Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Chickens have come home to roost

[White terrorists are "fringe characters" but Arabs and Muslims are well they are not]
Jared Lee Loughner has been identified as the man suspected of shooting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).
Loughner was described by eyewitnesses at the Arizona shooting as a young white man who looked like a "fringe character," in his mid-to-late 20s, clean-shaven with short hair and wearing dark clothing.
Loughner was quickly arrested after he allegedly shot Giffords and some 12 others at a public event at a Safeway grocery store in Tucscon. He reportedly shot the congresswoman "point blank" in the head and may have come from inside the store. He attempted to flee after running out of ammunition and was tackled by one of Giffords' staffers.

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - 'Bring us sugar!'

"First it was Morocco, then Tunisia, and now it is Algeria's turn. Hundreds of Algerians have taken to the streets of the capital Algiers, some of them shouting "Bring us Sugar!" They are unhappy with the rising cost of food and, what they say, is a lack of opportunity in the country. They are directing their anger at the government - they do not understand why an oil rich country is unable to offer a decent life to its people. But as the anger spreads across North Africa, is it only about food prices and unemployment? And could the ongoing unrest lead to political turmoil?"

Tell Combined Systems Inc. to stop selling tear gas to Israel

Action alert, Adalah-NY, 7 January 2011

Adalah-NY: The Coalition for Justice in the Middle East issued the following edited action alert on 6 January 2010:

"On 1 January 2011, 36-year-old Palestinian Jawaher Abu Rahmah from the West Bank village of Bilin died at a hospital from the effects of tear gas inhalation suffered at a protest the previous day against Israel's construction of a wall and settlements on Bilin's land. Jawaher is only the most recent protester killed or seriously injured by tear gas fired by the Israeli military. For example, Jawaher's brother Bassem was killed almost two years ago, and two US citizens, Tristan Anderson and Emily Henochowicz were injured in 2009-2010......

The Israeli military has a documented history of deliberately firing tear canisters directly at unarmed protesters, and of blanketing entire villages in clouds of tear gas whenever they hold protests against Israeli land seizure. Jawaher's brother Bassem Abu Rahmah was killed in April 2009 when he was hit in the chest with an extended range CSI tear gas canister fired directly at him by an Israeli soldier, according to B'Tselem. In the villages of Bilin and Nilin alone, 18 persons have been directly hit by extended range CSI tear gas canisters. Bilin resident Khamis Abu Rahmah suffered a fractured skull and brain hemorrhage after being shot in the back of his head. An Israeli soldier shot California resident Tristan Anderson directly in the head with a high velocity tear gas canister in a March 2009 protest in Nilin, leaving Tristan partially handicapped and suffering slight cognitive damage. New York City college student Emily Henochowicz lost her left eye when an Israeli soldier shot her directly in the face with an aluminum tear gas canister at a May 2010 protest at the Qalandiya checkpoint......"

US activists facing grand jury garner broad support

Report, The Electronic Intifada, 7 January 2011

"Activists and concerned citizens around the United States are preparing for a national day of action on 25 January, the date that several Palestine solidarity activists and Palestinian American community organizers have been summoned to appear before a federal grand jury in Chicago. Meanwhile, dozens of civic, labor and student organizations in the United States and around the world have condemned the crackdown by US authorities on anti-war activists.....

In its call to action, the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, which formed around the 24 September 2010 raids and the grand jury investigation, is calling supporters to stand with the three women as well as the nine activists most recently subpoenaed on 25 January "by protesting Patrick Fitzgerald and his use of the grand jury and FBI to repress anti-war and international solidarity activists" ("Join the National Day of Action on Tuesday January 25, 2011")."

The forgotten martyrdom of Algeria's reporters

By Robert Fisk

"How quickly we forget the murder of colleagues.....

And now, when we drench our pages in sorrow at the death of every Western reporter, why don't we remember these 94 Algerian men and women? Yasmina Drissi, an editor on Le Soir d'Algérie, had her throat cut open in September 1994, after being kidnapped while waiting at a petrol station. Rachida Hammadi, a television station secretary, was shot in the head on 20 March 1995, her sister Houria killed as she tried to protect her. Rachida died a few hours later. Do these poor souls not touch us? And if not, why not? Because they were Arabs? Because they were Muslims, because they were darker skinned than us, had brown rather than blue eyes, spoke French rather than English when they chose not to speak Arabic, because they were – let us speak frankly – Algerians? I fear that all this is true. I wrote about them at the time. And then, until a few days ago – until Tahar Djaout's face stared at me from a newspaper above the Casbah of Algiers – I forgot them too."

Yes We Con, and Con, and.....

Obama Signs Law Blocking Gitmo Closure
Expresses 'Strong Objection' Then Signs It Anyhow

"In the latest example of President Obama having his cake and eating it too on the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, he has angrily expressed his “strong objection” to a Congressional measure that would block his promised closure of the facility. Then, he signed it.

According to his official statement, even though he has “consistently opposed” the effort to block the closure (which is a flat out lie, because his administration has praised previous Congressional efforts which also did that), he signed the bill because of how important he thinks his assorted 2011 wars are, and the bill also includes some (though not all) of the funding for those wars....."

Sadr urges "resistance" to occupation

(Click on poster to enlarge)

Press TV

"The leader of Iraq's Sadr movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, has called on Iraqi people to resist against the occupiers of their homeland by all means and "reject America."....."

Bil'in: A village in mourning

One West Bank family has paid the highest price for their village's peaceful pursuit of justice.

Renee Lewis


(Bassem Abu Rahmah, a pillar of non-violence in the village of Bil'in, was shot in the chest with a high-velocity teargas canister and died on his way to hospital in 2009. )

"People say that time heals, but the Abu Rahmah family feels as though it is living in a recurring nightmare from which there is no respite. Their nightmare is set in the West Bank village of Bil'in, which has been cut into pieces by Israel's "separation" wall.

It is a unique village: On the front lines of the conflict with Israel, it has also been the site of weekly non-violent protests since the wall was constructed 2005. It even has its own website, which describes "a Palestinian village that is struggling to exist" and "fighting to safeguard its land, its olive trees, its resources ... its liberty".

But what really makes the village stand out is the people that inhabit it - in particular, the Abu Rahmahs, whose misfortunes really began about three years ago.

All six Abu Rahmah siblings were non-violent activists - only four of them are left......"

Tunisia's bitter cyberwar

Anonymous has joined with Tunisian activists to call for end to the government's stifling of online dissent.

Yasmine Ryan

Updates: Azyz Amamy was arrested on Thursday, sources in Tunisia told Al Jazeera. Another web activist, Slim Amamou was also taken by the authorities.

"....That battle is taking place not just on the country's streets, but in internet forums, blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.

The Tunisian authorities have allegedly carried out targeted "phishing" operations: stealing users passwords to spy on them and eradicate online criticism. Websites on both sides have been hacked.

Anonymous, the loosely-knit group of international web activists that drew world attention for their "distributed denial of service" (DDoS) attacks on the servers of companies that blocked payments and server access to the whistle-blowing website, WikiLeaks, joined the fray, in solidarity with the Tunisian uprising.

Most international news organisations have no presence in the country (and, some say, a lack of interest in the protests). Media posted online by Tunisian web activists has been some of the only material that has slipped through the blackout, even if their videos and photos haven't generated quite the same enthusiastic coverage by Western media as the Iranian protest movement did in 2009.

Killing dissent

The attacks against some of the most vocal voices in the Tunisian cyber-community were sharp and swift. Sofiene Chourabi, a journalist for Al-Tariq al-Jadid magazine and blogger known for his unabashed criticism of the Tunisian authorities, has been unable to recover his email and Facebook accounts after they were hijacked several days ago.......

Ben Mhenni said that the government's biggest censorship of webpages en masse happened in April 2010, when more than 100 blogs were blocked, in addition to other websites. She said the hijackings that had taken place in the past week, however, marked the biggest government-organised hacking operation. Most of the pages that had been deleted in recent days were already censored.

Amamy said the government's approach to the internet policy is invasive and all-controlling.
"Here we don't really have internet, we have a national intranet," he said."

برنامج صناعة الانتقام بين العراقيين

برنامج صناعة الانتقام بين العراقيين
هيفاء زنكنة

"ونحن نبدأ الاسبوع الاول من العقد الجديد، لا يزال عراقنا في حالة حرب بكل المقاييس. وهي حرب تختلط فيها، الجريمة المنظمة التي انتعشت مع الاحتلال وخدمته في الغالب كمصدر لمرتزقته أو متعاقديه المحليين الذين يستمر تدريبهم للعمليات السرية المقبلة، مع الصراعات بين أعوان الإحتلال المتنازعين على الغنائم وترهيب بعضهم البعض وتصفية الحسابات مع خصومهم.
كما تختلط مع الارهاب والجريمة العقائدية التي تستهدف المدنيين الأبرياء وترمي الى الفتنة المذهبية والقومية، وهو ما يدعي الاحتلال رفضه لكنه يخدمه موضوعيا. ويساهم التضليل الاعلامي المكثف ضد المقاومة والحركة الوطنية المناهضة للاحتلال في تشويه صورة المقاومة وتقديمها كسبب رئيسي فيما يلحق المواطنين من أذى واجرام وعلى حساب اخفاء الحقيقة. حقيقة تورط اطراف العملية السياسية في التصفيات والمذابح التي جرت في دوائر الدولة ناهيك عن النهب المستمر لموارد البلاد، من الإختلاس السائد في معظم الدوائر الرسمية والفساد الشخصي والعام المنتشر في جسد البلاد كالوباء الى النفط الذي لا يزال بعد 8 سنوات من احتلال اكثر الدول تقدما من الناحية التكنولوجية بلا عدادات على الآبار.
وفي الوقت الذي يتم فيه توقيع عقود الفساد بملايين الدولارات مع شركات 'اعمار' وهمية أو شركات تبيع للمرتشين ما لا يمكن بيعه في بلدان أخرى، وبشكل سري قلما تتم تغطيته اعلاميا، تجدنا محاطين بتصريحات وبرامج مكررة، صباحا ومساء، عن حملات المداهمة على المواطنين والقاء القبض على 'المطلوبين'، اي ما تقوم به قوات الإحتلال مع واجهة عراقية، أحيانا، وبدون ان يتفضل احد المسؤولين ليخبرنا عن سبب مثابرة القوات الامريكية على الهجوم والانزال الجوي والقاء القبض على المواطنين، وهي المفترض بها ان تكون موجودة في بلادنا بصفة مستشارين ومدربين!
ولعل من الضروري الانتباه هنا الى ان الإدعاءات العسكرية والسياسية المتكررة عن القاء القبض على أمراء تنظيم دولة العراق الإسلامية ونشر أسمائهم بالاضافة الى بقية 'المشبوهين'، هي غالبا ما تطلق وتتم للتغطية على شن قوات الاحتلال والقوات الخاصة حملات اعتقال واسعة تشمل المئات من المواطنين والمقاومين.
ولنأخذ يوم الاربعاء 23 كانون الاول/ديسمبر، نموذجا. ففي يوم واحد فقط، كشف المتحدث باسم وزارة الدفاع محمد العسكري عن قيام قوات الاحتلال الامريكي و'بدعم' من قوات عراقية بعمليات أدت الى اعتقال 'نحو 100 مطلوب بينهم 5 من القياديين في تنظيم القاعدة والعناصر المسلحة الخطرة خلال عمليات في 6 محافظات' حسب صحيفة الصباح الحكومية. والمحافظات المعنية هي الانبار (بتهمة تنظيم القاعدة) وميسان (متهمين بالسرقة والاختطاف) وكركوك (جيش الطريقة النقشبندية) والموصل وديالى (دولة العراق الاسلامية)'.
وفي غياب التحقيق المستقل والقضاء النزيه واستشراء الفساد المصاحب لعمل المخبرين السريين وتنوع التهم الكيدية، وبتوفر المعلومات والتقارير الموثقة عن شراسة ووحشية لجان التحقيق، وانتشار التعذيب اللاانساني الذي بات سمة من سمات 'العراق الجديد'، وصمت الساسة على الممارسات البشعة بحق المعتقلين من نساء ورجال واطفال، يبدو ان مصير المعتقلين المئة الجدد لن يكون مختلفا عمن يتم اعتقالهم، يوميا، في عصر الاحتلال والاستعمار الجديد. وكانت منظمة العفو الدولية قد أشارت، في تقريرها الصادر في 2009، عن اصدار احكام الاعدام وحال القضاء، إلى أن 'الحالة البائسة لجهاز القضاء لا يمكنها ضمان إجراء محاكمات عادلة في القضايا التي تصل فيها العقوبة إلى الإعدام'. وعلى الرغم من مطالبات العديد من الجهات الدولية والمنظمات الانسانية بالغاء عقوبة الاعدام، لا تزال احكام الاعدام تنفذ وبعد محاكمات لايعرف احد مدى مصداقيتها ونزاهة شهودها وقضاتها. وقد اعلن وكيل وزارة العدل، منتصف شهر كانون الاول/ديسبمر الماضي، انه تم اعدام 257 مدانا بينهم ست نساء منذ عام 2005 وحتى الآن. وان هناك 37 مدانا بانتظار تنفيد الحكم بهم. وأعلن وزير الداخلية جواد البولاني، قائلا: 'ان هناك 835 شخصا صدرت بحقهم احكام الاعدام'.
والمعروف ان نوري المالكي من المتحمسين لتطبيق عقوبة الاعدام الى حد انه دعا ذات مرة الى اعدام المتهمين في مكان ولحظة اعتقالهم جراء ارتكابهم ' جريمة ما'. وهناك نكتة مضحكة مبكية يتم تداولها بين العراقيين حول كثرة تنفيذ احكام الأعدام في 'العراق الجديد' ومتعة المالكي في توقيع اوامر تنفيذها. ومفادها ان المالكي اصدر امرا وزاريا جديدا يقضي باعدام كل انتحاري يفجر نفسه!
ويبشرنا وكيل وزارة العدل (وزارة العدل واحدة من عدة جهات تملك معتقلاتها الخاصة) بان: 'العراق يعمل على اعادة تأهيل كبيرة للسجون العراقية تنتهي بحلول 2015. وان هناك خططا لبناء سجون جديدة... لاكمال بناء سجن الحلة الجديد وتوسيع سجن الناصرية واعادة بناء سجن ابو غريب'. وأكد انه 'بحلول 2014 او 2015 لن يكون هناك اي مشاكل، وجميع سجون العراق سوف يكتمل اعادة ترميمها و تجديدها'. وحسب وكيل الوزارة ان عدد المعتقلين حتى التاسع من كانون الثاني/ديسمبر الحالي هو 24 الفا و783 معتقلا ينتظرون صدور قرارات المحاكم بحقهم. وبين هؤلاء 175 من الاحداث الى جانب 341 امرأة ينتظرن محاكمتهن. وهناك عرب واجانب من فرنسا والمانيا، من اصول عربية، بالاضافة الى ايرانيين. ولم يدل الوكيل باعدادهم. الا ان سجل زيارات لجنة الصليب الاحمر التفقدية للمعتقلين لمدة ثلاثة شهور حتى آب / أغسطس 2010، يشير الى قيامها بزيارة 500 محتجز أجنبي و18 ألف عراقي. وان المعتقلين العراقيين موجودون في 27 مركزاً للاحتجاز تحت سلطة وزارات العدل والدفاع والداخلية والعمل والشؤون الاجتماعية العراقية. وانها زارت 2900 محتجزا في 37 مركزاً للاحتجاز تحت سلطة حكومة إقليم كردستان، وان هناك أكثر من 5800 محتجز في مركزيّ احتجاز تحت سلطة القوات الأمريكية . وخلال تلك الزيارات، رصدت اللجنة الدولية، أيضا، أحوال 50 من النساء المحتجزات و20 حدثاً.
ان وزراء ونواب 'العراق الجديد'، يعرفون جيدا معنى تحول الضحية الى جلاد. كما يعرفون ان مشاريع بناء السجون والمعتقلات الجديدة تعني شيئا واحدا وهو ازدياد عدد ضحاياهم الى حد لم تعد تتسع فيه معتقلات النظام السابق الذي حاربوه لاستيعابهم. الا ان ما قد لا يدركونه، انهم باعتقالاتهم واعداماتهم وصمتهم على جرائم المحتل انما يساهمون، فعليا، في خلق جلاديهم، مستقبلا.
' كاتبة من العراق

The Saudi vulture-Spy story! An Israeli media fabrication! Who would have thunk?

Lies of the Israeli media: the story of the Mossad vulture

I have received many links from readers about the alleged Saudi accusation of a vulture of spying for Israel. I refused to post any link for suspicion that this was a regular lie and fabrication of the Israeli propaganda machine. Today, a western journalist in the Middle East, Rasmus, sent me this: "I urge you to look closer at the story about the alleged spy-vulture. As far as I can find out, the original reports from Saudi media says NOTHING about the bird being in the custody of the Saudi security forces nor that they suspect it of having been trained by Mossad. It was just some villagers who got scared by the big bird with the weird transmitter, caught it and handed it over to the authorities (unspecified). All the rest is only to be found in the report from the rightwing Israeli paper Maariv which started the flood-wave of reports in Western media, all saying that Saudi intelligence has arrested a vulture on charges of espionage (or more plainly speaking: once again the stupid, anti-Semitic Arabs makes up wild claims). This story needs to be rebuked."
The Angry Arab

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sectarianism and its Discontents

American and Papal pretensions to be defenders of local religious minorities have contributed more to the situation of sectarianism, rather than to the “safeguard” of the Christian community


By Joseph Massad , Friday 7 Jan 2011

"....Rather, we must understand how Europe and the United States, in claiming to “sponsor” and “protect” the local Christian communities and make it de rigueur to “admire” them and identify “their” contributions to the modern Arab world in sectarian terms, will bring about the very same exclusion of these communities in the countries where they live and belong as those hateful fanatics, who target them and who claim them to be foreign to the body politic, want to do.

Zionism sought to create an exclusive Jewish state and empty the world of Jews who would all flock to the Jewish colonial settlement to live in a racist intolerant state.

Similarly, these international forces are intent on transforming Arab and Muslim countries into Israeli-style exclusive enclaves of “intolerant” Muslims whom the (“Judeo-Christian”) world must not tolerate on account of their own alleged intolerance.

In this vein, I should mention that one week before the terrorist attack in Alexandria, the Egyptian authorities uncovered a major Israeli spy ring in the country. Given the history of Mossad bombings of Egyptian post offices, cinemas, cultural centers, and train stations in the 1950s, and Mossad bombing operations across the Arab world that have never ceased to the present (the Mossad has always had a flair for car bombings), it would be important to investigate possible or even potential links between the Mossad operatives and the church bombers.

The irony remains, however, that it is the intolerant Americans, Europeans, and the Israelis and their extremist intolerant, though at times unwitting, local allies, namely the violent minority of sectarians among Islamists, who stand to benefit most from the Alexandria tragedy.

Unless intellectuals in Egypt and the Arab world, Muslim and Christian, religious and secular, resist joining this international alliance of the intolerant, they may very well help them achieve their goals."

Betrayal in Beirut

Wikileaked Cables Finger Collaborators in Beirut


"....It's only a matter of time before Israel resumes hostilities. Congress and the White House have already been briefed and US clients in Beirut have beefed up their security forces to fend off possible retaliation from Hezbollah. All that's needed now is a provocation; a kidnapping, a random shooting, a rogue rocket fired into Israel or, maybe, the STL indictments. Anything will do. After all, Israel wants to repair its battered image, restore its power of deterrence, and get revenge for the beating it took in 2006. Hezbollah had better be prepared."

From Wall Street to the White House: Obama Taps JPMorgan Exec William Daley for Chief of Staff

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"President Obama appointed William Daley, a top financial executive and former Clinton administration official, as his new White House chief of staff. Daley is the Midwest chair of JPMorgan Chase, a board member of Merck, and former head of SBC. Obama will also reportedly name former Goldman Sachs consultant Gene Sperling to head the National Economic Council. We speak with Ari Berman of The Nation magazine....."

Rawabi developer Masri helps deepen Israel's grip on West Bank


Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 6 January 2011

"Bashar Masri, the Palestinian businessman and CEO of the company that is developing the Rawabi luxury real estate project in the occupied West Bank, appears to be actively helping Israel deepen its hold on the Palestinian economy despite his earlier claims that he is trying to help end this relationship.

On 30 December, The Electronic Intifada reported that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) in Palestine had expressed serious concerns following reports that a dozen Israeli companies have been contracted to take part in the construction of Rawabi, billed as the "first planned Palestinian city" ("Role of Israeli firms raises boycott concerns about Rawabi").

In comments sent to The Electronic Intifada prior to the 30 December article, Masri claimed that using Israeli firms was a matter of necessity due to severe Israeli restrictions on the Palestinian economy in the occupied West Bank......

But in fact Masri appears to have made the choice to work closely with the Israeli government and businesses in order to bring even more Israeli companies into the occupied West Bank. This not only makes it harder for Palestinian firms to establish themselves against Israeli businesses which have a built-in advantage since Israel is the occupying power, but is in flagrant violation of the 2005 Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment and sanctions.

On 28 January 2010, for example, Masri gave a talk in Tel Aviv co-hosted by the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce and a body called the Israeli-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce, titled "Prospects for Investing in the Palestinian Authority." .....

The Israeli-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce (IPCC) appears to be a body established and controlled by Israel to facilitate even deeper Israeli control and exploitation of the Palestinian economy. One of its projects, for example, is to produce a "Palestinian Business Guide" to help Israeli firms benefit from the advantages that military occupation as well as collaboration between the occupation army and Palestinian Authority security forces confer on them. As stated on the IPCC website.....

IPCC also says it works closely with the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs. It was launched at a May 2009 "gala" in Tel Aviv, attended by Quartet envoy Tony Blair, Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom and Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon of the notoriously racist Yisrael Beiteinu party. More than 200 Israeli businesspersons attended the gala and among the thirty or so Palestinians who attended, according to the IPCC website, were Bashar Masri, Nafez Hirbawi, Ziad al-Bandak and Mahmoud Abu Ein, all businessmen with close ties to the Western-backed Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas. Al-Bandak is a longtime advisor to Abbas and former PA minister.

Underlining that IPCC is part and parcel of the Israeli occupation, the organization's CEO is none other than Israeli Lt. Col (ret) Avi Nudelman who, according to his resume on the IPCC website, spent most of his military career either in intelligence or as a military ruler in the occupied West Bank. In 1998 Nudelman "served as the head of the security coordination office (DCO) in the Ramallah district, and later the head of the liaison for the Palestinian security apparatus in the West Bank." From 2003-06, Nudelman "served in the Strategic Division in the IDF [Israeli army] as the head of the Palestinian branch," according to the IPCC website.....

As The Electronic Intifada also reported on 30 December, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) specifically criticized Masri's Rawabi project for decisions that "undermine the boycott campaign and principles of national consensus among Palestinians, as well as promot[ing] a 'business-as-usual' approach to Israel."....

Masri previously confirmed to The Electronic Intifada reports that he had hired Weisglass, now a private attorney, to assist Masri in a failed bid to purchase a financially-troubled Israeli settlement housing project in Jabal Mukaber, occupied East Jerusalem. Masri, however, did not respond to repeated requests for comment for this article.

The 2005 Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions urges a complete economic, academic and cultural boycott of Israel -- modeled on the one that helped end apartheid in South Africa -- until Israel respects and recognizes Palestinian rights and complies with international law.

Masri as well as other Palestinian businessmen who promote normalization with Israel seem to be doing all they can to undermine this campaign, while making handsome profits along the way."

Al-Jazeera Video: Anger in Algeria

"A second wave of rioting has rocked Algeria, where hundreds of protesters have fought running battles with riot police in the capital, Algiers.

The violent protests come after growing anger among citizens about the rising cost of living and the lack of jobs.

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra reports on the violence, which comes after similar protests in neighbouring Tunisia."

Real News Video: New Obama Chief of Staff A Message to Wall Street

Glen Ford: President Obama is more concerned with pleasing Wall St than appeasing public opinion

More at The Real News

Israel’s Deadly Tear Gas Made in USA

by Ira Chernus

"The Israeli peace movement is coming back to life, and it's a very courteous movement indeed. When activists find things marked "Made in USA" lying on the ground they deliver them directly to the U.S. ambassador to Israel. The other night they returned a bunch of empty tear gas canisters, all marked "made in USA," fired by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. They're used to break up nonviolent protests against the Israeli-built wall that is tearing Palestinian life apart.

One canister made in the USA killed Jawaher Abu Rahmah, in the village of Bil'in, on the last day of 2010. Another one killed Jawaher's brother, Bassem, in April, 2009.

Apparently the ambassador did not appreciate the courteous gesture. The police quickly arrived, broke up the action, arrested eleven people, and found a way to keep them jailed on trumped up charges.

But these canisters, and the Israeli soldiers who shoot them, don't discriminate against Palestinians. American-made tear gas canisters are used against American citizens too.
Just a few days before Bassem Abu Rahmah was killed by a tear gas canister blow to the chest, an American volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement, Tristan Anderson, was hit in the head by the same kind of canister in the village of Nil'in. Anderson survived, though surgeons had to remove part of his brain. Another American, Emily Henochowicz, lost her eye in June, 2010 when she was hit by a tear gas canister during a protest at a West Bank checkpoint......."

Jawaher Abu Rahma's hospital report from the Palestinian Medical Complex, Friday 7 January 2011
Jawaher Abu Rahma's CT scan report from Shafey Diagnostic Centre

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bill to bar International Peace Activists from entering Israel

Bill being Drafted to Bar International Peace Activists from Entering Israel
Knesset Member Yariv Levin, of the right-wing Likud party, together with the pro-settlement group The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, are currently working on an “anti-subversive” bill aimed at anarchists and supporters of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). If approved the law would allow Israel’s Interior Ministry to bar international activists from entering Israel. The law would apply restrictions to anyone who acts against Israel, denies the Holocaust, works to boycott Israel and/or attempts to place Israeli leaders on international trial for what they did in the line of duty, reported Arutz Sheva.

Fascism is alive and well in Israel, Redux

Breaking: Israeli Knesset plenum votes to investigate human rights groups
The folks over at the Reut Institute are either really proud of themselves just about now, or are beginning to be just a little bit alarmed by the openly anti-democratic lengths Israeli legislators are willing to go to shut down what Reut inelegantly calls the “delegitimatizers.” (First its human rights groups, and then?)
Leftist groups: 'Witch hunt' against us will destroy democracy in Israel
Knesset plenum votes overwhelmingly in favor of establishing panel of inquiry to probe source of funding for rights groups accused of 'delegitimizing' the IDF.
Read more

Fascism is alive and well in Israel!

MK Ben-Ari: Eradicate treacherous leftists
After Knesset approves establishment of inquiry commission into funding of left-wing Israeli organizations, National Union MK tells Jerusalem conference they are 'enemies of Israel,' equates them to Hamas, Hezbollah.

Jawaher Abu Rahmah Not the First to Die from Israeli Tear Gas

Joseph Dana
"Contrary to Israeli claims, Abu Rahmah is not the first to have died as a result of tear-gas inhalation. Already during the years of the First Intifada, Amnesty International had reportedforty deaths from CS tear gas inhalation from December 1987 to June 1988 alone in its report “Israel and the Occupied Territories: Amnesty International’s concerns in 1988” (published 1989)."

Israel's Deadly Tear Gas Made in USA

"When activists find things marked "Made in USA" lying on the ground they deliver them directly to the US ambassador to Israel."

Israel judaizes/converts two mosques in East Jerusalem

Abu Shaar condemns $18 million mosque conversion
Gaza religious affairs minister Talib Abu Shaar condemned Wednesday Israel for a multi-million dollar move to Judaize two mosques in the city of Jerusalem.

Report: 86% of occupied East Jerusalem stolen by Israel!

Study: Israelis seized 86 per cent of east Jerusalem
Israeli authorities have seized 86 per cent of the land area in east Jerusalem, imposing a fait accompli that is unchangeable by the "peace process", a Palestinian researcher said in a report.

All Those Billions Saudi Arabia Spends on US Arms Finally Came in Handy: Vulture held for spying for Mossad

"A vulture was held in custody by Saudi Arabian security services on suspicion of spying for the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.

The bird was captured in the rural city of Hyaal by residents who became suspicious when they noticed it was carrying a GPS transmitter and a tag from Tel Aviv University. The vulture's captors told Al-Weeam newspaper that they raised the alarm with authorities because they feared the vulture could be part of a "Zionist plot". Wildlife experts stressed the equipment found merely signified the bird was part of a migration study. "

السعودية تعتقل نسرا "عميلا" للموساد

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This poll deals with Sudan; it asks:

Does the referendum about the future of southern Sudan benefit the country?

With over 1,500 responding, 80% said no.

Defeat in Iraq: Muqtada's Return

Firas Al-Atraqchi
The Huffington Post
Courtesy of

".....Unfortunately, there are some who have inflated Muqtada's status as a revolutionary and his street battles with US forces as uprisings. They were never uprisings but merely a show of force by a man using the established clerical reputation of his family to gain a foothold among some of Iraq's Shia, position himself as a resistance leader and earn dividends both in Iran and among Iraq's disenfranchised.

His militia is comprised not of revolutionary nationalists but is a ragtag force of high school drop-outs, brigands, and common criminals; it is no threat to a regular army and was routed even by the then poorly-trained Iraqi army. However, the police, security and armed forces have been infiltrated by thousands of Sadrists in the past five years.

American strategists can claim victory in replacing a secular dictator with a theocratic one. In the meantime, the trap has been sprung and all Iraqis are living the nightmare."

Video: One Family in Gaza

One Family in Gaza from Jen Marlowe on Vimeo.

"Just months after the Israeli assault that killed 1,390 Palestinians, I visited Gaza. Among dozens of painful stories I heard, one family stood out. I spent several days with Kamal and Wafaa Awajah, playing with their children, sleeping in the tent they were living in, and filming their story.

Wafaa described the execution of their son, Ibrahim. As she spoke, her children played on the rubble of their destroyed home. Kamal talked about struggling to help his kids heal from trauma.
What compelled me to tell the Awajah family's story? I was moved not only by their tragedy but by the love for their children in Wafaa and Kamal's every word.

Palestinians in Gaza are depicted either as violent terrorists or as helpless victims. The Awajah family challenges both portrayals. Through one family’s story, the larger tragedy of Gaza is exposed, and the courage and resilience of its people shines through...."

Real News Video: Why Are House Republicans Reading The Constitution?

Robert Scheer: More 'States Rights' might be good, but is that really what Tea Party Wants?

More at The Real News

Gaza Youth Manifesto Joins Supporters

"The manifesto that an anonymous group of Gazan students, called Gaza Youth Breaks Out, issued three weeks ago showing their despair over the living conditions in the strip, has captivated thousands of supporters worldwide, The Guardian echoed.

The cyber-activists wrote the Gaza Youth's Manifesto for Change as a way to show their anger with the status quo and gather support within international human rights organizations. Facebook has been their platform boot, in which they already have thousands of friends.

Meeting with the Spanish journalist Ana Carbajosa, the activists, who prefer to remain anonymous, claimed that they do not represent anybody except themselves and admitted they are excited but also frightened by the impact of the text.

"Not only are our lives in danger; we are also putting our families at risk," one of them claimed.

In the Gaza Youth's Manifesto for Change, the group aims to make it clear that they have had enough....."

Declaring Palestine: Revisiting Hope and Failure

By Ramzy Baroud
Palestine Chronicle

"....At first Arafat seemed to have a strategy: get some and demand more. But the concessions never stopped, and Arafat was constantly paraded following US demands. In return, he received very little, aside from, 6 years later, a Palestinian Authority that was merely responsible for managing small, disconnected, ‘autonomous’ areas in the West Bank and Gaza. The once glorious moment of independence was left at only that - a fleeting moment. Its political potential was prematurely and cleverly co-opted by US ‘engagement’, which yielded the Oslo agreement. Oslo, in turn, led to many disasters, which we are still witnessing today....."

Law and Disorder

by Philip Giraldi, January 06, 2011

"......The sorry state of American jurisprudence and vanishing liberties under Bush-Obama would rather suggest that the pot not be calling the kettle black, but, alas, the pumped-up-by-hubris elected and appointed leaders in Washington do not know the meaning of the expression "shut up." One would think they might be less tone deaf at a time when they are seeking a phony legal formula to arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but that would suppose that someone in the federal bureaucracy actually knows what he is doing.

The latest case of foot in mouth involves Russia. The US media has been reporting critically on the recent conviction in Moscow of Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky on charges of embezzlement and money laundering. Khodorkovsky had earlier been convicted of fraud and tax evasion in 2005 and has been in jail ever since. The conviction prompted commentary from no less than Hillary Clinton who said it "raises serious questions about selective prosecution – and the rule of law being overshadowed by political considerations" while the White House saw "…due process violations and what appears to be an abusive use of the legal system for improper ends." In some accounts there are suggestions that the Administration will block Russian entry into the World Trade Organization to punish Moscow for its failure to establish an "independent judiciary" and a "rule of law."

Now excuse me, one might well ask why the Clintons and Obamas of this world feel themselves empowered to criticize legal procedures in another country involving a citizen of that country while failing to protect actual American citizens like Rachel Corrie, but it is quite likely a question not worth exploring. If there is some net gain attainable by antagonizing Russia unnecessarily it is difficult to determine what exactly that might be. The Clinton/Obama comments also reveal a profound level of ignorance about recent history. Russia was looted by the so-called oligarchs in the 1990s and Hillary Clinton should be asking how it was that Mikhail Khodorkovsky became one of the richest men in the world in little more than ten years, starting as a salesman for used computer parts. His business acumen must have been truly remarkable, but he also received more than a little well documented assistance from international organized crime. The fact is that Khodorkovsky is guilty of all charges and possibly some others to include torture, criminal conspiracy, and homicide and there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that he stole upwards of $15 billion from the Russian people. If Clinton and Obama had bothered to check they almost certainly would have discovered a file on Khodorkovsky’s activities about a foot thick at the FBI offices on Pennsylvania Avenue. Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s move to hold the oligarchs accountable for their crimes, which included multiple murders in addition to massive corruption and fraud, is extremely popular and so it should be. Most oligarchs have fled to Western Europe or to Israel to avoid prosecution.

So why the sympathy in the media and within government circles for the oligarchs? Well, it is the usual nonsense. Hardliners in Washington, many of whom are our good old friendly neocons, need an enemy and Russia was available. Some have also cleverly woven into their narrative the theme of anti-Semitism, always available when all else fails. The fact is that most oligarchs and their enablers from the West who looted Russia were Jewish and a number were Israeli citizens. But they were also criminals. The two facts are not necessarily congruent, but if apologists for Khodorkovsky can twist reality to make it look as if someone is planning a pogrom, so much the better. What we are seeing is the usual neocon narrative: come up with a viable enemy to justify those huge defense budgets and label him an anti-Semite to make the story even more compelling.

Ironically, Hillary Clinton’s own State Department, which interviewed an international observer at the trial, reported that the legal proceedings seemed to be fair. Russian courts are not US courts but that might actually be an advantage given what we Americans have seen lately. In one respect at least their judicial system has to be regarded as better: they no longer have gulags while we Americans have offshore and secret prisons in Guantanamo and elsewhere. But the real question has to be, why are we again interfering in something that we only dimly understand when we just might leave it alone? Who named us the Lord High Executioner for the entire world? It is the ultimate tragedy, what the Greeks would call nemesis, that a nation that once prided itself as a shining city on the hill or as "indispensable" can now be summed up with another word. That word is "rogue.""

Gaza on the edge of no return

Amira Hass
New Statesman

"........In Gaza slang, the drone is referred to as zanana. "There are three kinds of zan­ana," a low-ranking Hamas official told me shortly after the end of the 2008-2009 offensive. "One watches over us and photographs every move, every person; the second fires missiles at us . . ." He paused, then added with typical Gazan drollness: "And the third kind? Its whole purpose is to annoy us, to drive us crazy." And he expertly mimicked the humming sound made by the latest word in postmodern warfare.

The zanana isn't always heard or seen but you know it's there because of the disruptions to television broadcasts. It has been a central component in the process of turning Gaza into a vast panopticon, a detention camp under constant supervision and increasingly invisible control. Every move is photographed, documented and transferred on to computer screens in control rooms populated by young Israeli men and women who, with a few keyboard strokes, turn the zanana from voyeuristic, annoying objects into the lethal kind. The footage is backed up by old-fashioned verbal information gathered by various mechanisms of the occupation, primarily the Israeli Civil Administration and the Shin Bet, which are responsible for every civilian document (identity cards, travel permits, promissory notes for goods) and are assisted by a network of collaborators.

In the days leading up to the offensive, people noticed more persistent humming. They grew more anxious - and rightly so. Now every increase in the sound reawakens fears of another all-out attack. It's been two years, and even a thunderstorm or a slammed door can stir up the sense of dread inside Gaza....

“In Israel they were living in a virtual reality, believing there was an actual war going on in Gaza," said some of the soldiers who took part in the offensive, whom I met through Breaking the Silence. They very quickly discovered that, contrary to what they had been told by their commanders, Hamas was not waging an intense or determined war against them. A Palestinian security man told me there had been a conscious decision in Hamas not to sacrifice its finest combatants in such a lopsided war. The organisation was well aware that it could not deliver the goods it had promised the Palestinian public for two years - that is, "surprises in warfare".

Still, immediately the offensive ended, Hamas declared victory. "In 1967 Israel subdued all the Arab armies in six days, but it could not conquer the Gaza Strip from us even after three weeks," its spokespeople said. But people in Gaza preferred to quote an old man who courageously proclaimed on television: "One more victory like this and all of Gaza will be wiped out."

An officer who broke the silence told me that he felt as though he had taken part in a military exercise using live fire, whose aim was to improve and upgrade operational commu­nications between Israeli ground forces and the Israeli air force. As more preparation for wars to come, perhaps?"

Iran's Chess Game in Iraq: Mehdi Army leader ends his exile and returns to Baghdad

The Independent

"....The arrival of Sadr is viewed as boosting prime minister Nouri al-Maliki as he tries to form a coalition after months of impasse following national elections last March. In return for their support, the Sadrist movement, which has 39 seats in parliament, will be given seven ministries.
The US, which has officially ended its combat mission in Iraq, still views Sadr with suspicion. However, senior figures in the Obama administration are said to feel that it is better for the cleric, who has a large following among the poor and dispossessed Shia population, to be back in Iraq, away from direct Iranian influence [you must be kidding!]....

In 2008 Iraqi government forces, backed by the Americans, and later the British, drove the Mehdi Army out of Basra after an intense battle. But while Sadr's military power suffered a setback, his political reach continued to grow as Maliki needed his support to hold together his Shia coalition. Sadr subsequently announced from the Iranian city of Qom, where he had taken up residence, that his militia would devote itself to humanitarian [and cultural? How about the arts? Such as the art of drilling into living humans with electric drills?] work.....

Ibrahim al-Sumaidaie, an analyst, said: "Moqtada has made sure that he returns as an important partner in parliament, and the executive power. The Americans will not object to his return, he will be out of Iran and he will act according to Iraqi priorities."

But Iran, which like Iraq has a Shia majority, has seen its influence grow in the affairs of its neighbour since the US led invasion of 2003, and it continues to take a close interest in Iraqi politics.

Yesterday the new Iranian acting foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, was first senior official from Tehran to visit Baghdad since the formation of the new Iraqi government."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

ذعر الناس في غزة../

(Scroll down for more new posts)

مصطفى إبراهيم
ناشط في مجال حقوق الإنسان - غزة


This is a very alarming article written by a well-known human rights activist in Gaza. Basically it is a threat against all Christians in Gaza (a very small number) that they will be targeted if a death sentence against a convicted killer of a Christian in Gaza is carried out.

It threatens to target all Christians in Gaza and calls for driving them out!


Why all this silence? Why all this apathy? Do we care about anything anymore, besides filling our bellies? Are we a people anymore? Are we a society anymore?

These Palestinian Christians are Arabs and have been in Palestine since before there were Muslims in Palestine! For example, many Palestinian Christians are descendants of the Ghassanids (Arabic: الغساسنة‎), who came to Syria/Jordan/Palestine in the 3rd century AD,
from Yemen! They did not come from the Vatican nor from Washington, D.C.
لكن المفاجئ لدينا في قطاع غزة أنه في اليوم الذي أصدرت فيه جماعة الدعوة السلفية في الإسكندرية بياناً تدين فيه تفجير كنيسة الإسكندرية، واعتبرته مفتاح شر على البلاد والعباد وما سيعود بالمفاسد على المجتمع كله وفتح الباب لاتهام المسلمين، صدر بيان آخر في مدينة غزة عن تنظيم قاعدة الجهاد في أرض الرباط، جاء فيه "نستنكر ما قد أصدرته المحكمة المدنية بغزة بالحكم على أحد الإخوة المسلمين بالإعدام وذلك لقيامه بقتل شخص صليبي وما يدعونه بأنه ينتمي إلي الطائفة النصرانية أو أنه كتابي، ونوجه رسالتنا في هذا البيان إلى الصليبيين بعامة وإلى من هم في غزة بخاصة بأنهم خرجوا من عقد الذمة مع المسلمين".

وحذر البيان الحكومة في غزة من تنفيذ حكم الإعدام بحق المتهم المسلم بقتل المواطن الغزي المسيحي، وأن تنفيذ الحكم ستكون عواقبه وخيمة على الطائفة المسيحية في قطاع غزة.

خوف الناس في القطاع نابع من خطورة البيان الصادر عن تنظيم قاعدة الجهاد، والذي يفهم منه أنه مؤيد لجريمة الإسكندرية، ومهدد في الوقت ذاته الأشقاء المسيحيين في قطاع غزة، الذين هم مواطنون فلسطينيون أصيلون، ولم نشعر في غزة في أي يوم من الأيام أنهم أقلية كما يحاول البعض وصفهم بأنهم وافدون من الخارج وتوطنوا في غزة.

البيان الصادر خطير جدا ويدق ناقوس الخطر ليس لدينا في غزة فقط، ويدعو ليس للتحريض على المسيحيين بل إلى استهدافهم، وإفراغ غزة منهم، فعدد المسيحيين في قطاع غزة في تناقص كبير، وغادر القطاع عدد غير قليل منهم خوفا على حياتهم بعد مقتل الشاب رامي عياد قبل عامين، وتعرض المسيحيون وبعض المؤسسات لاعتداءات عدة، ولم يحكم أي من الذين قاموا بتلك الاعتداءات بحقهم.

فالعنف ضد المسيحيين في تزايد، واذا لم نقف جميعاً في مواجهة ذلك سيطال باقي فئات المجتمع الفلسطيني وليس المسيحيين فحسب، فكلنا في القطاع نتحمل مسؤولية تلك الاعتداءات، وإفراغ القطاع منهم وكأننا نتخلى عنهم ونساعد في ذلك، فالتهديد جديد قديم للمسيحيين عندما يتم اعتبارهم خارجين عن عقد الذمة مع المسلمين كما وصفهم البيان.

نحن نتحمل المسؤولية في أننا غذينا وساهمنا من خلال تربيتنا المدرسية والإسلامية الخاطئة بتغذية العنف والتشدد والتطرف، واستهداف المسلمين والمسيحيين وتهديهم، نتحمل المسؤولية عندما تحدثنا للعالم بأن غزة هي وكر للقاعدة منذ عدة سنوات، وغذت ذلك بعض الأطراف في الأجهزة الأمنية الفلسطينية، ودعمت بعض الجماعات الإسلامية المتطرفة بطريقة مباشرة وغير مباشرة انتقاما من حماس، وليس حبا في تلك الجماعات.

وتتحمل المسؤولية حركة حماس وحكومتها من خلال مسؤوليتها عن حفظ الأمن وتوفيره للمواطنين، وعدم إنفاذ القانون بحق من ارتكبوا جرائم بحق الناس عامة سواء كانوا مسلمين أو مسيحيين، كما يتحمل المسؤولية المجتمع الدولي في صمته ومشاركته في الجرائم المستمرة التي ترتكبها دولة الاحتلال من استمرار العدوان وفرض الحصار على القطاع غزة، ما يعزز من العنف والتشدد لدى فئات كبيرة من الشباب.

نتحمل المسؤولية في استمرار الانقسام وزيادة حدة العنف، في ظل استمرار الاحتلال والحصار، وزيادة نسب الفقر والبطالة وحالة الإحباط العام والتشرذم وتفرغ طرفي الانقسام للردح السياسي وتبادل الاتهامات، والمجتمع الفلسطيني ينهار من دون أن نتحرك لوقف هذا العبث بمصيرنا، فمن حق الناس في غزة أن يذعروا من ما يجري في فلسطين وفي غزة على وجه الخصوص

The Electric Drill Team is Celebrating: Sayyed Sadr Returns to Iraq after Four Years outside Country


"Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr returned Wednesday to Iraq where he received a hero's welcome in his stronghold of Najaf after nearly four years outside the country. "Sayyed Moqtada al-Sadr has returned to his home in Najaf. He arrived about 3:00 pm (1200 GMT) with several leaders from the Sadr movement," a source in his movement said, adding Sadr was not visiting but had returned to stay......"

Julian Assange's Deal With the Devil

The Secrets of Wikileaks


"......The Israeli Angle

Now you can understand the mystery of Israeli satisfaction with Wikileaks. While the US officials were furious at the disclosure, Israelis were rather smug and complacent. Haaretz has this headline: “Netanyahu: WikiLeaks revelations were good for Israel.”

Simple-minded conspiracy junkies immediately concluded that Wikileaks is an Israeli device, or, in the words of a particularly single-minded man: a “Zionist poison”.

The truth is less fantastic, but much more depressing. The Guardian and the New York Times, Le Monde and Spiegel are quite unable to publish a story unacceptable to Israel. They may pen a moderately embarrassing piece of fluff, or a slightly critical technical analysis in order to convince discerning readers of their objectivity. They may even let an opponent air his or her views every once in a blue moon. But they could never publish a story really damaging to Israel. This is true for all mainstream media.

Furthermore, no American ambassador would ever send a cable really unacceptable to Israel – unless he intended to retire the next month. Yet even supposing this kamikaze ambassador would send the cable, the newspapers would overlook it.

Even with thousands of secret cables about Israel in their hands, the mainstream media delays and prevaricates. They don’t want anyone to yell at them. That is why they have postponed publishing the articles. Once forced by circumstance or competition to publish the contents of the cables, you can bet they’ll twist the revelations into toady headlines and bury the truth in the final paragraph.

Always kind, Julian Assange attributes this behavior to the “sensitivity of the English, German and French audience”. I am not that kind; I call it cowardice, or if you insist, prudence. Any journalist who confronts the Jewish state will be made to suffer.

In such a situation, the mainstream media just can’t help us. Professional journalists have families and careers to protect. We can’t count on them when the rubber meets the road. We shall never know and will never fully understand the truth behind any Israel-connected event as long as the cables remain only in the hands of the mainstream media."

Dr. Atul Gawande: Solitary Confinement is Torture

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"The physical and psychological effects experienced by people held for extended periods in solitary confinement is a topic Dr. Atul Gawande has written extensively about. Yesterday, four prisoners in the supermax Ohio State Penitentiary launched a hunger strike to protest being held for more than 17 years years of solitary confinement. The alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower, U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning, has also been held in solitary confinement for much of the past seven months. "People experience solitary confinement as even more damaging than physical torture," says Dr. Gwande....."

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - 'A vile gesture of death'

WikiLeaks: Israel Aimed to Keep Gaza Economy on Brink of Collapse

Cable from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv says Israeli officials wanted Gaza's economy 'functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.'


"Israel told U.S. officials in 2008 it would keep Gaza's economy "on the brink of collapse" while avoiding a humanitarian crisis, according to U.S. diplomatic cables published by a Norwegian daily on Wednesday.

Three cables cited by the Aftenposten newspaper, which has said it has all 250,000 U.S. cables leaked to WikiLeaks, showed that Israel kept the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv briefed on its internationally criticized blockade of the Gaza Strip...."

The Angry Arab Explains The “Weak Arab”


"After reading with pleasure this comment (see our previous post below) on the Angry Arab Blog we asked Professor As’ad AbuKhalil to expand on the meaning of the “weak Arab-American”, a topic that goes to the heart of what Ikhras is about. He kindly responded with the following:

A weak Arab-American is somebody who believes himself/herself inferior to other Americans. Weak Arab Americans tend to concentrate in Washington, DC. They feel elation around people with power in the city, and are willing to prostrate very low for a mere photo-op with any American official–even if an assistant secretary to an assistant secretary to a deputy secretary. Weak Arab Americans are ashamed of Arab support for the Palestinian cause and spend careers trying to distance themselves from passions of Arab people, and from their own past passions. Weak Arab Americans line up to talk to Israelis because they hope this will enhance their stature in the eyes of US officials. They are the ones who think that a “gala” in a fancy hotel in Washington, DC is the best path for the liberation of Palestine. They also feel really good about themselves in tuxedos: it makes them feel closer to the White Man. Weak Arab Americans are fans of US puppets in the Middle East: they promote Dahlan when Bush promoted him, and then they promote Fayyad when Obama promotes him. If orders come, they discard Dahlan. They are also keen on obeying Saudi oil money (UAE oil money is just as good). Look around you: weak Arab Americans are reminding someone for the umpteenth times that they are Americans, damn it."

Global Thinkers vs. Non: A Chat with Gideon Levy

By Belén Fernández
Palestine Chronicle

".....It is for his commitment to reporting the truth that Levy has been distinguished, along with his Haaretz colleague Amira Hass, as one of PULSE’s Top 10 Global Thinkers of 2010, compiled in response to Foreign Policy’s second annual publication of a farcical list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers. Other recent distinctions bestowed on Levy include being singled out for a sarcastic personalized greeting from former Israeli President Moshe Katsav at the Tel Aviv District Court the other morning, on the occasion of the Katsav’s conviction for rape. (See Levy’s response here: “Good morning to you too”, and “Take full responsibility for your deeds”.)

I spoke Sunday evening on the phone with Levy, who had spent the day in the West Bank—where Israel continues to pursue the decimation of the Palestinian Abu Rahmah family via tear gas and related paraphernalia. On the subject of the “brainwashing machinery” which propagates the Israeli conviction of a permanent monopoly on victimhood and which Levy has described as being “so efficient that trying [to undo it is] almost like trying to turn an omelette back to an egg” (see Johann Hari’s excellent interview in The Independent), Levy had the following to say:

GL: [Brainwashing is] mainly taking place in the media and in the education system. And it’s an ongoing process. It [involves] adopting the language of the occupation, the laundering of words and perceptions. [As for] the way that the occupation is being covered in the media—mainly the way it is being not covered in the media—you can take the flotilla as an example, or you can take Operation Cast Lead as an example. The way these [events] were presented to Israeli public opinion was totally different than what the world saw.”

In other words, while the rest of the world saw IDF commandos attacking humanitarian activists on the Mavi Marmara last May, Israelis were encouraged to see the inverse relationship. While the rest of the world saw Palestinian civilians perishing at an alarming rate during Cast Lead, Levy points out that the death of an Israeli dog by Qassam rocket was treated as front-page news by certain Israeli media......"

Media as a Branch of Government

(Click on photo to enlarge)

The toppling of Saddam's statue as metaphor

by Justin Raimondo, January 05, 2011

"The complete phoniness of the toppling of Saddam’s statue was exposed by this web site and others when it occurred, but now Peter Maass, writing in the New Yorker, is calling the stage-managed nature of that operation into question. While not contesting that the narrative symbolized by the imagery was misleading, Maass avers it wasn’t the US government, but the Western media that – without much prompting – obligingly created and broadcast a carefully-cropped image of a nearly empty square to give the impression that US soldiers were being greeted by the Iraqis as “liberators.” As Maass puts it, the real significance of the statue toppling was that the Americans had taken central Baghdad, and yet......

Who were these Iraqis? Reading Maass, one would simply assume they were random residents of Baghdad, curiosity seekers out on a lark, but a look at these photos disabuses us of this notion. They were members of the Iraqi National Congress – those now-infamousheroes in error” – who had played a key role in the “weapons of mass destruction” deception and were being groomed by the neocons to take power in post-Saddam Iraq. Along with their leader, the wanted embezzler and suspected Iranian agent Ahmed Chalabi, 700 INC “fighters” were flown into Nasiriyah by the Pentagon a few days before, and were whisked to Baghdad, where they arrived just in time for their Big Media Moment.

In short, these Iraqis were on the American payroll – and simply doing their job.

That the English-speaking media were also doing their job – which is, as we all know, to parrot the line their governments were putting out – comes as no surprise. As Glenn Greenwald has noted, the links between our government and the “mainstream” media have become so intimate that one can can fairly speak of an informal “merger.” Yet we ought not to disappear the governmental aspect of this untoward symbiosis. We need to ask: how is it that practically the entire membership of the Iraqi National Congress wound up in that square, on that day, while ordinary Iraqis were being blocked by US tanks?......."

Beware your enemy's stupidity

History is full of examples of experts being dumbfounded by countries acting contrary to their own best interests

By Patrick Cockburn

".....The April Glaspie cable reveals little that was not known before. She did not tell Saddam not to invade Kuwait because neither she nor anybody else thought he would be stupid enough to do so.

The criminal error of the US, Britain, the Arab states and much of the rest of the world in dealing with Saddam before the invasion has never in fact been a secret. They were so eager to prevent him being defeated by Iran, which he had invaded, that they helped him become the greatest military power in the Gulf. They allowed him to use poison gas against Iran and winked at his slaughter of 180,000 Kurdish civilians. If he was a monster they created him."