Saturday, July 25, 2009

Time to Talk about the Rise of Jewish Crime?

By Gilad Atzmon
Palestine Think Tank

".......As we learn from Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary Chris Huhne that “Britain is setting a shameful new record in anti-Semitic incidents this year,” we also happen to be informed by every press outlet about the massive New Jersey Corruption Sweep: A shocking tale of money-laundering and human organ trading led by a bunch of Rabbis.......

I may raise the inevitable question here, can you imagine your local priest or Imam trading in ‘body parts’? Can you think of a Muslim cleric or a pastor trying to buy your kidney or sell you one in a ‘parking lot’ or in a 'diner’?

I do not think so.

Here is my suggestion to Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary and everyone else who happens to be ‘concerned’ with the ‘rise of anti-Semitism’.

In the light of Israeli brutality, the conviction of gross swindler Madoff and the latest images of Rabbis being taken away by FBI agents, it is about time we stop discussing the rise of anti-Semitism and start to elaborate on the rise of Jewish Crime."

Murdoch: A Cultural Chernobyl

By John Pilger

"...."A cultural Chernobyl," is how the German investigative journalist Reiner Luyken, based in London, described Murdoch's effect on British life.....

His most successful war has been on journalism itself. A leading Murdoch retainer, Andrew Neil, the Kelvin MacKenzie of the Sunday Times, conducted one of his master's most notorious smear campaigns against ITV (like the BBC, a "monopoly" standing in Murdoch's way). In 1988, the ITV company Thames Television made Death on the Rock, an investigative documentary that lifted a veil on the British secret state under Margaret Thatcher, describing how an SAS team had murdered four unarmed IRA members in Gibraltar with their hands in the air.....

The hypocrisy, however, is almost magical. In 1995, Murdoch flew Tony and Cherie Blair first-class to Hayman Island, Australia, where the aspiring war criminal spoke about "the need for a new moral purpose in politics", which included the lifting of government regulations on the media. Murdoch shook his hand warmly. The next day the Sun commented: "Mr Blair has vision, he has purpose and he speaks our language on morality and family life."

The two are devout Christians, after all."

"The best place one could be on Earth"

Alice Walker, The Electronic Intifada, 24 July 2009

"Last March, poet, novelist and feminist Alice Walker joined a delegation organized by Code Pink, to travel to the Gaza Strip just weeks after the 22-day Israeli bombardment and invasion. Walker, globally acclaimed for her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Color Purple, had also traveled to Rwanda, Eastern Congo and other places where she witnessed cruel and barbaric behavior that left her speechless. In an essay on her blog entitled "Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters "the horror" in Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Palestine/Israel," Walker recounts the stories of the people she met, and offers a lyrical analysis that ties their oppression and struggles to what she and her community experienced growing up in the violence and fear of the segregated American South. The excerpt below begins with her arrival in Gaza after a long overland journey through Egypt.

Coming "home" to Gaza


Free Gaza needs your help to prepare next mission to Gaza

Written by Free Gaza Team 25 July 2009

"Dear friends,
As part of our Summer of Hope campaign, the Free Gaza Movement was planning to make 3 boat voyages to Gaza this summer, one in June, one in July and one in August. On our July and August voyages we had planned to take into Gaza all of the books that you have sent us as part of our Right to Read campaign (see below for update).

Due to Israel's hijacking of our boat, the Spirit of Humanity last month, we have had to change our plans. No, we are not backing down. Now, more than ever, we believe it's critical to continue these missions, and demonstrate the power of the international civilian community to stand up to cruelty, human rights abuses, and oppression. If we let Israel's attack on our last mission stop us, we will be giving in to the violence that is perpetrated 100-fold against the occupied Palestinian people. The risks that we take by getting on these boats are nothing compared to the existential threats that Palestinians face every day of their lives. But to make this next voyage happen, we need your help urgently! We need to raise a substantial sum of money and engage in considerable outreach over the next few weeks in order to be able to send the next mission before the weather changes and the Mediterranean Sea starts becoming unpredictable......
How soon we can make this next voyage happens will depend on our collective effort. We are aiming for September/October. Let's make it happen!"

All profits from the single go to Gaza.

Two Police States, No Solution

By Mel Frykberg

"RAMALLAH, Jul 25 (IPS) - What remains of Palestinian civil rights is rapidly being eroded by the dictorial Palestinian governments that respectively control the divided Palestinian territories.

Palestinian civilians are paying the price as the Islamic resistance movement Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, and the Fatah-affiliated and western- back Palestinian Authority (PA), which rules the West Bank, continue to target their political opponents as part of their bitter power struggle.

"We don't have a police state here in Palestine. We have two police states. One in Gaza and one in the West Bank," says Rabie Latifah from the Palestinian human rights organisation Al Haq......."

Fatah's Leadership Crisis Deepens

Analysis by Helena Cobban

"WASHINGTON, Jul 24 (IPS) - Fifty years ago, a small group of Palestinian teachers and engineers living in Kuwait founded a secretive movement aimed at liberating those portions of previously British-ruled Palestine that became the State of Israel in 1948.

The group they founded, Fatah, went on to dominate the entire Palestinian political scene. In 1969 it took over the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), which had been founded by the Arab states - as a counter to Fatah - a few years earlier.....

For Fatah's rapidly ageing leaders, it may be very hard now for them to regenerate the movement's leadership bodies. Indeed, at a time when the Palestinian people desperately need leaders who can make big and wise decisions, it may be hard for Fatah's leaders to make any decisions at all. "

Recalling the Downing Street Minutes

by Ray McGovern, July 25, 2009

"......Now seven years after the Downing Street Minutes were written – and more than four years after their disclosure – they remain one of the most damning pieces of evidence against both the Bush administration for its criminal deceptions in leading the nation to war and the FCM for its complicity in hiding the truth from the American people.

As philosopher George Santayana wisely observed a century ago, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.""

Lessons in justice and fairness from a no-nonsense historian

He will go into the whole Middle East fiasco and come out fighting

By Robert Fisk

"Let us now praise famous men and their fathers that begat them. The famous man – he should be much more famous – is the Israeli historian Avi Shlaim whose wonderful "reappraisals, revisions and refutations" is coming out in September under the simple title: Israel and Palestine.

...... he first came to Israel from Iraq with his parents in 1950 and they found themselves in miserable circumstances, at least compared with the life they had left behind. And Avi's dad would always tell him: "The Jews have prayed for a state of their own for many generations – but they prayed in vain. Did it have to happen in my lifetime?!"

But to Avi. He recalls arguing with the late Edward Said – and there is a titanic voice to be ever missed, irreplaceable is the only word – over the Oslo agreement. Here is what Avi writes: "In the years since 1993, I have often asked myself: who was right and who was wrong? When things were going well, when progress was being made, when Oslo II was signed, for example, I thought that I was right and that Edward was wrong.

"When the political process (between Israel and the Palestinians) stalled with the inevitable return to violence, I thought that Edward Said was right and I was wrong. From today's vantage point, 16 years on, it is indisputable that I was wrong and Edward Said was right in his analysis of the nature and limitations of the Oslo accord."

Not often today do we find historians who are this honest and this bleak and this able........

But Avi does know how to string the words together. Here he is, for example, deflating Benny Morris, one of his Israeli academic colleagues who – after immense and scholarly research which proved that the Palestinian Arabs fled Palestine not with promises of Arab victory but in terror of the Israelis – suddenly believed that the Palestinians had brought the catastrophe of the second intifada on themselves. "His post-conversion interpretation of history is old history with a vengeance. It is indistinguishable from the propaganda of the victors. He used to have the courage of his convictions. He now has the courage of his prejudices."......

Avi's splendid assault on Alan Dershowitz – the Harvard academic who managed to destroy Norman Finkelstein's career at the lamentable DePaul University in Chicago – and the so-called Campus Watch in the United States are classics. "As its mission suggests," he writes of Campus Watch, "this organisation is incompatible with the core values of higher education such as tolerance, free speech, and the dignity of difference.".....

..... he reminded me that the first suicide bomber was Samson, who broke the twin pillars (yes, we remember the other twin pillars), saying he wanted to take some Philistines with him........ "

Escaping Saudi Arabia's gilded cage

The life of a princess in the House of Saud comes with an unlimited bank account – and no basic freedoms

Ali al-Ahmed
(Ali al-Ahmed is director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs), Friday 24 July 2009

"The British court was right when it granted asylum to a female member of the Al Saud ruling family and protected her identity. The woman fled Saudi Arabia in fear for her life after having a baby with a non-Muslim British man, whose identity is also kept secret.

This young woman was married to a disabled prince in his 70s who has other wives and children older than her........

The west, especially the United States, is partially responsible for the dismal status of women and the harsh conditions of human rights in Saudi Arabia. US officials have turned a blind eye to the ruling family's policies of oppressing human rights, religious freedom and women for the past six decades. In his confirmation hearing last Wednesday, Obama's nominee for US ambassador to Riyadh, General James Smith, praised King Abdullah as a reformer. Describing an absolute monarch, and dictator, as a reformer is an affront........"

Mouallem Says Syria Can Play Role in Solving Iran Disputes


"25/07/2009 Syria believes it can play a role in finding a political solution to nuclear and other disputes between Iran and the West, Foreign Minister Walid al-Mouallem said on Friday. "We support (a) political solution for issues standing between Iran and the West," Mouallem told a news conference with Foreign Secretary David Miliband after the two men held talks on the so-called Middle East peace process and Iran......."

Habila Says: "We Won't Impede "Peace Deal" for Palestinian State." Just Like Fatah of Earlier Days; it is Deja Vu All Over Again.


"25/07/2009 The Hamas government's prime minister in the Gaza Strip said his movement will not impede a “peace deal” which will lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state. Speaking at a Khan Younis mosque as part of the Friday sermon, Ismail Haniyeh said that the condition for not torpedoing such a deal would be a sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital, which would be founded on all the lands occupied in 1967........"

Friday, July 24, 2009

"Ghawaar denied entrance into Gaza"

Gaza City/Cairo - The Palestinian movement Hamas said on Thursday that Egypt prevented Syrian actor Dureid Laham from crossing into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border.

'Egypt denied Dureid Laham's entrance into Gaza claiming that the crossing is closed right now,' said Hamas' anti-blockade committee in a statement.

The statement said that 'Egypt opens the crossing point for foreign delegations to cross from Egypt to Gaza, while the crossing is closed. Yet, it did not let Laham cross.'

Cheney secret team involved saboteurs as well as assassins

By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

"WMR has learned from U.S. and foreign intelligence sources that Dick Cheney’s super-secret clandestine operations team, primarily made up of Department of Defense Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) personnel, in some cases worked closely with their Israeli commando counterparts to carry out sabotage against Iranian and Pakistani nuclear facilities, as well as assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists, other individuals who were knowledgeable about the role of Israelis in supplying nuclear materials to Pakistan and Iran, and commit terrorist attacks on civilian aircraft......"


Iran, China and the New Silk Road

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

Part 1: Iran and Russia, scorpions in a bottle

"China's block on Iran's full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization last year might signal that a Beijing-Tehran axis doesn't exist, yet a strategic alliance between the pair is essential to counter Western influence in their domain. For China, Iran is all about Pipelineistan, the Asian Energy Security Grid and the New Silk Road....."

David Rovics sings for Gaza

The Free Gaza Movement

* 21st August, Venice, California

* 22nd August, Glendale, California

Download Flyer: DavidRovicsflyer.pdf

Video: Protesters welcome Israeli FM in Argentina

Press TV

Click Here to Watch This 2-Minute Video

By Emad Hajjaj

Why Is Ralph Peters So Angry?

by Karen Kwiatkowski

"....Not for the Taliban – no, Peters and the rest of the American war machinery in the Middle East want the Taliban. They need the Taliban and they need it big, bad, and brutal. This is "The Enemy" and it helps keep the homefront from falling off the war wagon, something the American public is increasingly doing in an age where a hundred seeds of newthink on the righteousness of the federal warfare/welfare state have found fertile ground.

Peters’ bloodlust is based on his inside track idea that Private Bergdahl, in an act of unspeakable and awesome defiance, deserted the Afghanistan campaign. That perhaps Bergdahl had become sympathetic to the Afghans we have been destroying. Perhaps he got fed up with what he was being told to do. Perhaps he discovered he wasn’t cut out to be a merc, or maybe he was captured (as Taliban media suggested, the drunken private stumbled out of his garrison) because military order had broken down. Whatever it was, for Peters to become enraged over soldier "disloyalty" indicates extreme fear. Is Bergdahl representative of other Army trends in Afghanistan like torture prisons and mass murder of civilians that we ought to know about? ......."

Eastern Europe and the Habit of Servitude

An "open letter" from the ghosts of the cold war begs for an appropriate response

by Justin Raimondo, July 24, 2009

".....Well, isn’t that just tough. It is time for the United States to start pursuing its own interests, not the "Atlanticist" vision of a "collective security" designed to entangle us in Europe’s ancient feuds. NATO should have been retired when the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet empire was defeated by its own unwieldiness. Instead, it has been retooled and reconfigured into an instrument of US aggression, extending its tentacles throughout the Caucasus and Central Asia. And the Obama administration, which is noticeably Euro-centric, shows every inclination of following the very bad advice proffered in the "Open Letter" – to the detriment of our own national interests.

It’s interesting that the signatories mentioned, in their text, the various oil pipelines snaking their way across the Caucasus and Central Asia, showing that they not only understand but also speak the language of corporatism, which equates the national interest with the corporate interests that manipulate US foreign policy. They want "energy independence" – which appears to be a synonym for a free lunch......"

Will Israel finally bend to America's pressure for peace?

The gamble is that Netanyahu will be driven by a desire for a place in history

By Donald Macintyre
The Independent

".....On the Palestinian side the gamble must be that, even if the settlement agreement is imperfect, Abbas will leap at talks with the Americans in the room and armed with their own blueprint of a peace deal; and that for fear of isolation in a stateless Gaza, Hamas will not actually sabotage them......."

Memo to Clinton: US ain't top dog

The US doesn't necessarily lead the pack in world affairs – something Hillary Clinton should remember on her Asian tour

Simon Tisdall, Thursday 23 July 2009

"......Clinton's call for a "multi-partner" rather than a multi-polar world is the diplomatic equivalent of police brutality victim Rodney King's famous (and unsuccessful) plea for mutual tolerance at the height of the 1992 Los Angeles race riots. "People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?" asked King. Clinton's similar, less eloquent call for international amity and understanding may also have limited impact.......

.....Yet possibly the biggest obstacle to the "new mindset" partnerships Clinton envisaged in her Washington speech is of her own creation – her very old-fashioned assumption that, in all such arrangements, the US will naturally be top dog and pack leader. This is what Iranian conservatives term the "global arrogance". Memo to HC: it ain't necessarily so."

Surprise, Surprise! The Puppet is True to the Master; What is This World Coming to?

Iraq PM admits US troops may stay

"The Iraqi prime minister has admitted US troops could stay in the country beyond 2011.

Under the US-Iraq Status of Forces agreement, which sets out a timetable for the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq, American troops must exit the country by December 31, 2011.

But Nuri al-Maliki said at the US Institute of Peace in Washington on Thursday: "The security relations between the Americans and the Iraqis ... is a relationship based on co-operation and all the foundations and rules that were put forth in the agreements.

"Nevertheless, if the Iraqis require further training and support we shall examine this at that time, based on the needs of Iraq."

His comments mark a shift in his position......."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hamas is Trying to Take Palestinian Society Back to the Middle Ages!

اللائحة تتحدث عن منع الاختلاط والسفور الفاضح والمناظر المثيرة للشهوة بما في ذلك 'المانيكان' بواجهات المحلات
حكومة حماس تفرض 'الزي الشرعي' على المحاميات. ولائحة الآداب والأخلاق في القطاع

"انتقدت نقابة المحامين الفلسطينيين، قراراً اتخذته السلطات القضائية التي شكلتها حركة حماس في قطاع غزة، يلزم المحاميات بارتداء 'الجلباب وتغطية الرأس' (الزي الشرعي الإسلامي) في المحاكم، واعتبرت ذلك مساساً بالحريات.
وقال نقيب المحامين علي مهنا في بيان أصدره امس الخميس، أن هذا القرار 'صادر عن جهة لا تتمتع بالشرعية الدستورية والقانونية، وغير مختصة بإصدار مثل هذا القرار، كون نقابة المحامين هي الجهة الوحيدة المختصة بشؤون المحاماة والمحامين'.
وشدد على ان 'هذا القرار مساس خطير بالحريات العامة، ومخالف لبديهيات الأحكام القانونية والأعراف الخاصة بمهنة المحاماة'.
ودعا أعضاء الهيئة العامة (في النقابة) إلى عدم الامتثال لأية قرارات تصدر عن جهات غير مختصة بهذا الشأن، مطالبا المؤسسات القانونية والمهتمة بحقوق الإنسان الوقوف في وجه مثل هذه القرارات، لعدم دستوريتها وتناقضها مع أحكام القانون الأساسي.
جاء ذلك بعد ان توافقت مجموعة من المسؤولين في الحكومة المقالة التي تديرها حركة حماس في غزة على تطبيق 'لائحة الآداب العامة والأخلاق'، التي أقرت الشهر الماضي، بـ'التدرج' بحيث تبدأ باستخدام الإعلام في نشر 'ثقافة الفضيلة'، تحت شعار 'ادع إلى سبيل ربك بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة'.
وخلال ورشة عمل ناقش مسؤولون من وزارات الداخلية والأوقاف والشرطة والنيابة العسكرية والمدنية والجهات القضائية والإعلامية في غزة برئاسة محمد فرج الغول وزير العدل في الحكومة المقالة، الخطوات التي سيتم الشروع في اتخاذها لتطبيق اللائحة التي أقرها مجلس الوزراء في غزة في جلسته التي انعقدت في التاسع من الشهر الماضي.
وتحدث الغول في بداية الورشة، مؤكداً أن المجتمع الفلسطيني يعتبر 'محافظا'، وأنه يعد من أكثر الشعوب العربية والإسلامية 'حفاظا على القيم الدينية والأخلاقية'، ومن ثم ناقش المجتمعون الآليات والأساليب التي من شأنها تسهيل تطبيق لائحة المحافظة على النظام العام والآداب في المجتمع لـ 'نشر الفضيلة وتقوية الجبهة الداخلية'، للوصول إلى ترسيخ دعائم 'الأخلاق الفاضلة' والقضاء على مواطن الفساد.
وبين الشيخ يوسف فرحات مدير الوعظ والإرشاد في وزارة الأوقاف بغزة لـ 'القدس العربي' حين استفسرت منه عن بنود اللائحة أنها تتضمن نقاطا تحافظ على الآداب العامة للمجتمع، من خلال منع 'الاختلاط والسفور الفاضح'، إلى جانب منع استخدام وعرض 'المناظر المثيرة للشهوات'، في الشوارع، ويأتي من ضمنها العرائس البلاستيكية 'المانيكان'، التي تستخدم في عرض الملبوسات النسائية.
وبين فرحات أيضاً أن اللائحة تتحدث عن مواجهة أي ظاهرة لتشبه الرجال بالنساء، بهدف منع أي عملية 'تسلل' لرجال في أوساط السيدات، إلى جانب منع إقامة الأفراح في أماكن تعيق حركة المرور، وذكر فرحات أنه اتفق على أن يتم البدء في تطبيق هذه اللائحة عن طريق التوعية والإرشاد.

ANALYSIS / Iran can rejoice as Israel fails missile defense test

By Yossi Melman
Haaretz Correspondent

"Despite attempts by the operators of the Arrow missile defense system in Israel to portray Wednesday night's aborted test as "a partial success," in reality it was nothing less than a resounding failure. The fact that the interceptor missile failed to launch in the direction of the target is damning proof that the test failed......"

(Graphic courtesy of Press TV.)

COMMENT: Keep in mind that this is the analysis of the ISRAELI paper, Haaretz!

Al-Jazeera Video: Illegal Israeli outposts expand in West Bank - 23 July 09

"Israel is coming under increased international pressure to stop the building of settlements on Palestinian land. But settlements are not the only issue.

Hundreds of Israelis are living in dozens of illegal outposts in the occupied West Bank, though the Israeli government has promised to remove them.

But as Al Jazeera's Mike Hanna reports, the outposts are still expanding. "

What if Palestinian Feminism was Class Oriented?

By Adel Samara
Palestine Think Tank

"....The offspring of Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority, as a formation caged between national independence and colonialism, contained access to social struggle, an area which the left must fill and use especially under a regime of defeat, corruption and comprador policies in spheres of politics, culture and economy. This made lines of class differentiation much clearer.

Moreover, the last elections in WBG (January 2006) presented a route for competition inside factions of Palestinian bourgeoisie. These elections led to a military conflict between:

□ the bureaucratic comprador bourgeois of Ramallah under the name of Fateh, and

□ the bazaar merchant comprador mainly in Gaza Strip under the name of Hamas.

But both were using the same class as a fuel for the semi-civil war, the popular classes!

Unfortunately, since the leftist organizations were dependent on the PA, and women organizations were absorbed by political organizations, there was a lack of a third force to fill in the social and national gap with a class program.

Women, once again missed the golden opportunity."

The Reality of Israel’s "Open Jerusalem"

Ghettoes, demolitions and housing shortages

by Jonathan Cook
Global Research, July 23, 2009

"No one would have been more surprised than Fawziya Khurd by the recent pronouncement of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, that Israel operates an “open city” policy in Jerusalem......

Mrs Khurd, for example, has been forced to live in a tent after settlers ousted her from her East Jerusalem home of five decades in November. She also has no hope of moving back to the house taken from her family in Talbiyeh, now in West Jerusalem, during the 1948 war that established Israel.

In addition, movement restrictions mean that almost all of the nearly four million Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza are banned from entering the city or visiting its holy sites......

.....Inside Jerusalem, as in the West Bank, Israel enforces a strict programme of segregation to disadvantage the Palestinians, said Jeff Halper, of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

Israeli Jews have the freedom to live in both parts of the city, with 270,000 in West Jerusalem and a further 200,000 living in East Jerusalem in rapidly expanding settlements heavily subsidised by the state.

Palestinians, meanwhile, are denied the right to live both in West Jerusalem and in many residential areas of East Jerusalem. Even in their tightly controlled neighbourhoods in the city’s east, at least 20,000 of their homes are subject to demolition orders, said Mr Halper........"

Hezbollah stalls Syrian-Saudi detente

By Sami Moubayed
Asia Times

"Born out of a common need to counter Iran's growing regional influence, Saudi Arabian and Syrian ties have improved solidly this year. But hopes of a three-way summit with Lebanon have stalled. Saudi heavyweights say Lebanon's new leader must first overcome Hezbollah's aggressive political demands and succeed in forming a new government.......

The Syrians are insisting that, contrary to reports in the Arab media, the Syrian-Saudi rapprochement which started in early 2009 is still operational.

There are heavyweights in Saudi Arabia who want Abdullah to make the trip only after Hariri creates a cabinet of national unity in Lebanon. Bringing a fully fledged prime minister along is one thing, but taking a prime minister designate - who in three weeks of consultations has not succeeded in forming a government - is something completely different.

To date, Hariri has failed to bring all parties to endorse his program because Hezbollah has not yet approved the new prime minister's program. Hezbollah insists that it be given veto power in the new cabinet, known as the blocking third, to prevent Hariri from passing any legislation related to its arms and the international tribunal over his father's death without first getting approval of the Hezbollah-led opposition......."

Iran and Russia, scorpions in a bottle


By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

(This is the first article in a two-part report.)

"A nuclear Iran would inevitably turbo-charge a new, emerging multipolar world - one that does not rely on the United States to subjugate the bulk of oil in the Arab Middle East. But the Iranian nuclear dossier cannot be solved without Russia, leaving Moscow with a key moderating role between Iran and the West. No matter how nasty the overtones, the Iran-Russia dynamic is the pacemaker for the heart of the New Great Game......"

The Arabs' "Strategic" Option! By Emad Hajjaj

Celebrating absurdity in Nablus

Sousan Hammad writing from Nablus, occupied West Bank, Live from Palestine, 22 July 2009

".....As the horde of spectators pushed and elbowed their way to get to the front action of the rite in al-Shuhada (Martyrs) square, Salam Fayyad, the appointed Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister, arrived in a caravan of armored cars with bodyguards for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Like bride and groom in a wedding ceremony, al-Rabi cut from the monstrous plate of kanafeh and handed Fayyad the first piece.

A local resident shook his head in disbelief. "It's unbelievable. Even Abu Ammar [Yasser Arafat] never traveled with such an entourage as Fayyad's. It's a lavish greeting I've never seen before," said Tareq Touqan.

Responding to the closure of the checkpoint as an "improved economic and security situation" in Nablus, the US-backed Fayyad, who previously worked for the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, said, "Today Nablus became not only famous as a producer of kanafeh, but also as producer of hope for all of Palestine."

Fayyad's visit to Nablus came just days after The New York Times reporter, Ethan Bronner, wrote a front-page article calling the opening of a cinema in Nablus a "sign of hope emerging in the West Bank," yet failing to mention how the PA is becoming more tyrannical on the streets, imposing new laws by the day. A young woman from Nablus, who wished to remain anonymous, said Fayyad's visit was nothing more than a "shameful public display of opportunism" and called the kanafeh celebration an expensive, unnecessary public relations stunt......."

[Video Free Gaza] Remembering is not enough - Hedy Epstein

Written by Free Gaza Team 23 July 2009

"This Free Gaza video is an interview with a great woman, Hedy Epstein, just turned 85. She has dedicated her life to working for peace and human rights. In June she was going to sail to Gaza with the other 21 volunteers on board the Spirit of Humanity. But she was attacked just days before she was to leave for Cyprus. She was walking home, when she was thrown on the ground, cutting both knees and gashing her chin. She talks to us from her home in St. Louis, Missouri. Here is her interview and why she believes she must continue to advocate for justice for Palestine."

The Viva Palestina Series- Breaking the Siege

Well Worth Reading:

By Salma Elshakre
Viva Palestina

"We spent the days after the Peace Bridge incident finishing the “required” paper work and negotiating with the Egyptian Ministry of Internal Affairs to reach an agreement on time to be spent in Gaza, what we can take with us, and to let all members of the convoy cross into Gaza. Mr. George Galloway and Councilman Charles Baron made a great effort to come up with a good pact with the Ministry and tried to get the most out of them. At the end, we were only allowed 24 hours in Gaza and they promised that all convoy members would enter as well as all the medical aid. They denied the entry of the 47 trucks that we purchased in Alexandria and they still have them at the port......

We arrived at Rafah at about 6pm; we were greeted by people who have been camping out of the border for weeks, even months trying to get in to Gaza to see their families. Some of them came running to our buses trying to sneak in to cross with us. It was disheartening having to refuse to let them in because the number of people on each bus had to remain fixed until we crossed the border, no more or less on each bus and the police had really strict security on us.......
I made some conversations with a few of the translators that accompanied us, they figured I’m an Egyptian from my accent, and they immediately started complaining from what my government has done. I felt humiliated at some point, and all I could do was just cry and apologize to them, but I also clarified to them that they are not only bad to the Palestinians; but they are also merciless with their own people.......

Next, we took a tour in Gaza and visited the heavily destroyed areas which were mostly the industrial areas. The scenes we saw just made us all so speechless, no “Oh my God” is big enough can explain how it feels to see the destruction with our own eyes, it’s like nothing on T.V. We saw the people that live in the Unicef tents, they waved peace signs high in the air for us to see, it was heart breaking. No matter how terrible their conditions are, they were still keen to welcome us to their humble, destroyed neighborhood and express their happiness that we are there......

The Palestinians have suffered so much but yet they are resisting. They are fighting for the rubbles of their homes and their land and their children. No matter how much stress and suffering they experience, they are still standing. No matter how hard things are on them, they still managed to be happy that we are there, they were very hospitable and generous even in their dire hard times.

This life changing experience is only the beginning for many of us, we will stand up for injustice and Palestine will be FREE!"

He's not a very naughty boy

He's just been led astray by that Cheney kid. Or so Tony Blair's mother would have it ...

Terry Jones, Wednesday 22 July 2009

"Tony Blair's mother writes

I'm so worried about Tony. I kept warning him about those rough American kids he used to hang out with when he was prime minister, but he wouldn't listen.

"I wish I were in their gang," he used to say. "It's the toughest in the 'hood."

"Fine, Tony," I'd say. "As long as they don't get up to mischief."

Well, it's beginning to look as if I were right all along, and they were not only getting up to mischief but were doing things that were actually illegal, and I'm worried stiff that it might rebound on Tony.

First of all, it turns out that that chubby boy, Dick – you know, the one with the shifty eyes and the mouth like a barracudaset up a secret intelligence programme and told the CIA not to say anything about it to Congress......

But those American kids never did anything to help him – except give him a medal I suppose. But then who wants a medal if it turns out to have been given to you by a bunch of criminals?"

Soldiers kidnap Ni'lin resident for testifying before a UN Committee probing Israeli violations

"Israeli soldiers kidnapped on Wednesday a Palestinian resident of Ni’lin village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah immediately after he returned from Geneva after testifying before a UN committee investigating the Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip, and other Israeli violations.

The resident was identified as Mohammad Srour. He was previously shot and wounded by Israeli soldiers who attacked a nonviolent protest against the Annexation Wall in the West Bank village, near Ramallah. Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire during the attack.

Israeli activist, Jonathan Pollack of the Anarchists Against the Wall also testified before the committee of Judge Richard Goldstone.

Srour returned to his village two days ago and was kidnapped by Israeli security officials at the Allenby Bridge between Jordan and the West Bank, and was moved to Ofer detention center.

His family told the Israeli Ynet News that the army kidnapped him because he testified before the international committee, and exposed the Israeli violations against the Palestinians and against nonviolent protests against the illegal Annexation Wall........"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Playing "Government" in the Non-Existent State.... Celebrate Now (or Else!)

Dwaik postpones resuming work until Sunday

"RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Dr. Aziz Dwaik, the Palestinian legislative council speaker (PLC), has postponed resuming his work at the PLC premises in Ramallah to next Sunday instead of Wednesday.

Parliamentary sources on Tuesday evening told PIC that Dr. Dwaik decided to delay his resumption of work after consulting with all parliamentary blocs to avert new political tensions in the Palestinian arena.

They added that Dr. Dwaik addressed a message to the parliamentary blocs and the media on the step but he was surprised that certain Fatah circles had expressed reservations despite the agreement on that matter during Dr. Dwaik's meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, whose term as PA chief had expired in January 2009......"

COMMENT: Palestine is disappearing from under their feet, and these idiots are busy playing government! Can it get worse than this? I don't think so. This is Nakba II on a scale bigger than Nakba I.

VIDEO: "Operation in Afghanistan is rooted in Israel"


by Karen Kwiatkowski
Global Research, July 22, 2009

"The real reason why the U.S. continues its presence in Afghanistan is Iran the country which is an annoyance for Israel, said Karen Kwiatkowski, a writer and former U.S. Air Force officer. "

Saudi Arabia - human rights abuses in the name of fighting terrorism

Amnesty International

22 July 2009

"......The Saudi Arabian authorities have launched a sustained assault on human rights under the façade of countering terrorism, Amnesty International said in a new report on Wednesday.

Thousands of people have been arrested and detained in virtual secrecy, while others have been killed in uncertain circumstances. Hundreds more people face secret and summary trials and possible execution. Many are reported to have been tortured in order to extract confessions or as punishment after conviction.

As recently as 8 July 2009, the Ministry of Justice announced that 330 people had been tried for terrorism offences with sentences ranging from fines to the death penalty. However, neither the names of those tried nor the details of the charges against them were disclosed, maintaining the extreme secrecy of the trial process......."

Click Here to Read AI Report (69 pages) (PDF)

Rampaging Settlers Shatter Fragile Calm

By Mel Frykberg

"RAMALLAH, Jul 22 (IPS) - The northern Palestinian West Bank is turning into a flashpoint as Israeli settlers continue to attack Palestinian civilians and their property as part of a "price tag" policy......

However, even if the small and isolated outposts are dismantled and evacuated, a bigger problem remains. There are more than 100 larger Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank which are home to nearly 500,000 settlers.

Under Israeli law, contrary to international law, they remain legal, and the Israeli government has told the U.S. that Israel has no intention of dismantling or evacuating any of them."

Israel and the Nutbar Factor

Have Israel and its supporters gone over the edge?

by Justin Raimondo, July 22, 2009

"As Israel defies the U.S. on settlement policies and its continuing mistreatment of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, a recent poll shows the American public is undergoing a significant shift in its historically pro-Israel views:

"According to the survey of 800 registered voters, which was conducted June 9-11 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, those who believe Israel is committed to peace has dropped to 46 percent this month from 66 percent last December. The poll found that some 49 percent of American voters call themselves supporters of Israel, down from 69 percent last September, and only about 44 percent of voters believe the United States should support Israel – down from 71 percent a year ago."

What is the reason for this dramatic drop in support for the Jewish state? After all, the Israeli government and its American amen corner spend a lot of money – a lot of it our own tax dollars coming back to haunt us – in pursuit of the good will of the American people. They do this because they know the U.S. is Israel’s lifeline and that what is essentially a settler colony could not exist for very long if taken off U.S. life support, i.e., if the billions in aid given each year were ended or even significantly reduced. Yet, in spite of this, Israel’s approval ratings are plummeting, fast – and the reason is an exponential expansion of what I call the nutbar factor in Israeli society.

Here’s a good and quite recent example, reported in the excellent Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz......."

Israel's barrier to progress

Far from protecting anyone, the controversial separation wall can only give a false sense of security

Seth Freedman, Wednesday 22 July 2009

"......Stifling the Palestinians of the means to provide for their families, whether by denying them freedom of movement or by brazenly taking their land from under their noses, ensures another generation will grow up resenting Israel and eventually resorting to violence as a way of expressing their rage.

Despite such tactics not being in the best interests of the Palestinian people, the fact that they have seen no progress even when they put down their arms means that the dam will inevitably burst again soon. When it does, the inefficacy of Israel's half-built wall will be plain for all to see, as too will the half-hearted measures at rapprochement which have hampered peace efforts for years and decades gone by."

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

أبو نتنياهو وأبوات الخيزران

A Really Good Comment (Arabic)

أبو نتنياهو وأبوات الخيزران!
رشاد أبو شاور

"أبو نتنياهو البروفيسور بن تسيون نتنياهو أكّد لتلفزيون العدو القناة السابعة، بأن ابنه رئيس وزراء الكيان إيّاه يضحك على العرب، وأنه لن يعطي الفلسطينيين دولة، وهو يطرح عليهم شروطا لا يمكن أن يقبلوها: نتنياهو لا يدعم دولة فلسطينيّة، فهو أخبرني خلال أحاديث عائليّة بأنه يكذب على العرب، حيث وضع أمام هذه الدولة شروطا تعجيزيّة لن يقبل العرب مطلقا بأي شرط منها.
البروفيسور فخور بإبنه، ولذا فهو وبمناسبة مائة يوم على ترؤسه الوزارة يصرّح: أنا واثق بأنه يعرف ماذا يفعل، وأنا أعتقد بأنه لن يفعل أشياء تافهة...
أمّا موقف أبو نتنياهوالشخصي من الدولة فهو: إن هذه البلاد يهوديّة وليست عربيّة، ولا يوجد مكان للعرب ولن يكون، كما انهم لن يقبلوا بشروطنا للأبد...
ونتنياهو يضحك على الأبوات الذين ابتلينا بهم، والذين رغم كل ما يحصل على الأرض، فإنهم لن يفكروا في تغيير شيء من خيارهم التفاوضي الذي لا خيار لهم غيره
أبو نتنياهو فخور بابنه الذي لن يتغيّر، والذي سيجرجر العرب وراء أكاذيبه، وبخاصة الأبوات المزمنين فلسطينيّا.
قاطرة الصهيونيّة تمضي سريعا في تحقيق مشروعها، وتحويل أحلامها إلى حقائق ووقائع
نكبتنا ليست في الصهاينة الذين لا يخفون عداءهم، ولا يغطّون مشروعهم بتفاصيله، ولكن نكبتنا المكرّسة هي في هؤلاء الذين يركضون وراء أكاذيب الصهاينة، ومراوغاتهم، و.. وعود أمريكا بدولة، إدارة بعد إدارة، بينما الاستيطان يزحف من كل الاتجاهات، فيهوّد القدس، ويقبض على ضفة نهر الأردن الغربيّة في منطقة الأغوار، ويمسك بالبحر الميّت بالمستعمرات، والمشاريع الاقتصاديّة الاستثمارية، بحيث لا يبقى للفلسطينيين سوى الملح في عيونهم ليسيلوا غزير الدموع على واقع كابوسي أغواهم بوعود السلام، وأخذ منهم كّل ما كان معهم قبل مسيرة أوسلو الحقيرة.
لا نلوم (أبو نتنياهو) على فخره بابنه، ولكن يفترض أن نلوم أنفسنا على استمرار السير وراء أبوات جلبوا على شعبنا وقضيتنا كّل المصائب وما زالوا يواصلون جلب المزيد، فلا ضمائر تستيقظ، ولا عقول تفكّر، ولا وطنيّة توقظ، فهم يسيرون مضبوعين خائفين مستسلمين، والمصيبة انهم لا يفكرون في الانسحاب وترك القيادة ليختار الشعب من يثق بهم، ومن لا يخافون على مصالحهم وامتيازاتهم، وما يتنعّم به أبناؤهم في تجارتهم وسمسراتهم وثرائهم المفاجئ والذي لم يرثوه عن أسرهم التي هي أسر آبائهم الفقيرة كأغلبية الأسر الفلسطينيّة.
أبو نتنياهو مبسوط من ابنه فهو ينفّذ الدروس التي لقنه إيّاها على العرب البلهاء، ونحن بماذا نفخر؟! بهبلنا أننا صدقنا هكذا قيادات، وأننا لم نعاقبها على كل ما فعلته بنا وبقضيتنا!
نحن شعب ذكي، متعلّم، يُفترض أنه استفاد من التجارب التي ذاقها، وعانى من أكاذيب القادة الصهاينة قبل نتنياهو وبعده، ومن مراوغات الصهاينة، ووعود أمريكا، وجرائم دايتون الأمريكي الذي يفسد في الضفة ببناء أجهزة مُرتزقة، والذي صرّح مباهيا بأن الأجهزة التي بناها منعت تفجّر انتفاضة ثالثة أثناء الحرب على غزّة!.
لقد لحق بالأبوات من يرفعون شعار دولة في حدود 4 حزيران /يونيو، وبهذا تكتمل دائرة العجز ومسيرة الوهم، فالأبوات لم يخلعهم من جاء بعدهم، ومن راهنّا عليهم ببراءة، و..كأننا نسينا جذورهم السياسيّة، وخلفيتهم الحزبيّة التي عملت دائما في خدمة أعتى نظم الرجعيّة العربيّة!
أبو نتنياهو يفخر بابنه ونحن ليس لنا إلاّ أن نخجل من وجود الأبوات، ومن تبعهم، ومن ينافسهم في مسلسل التنازلات!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Arab World Today

The Arab World Today
By Emad Hajjaj

Israel 'to grab' Dead Sea shore as property

Press TV

"Israel plans declaring ownership of the West Bank's Dead Sea shore as “state property,” to confiscate more Palestinian land, an anti-settlement group says.

"Israeli authorities have announced that they intend to declare as state land some 138,600 dunums (34,650 acres) that has emerged along the Dead Sea in the occupied West Bank due to the drop in the water level," said Hagit Ofran of the Peace Now group Tuesday, quoted by AFP......."

.....So the Jordan, the holy Jordan
Is the backbone of my Israel.

Two Banks has the Jordan –
This is ours and, that is as well.......

Al-Jazeera Video: Bedouin school under threat from Israel - 20 Jul 09

"The UN says that access to education is a basic human right. But for Palestinian children living in the occupied West Bank, getting to school itself is a challenge.

One Bedouin community lost three children in road accidents on their long walk to school.

Making matters worse, Israeli authorities are trying to block the building of a school near the community's home outside Jerusalem.

Al Jazeera's Dan Nolan reports."

Hillary Clinton moves State Department to the right of Condoleezza Rice

By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

"Although the State Department under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was a hotbed of neoconservative intrigue and secret operations, not one progressive democratically-elected Latin American leader was ousted by a U.S.-inspired military coup, although there were a number of abortive attempts. However, that situation has changed under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who has given off mixed signals about the military junta that overthrew Honduras’s progressive President Manuel Zelaya late last month......"

Doubts over Obama's 'peace engine'

By Jerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler
Asia Times

(Click on cartoon by Khalil Bendib to enlarge)

"JERUSALEM - A joke deriding United States President Barack Obama is making the rounds in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet, according to Aluf Benn, the normally well-informed diplomatic correspondent for the Ha'aretz newspaper: "What do Americans do when anything breaks down in their home - when the sink is blocked, the toilet overflows, or a fuse snaps? Simple: They ask Barack Obama to give a speech and the problem is solved.".......

No one is saying it out loud in the Israeli corridors of power, but listening to talk from Netanyahu officials, one's left with the distinct impression that the unspoken punch line of the anti-Obama joke is: "He'll do the talking, we'll do the policy-making.""

Israel deploys cyber team to spread positive spin

Jonathan Cook
The National

July 21. 2009

"NAZARETH. ISRAEL // The passionate support for Israel expressed on talkback sections of websites, internet chat forums, blogs, Twitters and Facebook may not be all that it seems.

Israel’s foreign ministry is reported to be establishing a special undercover team of paid workers whose job it will be to surf the internet 24 hours a day spreading positive news about Israel......

To all intents and purposes the internet is a theatre in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we must be active in that theatre, otherwise we will lose,” said Ilan Shturman, who is responsible for the project......

The team will fall under the authority of a large department already dealing with what Israelis term “hasbara”, officially translated as “public explanation” but more usually meaning propaganda......

The project is a formalisation of public relations practices the ministry developed specifically for Israel’s assault on Gaza in December and January.

“During Operation Cast Lead we appealed to Jewish communities abroad and with their help we recruited a few thousand volunteers, who were joined by Israeli volunteers,” Mr Shturman said.

We gave them background material and hasbara material, and we sent them to represent the Israeli point of view on news websites and in polls on the internet.”.....

Israel has become particularly concerned that support is ebbing among the younger generations in Europe and the United States......."

Why is South Africa still helping apartheid Israel?

A Very Intersting Piece

By Sayed Dhansay, The Electronic Intifada, 21 July 2009
(Sayed Dhansay is a South African writer and political activist who volunteered for the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in 2006-2007)

"Due to their support of South Africans struggling against apartheid, Palestinians likewise expect the same level of support from the now free and democratic South Africa."

"A few weeks ago I departed from South Africa for the Gaza Strip in order to take up a short-term voluntary post with a humanitarian organization there....

The Egyptian border authorities controlling the Rafah crossing have varying and often arbitrary requirements that must be fulfilled by anyone wishing to enter Gaza, which change regularly and without notice. The latest requirement is that any non-Palestinian wishing to visit Gaza needs to obtain prior written permission from their embassy in Cairo.....

.....At the South African Embassy in Cairo, I quickly realized that my government was conspiring with the Egyptian and Israeli siege of the tiny coastal territory. After repeated requests with various representatives, my embassy refused to provide the necessary permission for me to enter Gaza. Indeed, I was told that the embassy was under "strict orders directly from the South African government not to facilitate the travel of any South African citizen to Gaza via Rafah."......

.....After traveling thousands of kilometers, and now literally standing a few hundred meters away from Gaza, the sad irony was that it was my own government that was preventing me from entering. I couldn't understand why South Africa, which claims to be sympathetic to the Palestinian struggle, had adopted this policy.....

Due to their support of South Africans struggling against apartheid, Palestinians likewise expect the same level of support from the now free and democratic South Africa. It was largely because of the pressure exerted by the international boycott, divestment and sanctions movement that the apartheid regime was forced to abolish its racist policies. The least we can do is to return the favor and avoid short-term financial gain from blurring our moral responsibilities.

Having only recently broken free of the humiliation and degradation of apartheid, South Africa should be at the forefront of ending similar injustices wherever else they are found. And if our government is truly a peace loving democracy as it claims to be, then its economic policies should reflect its stated ideals accordingly."

Sarkozy Veil, by Khalil Bendib

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

EGYPT: Selling Kidneys to Pay the Bills

By Cam McGrath

"CAIRO, Jul 21 (IPS) - Karim borrowed money to expand his bakery. When the money ran out, and facing the prospect of imprisonment if unable to repay his debts, the 36-year- old Egyptian baker sold his kidney......

"There is a well-known broker who works with several hospitals and targets all his victims in cafes," Mostafa says. "He drives up in a BMW, promising unemployed men that he can secure them a job in the Gulf or Europe - all they need is a routine medical exam for the application. They do the tests, but at the hospital they discover a problem, usually kidney stones."

The broker agrees to cover the cost of the treatment, which he will deduct from the patient's first pay cheque. But when the doctors operate, the kidney is found to be "damaged" and needs to be removed. Desperate for the job, the patient agrees to the operation. The victim only discovers the ruse when the job fails to materialise and the broker stops returning his calls. "In this case, he doesn't even get paid for his kidney," Mostafa says......."

West ignores lessons of Soviet humiliation in Afghanistan

Its Afghan war spelt disaster for the USSR and now Nato is making the same mistakes

Times Online


It was an agonising process that marked the beginning of the end of the Soviet empire and eventually the USSR itself. “How to get out of this racks one’s brains,” Gorbachev despaired to his fellow Soviet magnates in the spring of 1986. He told his generals later that year: “After all this time we have not learnt how to wage war there.”

When the last troops left on February 15, 1989, about 15,000 of their comrades had been killed. It was the only war the USSR lost. To Gorbachev, one vital issue was how to “spin” it correctly. As he wrote to his key aides during the last phase of the retreat, presentation was key: “We must say that our people have not given their lives in vain,” he said. "

Afghanistan blast kills British soldier

Death brings to 187 the number of UK troops killed since US-led invasion began in 2001

Mark Tran, Tuesday 21 July 2009


The recent fighting has led to a record number of British casualties since the start of the war, with more than 150 seriously wounded within a week, defence officials said yesterday. The figures are in addition to the 18 soldiers killed this month so far."

Erdogan to Make Surprise Trip to Syria


"20/07/2009 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to Syria on Wednesday for a surprise trip, with the Turkish press speculating that reviving talks between Israel and Syria will be the most important item on the agenda.

Erdogan, who was last in Syria in December, will be accompanied on his one-day visit by his foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu.

Sabah, a daily paper considered close to the Turkish government, speculated that the visit had something to do with the recent visit to Damascus by Fred Hof, in charge of the Lebanese and Syrian portfolio inside the office of US Middle East envoy George Mitchell......"

المسكوت عليه في ملف قتل عرفات

"القنبلة التي أطلقها أبو اللطف بخصوص التآمر على قتل عرفات تفتح أكثر من ملف مسكوت عليه، ليس فقط فيما يخص الذي جرى منذ خمس سنوات، وإنما أيضا فيما يجرى الآن.
أختم بملاحظتين مهمتين، الأولى أن الصراع في الساحة الفلسطينية، الذي استدعى قتل عرفات، لم يكن في جوهره بين زعامات بقدر ما إنه كان ولا يزال بين مواقف سياسية بعضها مع الخطوط الحمراء والثوابت والبعض الآخر في المربع المعاكس. وقد سبقت الإشارة إلى أن الخلاص من عرفات أريد به إزاحة العقبة التي وقفت في طريق التسوية التي كان التفريط في الثوابت من شروطها.

بالتالي فلا ينبغي أن يصرفنا التحقيق في مقتل أبو عمار الرمز عن تسليط الضوء على انعكاسات ذلك على الموقف والمنهج، باعتبار أن المطلوب لم يكن رأس الرجل فقط وإنما رأس القضية ذاتها.

الملاحظة الثانية المهمة أن التواطؤ على قتل عرفات للخلاص من الموقف الذي يجسده لا يختلف كثيرا عما يسمى الآن بالتنسيق الأمني بين الأجهزة الأمنية في رام الله وبين السلطة الإسرائيلية. ذلك أنني لا أرى فرقا كبيرا -إلا في الدرجة- بين أن يكون هناك تفاهم بين عناصر فلسطينية وإسرائيلية على التخلص من أبو عمار وبين أن يتم ذلك التفاهم بين رجال أمن فلسطينيين ونظراء إسرائيليين لهم، لملاحقة عناصر المقاومة وتصفيتها، وهو ما يدعونا للاعتراف بأن التواطؤ لم يتوقف، وإنما استمر تحت مسميات أخرى.

وإذا كان "التنسيق الأمني" من عناوينه المبتكرة، فإن "الحصار" لا يختلف عنه كثيرا، الأمر الذي يعنى أن مشروع "رأس القضية" لا يزال ينفذ بخطى وئيدة وثابتة.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Settlers Grow and Advance

By Mel Frykberg

"RAMALLAH, Jul 20 (IPS) - A little village nestled in a valley between several hills in the Bethlehem governorate is today fighting for survival.....

IPS accompanied Palestinian Authority (PA) agricultural ministry officials on a tour of Bethlehem and surrounding villages to assess first-hand the shrinking land available to Palestinians as settlement expansion in the West Bank accelerates.

"We are facing a disaster," says PA Agriculture Minister Dr Ismail Da'iq. "We are losing land at an unprecedented rate due to Israeli settlement expansion and its closed military zones.

"In order to combat this continual land theft we have launched a project which aims to plant five million trees on land in the Bethlehem governorate over the next five years," Da'iq told IPS. "We hope this will make it harder for Israel to expropriate our land [COMMENT: How stupid can you be, PA!], but this is not a guarantee."

Indeed, on way from Ramallah to Bethlehem this IPS correspondent saw several dozen Palestinian trees that had been sawed off just above ground level by the Israeli authorities......

According to a report last month from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), after four decades of Israeli occupation only 13 percent of the governorate, much of it fragmented, remains for Palestinian use.

"Today, there are approximately 86,000 Israelis living in 19 settlements in the Bethlehem governorate and in 16 settlement outposts," says the OCHA report. "The Palestinian population constitutes approximately 175,000."....."

After Palestine, Israel eyes Jordanian land

Press TV

"With a dispute over Israeli occupation of acres of Palestinian land still unsettled, Tel Aviv takes a step to purchase dozens of properties in Jordan to further expand its territory.

The Israel Land Fund, which promotes Jewish construction and has bought land and dozens of houses in occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank, is planning to bring Jews from European countries to purchase dozens of properties once owned by Jews in neighboring Jordan.

"There are thousands of Jewish properties in Jordan which were purchased during the Ottoman era and under the British mandate. We have records of the ownership", chairman of the extreme-right Jewish organization Arieh King told AFP.

"We are trying to bring Jews from European countries to purchase property which we locate in Jordan," King said....."

The East Bank of the Jordan
by Ze'ev Jabotinsky

"......So the Jordan, the holy Jordan
Is the backbone of my Israel.

Two Banks has the Jordan –
This is ours and, that is as well

نصر الله يضع مقاتليه في حالة تأهب تحسبا لهجوم إسرائيلي محتمل

نصر الله يضع مقاتليه في حالة تأهب تحسبا لهجوم إسرائيلي محتمل

"الكويت- كشفت مصادر مقربة من حزب الله اللبناني أن الحزب ضاعف منذ الأول من حزيران/ يونيو الماضي من احتياطاته وإجراءاته الأمنية ووضع قواه العسكرية والأمنية في حالة تأهب تحسبا لهجوم إسرائيلي محتمل.

وتوقعت المصادر في حديث لصحيفة الوطن الكويتية نشرته الاثنين أن يكون هذا التحرك على خلفية تصريحات مستشار الأمن القومي الإسرائيلي عوزي أراد الذي دعا فيه حكومة بنيامين نتنياهو إلى خلط الأوراق في المنطقة مجددا ووضع خطة عمل لمواجهة الضغوط التي يمارسها الرئيس باراك أوباما فيما يخص القضية الفلسطينية.

ويرى الحزب كما تقول المصادر ان إسرائيل أضحت جاهزة أكثر من أي وقت مضى لتجديد محاولتها القضاء عليه وتصفية عناصره المقاتلة وتدمير منظومة السلاح التي يمتلكها والتي تحولت إلى مركز الثقل وإستراتيجية لصراعات المنطقة.

وكشفت المصادر ان أمين عام الحزب حسن نصر الله كثف خلال الأسابيع المنصرمة اجتماعاته مع القادة الميدانيين ومع عناصر القوات الخاصة وقوات النخبة التي يبلغ تعدادها 600 مقاتل بغية وضعهم في صورة الأحداث واحتمالات المواجهة المرتقبة.

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

The Poll asks:

Do you think that a real dispute exists between Washington and Tel-Aviv on the issue of Israeli settlements?

With over 1,100 responding so far, 88% said no.

Threatening Iran

In an Impotent World Even the Bankrupt Can Prevail


"When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Japan did not spend years preparing her public case and demonstrating her deployment of forces for the attack. Japan did not make a world issue out of her view that the US was denying Japan her role in the Pacific by hindering Japan’s access to raw materials and energy.

Similarly, when Hitler attacked Russia, he did not preface his invasion with endless threats and a public case that blamed the war on England.

These events happened before the PSYOPS era. Today, America and Israel’s wars of aggression are preceded by years of propaganda and international meetings, so that by the time the attack comes it is an expected event, not a monstrous surprise attack with its connotation of naked aggression.....

Israel intends to dominate the Middle East. Israel’s goal is to incorporate all of Palestine and southern Lebanon into “Greater Israel.” The US intends to dominate the entire world, deciding who rules which countries and controlling resource flows.....

The Russians and Chinese are off balance because of successful American interventions in their spheres of influence, uncertain of the threat and the response. Russia could have prevented the coming attack on Iran, but, pressured by Washington, Russia has not delivered the missile systems that Iran purchased. China suffers from her own hubris as a rising economic power, and is about to lose her energy investments in Iran to US/Israeli aggression. China is funding America’s wars of aggression with loans, and Russia is even helping the US to set up a puppet state in Afghanistan, thus opening up former Soviet central Asia to US hegemony.

The world is so impotent that even the bankrupt US can launch a new war of aggression and have it accepted as a glorious act of liberation in behalf of women’s rights, peace, and democracy."