Archive | April 3rd, 2010


UK: Protesters confront
anti-Muslim rightists

LONDON—About 2,000 people joined a counterdemonstration against the English Defence League (EDL), organized by United Against Fascism (UAF) in Bolton, England, March 20. Similar actions have taken place in cities throughout the United Kingdom.

The EDL emerged last year as an ultrarightist organization that targets Muslims. Among its demands, the EDL calls for a ban on the building of new mosques in Britain and on wearing burqas, a form of dress worn by some Muslim women. According to The Times, the rightists’ march also drew as many as 2,000 people. Their placards included, “Sharia law will destroy Britain and all our British values” and “Brown lies and another soldier dies.”

The UAF counterdemonstration included many students and other participants from throughout the United Kingdom. “We have Polish, Czechs, English, and Jews living side by side,” Mohamed Patel from Bolton told the Militant. “We have to stand together and not be pushed by the EDL.”

In a show of force, mounted cops and riot police with dogs prevented many from joining the counterdemonstration and boxed protesters into the town square where the action was held, preventing them from leaving.

Caroline Bellamy and Paul Davies, Communist League candidates in Edinburgh South West and Bethnal Green and Bow in London participated in the counter protest. Davies condemned the violence of the cops and the arrests of protestors.

Seventy-four people were arrested at the action, overwhelmingly from the UAF, including the group’s organizer Weyman Bennett.

Pete Clifford contributed to this article.




The Sunic Journal
Interview with Kevin MacDonald, Part 2

On Tuesday, April 6, 2010, at 9 PM Eastern US time, Tom will interview Dr. Kevin MacDonald in the second of a two part discussion.
Topics for this portion will include:

· “Hate speech” in the US, the fear of the stigma of racism, and the imagery of Whites in the media
· Political polarization along racial lines in the US
· The Zionist reaction to racial changes in Southern California
· Joe Biden’s trip to Zionist regime and the low-point in US/Zionist relations
· How the Republicans will try to capitalize on the Biden trip and the strained relations among the Zionist regime and the Obama administration
· The possible change in the Israeli lobby power in the US, partly as a result of the book by Mearsheimer and Walt
· The notion of the US going to war with Iran and the power of AIPAC

Please visit the online magazine, The Occidental Observer, to read Dr. MacDonald’s articles and other insightful articles from contributing authors who combine reason with passion to illuminate and define matters in our society which are ignored or distorted by the mainstream outlets for news and information.

Also, be sure to visit the site of the American Third Position, a new political society created for the establishment of communal relations among whites and the furthering of political progress for people of European descent.

Dr. MacDonald can be contacted at

Listening and download instructions:

This interview will air on the Voice of Reason Broadcast Network. To tune in to the live feed for this and all VoR programming, click here to use Windows Media Player or here for Winamp. For iTunes: open iTunes, press Ctrl+U on your keyboard, copy/paste into the Open Audio Stream dialog box, then click OK (you will now be able to listen to VoR live on iTunes any time by clicking on ‘Voice of Reason Broadcast Network’ in your music list).

If you cannot catch it as it airs on Tuesday, the interview will be archived in mp3 format for download on Tom’s page at the VoR site soon after the show ends (archived shows are listed on the right side of page):

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 by Bob Higgins

* By Robert Parry Consortium News *

Normally, if two countries with powerful nuclear arsenals were openly musing about attacking a third country over mere suspicions that it might want to join the nuclear club, we’d tend to sympathize with the non-nuclear underdog as the victim of bullying and possible aggression.

You might think that – unless you were told that the two nuclear-armed countries are Israel and the United States and the non-nuclear country is Iran. Then, different rules apply, especially it seems in leading American news outlets like the New York Times.

In what reads like a replay of the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the Times and other major U.S. news media appear onboard for war, again happy to make the likely aggressors the “victims,” and to turn the prospect of a bloody conflict in a Muslim country into a parlor game.

Indeed, the New York Times on March 28 presented the idea of “imagining a strike on Iran” as “Washington’s grimmest but most urgent parlor game,” assessing how a military strike by Israel, “acting on its fears that Iran threatens its existence,” would play out.

That same day, the Times also led its front page with an alarmist story about Iranian atomic energy official Ali Akbar Salehi saying Iran might soon begin work on two new nuclear enrichment sites built into mountains to protect against bombings.

The article by reporters David E. Sanger and William J. Broad repeated a recurring falsehood in the Times, that it was President Barack Obama who “publicly revealed the evidence of a [previous] hidden site,” a hardened facility near Qum.

The actual chronology was that Iran informed the International Atomic Energy Agency about the non-operational Qum site on Sept. 21, four days before Obama joined with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in highlighting its existence.

At the time, the Obama administration spun Iran’s earlier disclosure of the Qum facility as having been prompted by Tehran’s awareness that the United States was onto the plant’s existence, but there was no independent evidence of that and the undisputed fact is that Iran disclosed the facility’s existence before Obama’s revelation.

Yet, the Times has now altered the chronology to put Obama’s announcement first, and thus cast Iran into a more sinister light.

Who’s the Victim?

Read more at Consortium News

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By Khalil Nouri STAFF WRITER

“All a man can betray is his conscience,” says Joseph Conrad, and there is no doubt the betrayal of trust carries a heavy taboo when the Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday blamed foreigners, including UN and EU officials, for “very widespread” fraud during presidential and provincial elections last year.

“The truth is this brothers … There was fraud in presidential and provincial council elections, no doubt that there a very widespread fraud, very widespread,” Karzai told a meeting with Afghan electoral workers in Kabul. “But Afghans did not do this fraud. The foreigners did this fraud,” he said.

He singled out former UN deputy head of mission, Peter Galbraith, who was sacked after a row with his boss on how to handle vote irregularities, and the head of the EU election observation mission to Afghanistan, Philippe Morillon.

Karzai said, “The United Nations, the United Nations office of the deputy (UN representative) had become the focal point for fraud.”
With this move by Mr. Karzai the Obama administration is going to have a management crisis in Afghanistan where over 100 thousand US troops to be stationed soon.

Consider the following scenario:

A head of a company has a major corporate initiative which requires considerable resources and attention. His reputation as a leader is at stake. The credibility of his company is on the line. But the head of the responsible division won’t follow orders. He [division head] relies primarily on associates rather than the best people in his group to drive this main concern. Even in worse case, there is widespread corruption in his establishment. He pays lip-service to anticorruption efforts but does virtually nothing. What should the head of the company do?

The answer for him is clear: he fires the division head. But this is exactly the problem that President Obama is facing in Afghanistan with President Hamid Karzai, and he obviously cannot fire Karzai—who, in addition to all the problems mentioned above, secured his current term as Afghan President through an election process faced with fraud.

This Karzai’s betrayal does not come at anytime worse when President Obama has committed the prestige of the United States, his personal credibility, billions of taxpayer dollars and, most importantly, the lives of American military personnel to a war which depends — as his top generals, Petraeus and McChrystal have said — on attaining a key civilian, not military, objective: creating an Afghan state with security, order, rule of law and accountable institutions that protects and serves its people.

That goal depends on defeating the corruption and instability which have plagued Afghanistan for centuries. Only when this is achieved will the Afghan populace resist seduction by the Taliban, who exploit government weaknesses and who must be defeated to reduce the threat of Al Qaeda’s return to Afghanistan.

Crucial to that task is the central government itself, which, unfortunately, is not only weak, but is led by an uncooperative and increasingly antagonistic president. Recently, Karzai thumbed his nose at the United States by claiming the right to appoint all five members of the election complaint commission—that has recently been overruled by the lower house of Afghan parliament.

In early March, he warmly welcomed Iranian President Ahmadinejad to Kabul on an official visit and two weeks later traveled to Tehran where the Iranian leader, as is his custom, launched inflammatory rhetoric against the United States.

This is not surprising that the US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, reportedly raised the election irregularities with Karzai shortly after the poll, but only to be rebuffed at the cost of a further downturn in Karzai’s relations with the Obama Administration.

The Karzai leadership has proved to be very ineffective for a majority of the Afghan people and the international community, specially the US. Karzai will carve a better place for himself in history if he now leaves the field on his own accord, and allow a new leader and administration to take over. The change will not solve Afghanistan’s daunting problem in the short run, but it may help the processes of the country’s stabilization and reconstruction in the long run.

In final, as Mary Harris Jones quotes about betrayal, “I am not unaware that leaders betray, and sell out, and play false.”

Khalil Nouri is the cofounder of New World Strategies Coalition Inc., a native think tank for nonmilitary solution studies for Afghanistan.

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 by Bob Higgins ·

* By Dr Ehsan Azari *

Pakistan seems happy in getting a massive civilian and military aid package and the assurance from Washington that this country will be given the central role in the Afghan endgame.

Pakistan has presented two lists to the Obama Administration officials ahead of the two-day summit.  One was a 56-pages long wish list and the second was a list of heavily bearded Taliban leaders arrested recently in Pakistan.  According to the reports (msn, news) a new $7.5 billion, five year US assistance package for Pakistan’s energy, water, agriculture and education sector was pledged.  The one billion unpaid US reimbursements for fighting the Pakistani Taliban would also begin flowing.

In addition, Pakistan will receive defence supplies in the coming years, P-30 Orion maritime patrol aircraft, five 250 TOW anti-armour missile systems, six AN/TPS-77 surveillance radar, six C-130E transport aircraft, and 20 AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters and new F-16 with higher speed fighter jets and naval frigates.  The wish-list also included Pakistan’s plea for a civilian nuclear deal like the US concluded with India.  This last wish remains unfulfilled.

This is indeed a great victory for Pakistan to be a central player in Afghanistan, a role it played with horrible consequences in the 1990s: the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the al-Qaida terrorist network that successfully staged 9/11 and other terrorist attacks in the West and the ongoing endless war in Afghanistan, are among the problems caused by Pakistan’s three decades misadventures in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has a history of undertaking some tactical combat operations including mock operations against selective groupings within the Taliban insurgency in order to attract US policy makers to increase the cash flow.  It has now become clear that the recent arrest of Taliban leaders were also designed in order to punish those Taliban who enter into negotiation in Kabul bypassing Pakistan.  According to Financial Times (March 19), Kai Edie, ex-UN special representative to Afghanistan, accused Pakistan of sabotaging the UN clandestine discussions with senior Taliban leaders.

Pakistan never chooses to harm those Taliban who are Pakistani military strategic partners and always relies on their support.  At the very moment that Pakistani civilian leaders pledge to cut off the Taliban bases in Pakistan, the shadowy ISI agents are secretly giving assurance to the Taliban that Pakistan is supporting the Taliban in the ‘anti-American Jihad’.

One such irreconcilable group with close links to al-Qaida and ISI is Haqqani’e network which is headquartered in North Waziristan and is carrying out deadly terrorist attacks against the Western forces in Afghanistan with impunity.  This is a Pakistani no-go zone from where most suicide bombers are sent into Afghanistan.  Under increasing US pressure, it is possible that the ISI may turn against Haqqani if the upcoming US and NATO major June offensive in southern Kandahar province proves to be successful.  Given Pakistani obsession with the Taliban, this change would also be conditional and limited.

The ISI is a Pakistani complex visible and invisible intelligence conglomerates.  There is an ISI within an ISI.   That ghostly ISI remains invisible and most of its members are retired generals who deviously play the real Afghan game from behind the scene.  Their activities remain a top Pakistani secret.  When I want to update my knowledge of Pakistan’s policy vis-à-vis the Taliban, I am going to look for the latest statements by retired ISI generals instead of official statements by Pakistan’s prime minister or foreign minister.

Before the battle in Swat Valley which started in early 2009, a peace agreement between the Taliban and Pakistani military was waiting for Zardari’s approval. The Pakistani Taliban in Swat insisted that they don’t need Zardai’s signature as long as the ISI is officially endorsing the agreement.

In mid March 2010, the provincial Premier in Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, made a plea to that Taliban at a mosque struck by a Taliban’s bomb not to attack the province for they and the province are all against Western intervention in Pakistan, “General Pervez Musharraf planned a bloodbath of innocent Muslims at the behest of others only to prolong his term in office, but we the Pakistan’s Muslim League-Nawaz opposed the former president’s policies and rejected the dictation being received from abroad.

If the Taliban are also fighting the same cause, then they should not carry out acts of terror in the province of Punjab.” (News International March 18)   On March 29, the Pakistani Foreign Minister, Mr Shah Mahmood Qureshi boasted in an interview to Newsweek that Pakistan has, “eliminated 17,000 terrorists.”  “The myth was that,” he added about Pakistan’s military success in South Waziristan, “it had never been occupied by any force and that it was impossible to do it.  We have done it.”  In Pakistani thinking Pashtun Northwest Frontier Province — formally renamed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa last week— is still a colony

Pakistan’s double game in war on terrorism, fighting those who are dangerous to its state security and those who disobey, while offering clandestine support to the most virulent Anti-Western extremists among the Afghan Taliban, is designed to trap the US into a vicious circle of a bunch of Taliban in exchange for bags of cash and weapons.  This so-called strategic dialogue has a strong sense of déjà vu about it.  Is this the last bargain? Experience shows that there would be more of the unwanted Taliban arrested in exchange for ongoing support in time to come.

Dr Ehsan Azaria is freelance journalist writing on Afghanistan for various international media.  He worked as an English language specialist in the Ministry of Education of Afghanistan last year, but resigned after six months because of government corruption.




In an extensive, research-based 2009 position paper titled: On Nuclear Weapons: A Feminist Perspective, Ednay Gorney and Hedva Eyal of the Isha L’Isha Haifa Feminist Center wrote, “the Israeli public remains excluded from the [nuclear] debate.

The public does not ask questions, does not demand that the state takes responsibility, nor does it demand to be involved in decision making; it accepts and is content with the information or, more accurately, with the lack of information.”

This passive indifference to the nuclear weaponry widely believed to be in the public’s backyard is, in my view, a highly dangerous manifestation of Israel ‘s longtime and entrenched militarization. As Gorney and Eyal have put it, “Decision-making in all areas related to security is characterized by secrecy and vagueness, excluding anyone who does not belong to the security elite. …

The secret functions both on the outside as well as on the inside. Denying information under the guise of maintaining secrecy is one of the common ways through which elites maintain their status. … [While o]ne of the ways they can attain legitimacy for their control and actions is to continuously disseminate and instill fear – real and imaginary – among the citizens of Israel . This fear justifies and, in turn, foments military power and its use against any security threat, as defined by this elite group.”

Meanwhile, Gorney and Eyal have noted, “We are flooded with information on the great threat Iran poses and on the necessity of military operations. The debate within the Israeli public discourse is almost devoid of the possibility of solution through diplomatic means.”

Outlining the severely undemocratic suppression of any public nuclear debate in Israel, the position paper lists a line of researchers, journalists, politicians, activists and ex-security personnel who’s critical voices have been stifled by the security establishment, using a broad range of tactics.

This in addition to the constant dissemination of fear underpinning militarization in general and the unquestioning Israeli public acceptance of its governments’ nuclear armament in particular. Thus, the risks of such armament to this public itself, as well as the entire area or even the globe, go unexamined and undebated for decades on end.

Resisting this reality and reaching for an actual, participatory democracy, Gorney and Eyal explain, “As feminists we wish to expose the connections between the policy of opacity, concealment and fear, and the current perception of security. We want to take responsibility for our lives and for actions carried out in our name.”

In one of the rare public voices taking up these issues, the position paper concludes:
“We demand the removal of opacity surrounding the issue of nuclear weapons in Israel ; We demand a public debate and the development of an alternative policy that will enable us to live in peace in the Middle East ; We demand nuclear disarmament; We demand that the State of Israel join the International Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.”

To read the full 22 page position paper, see:

Another such public voice, sounded now for many years, is that of nuclear historian and analyst, Avner Cohen, whose work is one of main sources repeatedly referred to by the Isha L’Isha position paper.

Cohen is equally critical of successive Israeli governments’ successful barring of nuclear debate and, in the recent op-ed forwarded in full below, offers a series of serious arguments against what he views as the irresponsible and extremely dangerous possibility that Israel might launch a military attack against Iran in an attempt to quash its nuclear capacity.

Cohen’s op-ed, converging in part with some of the conclusions presented by the Isha L’Isha position paper, was published April 2nd in Haaretz.

Rela Mazali

Fri., April 02, 2010

We look at Iran and see ourselves

By Avner Cohen

If Israel takes military action against Iran , it will be one of the biggest decisions in the history of the state. The risks involved will make it unprecedented.

There is no comparison between such a decision and the ones that established and implemented the so-called Begin doctrine: the decision by Menachem Begin’s government to attack the Osirak reactor in Iraq in 1981 and the attack on the nuclear facility in Syria in 2007. In terms of both the complexity of the military operation and the uncertainty about the consequences and where they may lead, there is a qualitative difference between the legacy of the past and the challenge of the present.

The seriousness of the challenge requires as open and thorough a public discussion as possible. But unfortunately, such a discussion has been virtually nonexistent, even on a basic conceptual level. Instead of a public discussion there has been a belligerent press, which makes demagogic use of statements that intensify the message of the politics of fear. These include expressions such as ” Iran is galloping toward a bomb” and a “second Holocaust” that Israel must prevent. Such discourse creates a feeling that if Iran is not attacked, and soon, we have no choice but to accept a nuclear Iran .

It’s doubtful whether the people making those statements are capable of giving them a precise (technical and political) interpretation. It’s doubtful whether they have a suitable answer to the question: When should Iran be considered a nuclear state? Where exactly is the red line? What is the precise significance of such a line and what makes it red?

One thing is clear: As long as Iran is a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it will not be able to test a nuclear device or declare that it has one. Also, as long as Iran is subject to the treaty, it will not be a nuclear state according to the accepted definition of such a state.

It’s true that under cover of the treaty Iran can get very close to the nuclear threshold and still claim – as it claims now – that it is not deviating from its legal obligations under the treaty. Iran as a threshold state can perhaps even position itself a few weeks away from a nuclear test. Such an Iran , despite supervision by the International Atomic Energy Agency, will of necessity be opaque; there will always remain a fear that it is working in secret, including making weapons in secret. But even in such a case, Iran would be considered a threshold state, not an actual nuclear state.

Even those who disparage the practical limitations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (as Israelis tend to do) must recognize that it is almost impossible for Iran to be a nuclear state in the full sense without withdrawing from the treaty. And even if it is outside the treaty, it will take Iran years, many years, to make the transition from a threshold state to a mature nuclear state. Such a transition is not trivial; certainly it is not inevitable, even if we look at the experience of states that in the past were considered threshold states and were not bound by the treaty’s restrictions.

For example, India , which carried out a nuclear test in 1998, is still making this transition slowly, and many experts say it should still not be considered a mature nuclear state. Even Pakistan , whose nuclear path was faster and more purposeful than India ‘s, needed about a generation to become a nuclear state to all extents and purposes. In its nuclear behavior Iran is more like India than Pakistan .

It’s ironic that an Iran under attack would probably become more determined and purposeful in its nuclear ambitions. After an attack, Iran would abandon the treaty in protest, declare its right to nuclear arms and almost certainly succeed in implementing it.

The public discussion in Israel about a nuclear Iran is simplistic, inadequate, confused and confusing. It reflects to some degree our own biases. We come from a culture of national security in which nuclear opacity has been exploited to the hilt to create a specific model of deterrence.

The result is that when we look at Iran we see ourselves: how we would behave in a similar situation. But Iran is not Israel exactly, and the Israeli experience does not necessarily reflect Iran ‘s behavior. On the contrary, it leads to systematic errors when making assessments.

The writer is the author of the book ” Israel and the Bomb.” His forthcoming book, “The Worst-Kept Secret,” will be published in the United States in September.


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Freedom Flotilla

Via Huwaida Arraf

 Istanbul, Turkey – Following months of preparation, a coalition bringing together a number of organizations and movements working to break Israel’s illegal blockade on Gaza was announced yesterday in Istanbul.  The coalition, comprised of the Turkey-based IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi) organization, the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza (ECESG), the Greek Ship to Gaza campaign, the Swedish Ship to Gaza campaign and the Free Gaza Movement, will launch a flotilla of ships laden with cargo, media, parliamentarians, celebrities and activists to Gaza next month.

 The flotilla will be composed of at least eight vessels, including three cargo ships, and will set sail from European ports starting on May 3, reaching the port of Gaza later in the month.  Over 500 passengers from more than 20 countries will take part, and over 5,000 tons of cargo, including cement, prefabricated housing, other building materials, medical equipment, and educational supplies will be delivered to Palestinians in Gaza.

 The Free Gaza Movement has been launching ships to Gaza since August
2008, partnering with organizations and activists around the world on
these missions.  In December 2009, IHH led a land convoy to Gaza that
brought tons of humanitarian aid and other supplies.  In January 2010
the European Campaign brought 50 parliamentarians to Gaza in solidarity with the Palestinian people and to witness the devastation wrought by Israel’s illegal policies.  Ship to Gaza/Greece and Ship to Gaza/Sweden meanwhile have had ongoing campaigns in their countries to raise awareness and funds for this effort and for materials to be brought to Gaza.

 “Through this coalition, these organizations will be able to maximize
resources, experience and commitment to ending the illegal siege on
Gaza.  Even as Israel continues its daily persecution of Palestinians,
we will use this action to wake the world’s consciousness about the
crimes committed against Palestinians,” said IHH President Bulent

 The coalition invites organizations and individuals from around the
world to join the effort by providing supplies for Gaza and contributing financial support for the mission.

Free Gaza Movement – Greta Berlin – +33607374512;
ECESG – Mazen Kahel – +33 1 46 81 12 92;
IHH – Ahmet Emin Dag – +90 530 341 1934;
Ship to Gaza / Greece – Vangelis Pissias – +30 697 200 9339;
Ship to Gaza / Sweden – Dror Feiler – +46702855777;

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April 3rd, 2010 | Tags: , , , , | Category: Uncategorized

Posted in GazaComments Off on END ZIO=NAZI SIEGE ON GAZA



There’s good news for everyone who’s afraid of nuclear war (and that means all of us).
 Last week, Russia and the USA signed an agreement to reduce their nuclear arsenals by a third.1 And next week, Obama is hosting leaders from 48 countries to talk about going even further in pursuit of a nuclear-free world.2
It’s the most concrete progress in decades to reduce the threat of nuclear war.
But public support is crucial if we’re going to make Obama’s first bold steps really stick. Pro-war members of Congress, weapons makers and dictators from across the globe will try and trip up this fragile process. So we’re teaming up with allies from Global Zero, Avaaz and MoveOn to show Obama and other leaders that the people are ready for a world without nuclear weapons.
Sign the petition now, and we’ll make sure it gets delivered to Obama and world leaders when they convene at the White House on April 12:
There are 23,000 nuclear weapons in the world. Each one has the power to end millions of lives. And unless we take action, we can never guarantee that they won’t be used against innocent people.3
But a nuclear-free future IS possible. The petition we’re signing is backed up by an action plan crafted by hundreds of former heads of state, foreign ministers, national security advisers and military commanders.4 It calls on the U.S. and Russia, who have 96% of the world’s nuclear weapons, to take the lead but not to let anyone off the hook. Every member of the international community has a role to play.

And the leaders at next week’s Nuclear Security Summit have the power to take immediate steps to make the world safer. But to do so, they need to know that they have the support of people like us.
Sign the petition now, and help us back up Obama’s call for a world free of the fear of nuclear destruction.

– Matt

Matt Holland
Online Director
TrueMajority / USAction

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 By Chaim Levinson 

 One of the fascinating ideological debates in a settlement is whether to employ Palestinian workers in building a settlement or an outpost, so the land can be claimed as fast as possible. Those supporting the hiring of Palestinians believe it is best to take hold of the land quickly, so it can be redeemed quickly. The opponents argue it is best to promote spiritual values, which will lead to redemption.

However, steps taken by the Palestinian Authority in its war against the settlements may make the debate irrelevant. The PA has been burning goods produced in settlements, and now there is a proposal to ban Palestinians from working in settlements.

The settlement economy is mostly based on Palestinian labor. Palestinians not permitted to work in Israel are given such permits for the settlements. There are exceptions: Itzhar and Kfar Tapuah, for example, insist on Jewish labor. Otherwise, Palestinians can be seen working in nearly every settlement.

Based on data Israel delivered to donor states in September 2009, some 22,000 Palestinians have permits to work in settlements or in their industrial zones. However, various non-governmental organizations, like Kav La’Oved-Worker’s Hotline for the Protection of Worker’s Rights, say another 10,000 Palestinians work without permits, mostly as seasonal farm hands. In addition, inside the Green Line, an additional 26,000 Palestinians have work permits.

The total number of Palestinians employed in settlements and in Israel constitutes 9.9 percent of employed West Bank Palestinians.

One of those employing Palestinians is Yossi Kreuf, who has a workshop for woodwork and marble work in the settlement of Ma’ale Shomron. He has one permanent Palestinian employee and hires others as projects become available. “The heads of the Palestinian Authority want to cause a third intifada,” says Kreuf. “

The minute Palestinians do not enter the settlements, there will be a bunch of people who have nothing to eat and they will begin rioting,” Kreuf told Haaretz. “In my community alone, 150-200 [Palestinians] are employed in construction. The worker employed by me tells me that the nation of Israel is the Chosen People, and that if there was no nation of Israel, they [the Palestinians] would be buried today,” Kreuf adds.

According to the Ma’ale Shomron settler, “they say that if they worked only in the PA, they would starve to death.” Kreuf says he would propose a counter-law to the PA proposal, that no product from the PA could be imported to Israel. “Then we will see how they like that,” said Kreuf.

In the area of the Gush Etzion regional council, 1,000 Palestinians are employed permanently – and this is a period in which there is not much development.

The head of the local council, Shaul Goldstein, supports the employment of Palestinians. The new policy of the PA drives him mad. “I call this the optometrist approach – that means that with this approach they will finally open the eyes of the world, which will recognize what their [the Palestinians] real aim is.

They have no aim to make peace. I had a meeting with one of the clan heads in the nearby villages, to see how we can cooperate, and they are afraid of the PA that wants to terrorize them. It drives me mad and angers me. [PA Prime Minister] Salam Fayyad, the allegedly moderate man, is the one who is burning products from the settlements and is promoting such policies,” Goldstein says.

For the past four months, PA inspectors have taken confiscated settlement-made products to a storehouse in Salafit. Fayyad has taken photographs setting products ablaze.

In essence, this is a revival of an old campaign formula. The left-wing Gush Shalom group has been advertising for years a list of factories in the West Bank, and international organizations have set up Web sites asking the public to point out the existence of other factories in settlements.

The industrial zones are the soft underbelly of settlements, where rented spaces for businesses provide tax revenues for them. Overall in the West Bank there are 10 large industrial areas, and a similar number of smaller areas.

The biggest industrial area is in Mishor Adumim, with some 170 businesses operating there, including a winery, laundry service for hospitals in Jerusalem, a factory for spices and dry goods, a metal workshop, print shops, etc.

Another large industrial area is Barkan, where more than 100 factories cover an area of 1,300 dunams. One that is expanding is that of Ariel West. Ahva Ahdut invested NIS 35 million recently in a new plant for the production of tahini and halva.

The boycott of the products produced in the settlements is affecting revenues. The Lipski Factory, in the Barkan industrial area, is owned by Keter Plastics and the Fimi fund. They manufacture various plumbing and sanitation items. Twenty percent of their products are sold to the PA through a large Hebron-based business. During the last weeks the goods were repeatedly confiscated, and the customers stopped buying.

The PA went as far as to issue a leaflet showing photographs of the products that should be boycotted. “I am not here because I am a settler and not because I think that we should not evacuate [settlements] in a peace agreement,” says Yehuda Cohen, who manages the company.

“Every person living in the Middle East wishes they had my factory. I have 35 Palestinian employees who get all their social benefits. I send them to Amman on holiday. There are products in the PA that compete with ours, but I have a larger segment of the market than they do because of our quality,” Cohen says.

 “During the past two and a half months, we stopped selling. Yesterday, a customer who had bought a long time ago was given permission to sell the stock, but an inspector came in and confiscated all the goods. We managed to get the goods brought back to the factory. I recently began firing Palestinians, and I intend to let go of more.

I hope that Keter Plastics will help me export more to their markets [abroad]. I am not telling you that I will leave tomorrow. But there is a board above me, and they can decide.” 

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Dear organisers,

Today PSC and the TUC are proud to launch the Ban Settlement Goods Campaign, which aims to take Israeli settlement produce and goods off the shelves of Britain ’s shops.

 We have produced an online campaign toolkit to help everyone who shares our aim to get involved. In the toolkit, you’ll find a comprehensive briefing on settlements, their impact on the Palestinians of the West Bank and information on Britain ’s connection with these illegal entities.

You’ll also find ways of taking practical action, including model letters to send to your MP, MEP and local supermarket if you find it selling settlement goods. There are also suggestions of how to use modern methods of communication, such as Facebook and Twitter, to take your campaign further, a media strategy to get the message out to the wider world, and information on organising consumer action.

Trade unions across the country are also getting involved in the campaign, lobbying the government, putting pressure on supermarkets, and asking their members to boycott settlement goods.

 Together, PSC and the TUC can really make a difference. We urge you to get in touch with your local trades union council and work with them on this vital campaign. Get all your branch members and supporters involved too, and we can turn this into one of our biggest campaigns of the year.

 United, we can stop stolen goods from stolen lands ending up on our shelves. Take action now!

 In solidarity,

Dear Friend,

In the 43rd year of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, the repression of its people is worse than ever.

This must end. The Palestinians have a right to live with dignity, free from occupation.

To coincide with the call for a Global Day of Action on 30 March 2010, made by the Palestinian Boycott National Committee, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign is pleased to launch a campaign in partnership with the TUC which aims to end the sale of settlement produce in Britain.

The British government has recognised that the settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace. Yet produce from Palestine’s stolen land — fruits, herbs, beauty products, DIY tools — are being sold in our supermarkets and shops, helping to economically sustain the settlements and strengthening the occupation.

Take action using our campaign tool-kit. Inside you’ll find:

All available at:

Together, we can send a clear message that the international community is serious — Israel’s illegal occupation must end, and it must abide by international law.

In solidarity,

Designed by Mulberry Design

Posted in UncategorizedComments Off on BAN ILLEGAL ZIONIST SETTLEMENT GOODS

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