Saturday, May 22, 2010

Video: Turkish aid convoy sets to break Israel's siege on Gaza

Yet another war atrocity by the "brave American soldiers" captured on video - How many more are still out there?

By Emad Khadduri

"The below video was twice removed by the "free and democratic press".

See this article that was written about this posting before the video was first removed. And this one after the second removal of the video, with video uploaded.

The video is now again available

And just in case, it has also become available here.

This is yet another video of "Brave American" war criminals surrounding then shooting to death an unarmed old man (Removed).Notice their fear as they circle around him and hear their filthy shouts to shoot him down even though he is unarmed."

The heresy of the Greeks offers hope

20 May 2010

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger inverts the perception of Greece as a "junk country" and sees hope in the uprising of ordinary Greeks protesting against the "bailout" of an economy plunged into debt by the tax-evading rich. Greece, he writes, is a microcosm for the developed world, where class war are the words seldom used because they are the truth.

By John Pilger

"As Britain’s political class pretends that its arranged marriage of Tweedledee to Tweedledum is democracy, the inspiration for the rest of us is Greece. It is hardly surprising that Greece is presented not as a beacon but as a “junk country” getting its comeuppance for its “bloated public sector” and “culture of cutting corners” (the Observer). The heresy of Greece is that the uprising of its ordinary people provides an authentic hope unlike that lavished upon the warlord in the White House.

The crisis that has led to the “rescue” of Greece by the European banks and the International Monetary Fund is the product of a grotesque financial system which itself is in crisis. Greece is a microcosm of a modern class war that is rarely reported as such and is waged with all the urgency of panic among the imperial rich.....

The people on the streets of Athens do not suffer this malaise. They are clear who the enemy is and they regard themselves as once again under foreign occupation. And once again, they are rising up, with courage. When David Cameron begins to cleave £6 billion from public services in Britain, he will be bargaining that Greece will not happen in Britain. We should prove him wrong."

VERY Cross CrossTalk: Finkelstein vs Morris

"May 21, 2010 — On this edition of Peter Lavelle's CrossTalk, he asks his guests whether the current "indirect talks" between the Israelis and Palestinians are a waste of time. "

PACBI: UNICEF should quit Jerusalem conference

Press release, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, 21 May 2010

"The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is shocked and greatly concerned that UNICEF as well as one Palestinian and several international academics intend to participate in a conference organized by the Minerva Centre for Human Rights at the Hebrew University, jointly with the Van Leer Institute. We regard this participation as a violation of the Palestinian academic boycott Call and Guidelines and a most regrettable whitewash of the entrenched and well-documented complicity of Israeli academic institutions in maintaining Israel's occupation and apartheid against the Palestinian people, and Palestinian children in particular. .....

Second Ship Joins the Freedom Flotilla on Way to Gaza

Written by Greta Berlin 22 May 2010

"[Istanbul, Turkey – 22 May, 2010] Amid cheers and waving of Turkish and Palestinian flags, the second ship to join the Freedom Flotilla left Istanbul this afternoon. Sponsored by the Turkish humanitarian organization, Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH), the ship will carry 600 passengers to Gaza as part of the ‘blockade busting’ flotilla. It joins eight other boats coming from three other countries carrying 10,000 tons of supplies to the Palestinian people, supplies that have been denied to them by Israel.

Boats will meet in the Mediterranean, then turn toward Gaza to arrive at its beseiged slice of beachfront by the end of May. Free Gaza Movement’s MV Rachel Corrie is already on her way from Ireland and is presently off the coast of Portugal loaded with cement, paper and supplies for school children and medical equipment.

John Ging, Head of United Nation's Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip since 2006 said, “We recommend the world send ships to the shores of Gaza, and we believe that Israel would not stop these vessels because the sea is open, and many human rights organizations have been successful in previous similar steps, and proved that breaking the siege on Gaza is possible.”

For more information....."

Can a Security Council 'Coalition of the Unwilling' Defy Washington's Sanctions Crusade?

Sanctions that don’t work vs. diplomacy that does

by Phyllis Bennis

"The U.S. crusade for new UN sanctions against Iran has been underway for a long time. But the new intensity, the new scurrying around to make sure China and Russia are on board, and the new scramble for an immediate public announcement all reflect Washington's frustration with the new agreement with Iran brokered by Turkey and Brazil. That agreement requires Iran to send about half of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in return for somewhat higher-enriched prepared fuel rods for use in its medical reactor, which is pretty close to what the U.S. and its allies were demanding of Iran just months ago....

The Security Council stood defiant once before to try to stop a U.S. war. Maybe it can do so again, so that U.S.-led UN sanctions don’t destroy the best diplomatic solution we’ve seen for a very dangerous crisis."

Real News Video: TRNN Exclusive: The man that "shoed" Bush

Muntadhar Al-Zaidi from Beirut: I expected to be killed the day I threw my shoes at Bush

More at The Real News

Real News Video with Transcript: Iraqi workers and occupation Pt. 2

Amjad Ali: Leaders of factions on the verge of civil war but the people will not participate

More at The Real News

"Amjad Ali is the International Representative of the Iraqi Freedom Congress & General Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq (GFCWUI)."

Palestinian nonviolence relies on global non-silence

The world cannot expect Palestinians to abandon violence while remaining silent on Israel's repression of nonviolent activists

Yousef Munayyer
(Executive director of the Palestine Center and the Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development), Friday 21 May 2010

(Left: Bassem Abu Rahma after he was shot and killed by Israel, April 2009, while engaged in a nonviolent protest at Bil'in)

"When will there be a Palestinian Gandhi? I'm often asked this question by people who sympathise with Palestinian suffering but are uncomfortable associating themselves with resistance movements that they see as violent or terrorist.

The reality of course is that Palestinian nonviolent resisters are not only active today but have a long and storied history in the Palestinian struggle. The real question is: why haven't we heard about them?

Like many resisting oppression, Palestinian Gandhis are likely to be found in prisons after being repressed by Israeli soldiers or police or in the hospital after being brutally beaten or worse.

In recent years, the Israeli repression of Palestinian nonviolent dissent has increased significantly and Israel is showing signs of transforming into a fully-fledged police state. Even Israeli citizens, both Palestinian such as Ameer Makhoul and Jewish, have faced intimidation in one form or another for being critical of Israel's policies. Surely, Israel has realised that its ongoing occupation, continued colonisation of Palestinian land, and its bombardment of civilian-packed Gaza have significantly and negatively impacted on its image abroad. The images of nonviolent Palestinian protests against the Israeli occupation aren't helping Israel's reputation either......

Sadly, the same leaders who call on Palestinians to abandon violence have been silent in the face of Israeli repression. By condemning violent Palestinian resistance while remaining silent in the face of Israeli crackdowns and political arrests, they are simply endorsing violence against civilians by one side instead of the other....."

Sayyed Nasrallah: On Sunday We'll Celebrate and The Israelis Will Go to Shelters


"21/05/2010 “On this day, ten years ago, the residents of the Qonaytra and Ghandouriyeh, were gathering for the funeral of a woman from occupied Qonaytra. On this day, the first decisive step was taken on the path of liberating the south. Those people took the initiative to storm into the crossing and remove all roadblocks to return to their occupied town. When this really took place, every other fence tumbled down on 22, 23, and 24 May 2000. By the 25th of May, the battle had settled,’ Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said Friday afternoon as he officially inaugurated the resistance landmark site in the southern town of Mlita, as part of the efforts to enhance Jihadi toursim in Lebanon......"

Video of Speech by Sayyed Nasrallah on May 21:

كلمة السيد حسن نصرالله في احتفال مليتا

Cost of collaborating with Israel. This Too Will be the Future of Abbas and Fayyad.

By Giles Trendle

"This week marks the 10th anniversary of the withdrawal of Israeli troops from south Lebanon.

Recalling that occupation, this article examines the false promises made to the head of the South Lebanon Army, a former Lebanese militia allied to Israel.

Throughout the 1990s there were two Lebanese militias that remained armed and active, even though the Lebanese civil war had ended in 1990.

One was the Hezbollah movement, which still operates to this day. The other was the South Lebanon Army (SLA).

On November 12, 1993, seven years before Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon, I interviewed General Antoine Lahd, the commander of the SLA - a militia that was armed, trained and financed by Israel....

The SLA were pejoratively described by most Lebanese as the 'sand bags of Israel' - they manned the zone's most dangerous and exposed outposts and suffered far higher losses than the Israelis over the years.

The SLA also ran the notorious al-Khiam prison, where hundreds of Lebanese prisoners were held in terrible conditions, mostly without charge or trial.

Although Lahd was a Maronite Christian, the militia he commanded was made up mostly of Shia Muslims.....

"There is an agreement between Israel and the SLA that they [the Israelis] will not withdraw from here before the establishment of peace and a solution has been found for the SLA and the people of the area."

He continued: "The Israeli prime minister [Yitzak Rabin] stated publicly that among the conditions for peace are the disarmament of Hezbollah, the stopping of all military operations, security on both sides of the border and a solution for the SLA."

He clarified that this "solution" meant integrating the SLA militiamen into Lebanon's regular army.........

He placed full faith in the Israelis. He had little option, since he enjoyed zero political credibility among most Lebanese and was therefore left isolated and with nowhere to run when he was eventually abandoned by Israel.[Abbas and Fayyad take notice!]....
In the end, the fate of Lahd and his men was dictated more by the Israeli public than the assurances of Israel's former leader.

Israel's withdrawal in May 2000 was swift and sudden. It caught everyone by surprise - including Lahd and his men.....

The bloodbath that many feared would follow an Israeli withdrawal did not materialise.

Many SLA officers and their families fled to Israel....

Lahd's current whereabouts is unclear, although there are reports that he opened a restaurant in Tel Aviv.[When Fayyad does the same, he can sell his Knafeh, of Guinness book fame, in his Tel Aviv restaurant. Saeb Erikat can be his maitre d'.] ...."

What is Left of the "Palestinian Struggle".....
And the "Resistance" of Hamas....

By Emad Hajjaj

Friday, May 21, 2010

This is What the Traitors Abbas and Fayyad Are Up to: Palestinians Offer Wider Concessions on Land

The Wall Street Journal

"JERUSALEM—Palestinian negotiators have surprised Washington with a bold opening offer to White House peace envoy George Mitchell that includes concessions on territory beyond those offered in past Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, according to officials briefed on the current negotiations.

The Palestinians' unexpected offer has been greeted warily in Israel and by some members of the Obama administration, according to these officials. Palestinians believe Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has no intention of reaching a peace deal and thus may have calculated they can make generous offers without having to worry about following through, these officials said....."

Al-Jazeera Video: Brazil slams US approach towards Iran

"Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva has criticised the United States for its hardline approach to Iran's nuclear programmes.

He says Iran has shown willingness to negotiate its stance and other countries must do the same.
The US wants new and tougher sanctions against Iran, despite Tehran saying it will swap low-enriched uranium for nuclear fuel...."

Real News Video with Transcript: Iraqi workers and the occupation

Amjad Ali: All the leading parties in Iraq represent factions of the elites and not the people

More at The Real News

"Amjad Ali is the International Representative of the Iraqi Freedom Congress & General Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq (GFCWUI)."

Iran, Sun Tzu and the dominatrix

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"Let's face it: Hillary Clinton is one hell of a dominatrix.

At first the United States Secretary of State said the Brazil-Turkey mediation to get Iran to accept a nuclear fuel swap was destined to fail. Then the US State Department said it was the "last chance" for an agreement without sanctions. And finally, less than 24 hours after a successful agreement in Tehran, Hillary whips the UN Security Council into submission and triumphantly proclaims to the world a draft resolution for a fourth UN round of sanctions against Iran has been reached.....

At a recent Council on Foreign Relations speech in Montreal, luminary Dr Zbigniew "let's conquer Eurasia" Brzezinski warned that a "global political awakening", along with infighting among the global elite, was something to be deeply feared. The former US national security adviser remarked that "for the first time in all of human history mankind is politically awakened - that's a total new reality - it has not been so for most of human history".

Who do these politically awakened upstarts such as Brazil and Turkey think they are - daring to disturb "our" rule of the world? And then uninformed Americans keep asking themselves "Why do they hate us?" Because, among other reasons, unilateral to the core, Washington does not hesitate to lift its middle finger even to its closest friends."

"Treat Our Passengers and Cargo with Respect" says Senator Mark Dearey

Written by Free Gaza Team 21 May 2010

"(Dublin, May 21, 2010) The Free Gaza Movement welcomes statements by the Irish Government to ensure the safety of the passengers and cargo currently making their way to the besieged Gaza Strip.

His Excellency Mr. Breifne O’Reilly, Irish ambassador in Tel Aviv, traveled to the Israeli Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem this week “to ensure a peaceful outcome which will enable the safe delivery of these humanitarian supplies”.

The Free Gaza Movement commends the Irish government for showing true international leadership regarding the illegal siege of Gaza and is calling for other governments to follow suit. The 9 ship-strong flotilla, carrying 10,000+ tons of medical, reconstruction and educational goods, has only been made possible by the actions and donations of citizens from 60+ countries. A major donation was received from Malaysia, part of which was used to purchase, outfit etc the MV Rachel Corrie the humanitarian cargo ship.

On Wednesday, Green Party spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Senator Mark Dearey, who has personally inspected the cargo onboard the M.V. Rachel Corrie, echoed the Ambassador’s call stating: “Irish passport holders (must) be treated respectfully and be allowed complete their mission. It is the least we should be insisting on, given the gross abuse of Irish passports by Israeli agents in recent times.” Senator Dearey, who has recently replaced Minister Ciarán Cuffe as spokesperson, was referring to Mossad’s use of five bogus Irish passports when a Hamas official was assassinated in Dubai earlier this year......"

Historically Apolitical, Sufis Now Side With the State

By Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani

"CAIRO, May 21, 2010 (IPS) - Although Egypt's many Sufi orders have traditionally been known for keeping a safe distance from politics, recent events suggest they are now closer than ever to the ruling regime.

"The Sufi orders have practically become part of the state apparatus," Abdel Menaam Mounib, head of the Islamic affairs department at independent daily Al-Dustour, told IPS. "Sufis can now be found in all branches of the regime, including the judiciary, the police and the military."....

"Since then, all of Egypt's rulers have tried - with increasing success - to co-opt the Sufis," he said. "And since Nasser's time, the orders have become extremely close to the ruling party."

Notably, Ahmed al-Tayeb, grand sheikh of Egypt's influential Al-Azhar religious establishment - appointed by Mubarak in mid-March - is also a Sufi and ruling party loyalist....."

Economic Boycott Hits Israeli Settlers

By Mel Frykberg

"RAMALLAH, May 20, 2010 (IPS) - Israeli settlers are beginning to feel the bite of an economic boycott campaign launched by the Palestinian Authority (PA) against goods produced in the illegal Israeli settlements dotting the occupied West Bank...."


I think that this is a charade by the collaborationist PA and the World Bank's employee Fayyad who continue "security coordination" with the IOF, to salvage some minimal support in the West Bank. They are engaging in such theatrics while "negotiating" selling out the last of Palestinian rights!

Let Fayyad concentrate on ceremonies for Palestinian records in the Guinness book of records. National accomplishments such as Knafeh, Hummus and Msakhkhan!

Attack of the Cyborg Insects

The dangers of science in the service of the state

by Justin Raimondo, May 21, 2010

"In the course of promoting a conference on "Warring Futures: How Biotech and Robotics Are Transforming Today’s Military—and How That Will Change the Rest of Us," a May 24 conference in Washington, D.C.,co-sponsored by Slate, Arizona State University, and the New America Foundation (i.e. George Soros), ASU’s Brad Allenby averred:

"Telepathic helmets. Grid-computing swarms of cyborg insects, some for surveillance, some with lethal stingers. New cognitive-enhancement drugs. (What? Adderall and Provigil aren’t good enough for you?) Lethal autonomous robots. Brain-chip-to-weapon platform control systems on a ‘future force warrior‘ platform. American military technology is getting very frisky.".....

We don’t make much of anything here in the United States anymore, at least not anything that anyone wants to buy. Aside from the ethereal financial "instruments" mass-produced by Wall Street to such deleterious effect, our only other vital and growing industry is the manufacture of advanced weaponry. This is the one industry that our rulers have no intention of shipping overseas. As the rest of the economy hollows out, the military-industrial complex will absorb a greater share of economic activity. In the end, we shall wind up as the world’s arsenal, while China is the global factory and Europe a museum. ....."

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This poll asks:

Do you see justification for punishing Iran even though it has agreed to exchange enriched uranium?

With 8,000 responding, 81% said no.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

العلة في الشعوب وليس الحكام فقط

العلة في الشعوب وليس الحكام فقط
رأي القدس

A Good Editorial in
Al-Quds Al-'Arabi

"رفضت الحكومة التايلندية عرضاً تقدم به المحتجون للانخراط في مفاوضات لحل الازمة التي تعصف بالبلاد حالياً، مما دفع بهؤلاء الى النزول الى الشوارع مجدداً في استعراض للقوة، والاقدام على احراق مبنى التلفزيون ومقر البورصة وبعض المؤسسات الاخرى.
الحكومة التايلندية التي اعلنت حال الطوارئ وعطلت العمل بالدستور، لجأت الى الجيش لمواجهة المعارضة التي تطالب بالاحتكام الى صناديق الاقتراع واعادة الحكومة المنتخبة الى السلطة مجدداً.
الاشتباكات بين الجيش والمتظاهرين أدت الى مقتل 36 شخصاً واصابة العشرات، لان الفارق هائل بين اناس عزل وجيش مجهز بأحدث وسائل القوة.
نحن هنا لسنا بصدد مناقشة جذور هذه الازمة، والخلافات المتفاقمة بين اطراف المعادلة السياسية في البلاد، ولكن هناك نقطة لا يمكن تجاهلها، وهي ان السبب الرئيسي للاضطرابات ونزول المحتجين الى الشوارع هو الازمة الاقتصادية وافرازاتها من بطالة وفساد ونهب للمال العام، وتزوير لارادة الشعب، واللجوء الى الاحكام العرفية.
اللافت ان جميع هذه الاسباب من فقر وبطالة وفساد واحكام عرفية موجودة في الغالبية الساحقة من الدول العربية، ولكن من النادر ان ينزل المواطنون العرب الى الشوارع في مظاهرات صاخبة تتحدى العنف، وتتمسك بمطالبها العادلة والمشروعة في التغيير.
قبل شهر نزل المواطنون الى الشوارع في قرغيزستان، وتصدوا لقوات الامن بالعصي، ولم يبخلوا بتقديم عشرات الشهداء، ولم تتوقف احتجاجاتهم الا بعد سقوط النظام وهروب الرئيس الى الخارج بحثاً عن ملاذ آمن، ومعه اسرته ومجموعة الفاسدين المحيطين به.
السؤال الذي يطرح نفسه هو عن اسباب عدم تكرار مثل هذه التجارب الشعبية في منطقتنا العربية، لماذا يتحمل المواطنون العرب الجوع والفقر والبطالة والفساد لسنوات دون ان يتحركوا وبالطرق السلمية لتغيير هذا الوضع المأساوي اسوة بالشعوب الاخرى؟
نحن لا ندعو الى اللجوء الى العنف، والمساس بالمؤسسات العامة أو الخاصة، وانما نطالب بتحرك سلمي متواصل، ينتهج اساليب حضارية في التعبير، ويشكل ضغطاً على الانظمة الحاكمة.
وربما يجادل البعض بأن مثل هذه الدعوة تعكس جهلاً بواقع الانظمة العربية واجهزتها القمعية، فعدد القتلى الذين سقطوا في مواجهات تايلاند طوال الايام العشرة الماضية، لم يزد عن 36 قتيلا، ومثل هذا العدد يمكن ان يسقط في ثوان معدودة في الدول العربية بسبب شراسة الاجهزة الامنية وعدم احترامها لحقوق الانسان.
نحن لا ننكر ذلك، وندرك جيداً مدى جبروت اجهزة الامن العربية، وتسخيرها لحماية النظام الحاكم من الشعب، واطالة عمره لأطول فترة ممكنة، بل وتسليم الحكم لاولاد الحاكم من بعده، ولكن لا بد من التحرك السلمي، واتباع اساليب الاضراب والعصيان المدني، فهذه هي أساليب التغيير المتبعة في كل انحاء العالم.
اللجوء الى ذريعة قمع الانظمة لتبرير عدم التحرك والاحتجاج هو الذي ادى الى استمرار حال الانحدار التي تعيشها حالياً معظم الدول العربية.
نقترح ارسال وفود شعبية الى كل من تايلاند وقرغيزستان للتعلم من تجربتهما في مواجهة القمع والارهاب الحكومي، والتمسك بالحقوق الديمقراطية المشروعة وانهاء كل مظاهر الفساد.

Current Arab Reality, by Emad Hajjaj

A Quiz

This Palestinian Family is Sifting Through the Rubble of Their Demolished House in Rafah...
Their House Was Demolished by Israeli Bulldozers; Right?
Wrong! It (and 20 More) Was Demolished by Hamas Bulldozers!

What a Travesty....
What Does This Say About Hamas??

A New Poll

A new blog poll has just been added; it asks:

Do you think that the PA, with both the West Bank and the Gaza Components, should be dissolved?

Please register your vote, just scroll down and you will see the poll to the right.

Al-Jazeera Video: Thai army moves to crush protests

"May 19, 2010 — Hundreds of troops have stormed the main encampment of anti-government red shirt protesters in the Thai capital, Bangkok.

The offensive following weeks of street protests triggered clashes in which five protesters and one foreign journalist were killed.

Al Jazeera's Wayne Hay reports on a day of violence in Bangkok. "

Washington burns its bridges with Iran

By Gareth Porter
Asia Times

"With the United States acknowledging it is not willing to hold talks unless Tehran first agrees to completely halt its uranium-enrichment program, the Barack Obama administration has given up whatever flexibility it had previously retained in the face of Iran's firm rejection of the zero-enrichment demand....."

Persecution of Palestinian citizens recalls S. Africa apartheid repression

Adri Nieuwhof and Bangani Ngeleza, The Electronic Intifada, 19 May 2010

(Adri Nieuwhof and Bangani Ngeleza are independent consultants from Switzerland and South Africa, respectively. Nieuwhof supported the South African anti-apartheid struggle as a member of the Holland Committee on Southern Africa. Ngeleza participated in the liberation struggle as an activist with the African National Congress. When he was 11, his father Eric Ngeleza was sentenced to ten years on Robben Island. )

"Two weeks after Israel imposed a travel ban on him, Ameer Makhoul, a well-respected Palestinian leader holding Israeli citizenship, was kidnapped from his home on 6 May in the middle of the night. The persecution of Makhoul brings back memories of the South Africa apartheid regime: he has been held incommunicado and was not allowed access to his lawyer for two weeks; a court order prohibited publication of any information on the case against Makhoul for 90 days; and the so-called evidence justifying the "security charges" against Makhoul remains secret. During the South Africa anti-apartheid movement, similar tactics were used against those advocating for freedom and equal rights, who were accused of terrorism and having links with the Soviet Union......"

Bank Cornered over Financing Israeli Settlements

By David Cronin

"BRUSSELS, May 19, 2010 (IPS) - New evidence has been uncovered to show that Dexia, a major Belgian-French bank, is still financing Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories despite official assurances that such loans have ceased.

Jean-Luc Dehaene, a former Belgian prime minister and now Dexia's chairman, announced last year that the bank had not approved any new loans to authorities located in Israeli settlements in the West Bank since June 2008.

This week, however, the Israeli human rights group Who Profits from the Occupation? obtained documents that contradict Dehaene. These papers give details of loans worth a total of more than eight million shekels (two million dollars) to the Shomron regional council, which covers 30 Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and to Gush Etzion, a bloc of settlements near Bethlehem. All of the loans were authorised by Dexia Israel between April and December 2009....."

Hopes Fade for US Help to Restore Civil Liberties

By Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani

CAIRO, May 20 , 2010 (IPS) - Egypt's decision to extend its oppressive Emergency Law for two more years drew a tepid response from Washington, prompting criticism that U.S. administrations - including that of President Barack Obama - only push for political reform in Egypt when it suits their geostrategic interest.

"Obama has completely gone back on his promise to support democracy in the Arab world," Hafez Abu Saeda, secretary-general of the Cairo-based Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights, told IPS. "He has obviously reached the conclusion that regional stability - i.e., keeping dictatorial regimes in power - is more in the U.S. interest than democracy."....

"The West, namely the U.S. and European Union, is hardly a true champion for freedom and democracy," Ibrahim Eissa, prominent political analyst and editor-in-chief of independent daily ‘Al-Dustour’, wrote in an Apr. 28 editorial. "It only wants obedient Arab governments that will serve its interests."

"As long as Mubarak remains a friend of western policy objectives and plays good neighbour to Israel, the West will give its stamp of approval to the regime and its blatantly rigged elections," Eissa added......."

Re-Branding Israel: Land of Security Know-How

By Neve Gordon
Palestine Chronicle

".....This negative branding is an international effort. Noam Chomsky, who was recently prevented from entering Israel and the West Bank, has long been a target of witch hunters like Alan Dershowitz, but other less known actors are also playing a part. Mitchell Bard, the executive director of the American-Israeli Co-operative Enterprise, and Gil Troy, a historian at McGill University, recently published a position paper summarising the discussions of the Working Group on Delegitimisation at the 2009 Global Forum against Anti-Semitism. Bard and Troy suggest that it is crucial to ‘rename and reframe’ the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS). ‘We need to point out how BDS crosses the line from legitimate criticism to historically-laden, anti-Semitic messaging.’ The report goes on to present the struggle against BDS as a war, using such terms as enemy, command centre, war room, fight, battle and battlefield.

But the branding campaign does not stop with human rights NGOs, their donors, individual critics or supporters of BDS. International humanitarian and human rights law – which emerged following the horrors of the Holocaust – is also under attack. This, at least, was one of the messages emerging from a conference organised by the Lawfare Project. The logic is clear: international human rights law is being deployed as a tool to criticise Israeli policies in the Occupied Territories and is consequently responsible for damaging Israel’s reputation; it therefore must be curbed. This is an extremely frightening thought."

Shaping the Story on Iran

by Philip Giraldi, May 20, 2010

"There have been recent reports that Iran has enabled the travel of al-Qaeda leaders to Afghanistan and Pakistan where they will be able to confront and kill American soldiers. If you think you have heard the story before, you have, in another context. In the earlier rendition it was Saddam Hussein who was hand-in-glove with al-Qaeda, helping the group in its nefarious planning to attack the United States and kill Americans.....

....Ironically, Adolph Hitler’s Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, responsible for orchestrating the Third Reich’s media, best explained what is happening in today’s America vis-à-vis Iran. He wrote, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic, and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State." ....."

US, Israel Challenged on Iran

by Ray McGovern, May 20, 2010

"The times may be a-changin’ — at least a bit — with the United States and Israel no longer able to dictate to the rest of the world how crises in the Middle East must be handled, though the new reality has been slow to dawn on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her neocon friends in Congress and the U.S. media.

They may think they are still in control, still the smart ones looking down at upstarts like the leaders of Turkey and Brazil who had the audacity to ignore U.S. warnings and press ahead with diplomacy to head off a possible new war, this one over Iran.....

There is every reason to believe that Israel will search deep into its toolbox for a way to sabotage the agreement, but it isn’t clear that the usual diplomatic tools will work at this stage. There remains, of course, the possibility that Israel will go for broke and launch a preemptive military strike at Iran’s nuclear facilities.

In the meantime, it’s a sure bet that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will apply all the pressure he can on Obama.

As a former CIA analyst, I hope that Obama would have the presence of mind to order a fast-track special National Intelligence Estimate on the implications of the Iran-Brazil-Turkey agreement for U.S. national interests and those of the countries of the Middle East.

Obama needs an unvarnished assessment of the agreement’s possible benefits (and its potential negatives) as counterweight to the pro-Israel lobbying that will inevitably descend on the White House and State Department."

Eyewitness: Under fire in Thailand

Andrew Buncombe reports from the streets of Bangkok which have become a lethal battle zone

By Andrew Buncombe in Bangkok
The Independent

"There was nothing for us to do but take cover, as the incoming fire sprayed and hissed. People lay flat, terrified, crouched behind cars, tried to squeeze themselves into the meagre protection offered by the wheel hubs. They took cover frantically, diving behind not just cars, but trucks, trees and even flower pots.

This was near to the entrance of a Buddhist temple, a supposed oasis, a place of prayer. But we knew its sanctity had been fatally breached when the crack of rifles and the sound of bullets ricocheted close to the temple's souvenir shop.

One after the other, the injured were carried, rushed and dragged inside the temple compound. On bamboo mats, blankets anything to hand, they were carried in bloodied and screaming. Fearless Red Shirt volunteers did what they could. They used towels, bandages and plasters to try to treat ugly bullet wounds that needed surgery, not first aid kits......"

The Iran nuclear deal and the new premier league of global powers

Brazil and Turkey are determined to pursue diplomacy and compromise � even if it means upsetting Washington

Simon Tisdall, Wednesday 19 May 2010

"The furious row between the Obama administration and the leaders of Brazil and Turkey over how best to handle Iran's nuclear ambitions, following this week's controversial "uranium swap" deal in Tehran, reflects a more fundamental and widening disagreement over how the world should be run in the 21st century.....

This week's symbolically significant attempt by Brazil and Turkey to do things differently, and the divisions the subsequent row exposed, suggests this already rickety traditional international security architecture, maintained and policed by a few self-appointed countries, cannot hold much longer. Power is shifting away from the west. You can almost feel it go."

Europe is sleepwalking to decline. We need a Churchill to wake it up

Our leaders are peddling delusions. The eurozone has not been saved, the EU has no foreign policy, and others are making history

Timothy Garton Ash, Wednesday 19 May 2010

"Can anyone save me from Europessimism? I feel more depressed about the state of the European project than I have for decades. The eurozone is in mortal danger. European foreign policy is advancing at the pace of a drunken snail. Power shifts to Asia. The historical motors of European integration are either lost or spluttering. European leaders rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic while lecturing the rest of the world on ocean navigation......"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Brother Malcolm

Emad Hajjaj's Latest About Arab Obsession with Setting Guinness Book' Records

No Translation is Needed...

Real News Video: Speaking to Israelis on the Nakba

For this year's Nakba Day, May 15th, TRNN asks Israelis what they know about the history of '48.

More at The Real News

"Every year on May 15, Palestinians the world over mourn what is known as Nakba Day. The Nakba is Arabic of catastrophe and represents the 1948 ethnic cleansing when nearly 800,000 Palestinians became refugees. In this segment, Lia Tarachansky of The Real News and Yossef(a) Mekyton of Zochrot speak to Israelis about what they know of this history and the war of 1948, the result of which was the establishment of the state of Israel."

Silicon Valley Science Prize Awarded to Palestinian School Girls From Nablus

"Three school girls from Nablus have been awarded first prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Silicon Valley, California. Their winning entry was a walking cane for the blind, inspired by their relatives struggles with the changing terrain in Aksa Refugee Camp.

Aseel Abu Aleil, Aseel Alshaar and Noor Alarada, all 14 and educated at an UNRWA school in Aksa Camp, Nablus, were amongst 1,500 finalists for the coveted prize; reputed to be the largest pre-university science fair in the world.

Their cane contains a sensor that relays change in terrain to an embedded audio unit, alerting the user of changes up to 30 inches away.

The UN News Agency has reported that during demonstrations for UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, Mr. Ban was incredibly impressed and commended the girls commitment to their education.

The agency also reported that all three intend to continue their education in the sciences with Ms. Alshaar planning to become a genetic engineer; Ms. Alarada a cancer researcher and Ms. Aleil a professor of medicine. "

Blog post: I'm baffled by Noam Chomsky's contradictions on Palestine

An Excellent Critique
By Ali Abunimah

"I have a great deal of admiration and respect for Noam Chomsky, one of the foremost intellectuals of our time, whose work opened my eyes on a great many issues. But like many others, I have been increasingly baffled by the many inconsistencies in his views on Palestine. A few months ago, for example, I responded to his opposition to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement on Khalil Bendib's radio program Voices from the Middle East and North Africa.

After Chomsky was outrageously barred by Israel from traveling to the occupied West Bank over the weekend, I could not help but be struck by yet another glaring contradiction.

In his 17 May interview on Democracy Now he told Amy Goodman that his planned itinerary included a meeting with Salam Fayyad, the unelected US- and Israeli-backed "prime minister" of the Ramallah Palestinian Authority imposed after the US helped overthrow the Hamas-led "national unity government" that came after the 2006 election. Chomsky told Goodman.....

Really? Chomsky the great critic of US efforts to undermine democracy and impose its clients around the world is now effusively endorsing what is in effect a US-backed puppet regime? Don't take my word for it. Here's what Chomsky said about precisely the same Ramallah Palestinian Authority whose "prime minister" he now finds so "sensible" during a lecture in Boston on 21 January 2009......

What has happened to Chomsky that he is offering his cachet, endorsement and support to what he himself has described as a colonial collaborationist regime?"

These Virtual Connections Are for Real

By Eva Bartlett

"GAZA CITY, May 19, 2010 (IPS) - "I've learned most of what I know about photo editing and graphic design via the Internet," says Emad, 27-year-old film-maker and editor. In Gaza, this sort of thing has become usual in a different way.

"This programme isn't available here," he says, smiling triumphantly as he finishes downloading the latest edition of an advanced video editing programme. "Even if it was, I can't afford to pay 600 dollars for it, not even if I worked for two months. But I need this for my work, so I looked for a free online version."

Isolated under a siege which began shortly after Hamas was elected in 2006 and heightened severely in mid-2007, Palestinians in Gaza have suffered the effects of such alienation in all aspects of their lives. The economy has been destroyed both by the prolonged and choking siege and the 2008-2009 Israeli war on Gaza, leaving unemployment hovering near 60 percent.

Aside from denying Palestinians in Gaza an astonishing number of the most basic of daily items, as well as material vitally needed for reconstruction or in the health sector or for schools and universities, the siege is a psychological attack and strangulation which has pronounced affects on Palestinians dreams, hopes, and daily realities......

Denied the opportunity to leave and visit family and relatives outside of Gaza, the Internet fulfils another vital role. "It's too expensive to call people outside Gaza, but using Skype or a messenger programme, I can keep in touch with friends and family abroad."

Activists and educational groups also make the most of the Internet and technology. Satellite-enabled video conferences and Skype hook-ups allow university students in Gaza to connect with those in the occupied West Bank and with universities outside of Gaza working to break the siege on education.

The annual Bil'in conference, on Apr. 21 this year included a satellite hook-up with academics and activists in Gaza, as well as residents in one of the hardest hit areas during the Israeli war on Gaza...."

Not Another War, Mr. President!

Iran nuke deal: US not taking yes for an answer

by Justin Raimondo, May 19, 2010

"Nothing, but nothing, is going to get in the way of this administration’s path to war with Iran. This was brought home in a dramatic way when the Brazilians and the Turks announced Iran had agreed to implement the nuclear exchange deal proposed by the US some seven months ago: the Iranians agreed to turn over most of their fissionable material in exchange for fuel rods and technical assistance that would enable them to produce medical-grade materials.

Peace seemed to be breaking out all over – but not if the US government and its allies on the UN Security Council could help it. They refused to take yes for an answer, and promptly announced they were proceeding with the sanctions campaign......

The whole world sees this brazen double standard, and our leaders, instead of minimizing it, glory in it. This is what being a hegemon is all about: ensuring and enforcing a gross injustice so unbalanced and arbitrary that only an unchallengeable power could enforce it. This is American supremacism unmasked, politically, and psychologically: naked evil rampaging over the earth, practicing the joys of subjugation –just because we can......"

Trying the Divide-and-Conquer Strategy: U.S. adviser: Washington hopes to promote Hezbollah 'moderates'

Hezbollah not 'purely a terrorist organization', assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism says.

By Reuters

"United States President Barack Obama's administration is looking for ways to build up "moderate elements" within the Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla movement and to diminish the influence of hard-liners, a top White House official said on Tuesday.

John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, met with Lebanese leaders during a recent visit....."

Report: PA Willing to Have NATO Forces in Future State


"19/05/2010 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas intends on informing Special US envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell that the Palestinian Authority would agree to have NATO forces stationed in future Palestine, London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi reported Wednesday.

Abbas and Mitchell are scheduled to meet in Ramallah on Wednesday afternoon.

The newspaper quoted Palestinian sources as saying that Abbas would agree to have North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces monitor the borders of the future Palestinian state, in order to stop arms smuggling to what is supposed to become a demilitarized zone[tasked only with producing the world's largest Hummus plate, falafel and Knafa Nabulsia!].

According to the report, NATO forces would also be tasked with "protecting the Palestinian state from Israel."[No Shit!]....."

Obama and the curse of moderation

By Mark LeVine

Set up to fail

George Bush, the former president, and Dick Cheney, the former vice-president, understood that moderation does not bring real change (consider how easily they undid almost every progressive reform enacted under the Clinton administration).

They knew that pushing a radical agenda without compromise was the best way to force American political culture towards their preferred direction.

Moreover, they counted on the fact that after eight years of veering so sharply to the right, merely attempting to return to the centre will seem like a herculean effort, ensuring the radical changes they enacted would remain in place even under a Democratic successor.

Sixteen months into his presidency, Obama has played his part all too well.

The most frightening part of his unwillingness to recognise the fallacy of moderation is that when his policies inevitably fail, the millions of Americans who tentatively supported him, grasping the discourse of "hope" that was the centrepiece of his campaign rhetoric, will veer sharply to the right - back to the very policies that are most responsible for creating the messes that Obama is struggling to clean up.

They will nurse the emotional and political wounds gotten by placing their hopes in Obama - and for millions of white Americans, the mere act of voting for a black man, or merely allowing themselves to believe that he could make their lives better, involved a huge psychological opening - by embracing movements like the Tea Party in ever greater numbers.

American political discourse will become even more poisonous and the radical change necessary to heal the country, and the planet, will be even harder to imagine.

The specter of one of the world's great water systems, the Gulf of Mexico, devastated for years by a completely unnecessary disaster, opens a small window of opportunity for Obama...."

عندما يتحول المناضل الى جاسوس

عندما يتحول المناضل الى جاسوس
رأي القدس

"جدعون ليفي الكاتب في صحيفة 'هآرتس' الاسرائيلية زار مدينة جنين في الضفة الغربية، والتقى اثنين من ابرز مناضليها القدامى جمال وزكريا الزبيدي، ونقل صورة مأساوية عن حياة الاثنين ورفاقهما الذين تخلوا عن السلاح، وباتوا يتلقون رواتب من السلطة دون فعل اي شيء.
الكاتب الاسرائيلي اختار عنوانا يلخص الحال في هذه المدينة التي كانت بؤرة للمقاومة، ويقول 'اليأس يحول جنين من مدينة للانتحاريين الى مدينة للموتى'.
من المفارقة ان 'السلام الاقتصادي' الذي يطبقه السيد سلام فياض رئيس الوزراء، حول ابناء هذه المدينة، التي دخلت التاريخ الفلسطيني من اوسع ابوابه بسبب صمودها البطولي في وجه العدوان الاسرائيلي، الى 'اموات' يأكلون ويشربون ويتحسرون على واقعهم، حتى ان بعض مناضلي المدينة الذين شاركوا السيد الزبيدي في زنازين الاحتلال، تحولوا الى ادوات في يد الامن الاسرائيلي، يتولون مهامه القذرة، مثل اعتقال وتعذيب المناضلين.
جنين باتت العنوان الرئيسي للمواطن الفلسطيني الجديد الذي يعمل السيد فياض الآن على تشكيله وفق مواصفات السلام الاقتصادي، فقمة الأماني بالنسبة الى الكثير من ابناء هذه المدينة هي الانضمام الى قوات دايتون الامنية التي تتخذ من جنين مقرا لها.
جمال الزبيدي المقاتل الشرس يعترف في اللقاء نفسه ان كل من كان يقاوم في الماضي، او يفكر في المقاومة حاليا يتعرض للاعتقال والتعذيب على ايدي اجهزة امن دايتون، ويقول ان جهاز الامن الداخلي الاسرائيلي 'الشاباك' لم يفعل ما تفعله اجهزة امن السلطة بالمعتقلين المناضلين، مثل التعذيب حتى الموت. فمن يذهب الى زنازين تحقيق السلطة ينتهي في المستشفى في اليوم التالي هذا اذا لم يفارق الحياة.
السيد فياض يفتخر بان الاوضاع الاقتصادية تتحسن في الضفة الغربية، ويعطي ارقاما للنمو تصل الى خمسة في المئة سنويا، ولا يمر يوم دون ان يفتتح مصنعاً، او مزرعة او طريقا جديدا او القاء خطاب في مؤتمر للاستثمار وسط زفة تلفزيونية غير مسبوقة.
انها عملية غسل مخ للمواطن الفلسطيني في الضفة الغربية تجري وفق مخطط مدروس وضعه خبراء غربيون في هذا المضمار للايحاء بأن المقاومة لم تأت للفلسطينيين بغير الخراب والدم والجنازات والدمار الاقتصادي، وما يجري في قطاع غزة من فقر وبؤس وحرمان ومعاناة هو البرهان الأبرز في هذا الصدد.
السيد جمال الزبيدي الذي أغلق هاتفه النقال، وبات يعيش على راتب شهري مقداره 1500 شيكل، مثل الكثير من المناضلين السابقين، يعترف بأن هناك طرقا جديدة وأكثر أمنا، حيث اختفى السلاح من شوارع المدينة ومخيمها، وتم بناء مستشفى، وبات يوجد عدد اكبر من الاولاد في المدارس، وقدر اكبر من القانون والنظام، ويقول 'ولكننا لم نحارب من اجل ذلك طوال السنين الماضية، وليس من اجل كل هذا سقط آلاف الشهداء، ولا من اجل هذا اصبح الكثيرون معوقين ولا من اجل هذا يوجد عشرة آلاف معتقل في السجون'.
فعلاً لم يقدم الشعب الفلسطيني هذه القافلة الطويلة من الشهداء والاسرى من اجل بناء مستشفى او توسيع مدرسة، او من اجل ان يركب بعض المسؤولين في السلطة سيارات جيب حديثة فخمة وسط رهط من الحراس.
ان اكبر مأساة يعيشها الشعب الفلسطيني حالياً ان يقوم من حارب الاحتلال بالتنسيق معه فمن المفارقة ان رئيس جهاز الامن الفلسطيني كان حتى الامس القريب في زنازين الاحتلال، وصار يطارد زملاءه السابقين ويعذبهم، هكذا يقول جمال الزبيدي وهو ليس من 'حماس' وانما من ابرز مناضلي حركة 'فتح'.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Elvis Costello's Israel concert cancellation lauded

Press release, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, 18 May 2010

"The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) warmly welcomes Elvis Costello's cancellation of his scheduled performances in Israel. Costello's decision is a great victory for the ethical responsibilities of international cultural figures, a key factor in the cultural boycott of Israel. It comes after similar cancellations by Gil Scott-Heron, Carlos Santana and Bono/U2 upon appeals by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and its international partners, particularly in the UK and US....."

Gaza Fever

"You Need a Proper Boat ... "

A Good Piece


"We’ve all caught the fever, every one of us who works to send boats to Gaza. From August 2006, when a handful of us started the Free Gaza Movement, every one who has joined us has been stricken with a bad case of the disease. It is chronic. It sometimes causes afflicted patients to insist that if just one more voyage can be planned to this small slice of the Mediterranean, we’ll all be in remission. There is no real cure in sight… yet.

Gaza Fever has now attacked thousands of us who have a passionate sense of justice.

The disease began shortly after Israel invaded Lebanon in 2006, as a group of us were in despair that the Palestinians, once again, were the forgotten symptom of Israel’s grand designs. As the world watched the defeat of Israel by a small band of guerrilla fighters in Lebanon, Israel decided it would take its wrath out on the Palestinians, specifically the Palestinians of Gaza. We watched as Israel, in January 2009, deliberately bombed 1.5 million Palestinians into abject poverty, a man-made catastrophe bordering on genocide.....

Malaysia and Ireland and the people who represent this mission embody civil society at its best.

Now our four boats will rendezvous in the Mediterranean with boats from the European Campaign to End the Siege of Gaza (ECESG), Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH), Ship to Gaza Greece, Ship to Gaza Sweden, and the International Committee to Lift the Siege on Gaza.

We’re named the Freedom Flotilla and we sail to deliver reconstruction supplies, paper, medical equipment and toys for the children. The fever has spread to other organizations and other countries.

Will there be a cure?...only if their fishermen can fish without being shot and murdered, only if their farmers can harvest their crops without Israeli military vehicles burning down their wheat, only if Gaza has the same rights as every country on the Mediterranean… the right to free and open trade with the rest of the world.

Then and only then will our severe case of Gaza Fever be cured. "

Will Hezbollah Support Right to Work for Palestinian Refugees?

By Franklin Lamb – Beirut
Palestine Chronicle

"The current relationship between Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Hezbollah is not as clear cut as often assumed, despite the frequent inspiring brotherly words of Hezbollah’s leadership and the fact that the Party enjoys the support of more than 90% of the camp refugees, none of whom can vote. What this means is that the willingness of the Lebanese Resistance to spend its domestic political capital to legislate the right work to work for Palestinian refugees is not settled as of mid-May 2010.....

To add to Hezbollah’s political problems on this issue, longtime Palestinian nemesis Samir Geagea (“I was born with my views on Palestinians!”, he jokingly told one interviewer recently) and the Lebanese Forces have been making a significant political comeback since his July 2005 release from prison, including in this month’s municipal elections. “Geagea’s Christians” are cutting into Amin Gemayels Phalange Party and his other Christian rival Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement. This could be part of the reason why Aoun, a key Hezbollah ally, when asked about granting civil rights to Palestinian refugees, squints, gets red faced and starts badmouthing the idea and reminds his audience, that “there are 500,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and our country is going to implode, Ya Allah.” Actually, General Aoun inflates the true figure which is close to 250,000 Palestinian refugees remaining in Lebanon although 423,000 are registered with UNWRA.

Hezbollah is expected to add to its public endorsements of civil rights for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon by declaring soon exactly what it intends to do in Parliament. It is said to be studying the various proposals and quietly discussing the issue with a wide range of parties, Palestinian factions and local and international NGO’s. Some political analysts in Lebanon believe as Hezbollah goes on the right to work for Palestinian refugees so goes Parliament. The consequences of its decision will be major for the Lebanon’s refugees, the region and the National Lebanese Resistance."

Al-Jazeera Video: Thai protesters refuse to give up

" Anti-government protesters in Bangkok have defied army orders to leave their fortified camp in the heart of the Thai capital.

While some protesters have taken shelter in a temple inside the protest zone, thousands of others are living under a the threat of a military crackdown.

Street battles are happening daily and at least 36 people have died since violence broke out on Thursday.

Al Jazeera's Tony Birtley reports from Bangkok. "

About Time! Islamic Jihad Leader Calls For Dissolving P.A.

"Sheikh Abdullah al-Shamy, a political leader of the Islamic Jihad, called for dissolving the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and stated that this authority is a burden on the Palestinian people.

Al-Shamy’s statements came during an event organized by the Islamic Jihad in front of the Red Crescent in Gaza City, marking the 62nd anniversary of the Nakba.

He said that taxes and other expenses in addition to economic pressures are burdening the people and causing further suffering.

Al-Shamy also slammed the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank for its security coordination with Israel.

He demanded that the Palestinians insist on the dissolution of the P.A. so that the occupation “will not find any leader to pressure”.

The Islamic Jihad leader further stated that the Palestinians will remain steadfast and that "the lies regarding Palestine as a land without a people for a people without a land” are the biggest scam in history and that the Palestinian are willing to sacrifice themselves for their country. "

Video: Norman Finkelstein on Israel and Noam Chomsky

Brazil-Turkey 1, sanctions 0

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"The groundbreaking nuclear fuel swap agreement brokered by Brazil between Iran and Turkey was a ''victory for diplomacy", according to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. It was most of all a win for the BRIC countries - the emerging global counter-power to US hegemony and Washington's continuing demands for crippling sanctions against Tehran....

What may have happened is that the BRICs, plus Turkey, in a concerted effort these past few weeks, have made it very clear to the Iranian leadership that without any sort of agreement the US would keep on pushing for more and more crippling sanctions - and everyone knows what happened to Iraq in 2003.

So both Khamenei and Ahmadinejad seem to have got the message. But the key was still to find a deal that preserved Iranian dignity. Lula is right; the operative concept is "trust". Will Washington and its allies bow to the evidence? Or will they insist on playing a loser's game?"

After banned by Israel. Chomsky to give Bir Zeit lecture by video from Amman

Chomsky will not try to travel through the Allenby Bridge border crossing a second time, after being turned back on Sunday.

By Danna Harman and Amira Hass

"Noam Chomsky has decided not to try to travel through the Allenby Bridge border crossing a second time. Instead, he will hold his scheduled lecture at Birzeit University by video conference from Amman. The lecture will also be broadcast live on Al Jazeera television.

Despite reports in the Israeli media that Israel would allow Chomsky to cross, the linguist discovered yesterday that there was no official guarantee of this. He told his hosts at Birzeit he felt the Israeli authorities were playing games. His daughter and friends, who are traveling with him, also said they prefer not to tire the 81-year-old with another fruitless journey......"

Chomsky - Latest Jewish Thinker Savaged by Israel

By Mel Frykberg

"RAMALLAH, May 18, 2010 (IPS) - When internationally renowned linguist, philosopher and political analyst Noam Chomsky was barred from entering the West Bank, he joined a chorus of Jewish intellectuals savaged by the Israeli government for outspoken criticism.....

"I find it hard to think of a similar case, in which entry to a person is denied because he is not lecturing in Tel Aviv. Perhaps only in Stalinist regimes," Chomsky told the Israeli daily ‘Haaretz’.

Several years ago Norman Finkelstein, a respected American academic and political analyst, was interrogated for a number of hours at Ben Gurion International airport before he was refused entry by Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, the Shin Bet. Finkelstein believes he was targeted due to his harsh criticism of Israel for its war on Gaza.

Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, was expelled when he tried to enter Israel in 2008.

"I was leading a mission that had intended to visit the West Bank and Gaza to prepare a report on Israel's compliance with human rights standards and international humanitarian law," said Falk.

But it appears the Israeli government and the Israel lobby have reserved their most vituperative attacks for South African Justice Richard Goldstone who was appointed by the U.N. to investigate war crimes during Israel’s devastating assault on Gaza from December 2008 to January 2009.

The Israelis refused to cooperate with his investigation and prevented him from entering Gaza from Israel. He had to enter via Egypt.....

Israeli forces were following the Dahiya Doctrine established after Israel’s 2006 war with Lebanon when a Hezbollah stronghold in the West Beirut suburb of Dahiya was almost completely razed by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).

"What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on," said Gadi Eisenkot, head of the IDF’s northern division. "This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved," he added.

Israeli leader Col. (Retd) Gabriel Siboni, stated the following, weeks before the Israeli military’s attack on Gaza: "With an outbreak of hostilities, the IDF will use force that is disproportionate to the enemy’s actions and the threat it poses. Such a response aims at inflicting damage and meting out punishment to an extent that will demand long and expensive reconstruction processes.""