Saturday, March 13, 2010

The amazing true story of Zeitoun

Abdulrahman Zeitoun is the real-life hero of Dave Eggers's new book. In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina he paddled from house to house in a canoe, offering help to his neighbours. For his trouble, he was arrested as a suspected terrorist
"At the centre of the book is Kathy's husband, Abdulrahman, or Zeitoun as he is universally known, a New Orleans building contractor who has attained almost mythical status. Not only is he the dominant character in the 339 pages of Eggers's book, but in the US press he has been dubbed an "all-American hero" for the phlegmatic way he conducted himself in the midst of catastrophe."

More than 300 Palestinian children being held in Israeli prisons

Settler thugs and their monstrous kids can operate at will but it's...
Jail ordeal of hundreds of Palestinian children arrested for throwing stones
"As of the end of February, 343 Palestinian children were being held in Israeli prisons, according to Defence for Children International (DCI), which took up the Muhtaseb case. Israel routinely prosecutes Palestinian children as young as 12 and the Israeli legal system treats Palestinians as adults when they turn 16, but Israelis become adults only at 18. Ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children are "widespread, systematic and institutionalised", DCI said in a report last year."
The Guardian UK.

SICK! Israeli "War Tourists" Watch Bombs Drop on Gaza while sipping Cappucino.

For the pathological Israeli Zionist mind, the Palestinian Bedouins' public space is "illegal settlement" but Ma'leh Adumin is not!!

Bedouins fight state for land near Dead Sea
Amira Haas

"Unless immediate action is taken to destroy the public buildings (Palestinian/Bedouin) at the site, the illegal settlement there will be a fait accompli and could effectively dictate the status of the whole huge area between Ma'aleh Adumim and the Dead Sea ... It is easy to anticipate the complications the authorities would face when coming to implement demolition orders against a religious place of worship and a school, once their construction is completed and they begin to fulfill their functions."
It's well documented archaeological facts and findings that the ancestors of those Bedouins were dwelling in the area, in an uninterrupted fashion for at least three thousand years! But the Zionist best understanding of History is what they read and parse from the Old Testament..Understandable maybe when they want to build a mythology-based Jewish state but totally irrational and nonsensical indeed!

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - Justice for Rachel Corrie?

A Very Good Program
Featuring ISM's Huweida Arraf
Don't miss it!

Flouting its own laws, EU accommodates "Made in Israel"

David Cronin, The Electronic Intifada, 12 March 2010

"In 2008 Britain expressed concern about how goods originating from Israeli settlements in the West Bank may be benefiting illegally from European Union trade preferences that theoretically only apply to businesses within Israel's internationally-recognized borders. However, EU officials have not only failed to defend international law, they have accommodated Israel's abuse of it. David Cronin analyzes for The Electronic Intifada....."

EGYPT: Population Growth Overtakes Literacy Rise

By Cam McGrath

"LUXOR, Mar 12, 2010 (IPS) - Literacy programmes are teaching millions of Egyptians to read, but are struggling to keep up with the country's high population growth.

"Egypt is one of the most challenging countries for any literacy programme," a literacy programme administrator at Catholic relief agency CARITAS told IPS. "You can't afford to step off the pedal for a minute."

One in every four Egyptians is illiterate. Despite free education and long- running literacy programmes, the number of illiterates has changed little in over two decades. Nearly 17 million adult Egyptians can neither read nor write, according to recent government data....

Despite free, mandatory education for children ages 6 to 15, parents in poor communities often remove their kids from the education system to help work at home or in the fields....

"Once a girl hits a certain age, especially in countries where there's early marriage, her chances of being pulled out of school increase," says Diane Prouty of the Girls' Improved Learning Outcomes (GILO), a USAID-funded project to increase girls' access to quality education in rural Egyptian communities. "In addition, girls spend more hours doing housework and chores than boys, so they have less time to study or sleep." Women account for 69 percent of illiterates in Egypt.....

Literacy campaigns are utilising informal learning, encouraging university students to instruct their peers and literate family members to teach their relatives. But some say the government needs to show stronger commitment to mandatory education, stiffening the punishment for parents who fail to register their children or withdraw them from school. The current penalty for taking a child out of school is a 1.80 dollar fine, though it is rarely enforced.

"We must break the cycle of illiteracy that starts with parents deciding not to educate their children," says Heba Youssef, a primary schoolteacher. "Children who grow up illiterate are less likely to improve their economic situation than those who can read and write. And they are less likely to educate their own children." "

Try this reading list if you want to understand the Middle East

The greatest problem of writing historically is that the story has not ended

By Robert Fisk

".....So here was the first truly eloquent warning of what was to come, and Hirst completed the narrative of Antonius's all too accurate predictions, the first author, I believe, to counter the trashy novel Exodus with which Leon Uris graced the Jewish state – much to Ben Gurion's delight, though he should have known better – by deconstructing "terrorism" without romanticising the Palestinian refugees and their "resistance" movements. In this same context, one must remember the work of Israel's "new historians", who created a complementary narrative. Benny Morris was the most prominent Israeli researcher to prove that it was indeed Israel's intention to evict the Palestinians from their homes in their tens of thousands in 1948 – the fact that Morris has since gone completely batty by claiming the Israelis didn't ethnically cleanse enough of them does not detract from his seminal work.

F R Leavis allegedly once began a sentence with the words: "As any fit reader of poetry will know ..." So I suppose we have to say that "any fit reader" of the Middle East must read Edward Said. One of his best books, by the way, is about music, although orientalism will always be on the set-book list. He did for the Middle East narrative philosophically – and historically – what Antonius did politically....."

Israel and America: Foolish tricks

By its continued settlement expansion, Israel makes the two-state solution ever harder to realise

The Guardian, Saturday 13 March 2010

(Oh, the Guardian is so concerned about Israel's OWN interest; touching indeed!)

"Politics is ultimately about interests. Morals and highfalutin principles have their place, but a more reliable truth is that governments and countries usually act in their own self-interest. Usually. The way Israel greeted the visiting US vice-president, Joe Biden, this week offers an intriguing exception to the rule, a rare instance of a state acting in a way that brings itself almost no benefit and delivers a huge amount of self-inflicted harm.....

The harm done to Israel's own interests is huge. It is bad enough to insult your most loyal ally, especially when that ally happens to be the sole superpower, with unique influence over the region. But it is positively reckless to insult the figure widely acknowledged to be Israel's greatest friend within the entire US administration, a man who proudly calls himself a Zionist.

Above all, Israel's move came just as the US was set to announce a new round of proximity talks with the Palestinians. Predictably, those have now been jeopardised. And yet what is the ultimate aim of those talks and the entire Middle East peace process? It is the establishment of a viable Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel. That scenario is the preferred outcome of a vast international consensus, but it is also, as most Israelis now recognise, in the best interests of Israel itself. By its continued settlement expansion, and its cack-handed treatment of its friends, Israel makes the two-state solution ever harder to realise. That is not just bad news for the Palestinians; it is bad for Israel [tsk, tsk!]."

زيتونة فلسطينية عمرها 3700 عام

محمد محسن وتد-الناصرة
"تحولت باحة منزل محمود رباح من قرية عرابة الجليلية في شمال فلسطين إلى مزار للسياح من الداخل والعالم، حيث تقف شامخة ومتجذرة في الأرض شجرة زيتون فلسطينية معمرة هي الأكبر في الشرق الأوسط حيث يبلغ عمرها 3700 عام.

وجمعت نكبة عام 1948 محمود رباح بهذه الشجرة، حيث هجرت عائلته من قرية حطين قضاء طبرية عندما كان عمره 11 عاما هاربة من نيران العصابات اليهودية المسلحة مثقلة بهموم اللجوء لتستقر في قرية عرابة قرب شجرة الزيتون هذه.

وتعتبر هذه الشجرة الأكبر في الشرق الأوسط، ويبلغ محيطها 7 أمتار و20 سم بحسب ما أكده الخبراء في البلاد وخبراء من الأمم المتحدة.

وهذه الزيتونة من نوع صوري ومشتقة من كلمة صور حيث إن الزيتون في شمال فلسطين غالبيته من نوع صوري، وهو النوع الأفضل بين كافة الأنواع، لأنه يثمر أكثر وعمره أطول.

وزرعت الشجرة في الفترة الكنعانية وعايشت مختلف الحضارات والثقافات من الرومان وعهد المسيح عليه السلام، وبقيت راسخة تحافظ على خصوصيتها.

تاريخ وتراث
يقول صاحب الشجرة محمود رباح إن العديد من الأشجار المعمرة كانت في المكان، ولكنها اقتلعت بسبب التوسع والبناء، وبقيت هذه الشجرة التي تعتبر الأكبر بينها.

ويشير إلى أن الخبراء والسياح اعتادوا زيارتها مما أشعر عائلته بأن لها قيمة أكبر فاعتنوا بها أكثر، حيث شيدوا منزلا ضيقا من أجل عدم المساس بها، ويقومون بتنظيفها وتقليمها، وكان جذع الشجرة فارغا فوضعوا فيه بعض التراب للمحافظة عليه.

وأضاف الفلسطيني رباح "جاء خبراء من الأمم المتحدة وقالوا إن هذه الشجرة أكبر شجرة زيتون، مع العلم بأن هناك شجرة أخرى بالمنطقة ولكنها تصغرها بقليل، وجاء خبراء من جامعة تل أبيب وأخذوا عينة منها وبعد مدة التقيت بأحدهم وهو المرشد الزراعي سهيل زيدان وأخبرني أن نتائج الفحص أثبتت أنها تبلغ من العمر 3700 عام".

ويشير بفخر إلى أن الكثير من الخبراء والسياح والمعنيين بالتراث يتوافدون باستمرار إلى القرية لرؤية الشجرة عن كثب، وهم يأتون بشكل مجموعات منظمة.

وختم رباح حديثه قائلا "نحافظ على الشجرة لأنها تعتبر عزيزة وعريقة في التاريخ، فهي تجسد الحضارات التي تعاقبت على المنطقة، والتاريخ الذي دون في محيطها والأجيال التي تناولت ثمارها وحكايات الشعوب التي سردت تحت أغصانها، والأهم أنها تذكرني بطفولتي في حطين وتعمق من تجذري في الأرض

Brief Translation:

This is a neat little story about the oldest olive tree in the Middle East, still alive. It was estimated by UN experts to be 3,700 years old and is in the Palestinian village of 'Arraba in Galilee. The owner says that his family was forced out of its home in the village of Hittin (In July 1187 at Hittin, the Muslim forces of Saladin defeated the Christian forces of the Latin King of Jerusalem, Guy de Lusignan, resulting in the King's humiliating capture) in Tiberius by Zionist gangs in 1948, when he was 11.

Many tourists now come to see the tree (the circumference of the trunk is about 25 feet), which was planted in the Canaanite era, since it represents so many civilizations and people who passed through the area, including the Romans and Jesus Christ! It symbolizes all those people who sat in its shade, ate its fruit and told their stories.

With its steadfast roots, it inspires the owner, reminds him of his childhood and it deepens his attachment to the land.

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

Friday, March 12, 2010

Expecting a third Intifada

(Left: A PA quisling trooper for hire threatening to shoot a demonstrator in Al-Khalil (Hebron))

The next Intifada could see the Palestinian people in struggle not only against Israel but also against the Palestinian Authority

By Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah

"....With a conspicuously helpless Palestinian Authority (PA) doing next to nothing — and arguably capable of nothing — in the face of Israel’s arrogance of power, frustration among ordinary Palestinians is building. It is not unlikely that the seeds are being sown of a full-fledged Intifada if the present trend continues. However, a fresh Intifada would confront the Western-backed PA with a real dilemma that could put into question not only its legitimacy — such as it is — but also its very survival.

This week, Israel delivered a stern warning to the PA: “Stop the stone throwers, or we will.” The problem, however, is that a crackdown by PA security forces on Palestinians reacting to Israeli provocations and aggression would be very unpopular, as it would show PA security forces repressing their own people on Israel’s behalf [COMMENT: So what is new? They have done that many, many times. This is the main function of these Dayton brigades, after all!]. On the other hand, should the PA decide to side with the masses against Israel it would risk its own survival, as the Israeli army would be forced to retake Palestinian population centres as happened in 2001 and 2002."

Relax, the Empire's in Safe Hands

(Click on cartoon by Carlos Latuff to enlarge)


"Are they really bumblers? The establishment’s opinion columns quiver with reproofs for maladroit handling of foreign policy by President Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, those who cherished foolish illusions that Obama’s election might presage a shift to the left in foreign policy fret about “worrisome signs” that this is not the case.

It’s true that there have been some embarrassing moments....

Israel? Not one substantive twitch has discommoded the benign support of Israel by its patron, even though Obama stepped into power amid Israel’s methodical war crimes – later enumerated by Judge Goldstone for the U.N. – in Gaza. Consistent U.S. policy has been to advocate a couple of mini-Bantustans for the Palestinians and, under Obama, the U.S. has endured no substantive opposition to this plan from its major allies.

With Iran, there is absolute continuity with the Bush years, sans the noisy braggadocio of Cheney.....

China may thunder about the Dalai Lama and Taiwan – but, on the larger stage, the Middle Kingdom’s world heft is much exaggerated....

All of this is scarcely a catalogue of bumbledom. Obama is just what the Empire needed. Plagued though it may be by deep structural problems, he has improved its malign potential for harm – the first duty of all U.S. presidents of whatever imagined political stripe."

U.S. gave Israel green light for East Jerusalem construction

By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz Correspondent

"....In other words, Yishai is welcome to submit more plans for Jewish construction in East Jerusalem next week, when U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will no longer be here.

Based on Biden's reaction, it seems that he (and, presumably, his boss) has decided that it is better to leave with a few sour grapes than to quarrel with the vineyard guard. In his speech at Tel Aviv University, he said he appreciated Netanyahu's pledge that there would be no recurrence. But what exactly does that mean? That next time he comes, the Planning and Building Committee will be asked to defer discussion of similar plans until the honored guest has left?

With the media storm dying down, Netanyahu can breathe a sigh of relief....."

Al-Jazeera Video: Israel's continued settlement expansion

"Israel has been expanding illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land for decade, and it is now emerging just how far-reaching this policy is.

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the Jerusalem housing committee is planning to build another 50,000 Jewish homes in occupied East Jerusalem to join the hundreds of thousands already there or in progress.

That includes 3,000 housing units in Gilo, 1,500 apartments in Har Homa and another 1,500 in the settlement of Pisgat Ze'ev.

Thousands more have been planned at Givat Hamatos, and the settlement of Ramot, while hundreds more are in the works in Armon Hanetziv, as well as Neveh Yaakov.

Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros reports (12 mar 2010). "

Real News Video: The fight against Israeli "impunity"

How universal jurisdiction is used as a tool to bring to court Israeli leaders accused of war crimes

More at The Real News

"This week, the European Union’s Parliament passed a resolution endorsing the implementation of the recommendations of the Goldstone Report, which investigated war crimes in the attack on Gaza last year. While the motion was received with support from many NGOs, such as the Women's Peace Coalition, it did not indicate specific actions the EU will actually take. The same has been true for the UN's process as members of the Security Council said they would veto the report. Many are therefore taking it in their own hands to hold Israeli leaders accountable for alleged war crimes. The legal tool they're using is called universal jurisdiction and refers to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 that said countries must be able to prosecute anyone who commits grave crimes. The Real News' Lia Tarachansky investigates what universal jurisdiction is, how it is used, and how Israel is fighting against it."

Protesters Carry Photos of ISM Activist During Weekly Nil'in Protest One Year On From Injury

"Dozens of protesters were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation, this Friday, following the weekly demonstration in the southern West Bank village of Nil’in, near Ramallah.
Nil’in’s weekly protest continued, this week, with ongoing support from members from the international and Israeli communities. After midday prayers at lands slated for confiscation, the protesters moved forward to the already confiscated lands, where owners attempted to plough.

When the protesters arrived at the gate of the wall, the Israeli military responded to their presence with a volley of tear gas canisters and stun grenades. Following the storming of the protesters, one farmer was detained by the troops.

During the protest March banners and flags were displayed, along with photos of Tristan Anderson. Tomorrow marks the anniversary of Mr. Anderson’s serious injury during an anti-wall protest in Ni’lin.

Mr. Anderson was shot in the head by a tear gas canister by a member of the Israeli military, requiring the removal of part of his frontal lobe, initially, and further surgeries in an attempt to correct ongoing fluid leakage in his brain. Mr. Anderson remains in a critical condition at Sheba Medical Center one year on from his near-fatal wounding, and Israeli daily, Haaretz revealed, this week, that the state of Israel would reopen investigations into the incident......"

شركة اسرائيلية تدرب مقاتلين وحراسا لآبار النفط في دولة خليجية...


"عشرات من خريجي جهاز الأمن العام الإسرائيلي (شاباك) ووحدات النخبة في الجيش الاسرائيلي قاموا خلال العامين الأخيرين بتدريب وبتأهيل مقاتلين في الخليج العربي وفي "الساحة الخلفية لإيران"
كشفت صحيفة "يديعوت أحرونوت" في تقرير موسع في ملحقها الأسبوعي (7 أيام) عن عمل شركة أمن إسرائيلية في احدى دول الخليج لتدريب وتأهيل مقاتلين وحراس لآبار النفط ومواقع حساسة أمنياً.

ونشرت الصحيفة صوراً لمدربين اسرائيليين تحت اسماء اوروبية وغربية مستعارة خشية انكشاف هويتهم الإسرائيلية وتعريض حياتهم للخطر. وقالت الصحيفة إن المدربين هم من خريجي الوحدات القتالية في جهاز الأمن العام (شاباك) ووحدات النخبة القتالية في الجيش الإسرائيلي وتتراوح أعمارهم حول سن 25 عاماً.

وذكرت الصحيفة أن المدربين يصلون إلى احدى دول الخليج العربية من مطار بن غوريون في اللد مروراً بعمان أو انطاليا. وقالت إن عمل الشركة كان بمعرفة ومصادقة وزارة الأمن الإسرائيلية.

وأستمر عمل الشركة الإسرائيلية على مدار عامين، من العام 2007 إلى العام 2009، وهدف إلى تأهيل وحدات عسكرية نخبوية ووحدات شرطية في احدى دول الخليج العربية لحراسة آبار النفط. وأنتهى التعاقد مع الشركة الإسرائيلية نهاية العام الحالي في ظل إنتقادات شديدة للشركة الإسرائيلية خشية نقلها خبرات أجهزة الأمن الإسرائيلية إلى دول عربية مقابل مبالغ طائلة.

وقامت الشركة الإسرائيلية بتدريب الحراس والمقاتلين الخليجيين على استعمال اسلحة رشاشة ثقيلة وأساليب سيطرة على مبان في مناطق مأهولة وأساليب قتال جسدية، وخرّجت كل 3 شهور 300 مقاتل وحارس بعد تدريبهم وتأهيلهم. ولفتت إلى أن المدربين لاحظوا أن لدى المتدربين محفزات ورغبة ضئيلة لتطوير قدراتهم الأمنية على الرغم من ظروف العمل المثالية بدءًا بالسيارات الفاخرة والأسلحة المتوفرة بكميات كبيرة جداً.

ولم يقتصر عمل الشركة الإسرائيلية على التدريب العسكري – الأمني، بل أن مالك الشركة الملقب بالحرف (ب) يقيم ويدير شركته من احدى الدول العربية، ووقع عقوداً مع دول خليجية لتزويدها بأجهزة رقابة أمنية متطورة تكنولوجياً مقابل مبالغ مالية باهظة.

IRAQ: Women Miss Saddam

By Abdu Rahman and Dahr Jamail

"BAGHDAD, Mar 12, 2010 (IPS) - Under Saddam Hussein, women in government got a year's maternity leave; that is now cut to six months. Under the Personal Status Law in force since Jul. 14, 1958, when Iraqis overthrew the British-installed monarchy, Iraqi women had most of the rights that Western women do.
Now they have Article 2 of the Constitution: "Islam is the official religion of the state and is a basic source of legislation." Sub-head A says "No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam." Under this Article the interpretation of women's rights is left to religious leaders – and many of them are under Iranian influence.

"The U.S. occupation has decided to let go of women's rights," Yanar Mohammed who campaigns for women's rights in Iraq says. "Political Islamic groups have taken southern Iraq, are fully in power there, and are using the financial support of Iran to recruit troops and allies. The financial and political support from Iran is why the Iraqis in the south accept this, not because the Iraqi people want Islamic law."......"

(Right: University graduation ceremony in Basra)

EGYPT: U.N. Slams Abuse of Emergency Law

By William Fisher

"NEW YORK, Mar 11, 2010 (IPS) - Despite diplomatic maneuvering designed to block any review of its human rights record, a United Nations special rapporteur has told the U.N. Human Rights Council that proposed changes in Egypt's constitution "would create a permanent legal state of emergency".

The report of Martin Scheinin, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism, said Egypt's Emergency Law is often applied in situations where there is no link to terrorist activities, such as the frequent arbitrary detention of political activists and bloggers and the repeated use of military courts and state security courts in politically motivated cases.

The special rapporteur also emphasised that, when combined with the pending counter-terrorism law, Article 179 of the Egyptian Constitution as amended in March 2007 would create a permanent legal state of emergency....."

Taboo Inhibits Frank Iran/Israel Talk

Participants at an otherwise informative discussion on “Iran at a Crossroads” at the Senate on Wednesday seemed at pains to barricade the doors against the proverbial elephant being admitted into the room — in this case, Israel.

By Ray McGovern
March 11, 2010

"This, despite the fact that the agenda virtually dictated that the elephant be allowed in. The cavernous hearing room also could have accommodated it — however awkward and untidy the atmosphere might have become.

Otherwise, as was entirely predictable, the discussion would be lacking a crucial element. Which it turned out to be.

The tongue-tied impediment displayed by some of the presenters can be chalked up mostly to the all-too-familiar timidity on Capitol Hill to countenance candid discussion of any issue on which Israel can be revealed to be a fly in the ointment.....

No doubt the main obstacle can be traced to the time-worn “passionate attachment” of U.S. leaders to Israel’s short-term interests as if they were identical to those of the United States. This politically super-sensitive issue needs to be addressed openly and without fear.

Granted, volunteering to sponsor such a discussion would be seen as the kiss of death for the vast majority of lawmakers. Is there no group, no think tank with courage enough to arrange such a forum? For it truly needs to be done, and quickly, somewhere — whether permitted in a Senate office building, or not.

Otherwise, there is virtually no prospect of lessened tensions, and a near-term prospect that things can get dramatically worse — an Israeli provocation and/or a preventive strike on Iran, for example....."

The Decline of Israel: Interview with Jonathan Cook

An Excellent Interview

By New Left Project
Palestine Chronicle

In a wide-ranging interview with the New Left Project, Nazareth-based journalist Jonathan Cook describes the increasingly repressive nature of Israeli society and the prospects for a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict

"NLP: What did you make of Ehud Barak’s recent comparison of Israel to South Africa?

JC: We should be extremely wary of ascribing a leftwing agenda to senior Israeli politicians who make use of the word “apartheid” in the Israeli-Palestinian context. Barak was not claiming that Israel is an apartheid state when he addressed the high-powered delegates at the Herzliya conference last month; he was warning the Netanyahu government that its approach to the two-state solution was endangering Israel’s legitimacy in the eyes of the world that would eventually lead to it being called an apartheid state. He was politicking....

NLP: You have described how Israel is becoming increasingly repressive regarding its own Arab population. In what ways?

JC: Let’s be clear: Israel has always been “repressive” of its Palestinian minority. Its first two decades were marked by a very harsh military government for the Palestinian population inside Israel. Thousands of Bedouin, for example, were expelled from their homes in the Negev several years after Israel’s establishment and forced into the Sinai. Israel’s past should not be glorified.

What I have argued is that the direction taken by Israeli policy since the Oslo process began has been increasingly dangerous for the Palestinian minority. Before Oslo, Israel was chiefly interested in containing and controlling the minority. After Oslo, it has been trying to engineer a situation in which it can claim to no longer be responsible for the Palestinians inside Israel with formal citizenship.....

NLP: You describe the long time anti-occupation activist and writer Uri Avnery as being a “compromised critic” of Israel. What do you mean by this? What is wrong with Avnery’s position on the occupation?

JC: There’s nothing wrong with Avnery’s position on the occupation. He wants to end it, and he has worked strenuously and bravely to do so over many decades.

The problem derives from our, his readers’, tendency to misunderstand his reasons for seeking an end to the occupation, and in that sense I think his role in the Palestinian solidarity movement has not been entirely helpful. Avnery wants the occupation to end but, it is clear from his writings, he is driven primarily by a desire to protect Israel as a Jewish state......

NLP: You are an advocate of a one state solution to the conflict. Given the overwhelming opposition of most Israelis to such a solution how is this to come about?

JC: Let me make an initial qualification. I do not regard myself as being an “advocate” for any particular solution to the conflict. I would happily support a two-state solution if I thought it was possible. I do not have a view about which technical arrangement is needed for Palestinians and Israelis to live happy, secure lives. If that can be achieved in a two-state solution, then I am all in favour.

My support for one state follows from the fact that I have yet to see anyone making a convincing case for two states, given the current realities. Those in the progressive community who advocate for the two-state solution seem to do so because their knowledge of the conflict is based on understandings a decade or more out of date....

NLP: Other writers such as Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein argue in favour of a two-state solution, pointing out that world opinion and international law is firmly on the side of such a solution. How do you respond?

JC: Much as I respect Finkelstein and Chomsky, I find those arguments unconvincing......"

Biden in Israel

They b*tch-slapped him good

by Justin Raimondo, March 12, 2010

"The virulent anti-Americanism of the Israeli government, underscored by its recent very loud slap in the face of the Vice President of the United States, is nothing new. Yet many are shocked – shocked! – at Israel’s behavior. The official spin out of Tel Aviv is that the announcement of more settlement-building — at the very moment when Biden was pleading with his good friend “Bibi” to cease and desist – is all due to a single minister in a very fractious cabinet: yet Netanyahu and indeed the entire Israeli government supports this move to throw more Palestinians off their land and build exclusively Jewish settlements.....

Having backed ourselves into a corner with our mindless support of indefensible Israeli policies, we are now trying to make up for it by presiding over a “peace process,” and ushering in a Palestinian “state” that is neither representative of the Palestinians, nor even a real state – unless a state can be such without an army, without control over contiguous territory, and without an independent foreign policy.

The only alternative to this nonsense is to treat Israel as if it were a normal country: not the fifty-first state, not a spoiled child, and not an issue impervious to reason or change. The “special relationship” has distorted our policy long enough: it is time to, finally, normalize relations with Israel. This means cutting off all aid, including the loan guarantees: that will put an end to the hypocrisy, the resentment, and the rising tide of anti-Americanism fueled by our meddling. If the Palestinians want their own state, let them create it – or declare it – on their own. We can support that project more effectively and directly by refusing to finance and arm the main obstacle in their path. "

Palestinians should now declare their independence

Benjamin Netanyahu has responded to the US request with a big concrete slap

By Johann Hari
The Independent

"....This week the Obama administration – who give Israel $3bn a year, more than they dole out to any other nation on earth – made a meek and craven request for Israelis to simply have a pause in seizing even more land, and to sit down with the Palestinians. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded with a big concrete slap: the announcement of 1,600 more homes to be built on occupied Palestinian land from which Arabs will be forcibly kept out. He has made it plain he will not loosen his grip by an inch, announcing: "Even if [Palestinian President] Abu Mazen comes along and says he's ready to sign a peace deal on the spot, we will restore settlement construction to its previous levels." No compromise. Never.

How does this look to the Palestinians? Their story is so rarely explained without disinformation that it still seems startling when it is stated plainly. Until 1948, the Palestinians were living in their own homes, on their own land – until they were suddenly driven out in a war to make way for a new state for people fleeing a monstrous European genocide. They lived huddled and dazed in the 20 per cent of their land they were allowed to keep. They hardly fought back: they wept and dreamed of return. Then in the 1967 war, even these small strips were conquered with tanks and platoons.....

West Bank rises up in a new 'white' intifada

14-year-old, Ehab Barghouti, was carried away from the scene where he was shot with a rubber bullet by Israeli security forces.

As Israel cracks down harshly on unarmed protesters, Donald Macintyre meets one Palestinian family whose teenage son has paid a heavy price

The Independent

"...A few hours later he was unconscious in intensive care in Ramallah's main hospital, a rubber-coated steel bullet having penetrated his skull. He had been standing among a crowd of youths, well inside the nearby village of Nabi Saleh, on a hillside carpeted with the first daisies and wild flowers of spring. Many of the youths were throwing stones at an unfinished house 25 metres away which had been occupied by armed Israeli Border Police some 15 minutes earlier....

Even if freshly promised "proximity talks" between Israelis and Palestinians get under way, they are unlikely to halt the weekly protests that will take place after noon prayers today in some villages and tomorrow in others. The Palestinian Authority did not start the weekly protests that have now spread to more than half a dozen West Bank villages. And it is not leading them....

For something is happening in these villages nestling among the rocky hills and olive groves between Ramallah and Nablus. The Israeli military does not accept the classification of the protests as non-violent; most usually end in confrontations between stone-throwing Palestinian youths and armed police and troops. But for the six years of such protests none of the Palestinians, in contrast to the security forces, have carried weapons. If these are the first tentative stirrings of a new uprising, and it is doubtful they can be described as that yet, then they are closer to the beginnings in 1987 of the first intifada, the so-called "war of stones", than the second....

...The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported this week that Israel had warned the PA that if it did not "contain" the protests it would lose co-operation with Israel and there would be more arrests within the West Bank. An unnamed Israeli security official was earlier quoted in the same paper as having told diplomats that the protests constituted an "existential" threat to Israel......"

Israel imposes full closure on West Bank

Press TV

"Israel has ordered its military forces to impose a total closure on the West Bank in the occupied Palestinian territory for 48 hours.

The closure was enforced Thursday midnight amid reports on the possibility of fresh protests by Palestinians around the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem (al-Quds) after Friday prayers. The closure is to be lifted on Saturday night.

According to witnesses, Israeli police forces are increasing presence in al-Quds due to concerns that riots may break out in the holy city and spill over into the West Bank.

During the closure, entrance to the mainly Arab eastern sector of al-Quds will only be open to some 1,000 church employees, 550 teachers, 50 Palestinian Waqf employees and some 100 employees of religious bodies.

Riots broke out last week in al-Quds following Tel Aviv regime's decision to illegally add the Ibrahimi Mosque and the Mosque of Bilal bin Rabah to its list of Israeli heritage sites.

This week's tensions appear to focus on the new Israeli plan to build 1,600 new Jewish homes in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of the occupied West Bank it has annexed to al-Quds."

Chomsky: US, Israeli threats induce Iran's nuclear deterrence

Press TV

"US scholar Noam Chomsky blames hostile US and Israeli actions as a major factor in a potential Iranian decision to develop a "nuclear deterrent."

Addressing the audience in Harvard Memorial Church on March 6, Chomsky opined that constant US threats of military action against Iran may lead Tehran to perceive a need to develop a nuclear weapon.

If they're not developing a nuclear deterrent, they are crazy,” he asserted. The problem, said Chomsky, is the defiant and hypocritical insistence of the United States on holding the constant threat of military action over Iran as a punishment for its noncompliance with United Nations mandates.

“Hostile actions of the United States and its Israeli client are a major factor in Iran's decision on whether or not to develop a nuclear deterrent,” he insisted....."


The line, "If they're not developing a nuclear deterrent, they are crazy," reminds me of the late comedian Danny Thomas. He once said, "I live in Beverly Hills, where if you don't have a psychiatrist, you are crazy!"

Thursday, March 11, 2010

PLO paper reveals leadership bereft of strategy, legitimacy

An Important Piece
Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 11 March 2010

"...After months of effort, the US managed to bludgeon and cajole Abbas and certain "moderate" Arab states into backing "indirect talks" between Israel and Abbas, even as Israel escalates its ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem, its colonization of the West Bank, its blockade of Gaza and its daily rounds of murders and kidnappings of Palestinians throughout the occupied territories. Even this meager achievement seemed in doubt after Netanyahu's government brazenly announced an additional 1,600 Jewish-only homes during a visit to Israel by US Vice President Joe Biden....

Amid this dismal situation, comes a new paper by Saeb Erekat, senior aide to Abbas, and "chief negotiator" for the US-backed Ramallah Palestinian Authority (PA).

The 7,000-plus word document, produced by the Negotiations Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization (NAD-PLO), is clumsily titled "The Political Situation in Light of Developments with the US Administration and Israeli Government and Hamas' Continued Coup d'etat: Recommendations and options." (NAD-PLO is actually administered by the Adam Smith Institute, "the UK's leading free market think tank," and funded entirely by Western governments.).... [Download the NAD-PLO's report [PDF]]

Nevertheless, a key concern does emerge: Erekat is very worried that the US will pressure Abbas to resume negotiations from scratch, instead of from the point at which they ended in December 2008 with the previous Israeli government headed by Ehud Olmert....

Moreover, the Erekat paper makes no mention whatsoever of the "right of return" -- a fundamental consensus demand of Palestinians inside the country and in the diaspora -- but refers vaguely to a "just and agreed solution in accordance with UN [General Assembly Resolution] 194." It does not call for implementation of the resolution....

As far as territory is concerned, the paper reveals that Abbas conceded Israeli demands to annex large settlement blocs all over Jerusalem and across the West Bank. Once this concession is made, all the bluster about the "1967 border" being a sacred line behind which Israel must withdraw becomes meaningless.....

The Erekat paper provides insight into the thought processes of a "leadership" that has not only lost all legitimacy, but does not dare to even to speak about the rights of the people it purports to represent. Indeed, it holds those people and their rights in utter contempt....

Apparently aware of the utter lack of credibility that the Ramallah Palestinian Authority and the Abbas-controlled skeleton of the PLO have, the Erekat paper proposes a sort of PA hasbara campaign among the Palestinian diaspora in Europe, the Americas and Asia, "to confirm the unified and legitimate representation by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) wherever they are." .....

In other words, the Abbas leadership wants to export its civil war to the diaspora. Indeed, we have already seen this effort begin with the attempted launch of the Abbas-controlled "Palestine Network" aimed to divide and co-opt Palestinian activists ("USPCN: 'Palestine Network' is a PA Attempt to Divide the Palestinian People and Surrender their Rights," 20 November 2009).

Nowhere of course does the Erekat paper actually propose reviving and democratizing the PLO and really involving Palestinians whose voices have been so long shut out by the corrupt and oppressive Oslo clique. It does not recognize or mention the growing civil society-led campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (which scares Israel much more than Erekat's barking), and mentions the one-state solution only in passing without acknowledging the serious work that has already been done to develop and disseminate this idea.

This is not surprising; to acknowledge any of that would be to admit that the fiction of US-brokered negotiations is over, that those who acted in it and benefitted from it for so long have already done all the damage they can do to the Palestinian people and their rights, and that they should leave the stage."

Derry Friends of Palestine, by Carlos Latuff

(Click on cartoon to enlarge)

Haifa – planned death of a city

(Palestinian refugees in Haifa waiting to be ferried out of the city 1948)

In the city of Haifa, Zionist plans to create an Arab-free land through the expulsions of 1948 did not entirely succeed; the nature of the city is still ambiguous despite the deaths and destruction


A Very Good Piece
By Ilan Pappe
Le Monde diplomatique - March 10, 2010
(Via Uruknet)

"....In inner circles Ben Gurion spoke very differently. At the beginning of the month, at a special meeting of the secretariat of MAPAI (the leading party), he listed proudly the names of the Palestinian villages already occupied by the Hagana and the other Jewish paramilitary groups. In a long speech, he explained that the next objectives of the military effort would be Haifa and Jaffa. In his words, these principal urban centres were "islands" in the midst of a Jewish sea. They were not islands, and calling them that diminished their spatial span; they encompassed more than 100,000 people, and many thousands more lived in their hinterlands. The process I call "urbicide" (destruction of urban space and expulsion of its residents), happened that April and ended with the forced departure of more than 200,000 Palestinians from their homes up and down the land. Another 70,000 urban Palestinians were expelled from Ramallah and Lydda in July 1948.....

The events of 1948 are a point on a continuum which began in 1882 and has lasted to this day: the translation of these pragmatic ideas into real policies has meant that the Palestinians of Haifa did not only experience the expulsion of 1948, but remain under threat of another ethnic cleansing should they be deemed to endanger the demographic majority of Jews in Israel, or should they over-identify with Palestinian nationalism that refuses to accept the Jewish state.

The past does not only send messages of doom and fear. The social texture of Haifa today is proof that the pragmatic polices did not work fully everywhere. Haifa maintains a Palestinian population and Arab features not because the Zionist movement did not wish to erase both the people and the nature of the city, but because of the resilience of those Palestinians who stayed on and those who joined them later from the Galilee. There is today a small community whose presence is growing. This is not the mixed town of Haifa at the time of the Mandate, but it is also not the purely Jewish city that Ben Gurion had desired."

حراك فلسطيني لمنع المفاوضات

"أعلنت قيادات من قوى اليسار الفلسطيني وأخرى مستقلة رفضها قرار القيادة الفلسطينية العودة للمفاوضات -بأي شكل- مع الحكومة الإسرائيلية في ظل استمرار الاستيطان.

وتوعدت هذه القوى بسلسلة من الفعاليات تحرك الشارع الفلسطيني للضغط وإسقاط ما وصفته "بالخطأ الذي ترتكبه القيادة بالعودة إلى المفاوضات".

ودعت هذه القيادات الرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس للعودة الفورية عن قرار استئناف المفاوضات بكل أشكالها ونقل ملف القضية الفلسطينية إلى مجلس الأمن والجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة
وعبرت القوى الفلسطينية عن استهجان ما وصفوه بـ"الاستقواء بالمظلة العربية الرسمية على الهيئات الوطنية والمزاج الشعبي المعارض للعودة للمفاوضات" معتبرين ذلك "تطورا خطيرا" في السياسة الفلسطينية.

وبدلا عن المفاوضات، دعت هذه القوى إلى "مراجعة سياسية شاملة تصوغ إستراتيجية وطنية قائمة على تعبئة وتنظيم الشعب لمواجهة الاحتلال" وإقامة جبهة موحدة للمقاومة الشعبية وتعزيز التعاون مع المؤسسات الدولية لمتابعة وتنفيذ قرارات محكمة العدل الدولية وتقرير القاضي الدولي ريتشارد غولدستون.

وحول قدرة القيادة الفلسطينية على التراجع عن المفاوضات مع الضغوط الأميركية، قال الأمين العام لحزب الشعب بسام الصالحي إن على القيادة مقاومة الضغوط حتى توضع أسس حقيقية تؤدي إلى سلام عادل، لأن المفاوضات التي دارت منذ 18 عاما بشروط إسرائيلية وضغوط أمريكية "فشلت بشكل كامل".

وعن تداعيات قرار العودة للمفاوضات على الأرض، حذر منسق لجنة مقاومة الجدار والاستيطان في الضفة الغربية جمال جمعة من أن هذا التوجه سيقوض حركة مقاومة الاستيطان ومصادرة الأراضي.

وقال جمعة للجزيرة نت إن العودة إلى المفاوضات تعني أن الاحتلال سيضاعف استهداف العمل الشعبي، وسيضعف موقف السلطة في دعم حركة المقاومة الشعبية.

وأعلن جمعة أن فعاليات ومسيرات مقاومة الاستيطان وبناء الجدار على الأرض الفلسطينية ستستمر وستحمل في الفترة المقبلة شعارات ضد العودة إلى المفاوضات في ظل الاستيطان، في محاولة للضغط على القيادة للتراجع عنها.

وفي السياق ذاته، قال منسق لجان مقاومة الاستيطان إن الفلسطينيين في الضفة "يعيشون اليوم نكبة جديدة تتمثل في فرض أمر واقع بواسطة تصاعد البناء الاستيطاني" مشيرا إلى أن المخططات الإسرائيلية تتحدث عن 73 ألف وحدة سكنية منها 15 ألف قيد البناء.

وهذا يعني، حسب جمعة، أن عدد المستوطنين في الضفة سيتضاعف في عشر سنوات، وسيشكل ثلث السكان في الضفة، الأمر الذي يعني استحالة إخراج قرابة مليون و200 ألف مستوطن عند تطبيق حل الدولة الفلسطينية.

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This brand new poll asks:

Do you see any point in the "indirect" negotiations with Israel?

With about 1,100 responding so far, 97% said no.

Al-Jazeera Video: Riz Khan - Falluja's birth defects

"On this episode of the Riz Khan show we ask if US weapons are behind the sharp rise in birth defects in Falluja. Residents of the Iraqi city blame the surge in chronic deformities on controversial weapons used by US forces against Sunni fighters in 2004. But the US military has dismissed those allegations."

Al-Jazeera Video: Map of Israel's East Jerusalem housing plan

"Israel's approval for building 1,600 new housing units for ultra-Orthodox Jews in East Jerusalem has infuriated the Palestinians.

Nabil Abu Rudeina, a Palestinian Authority spokesman, told the AFP news agency: "This is a dangerous decision and will hinder the negotiations."

The Israeli anti-settlement group Peace Now condemned the new project, saying it would "widen the gap with the Palestinians and the two-state solution, which risks becoming obsolete".

According to Israel's Haaretz newspaper, some 50,000 housing units are reported to be in various stages of planning and approval on occupied land in East Jerusalem. Haaretz says plans for around 20,000 apartments are already in an advanced stage.

A spokesman for the Israeli interior ministry said: "The Jerusalem District Planning Committee today approved a plan which has been in the works for over three years.

"This is a procedural stage in the framework of a long process that will yet continue for some time. The committee meeting was determined in advance and there is no connection to US Vice-President Joe Biden's visit to Israel."

There are still various planning hurdles for the East Jerusalem project to clear, and work is not thought likely to start for at least another two years.

Under pressure from the US, Israel has agreed a 10-month suspension of new building in the West Bank. However, the moratorium excludes East Jerusalem, where the Palestinians want as the capital of their future state....."

Video: Gaza Graffiti Movie.wmv

"Gazas walls cry out in green, red, black and yellow: Look at us! Read our messages!
Swedish photographer Mia Grondahl spent seven years - most of the second intifada - capturing the walls of Gaza. Her book and photo exhibit "Gaza Graffiti - Messages of Love and Politics" tell us about the many roles of graffiti in Gaza. Apart from political slogans, the walls bear witness to the joy and sadness of Gaza, the wedding ribbons being tied between young people, the many victims of the conflict, and the ever present hope of peace and freedom.
For us on the outside, the graffiti offers an exciting and unexpected view of life in Gaza. "

Iran wants help from a friend

By Kaveh L Afrasiabi
Asia Times

"During his flying visit to Kabul, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad trumpeted the fact that Afghan and Pakistani intelligence had cooperated with Iran in the capture of militant leader Abdulmalik Rigi. Iran wants to extend this multilateral cooperation to the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking. This would involve closer cooperation with the United States and foreign troops in Afghanistan [Is that why Iran has spent, by its own account, $200 million building roads in Afghanistan?], and therein lies the problem.....

Learning from history, the West can do much in terms of confidence-building with Iran, by focusing on areas of mutual interest and bracketing the hopeless cause of "proxy war" with Iran that, in Jundallah's case, appears to have backfired. Although the White House does not admit it, Rigi's arrest has embarrassed the administration of President Barack Obama by reminding the outside world that the rhetoric of foreign policy change is not matched by a clean break from the addiction of Obama's predecessor to a covert war with Iran......

The legal dimension of US-Iran hostility can, however, further complicate the issues and cloud the nature of common interests dictating the substance and form of partial cooperation. "

The Rogue Nation

by Philip Giraldi, March 11, 2010

".......Three strikes and you’re out, Mr. Obama. Your government stands for preemptive killing and missile strikes on people living in countries with which America is not at war, lets torturers and torture enablers go free, and has asserted the right to assassinate its own citizens anywhere in the world based on secret evidence. Ronald Reagan once described his vision of America as a shining city on a hill. Over the past ten years the shining city has become the ultimate rogue nation, pumped up with power and hubris in spite of the clearly visible signs of decline and moving inexorably towards a catastrophic fall."

Daily Cartoon, by Dave Brown, The Independent.

'I saw Israeli bulldozer kill Rachel Corrie'

Briton tells court of the moment he saw American activist fall as she tried to defend Palestinian homes

By Donald Macintyre in Haifa
Thursday, 11 March 2010

"The final moments of Rachel Corrie, the American peace activist crushed to death beneath a pile of earth and rubble in the path of an advancing Israeli army bulldozer, were described to an Israeli court by an eyewitness yesterday.

The parents of the 23-year-old, who was killed by the bulldozer in March 2003, were present to hear the harrowing account on the first day of hearings in a civil lawsuit they have brought against the state of Israel. The country has never acknowledged culpability over Ms Corrie's death.

Richard Purssell, a British activist with the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement (ISM), said he watched in horror as Ms Corrie was dragged four metres by the bulldozer moving forward at a "fast walking pace"......"

Voters are far ahead of the elite – so they'll get no say

Afghanistan should be at the heart of the election campaign. But it won't be because the main parties all support the war

Seumas Milne
The Guardian, Thursday 11 March 2010

"National elections are supposed to be about debating and settling the great issues and controversies facing a country. There are few issues as serious and controversial as the war now being fought by a 10,000-strong British force, in support of more than 90,000 US and other Nato troops, in Afghanistan. As in the rest of Nato, the war is deeply unpopular in Britain, where the most recent poll showed that 69% regard it as unwinnable and 63% want all British troops withdrawn by the end of the year.

But in the coming general election, this ever more bloody conflict is unlikely to intrude into the heart of the campaign, except in well-rehearsed spats about equipment and funding. For all the promise of a great national debate, don't expect one about the life- and-death struggle on the plains of Helmand. The reason is that, unlike in the case of Iraq, all three main parties are signed up to carrying on with a war the public has decisively rejected......"

Why do Egyptians love Avatar?

Parallels between the Na'vi and oppressed people in the Arab world are flawed – and imply the need for a foreign saviour

Joseph Mayton, Thursday 11 March 2010

"......"Egyptians don't like to see reality on the big screen, this is why films such as Syriana and The Hurt Locker are not popular. Egyptians want an escape," said Mohsen Goma'a, an aspiring filmmaker. But their support for Avatar also misses the mark. They have escaped from reality only to enter a new imaginary world where a film speaks directly to their struggle. "Through Avatar I lived the story of the Palestinian, Iraqi, Afghan and Lebanese peoples and the wars waged against them; where the west treats these peoples as if they were the children of the Na'vi" wrote the blogger South Lebanon.

There are numerous short films on YouTube paralleling the stories of the Na'vi and the Palestinians. One Arabic blog argues that Avatar is delivering a message to Americans that is "optimistic and hopeful despite the current situation". What are Americans supposed to be optimistic about? That they are the holders of the world's destiny, much in the same manner that Jake Sully is with the Na'vi? Sully, not the Na'vi, is the hero of the film. He becomes their leader in order for the Na'vi to defend themselves from the vastly superior technology of his former brethren.

Egyptians want something to believe in and Avatar offers a vague picture that is being co-opted into something it isn't. These arguments that Pandora represents the modern Middle East are essentially people pulling an idea out of the sand in order to connect with a very entertaining film. One could see the struggle of the Palestinians and other occupied societies as akin to that of the Na'vi in Avatar, but why would we want to? If Palestinians are dressing in blue and going to the streets in protest to show how connected they are to the fictional people of Pandora, does it not also reveal a stark reality that they would deny: a foreign saviour is needed if they are to realise their goal of throwing off the yoke of Israeli occupation?"

Indirect Israel talks 'called off'......For Today......Tomorrow? That is a Ddifferent Story.


"The Palestinian president appears to have called off indirect talks with Israel after the Israeli interior ministry announced it would build 1,600 new settler homes.

Mahmoud Abbas conveyed the decision to Amr Moussa, the Arab League secretary-general, by phone, Moussa told a news conference following an urgent meeting of delegates at the Arab League [AKA The League of Eunuchs, LE] headquarters in Cairo on Wednesday....."

Poll asked " whether Arab citizens should be granted rights equal to that of Jews in Israel" 49.5% of Israeli high school students answered NO.

In response to the question of whether Arab citizens should be granted rights equal to that of Jews, 49.5 percent answered in the negative. The issue highlighted the deep fault lines separating religious and secular youths, with 82 percent of religious students saying they opposed equal rights for Arabs while just 39 percent of secular students echoed that sentiment.
How do you say Apartheid Rocks in Hebrew?

Settlers, protected by soldiers, destroy natural spring used by Palestinians for farming near Salfit

A group of Israeli settlers today destroyed a spring by the village of Qarawat Bani Hassan in the Salfit district. The settlers poured sand and cement into the spring, guarded by five armed members of the Israeli military.

Palestinians from the village were forced to watch helplessly as events unfolded, prevented by the soldiers from moving close to the spring or from filming what was happening. International Solidarity Movement volunteers were able to secretly film for a short time before the soldiers noticed, and made both Palestinians and Internationals leave, saying that the area was now designated as a Closed Military Zone.

Last Friday, a large group of both Palestinians and internationals spent the day clearing the area around the spring to make it more accessible from the village. This followed previous attacks from settlers on nearby springs and farmland, during which a child suffered serious head wounds, from which he is still recovering in hospital, and an elderly man had his arm and leg broken.

Locals intend to continue their attempts to keep the spring open, and to turn the area around it into a park for the use of the village.

Under international law, the settlement next to Qarawat Bani Hassan is illegal, as are all other settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Possibly, the vilest, meanest and most nauseating brand of "humans" ever! As for the soldiers, remember that this is "the most moral army" in the world! VOMIT!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sick People , Sicker Culture

Israel supermarket spoof parodies Dubai killing

Israeli actors filming of the advert
The supermarket says the advert is simply a parody

An Israeli supermarket chain is using a spoof of surveillance footage showing the alleged assassins of a Hamas commander in a television advert.

The advert's fake grainy surveillance footage shows actors wearing elaborate disguises.

Dubai police released footage they said showed the assassins of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, some dressed for tennis, as they followed him through his hotel.

Israeli's secret service is widely suspected of being behind the killing.

But the government says there is not enough proof that its agents were involved.

In the advert for Mahsanei Kimat Hinam shops, disguised customers prowl the supermarket's aisles and an actress wearing a wide-brimmed hat says she: "cannot admit to anything". The final line is: "We offer killer prices".

Advertising executive Sefi Shaked said the campaign was inspired by the original footage.

"We were fascinated by the technique of using surveillance cameras instead of high-production cameras, and the latest events in Dubai have us a great opportunity," he said.

"It's a parody, a take-off of what happened in Dubai. All the Israeli television comedy shows have done it, so why shouldn't we?" he added.

Haaretz: Israel planning 50,000 housing units in East Jerusalem

Some 50,000 new housing units in Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the Green Line are in various stages of planning and approval, planning officials told Haaretz. They said Jerusalem's construction plans for the next few years, even decades, are expected to focus on East Jerusalem.

Most of the housing units will be built in predominantly Jewish neighborhoods beyond the Green Line, while a smaller number of them will be built in Arab neighborhoods. The plans for some 20,000 of the apartments are already in advanced stages of approval and implementation, while plans for the remainder have yet to be submitted to the planning committees.

The planned construction includes the 1,600 homes in the ultra-Orthodox East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo that were approved Tuesday. Saying the decision undermines peace talks, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has publicly condemned the move, which the Interior Ministry announced during his visit to Israel.

"Peace" With Netanyahu......When...Donkeys Fly! By Emad Hajjaj. (No pigs in the Middle East?)

Breaking news: European Parliament endorses Goldstone Gaza report ..Jewish lobbying efforts failed

The European Parliament on Wednesday urged its 27-member states to monitor the Israeli and Palestinian probes into alleged war crimes committed during last year's late-winter conflict in Gaza.

The resolution backed the findings of a UN-appointed expert panel chaired by South African Judge Richard Goldstone, which concluded that both sides committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during the war that began in December 2008 and ended in January 2009.

The parliamentary move, which would give the EU an unprecedented role in evaluating the progress of Israel's war crimes probe, was sharply criticized by Israel.


And here:

STRASBOURG (EJP)---Despite intense lobbying efforts from Jewish groups and attempts by the Christian-Democrats to prevent a vote, the European Parliament adopted Wednesday in Strasbourg a joint resolution urging "both sides" to follow up the Goldstone Report’s conclusions by conducting "investigations within five months”.