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Washington Post considers the argument for racial division in Palestine

Posted: 27 Apr 2010 08:04 AM PDT

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting on another corporate media moment of ignorance and bias:

The headline of this Washington Post piece today (4/26/10) is certainly not promising:

“Sharing a West Bank Highway Proves a Tall Order for Israel, Palestinians”

The highway in question was built by the Israeli government on occupied Palestinian territory. Since 2000, Israeli authorities have barred Palestinians from using the road. They are now offering to open just two on-ramps for use by Palestinians, who would be searched upon entering the road. And the highway would still not provide access to the crucial Palestinian city of Ramallah.

So what would justify the notion that Palestinians, like Israelis, aren’t doing their part to “share”? Nothing. This is the only explanation of any sort that the Post’s  Janine Zacharia offers:

“The debate over Highway 443 illustrates a fundamental rub in the West Bank: If the Israelis and Palestinians can’t agree over how to share nine miles of pavement, how will they ever resolve the far more complex issues that divide them?

“From an Israeli viewpoint, allowing Palestinians on the road increases the risk of violence and adds traffic. To Palestinians, the road is another example of Israel’s reluctance to make life easier for them in occupied areas.”

Perhaps segregationists in the United States lodged similar complaints about overcrowding too.

A view of the UN from Latin America

Posted: 27 Apr 2010 07:55 AM PDT

Miguel D’Escoto, former president of the United Nations General Assembly and former foreign minister of Nicaragua, tells Democracy Now!:

Palestine has not been given statehood. And when the split of Palestine for a Jewish state and an Arab state, when that was decided upon—not really decided upon, when that decision was imposed, with all kinds of arm-twisting and the threats and the intimidations that the United States calls “negotiations”—you have to change your lexicon. When they say “democracy,” it usually means somebody who is very obedient to whatever they say. Then they give you the good housekeeping of approval, and they put “democracy.” If they don’t like you, then they say you are radical, and then they escalate the term to show—so it’s very difficult.

The United States claims that it has the right to rule the world, because it did so much to save the world from—in the Second World War. I don’t know how many Americans died in that war, but I imagine it’s infinitely, infinitely less than the 20 million people of the Soviet Union who died, more than 20 million. But regardless of that, the war was a great economic boom for the United States. The New Deal did not pull the United States out of its economic crisis; it was the war. And war has been, on many occasions, a business. They are very much into the business of death.

And that’s why, one time, when you talked to me over the phone many years ago, and President Reagan had died, and I never will forget that you said to me, “What do you think?” Well, you know, President Reagan is a human being. He’s got his wife, and he’s got his people who love him. And I feel sorry when people die, no matter who they are. And I pray to God that he receives them, in spite of the fact, I said, that he was the butcher of my people, a pathological killer. But in the United States, they are accustomed not to recognize their killers.

Iranian autocrats will have a harder time blocking material

Posted: 26 Apr 2010 11:20 PM PDT

Whenever any repressive regime tries to censor online content, rest assured somebody somewhere will find a way around it (Western governments also take note):

While the Iranian government has intensified its aggressive efforts to expand Internet filters, Austin Heap, a young programmer in the U.S., says he has developed software that would enable Iranians to evade their censors.

In response to the widespread crackdown following Iran’s June 2009 presidential elections, the San Francisco-based Censorship Research Centre (CRC) developed a programme that provides unfiltered, anonymous Internet access.

Called Haystack, it uses a sophisticated mathematical formula to hide the user’s real Internet identity while allowing access to widely-used networking websites blocked by Iran’s government, such as YouTube, Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter.

“Now we can launch our efforts to help those in Iran access the Internet as if there were no Iranian government filters,” Austin Heap, CRC’s executive director, told IPS.

America wants to send weapons above the atmosphere

Posted: 26 Apr 2010 07:27 PM PDT

We’re seen the future and it’s militarised space:

The Pentagon’s test launch of two unmanned space vehicles this week have highlighted the efforts being made by the United States to develop a new generation of high-altitude weapon systems.

The United States Air Force (USAF) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) test launched a space plane – the Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2), known as the Falcon, at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

One part of the program aims to develop a reusable, rapid-strike Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle (HCV), and the other is for the development of a launch system capable of accelerating a HCV to cruise speeds, as well as launching small satellites into Earth orbit.

Defense analysts believe that the Falcon is part of the Pentagon’s effort to develop the capability to strike anywhere in the world with a conventional warhead in less than an hour – known as Conventional Prompt Global Strike.

Meanwhile, the USAF’s secretive X-37B robotic space plane took off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for a mystery mission that is expected to take months testing new spacecraft
technologies.

The X-37 is an unpiloted demonstration spaceplane built by Boeing Phantom Works that is intended to test future launch technologies while in orbit and during atmospheric re-entry.

“The X-37B has been in development for more than 10 years and had a tumultuous history. So, it’s great to see the X37 finally get to the launchpad and get into space,” The Washington Times quoted Gary Payton, U.S. Air Force Deputy Under Secretary for Space Programs, as saying.

The spacecraft will be placed into low Earth orbit for testing, following which it will be de-orbited for landing.

What is happening in the West Bank away from clueless journalist’s eyes

Posted: 26 Apr 2010 07:21 PM PDT

Day in and day out the sight of armed Israeli soldiers in the West Bank protecting settlers and destroying Palestinian land, all illegal under international law, continues. Most of the world’s media refuses to show these images. Poor, little Israel must be protected.

Joseph Dana, an American Jew living in Israel, continues to blog about these activities (and we worked together in Israel and Palestine last year). I salute him.

Here’s a video he posted a few days ago:

Non violent resistance to the occupation is beginning to spread to villages across the West Bank. In addition to the regular weekly protests in Nilin and Bilin this weekend, Nabi Salih, Walage and Beit Umar held non violent protests against the Wall and the crippling occupation. Below is a video shot by Israel Putermam from Walage. Be sure to note the violent arrest of an Israeli protester at the end of the Walage video:

The Israeli boxer from the former Soviet Union (but don’t feel patriotic)

Posted: 26 Apr 2010 06:50 PM PDT

Heard about the Orthodox boxing champ Yuri Foreman, studying to be a Rabbi, soon to fight in Yankee Stadium?

See: www.antonyloewenstein.com

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