the highly placed Hamas representative and asked him to tell her about their strategy. Tell her about their strategy in the same way that she had told them about the ANC’s.

But he was silent. The other leaders did not have anything to add either. Even Fatah’s representative was silent. There was no common strategy. There was no common goal. At that time, creating unity in Palestine felt distant.

Mavivi, woman from South Africa, now says with a clear voice, ”Comrades, you don’t seem to have an enemy. Comrades, your enemy is yourselves and comrades, your struggle has not yet begun.”

The Hamas representative remained silent for a while. His gaze was fixed and he gravely looked at Mavivi. Then he slowly and with a high voice said, “We will never forget the one who came to us in a time of deepest despair. Mavivi, when can you come back?” "

Obama in Netanyahu’s Web

N.Y. Times

"NEW YORK — Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, won the first round over President Barack Obama. That’s not good for American interests or for Israel’s long-term security.

All the overblown reciprocal compliments could not hide evident tensions — over Iran and Israel-Palestine and how the two are linked. In the end, Obama blinked....."

After Iraq, it's not just North Korea that wants a bomb

The nuclear weapons states are the main drivers of proliferation. Only radical disarmament can halt their spread

Seumas Milne, Wednesday 27 May 2009

".....The lesson could not be clearer. Of Bush's "axis" states, Iraq, which had no weapons of mass destruction, was invaded and occupied; North Korea, which already had some nuclear capacity, was left untouched and is most unlikely to be attacked in future; while Iran, which has yet to develop a nuclear capability, is still threatened with aggression by both the US and Israel......

It's not just the breathtaking hypocrisy that underpins every western pronouncement about the "threat to world peace" posed by the "illegal weapons" of the johnny-come-latelys to the nuclear club. Or the double standards that underpin the nuclear indulgence of Israel, India and Pakistan – now increasing its stock of nuclear weapons, even as the country is rocked by civil war – while Iran and North Korea are sanctioned and embargoed for "breaking the rules". It's that the obligation of the nuclear weapons states under the non-proliferation treaty – and the only justification of their privileged status – is to negotiate "complete disarmament".

Yet far from doing any such thing, both the US and Britain are investing in a new generation of nuclear weapons. Even the latest plans to agree new cuts in the US and Russian strategic arsenals would leave the two former superpower rivals in control of ­thousands of warheads, enough to wipe each other out, let alone the smaller fry of global conflict. So why North Korea, no longer even a signatory to the treaty and ­therefore not bound by its rules, or any other state seeking nuclear protection, should treat them as a reason to disarm is a mystery....."

اوباما ومفاجأة 'الرياض أولا'

عبد الباري عطوان

اعلان الادارة الامريكية المفاجئ عن زيارة سيقوم بها الرئيس باراك اوباما الى المملكة العربية السعودية، يلتقي خلالها العاهل السعودي عبد الله بن عبد العزيز قبل توجهه الى القاهرة، يعني ان امراً طارئاً استدعى اجراء تغيير في برنامج الرئيس الامريكي حتم عليه ان يتشاور مع المسؤولين في الرياض، قبل القائه الخطاب الموعود من جامعة القاهرة، مثلما كان مقرراً.
اكثر ما نخشاه ان يكون الرئيس اوباما يسير على نهج الرؤساء الامريكيين السابقين، ففي كل مرة قرر فيها هؤلاء الذهاب الى الحرب، لجأوا الى استخدام الورقة الفلسطينية كذريعة لخداع العرب والمسلمين، وتوظيفهم، وارضهم، ونفطهم في خدمة هذه الحرب.
الرئيس بوش الاب فعل الشيء نفسه قبل ان يرسل طائراته ودباباته الى الكويت لاخراج القوات العراقية منها، عندما وعد بحل المشكلة الفلسطينية، ووجه الدعوة لعقد مؤتمر مدريد للسلام. ومن المفارقة ان نجله جورج بوش الابن سار على النهج نفسه قبل حربه في افغانستان، واثناء استعداداته لغزو العراق واحتلاله عندما وعد باقامة دولة فلسطينية قابلة للحياة مرتين، الاولى قبل انتهاء ولايته الاولى، والثانية قبل انتهاء ولايته الثانية. وها هي افغانستان مدمرة خاضعة لاحتلال قوات الناتو، وها هو العراق محتل، بينما الدولة الفلسطينية ما زالت في رحم الغيب، ومن السخرية ان حل الدولتين نفسه تبخر.
زيارة اوباما المقبلة 'مريبة' بكل المقاييس، والتعديلات الاخيرة عليها جعلتنا اقرب اقتناعا الى كونها زيارة الاعداد للحرب، وليس اطلاق عملية سلام جديدة، والايحاء بأن الحرب ضد ايران ضرورية من اجل الوصول الى سلام في فلسطين، اي تبني افكار نتنياهو وليبرمان من قبل اوباما وليس العكس. ألم يقل نتنياهو بربط الحل للصراع العربي الاسرائيلي بالملف النووي الايراني؟
الهجمة الامريكية الحالية على المنطقة تجعلنا نضع ايدينا على قلوبنا،
نحن امام معادلة استراتيجية جديدة في المنطقة، ابرز ملامحها تحالف اسرائيلي عربي بمباركة امريكية ضد ايران وسورية وحزب الله وفصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية، ولذا فإن علينا ان ننتظر ما ستكشف عنه الاشهر الستة المقبلة مما يتم طبخه حالياً في المنطقة وللمنطقة.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A New Poll

Please notice the new poll and express your opinion. It asks:

Do you think that it is time for the Palestinians to launch a third Intifada, to stop reacting to a dead "peace process" and to take the initiative?

The final result of the last poll which asked, "Considering the desperate Gaza situation due to the Israeli-Egyptian siege, do you support toppling the ghetto wall at Rafah by force?" was that 84% of 119 people said yes.

Israelis get four-fifths of scarce West Bank water, says World Bank

Palestinians losing out in access to vital shared aquifer in the occupied territories
Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem, Wednesday 27 May 2009

"A deepening drought in the Middle East is aggravating a dispute over water resources after the World Bank found that Israel is taking four times as much water as the Palestinians from a vital shared aquifer.

The region faces a fifth consecutive year of drought this summer, but the World Bank report found huge disparities in water use between Israelis and Palestinians, although both share the mountain aquifer that runs the length of the occupied West Bank. Palestinians have access to only a fifth of the water supply, while Israel, which controls the area, takes the rest, the bank said.......

"Palestinians have no say in the Israeli development of these shared, trans-boundary, water resources," he said. "It is a situation in which Israel has a de facto veto over Palestinian water development.""

Armageddon Now?

Israel's Next Move


"....So will Israel wait quietly for the next six months while centrifuges spin before its eyes? Not if Netanyahu's take-home message is that the Obama Administration is willing to live with an Iranian nuclear capability as distinct from a nuclear weapon. And not if the past is any guide: Iraq's Osirak reactor in 1981 and a suspected Syrian site in 2007 were just two pre-emptive Israeli strikes against perceived threats.

Israel often launches surprise attacks when the world is on holiday or there is a power vacuum. Most recently, it attacked Gaza just before New Year and a few weeks before Obama took office. Summer holidays are just around the corner, as is a political transition -- the Iranian presidential elections scheduled for June 12. If you'd rather not be around for Armageddon, pray for a short, cool summer."

Doublespeak on North Korea

Who Will Stand Up to America and Israel?

A Very Good Piece


""Obama Calls on World to ‘Stand Up To’ North Korea” read the headline. The United States, Obama said, was determined to protect “the peace and security of the world.”

Shades of doublespeak, doublethink, 1984......

The real question is who is going to stand up to the American and Israeli governments?.....

Who is going to protect Palestinians, Iraqis, Afghans, Lebanese, Iranians, and Syrians from Americans and Israelis? Not Obama, and not the right-wing brownshirts that today rule Israel.....

Is this the same America that is responsible for approximately one million dead Iraqis, leaving orphans and widows everywhere and making refugees out of one-firth of the Iraqi population?

Is this the same America that blocked the rest of the world from condemning Israel for its murderous attack on Lebanese civilians in 2006 and on Gazans most recently, the same America that has covered up for Israel’s theft of Palestine over the past 60 years, a theft that has produced four million Palestinian refugees driven by Israeli violence and terror from their homes and villages?....

Is this the same America that has bombed Afghanistan into rubble with massive civilian casualties?

Is this the same America that has started a horrific new war in Pakistan, a war that in its first few days has produced one million refugees?

“The peace and security of the world”? Whose world?

On his return from his consultation with Obama in Washington, the brownshirted Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that it was Israel’s responsibility to “eliminate” the “nuclear threat” from Iran......

Who is Iran bombing? How many refugees is Iran sending fleeing for their lives?

Who is North Korea bombing?

The two great murderous, refugee-producing countries are the US and Israel. Between them, they have murdered and dislocated millions of people who were a threat to no one.

No countries on earth rival the US and Israel for barbaric murderous violence.

But Obama gives assurances that the US will protect “the peace and security of the world.” And the brownshirt Netanyahu assures the world that Israel will save it from the “Iranian threat.”....."

The Silence of MoveOn

by Tom Hayden

"The most powerful grassroots organization of the peace movement, MoveOn, remains silent as the American wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan simmer or escalate.

Then he met with Obama in February, Jason Ruben, executive director of MoveOn, told the president it was "the moment to go big," then indicated that MoveOn would not oppose the $94 billion war supplemental request, nor the 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, nor the increased civilian casualties from the mounting number of Predator attacks.

What was MoveOn's explanation for abandoning the peace movement in a meeting with a president the peace movement was key to electing? According to Ruben and MoveOn, it was the preference of its millions of members, as ascertained by house meetings and polls......"

Al-Jazeera Video: Lebanon's women yet to leave political sideline - 27 May 09

"Lebanon may be on the most open societies for women in the Middle East, but they still play only a marginal role in the country's politics.

Al Jazeera's Todd Baer reports from Lebanon, where of over 500 candidates standing in the country's June general election only 12 are women. "

Al-Jazeera Video: Afghanistan's "bravest woman" speaks out - 27 May 09

"Despite death threats and assasination attempts, Malalai Joya, Afghanistan's "bravest woman", continues to criticise the country's legislators and the US-led war effort there.

Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reports from Afghanistan, where she met the outspoken female politician, who has been in hiding for two years since being suspended from the national assembly for speaking out."

Code Pink Delegation enters the Gaza Strip. Bravo Code Pink, and Shame on the Coward Pharaoh!

"On Tuesday, May 26th, a delegation of 66 U.S., Canadian and Egyptian Peace activists with the women-led peace group 'Code Pink' were allowed to enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing on the Gaza-Egypt border. Their entry follows closely the Hope Convoy of humanitarian aid from Europe, which arrived in Gaza early Tuesday morning after having camped out at the Rafah crossing for several days demanding entry.

The Code Pink delegation also faced problems from the Egyptian authorities, who tried to keep the group from entering Gaza. Egypt has an agreement wth Israel to keep the border closed as long as Israel maintains its siege warfare on Gaza.

According to Code Pink, “At 9am [on Tuesday], when all three groups got in their buses to go to the border, they were stopped at the first checkpoint, surrounded by riot police, and not allowed to even get off the bus. They were told that there were military exercises going on in the area and that they could not move forward to the border. Meanwhile, they saw other cars going in and out. But they were forced to turn around to go back to Al Arish. ”

After several members of the group's leadership met for four hours with the Egyptian Foreign Ministry's Office of Palestinian Coordination, the group was allowed to cross through the multiple checkpoints between the Egyptian city of Al Arish and the Rafah border crossing, and were finally allowed through the Rafah border itself......

The next group of 70 Code Pink activists will attempt to enter on Saturday May 30th.

The Code Pink delegations are bringing humanitarian aid and support to the people of Gaza, and are also attempting to document some of the effects of the Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip in January that killed over 1200 Palestinians."

Stuff the Bankers, Starve the Kids

By Robert Scheer

"I expected a federal government that has spent trillions salvaging the banks that got us into this mess to find the relatively minor sums needed to bail out California and other states that have been the victims of Wall Street’s dangerous games. But I didn’t count on the tough-love steeliness of the Obama administration......

At a time when the feds are spending with such abandon in an effort to stimulate the economy why is it tolerable to leave states in a position where they are forced to fire teachers?.....

How can there be federal funds readily available for banker bonuses but not to keep teachers in the classroom with their students? It must have been the kids who caused the meltdown."

'Der Spiegel Report: Shameful Lie Written in Lebanon'


"27/05/2009 For the third consecutive day, Lebanese politicians continued to reject the report published by the German weekly Der Spiegel concerning an alleged involvement of Hezbollah in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri as an attempt to provoke sedition in the country.

In this context, Youth and Sports Minister Talal Erslan warned that the report published in the German daily was an introduction for engaging Lebanon in another four-year "maze" after four years of managing the accusations in only one direction.

Erslan agreed with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah that the Der Spiegel accusation was an Israeli accusation par excellence. "They are seeking to set the country on fire," Erslan warned, adding that "they want to return the sectarian conflicts to the political scene and therefore, they are searching for another victim."....."

Biden; A Wolf in a Sheep Clothing

By Dr. Elias Akleh
Palestine Chronicle

".....The Lebanese know very well that the successive American administrations had not been friends to Lebanon. Rather, they have been friends to Lebanon’s enemy; Zionist Israel. The administrations had supported Israel openly since the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. They financed, militarized, and defended Israeli terror in Lebanon. The latest such action was in the summer of 2006 when the Bush administration pushed Israel to attack southern Lebanon. The Bush administration pushed Israel into attacking Lebanon, and even when it became obvious that the Israeli objectives could not be met the Secretary of State, then Miss Rice, pressured Israelis to prolong their attack. The Bush administration had built an aerial bridge providing Israel with all kinds of bombs to drop on Lebanon especially the internationally illegal cluster bombs, thousands of which Israeli warplane had littered the southern Lebanese towns and fields with just few hours before the end of the war. Then the administration defended the Israeli terror attack at the UN and used its veto power to eliminate any conviction and even any criticism of the Israeli terror attacks.

It is so politically naïve to believe that changing the president in the White House necessitates changing the American foreign policy, even though the new president promises change. This change he promises is only a change in the tactic rather a change in the substance.

Yes, the American administration is no friend to the Lebanese, and Joe Biden, a core Zionist, representing the old foreign policies of regime change in a new form, is just a wolf in sheep’s clothing. "

Is Israel Planning to Provoke Iran?

By Tony Karon

"Haaretz’s Aluf Benn today reinforces the case I made earlier for Obama to keep Netanyahu on a tight leash concerning Iran. First, he reports, Netanyahu continues to talk up a frenzy of public expectation in Israel that leads only to military action. “These are not regular times. The danger is hurtling toward us. The real danger in underestimating the threat,” Netanyahu said on Iran. “My job is first and foremost to ensure the future of the state of Israel … the leadership’s job is to eliminate the danger. Who will eliminate it? It is us or no one.”.....

They make clear that many in the Obama Administration are serious about rapprochement with Iran as the path to resolving the nuclear standoff. But Israel, and its most hawkish ally in the Administration (Ross), may be on course towards a different outcome."

Is North Korea About to Blow Up the World?

No – but maybe a little corner of it, if we aren't careful

by Justin Raimondo, May 27, 2009

".....The U.S., under Bush, consistently blocked attempts by the North and the South to come to some kind of accommodation. Our policies have clashed with the deeply ingrained nationalism of the Korean people, and the history of our collaboration with despotic Southern rulers is a long and shameful one. Pressure on the regime to give up its nuclear program only yields defiance. The best we can do is wait and let nature – in the form of a natural human resistance to intolerable conditions of privation and repression – take its course. "

A recipe for resentment

For Palestinians, to recognise Israel as a Jewish state would be to repudiate their history

Ahmad Samih Khalidi
(Ahmad Samih Khalidi is a senior associate member of St Antony's College, Oxford, a former Palestinian negotiator and the co-author, with Hussein Agha, of A Framework for a Palestinian National Security Doctrine ), Tuesday 26 May 2009

"......But Washington and the international community should be very wary of progressing any further down this path; for behind what may appear an innocuous demand to accept Israel for what it deems itself to be lies an ideologically motivated attempt to force the Palestinians into an unprecedented repudiation of their history. Palestinians' recognition of Israel as a Jewish state implies the acknowledgment that the lands they lost in 1948 are a Jewish birthright. This runs contrary to the heart of the Palestinians' historical narrative and their sense of identity and belonging.

It invalidates the history of the ­Palestinians' century-old struggle and in effect demands that they should become Zionists; for the essence of Zionism lies in the belief that these lands are (and always were) the homeland of the Jewish people, and that the history of Jewish dispossession was rightfully rectified by the emergence of Israel in 1948....."

The Palestinian village of hope

The West Bank village of Bil'in is leading creative and non-violent resistance to Israeli aggression

Matt Kennard and Wilson Dizard, Wednesday 27 May 2009

"....While the Bil'in residents maintain their adherence to nonviolence, the same can't be said for the IDF. Last month a beloved activist from the village, Bassem Ibrahim Abu Rammah, was killed by a high-velocity tear-gas canister, and one 16-year-old child we spoke to survived a live round to the head. These are definitely not "mistakes", when you shoot a high-velocity tear-gas canister horizontally and not up in the air you only have one goal. They managed to murder Bassem with a shot to the heart.....

This Israeli tactic of harsh and violent repression has one goal: to stop Palestinian resistance through instilling fear. This is what happened during the second intifada, and it is happening again now as pockets of resistance are starting to form against the annexation of their land. And it works. We asked our Palestinian friend if she wanted to come with us on Friday. "No," she replied, "I don't want to die for nothing." In recent months, since the Gaza War, the IDF have started using a new cocktail of weapons against the Bil'in demonstrators, which include stronger military-grade tear gas with nerve toxins, high-velocity machinegun-style tear gas, and aluminium bullets that have crippled protesters. The IDF has also made it a tactic to come into the village in the middle of the night and arrest the members of the Popular Committee, and children as young as 13, as well as throwing sound bombs and tear gas around....

At a bleak time for Palestinians, when they are watching the live destruction of any hopes of a viable future state, the heroic and successful resistance of the people of Bil'in (and their analogues along the line of the annexation wall) provide a glimmer of hope, and a template of how to fight this epic injustice with a mixture of consistency, courage and creativity."

Back to the Colonial Future.....Only the Arabs are Capable of Such Genius!

France opens UAE military base


"France has opened its first military base in the Gulf Arab region, with French officials saying the facility will strengthen efforts to battle piracy and defend trade.

Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, inaugurated the base, dubbed Peace Camp [War is Peace?? Orwell Must be Spinning in his grave], in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.

Located in Abu Dhabi, the facility will host up to 500 troops stationed at three sites: a navy and logistical base, an air base housing three fighter planes and a training camp.

Speaking at a maritime security conference, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the UAE's president, called the deal "an important pillar of our foreign policy because it helps the stability in the Gulf region"......

Business interests

....The Le Parisien newspaper reported on Saturday that France was finalising the sale of 60 Rafale jets in a deal worth $8-11bn, and that Sarkozy would personally push the issue during his visit to Abu Dhabi......"

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

"We will not allow any foreign interference in the Lebanese elections!"

Barak Threatens Lebanese: Don’t Vote for Hezbollah


"27/05/2009 Israel's concerns about Hezbollah winning in the upcoming parliamentary elections are on the rise as the Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak warned the Lebanese from the consequences of voting for the Islamic resistance and the Army chief Gabi Ashkenazi said there is a possibility that Lebanon “will fall to the radicals.”
Barak told reporters in Tel Aviv Tuesday that Israeli intelligence services expect a bolstering of Hezbollah’s power after the June 7 polls. "Today Hezbollah owns around a third of cabinet ministers. If Hezbollah wins the elections with a large margin, Lebanon will expose itself to the might of the Israeli army more than any time in the past," Barak warned ahead of his visit to Washington.

A possible Hezbollah win will give us the freedom of movement that we didn't have in July 2006,” he claimed......."