Archive | September 9th, 2010

AFGHANISTAN: US SOLDIERS COLLECTING FINGERS AS TROPHIES

NOVANEWS

US Soldiers ‘Killed Afghan Civilians for Sport and Collected Fingers as Trophies’

September 9, 2010 

by Michael Leon  

 

– Twelve American soldiers face charges over a secret “kill team” that allegedly blew up and shot Afghan civilians at random and collected their fingers as trophies. –

by Chris McGreal in by the Guardian/UK

Five of the soldiers are charged with murdering three Afghan men who were allegedly killed for sport in separate attacks this year. Seven others are accused of covering up the killings and assaulting a recruit who exposed the murders when he reported other abuses, including members of the unit smoking hashish stolen from civilians.

In one of the most serious accusations of war crimes to emerge from the Afghan conflict, the killings are alleged to have been carried out by members of a Stryker infantry brigade based in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan.

[Andrew Holmes, Michael Wagnon, Jeremy Morlock and Adam Winfield are four of the five Stryker soldiers who face murder charges. (Photograph: Public Domain)]

Andrew Holmes, Michael Wagnon, Jeremy Morlock and Adam Winfield are four of the five Stryker soldiers who face murder charges. (Photograph: Public Domain)

According to investigators and legal documents, discussion of killing Afghan civilians began after the arrival of Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs at forward operating base Ramrod last November. Other soldiers told the army’s criminal investigation command that Gibbs boasted of the things he got away with while serving in Iraq and said how easy it would be to “toss a grenade at someone and kill them”.

One soldier said he believed Gibbs was “feeling out the platoon”.

Investigators said Gibbs, 25, hatched a plan with another soldier, Jeremy Morlock, 22, and other members of the unit to form a “kill team”. While on patrol over the following months they allegedly killed at least three Afghan civilians. According to the charge sheet, the first target was Gul Mudin, who was killed “by means of throwing a fragmentary grenade at him and shooting him with a rifle”, when the patrol entered the village of La Mohammed Kalay in January.

Morlock and another soldier, Andrew Holmes, were on guard at the edge of a poppy field when Mudin emerged and stopped on the other side of a wall from the soldiers. Gibbs allegedly handed Morlock a grenade who armed it and dropped it over the wall next to the Afghan and dived for cover. Holmes, 19, then allegedly fired over the wall.

Later in the day, Morlock is alleged to have told Holmes that the killing was for fun and threatened him if he told anyone.

The second victim, Marach Agha, was shot and killed the following month. Gibbs is alleged to have shot him and placed a Kalashnikov next to the body to justify the killing. In May Mullah Adadhdad was killed after being shot and attacked with a grenade.

The Army Times reported that a least one of the soldiers collected the fingers of the victims as souvenirs and that some of them posed for photographs with the bodies.

Five soldiers – Gibbs, Morlock, Holmes, Michael Wagnon and Adam Winfield – are accused of murder and aggravated assault among other charges. All of the soldiers have denied the charges. They face the death penalty or life in prison if convicted.

The killings came to light in May after the army began investigating a brutal assault on a soldier who told superiors that members of his unit were smoking hashish. The Army Times reported that members of the unit regularly smoked the drug on duty and sometimes stole it from civilians.

The soldier, who was straight out of basic training and has not been named, said he witnessed the smoking of hashish and drinking of smuggled alcohol but initially did not report it out of loyalty to his comrades. But when he returned from an assignment at an army headquarters and discovered soldiers using the shipping container in which he was billeted to smoke hashish he reported it.

Two days later members of his platoon, including Gibbs and Morlock, accused him of “snitching”, gave him a beating and told him to keep his mouth shut. The soldier reported the beating and threats to his officers and then told investigators what he knew of the “kill team”.

Following the arrest of the original five accused in June, seven other soldiers were charged last month with attempting to cover up the killings and violent assault on the soldier who reported the smoking of hashish. The charges will be considered by a military grand jury later this month which will decide if there is enough evidence for a court martial.

Army investigators say Morlock has admitted his involvement in the killings and given details about the role of others including Gibbs. But his lawyer, Michael Waddington, is seeking to have that confession suppressed because he says his client was interviewed while under the influence of prescription drugs taken for battlefield injuries and that he was also suffering from traumatic brain injury.

“Our position is that his statements were incoherent, and taken while he was under a cocktail of drugs that shouldn’t have been mixed,” Waddington told the Seattle Times

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WHY MUSLIMS DARE NOT BURN THE BIBLE IN RETURN

NOVANEWS

September 9, 2010 

by Dr. Ashraf Ezzat  

Islam decrees that Muslims should respect and honor the Bible and Torah as well.

By Dr. Ashraf Ezzat

Afghans burning an effigy of the Florida pastor.

There is always an angle worthy of discussion in this megalomania of “Burn al Quran Day”. May be that is why so many comments have been voiced and they are all against this disgraceful and stupid plan by a discredited pastor who can’t get the support of his mother church in Germany nor the sympathy of his own daughter.

I hate to contribute to the man’s psychic lust for publicity- for that’s what he is after- and join the flocks of writers who have penned many articles on the subject. 

 Pastor Terry Jones` hideous plan should have been neglected and never granted this wide media exposure which turned this sick idea into a phenomenal display of extremism.

This Jones took advantage of the interconnected world of today and made a congregation of 50 people look like the whole of the American people on a facebook page. His evil call for burning al Quran demonstrates how sick people could exploit the freedom of expression in a free society like America. Being free to do this bonfire does not mean that it is the right thing to do.

What burning the Quran has to do with commemorating 9/11. How could he stoop so low? How could we surrender- in that ugly way- to bigotry in its most primitive form?  Why do we find people in the 21st century so deluded and misled? Where does this shameful myopia come from? Where this Islam behind 9/11 myth is taking us?

Why don’t Muslims just react by burning the Bible in return? I’m sure this question must have crossed your mind. What prevents them from committing such a horrible deed? After all they are the extremists. They are the intolerant people. They are the violent and hateful people. But they did not and never will. Do you know why?

 The answer to this question might be the only good that came out of this horrid and profane issue. The answer is so simple but yet so fundamental to a better understanding of Islam. The understanding or rather the misunderstanding that goes back to the medieval crusades.

In the eleventh century the crusades began and lasted for two hundred years in trying to rid the holy land of Jerusalem of the barbaric Muslims whom they were told desecrated the Christian sanctuaries in the holy city. Ironically it took the Arabs 70 years to figure out why they were engaged in a war with the Europeans. The Muslims were only defending their homeland against an outward aggression. That much they knew. When they were finally oriented with the true reasons behind the crusades they were more perplexed simply because they never did any harm to the Christian sites anywhere, let alone the city of Jerusalem.

It took the kings of Europe and the pope in Rome 2oo years to grow up to the fact that Jerusalem was equally sacred to Muslims.

 Jesus Christ and mother Mary are considered holy and highly revered by every Muslim. This is the missing link here. Westerners should know that Islam is not some local cult like Buddhism or Hinduism which i personally respect. It is a universal faith stemming from the same origins of the Judeo-Christian faith which along with Islam are recognized as Abrahamic religions.

This is mainly why Muslims cannot retaliate against burning al Quran by burning any copy of the Bible because Islam decrees that Muslims should respect and honor the Bible and Torah as well.

 And that explains why the Muslims protesters in Afghanistan responded to this shameful incident by burning an effigy of the pastor not by burning a copy of the Bible.

It is so simple but I wish it was that simple to that freak pastor from Florida who was supposed to know better about Islam and other faiths. And this is so regrettable; I mean if priests are that ignorant about other faiths, what that says of the common people who tend to follow in their footsteps.

This bonfire will not only endanger the American troops but it will add up to the anti American sentiments in the Muslim world. 

I think that the freak pastor will go ahead with his foolishness on Saturday. And starting the same Saturday, his death sentence will have been issued by many Muslim extremists around the world. This will come as no surprise for extremism only breeds more extremism. The freak pastor managed to get the world’s attention but that comes with a heavy price.

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NUREMBERG TRIALS FOR ZIO=FREEMASON BLAIR

  NOVANEWS

http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=384794&version=1&template_id=46&parent_id=26

Nuremberg is valid precedent for Iraq trials
 
By Dr Cesar Chelala /New York                        
 
 
Recently in Dublin, anti-war protesters threw eggs and
shoes atTony Blair. During a TV interview, he showed a flash of exasperation when asked to explain why people thought that he was a war criminal. His annoyance at the question is little consolation for the thousands of families who lost loved ones during that illegal war.
 
Blair should be tried under principles established for the Nuremberg trials, together with former president George W Bush and his advisers who orchestrated the Iraq war.
 
The Nuremberg Principles, a set of guidelines established after World War II to try Nazi party members, were developed to determine what constitutes a war crime. Those principles could also be applied today, when judging the conditions that led to the Iraq war and in the process to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, many of them children, and to the devastation of a country’s infrastructure.
 
In January of 2003, a group of US law professors warned president George W Bush that he and senior officials of his government could be prosecuted for war crimes if military tactics violated international humanitarian law. The group, led by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, sent similar warnings to British prime minister Tony Blair and to Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien.
 
Although the US is not part of the International Criminal Court (ICC), American officials could be prosecuted in other countries under the Geneva Convention principles, indicated Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. Ratner likened the situation to the attempted prosecution by a Spanish magistrate, Baltazar Garzon, of the Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet, who was held under house arrest in London.
 
Both former president George W Bush and senior officials in his government, as well as Tony Blair, could be tried for being responsible for torture and other war crimes under the Geneva Conventions. In addition, they could also be tried for violation of fundamental Nuremberg principles. In 2007, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the ICC’s chief prosecutor, told The Sunday Telegraph that he could envisage a scenario in which both Blair and then George W Bush could face charges at The Hague.
 
Perhaps one of the most serious breaches of international law by the Bush administration is the doctrine of “preventive war”. In the case of the Iraq war, it was carried out without authorisation from the UN Security Council in violation of the UN Charter, which forbids armed aggression and violations of the sovereignty of any state by any other state, except in immediate self-defence.
 
As stated in the US Constitution, international treaties agreed to by the United States are part of the “supreme law of the land”.
 “Launching a war of aggression is a crime and no political or economic situation can justify it,” stated Justice Jackson, the chief US Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor. And Benjamin Ferencz, also a former chief prosecutor of the Nuremberg Trials declared: “A prima facie case can be made that the United States is guilty of the supreme crime against humanity, that being an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation.”
 
The conduct and the consequences of the Iraq war are part of the Crimes against Peace and War crimes stated in Nuremberg Principle VI which defines as crimes against peace, (i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances; (ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).
 
In the section on war crimes, Nuremberg Principle VI includes, “…murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property.”
 
The criminal abuse of prisoners in US military prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo are clear evidence of ill-treatment and even murder of prisoners. According to the organisation Human Rights First, at least 100 detainees have died while in the hands of US officials in the global “war on terror,” eight of whom were tortured to death.
 
Although there are obvious hindrances to trying a former  British Prime Minister and a former US president and his associates, such a trial is fully justified by legal precedents, in particular the Nuremberg Principles, as well as by the extent of human lives lost and the breach of international law it has produced.
 
*** Cesar Chelala, MD, PhD, is a co-winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award for an article on human rights.

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‘THERE ARE NO CIVILIANS IN WARTIME’

NOVANEWS

http://maxblumenthal.com/2010/09/we-are-going-to-carry-this-cause-on-for-everyone-who-cannot-rachel-corries-family-vs-the-israeli-government/

Rachel Corrie’s Family Confronts The Israeli Military In Court On 09.09.10, By Max Cindy, Sarah,
and Craig Corrie in the Haifa District Court for the second round of hearings in their civil suit against the Israeli government. In a small courtroom on the sixth floor of Haifa’s District Court, a colonel in the Israeli engineering corps who wrote a manual for the bulldozer units that razed the Rafah Refugee Camp in 2003 offered his opinion on the killing of the American activist Rachel Corrie. “There are no civilians during wartime,” Yossi declared under oath.
Yossi made his remarkable statement under withering cross examination by Hussein Abu Hussein, the lawyer for the family of Corrie, who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah on March 17, 2003. In the back of the courtroom were Rachel’s parents, Craig and Cindy, and her sister, Sarah, back in Israel for the second round of hearings in their civil suit against the state of Israel. They were joined by supporters, friends and a handful of reporters, including me (see Nora Barrows-Friedman’s report for more). No one from the Israeli media was present — the case has been virtually ignored inside Israel.
In the immediate wake of Corrie’s killing, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, then the chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, instructed Corrie’s parents to demand a “thorough, fair and transparent investigation” from the Israeli government. Since then, the Israelis have stonewalled them, refusing to provide key details of their investigation, which was corrupted from the start by the investigators’ apparent attempts to find evidence that a bulldozer did not in fact kill Rachel.
A 2003 bill introduced in the House International Relations Committee calling for a thorough Israeli investigation in Corrie’s killing and for American efforts to prevent such killings from happening again garnered 78 signatures in support (Rahm Emanuel was the only Jewish signer). However, Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, one of the Israel lobby’s closest allies in Congress, prevented the bill from getting out of the committee. President George W. Bush could have pressed for a full floor vote on the bill but he did nothing. The bill died as a result.
Having been obstructed by the Israelis’ opaque investigation and betrayed by their own government (with notable exceptions like former Rep. Brian Baird), the Corries have been forced to take matters into their own hands. And so they have filed suit against the Israeli government for criminal negligence. Whether or not they will be able to secure the ruling they seek, Rachel Corrie’s family has already elicited a number of damning revelations about the Israeli army’s abuses in Gaza in 2003 and the machinations it has relied on to obscure evidence of its criminal conduct.
“I think we are in a situation similar to South Africa. What we are trying to make clear is that the truth has to be pursued diligently or we won’t make it to the point of reconciliation,” Craig Corrie told me, referring to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that enabled South Africa to peacefully transition from an apartheid system to representative democracy. “We need to understand and acknowledge the truth first.”
So far, the truth has not been easy to come by. The Corries are saddled with a judge who is said to have never ruled in favor of any plaintiff in a civil rights-related suit. And the defense has claimed unspecified state security concerns in its successful bid to avoid revealing the full contents of the investigation into Rachel Corrie’s killing — the family’s lawyers have only been allowed to view a summary. But the Corries’ legal efforts have not been in vain.
On the first day of hearings, the Corries’ lawyers were able to confirm through testimony from “Oded,” one of the investigators of Rachel Corrie’s killing, that Major General Doron Almog, then the head of the Israeli army’s Southern Command, had attempted to stop the military investigators from questioning the bulldozer operators who killed Rachel. When asked why he did not challenge Almog’s apparently illegal intervention, Oded stated that he was only 20-years-old at the time, with no college education and only a few months of training as an investigator.
He was intimidated by the high-ranking officer who stormed into the room and menaced him and the other investigators. (Almog once canceled a trip to Britain after being warned that he would be arrested on arrival for ordering the destruction of 59 homes in the Rafah refugee camp in 2002).
Among the most disturbing aspects of Corrie’s case is the abuse of her body by Israeli authorities after she was killed. Craig Corrie recalled to me a panicked phone conversation he had with Will Hewitt, a friend and former classmate of Rachel Corrie who had just witnessed her killing.
“It’s getting dark over here and there are no refrigeration units for her body in Gaza,” Hewitt told Craig Corrie.
“Just leave it until tomorrow,” Craig replied. “We don’t want you or anyone else to get killed.”
“But her body is starting to smell,” Hewitt pleaded.
Somehow Hewitt and his fellow activists from the International Solidarity Movement were able to get Rachel Corrie’s body out of Gaza. But first Hewitt was ordered by Israeli troops to remove the body from the casket and carry it across a border checkpoint. Only Hewitt was allowed to escort Corrie’s body in the ambulance; the rest of the activists who witnessed her death were forced to hitchhike home in the desert. Finally, Corrie’s body was transported to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in Tel Aviv where the notorious Dr. Yehuda Hiss autopsied her.
Who is Dr. Hiss? The chief pathologist of Israel for a decade and a half, Hiss was implicated by a 2001 investigation by the Israeli Health Ministry of stealing body parts ranging from legs to testicles to ovaries from bodies without permission from family members then selling them to research institutes. Bodies plundered by Hiss included those of Palestinians and Israeli soldiers. He was finally removed from his post in 2004 when the body of a teenage boy killed in a traffic accident was discovered to have been thoroughly gnawed on by a rat in Hiss’s laboratory. In an interview with researcher Nancy Schepper-Hughes, Hiss admitted that he harvested organs if he was confident relatives would not discover that they were missing. He added that he often used glue to close eyelids to hide missing corneas.
When Craig and Cindy Corrie learned that Hiss would perform an autopsy on their daughter, they stipulated that they would only allow the doctor to go forward if an official from the American consulate was present throughout the entire procedure. An Israeli military police report stated that an American official did indeed witness the autopsy. However, when the Corries asked American diplomatic officials including former US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzner if the report was true, they were informed that no American was present at all. The Israelis had lied to them, and apparently fixed their own report to deceive the American government.
On March 14, during the first round of hearings in the Corries’ civil suit, Hiss admitted under oaththat he had lied about the presence of an American official during the autopsy of Rachel Corrie. He also conceded to taking “samples” from Corrie’s body for “histological testing” without informing her family. Just which parts of Corrie’s body Hiss took remains unclear; despite Hiss’s claim that he “buried” the samples, her family has not confirmed the whereabouts of her missing body parts.
“It’s so hard to know that Rachel’s body wasn’t respected,” Rachel’s sister, Sarah, told me. “Doctor Hiss and the Israeli government knew what our family’s wishes were. The fact that our wishes were disregarded and a judge hasn’t done anything is absolutely horrifying.”
The treatment of Rachel Corrie’s body is peripheral to her family’s lawsuit. But it demonstrates the degree to which she and those whose homes she died defending have been dehumanized — “there are no civilians during wartime,” as Colonel Yossi declared. Rachel Corrie’s family is seeking only one dollar in symbolic punitive damages from the Israeli government. Their real goal is to force a country in a perpetual state of warfare to treat its innocent victims as human beings, and to be held accountable if it does not.
“It is incredibly expensive for us to carry this case on both emotionally and financially,” Craig Corrie remarked. “It is a whole lot to ask of a private citizen. But as a family we still have the ability to do a lot, so we are going to carry this cause on for everyone who cannot.”

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A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS


Fidel visits a dolphin show and reflects on his legacy

Posted: 09 Sep 2010

Credit where it’s due. The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg may have spread propaganda about Saddam, Iran and Israel, but he can write and his latest dispatch about meeting Fidel Castro (here’s the first) is fascinating:

There were many odd things about my recent Havana stopover (apart from the dolphin show, which I’ll get to shortly), but one of the most unusual was Fidel Castro’s level of self-reflection. I only have limited experience with Communist autocrats (I have more experience with non-Communist autocrats) but it seemed truly striking that Castro was willing to admit that he misplayed his hand at a crucial moment in the Cuban Missile Crisis (you can read about what he said toward the end of my previous post – but he said, in so many words, that he regrets asking Khruschev to nuke the U.S.).

Even more striking was something he said at lunch on the day of our first meeting. We were seated around a smallish table; Castro, his wife, Dalia, his son; Antonio; Randy Alonso, a major figure in the government-run media; and Julia Sweig, the friend I brought with me to make sure, among other things, that I didn’t say anything too stupid (Julia is a leading Latin American scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations). I initially was mainly interested in watching Fidel eat – it was a combination of digestive problems that conspired to nearly kill him, and so I thought I would do a bit of gastrointestinal Kremlinology and keep a careful eye on what he took in (for the record, he ingested small amounts of fish and salad, and quite a bit of bread dipped in olive oil, as well as a glass of red wine). But during the generally lighthearted conversation (we had just spent three hours talking about Iran and the Middle East), I asked him if he believed the Cuban model was still something worth exporting.

“The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore,” he said.

This struck me as the mother of all Emily Litella moments. Did the leader of the Revolution just say, in essence, “Never mind”?

I asked Julia to interpret this stunning statement for me. She said, “He wasn’t rejecting the ideas of the Revolution. I took it to be an acknowledgment that under ‘the Cuban model’ the state has much too big a role in the economic life of the country.”

 

Spluttering gasps of Murdoch’s British power

Posted: 09 Sep 2010

New Statesman examines the worsening problems for David Cameron’s spin doctor, Andy Coulson, former editor of Murdoch’s News of the World:

I ask another former Met commander if the New York Times allegations of a “long-term” relationship between News International and Scotland Yard are true. “I couldn’t possibly comment,” he tells me with a chuckle, adding: “But feel free to draw an inference from my silence.” The former senior Met official draws my attention to how the former assistant commissioner Andy Hayman, who led the original police investigation into the phone-hacking allegations, is now a columnist on the News International-owned Times. “It’s not necessarily improper but it doesn’t help, does it?” says the retired officer.

But Coulson is regarded as too valuable – both as a spinner and as a bridgehead to the Murdoch media empire. Even his critics seem to assume that he is very good at his job. Yet, despite operating in a rather benign media environment, dominated by the pro-Cameron echo chamber in the press, Coulson’s links to the Murdochs did not translate into votes. As the Labour leadership contender Ed Miliband pointed out to me: “The Murdoch press has less influence than it used to . . . Twenty-three front pages [in the Sun] supporting the Tories and the Tories got 36 per cent of the vote.”

 

Reporters need to be reminded that they should not follow every leaked morsel

Posted: 09 Sep 2010

What a revelation (via The Failed Estate):

Just because someone in Canberra said something doesn’t make it news.

Are press gallery hacks listening?

 

America, the same old torturing nation as under Bush

Posted: 09 Sep 2010

This is Obama’s America, siding with those who torture, use rendition and want to keep it secret:

A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled that former prisoners of the C.I.A. could not sue over their alleged torture in overseas prisons because such a lawsuit might expose secret government information.

The sharply divided ruling was a major victory for the Obama administration’s efforts to advance a sweeping view of executive secrecy powers. It strengthens the White House’s hand as it has pushed an array of assertive counterterrorism policies, while raising an opportunity for the Supreme Court to rule for the first time in decades on the scope of the president’s power to restrict litigation that could reveal state secrets.

By a 6-to-5 vote, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed a lawsuit against Jeppesen Dataplan Inc., a Boeing subsidiary accused of arranging flights for the Central Intelligence Agency to transfer prisoners to other countries for imprisonment and interrogation. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the case on behalf of five former prisoners who say they were tortured in captivity — and that Jeppesen was complicit in that alleged abuse.

Judge Raymond C. Fisher described the case, which reversed an earlier decision, as presenting “a painful conflict between human rights and national security.” But, he said, the majority had “reluctantly” concluded that the lawsuit represented “a rare case” in which the government’s need to protect state secrets trumped the plaintiffs’ need to have a day in court.

While the alleged abuses occurred during the Bush administration, the ruling added a chapter to the Obama administration’s aggressive national security policies.

Its counterterrorism programs have in some ways departed from the expectations of change fostered by President Obama’s campaign rhetoric, which was often sharply critical of former President George W. Bush’s approach.

Among other policies, the Obama national security team has also authorized the C.I.A. to try to kill a United States citizenblocked efforts by detainees in Afghanistan to bring habeas corpus lawsuits challenging the basis for their imprisonment without trial, and continued the C.I.A.’s so-called extraordinary rendition program of prisoner transfers — though the administration has forbidden torture and says it seeks assurances from other countries that detainees will not be mistreated. suspected of terrorism ties,

 

Murdoch mantra; whatever it takes

Posted: 09 Sep 2010

This just gets better and better and proves once again the essential need for a vibrant, non-Murdoch press. Such illegality rather neatly matches Rupert’s belief in illegally bombing and occupying nations. That’s his legacy:

A former senior News of the World journalist has gone public to corroborate claims that phone-hacking and other illegal reporting techniques were rife at the tabloid while the prime minister’s media adviser, Andy Coulson, was deputy editor and then editor of the paper.

Paul McMullan, a former features executive and then member of the newspaper’s investigations team, says that he personally commissioned private investigators to commit several hundred acts which could be regarded as unlawful, that use of illegal techniques was no secret at the paper, and that senior editors, including Coulson, were aware this was going on.

“How can Coulson possibly say he didn’t know what was going on with the private investigators?” he asked.

Coulson has always said he had no knowledge of any such activity. News International has maintained that royal reporter Clive Goodman, jailed for hacking phones belonging to members of the royal household, was the only journalist involved in the practice.

McMullan is one of six former News of the World journalists who have independently told the Guardian that Coulson, who was deputy editor from 2000 and editor from January 2003 to January 2007, knew that his reporters were engaging in unlawful acts.

McMullan’s decision to speak publicly about illegal techniques at the paper came as the Commons Speaker, John Bercow, paved the way for a second, powerful committee of MPs to investigate the scandal.

The cross-party standards and privileges committee has more powers to summon witnesses than the culture committee which has already reported on the affair, and the home affairs committee which announced on Tuesday that it would examine phone-hacking.

Coulson also faced mounting pressure to step down from his £140,000 post as David Cameron’s communications chief as a YouGov poll found that 52% of voters thought he should quit with just 24% saying he should stay in the job.

All six of the former journalists who worked for Coulson at the News of the World paint the same picture of a newsroom where private investigators were used routinely to gather information by illegal means and where some reporters did so themselves. They say senior editors knew about this, because reporters could not commission private investigators without going through their desk editor; because editors routinely demanded to know the source of information in stories; and because executives kept tight control of their budgets.

 

US-led “peace talks” going the way Israel hopes (ie. nowhere)

Posted: 09 Sep 2010

My following article appears today on ABC Unleashed:

The resumption of self-described peace talks between Israel, Washington and the Palestinian Authority produced headlines across the world last week. The public was told that each side was pessimistic about the prospects of finally sealing a deal after decades of stop-start negotiations. The stated goal was a two-state solution, the supposed ideal of both Israelis and Palestinians.

But most Western media coverage has simply accepted the talking points offered by the major players and not examined facts on the ground in the territory itself.

As leading Israeli blogger Noam Sheizaf documented, the US media was more excited about peace talks than the Israeli press itself.

Sheizaf noted: “The current stage in the conflict is not just about peace. It’s about ending the occupation and getting the Palestinians their rights. Some people in the American administration understood that, but for their own reasons, they decided to pursue the failed policies of the past two decades.”

Equally on the Palestinian side, recent polling by the Palestinian Centre for Public Opinion found only one in three Palestinians supported the current negotiations but neither did they support another intifada.

There is a feeling of resignation that the status-quo is likely to continue for years to come, despite one prominent Palestinian journalist optimistically writing that the world will soon have to accept an independent Palestinian state.

One of the greatest reasons for global scepticism is Israel’s insistence on continuing to build illegal colonies in the West Bank. Despite the oft-repeated and false claims that Israel is currently having a “settlement freeze”, there is vast evidence that building has continued across the West Bank and even accelerated in some places. More than 1000 new homes are being constructed. Israel’s Netanyahu government initiated a “settlement freeze” as a political tool to fool America and it’s worked comprehensively (though it’s likely many in the Obama administration were very happy to play along with the fraud).

One of Israel’s leading followers of the colonies, Dror Etkes, told Der Spiegel last week that, “It’s not just that the building freeze has been undermined – it was a fiction right from the outset” and complicit construction firms have not been fined or punished for the breaches. It’s been business as usual. I’ve heard from various Israeli peace activists who visit the West Bank weekly and tell me that countless settlements have continued expanding in the last months. Even worse are the growing attacks by settlers and the IDF against innocent Palestinians in the West Bank.

An ever-deepening occupation makes a viable Palestinian state impossible and alternative ideas are inevitably gaining traction. Documents proving a covert Israeli plan to permanently divide the West Bank and Gaza recently emerged as well as serious discussion within Israel about what kind of Palestinian entity is imagined by the Israeli elites (a nation with no army, borders, control over airspace or communications).

But ideas once seen as radical are growing in stature. Palestinian academic George Bisharat had published in last week’s Washington Post a compelling argument for a one-state solution, an increasingly discussed option due to the logical call for “principles of ethnic rights rather than ethnic privilege”.

Despite these sensible solutions, it appears likely that talks about the two-state solution will continue for many years to come. Ahmad Tibi, an Israeli Palestinian and member of the Knesset, writes that the Israeli government has no desire for a just resolution and prefers inequality before the law. There is great fear within Palestinian circles of an imposed two-state solution, whereby the Obama administration is so desperate for a foreign policy success (there have been none of note thus far) and twists the arm of the Palestinians to accept a truncated “state”.

One has to ask why the global Jewish Diaspora continues to back racial discrimination in a way they would never accept in their own countries. All Australian Zionist spokespeople want to do is improve the community’s PR and use Twitter instead of realising that apartheid in Palestine is causing incalculable damage to Brand Israel. Even Australia’s leading churches have initiated a boycott against products made in the occupied territories.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in office illegally after his term expired and yet he refuses to hold new elections, is weak. Although he has belatedly refused to accept Israel’s demand that the Palestinian Authority accept the country as a Jewish state – therefore disenfranchising the over one million Israeli Arabs – he has nothing to show for years of fruitless negotiations.

Many in the Western press accept the exclusion of the democratically elected government of Hamas, a futile act, as its leader Khaled Meshaal said last week. His group had realised that “the legitimate rights of the Palestinians will only be gained by snatching them, not being gifted with them at the negotiating table” and “resistance” was the only way to achieve Palestinian independence. However, Meshaal “does accept a Palestinian state on the lines of 1967.”

The occupation has corrupted Israeli souls, as evidenced by a new study of Israeli teens aged 15 to 18 that found 59 per cent didn’t believe Israelis Arabs should have equal rights. The dehumanisation of Arabs is part of daily life, rendering true reconciliation extremely difficult.

Zionists constantly talk these days about the growing global trend of “delegitimisation” of Israel, implying that Israel is entitled to exist in whatever form it wants and behave as it chooses. Instead, Palestinian rights have been ignored and delegitimized for decades, every motive questioned and thanks to the occupier expected.

The most hopeful sign of progress in the last years have been the explosion of BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions). Just last week the band Massive Attack announced its support with member Robert Del Naja saying that, “I can’t play in Israel when the Palestinians have no access to the same fundamental benefits that the Israelis do. I think the best approach is to boycott a government that seems hell-bent on very destructive policies.” The internet has been central in raising this worldwide awareness.

The movement is starting to bite. The sentiments were best expressed in Haaretz in early September:

“…Underlying the anger against Israel lies disappointment. Since the establishment of the state, and before, we demanded special terms of the world. We played on their feelings of guilt, for standing idle while six million Jews were murdered… But then came the occupation, which turned us into the evil Goliath, the cruel oppressor, a darkness on the nations. And now we are paying the price of presenting ourselves as righteous and causing disappointment.”

It is past time to simply repeat the tired mantras of failed paradigms and American Presidents keen to do the vision thing who end up frozen by the Zionist lobby. The situation is already headed for Greater Israel and the Palestinians will be blamed.

This is the real legacy of the “peace process”.

Antony Loewenstein is a journalist, blogger and author of My Israel Question and The Blogging Revolution.

 

Washington has reason to smear Wikileaks

Posted: 09 Sep 2010

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange says his website has “two reliable intelligence sources that state that Swedish intelligence was approached last month by the United States and told that Sweden must not be a safe haven for WikiLeaks”.

 

Keeping children in prison to manage our fears

Posted: 09 Sep 2010

So-called civilised nations, such as Britain, imprison children in immigration detention and the psychological scars are massive.

Australia is no different.

 

Democracy and Zionism can never work together

Posted: 08 Sep 2010

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER

MONDOWEISS ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS

09/10/2010

Meeting 3 U.S. officers who are angered by the special relationship

Sep 10, 2010

Philip Weiss

I often look around the political rabbithole I went down a few years ago and wonder what I’m doing here and whether I’ll ever get out. I think of all the associations and even interests I had earlier in life that I’ve cut myself off from. I wonder if I’m not bonkers or if I’ve had a temperamental breakdown in midlife that unsuited me for the world. Though generally I end up saying, What the hell, my wife’s ok with it, I’ve got a good life, you gotta do what you gotta do.

In the last couple days I’ve had conversations with three American military officers in Jordan that left me feeling good about my choice. In each case it was the officers who brought up the tremendous strategic liability that Israel represents for the U.S., and two of them used the words “Jewish lobby” without prompting.

I’m not going to give away details because these were two chance meetings; the individuals had no idea what use I’d make of their comments. All three work in the Arab world. One is retired, the other two were passing through. Now let me tell you what they said.

My first meeting was with the retired officer, and it was a little shocking, for while he seemed goodnatured, he twice used the word Nazis to describe Israeli political culture.

We got talking about what we were doing out here and when he told me about Palestinians he knows, I brought up the conflict. He said Americans have no idea how closely intertwined the Israeli military is with our military. He trained on a Cobra helicopter flight simulator back home, and he and every other American had to clear out of the building when the Israelis wanted to use the place. They were control freaks, on American soil. They flew around in F-15s and were refueled by American planes. The officer later visited Israel and was surprised to find out that the society is overwhelmingly right wing; and his military counterparts reminded him of what he’d read about Nazis. They were all in a permanent war mind-set he said, and with who? The Palestinians! Who are they kidding?

“The abused becomes the abuser,” he said. He tried to visit the Palestinian territories and was not allowed because he is American military and retired officers aren’t allowed in there for a period of years. Again; control. During the fierce questioning at the border, he began questioning the Israelis back, he was so angered by them.

This is a man who is pulling for the P.A. and the Israelis to make a deal to establish a two-state solution. But he brought up the “Jewish lobby” to explain our policy here. When it came to the whole Mideast, he was more Chomskyian. “Who weaponized religion?” he asked; “we did,” in Afghanistan in the 80s, to fight the Russians.

I didn’t respond– I think religions are pretty good at weaponizing themselves.

I asked him what generals think of the Israeli presence in our institutional life. All the generals know the story, he said, but they won’t say anything. To get to be a general, you have to be political; and once you’ve become a general, you know that it’s easy to make $1 million in corporate contracts upon retirement. You don’t want to screw that up.

My next run-in was with two officers who are younger and more idealistic. Once again the subject of the conflict came up naturally during a conversation about what we’re doing out here. The first officer was blunt about the special relationship’s damage to American interests, and he also used the phrase “Jewish lobby,” and mentioned AIPAC, to explain a miserable policy.

He was accompanied by a female officer. She told me of a friend she has back home running for a state legislature, and a supporter of Israel came up to him at an event and gave him $1000 and said, We know you’re strong on Israel. The friend confessed to her that he took the money because he needs it if he’s going to win, so he’s now bought on an issue that he’s never said anything aboout and that means nothing to his district. Yes and what happens when he runs for Congress? I told her about all the folks at AIPAC bragging about building relationships with budding politicians, and even cultivating student government presidents.

The two officers have traveled widely here. It cannot surprise any regular reader of this site to hear their view that the issue is turning off the entire Arab world and “fueling extremists.” Ordinary Arabs are far better informed than any American, the officers said. They can quote verbatim portions of Obama’s speeches, they take him at his word. If nothing comes of the latest initiative, there will be rage across the Arab world.

The female officer complained about American ignorance of the situation. Americans have no idea what is going on in Palestine, she said. I argued with her about this a little (and cited the Time Magazine cover Adam blogged about—which turns out to be no great revelation).

She took the conversation further. When she was training in Arabic she had one teacher who told her that Truman’s whole State Department was against Partition and against recognizing the Jewish state. She was shocked to learn this, and then she came out here and understood why. Another of her teachers was a Palestinian American woman. Her mother was dying and she couldn’t get into the territories. The Israelis kept her from going back to the place she was born. Finally she got in, but her mother had died. “And she’s an American citizen!”

The female officer had found it a heartbreaking story that showed that our policy was wrong at two levels, strategic and moral. She sounded like Walt and Mearsheimer!

I won’t soon forget her last words to me, for they resonated in my own experience, and in the experience of many of my friends. “I’ve never thought of being an activist in life. I’m not that type. But on this issue, I am tempted to become an activist. I don’t see any other way that things will change.”

The conversation gave me hope that we are building a movement with new materials at the edges of American political life. We are fighting a political conspiracy in the very sense that Lincoln used that word when he ran for the new Republican party against slave power Democrats and Whigs in 1858 and then 1860. The existing political parties were corrupted by slavery, the Supreme Court was corrupted, the business class, and the main newspapers. They were all going along with slavery, overturning the old agreements to expand slavery in the territories. Taking on the establishment had required activism—building a grassroots movement. Lincoln was a moderate outsider. Remember that he was tolerant of slavery for a time. 

And these officers are also moderates, they are all pulling for the two state solution. When it fails, I have little doubt where that female officer will go. Down the rabbithole. 

Extra large peace process to go

Sep 09, 2010 

Adam Horowitz

Gideon Levy: ‘Zionism in its present meaning, in its common meaning, is contradictory to human rights, to equality, to democracy’

Sep 09, 2010 

Adam Horowitz

Jamie Stern-Weiner has a wonderful wide-ranging interview with Israeli journalist Gideon Levy at the New Left Project. In addition to discussions about the Israeli left, Gaza, the Israeli media and the prospects for peace, the interview includes this interesting exchange below. Please be sure to read the entire piece here.

Jamie Stern-Weiner: I’ve noticed a shift in your own writings, which seem to have become increasingly radical in their criticism. I’m thinking in particular of a recent column in which you argued that “[d]efining Israel as a Jewish state condemns us to living in a racist state”, and urged people to “recognize the racist nature of the state”. Has there been a shift in your writings, do you think, and if so, what’s behind it?

Gideon Levy: It’s not a shift, it’s a process. My views became more and more radical throughout the years, in contrast to the opposite stream of the entire society – the more Israel becomes nationalistic, the more the government becomes violent and aggressive, like in ‘Cast Lead’, like in the Second Lebanese War, like with the flotilla, all those developments put me in a much more radical position, obviously, because there is much more to protest against. So yes, I am becoming more and more radical, but you can’t put a finger to say one day I became a radical. It’s an ongoing process.

Would you accept the label ‘anti-Zionist’ to characterise your views?

It depends what is ‘Zionism’. Because Zionism is a very fluid concept – who can define what is Zionism? If Zionism means the right of the Jews to have a state, I am a Zionist. If Zionism means occupation, I’m an anti-Zionist. So I never know how to answer this question. If Zionism means to have a Jewish state at the expense of being a democratic state, then I am anti-Zionist, because I truly believe those two definitions are contradictory – ‘Jewish’ and ‘democratic’. For me, Israel should be a democratic state.

So would it be right to say that you support a state for Jews, but not a ‘Jewish state’ in the sense of a state that artificially maintains a Jewish majority?

Absolutely. It should be a state for Jews that will be a just state, a democratic state, and if there will be a Palestinian majority, there will be a Palestinian majority. The idea is that Jews have to have their place, but it can’t be exclusively theirs, because this land is not exclusively theirs.

This brings us nicely to the ‘liberal Zionists’, of whom you’ve been very critical. You have written that “[a] left wing unwilling to dare to deal with 1948 is not a genuine left wing”. Firstly, in terms of the Palestinian refugees – do you have a view about whether they should be permitted to return?

First of all, something must be very clear – the problem must be solved. And as long as their problem will not be solved, nothing will be solved. Those hundreds of thousands of refugees cannot continue, generation after generation, to live in their conditions. They have rights. Now on the other hand, you can’t, and you don’t want, to solve the problem and to create a new problem. Full return means creating new refugees. The place I live in Tel Aviv belonged to a Palestinian village. If the owners of this village will come back, I will have to go somewhere else. All Israel is originally Palestinian – if not its villages then its land, its fields… almost all of it belonged to the Palestinians. So if you do a total return, you create a new problem. And also there are very few precedents in history in which everyone was allowed to return to his original home decades after the war. But it must be solved.

I think there could be a solution, but it requires Israel to have good will – which it doesn’t have. It would involve, first of all, Israel recognising its moral responsibility. That’s the first condition. It’s about time for Israel to take accountability for what happened in ’48 and realise and recognise that there was a kind of ethnic cleansing, and expelling 650,000 people from their lands was not inevitable and was criminal. I think that taking responsibility will be the first step. Second step, Israel has to participate in an international project of rehabilitating the refugees – some of them in the places where they live. The third stage, obviously, is full return to the Palestinian state, if there will be a Palestinian state. And the last stage should be a symbolic, limited return also into Israel. It goes without saying, Israel has absorbed within the last few years one million Russians, and half of them were not Jewish. Why can we absorb half a million non-Jewish Russians and not absorb a few hundred or tens of thousands of Palestinians, who belong to this place, whose families are living in Israel? So that’s the way I see it.

Do you have a preference – two-states against one state? And if you prefer a two-state settlement, what is that preference based on? For example, my ideal outcome would be a bi-national or one-state solution, but I think that for now the most just solution that can be achieved is a two-state settlement. So if you have a preference for a two-state settlement, is that because you think it’s the most just settlement, period, or merely the most just settlement that can realistically be achieved in the foreseeable future?

First of all, I totally agree with the way you phrased it, I couldn’t phrase it better. The ideal, the utopia? One state for Palestinians and Jews, with equal rights, a real democracy, with real equality between the two peoples. The problem is that I don’t see it happening now, and I’m very afraid that a one-state would become an apartheid state. The two communities are very – there is a big gap between them. We have to realise that the Jewish community in Israel is more developed today, more rich, and to immediately mix both societies will create a lot of friction. There is also a lot of bad blood between the two communities. I don’t see it working, and for sure I don’t see it working in equal terms. So the only other solution left is the two-state solution. The problem is that it’s starting to become too late for this, because to evacuate half a million settlers – who will do it? No one. So I’m quite desperate. And the other solution, which I think will be the most probable, will be all kinds of artificial solutions – of half a Palestinian state, on half the land…this will not last, and this will not solve anything.

‘Liberal Zionism’

I’ve just finished reading Yitzhak Laor’s ‘Myths of Liberal Zionism’, which is obviously very critical of the ‘Zionist Left’. What do you think of the politics of people like David Grossman, Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua and Meretz? Do they offer a sufficiently radical critique of Israeli policy, and if not, why is their critique so compromised?

First of all, I had Oz and Yehoshua at my home for dinner a few weeks ago, so I have to be very cautious in what I say, but I am very critical about this kind of thinking. You can add [Israeli President] Shimon Peres and Labor to this. This is the typical Israeli hypocrisy, and I in many ways appreciate [Israel’s far-right Foreign Minister Avigdor] Lieberman more than Shimon Peres, because with Lieberman, at least, what you see is what you get. It’s very clear what he stands for. With people like Shimon Peres or Meretz – and I don’t say they are identical – or Oz and Yehoshua and Grossman, they want to eat the cake and leave it complete, as we say in Hebrew. This doesn’t work.

I think they lack courage, some of them. Others, like Shimon Peres, are hypocrites who talk about peace and do the opposite. I think that Oz and Yehoshua and Grossman, who I know very well personally, mean well. But in many ways they are still chained in the Zionistic ideology. They haven’t released themselves from the old Zionistic ideology, which basically hasn’t changed since ’48 – namely, that the Jews have the right to this land, almost the exclusive right. They are trying to find their way to be Zionistic, and to be for peace, and to be for justice. The problem is that Zionism in its present meaning, in its common meaning, is contradictory to human rights, to equality, to democracy, and they don’t recognise it. It’s too hard for them to recognise it, to realise it. And therefore their position is an impossible position, because they want everything: they want Zionism, they want democracy, they want a Jewish state, but they want also rights for the Palestinians… it’s very nice to want everything, but you have to make your choice and they are not courageous enough to make the choice.

Two Palestinian Legislative Council members released from Israeli administrative detention, one held 56 months without charges

Sep 09, 2010

Seham 

And other news from Today in Palestine:

Land and Property Theft and Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing

‘Freeze-ending’ settlement construction was legal, probe finds
Structures that were built in response to last week’s terror attack in the West Bank were not included in the terms of the settlement construction moratorium.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/freeze-ending-settlement-construction-was-legal-probe-finds-1.312980?localLinksEnabled=false

Solidarity/Activism/Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment
Israel: Activist Convicted After Unfair Trial
(Jerusalem) – An Israeli military court’s conviction of Abdullah Abu Rahme, an advocate of nonviolent protests against Israel’s de facto confiscation of land from the West Bank village of Bil’in, raises grave due process concerns, Human Rights Watch said today.
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/09/08/israel-activist-convicted-after-unfair-trial

“We Are Going To Carry This Cause On For Everyone Who Cannot.” Rachel Corrie’s Family vs. the Israeli Government, Max Blumenthal
In a small courtroom in Haifa’s District Court, a colonel in the Israeli engineering corps who wrote a manual for the bulldozer units that razed the Rafah Refugee Camp in 2003 offered his opinion on the killing of the American activist Rachel Corrie.  “There are no civilians during wartime,” Yossi declared under oath.  Yossi made his remarkable statement under withering cross examination by Hussein Abu Hussein, the lawyer for the family of Corrie, who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah on March 17, 2003. In the back of the courtroom were Rachel’s parents, Craig and Cindy, and her sister, Sarah, back in Israel for the second round of hearings in their civil suit against the state of Israel. They were joined by supporters, friends and a handful of reporters, including me. No reporters from the Israeli media were present — the case has been virtually ignored inside Israel.
http://maxblumenthal.com/2010/09/we-are-going-to-carry-this-cause-on-for-everyone-who-cannot-rachel-corries-family-vs-the-israeli-government/

Solidarity Ships To Sail To Gaza
Deeb Hijazi, coordinator of the National Initiative Committee Against the Siege, based on Lebanon, stated that four flotillas will be sailing to Gaza on September 18.

http://www.imemc.org/article/59378

Jeff Halper to Pete Seeger: Ditch the JNF and honor the boycott
Dear Pete, All the best from your friends in Israel/Palestine. In that spirit, I was surprised to hear of your planned participation in With Earth and Each Other: A Virtual Rally for a Better Middle East. While at first blush it might seem to have something in common with the work of ICAHD and other Israeli and Palestinian peace groups — attempting to build bridges between peoples — it is actually something quite different.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/jeff-halper-to-pete-seeger-ditch-the-jnf-and-honor-the-boycott.html

Revive the Economy–End Aid to Israel: Join Us at the One Nation march on DC, Oct. 2
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is proud to endorse “The Peace Table,” the peace and anti-war voice of the “One Nation Working Together” October 2 march on Washington, DC “for a future of justice at home and peace abroad, where we create good jobs for all of us and take on the great challenges we face as a nation.”  We’ll be there to support demands for jobs and economic justice by calling for the United States to end military aid to Israel and redirect that money to unmet needs here at home.
http://www.endtheoccupation.org/section.php?id=366

US Campaign endorses push for divestment at TIAA-CREF
The US Campaign has endorsed an exciting petition at Jewish Voice for Peace (a US Campaign member organization), pushingUS financial services giant TIAA-CREF toward divestment from companies involved in Israel’s theft of land and abuse of human rights. Check out JVP’s campaign page, sign the petition and get resources to join this promising effort!
http://endtheoccupationblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/us-campaign-endorses-push-for.html

Dear Friends:  On October 9, 2010, Americans in more than 40 U.S. cities will walk for a Free Palestine!
Click Here to Organize a Free Palestine Walk in Your City.  Last Chance.  The Free Palestine Walks’ central goal is to raise funds for a powerful Ad Campaign to inform and inspire millions of Americans about Palestine.  To Support this Excellent Project, Please Register to Walk in Your City or Town Today! Register to Walk in the Free Palestine Walks Today!
http://www.aaper.org/site/lookup.asp?c=quIXL8MPJpE&b=5399785

Divestment: from the campus to the streets
Following a sharp increase in divestment efforts across North American college campuses last spring, this academic year promises an even greater number of initiatives, as well as resistance from university administrations to embrace the social justice movement. Mohammad Talaat comments for The Electronic Intifada.
 http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11512.shtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+electronicIntifadaPalestine+%28Electronic+Intifada+%3A+Palestine+News%29

PACBI: Artists support for Ariel boycott is ‘a groundbreaking, precedent-setting initiative that will significantly contribute to ending Israel’s impunity’, Adam Horowitz
Two days ago I posted a statement from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) regarding the Israeli actors’ boycott of a new theater in the Ariel settlement. Many people understandably misunderstood the post (I was unclear) and thought the PACBI statement was referring a letter of support for the boycott from US and British artists, which it wasn’t. Today PACBI has released a statement in appreciation of the solidarity effort.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/pacbi-artists-support-for-ariel-boycott-is-a-groundbreaking-precedent-setting-initiative-that-will-significantly-contribute-to-ending-israels-impunity.html

The reasons the BDS movement is ‘gaining speed’, Lawrence Davidson
On September 5, 2010 the Israel newspaper Haaretz published an article the headline of which read “Anti-Israel Economic Boycotts are Gaining Speed.” The subtitle went on to state that “the sums involved are not large, but their international significance is huge.” Actually, what seems to have triggered the piece was not international. Rather, it was the decision of a “few dozen theater people” to boycott “a new cultural center in Ariel,” an illegally settled town in the Occupied Territories. This action drew public support from 150 academics in Israel. The response from the Israeli right, which presently controls the government and much of Israel’s information environment, was loud and hateful.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/the-reasons-the-bds-movement-is-gaining-speed.html

The Siege (Gaza & West Bank)/Humanitarian/Restriction of Movement

Gaza crossing closed until Monday
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — All the Gaza crossings will remain closed until Monday morning as Israel celebrates the Jewish new year and the start of the High Holidays.  The closure means no aid or commercial goods will enter Gaza for four days, in the midst of preparations for the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, when Muslims around the world celebrate the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.  In Jerusalem, religious leaders declared that Friday would be the start of the celebrations, setting Thursday as the final day of the dawn to dusk fast.  Crossings officials said the terminals would partially open on Monday, and said sufficient fuel had been transferred into Gaza to cover the needs of the power plant until the end of the holidays.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=314216

Violence and other Provocations

The lucky ones had third degree burns: survivors of Israel’s latest Rafah tunnel bombing tell the story
Peace talks started on September 2nd. Following the resumption of negotiations, Israel refrained from attacking Gaza for just 2 days. Then it ordered the bombing of 2 Rafah tunnels, killed 2 workers, and left 2 severely injured. ISM activists filed this report.  “Out of the blue, the tunnel was bombed, there was an enormous crash and I fell unconscious, I didn’t feel anything. When I woke up, I found myself at the tunnel entrance, screaming for help. There was fire all over the place, fire over me.”
http://palsolidarity.org/2010/09/14345/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+palsolidarity+%28International+Solidarity+Movement%29

MADA Doceuments Attacks On Palestinian Journalists During August
MADA  – PNN – Despite the holy month of Ramadan, which  usually the violations against journalists and media outlets in the occupied Palestinian territory “oPt” decreases dramatically, but, unfortunately the violations have continued during last August, by the Israeli occupying forces and even more by the Palestinian security forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Center for Development and  Media Freedoms reported in its monthly report.   ImageWhere Alnajah press office director and Alnajah University lecturer Dr. Farid Abu Duhair, was arrested by Palestinian intelligence services members,  Aljazeera Net correspondent Ahmad Fayyad was attacked by members of special police officers of the dismissed government in Gaza.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8753&Itemid=63

Hamas Apologizes For Attack Against PFLP Members In Gaza
The Hamas movement issued an apology to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) after members of the Hamas police, running under the Ministry of Interior in Gaza, attacked senior members of the front.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59380

Detainees

Israeli forces arrest 11 Palestinians in West Bank
RAMALLAH: Israeli forces operating in West Bank cities on early Wednesday arrested eleven Palestinians, Israeli and Palestinian security sources said.  The Palestinian sources said that three Palestinians were arrested in Hebron, one at the Innab military checkpoint east of Tulkarm, and seven in Ramallah and Nablus areas. The sources added that the eleven were arrested after meticulous house search operations.  Israeli security sources told the Army Radio that the detainees were wanted by the Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet and were taken to unknown locations for questioning.
http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article113443.ece

Hamas lawmakers released from Israeli prison
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Two elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council were released into the West Bank on Wednesday gaving served several consecutive terms in Administrative Detention.  Officials at the Al-Ahrar Prisoners Society said that Azzam Salhab, 45, was released after 56 months in Israeli prison without charge, and Nizar Abdel Hamid Ramadan, 50, was released for the second time, following his 19 March 2009 detention. He was also kept in administrative detention.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=314124

While In Solitary, Detainees In Eshil Declare Hunger Strike
Palestinian detainees placed in solitary confinement at the Eshil Israeli detention facility declared on Tuesday a hunger strike in protest to the bad meals provided to them and the bad living conditions.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59377

Israel’s Arab Helpers

Detainees in PA jails tortured, interrogated by Israeli officers
Israeli intelligence officers are participating in the interrogation of Palestinian detainees held in West Bank prisons, the committee of relatives of detainees said in a statement on Thursday.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=  [Hamas website, may be banned for some]

Hamas: PA forces are Torturing The Movement Members In West Bank Jails
Bethlehem – PNN – Hamas sources announced on Thursday that many of the movement’s activists and leaders who were detained by the Palestinian Authority forces in the West Bank are being subjected to torture.  The Hamas movement says since the two separate attacks last week on Israeli settlers , the Palestinian police and security forces have arrested 750 Hamas members and leaders from West Bank communities.  Last Tuesday and Wednesday Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas,  attacked Israeli settlers and killed four them and injured two. Since May Israeli Settlers and army attacked left 14 Palestinians killed.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8754&Itemid=61

Hamas asks members to resist arrest by PA security forces
The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) has called on all its members and affiliates to refrain from turning themselves in to the Palestinian Authority security services, the Ma’an News Agency reported Wednesday afternoon.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59374

Hamas: Fatah protecting enemy
Palestinian Authority ‘crossing all red lines, directly cooperating with Zionist enemy in clear light of day,’ says Hamas spokesman on arrests of six terrorists believed to have committed West Bank attacks, threatening revenge.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3951894,00.html

“Peace” Talks/Political Developments

PLO: Don’t let Israeli extremists derail peace
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — “The USA, the Quartet and the Arab world must exert their utmost efforts to ensure a complete cessation of settlement construction,” a statement from the PLO’s Executive Committee said Thursday night.  The statement asked that parties invested in the talks work to “forbid extremist forces in Israel from derailing peace talks,” and reiterated the support of the body for the negotiations.  Palestinian negotiators have repeated their stance on settlements, with President Mahmoud Abbas saying in a series of interviews with Gulf and locally-based newspapers, that if construction of Israeli settlements on Palestinain lands continue, he would quit talks.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=314205

Israel could drag out peace deal over decades
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking to introduce any terms agreed in a Middle East peace deal over a period of decades rather than years, it has been claimed.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/7989499/Israel-could-drag-out-peace-deal-over-decades.html

Erekat did not intend to ‘apologize to Israel’
JERICHO (Ma’an) — Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat issued a statement on Wednesday alleging his televised address to Israelis asking that they be his “peace partner” was altered.  The negotiations official said of the video that “Unfortunately, my statements were changed and contextualized as if I were apologizing to the Israeli nation. This is the opposite to what I said, I did not say that at all. I was speaking as a negotiator and I mean that as Palestinian and Israeli negotiators we hand been unable to come up with a solution after many years.”
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=314169

PNA rejects settlers’ presence in future Palestinian state
RAMALLAH, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) — The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) rejected Israel’s proposal on Wednesday to keep the Jewish settlers living in the West Bank when an independent Palestinian state is established.  Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told “Voice of Palestine” Radio that keeping some Jewish settlements would be blocked under the Palestinian jurisdiction.  The American World net daily had earlier reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had sent a proposal in secret to U.S. President Barack Obama to keep some Jewish settlers living in the future Palestinian state.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-09/09/c_13485571.htm

Report: After Egypt, talks to continue in Jericho
TEL AVIV (Ma’an) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas will meet in the West Bank city of Jericho ahead of 26 September, Israeli press reported Tuesday.  Direct negotiations between the leaders resumed in Washington on 2 September, and will continue in Egypt’s resort town of Sharm Ash-Sheikh on the 14-15 of the month. The meeting in Jericho would be held after the Sinai sit-down, but before Israel’s settlement freeze expires on 26 September, the country’s Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth said Tuesday.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=314157

Clinton: Summit best
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks before Council on Foreign Relations, says Washington optimistic as to peace talks chances, if parties overcome ‘initial obstacles’.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3951705,00.html

Obama to Rabbis: Ignore negative public statements by Abbas and Netanyahu
President Obama, in a private conference call Wednesday, told an audience of Jewish leaders to discount non-constructive statements made by Israeli and Palestinian leaders as Middle East peace talks move forward, saying that such remarks are all part of the negotiating game.  The groups represented on the call were from across the Jewish religious spectrum: They included the orthodox Rabbinical Council of America, the conservative Rabbinical Assembly, the reformed Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the reconstructionist Rabbinical Association.
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/09/08/obama_to_rabbis_ignore_negative_public_statements_by_abbas_and_netanyahu

Other News

Sources: Algeria refuses to receive Abbas
Algeria refused to receive Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas on its soil during his tour in the north African Arab countries, including Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco, well-informed Algerian sources revealed.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=  [Hamas website, may be banned for some]

U.S. court sets $1m bail for Israeli charged in human trafficking case
Mordechai Orian, head of Los Angeles-based Global Horizons Manpower Inc., accused of involvement in importing and exploiting 400 workers from Thailand.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/u-s-court-sets-1m-bail-for-israeli-charged-in-human-trafficking-case-1.313035?localLinksEnabled=false

Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest

An Interview with Gideon Levy; The Punishment of Gaza, JAMIE STERN-WEINER
For decades Gideon Levy has used the platform provided by the liberal Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz to shine a light on the brutal realities of Israel’s occupation. His journalism, along with that of his colleague Amira Hass, has been an invaluable resource not only for Israeli readers but, through the Ha’aretz website, for international audiences seeking an informed and humane Israeli perspective on the conflict. It would be difficult to overstate how isolated Levy is within his own society, an isolation that increased over the past decade as Israeli public opinion stampeded to the right. He has described elsewhere how Ha’aretz keeps a thick folder of subscription cancellations from readers outraged by his articles. Despite this hostility, his critique of Israeli policies has become more, not less, radical over time.
http://www.counterpunch.org/stern09082010.html

“It’s like a situation where two people are sitting negotiating over a piece of cheese…”
MARK COLVIN: Direct formal Middle East peace talks begin in Washington tomorrow, after the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas had separate meetings with Barack Obama at the White House today.  President Obama is pushing hard for a return to a real peace process, and the leaders of Jordan and Egypt are also there to push things forward.  But Hamas killed four Israelis in the West Bank as the conference was being prepared, and the history of these processes is not particularly optimistic.  Mustafa Barghouti is an independent member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.  He finished second to Mahmoud Abbas in the 2005 Palestinian presidential election.  He told me he was still deeply sceptical because of the Israeli refusal to freeze settlements while the negotiations go on.
http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article1530

Anna Baltzer: Palestinians “come second” at Peace Talks
A visit to the occupied territories of Palestine can change one’s perspectives forever. Such was the case of Anna Baltzer. Baltzer is a Jewish-American granddaughter of Holocaust survivors. In 2005, she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to teach English in Ankara, Turkey and volunteered with the International Women’s Peace Service in the West Bank. There she was exposed to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. She documented human rights abuses for the IWPS, returned to Palestine and Israel over the years, and published her experiences in a book called “A Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christian-avard/anna-baltzer-palestinians_b_709100.html

Maybe it should have been called ‘why Israel doesn’t care about traffic accidents’, Adam Horowitz
The ADL is not happy with Time. The organization sent the magazine a letter today in response to it’s current cover article, “Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace.” The gist of the article is that Israel is doing so well economically that its more affluent citizens don’t really care about making peace with the Palestinians. The ADL finds this thesis (wait for it . . .) anti-Semitic.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/maybe-it-should-have-been-called-why-israel-doesnt-care-about-traffic-accidents.html

Yale anti-Semitism conference continues to make waves, Adam Horowitz
We’ve been following the ongoing debate over the disgraceful anti-Semitism conference held at Yale University that seemed more interested in ending criticism of Israel than challenging anti-Jewish sentiment. Earlier we posted the exchange between US PLO representative Maen Rashid Areikat and Yale President Richard Levin’s office. Areikat has a letter today in the Yale Daily News addressing the controversy.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/yale-anti-semitism-conference-continues-to-make-waves.html

Rizwan A. Rahmani: The Art of Talking Middle East Peace with a Forked Tongue
If you believe the media, great strides are being made in the direction of Middle East peace, and the prospects are hopeful. Personally, I am not as hopeful.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rizwan-a-rahmani/the-art-of-talking-middle_b_708473.html

Hamas Re-positioning Themselves?, Stuart Littlewood – London
‘Negotiation today does not serve the Palestinian side… Just as there is currently no parity in the field of confrontation, there is also no parity around the negotiating table,’ says Mesh’al.  Hamas have been criticised recently for dragging their feet over the need to re-think their image.  They now seem to have at least made a start on this important task judging by a remarkable interview with Hamas chief Khaled Mesh’al by Middle East Monitor.Headed ‘Khaled Mesh’al lays out new Hamas policy direction’, the interview runs to 14,000 words and is not an easy read unless you find yourself on a long train journey without an attractive companion.
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16255

Can Obama Outwit Netanyahu?, By George S. Hishmeh – Washington, D.C.
In the wake of last week’s peace talks in Washington heralding the imminent start of face-to-face peace negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, will Benjamin Netanyahu now follow the footsteps of Anwar Sadat, Mikhail Gorbachev or Richard Nixon who reached out to their adversaries.  Will he travel to Ramallah and pledge peace with the Palestinians, like Anwar Sadat when the Egyptian leader addressed the Knesset in 1977, Mikhail Gorbachev in succumbing to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991 or Richard Nixon in traveling to China in 1972 and agreeing to establish relations with the Communist regime of Mao Zedong.  Each of these headline-grabbing events ushered a new historic page in international relations.
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16254

Lebanon

Lebanese speaker warns relaunched talks could raise tensions (AFP)
AFP – Lebanon’s parliament speaker warned on Wednesday that the relaunched Middle East peace talks could raise tensions on the border with Israel and ignite clashes in Palestinian refugee camps.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100908/wl_mideast_afp/israelpalestinianspeacelebanonrefugees

Rifi Hails Police Intelligence for Discovery of Israeli Spy Networks
08/09/2010 Police chief General Ashraf Rifi on Wednesday hailed the intelligence department for its achievements, particularly in the fight against terrorist crimes and the discovery of Israeli spy networks.  Describing police officers in this department as active and motivated, Rifi said they are carrying out their duties assigned to them in al “professional manner, particularly in the fight against terrorist crimes and the discovery of Israeli spy networks.”  Rifi said the intelligence bureau has dismantled 23 spy networks since the beginning of 2009, “thus creating an atmosphere of satisfaction and appreciation to both the Arab and local public opinion.”
http://almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=153433&language=en

Berri praises Hariri’s honesty regarding Syria
BEIRUT: Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri described Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s remarks to pan-Arab daily Ash-Sharq al-Awsat as “a window to truth and an important window especially regarding false witnesses.”
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=119138

LPDC, army okay ‘media plan’ at Nahr al-Bared
BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army’s communications and public outreach department will closely cooperate with the Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee (LPDC) in a bid to improve accessibility of information, it was announced on Tuesday.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=119134

Israel conducts maneuvers in tunnel combat
BEIRUT: The Israeli Army kicked off drills on the northern Israeli borders with Lebanon, during which soldiers will train on fighting in tunnels similar to those used by Hizbullah fighters in south Lebanon.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=119140

Lebanon: Blair’s other Middle East mistake
A Journey presents Blair’s actions during the 2006 Lebanon war as those of a committed ideologue, not simply Bush’s poodle.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/09/lebanon-blair-middle-east-mistake

Iraq

Thursday: 9 Iraqis Killed, 53 Wounded
As the Eid al-Fitr holiday draws near, small attacks are on the upswing. At least nine Iraqis were killed and 53 more were wounded in the latest violence.
http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2010/09/08/thursday-9-iraqis-killed-53-wounded/

Bombs targeting Iraqi police kill three in Baghdad (Reuters)
Reuters – A car bomb and a roadside bomb exploded near a bus terminal in the Iraqi capital on Wednesday, killing three people and wounding a score of others, police and interior ministry sources said.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100908/wl_nm/us_iraq_violence

4 Iraqi Prisoners Escape US Prison In Baghdad
Four alleged Al Qaida members escape US custody in Iraq. They escaped from the same prison that used to hold Saddam Hussein.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/09/09/129746296/4-iraqi-prisoners-escape-us-prison-in-baghdad?ft=1&f=1010

Al-Qaeda in Iraq turns to extortion (AFP)
AFP – Al-Qaeda has increasingly turned to extortion and organised crime to fund its activities, with businesses bearing the brunt of intimidation, US and Iraqi commanders in northern Iraq told AFP.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100907/wl_mideast_afp/iraquscrimeqaeda

Koran burning could be ‘pretext’ for violence: Iraq PM (AFP)
AFP – Plans by a Florida church to burn Korans on the anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks could be used by extremists as a “pretext” for acts of violence, Iraq’s prime minister said on Thursday.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100909/wl_mideast_afp/usattacksreligionislamiraq

Baghdad to Damascus, a road with no way back
As a member of an insurgent group that worked the west side of the Iraqi capital, she had fought a guerrilla war against American troops for two years, often disguised as a poor street vendor as she helped to set bombs to blow up their patrols.
http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100902/FOREIGN/709019903/1042/rss

US Leaving Iraq in Worse Shape Than Saddam, Michael O’Brien
I spent 14 months as the Real Estate Advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Defense in Baghdad. My job was to assist the ministry in its efforts to rebuild the infrastructure for its army, air force, and navy: the land and facilities they would need in the future. The need for my services, and those of the other Coalition staff there, was primarily to reverse what Paul Bremer did when he dissolved the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior. This work was being done exclusively by the US military, which was part of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq, or MNSTC-I (pronounced “min-sticky”).
http://original.antiwar.com/obrien/2010/09/08/us-leaving-iraq-in-worse-shape-than-saddam/

Iran

Report: Ahmadinejad to visit Lebanon’s border with Israel
Iran announces official presidential visit to Lebanon next month, Ahmadinejad’s first since taking office in 2005.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-ahmadinejad-to-visit-lebanon-s-border-with-israel-1.313064?localLinksEnabled=false

Why Iran suspended woman’s stoning sentence
Iran suspended the stoning sentence for a woman convicted of adultery amid mounting international pressure, including the European Parliament’s 658-1 resolution against such punishment.
http://rss.csmonitor.com/%7Er/feeds/world/%7E3/PrlJyZ_b_gk/Why-Iran-suspended-woman-s-stoning-sentence

In case you missed it: Does Iran’s President Want Israel Wiped Off The Map – Does He Deny The Holocaust?
An analysis of media rhetoric on its way to war against Iran – Commenting on the alleged statements of Iran’s President Ahmadinejad.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article12790.htm

U.S. and Other World News

US soldiers ‘killed Afghan civilians for sport and collected fingers as trophies’
Soldiers face charges over secret ‘kill team’ which allegedly murdered at random and collected fingers as trophies of war.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/09/us-soldiers-afghan-civilians-fingers

U.S. Interpreters In Afghanistan Can’t Speak Afghan Languages, Whistleblower Reports
More than one quarter of the translators working alongside American soldiers in Afghanistan failed language proficiency exams but were sent onto the battlefield anyway, according to a former employee of the company that holds contracts worth up to $1.4 billion to supply interpreters to the U.S. Army.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/08/afghanistan-interpreters-failed-language-tests_n_709948.html

Jailed for Facebook Friending: Animal Rights Activist Rod Coronado Ordered Back to Prison After Accepting Friend Request from Fellow Activist
The longtime radical animal liberation activist Rod Coronado has been sent back to prison for four months after a US district judge in Michigan ruled he had violated the terms of his parole. Coronado’s offense was associating with fellow radical activist Mike Roselle by accepting a friend request from Roselle on the social networking website Facebook. We speak with Dean Kuipers, author of Operation Bite Back: Rod Coronado’s War to Save American Wilderness. [includes rush transcript]
http://www.democracynow.org/2010/9/8/jailed_for_facebook_friending_animal_rights

Torture claims
Bahrain officials accused in crackdown on Shia activists.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/int/news/-/news/world-middle-east-11227914

Robert Fisk: The lie behind mass ‘suicides’ of Egypt’s young women
There’s a sewer outside Azza Suleiman’s office, a hot ditch in which the filth of one of Cairo’s worst slums has been reduced to a slowly moving swamp of black liquid. A blue mist of exhaust fumes and dust moves down alleyways thick with scarved women, men in white robes, coffee sellers, donkey carts and garbage boys, the five- and six-year-olds who come down from the Mokkatam hills to gather up Cairo’s garbage every morning. Some of it feeds their goats and – yes – the pigs bred in the rotting suburbs. A veil of smog lies over this misery. But a veil of a different kind lies over Egypt, a covering which Azza Suleiman is determined to tear away.
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-the-lie-behind-mass-suicides-of-egypts-young-women-2074229.html

Inside Story – Egypt: Political change?
Mohammed el-Baradei, a former Egyptian diplomat, is demanding political reform and a boycott of the upcoming elections. But he transform Egypt into a genuine democracy? How far will he be able to go? And is Egypt about to enter a new phase in its democratic transformation?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peQUMErnQG4&feature=youtube_gdata

Inside the mind of a suicide bomber
Pacha Khan, a 25-year-old Taliban fighter from Logar in Afghanistan, has announced that he is ready to become a suicide bomber. “God willing, our leaders have prepared everything for me, I am now waiting for my orders,” he said.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2010/09/20109811014343417.html

Fault Lines – Politics of death row
With the US continuing to execute prisoners, Fault Lines looks at the politics driving capital punishment in the US.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvTpZiB1sfc&feature=youtube_gdata

The United States of Inequality, Timothy Noah
All my life I’ve heard Latin America described as a failed society (or collection of failed societies) because of its grotesque maldistribution of wealth. – But according to the Central Intelligence Agency (whose patriotism I hesitate to question), income distribution in the United States is more unequal than in Guyana, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, and roughly on par with Uruguay, Argentina, and Ecuador.
http://www.slate.com/id/2266025/entry/2266026/

Sept. 11: A Day Without War, Amy Goodman
The ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States should serve as a moment to reflect on tolerance. It should be a day of peace. Yet the rising anti-Muslim fervor here, together with the continuing U.S. military occupation of Iraq and the escalating war in Afghanistan (and Pakistan), all fuel the belief that the U.S. really is at war with Islam.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26326.htm

Arab regimes’ autocratic nature masks their vulnerability | Brian Whitaker
Lack of public debate makes Arab societies less compliant to new laws – and explains the heavy-handed state enforcement.  There is a popular assumption – especially in the west – that because Arab regimes tend to be autocratic and authoritarian, the state in Arab countries is also strong.  Yesterday on Cif, Ahmed Moor wrote about the problem of disbanding Palestinian militias in Lebanon. Why, you might wonder, doesn’t the Lebanese government just pull its finger out and disarm them? The short answer is that it can’t because it’s too weak.  Similarly, as I pointed out myself in an article a couple of weeks ago, most Arab governments are incapable of collecting taxes effectively.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/09/arab-regimes-autocratic-nature-disguises-vulnerability

Islam in the West

New Muslim College Welcomes Freshmen In California
BERKELEY, Calif. — Amid the uproar over the proposed mosque near ground zero in New York, a new Islamic college recently opened its doors in California with plans to educate a new generation of Muslim-American leaders.  Founded by three prominent Islamic scholars, Zaytuna College in Berkeley is a small school with just five faculty members and 15 students in its inaugural freshman class. The school wants to become the country’s first fully accredited Muslim academic institution.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/09/zaytuna-college-muslim-we_n_710210.html

Merkel to honour Mohammed cartoonist at press award  [If this cartoonist offended Judaism he would not be honored by anyone]
BERLIN, Sept 8 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel was due to speak at an awards ceremony on Wednesday honouring a Danish cartoonist whose caricature of the Prophet Mohammed sparked sometimes violent protests by Muslims five years ago.  The 75-year-old cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, whose drawings of Mohammed that offended Muslims worldwide first appeared in Danish paper Jyllands-Posten in late 2005, will receive a prize on Wednesday evening at a conference on freedom of the press.
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LDE6871SP.htm

Obama: Planned Koran burning boosting al-Qaeda
US president slams Florida pastor’s plan to burn copies of Koran on September 11 anniversary, says move risks US troops, contradicts American commitment to religious tolerance; Iran: Zionists behind move.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3951998,00.html

India Leads Calls For Action to Stop Koran Burning
KABUL (Reuters) – India led calls on Thursday for the United States to intervene to halt a small church’s plan to burn copies of the Koran in commemoration of the September 11 attacks and urged a media blackout to calm tensions.
http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2010/09/09/world/international-uk-usa-muslims.html

Mideast churches denounce Quran burning
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A Florida church which says it intends to burn 200 copies of the Quran is not acting “within the teachings of Christianity,” the patriarch of the Greek Orthodox church in Jerusalem said Thursday.  The Council of Churches in the Middle East condemned the plans, calling them in a statement a “detestable crime against the teachings of Jesus Christ, and all of the values of the Church.”
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=314248

Quran burning ‘to go ahead’
US pastor is determined to go through with his plan to burn copies of Muslim holy book on September 11, despite outcry.
http://english.aljazeera.net//news/americas/2010/09/201098185822713338.html

Koran-burning pastor: Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism ‘of the devil’
Pastor opposed mosque construction in Germany before being forced out Conservative CNN pundit slams Petraeus for opposing Koran-burning Terry Jones, the president of the Florida church that’s planning to burn Korans on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, doesn’t just have Islam in his sights.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/koran-burning-pastor-judaism-of-devil/

Controversy over Quran burning plan
A Florida pastor says he is still determined to burn copies of the Quran on September 11, despite an international outcry. The Vatican has described Pastor Terry Jones’ plans as “outrageous and grave”, while Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, says the act would not be representative of America or Americans. But the leader of the small Protestant church says he is not ready to back down. Al Jazeera’s Monica Villamizar reports.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrj4Drlnr2E&feature=youtube_gdata

Why the planned Koran burning causes outrage and alarm
To devout Muslims, the Sept. 11 Koran burning proposed by the Florida preacher Terry Jones is akin to burning the word of God. Muslim leaders and US military and civilian officials have asked Jones to reconsider his plan.
http://rss.csmonitor.com/%7Er/feeds/world/%7E3/FF6fmoAE5ns/Why-the-planned-Koran-burning-causes-outrage-and-alarm

Why Muslims dare not burn the Bible in return, Ashraf Ezzat 
Islam decrees that Muslims should respect and honor the Bible and Torah as well.  There is always an angle worthy of discussion in this megalomania of “Burn al Quran Day”. May be that is why so many comments have been voiced and they are all against this disgraceful and stupid plan by a discredited pastor who can’t get the support of his mother church in Germany nor the sympathy of his own daughter. I hate to contribute to the man’s psychic lust for publicity- for that’s what he is after- and join the flocks of writers who have penned many articles on the subject.
http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/09/09/why-muslims-dare-not-burn-the-bible-in-return/

www.TheHeadlines.org

‘There Are No Civilians In Wartime’: Rachel Corrie’s family confronts the Israeli military in court

Sep 09, 2010 

Max Blumenthal

 

corries 1024x576

Cindy, Sarah, and Craig Corrie in the Haifa District Court for the second round of hearings in their civil suit against the Israeli government. (Photo: Max Blumenthal)

In a small courtroom in Haifa’s District Court, a colonel in the Israeli engineering corps who wrote a manual for the bulldozer units that razed the Rafah Refugee Camp in 2003 offered his opinion on the killing of the American activist Rachel Corrie.

“There are no civilians during wartime,” Yossi declared under oath.

Yossi made his remarkable statement under withering cross examination by Hussein Abu Hussein, the lawyer for the family of Corrie, who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah on March 16, 2003. In the back of the courtroom were Rachel’s parents, Craig and Cindy, and her sister, Sarah, back in Israel for the second round of hearings in their civil suit against the state of Israel. They were joined by supporters, friends and a handful of reporters, including me (see Nora Barrows-Friedman’s report for more). No one from the Israeli media was present — the case has been virtually ignored inside Israel.

In the immediate wake of Corrie’s killing, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, then the chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, instructed Corrie’s parents to demand a “thorough, fair and transparent investigation” from the Israeli government. Since then, the Israelis have stonewalled them, refusing to provide key details of their investigation, which was corrupted from the start by the investigators’ apparent attempts to find evidence that a bulldozer did not in fact kill Rachel.

A 2003 bill introduced in the House International Relations Committee calling for a thorough Israeli investigation in Corrie’s killing and for American efforts to prevent such killings from happening again garnered 78 signatures in support (Rahm Emanuel was the only Jewish signer). However, Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, one of the Israel lobby’s closest allies in Congress, prevented the bill from getting out of the committee. President George W. Bush could have pressed for a full floor vote on the bill but he did nothing. The bill died as a result.

Having been obstructed by the Israelis’ opaque investigation and betrayed by their own government (with notable exceptions like former Rep. Brian Baird), the Corries have been forced to take matters into their own hands. And so they have filed suit against the Israeli government for criminal negligence. Whether or not they will be able to secure the ruling they seek, Rachel Corrie’s family has already elicited a number of damning revelations about the Israeli army’s abuses in Gaza in 2003 and the machinations it has relied on to obscure evidence of its criminal conduct.

“I think we are in a situation similar to South Africa. What we are trying to make clear is that the truth has to be pursued diligently or we won’t make it to the point of reconciliation,” Craig Corrie told me, referring to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that enabled South Africa to peacefully transition from an apartheid system to representative democracy. “We need to understand and acknowledge the truth first.”

So far, the truth has not been easy to come by. The Corries are saddled with a judge who is said to have never ruled in favor of any plaintiff in a civil rights-related suit. And the defense has claimed unspecified state security concerns in its successful bid to avoid revealing the full contents of the investigation into Rachel Corrie’s killing — the family’s lawyers have only been allowed to view a summary. But the Corries’ legal efforts have not been in vain.

On the first day of hearings, the Corries’ lawyers were able to confirm through testimony from “Oded,” one of the investigators of Rachel Corrie’s killing, that Major General Doron Almog, then the head of the Israeli army’s Southern Command, had attempted to stop the military investigators from questioning the bulldozer operators who killed Rachel. When asked why he did not challenge Almog’s apparently illegal intervention, Oded stated that he was only 20-years-old at the time, with no college education and only a few months of training as an investigator. He was intimidated by the high-ranking officer who stormed into the room and menaced him and the other investigators. (Almog once canceled a trip to Britain after being warned that he would be arrested on arrival for ordering the destruction of 59 homes in the Rafah refugee camp in 2002).

Among the most disturbing aspects of Corrie’s case is the abuse of her body by Israeli authorities after she was killed. Craig Corrie recalled to me a panicked phone conversation he had with Will Hewitt, a friend and former classmate of Rachel Corrie who had just witnessed her killing.

“It’s getting dark over here and there are no refrigeration units for her body in Gaza,” Hewitt told Craig Corrie.

“Just leave it until tomorrow,” Craig replied. “We don’t want you or anyone else to get killed.”

“But her body is starting to smell,” Hewitt pleaded.

Somehow Hewitt and his fellow activists from the International Solidarity Movement were able to get Rachel Corrie’s body out of Gaza. But first Hewitt was ordered by Israeli troops to remove the body from the casket and carry it across a border checkpoint. Only Hewitt was allowed to escort Corrie’s body in the ambulance; the rest of the activists who witnessed her death were forced to hitchhike home in the desert. Finally, Corrie’s body was transported to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute in Tel Aviv where the notorious Dr. Yehuda Hiss autopsied her.

Who is Dr. Hiss? The chief pathologist of Israel for a decade and a half, Hiss was implicated by a 2001 investigation by the Israeli Health Ministry of stealing body parts ranging from legs to testicles to ovaries from bodies without permission from family members then selling them to research institutes. Bodies plundered by Hiss included those of Palestinians and Israeli soldiers. He was finally removed from his post in 2004 when the body of a teenage boy killed in a traffic accident was discovered to have been thoroughly gnawed on by a rat in Hiss’s laboratory. In an interview with researcher Nancy Schepper-Hughes, Hiss admitted that he harvested organs if he was confident relatives would not discover that they were missing. He added that he often used glue to close eyelids to hide missing corneas.

When Craig and Cindy Corrie learned that Hiss would perform an autopsy on their daughter, they stipulated that they would only allow the doctor to go forward if an official from the American consulate was present throughout the entire procedure. An Israeli military police report stated that an American official did indeed witness the autopsy. However, when the Corries asked American diplomatic officials including former US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzner if the report was true, they were informed that no American was present at all. The Israelis had lied to them, and apparently fixed their own report to deceive the American government.

On March 14, during the first round of hearings in the Corries’ civil suit, Hiss admitted under oath that he had lied about the presence of an American official during the autopsy of Rachel Corrie. He also conceded to taking “samples” from Corrie’s body for “histological testing” without informing her family. Just which parts of Corrie’s body Hiss took remains unclear; despite Hiss’s claim that he “buried” the samples, her family has not confirmed the whereabouts of her missing body parts.

“It’s so hard to know that Rachel’s body wasn’t respected,” Rachel’s sister, Sarah, told me. “Doctor Hiss and the Israeli government knew what our family’s wishes were. The fact that our wishes were disregarded and a judge hasn’t done anything is absolutely horrifying.”

The treatment of Rachel Corrie’s body is peripheral to her family’s lawsuit. But it demonstrates the degree to which she and those whose homes she died defending have been dehumanized — “there are no civilians during wartime,” as Colonel Yossi declared. Rachel Corrie’s family is seeking only one dollar in symbolic punitive damages from the Israeli government. Their real goal is to force a country in a perpetual state of warfare to treat its innocent victims as human beings, and to be held accountable if it does not.

“It is incredibly expensive for us to carry this case on both emotionally and financially,” Craig Corrie remarked. “It is a whole lot to ask of a private citizen. But as a family we still have the ability to do a lot, so we are going to carry this cause on for everyone who cannot.”

This post originally appeared on Max Blumenthal’s blog here.  

New ways to follow Mondoweiss

Sep 09, 2010 

Adam Horowitz

photoJust a quick site update to say there are some new and exciting ways to follow Mondoweiss, wherever you are.

While you have always been able to follow Mondoweiss on Facebook and Twitter, we have now redesigned the site to be easier to read on smartphones. As an iPhone addict myself, I’ll admit I had a bit of a vested interest in figuring this out (I think Phil still uses this). Check it out by visiting the site on your phone’s web browser and let us know what additional features would be helpful.

Also, please sign up for our new and (greatly) improved newsletter. You can find the sign up box in the right-hand column of the site or from the Facebook page. In addition to receiving all the posts you might miss, it will also be the place to get other site-related news, like upcoming events in DC and New York and other special promotions. There will some exciting site updates in the upcoming months and the newsletter will be the best place to hear it first.

PACBI: Artists support for Ariel boycott is ‘a groundbreaking, precedent-setting initiative that will significantly contribute to ending Israel’s impunity’

Sep 09, 2010 

Adam Horowitz

Two days ago I posted a statement from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) regarding the Israeli actors’ boycott of a new theater in the Ariel settlement. Many people understandably misunderstood the post (I was unclear) and thought the PACBI statement was referring a letter of support for the boycott from US and British artists, which it wasn’t. Today PACBI has released a statement in appreciation of the solidarity effort.

From Refusing to Normalize a Cruel Occupation: A PACBI Open Letter to American and British Artists Supporting the Cultural Boycott of Israeli Colonies:

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) warmly salutes the tens of American and British theater, film and TV artists for their recently published statement supporting the spreading cultural boycott of Ariel and the rest of Israel’s colonial settlements illegally built on occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) due to their violation of international law.  We also express our gratitude to Jewish Voice for Peace for its crucial role in bringing this statement to the light.  We view your courageous collective condemnation of Israel’s settlements and “ugly occupation,” your expression of “hope for a just and lasting peace” [emphasis added] in our region, and your endorsement of the logic of boycott to end injustice as a groundbreaking, precedent-setting initiative that will significantly contribute to ending Israel’s impunity and status as a state above the law of nations in the United States, the United Kingdom and far beyond.

PACBI hopes that your position, which reflects a growing sentiment in the Western mainstream, particularly among cultural figures, will be consistently upheld against all institutions in Israel and elsewhere that are in violation of international law or complicit in covering up and whitewashing this violation.  We sincerely hope that this step will usher in further, more effective and bolder steps leading to a comprehensive cultural boycott of Israel — and its complicit institutions – similar to that imposed on apartheid South Africa.  As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid.”

The full statement is after the jump:

Occupied Ramallah, 9 September 2010 — The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) warmly salutes the tens of American and British theater, film and TV artists for their recently published statement [1] supporting the spreading cultural boycott of Ariel and the rest of Israel’s colonial settlements illegally built on occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) due to their violation of international law.[2]  We also express our gratitude to Jewish Voice for Peace for its crucial role in bringing this statement to the light.  We view your courageous collective condemnation of Israel’s settlements and “ugly occupation,” your expression of “hope for a just and lasting peace” [emphasis added] in our region, and your endorsement of the logic of boycott to end injustice as a groundbreaking, precedent-setting initiative that will significantly contribute to ending Israel’s impunity and status as a state above the law of nations in the United States, the United Kingdom and far beyond. 

PACBI hopes that your position, which reflects a growing sentiment in the Western mainstream, particularly among cultural figures, will be consistently upheld against all institutions in Israel and elsewhere that are in violation of international law or complicit in covering up and whitewashing this violation.  We sincerely hope that this step will usher in further, more effective and bolder steps leading to a comprehensive cultural boycott of Israel — and its complicit institutions – similar to that imposed on apartheid South Africa.  As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid.”[3] 

We hope that you shall be inspired by the historic moment in 1965 when the American Committee on Africa, following the lead of prominent British arts associations, sponsored a declaration against South African apartheid, signed by more than 60 cultural personalities.  It read: “We say no to apartheid. We take this pledge in solemn resolve to refuse any encouragement of, or indeed, any professional association with the present Republic of South Africa, this until the day when all its people shall equally enjoy the educational and cultural advantages of that rich and beautiful land.”[4]  A year before that, in 1964, the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement promoted a declaration signed by 28 Irish playwrights that they would not permit their work to be performed before segregated audiences in South Africa.[5]   

International artists fighting against apartheid then took their lead from the oppressed majority, not a few voices of dissent among the oppressor community, as crucial as the latter are for ending oppression.  In light of this inspiring history, we cannot but ask, why haven’t you taken your taboo-breaking position in response to appeals by the overwhelming majority of Palestinians, including almost all leading artists?  Why did you have to wait for a relatively small number of dissenting Israeli artists and academics to initiate a boycott, a peculiarly selective and morally-inconsistent one at that [6]?  Do authentic voices of the oppressed, especially those in the besieged Gaza Strip, incarcerated in the world’s largest open-air prison, also count? 

The comprehensive and durable peace that you and all people of conscience around the world seek cannot come about except on the foundations of justice, freedom and unmitigated equal rights for all.  If justice for the Palestinian people is “the greatest moral issue of our time,” as declared by Nelson Mandela, the great majority in Palestinian civil society has expressed the minimal requirements for justice in the historic call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) [7] against Israel as: ending its 1967 occupation and colonization of Palestinian and other Arab territory; ending its system of racial discrimination against its “non-Jewish” citizens; and recognizing the UN-sanctioned right of Palestinian refugees to return to the homes and lands they were ethnically cleansed from in 1948 and ever since.  

In the last few years, many international cultural figures have come out in support of the cultural boycott of Israel as a significant contribution to ending its system of colonial rule and apartheid.  Responding to an appeal issued by a great majority of prominent Palestinian filmmakers, artists and other cultural workers [8], a statement calling for a cultural boycott of Israel was authored by John Berger and signed by dozens of international cultural figures, including some celebrities.[9]  This last February, 500 Canadian artists in Montreal issued a statement committing themselves to “fighting against [Israeli] apartheid” and calling upon “all artists and cultural producers across the country and around the world to adopt a similar position in this global struggle” for Palestinian rights.[10]  Irish artists raised the bar even further, pioneering the first nation-wide cultural stance in support of the boycott of Israel.[11]

In reaction to Israel’s Freedom Flotilla massacre which led to the murder of 9 unarmed Turkish humanitarian relief workers and human rights activists — one with dual Turkish/US citizenship — and to the injury of dozens more from several countries, leading cultural figures and bands reacted swiftly and decisively.

World renowned British writer, Iain Banks, wrote in the Guardian that the best way for international artists, writers and academics to “convince Israel of its moral degradation and ethical isolation” is “simply by having nothing more to do with this outlaw state.”[12]  This position was later endorsed by Stephane Hessel,[13] co-author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Holocaust survivor and former French diplomat.

Many British literary and academic figures published a letter [14] in the Independent that said, “We … appeal to British writers and scholars to boycott all literary, cultural and academic visits to Israel sponsored by the Israeli government, including those organised by Israeli cultural foundations and universities.”

In the world of performing arts, Massive Attack, among other top music bands, refused to perform in Israel in protest over its treatment of the Palestinians;[15] the Klaxons, Gorillaz Sound System, the Pixies and other prominent groups cancelled scheduled concerts there, reportedly due to its ruthless and illegal attack on the Flotilla.  World best-selling writer, the Swedish Henning Mankell, who was on the Flotilla when attacked, called for South-Africa style global sanctions against Israel in response to its brutality.[16]

The best-selling US author, Alice Walker, reminded the world of the Rosa Parks-triggered and Martin Luther King-led boycott of a racist bus company in Montgomery, Alabama during the US civil rights movement, calling for wide endorsement of BDS against Israel as a moral duty in solidarity with Palestinians, “to soothe the pain and attend the sorrows of a people wrongly treated for generations.”[17]

In the weeks before the Flotilla attack, artists of the caliber of Elvis Costello, Gil Scott-Heron and Carlos Santana all cancelled [18] scheduled performances in Israel after receiving appeals from Palestinian and international BDS groups. 

Just as you applaud your Israeli counterparts who “find the strength to refuse to cross that line” of “unbearable” moral compromise, we appeal to you not to cross our boycott picket line, which is the simplest, most effective, non-violent form of solidarity with the Palestinian people in its struggle for justice and lasting peace.

PACBI

www.pacbi.org

pacbi@pacbi.org 

Notes

[1] http://jvp.org/campaigns/making-history-support-israeli-artists-who-say-no-normalizing-settlements-4

[2] http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/150-academics-artists-back-actors-boycott-of-settlement-arts-center-1.311149

[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/desmond-tutu/divesting-from-injustice_b_534994.html

[4] http://www.tcg.org/publications/at/MayJune08/positions.cfm

[5] http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/history/boycotts/cultural.html

[6] http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1350

[7] http://bdsmovement.net/?q=node/52

[8] http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=315

[9] http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=415

[10] http://www.tadamon.ca/post/5824

[11] http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1328

[12] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/03/boycott-israel-iain-banks

[13] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephane-frederic-hessel/gaza-flotilla-global-citi_b_612865.html

[14] http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/iiosi-letters-emails-amp-online-postings-6-june-2010-1992480.html

[15] http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1349

[16] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/palestinianauthority/7795692/Gaza-aid-flotilla-Henning-Mankell-calls-for-sanctions-on-Israel.html

[17] http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11319.shtml

[18] http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1236

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9/11’S UNANSWERED QUESTION

NOVANEWS
9/11’s Unanswered Question

By crescentandcross

 

Quantcast


“9/11’s Unanswered Question”

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NAKBA OR HOLOCAUST NAKBA WAS WORSE

NOVANEWS

Israeli right wing admits to dispossessing Palestinians, says Nakba was worse


Israeli right wing admits to dispossessing Palestinians, says Nakba was worse

 

By Jesse Bacon

Reading the press coverage of Jewish Voice for Peace’s fabulous campaign in support of the Israeli theater artists boycotting settlements, I was struck by an item in Arutz Sheva, the settler’s news service, which ends with this paragraph..

The liberation of Israeli territory in the War of Independence in 1948 was accompanied by a massive exodus of Arabs, and dozens of Jewish communities were then built atop the ruins of Arab villages whose inhabitants had fled, as opposed to the Six-Day War in 1967, when the return of Judea and Samaria [Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza] to Israel was less violent and was not accompanied by an Arab exodus. Paradoxically, leftists in Israel consider communities built on the ruins of Arab villages taken in 1948 legitimate, but view communities built beside Arab villages taken in 1967 as illegitimate.

First of all, over 200,000 Palestinians were displaced by the Six Day War. and no doubt more would have been if the memory of the Nakba had not been so recent. Many people died as well, so I am not sure about where Arutz Sheva gets “less violent” from. But nonetheless I am fascinated that the settlers’ news service is arguing the dispossession they are responsible is not so bad as the Nakba, Israel’s founding. Is this is further sign of potential right wing support for a one state solution?

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MAJOR PRO-ZIO=NAZI GIVER FUNDS ‘ JIHAD WATCH’

NOVANEWS

By crescentandcross

Group opposing Ground Zero mosque is organizing rally on the 9th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks.

Talkbacks (33) WASHINGTON – A woman who with her husband has contributed large sums to pro-Israel and Jewish groups is the principal funder of the group that has taken the lead in opposing an Islamic center in lower Manhattan.

Jihad Watch, the group that is organizing a rally against the planned Islamic center timed for the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 2001 attacks – the center is planned for within three blocks of the site of the attacks – is funded by Freedom Center, a conservative group based in Los Angeles.

An investigative report appearing on the online version of Politico on Saturday says that it has confirmed that the “lion’s share” of the $920,000 funneled through Freedom Center to Jihad Watch over the last three years originated with Joyce Chernick.

Aubrey and Joyce Chernick, Politico reported, have over the years contributed to, among other groups, the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles; the Anti-Defamation League; the Zionist Organization of America; MEMRI, a group that distributes translations of inflammatory Arabic language material; the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a group that tracks what it depicts as the threat of radical Islam; the American Jewish Congress; CAMERA, a group that tracks what it says is anti-Israel bias in the media; the Central Fund for Israel, a clearinghouse for moneys directed to pro-settler groups; and a number of conservative think tanks.

Aubrey Chernick, additionally, was at one time a trustee of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

A number of these groups, including the Investigative Project, the ADL and the ZOA, have positioned themselves as opposed to the Islamic center. Other Jewish groups, led by the Reform movement, have been outspoken in supporting the center.

Jihad Watch, founded by Robert Spencer, has in recent months taken on board Pamela Geller, the New York-based blogger who launched efforts to stop the center’s building.

Jihad Watch leads those groups that contend that the Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who founded the Cordoba Initiative — the organization behind the planned center — is not, as he and a number of Jewish backers claim, a moderate attempting to bridge divides, but is instead a radical.

Rauf has spoken overseas on behalf of the U.S. State Department, under the Obama and Bush administrations, and has described the United States as a nation whose freedoms benefit Muslims.

He also eulogized Daniel Pearl, the Jewish journalist murdered in 2002 by Pakistani Islamists, by saying that such victims demand a response from Muslims that they, too, are Jews.

He has refused to outright condemn Hamas, the terrorist group controlling the Gaza Strip, and has among his associates some prominent Saudi Arabians.

The Islamic center’s opponents, led by Jihad Watch, have demanded an accounting of the proposed center’s donors, although Rauf has of yet barely raised funds for the center.

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on MAJOR PRO-ZIO=NAZI GIVER FUNDS ‘ JIHAD WATCH’

PALESTINIAN GANDHI

NOVANEWS

Remember this story when someone mumbles about the Palestinian Gandhi

Public servant Bassem Mohammed al-Tamimi is from al-Nabi Saleh, a small village about 20 kilometers northwest of Ramallah. As coordinator of the local Popular Committee, Tamimi has played a leading role in al-Nabi Saleh’s demonstrations against the nearby illegal Israeli settlement and military base of Halamish. Jody McIntyre interviewed al-Tamimi for The Electronic Intifada.

JM: Do you think that the Israeli army has been particularly violent in al-Nabi Saleh in order to crush the resistance at an early stage?

BT: Of course they want to crush our resistance! I told you that on the day of the very first demonstration, the settlers burnt down 150 of our olive trees, and this was despite the fact that the landowners had gone to the demonstration each carrying a branch from those same olive trees, as a symbol of peace and their willingness for a peaceful resolution. After the settlers had burned down our trees, there were no olive branches left for us to carry.

So it is clear that they are trying to quash the peaceful resistance and this will, of course, ignite armed resistance. Everyone knows the inextricable ties between the Palestinians and their olive trees; it’s [the Palestinian’s] income, so when cut down, his income is cut down … the trees are like his children, and when you cut them down it is like you are killing his children.

I spoke to one of those landowners who had come to the demonstration with an olive branch, and he never came to a demonstration again. He told me that now, if any one of these organizations or groups which carry out armed resistance — as is our right under international law, although not the best way to achieve our rights — and said to him “here is a weapon, join our resistance movement,” then he would be mentally prepared to do so, because he has seen his peaceful approach burned and scorched before his eyes.

The Palestinian Gandhi became a proponent of violent resistance because Israel literally burned the olive branch he tendered it. Can you compress the logic of how Israel responds to resistance into a tighter anecdote? Don’t think so. If the Palestinians resist non-violently, Israel will kill them and cut down their olive trees. If they resist violently, the racist media will ask them, where have all the Gandhis gone, and why are all Palestinians terrorists. Things could barely be more backwards.

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