Archive | September 14th, 2010

A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS


Muslims and Jews get close in New York

Posted: 14 Sep 2010

This warms the heart. Jews and Muslims praying next to each other in the Bronx. It’s possible:

What erasing Iraq means on the ground

Posted: 14 Sep 2010

Iraqis still remain almost invisible when the war is being discussed. Far easier for the corporate press to interview a US general who blathers about something.

But Iraqi refugee schoolchildren are struggling in Syria and literally millions of Iraqis are displaced, abused and lost.

All these issues are addressed in my friend Mike Otterman’s recently released work, Erasing Iraq.

 

A massive payout coming the way of Assange?

Posted: 14 Sep 2010

Guy Rundle reports in today’s Crikey that Julian Assange should be defended and supported by those who believe in human rights (and don’t want to back imperial wars in the Middle East or beyond):

The treatment of WikiLeaks’ spokesperson Julian Assange, facing investigations of harassment and rape, has been disgraceful, leading international human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson has said from London, and the Australian government should make a formal protest to the Swedish ambassador on behalf of Assange, an Australian citizen.

“Mr Assange has been the victim of utterly incompetent prosecutors who have severely damaged his rights — the rights that every person in Europe has granted to them under the European convention,” Robertson said, speaking exclusively to Crikey last week.

“The Australian government — now that we have a government — should carpet the Swedish ambassador and make a formal protest against the treatment of Assange.”

Assange, based in Sweden, faces charges of “harassment” arising from inquiries and complaints made by two women to the Swedish police in August, one a press officer for a faction of the Social Democratic Party. A charge of rape was also issued by a duty prosecutor at the country’s prosecution service, before being withdrawn 24 hours later.

The investigation of the rape charge was then reopened by Marianne Ny, head of Sweden’s prosecution service. The two complainants are on record as stating that they were not alleging r-pe charges against Assange, and the latter charges were only reopened after they hired prominent lawyer Claes Borgstrom, also a powerful figure in the ruling Social Democrat Party. Ny is a prominent advocate of extending the crime of rape and sexual assault in wider areas of sexual behaviour, and the rape investigation was reopened after Borgstrom approached her personally.

The charges against Assange came several weeks after WikiLeaks released a cache of nearly 80,000 US government documents covering ongoing Afghan war operations, revealing higher levels of civilian casualties at US-alliance hands, and a bleak picture of US progress in the war.

The timing of these events led many to speculate on the possibility that WikiLeaks’ highest profile figure may have been drawn into a sting based on Sweden’s comprehensive and wide-ranging s-x crime and harassment laws, as a way of splitting progressive support for the organisation. US counter-intelligence bureau documents have previously spoken of destroying WikiLeaks by attacking its existence as a “centre of trust” for diverse groups of activists and whistleblowers.

“Mr Assange may have been naïve but he is not a criminal,” Robertson remarked, and suggested that even if Swedish prosecutors proceeded with charges, higher authorities would come to his aid.

“In due course I predict that the European Court of Human Rights would uphold Assange’s position and order the Swedish government to compensate him. His lawyers should already be preparing for that eventuality.”

The Swedish prosecution service is due to make an announcement on its investigations this week. Meanwhile, WikiLeaks is preparing to release a new cache of documents on the Iraq war, and rumoured to number as high as 200,000. The release will be done in conjunction with the non-profit Bureau for Investigative Journalism, Newsweek, and other outlets.

 

This web thing will go nowhere

Posted: 13 Sep 2010

The internet will never take off, a mere fad with no human contact.

A writer in 1995 argues.

 

Sri Lanka must be condemned, without ifs or buts

Posted: 13 Sep 2010

An important editorial in today’s Sydney Morning Herald that undermines its argument by continuing the Western corporate press obsession with the supposed dictatorship of Hugo Chavez. Human rights abuses obviously occur in Venezuela but the nation isn’t a police state and attempts to paint it otherwise, or compare it to the brutal regime in Colombo, are absurd:

On first running for president of Sri Lanka in 2005, Mahinda Rajapaksa pledged to abolish the ”executive presidency” because of the excessive powers that had grown around the position to a dangerous degree since the island nation replaced its British-model constitution nearly 40 years ago.

That was then. Since taking office, Rajapaksa has grown to like wielding those powers. Now, buoyed by last year’s bloody victory against the separatist Tamil Tigers and a landslide re-election in January – partly achieved by widespread abuse of those powers, according to impartial observers – the President is taking ever more discretion unto himself.

Last week, after securing the support of a few loose backbenchers to build a two-thirds majority in parliament, Rajapaksa’s government passed an amendment to the constitution removing the article that limits a president to two six-year terms. A second amendment reduces, perhaps removes effectively, a previous limit on the powers of the president to appoint and dismiss members of the supposedly independent commissions that supervise elections, the police, the central bank and the public service and inquire into human rights abuses and corruption. The aim, says the Sri Lankan foreign minister, is not to politicise these institutions but to ”ensure better governance, that effective people are appointed”. But of course!

The whole process of constitutional amendment took only two weeks from the government securing the necessary majority and tabling the legislation. The main opposition parties either boycotted the vote or opposed the amendments. Jehan Perera, the respected head of Sri Lanka’s National Peace Council, contrasted this rush with ”countries with stable and successful political systems [that] have engaged in mass education and public consultations for a considerable period of time prior to changing the constitution”.

Rajapaksa joins Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez as the most recent example of incumbent presidents removing constitutional restrictions against running indefinitely. Both are demagogic politicians with a high degree of current popularity. Yet the sad precedent is that as popularity ebbs, such presidents become increasingly authoritarian and corrupt as they enjoy power and fear to step down.

Already Rajapaksa has gone a long way down that path. The end of the war against the Tamils has not led to the lifting of emergency powers. Death squads still do their work around Colombo against critical journalists and human rights activists. A government minister led protests against the UN investigation of abuses. Three of the president’s brothers occupy powerful government positions. We can expect more desperate Tamils fleeing by boat, and more political refugees of all ethnicities coming by regular transport. 

 

Only fools accept anything coming out Netanyahu’s mouth

Posted: 13 Sep 2010

Haaretz writer Akiva Eldar gets headline of the week:

Obama may believe Netanyahu, but no one else does

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER

US SHOULD ALLOW IMPARTIAL 9/11 PROBE

NOVANEWS

September 14, 2010 

by Debbie Menon

But will Americans ever remove their rose-coloured spectacles long enough to demand the truth about 9/11? Perhaps not!

By Linda Heard via My Catbird Seat

9/11 InvestigationNine years have passed since America was attacked, yet ceremonies in New York and Pennsylvania commemorating those who died on September 11, 2001, are as poignant as ever. Nobody can deny that 9/11 shook the United States to its very core or that its memory still has the capacity to bring Americans to tears.

Indeed, sensitivities in the US are still so raw that some 70 per cent of the population is reluctant to see an Islamic cultural centre two blocks from where the World Trade Centre Twin Towers once touched the sky.

Few would deny that the Bush administration’s response to the tragedy changed the world. When Washington realized how vulnerable the country was, and in response to calls for revenge, it launched the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, initiated the ‘War on Terror’, opened gulags to detain terror suspects, engaged in the liberal use of torture, rode roughshod over the Geneva conventions and subjected ordinary citizens to gross invasions of privacy and abuses of civil liberties.

The point is 9/11 and its ramifications were — and still are — no small matter. Almost everyone on the planet has been affected by that day in one way or the other; not least thousands of fallen coalition and Nato soldiers and up to a million Afghan and Iraqi civilians. Yet, for some strange reason, there has never been a thorough and impartial investigation of that day and the events that led up to it.

Even more intriguing is the collective apathy displayed by the American people towards discovering what really happened and especially when there are so many anomalies contradicting the official accounts that have been recorded in countless reports, books and documentaries by scholars who are invariably written-off as lunatic conspiracy theorists.

The disbelievers may or may not be on the lunatic fringe. But the fact remains that many of the still unanswered questions are perfectly valid because, unfortunately, the 9/11 Commission set up to “prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11th 2001 attacks” did not do its job and issued a report with more holes than Swiss cheese.

For instance, I would love to know why the North American Aerospace Defence Command (Norad) and Andrews Air Force Base failed to intercept the wayward aircraft; how passengers were able to call family members on cell phones from 30,000 feet; why the usually scrupulous BBC reported that several of the alleged hijackers were alive and well after the event; and, most crucially, what was it that brought down WTC 7, a tower block that had not been hit? Also, why was forensic evidence hurriedly shipped off to China for conversion into cutlery?

When former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney dared to challenge the official line in 2002, she was branded unpatriotic and lost her seat that same year.

Passions cool in nine years and time douses raw emotion yet there is nobody in high authority bashing on the door of the Obama White House for answers. Such seeming disinterest could be caused by fear of being seen as un-American. Alternatively, it may be that Americans just can’t conceive of possible skullduggery within government, while those who can would prefer not to know.

However, because the repercussions of 9/11 impinged upon so many lives it should not be viewed in an exclusively American context and should be investigated by a respected international body such as the International Criminal Court in The Hague or the United Nations, which has set up tribunals to delve into war crimes committed in Sierra Leone, violations of humanitarian law in former Yugoslavia and the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

It seems to me that if the UN is involved in bringing the killer(s) of one Lebanese individual to book, there should be no bar to its launching an inquiry into 9/11. In the same way that the tribunal into Hariri’s murder has still not ascertained who was behind it, no one knows for sure who instigated 9/11.

Everyone assumes it was Osama Bin Laden but although his name appears on the FBI website in connection with other crimes, he is not wanted for 9/11, which the FBI says is due to an absence of proof. That in itself is shocking when the Afghanistan war was waged to root him out of his cave. Surely, the best way to respect the souls of the 2,976 victims would be for the international community to come together to silence the conspiracy theorists — or otherwise — with hard facts and convincing explanations.

If the American government has nothing to hide it should prove it by, firstly, blessing a UN tribunal and, secondly, affording its prosecutors full cooperation in terms of witnesses and documentation.

But will Americans ever remove their rose-coloured spectacles long enough to demand the truth about 9/11? Perhaps not! As the great American philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please; you can never have both.”

Source:  gulfnews

Posted in USAComments Off on US SHOULD ALLOW IMPARTIAL 9/11 PROBE

BBC ZIO=NAZI PROPAGANDA MACHINE

NOVANEWS

PETE CHARLES: BBC Bias — Panorama Programme Exposed

September 14, 2010

by Debbie Menon  

He takes the BBC Panorama bias story another step forward, in a quiet, compelling and balanced way.

He observes, “one would have expected some aspect of international law to be explored by BBC in this programme.”

By Pete Charles via My Catbird Seat

A ‘brief’ look by Pete Charles, at some of the points in the controversial  BBC documentary ‘Death in The Med’.

He’s added closed captions for those who might have difficulty understanding his Liverpool accent.

 
YouTube – Veterans Today –

http://www.youtube.com/watch

Take a look at Anthony Lawsons’ analysis here

ANTHONY LAWSON REVIEWS BBC’S ‘DEATH ON THE MED’ DOCUMENTARY VIDEO


YouTube – Veterans Today –

…and this mashup here, exemplary work of  biased journalism…

The Zionist Federation “commended” the programme and encouraged supporters to write to Panorama editors “to thank them for their fair coverage”.

Australian singer Daniel Merriweather tweeted: “Shame on the BBC!  This is what you call war propaganda.”


YouTube – Veterans Today –

Also see:

Posted in UKComments Off on BBC ZIO=NAZI PROPAGANDA MACHINE

NAZI’S IN GAZA

NOVANEWS

the war against Gaza continues

 

My friend Adie Mormech reports from the Gaza Strip:

When 91 year old Ibrahim Abu Sayed left his home this morning to check on his land and animals by the remains of his old house, he took with him his 17 year old grandson Hossam and his friend and neighbour Ismail Abu Oda, who was 16. His son and Hossam’s father didn’t want to come because it was the final day of EID, the muslim celebration that follows Ramadan.

Despite his age, Ibrahim Abu Sayed was still mobile enough to regularly check his three dunums of land, as he had done for decades, the last decade being the hardest as his house was destroyed in 2000 by Israeli bulldozers and his rebuilt house destroyed in the three-week attacks by Israel on Gaza over the new year of 2009.

But early Saturday evening would be the last time Ibrahim, Hossam and Ismail would work their land. 700 metres from the border where their land was located, north of Sharab street, Israeli tanks made an incursion into Gaza. The grandfather, his grandson and friend did not stand a chance as the tanks fired shells directly at them.

We met the family members at the hospital. The wife of Ibrahim was devastated, screaming in horror at the fate that had befallen her family.

“I was there half an hour before it happened”, said Mohammed Abu Oda, another relative. “I saw them by their sheep. I heard the shells from the Israeli tanks, the shells we learned soon afterwards had killed our relatives.”

They were killed instantly, and according to the doctor (who wished to remain anonymous) who examined once they had arrived at Beit Hanoun hospital. Ibrahim suffered severe shrapnel injuries to his face, chest and stomach and his grandson Hossam had the back of his head blown away. We verified this immediately as we saw the mutilated bodies in the morgue. Ismail, the friend of Hossam, had arrived at the hospital 30 minutes after the others but had been buried before we got there; most part of his head was shot away. The boys were close friends, studying in the 9th and 10th grade respectively, and had expected to return to school the following day after Eid.

But on that day they still were on holidays, so they helped Ibrahim, like they were used to do. Because despite of having faced their hardest times, after their house was destroyed and their land bulldozed, the bedouin family still had no other job other than farming. Although they were obliged to farm their land close to the border, it was still far enough away to be outside the Israeli imposed “buffer zone”

“Israel claims that there’s a three hundred meter buffer zone, but they were 700 meters far from the border”, said an Uncle of Ismail, Majdy Abu Oda. “The people there are farmers who’ve been living there for years. We, the people here, were never dangerous for the Israelis. They have photos of the people who live and work here, the area is full off observation cameras. So they knew them.”

That was why the family considered themselves to be safe, even though there were tanks at the border. But they paid with their lives for that. More victims of Israel’s ‘collective punishment’, a crime against humanity according to article 33 of the Geneva Convention of which Israel is a signatory member.

So a 91 year old man, his grandson and a friend of his were killed while tending to their livestock on their own farm, 700 metres from the border with Israel. Where is the clamour for justice? Where is the international outrage that at least should be comparable to the Israeli settlers shot a week ago, who actually were not settled on their own land according to international law? Israeli armed forces have continued to wage a war against civilians in Gaza, long after the Israeli air and ground assault in the winter of 2008/2009.

With the family clearly posing no threat, and known as long term residents of the area, there is little imagination required to understand the ease with which these Israeli soldiers felt they could kill these three men with impunity, once their livelihood had already been destroyed.

Saber Zaneen General Coordinator of the Beit Hanoun solidarity group, ‘Local Initiative’ released a callout for justice in a statement:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Today the occupation committed a new crime which will be added to its black list. Three martyrs now rest in heaven after the shelling and again we call on the international community and civil society to pressure the occupation forces to stop such crimes against Palestinian civilians and to start working on giving some protection to the local people in the Gaza Strip.”

 

[Graphic below the break]

Tilde’s photos. She and Adie went to the morgue to bear witness.

 

I don’t post them to be horrifying but because they happened, they died, they are real. This is what happens when Israel occupies. The New York Times will never print these pictures.

As I write this, the Times report, by Mark Landler and Isabel Kershner, had this to say about Gaza:

In a reminder of the violence that could upset the peacemaking environment, militants from Gaza fired two rockets into Israel on Monday. Though they landed in open areas and caused no injury or damage, they brought the total number of rockets fired since Sunday to six, a steep increase, the Israeli military said. Last week, a rocket landed near a kindergarten in an Israeli communal farm near the Gaza border. The kindergarten was empty at the time because of the Jewish New Year holiday.

Hamas, the Islamist militant group that controls Gaza, virulently opposes the peace talks. Its military wing claimed responsibility for two shooting attacks on settlers’ cars two weeks ago, timed to coincide with a peace summit meeting in Washington. Yuval Diskin, the director of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, has said he expected an increase in terrorism by Palestinian militants trying to derail the talks.

 

 

The only human reaction to the story and the photos above is revulsion–then a search into causes. We all know where that leads. Better to head it off entirely: pretend the dead don’t exist, or if the story goes up tomorrow, print some IDF press release about militants preparing to attack Sderot. Re-read the above. Victimless rockets are a “reminder of violence,” while shepherds literally blown apart, disassembled, by Israeli munitions do not count as a reminder of violence. It is Bronner and Kershner who through their dishonest apologetics–through their propaganda–create the cognitive illusions that let this kind of atrocity continue, and it is Times editors like Jonathan Landman and Bill Keller who print such garbage, which lets the conflict go on and on. It takes a lot of brainwashing to create a Zionist.

And that indoctrination must be carefully maintained and cultivated, otherwise people revert to their natural state–human beings. Can’t have that. Is Yuval Diskin interested in figuring out who to blame for terrorism? The civilian leadership in Tel-Aviv and Washington for sure. And then also the Times propagandists interviewing him, and their editors living in Manhattan.

Technorati Tags: Adie Mormech, Ethan Bronner, Gaza, ISM, Israel, Palestine, Tilde de Wandel, ZionismRelated posts:

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THE NAZI WAR AGAINST GAZA CONTINUES

NOVANEWS

14 September, 2010

 ‘the war against Gaza continues’

My friend Adie Mormech reports from the Gaza Strip:
When 91 year old Ibrahim Abu Sayed left his home this morning to  check on his
land and animals by the remains of his old house, he took  with him his 17 year
old grandson Hossam and his friend and neighbour  Ismail Abu Oda, who was 16.
His son and Hossam’s father didn’t want to  come because it was the final
day of EID, the muslim celebration that  follows Ramadan.

Despite his age, Ibrahim Abu Sayed was still  mobile enough to regularly check
his three dunums of land, as he had  done for decades, the last decade being the
hardest as his house was  destroyed in 2000 by Israeli bulldozers and his
rebuilt house destroyed  in the three-week attacks by Israel on Gaza over the
new year of 2009.

But  early Saturday evening would be the last time Ibrahim, Hossam and  Ismail
would work their land. 700 metres from the border where their  land was located,
north of Sharab street, Israeli tanks made an  incursion into Gaza. The
grandfather, his grandson and friend did not  stand a chance as the tanks fired
shells directly at them.

We met  the family members at the hospital. The wife of Ibrahim was devastated,
screaming in horror at the fate that had befallen her family.

“I  was there half an hour before it happened”, said Mohammed Abu Oda,
another relative. “I saw them by their sheep. I heard the shells from  the
Israeli tanks, the shells we learned soon afterwards had killed our
relatives.”

They were killed  instantly, and according to the doctor (who wished to remain
anonymous)  who examined once they had arrived at Beit Hanoun hospital. Ibrahim
suffered severe shrapnel injuries to his face, chest and stomach and his
grandson Hossam had the back of his head blown away. We verified this
immediately as we saw the mutilated bodies in the morgue. Ismail, the  friend of
Hossam, had arrived at the hospital 30 minutes after the  others but had been
buried before we got there; most part of his head  was shot away. The boys were
close friends, studying in the 9th and 10th  grade respectively, and had
expected to return to school the following  day after Eid.

But on that day they still were on holidays, so  they helped Ibrahim, like they
were used to do. Because despite of  having faced their hardest times, after
their house was destroyed and  their land bulldozed, the bedouin family still
had no other job other  than farming. Although they were obliged to farm their
land close to the  border, it was still far enough away to be outside the
Israeli imposed  “buffer zone”

“Israel claims that there’s a three hundred meter  buffer zone, but they were
700 meters far from the border”, said an  Uncle of Ismail, Majdy Abu Oda.
“The people there are farmers who’ve  been living there for years. We, the
people here, were never dangerous  for the Israelis. They have photos of the
people who live and work here,  the area is full off observation cameras. So
they knew them.”

That  was why the family considered themselves to be safe, even though there
were tanks at the border. But they paid with their lives for that. More  victims
of Israel’s ‘collective punishment’, a crime against humanity  according
to article 33 of the Geneva Convention of which Israel is a  signatory member.

So a 91 year old man, his grandson and a friend  of his were killed while
tending to their livestock on their own farm,  700 metres from the border with
Israel. Where is the clamour for  justice? Where is the international outrage
that at least should be  comparable to the Israeli settlers shot a week ago, who
actually were  not settled on their own land according to international law?
Israeli  armed forces have continued to wage a war against civilians in Gaza,
long after the Israeli air and ground assault in the winter of  2008/2009.

With the family clearly posing no threat, and known as  long term residents of
the area, there is little imagination required to  understand the ease with
which these Israeli soldiers felt they could  kill these three men with
impunity, once their livelihood had already  been destroyed.

Saber Zaneen General Coordinator of the Beit  Hanoun solidarity group, ‘Local
Initiative’ released a callout for  justice in a statement:
“Today the occupation  committed a new crime which will be added to its black
list. Three  martyrs now rest in heaven after the shelling and again we call on
the  international community and civil society to pressure the occupation
forces to stop such crimes against Palestinian civilians and to start  working
on giving some protection to the local people in the Gaza  Strip.”
[Graphic below the break]

You may view the latest post at
http://www.maxajl.com/?p=4149

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on THE NAZI WAR AGAINST GAZA CONTINUES

ZIO=NAZI DEMOLISHES ENTIRE BEDOUIN VILLAGE

NOVANEWS


Israel demolishes entire village for fifth time, immediately after holiday

From the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, all photos by Oren Ziv of www.activestills.org 

The Bedouin unrecognized village of Al Arakib was demolished this morning for the 5th time,immediately after Eid Al-Fitr (one of the most important Muslim holidays marking the end of Ramadan). The village is located 7 kilometers north of the city of Be’er Sheva, in the Israeli Negev Desert. Dozens of policemen came to the village before dawn to secure the bulldozers which started to destroy the tents and the all other structures in the village.

 

 

Since 27th of July, when the first demolition of the village occurred, the state of Israel has destroyed the village another four times: August 4th. August 10th, August 17th at the beginning of Ramadan and today, after Ramadan’s end.  The residents of the village tried to resist with no success and then stood with their children, watching their houses crashing down. They were left in the middle of the
desert without water or food.

 

 

The Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF) demands the Israeli government to stop the home demolitions immediately and to find a fair and reasonable solution for the Bedouin in Al-Arakib and all the other unrecognized villages in Israel. Michal Rotem the spokeperson of NCF said:”The destruction policy which is implemented now will bring only rage and hate and will eventually prevent Israelis Jewish and Arabs from being able to live in the Negev/ Naqab together”.

By Jesse Bacon

We have been posting less frequently in the past week at The Only Democracy? because of the Rosh Hashana holiday, enough so that we missed one of the proud moments of this season. Our mother organization Jewish Voice for Peace has announced its first ever Rabbinical Council. While not an on-the-ground development in Israel/Palestine, I believe it will be inspiring to many readers of TOD? and has the potential to combat inequality and freedom in a new way. May we all find creative new ways to sustain and struggle in the coming year.

On a personal note, as the person who usually writes the holiday messages here at TOD? I am thrilled to have the example and statements of this group to draw inspiration from. Here is their readings for the High Holidays (click on image to download.).

 

More Recent Articles

Israel demolishes entire village for fifth time, immediately after holiday and more

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ARE YOU ANTI-SEMITIC TOO?

NOVANEWS


Yediot to Abe Foxman: Are we anti-Semitic too?

September 14, 2010

Not exactly, but close.

For those of you who have missed the latest chapter of what Matt Duss calls “the continuing attempt to redefine ‘blood libel’ as ‘saying things about Israel I don’t particularly like'”, here’s a brief: This week’s TIME Magazine cover story was a feature by Karl Vick, entitled “Why Israel doesn’t care about peace” was not very useful from the current Hasbara perspective. Unfortunately, attacking it on its merits proved to be somewhat difficult. But Abe Foxman is always ready to play the anti-Semitism card. Haaretz:

A Time magazine cover story claiming Israelis are more interested in their booming economy than reaching an historical peace agreement with the Palestinians is another version of the anti-Semitic falsehood that Jews prefer money above any other interest, the Anti Defamation League said in a statement on Thursday.

This vile anti-Semitism has apparently penetrated Israel’s largest daily,  Yediot Acharonoth. Here’s how senior political columinist Sima Kadmon wraps her analysis of the latest polling on this morning front-page (entitled “Goodbye to peace”, full translation and poll results at bottom of this post):

What has happened to us? When did we come to be so lacking in faith? A week ago Time magazine ran a cover story about why Israelis don’t want peace. Many people criticized the article’s point of departure.

When one reads the findings of this poll, one is forced to contemplate the possibility that that thesis is not so ludicrous.

Goodbye to peace

Sima Kadmon, Yediot, September 14 2010 [page three with front-page teaser]

Profound pessimism — that would probably be deemed the understatement of the year in describing the Israeli public’s positions on the morning that the prime minister leaves for a summit meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh.

A Mina Tzemah poll that was conducted yesterday proves that the Israeli public has lost its faith: it has lost its faith in Netanyahu’s intentions, it has lost its faith in Abu Mazen’s abilities and his intentions to be a partner, it has lost its faith in peace. And worst of all, it has lost hope.

It would seem that somewhere along the way to a peace arrangement with the Palestinians we turned into a bitter, untrusting, weary and despairing people. Only that can explain how 48% are opposed (versus 45% who support) a peace arrangement with the Palestinians in which they recognize Israel as a Jewish state and Israel concedes most of the territories in the West Bank, while keeping the settlement blocs in Israeli possession. Since when would a plan of that sort be unacceptable to the public, when would we not have endorsed such a plan wholeheartedly?

Perhaps the reason is that only 36% of the public believes that Netanyahu is sincere in his intentions to reach an arrangement with the Palestinians. Fifty-six percent believe that he is doing everything as a result of American pressure. And that is relatively good in comparison to what the Israeli public thinks about Abu Mazen’s intentions. Only 23% believe that Abu Mazen and the Palestinians are sincere in their intentions. Seventy percent believe that they were forced into the talks by American pressure. So is it any wonder that only a quarter of the Israeli public, 25%, believe that there is a chance that the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will lead to a peace agreement? Seventy-one percent reject that notion.

And if that is the state of affairs and there is no chance of reaching a peace arrangement, why continue with the internal disagreements about a construction freeze? Why continue to wrack our brains on compromises, on calming tempers? Let’s tell everyone we’re not playing that game any more and go all out. When the respondents were asked whether they believed that the resumption of construction would lead to the derailment of the talks with the Palestinians, 68% said they believed it would certainly lead to their derailment. Nevertheless, 51% of the public believes that construction should be resumed everywhere throughout Judea and Samaria. In other words, despite the fact that a large majority believes that a resumption of construction while talks are underway will derail those talks, that course of action is acceptable to more than half of the Israeli public.

Even when the respondents are offered the option of a compromise in which construction is partially suspended and will be pursued mainly in the settlement blocs—a compromise that on the face of things ought to be acceptable to a majority of the public—it turns out that only 42% are prepared to consider that possibility. Thirty-two percent of the public object to that compromise because they believe that the construction moratorium ought to be ended altogether.

What has happened to us? When did we come to be so lacking in faith? A week ago Time magazine ran a cover story about why Israelis don’t want peace. Many people criticized the article’s point of departure.

When one reads the findings of this poll, one is forced to contemplate the possibility that that thesis is not so ludicrous.

Poll: Majority opposed to moratorium

Poll by Dahaf Polling Institute, Yediot, September 14 2010 [page three with front-page teaser]

Q: Should Netanyahu extend the settlement construction freeze after September 26, or should construction be resumed?

Extend construction freeze: 39%

Resume construction: 51%

No response/don’t know: 10%

Q: Would you support a compromise in which construction in the territories is partially suspended—in other words, for there to be construction only in the settlement blocs?

I would support such a compromise: 42%

I am opposed because the construction freeze should be comprehensive: 20%

I am opposed because the construction freeze should be ended: 32%

No response/don’t know: 6%

Q: Do you believe that Netanyahu is serious in his intentions to reach an agreement, or do you believe that he has entered negotiations because of American pressure?

Because of American pressure: 56%

His intentions are sincere: 36%

No response/don’t know: 8%

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on ARE YOU ANTI-SEMITIC TOO?

PEOPLE TRAFFICKING: TELL THE GOVERNMENT TO STOP IT NOW

NOVANEWS

14 September, 2010


38 Degrees Logo

Dear,

Every year, criminal gangs traffic thousands of people into the UK. The victims are bought and sold like slaves. Many of them, including children, end up in the sex trade. They’re forced to have sex with dozens of different men each week. [1]

Both David Cameron and Nick Clegg have spoken against trafficking in the past. But now, they’re refusing to opt in to new rules agreed by the rest of Europe to crack down on the traffickers. [2] This is a huge setback to the fight against trafficking in Europe.

Politicians don’t want to be seen turning a blind eye to trafficking. If we make this a public issue, we can embarrass them into signing the UK up. A huge petition to Cameron and Clegg would prove they can expect a big public outcry if they let down the victims of trafficking. That could be enough to change their decision.

Click here to sign the petition to tell Cameron and Clegg to fight trafficking:
http://www.38degrees.org.uk/stop-trafficking/

Trafficking gangs smuggle their victims between countries. The new rules will help European countries work together to catch and punish these gangs. If the UK refuses to join in, we’ll make life easier for the traffickers. They’ll be able to carry on making huge profits from abusing people. [3]

38 Degrees members have achieved lots when it comes to standing up for people in danger. Together, we stopped the government from sending Kiana Firouz back to the risk of prison or torture in Iran. We won our fight to make Boris Johnson keep his promise to pay for four Rape Crisis Centres in London. We can do the same to protect the victims of trafficking.

We’ve teamed up with Anti-Slavery International on this campaign. By working together we’ve got a real chance of persuading David Cameron and Nick Clegg that they can’t back away from the fight against trafficking.

Click here sign the petition to David Cameron and Nick Clegg:
http://www.38degrees.org.uk/stop-trafficking/

Thanks for being involved,

David, Hannah, Johnny and the 38 Degrees Team

P.S. As well as getting in touch about trafficking, 38 Degrees members have been making suggestions about how we can work together to influence the debate about the cuts. If you’ve got ideas, please add them to the Facebook page  (http://www.facebook.com/peoplepowerchange/) or add a comment on our blog (http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2010/09/14/cuts-what-should-38-degrees-do/)

NOTES
[1] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/2600-women-trafficked-into-sex-trade-report-finds-2055811.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/sep/03/belfast-brothel-raids-sex-trafficking
[2] http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/sep/04/john-sentamu-criticises-sex-trafficking-policy
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/06/sex-slave-trafficking
[3] http://www.antislavery.org/english/campaigns/background_on_trafficking_for_forced_labour_in_the_uk.aspx
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/30/coalition-opts-out-sex-trafficking

Posted in UKComments Off on PEOPLE TRAFFICKING: TELL THE GOVERNMENT TO STOP IT NOW

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: INDIA TORTURE,SEXUAL ASSAULT & ILLEGAL DETENTION

NOVANEWS


Amnesty International – India: Authorities should investigate torture, sexual assault and illegal detention of adivasis in Chhattisgarh

Rajeesh | September 15, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/pglpM-1W2

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC STATEMENT

AI Index: ASA 20/026/2010
14 September 2010

India: Authorities should investigate torture, sexual assault and illegal detention of adivasis in Chhattisgarh

The Indian authorities should order a prompt, impartial and independent investigation into reports of torture and ill-treatment, including rape and other sexual violence, against adivasis (indigenous people) illegally detained in Chhattisgarh, Amnesty International said today.

Adivasis from Pachangi and Aloor villages in Kanker district told Amnesty International that paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF) personnel and the Chhattisgarh state police rounded up 40 adivasi men from their villages on 5 and 6 September, stripped them and beat them with sticks. Five men – Narsingh Kumra, Sukram Netam, Premsingh Potayi, Raju Ram and Bidde Potayi were reportedly raped with sticks and are still being treated at the Kanker government hospital.

These violations followed the 29 August ambush of a BSF-police patrol by members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in which three BSF personnel and two policemen were killed.

Seventeen people from the two villages were also detained– blindfolded, split into batches and taken to the BSF camp at Durgkondal in closed trucks. Amnesty International has been informed that at least two of those detained – Dhansu Khemra and Sarita Tulavi – were 16 year old girls while another four were women and girls between 16 and 20.

During their detention, security forces beat the detainees in an attempt to force them to confess that they were Maoists involved in the 29 August ambush. The interrogators gave electric shocks to at least 10 detainees and sexually assaulted two female detainees.

Villagers said that on the morning of 7 September the Kanker police released one female detainee Sunita, as she was suffering from malaria, and her father, Punnim Tulavi, a school-teacher, but then arrested two more men.

The five remaining female detainees were taken to a local court along with two of the adivasi men on 8 September, while the remaining ten male detainees were taken to court on 10 September. All of the adivasis were charged with involvement in the 29 August ambush by the banned Maoist armed group and are presently in Kanker and Jagdalpur prisons, after being denied bail.

Indian law requires that arrested persons be produced before a court within 24 hours of the arrest. In an attempt to circumvent this requirement, the police claimed the two groups of detainees were arrested only one day before their respective appearances in court.

Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including sexual violence, are prohibited in all circumstances, including war or other emergency under international law, and in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Geneva Conventions. India is also a signatory to the United Nations’ Convention Against Torture and the Indian Parliament is currently engaged in passing a new law against torture in accordance with the provisions of the Convention before its ratification.

Amnesty International calls upon the Indian authorities to:

· ensure a prompt, impartial, independent and effective investigation into the allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, including sexual assault, and the illegal detention of adivasis. Those suspected of involvement in the violations, including persons bearing command responsibility, should immediately be suspended from positions where they may repeat such offences, and brought to justice;
· award the victims of torture and other ill-treatment full reparations. In particular, immediately ensure that all victims of torture and other ill-treatment, including sexual violence, are provided with proper medical care, both physical and psychological, by professionals trained and sensitised to treat such victims; and
· ensure that, if – as a measure of last resort – those under the age of 18 are kept in prison, they are held separately from adults and otherwise treated in accordance with India’s juvenile justice legislation and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which India is a state party.

Over the last five years, Chhattisgarh has witnessed an escalation of violence between the banned Maoists who claim to be fighting on behalf of the adivasis and India’s paramilitary forces. At least 600 people have been killed and some 30,000 adivasis continue to be displaced from their homes in the state.

http://www.amnesty.org
http://www.asiapacific.amnesty.org

Posted in WorldComments Off on AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: INDIA TORTURE,SEXUAL ASSAULT & ILLEGAL DETENTION

L’SHANA TOVA

NOVANEWS


Jewish Voice for Peace

    

Click to make your  New Year’s gift to JVP. 

  

  

   

  

  

  

  

Dear,

The last two weeks have been, well, crazy.
Like most of my co-workers, I’ve had a lot of very late nights lately, just trying to keep up with the pace. And you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is the work we are on this planet to do – and, we can’t do it without you. 

Over the past few weeks, we connected with over 150 remarkable stage and screen professionals, all ready to proudly support their bold Israeli colleagues who refused to perform in illegal settlements. The Israeli artists helped catalyze a national conversation about settlements in Israel. We want to do the same here.  

Truly, this is a bittersweet Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year). So much is happening– both terrible and awe-inspiring. History is in the making, and we can’t afford to let one moment go by without our attention, our action, and our voice. This is what your contributions support. I hope you’ll make your New Year contribution once again so that we can continue this important work.  

A few weeks ago, when Jewish Voice for Peace issued our statement about our refusal to allow anti-Muslim hatred to violate the basic freedoms of Muslim Americans to worship and assemble at the Park 51 Center, so many of you wrote to us to say you had been looking for a voice that represented you and that we were that voice. We take that responsibility seriously.  

Days later, we broke new ground by launching our first ever Rabbinical Council, composed of some of the bravest and most principled Jewish religious leaders we know.  

And then, when we made history by gathering the most extraordinary list yet of film, theater and TV heavyweights to condemn Israel’s occupation, you stood up with us to support the courage of those speaking out and to speak out yourself. Inspiring courage – we take that responsibility seriously too. 

This new year, all of us at Jewish Voice for Peace commit to staying true to what is right and just in the world. To articulating a vision of full equality for all peoples. To building a movement of people pressing for change that will not be intimidated or turn back. We simply can’t do it – not any of it – without the individual contributions of people like you.  

JVP was started by a small group of people who willed this organization into being. Today, I can hardly believe how much we have grown in such a short period of time and how much we have accomplished – fueled almost entirely by small gifts from thousands of people exactly like you.  But to make the change that needs to be made, we need to keep growing.  We need you to give generously – and we thank you for it.  

We asked you to share your commitments for this new year, and these are just a few of the hundreds of promises that you made – they express better than we ever could the vision and spirit that binds us all together. 

Christina:  I promise to remember the lessons I learned as a young child in a community of Holocaust survivors and their children. They taught me that to stand by and do nothing in the face of persecution and injustice was wrong and made the bystander complicit….. I honour them by standing with the Palestinian people and not against the Israeli people. I honour them- by standing, fearlessly, with all who stand for peace. 

Malkah: In this new year I pledge my best efforts and join hand in hand with the rest of the international community who refuse to accept the state of things as they are today. And instead, work and act as if the dream of our ability to be together in peace, harmony and justice prevails. 

Yoel: I promise to remind myself as often as necessary that this struggle isn’t about me, but about others. I promise to be fearless but sensible; to be a leader but also a follower; to shout loudly but listen carefully. I promise to keep going, to always have hope and to never stop fighting, until justice runs down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. 

Tariq: Shana Tova & Eid Mubarak to all my Jewish and Muslim friends who strive for social justice and value human dignity irrespective of religious, ethnic or social divides. I promise to support all peace efforts built upon justice and mutual respect. 

We are so grateful to be in this movement with you in this moment in history. Let us all move forward and make this year our most fearless, most effective, most loving year yet. Thank you for standing with us with your words, your actions, and your financial support. 

L’shana Tova  

Cecilie Surasky
Jewish Voice for Peace  

P.S. After you make your gift, please go to our website ThisIsMyPromise.org to view inspiring video of our new Rabbinical Council leaders and to make your own promise. 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on L’SHANA TOVA

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