Archive | September 16th, 2010

THE ANGRY ARAB ONLINE NEWSLETTER

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lebanese Christian Anti-Semitism

Elie Frizli (a pro-Syrian sectarian Greek Orthodox politician, and a former deputy speaker of the parliament) yesterday said that the American minister in Gainesville, Florida who wanted to burn the Qur’an is in fact a “rabbi who had worked in a synagogue.”  He said so on NBN TV.

`Abdur-Rahman Al-Rashid

This long time media tool of House of Saud has been fired from Al-Arabiyya TV.  He was also former editor-in-chief of the mouthpiece of Prince Salman and his sons but now he has been banned from writing his regular (propaganda) columns for Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat.  His crime? He allowed the airing of “documentary” that offended Wahhabi clerical kooks.

Saudi-Israeli Alliance

See how the mouthpiece of Prince Salman is working overtime to improve the image of Netanyahu.

Zionist hoodlums

It appears that As’ad AbuKhalil, the supposedly famous “Angry Arab News Service” blogger, is also trying to feel the love for the Jewish people. He chastises Jewish readers who embrace anti-Muslim causes that are “dangerous on the long term” and “ destined to poison for years and decades to come the relationship between Jews… and all Muslims and Arabs.”  OK, As’ad. Now you’re going to condemn those in Arab world who spread lies about Jews, right?

Nope. Instead we get this:”  He then characterizes my fierce opposition to Zionism on the land of Palestine as anti-Semitic.  I mean how predictable a propaganda tactic, and how boring??

AlAzhar clerical kooks

This bunch of AlAzhar clerical kooks are unleashing hate against Christians.  (thanks Houssam)

saatchi and saatchi and Quantum

Question:
Why was so much trust placed in Saatchi and Saatchi?
Response:
Saatchi & Saatchi has a global reputation as one of the best advertising and strategic communications firms in the world, and has been used by the United States Government (including the State
Department)
for various projects. These facts and history generated MBN’s trust and confidence in Saatchi & Saatchi from the beginning and played key roles in Saatchi & Saatchi’s selection as a branding and
promotion provider. Clients of Saatchi and Saatchi include Western Union, Cadbury, Procter & Gamble, Hi Magazine, Future Television and the King Hussein Cancer Center to name just a few.
Question:   Why did these contracts have to be no-bid contracts? Were there no qualified companies across the entire Middle East that could have supplied the broadcasting services Al-Hurra needed?
Response:

  The contract awarded to Quantum Communications for production support services (including office space) was not a ”no-bid contract,” as Mr. Kleinman explained at the hearing on November 10,
2005. Rather, as he testified, MBN spoke ”to three companies” about providing these services, ”two of whom refused to put in bids once they found out what our security and other requirements were. And then
subsequent to that, we negotiated and had a sole-source justification under the appropriate rules and regulations” and awarded the contract to Quantum. (This contract is being re-bid in 2006.) BrandCentral received a contract in March 2005 for various services, including the design and ongoing updates to MBN’s Alhurra TV and Alhurra-Iraq websites. Among the numerous reasons for the award of this contract to
BrandCentral (which was done with the approval of MBN’s Board of Directors and in accordance with OMB Circular A–110) was that the company provided a unique combination of corporate experience, had the capability to interact sensitively within the target culture on crucial communications issues, maintained key personnel capabilities, possessed technological expertise, was located within the hub of the Middle East advertising world, possessed the necessary security capabilities and could deliver the services requested by MBN at a reasonable price.”   (thanks anonymous)

Photoshop

If Mubarak was the laughing cow of the Arab world (for his striking resemblance to the Laughing Cow image), now he is the laughing stock with the exposure of the photo shop of his image at the White House.  (thanks Laleh)

March 8 versus March 14

If you are watching Lebanese developments and keeping scores of the conflict, you have to say that March 8 has been unusually more adept as of late and more politically astute.  They have finally been able to put the March 14 camp on the defensive.  Having said that, the conflict between the two sides can only leave secular progressives outside both camp.  You can’t join either and stay sane and true to your principles.  Of course, March 14’s agenda is more sinister: it is the local version of Israeli-Saudi plans for the Middle East.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

casual Zionist lies

Look how casually Zionist mainstream newspapers now resort to lies or to citation of lies, all to smear the government of Turkey that they hate.  (By the way, whatever happened to the Turkish promise of not restoring ties with Israel unless they lift the siege of Gaza?)

 

Symposium at SF State University

You may watch it live here.  (It begins at 5:00PM Pacific Time).

My aljazeera appearance from yesterday

“Crazy bear” taped my aljazeera appearance from yesterday.

An investigative report by comrade Layal Haddad about Quantum.

 

The U.S. Soldier Who Committed Suicide After She Refused to Take Part in Torture

“Spc. Alyssa Peterson was one of the first female soldiers who died in Iraq. Her death under these circumstances should have drawn wide attention. It’s not exactly the Tillman case, but a cover-up, naturally, followed.”

 

Now Dutch war crimes

“Dutch soldiers stationed in the Afghan province of Uruzgan allegedly violated the laws of war when they carried out a raid on a hospital in the provincial capital Tarin Kowt in 2009. The Dutch soldiers are said to have been looking for injured Taliban fighters.

“Israel wants to ensure that if the deal is carried out, the Saudis are supplied with aircraft that are less advanced than the ones in Israel’s arsenal. The biggest concern surrounds technological aircraft systems that could undermine the Israel Air Force advantage in the region.” (thanks Olivia)

Zionism is racism–and pornography

“Israel’s foreign Ministry has acquired the @Israel username on Twitter, the social networking site, from the Spanish owner of adult porn sites.”

“We made a news decision on Friday that offended many readers and we sincerely apologize for it.  Many saw Saturday’s front-page story and photo regarding the local observance of the end of Ramadan as offensive, particularly on the day, September 11, when our nation and the world were paying tribute to those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks nine years ago.  We have acknowledged that we erred by at least not offering balance to the story and its prominent position on the front page.” (thanks Khelil)

Deaths of Migrant Domestic Workers in Lebanon

During August & September 2010” (thanks Marilyn)

Among the achievements of Lebanon’s Minister of Defense:
“Fight against terrorism and annihilate the terrorist organization “Fatah Al-Islam” in “Nahr al-Bared Camp” in 2007.”  Note that this site says it is the “official” site of Al-Murr because apparently too many fans have set up rival sites for the genius minister.

I received this:
Regarding the so called « biggest » cross in the World (presumably located in Lebanon) here are some facts:

The tallest cross is located in Spain (Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos– The Saint Cross of the Valley of the fallen) – 150 meters high. I won’t discuss its historical background (Franco ordered its construction which claimed a lot of lives + this cross is a symbol of Spanish fascism).  The largest is located in Effingham, Illinois.  As for the cross built in Lebanon, since it cannot be the tallest (or the bigger or the largest) one (73,8 meters), well, they chose to say: It’s the biggest illuminated one (akbar salib mouda’).  Lying is good for the Lebanese (stupid) disproportionate ego.”” (thanks N.)

From the silly country of Lebanon, the biggest qarisheh sandwich. (thanks Wassim)

French Revolution?

“Reporting from Paris —A leaked government document instructing French police to prioritize the systematic elimination of illegal Roma shanty towns, above other unauthorized squats, is fueling accusations that the state is discriminating against a specific group.”

“Settlers receive 22% more budget grants than other Israelis, probe shows” (thanks Mike)

Look what Al-Ahram newspaper did.  They photoshopped a picture of Obama and the other Middle East leaders in the White House to show Mubarak in the front of the group.  Compare:

From left, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Barack Obama, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah II. | AP Photo


(thanks Farah)

“Amazing how they look so much like us…how sad that two sides so similar are at war,” responded “Man from Tel-Aviv.””  Oh, we will be at war until there is no more Israel in our midst.  Rest assured.  

 

Look at those idiots in Lebanon.  Now they have come up with “the biggest cross” ever.  If they like ranking so such, I am willing to ward Lebanon the honor of “the dumbest idea of a country” ever.   (Al-Mustaqbal)  (thanks Nader)

“The Israeli military has failed to investigate its forces for killing dozens of Palestinian civilians in recent years, spawning a climate of impunity, a human rights group said on Tuesday.  “Soldiers who kill Palestinians in the occupied territories are almost never held accountable, even if the circumstances raise a grave suspicion that they acted criminally,” the Israeli group B’Tselem said.  “This policy permits soldiers and officers to act in violation of the law, encourages a trigger-happy attitude and shows a flagrant disregard for human life,” it added.
B’Tselem said that from 2006 to 2009 the military had opened investigations into just 23 of 148 cases submitted by the group. The cases concern the killing of 288 civilians.  Another 41 of the cases were dismissed, while the military has yet to issue any decision on the remaining 84. No criminal charges have been brought in any of the cases, B’Tselem said.” (thanks Olivia)

Can I watch one news broadcast on Aljazeera without having to be subjected to Israeli propagandists on the screen?

Aljazeera 

For those who don’t are, you may see me on Aljazeera (Arabic)’s Min Washington program. It will air at 1:05PM Eastern Time (11:05 AM Pacific Time), or 9:00PM Beirut Time, Tuesday. The topic is “the Arab lobby.”

 

For those who don’t care, I shall be speaking this Wednesday at 5:00PM at San Francisco State University on American Hostility to Islam: official and public. Place: Conference room of the historic College of Ethnic Studies.

Berman is no Benda, standing up to over weening power and establishment bias. Rather, Berman embraces them on the way to trying to denigrate an embattled European intellectual who, in a sure sign of his moderation, has made enemies in both the Western and the Muslim worlds. Berman has been stalking Ramadan for some time now in a spirit of fury and resentment, as anyone reading his unbalanced “profile” of Ramadan for The New Republic will remember. Nor is there anything liberal about Berman’s attack on Islam through his misappropriation of Hannah Arendt in his “Terror and Liberalism.” There, after referring to Saddam Hussein as a “totalitarian menace” and to the “entire situation” in the Middle East as having “the look of Europe in 1939,” Berman calls for an “anti-totalitarian war.” He concludes the virulently ideological book by asserting that “right now we are beset with terrorists from the Muslim totalitarian movements.”  Such anti-Muslim screeds, posturing as liberal anti-Islamist critiques, tell us little about the radical Salafist threat (“totalitarianism” has nothing to do with it) and nothing about the crucial difference between Islam and the perversions of a few of its radical zealots. In the tradition of Samuel P. Huntington’s polarizing “Clash of Civilizations,” Berman’s work is all bias and invective encased in pseudo- social-science jargon. It is liberal-universalist only because he says it is.”

BENJAMIN R. BARBER
New York
The writer is a distinguished senior fellow at Demos and the Walt Whitman professor emeritus at Rutgers University.

I have been appalled by some of the angry rhetoric directed at Muslims in recent weeks. American Muslims might take comfort in the knowledge that, fair or not, they’re the flavor of the month. Soon enough, the right will find a new target for its vitriol. It may be homosexuals, illegal immigrants or pro-choice advocates. This is all part of the American experience.

I’m a Christian, but I can’t reasonably be held accountable every time someone like the Internet evangelist Bill Keller claims to speak on behalf of Christianity (rest assured, he doesn’t). Similarly, I don’t hold all Muslims accountable for the actions of a few radical terrorists.  It isn’t always a smooth ride navigating the terrain of this wonderful but flawed nation of ours, but it is eminently doable. And worth the effort.  Will American Muslims ever belong? I believe that they already do.”

No book states the case more plainly than a single volume, tucked away deep within the citadel of Copley Square — the Boston Public Library. The book known as Adams 281.1 is a copy of the Koran, from the personal collection of John Adams. There is nothing particularly ornate about this humble book, one of a collection of 2,400 that belonged to the second president. But it tells an important story, and reminds us how worldly the Founders were, and how impervious to the fanaticisms that spring up like dandelions whenever religion and politics are mixed. They, like we, lived in a complicated and often hostile global environment, dominated by religious strife, terror, and the bloodsport of competing empires. Yet better than we, they saw the world as it is, and refused the temptation to enlarge our enemies into Satanic monsters, or simply pretend they didn’t exist.  Reports of Korans in American libraries go back at least to 1683, when an early settler of Germantown, Pa., brought a German version to these shores. Despite its foreign air, Adams’s Koran had a strong New England pedigree. The first Koran published in the United States, it was printed in Springfield in 1806.”

The Lebanese Maronite church’s reaction to the plan to burn the Qur’an by that Flordia-based religious kook has been: oh, those are protestants.  And protestants are not Christians after all.

I have lived for a bit less than 30 years in this country.  I have never seen a more blatant and explicit festival of hate as I have been observing against Muslims in the US as of late.  What is more, or most, dangerous is the embrace and championing of this hate by Zionist Jewish leadership in the US.  That is so dangerous on the long term and is destined to poison for years and decades to come the relationship between Jews as a whole and all Muslims and Arabs.  I of course want only poisoned relationship with Israel, but I believe that our fierce and categorical rejection of Zionism in Palestine should be separate from the attempt to establish–especially after the demise of Israel–harmony and brotherhood/sisterhood between Arabs/Muslims and Jews.  There are some 13.5 million Jews in the world and the reckless participation in the campaign of hate by the likes of ADL and other Zionist Jewish organization will be harmful for Jews, let alone the goals of peace and justice–real peace and justice and not the so-called “peace process.”  I don’t understand why Jewish organizations in the US don’t lead the campaign against hatred of Muslims; it is in their self-interest to do so after all.

This is hilarious because it is a lie.  The lousy Zionist paper is reporting citing a radio station about a threat against the lousy Sami Gemayyel (who thinks he is living in 1975 when the Phalanges were a force to be reckoned with).  In fact, some anonymous person wrote some threat on some website that is not linked to Hizbullah.  Look how it reads in this story here.   Israel really still hearts the Gemayyel family, it seems.  I mean, i receive regular threats via email and on websites but I dont see Haaretz getting all alarmed.

I am in charge of negotiation, says Chief PA buffoon, Sa’ib `Urayqat.  Apparently, there is a conflict between him and Nabil Sha`th over heading the negotiations with Israel.  But `Urayqat wins all the time because he is a much better prostrator.

“Launching of a rocket from Gaza on Israel”

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BURNINH KORANS=RELIGIOUS CRUSADES

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Political Cartoons – Burning Korans = Religious Crusades

September 16, 2010

by Robert L. Hanafin

Source: Bendib Comics

Wicked cartoons by America’s Most Wanted Political Cartoonist. Enjoy!

http://www.bendib.com/book/?utm_source=Bendib+Cartoon+-+Weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Bendib+Cartoon+-+Weekly

Khalil Bendib is a Berkeley, CA-based award-winning cartoonist published in numerous small and mid-sized newspapers across the USA, as well as in
The Black Commentator and various other online publications.

Born in North Africa under a colonialist French regime, Khalil brings a fresh, non-Eurocentric perspective and a unique voice not usually found in our large, corporate media, which have studiously censored, avoided and blacked it out.

His hard-hitting, myth-shattering, platitude-mocking cartoons rarely shy away from the truth, as they seek to expose the crude racial stereotypes, “diss-information” and info-tainment pabulum offered as gospel by our mass media.

In the proud tradition of genuine watchdog journalism, Khalil Bendib’s work aims to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable – and to give a voice to the voiceless.

Source: Jeff Danziger

http://www.danzigercartoons.com/

Posted by: Bobby Hanafin, Editorial Board Member, Veterans Today News Network

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AHMEDINEJAD BLAMES ZIONIST INFLUENE OBAMA

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ANDREA MITCHELL’S NBC INTERVIEW: IRANIAN PRESIDENT BLAMES ZIONISTS INFLUENCE OBAMA

September 16, 2010by Debbie Menon  

By Tim King — www.salem-news.com

 ANDREA MITCHELL OF NBC INTERVIEW PRESIDENT AHMEDINEJAD

(SALEM, Ore.) – NBC Reporter Andrea Mitchell’s interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad broke new ground with the American public, by actually allowing the idea of Zionist control to air on an American news network. I’m not saying it has never been mentioned, but this is a real breakthrough.

The interview initially centered around the release of Sarah Shourd, an American hiker, one of three held in an Iranian jail since 31 July 2009, when they were arrested for espionage as they crossed from war torn Iraq into Iran.

Shane Bauer, 27, and Jeff Fattal, 28, remain in Iranian custody and will face the country’s judicial system. Shourd was released for health reasons.

Ahmadinejad stresses in the interview below that Iranians do not dislike Americans and he believes that in fact, Americans also really don’t hate Iranians, but they are often guided by hardcore religious fanatics in the U.S. just like we see in the Mideast, and Israel.


 
YouTube – Veterans Today –

What is Zionism?

Fortunately we have a team of writers who have specifically addressed this and anyone can gain a great deal of knowledge by reading the articles in our special series: “ZIONISM UNMASKED”

Here are the articles in the series:

In a nutshell, Zionism is the widely accepted belief that Israel belongs to the Jewish people because they are the chosen people. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how this type of belief might go to one’s head, and it did. After the tragedy of the Holocaust, Jewish people began moving to Palestine in increasing numbers. Twenty years after Israel was formed, the Six Day War was won by Israel and almost all of what remained of Palestine was seized. Palestinian people live by the million in refugee camps because their land was physically taken away by Israel and it continues every day, todate.

The problem is not religion, it is religious extremism, just as it is in the case of radical fundamentalist Muslim sects like the Wahabists and Taliban.

The reason Zionism is not frequently talked about and debated in the United States, is because anyone who does is instantly branded an ‘anti-semite’ but we have thick skin at Salem-News.com and we have brother and sister Jewish writers on our team, so those people haven’t a leg to stand on and are in fact racist themselves for even suggesting such stupid things.

Here are the articles in the series on ANTI-SEMITISM:

As you will see in the video above, Andrea Mitchell interrupts the Iranian President and is gently asked to allow him to finish speaking when he is in the middle of a sentence. This NBC reporter caught herself, she regained her composure and dropped the accusatory tone.

 It is not an opinion to state that Israel is hostile and aggressive toward Iran. It is also a fact that Israel attacked the United States Liberty during the Six Day War killing dozens of Americans and wounding scores.

 Ahmadinejad cares about the way the Palestinian people were displaced and he pays a price for that because it points a finger at Israel’s human cruelty and the displacement of millions of people.

 The very worst part is that it continues today, constantly; that is Israel’s destruction and illegal theft of Palestinian homes and the building of ‘settlements’ on top of the land that Palestinian people have lived on for generations. Activists in the ground call Israel’s tactics state sponsored terrorism. Homelessness is driven by Israel’s laws which regulate and punish Arab and Christian people under different guidelines than Jewish people. These are the criticisms in general of Israeli policy that seem unacceptable by general human standards.

 Zionism is practiced in churches all over the United States and the western world.

 Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com’s Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.
Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation’s only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address:

newsroom@salem-news.com


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PHILIP GIRALDI: A BIPARTISAN LOOK AT THE ISRAEL LOBBY

NOVANEWS

September 16, 2010 by Debbie Menon

Yes, there is quite a lot to examine and if anyone is seriously interested in genuine threats against the United States AIPAC and the Israel Lobby are good places to start.  But to do so would not be welcomed in many influential circles and there would be inevitable retaliation from the chattering class and the media.

By Philip Giraldi via My Catbird Seat

The Bipartisan Policy Center’s National Security Preparedness Group’s September 10th report ”Assessing the Terrorist Threat” concludes that there is a growing threat to the United States derived from the radicalization of some American Muslims, a number of whom have joined extremist groups abroad.  The report and its conclusions have received wide distribution in the United States mainstream media, to include a Washington Post article on September 11th headlined “US Must Deal With Homegrown Terror Problem.” National Public Radio reported it as “Homegrown terrorists pose biggest threat” while the Associated Press headlined ”US must deal with domestic radical problem.”

As the Bipartisan Policy Center was founded by five former United States senators, its findings have an aura of respectability.  This is unfortunate as the report deliberately seeks to heighten fear of a minority community based on what it might do, not necessarily what it has done.  The timing of the release of the report is also intriguing, coming as it did just before 9/11, heightening the already considerable anti-Muslim sentiment being expressed nationwide over the proposal for an Islamic community center in southern Manhattan near the former site of the World Trade Center.

Warning about a Muslim domestic terrorist threat is bad policy intended to dramatize complex issues in Manichean terms, somewhat akin to advocating security initiatives that can fit on a bumper sticker.  While the report concedes that United States government “overreactions” have contributed to the growth of extremism, it does not address the core issue, which is that the national counter-terrorism policy is itself deeply flawed and arouses legitimate concerns in many Muslim countries that Washington is intent on a never-ending apocalyptic war against Islam.

In reality, Muslim Americans are law abiding and the number of radicalized young men is tiny, many being naturalized citizens with deep family roots in countries where the United States is undertaking military action and killing large numbers of civilians.  Describing the terrorism threat confronting the United States as a “Muslim problem” is a simplistic and ultimately incorrect assessment of a much more complex group of interactions.  The Bipartisan Policy Center’s identification of 43 Muslim men who were convicted last year over support for or alignment with militant groups is unconvincing evidence of a major threat against the United States. 

Many of those convicted were on the receiving end of FBI sting operations in which an informant was inserted into the group, suggesting the possibility that the informant might have served as a catalyst or enabler for the proposed terrorist act.  In legal terms, this is referred to as “entrapment.”  Of the 43 cited convictions in 2009, only two were of men who actually carried out a terrorist action and there was one more who was capable of doing so, suggesting that the contention that there is a significant terrorist threat is greatly exaggerated.

The Bipartisan Policy Center might claim to be bipartisan because it includes both Democrats and Republicans but that does not mean that it is objective.  Two years ago it produced a “task force” report on the Iranian threat called “Meeting the Challenge:  US Policy Toward Iranian Nuclear Development.”  It concluded that Iran has no right to enrich nuclear fuel for any purpose and predicted that Tehran would have sufficient highly enriched uranium in one year’s time to build a bomb. 

It advocated talking to Tehran to give it a chance to surrender on all key issues before attacking it, urging newly elected but not yet inaugurated President Barack Obama to build up forces for the assault.  The task force recommended that the US military should, after bombing Iran into submission, remain in the area vigilant and ready to react to any possible attempt at retaliation by Tehran. 

Currently, two years after the alarming report, Iran still has neither a nuclear device nor any weapons grade fuel and there is no solid evidence that it has a program to produce a bomb, meaning that a war would have been another case of “preemption” of non-existent weapons of mass destruction, reminiscent of the lies that led to the invasion of Iraq.  And the Iran report conclusion calling for a US attack could hardly have been otherwise based on the make-up of the Bipartisan Policy Center task force that produced it.  It included Dennis Ross, who has been described as the State Department’s “lawyer for Israel” as well as Steve Rademaker husband of Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Michael Rubin also of AEI, Kenneth Weinstein of the Hudson Institute, and Kenneth Katzmann of the Congressional Research Service. 

Rubin drafted the report assisted by the project director Michael Makovsky, who is the brother of David Makovsky, the senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a pro-Israeli think tank that was founded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).  No one on the task force was an independent expert on Iran who might have been willing or able to express Iran’s concerns or point of view.  Indeed, apart from Rubin, no one on the task force knew anything about Iran at all, except possibly that it was supposed to be part of the axis of evil. 

And history repeats itself for the Bipartisan Policy Center’s current “Assessing the Terrorist Threat.” It was written by Peter Bergen, a journalist, and Bruce Hoffman, an academic.

Bruce Hoffman – Author of Inside Terrorism

Both have made their reputations talking and writing about terrorists, so, in a sense, they are part of the burgeoning terrorism industry and have a personal stake in hyping the threat.  On page 2 they acknowledge assistance from a number of “experts.”  Judging from the names, not one is a Muslim, meaning that there has been no input from the very community that is being excoriated in the report.  That is very much business as usual in Washington, but it invites some skepticism about the agenda of the authors of the report and the institution that sponsored it. 

If the Bipartisan Policy Center is seriously interested in examining threats against the United States rather than starting new wars or persecuting a religious group, I would suggest that they set up a new task force and take a long hard look at the actions of the Israel Lobby.  They could start by talking to Ross, Rademaker, Rubin, and the two Makovskys since they are members in good standing of the Lobby and are readily available, probably sitting somewhere down the hall.  Explain to them how United States security has been compromised by the tie that binds with Israel and how its institutions have been corrupted. 

Suggest to them that official Washington insofar as it relates to the Middle East is an AIPAC-run enterprise.  Run through the list of the State Department’s Assistant Secretaries of State for the Near East and discover that all of them have been Israel-firsters ever since Martin Indyk, an Australian citizen and AIPAC lobbyist, obtained the post in 1997. Bush appointee and hawk Jeffrey Feltman currently holds the position, virtually guaranteeing that there will be no shifting of allegiance at Foggy Bottom. Describe to them the more than $120 billion that Israel has received directly from the US taxpayer and discuss with them the many spies for Israel that have avoided prosecution because of government fear to cross AIPAC.

And then there is AIPAC itself.  You might explore with Dennis Ross why he thinks AIPAC should not be registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act even though it describes itself on its website as “America’s Pro-Israel Lobby.”  And you can chat a bit in a friendly way about how it works through intimidation and a large number of pro-Israel PACs to control Congress.  And then there are the Israel-firsters in the media, the gatekeepers of truth and managers of the narrative. 

Names like Will, Krauthammer, Horowitz, Zuckerman, Ignatius, Thomas, Kristol, Friedman, and Brooks come to mind but there are many, many more. And remind them of the stories that just won’t go away, like Senator Arlen Specter trying to make everyone forget how Israel illegally obtained uranium from a plant in Pennsylvania owned by one Zalman Shapiro and used it to make bombs.  Or the nagging accounts of Israeli spying, the most aggressive effort to steal American secrets by any country considered to be friendly.

And never forget that the Lobby is bipartisan. There are the billionaire Crown and Pritzker families of Chicago, exceptionally good friends of Israel and President Obama’s money men, and Aubrey and Joyce Chernick of Los Angeles who have been funding the recent anti-Muslim frenzy. And let’s not leave out Irving Moskowitz the California bingo king and Pastor John Hagee of Christians United for Israel, who both actively support the illegal expansion of Israeli settlements.  And speaking of the settlers, the “charitable” funding that enables them to arm themselves and steal Palestinian land is a tax write-off thanks to a congress, treasury, and justice department that prefer to look the other way.

Yes, there is quite a lot to examine and if anyone is seriously interested in genuine threats against the United States AIPAC and the Israel Lobby are good places to start.  But to do so would not be welcomed in many influential circles and there would be inevitable retaliation from the chattering class and the media.  The well-funded Bipartisan Policy Center would attract the anger of some very powerful and wealthy people and would suddenly find itself less well-endowed as its supporters disappear. 

Instead of taking on the Lobby let’s follow the Center’s sage advice and amble down a more inviting and less controversial path.  Let’s bomb the hell out of Iran shortly before locking up American Muslims in prison camps to keep them out of mischief.  Such measures will undoubtedly stop nuclear proliferation and end the international terrorism problem while the friends of Israel will be able to sleep soundly in their beds knowing that they will not be troubled by the Bipartisan Policy Center.

SOURCE: http://AMERICA-HIJACKED.COM

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA Officer, is the Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest. His “Deep Background” column appears every month exclusively in The American Conservative.

Related Posts:

CHARLES FREEMAN: Stifling debate on Israel has deadly consequences

JAMES PETRAS: The State and Local Bases of Zionist Power in America

PHILIP GIRALDI: Mossad pretends to be U.S. Intelligence 

GORDON DUFF: America’s War Racketeers, the Real Terrorists

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DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS

Dear All,

Just 4 items tonight.  I’ve been away from the computer for several days due to unforeseen circumstances.  One result is that you have had less to read.  Nice for a change, I’m sure.  The other result is that the 200 or so emails in my inbox folder that I had before have accumulated to 900 emails.  Since I realize that not in my wildest dreams will I be able to read even 1/8, I intend to delete almost all.  If you have written me or had a question, please resend, and in the subject line please write Attention Dorothy. 

I apologize in advance for any duplicates in tonight’s message.

The first of the four items is brief.  The term ‘kapparot’ in the title means ‘atonement’ (for one’s sins).  Before Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, religious Jews use chickens to carry their sins.  Chickens swung around the head (3 times) replace the sacrificial goat of biblical times—but the practice is a left-over from tribal days.   The argument below is with regard to the practice.  Were Israel to be a Jewish nation-state as Bibi is demanding (knowing full well that the Palestinians will not, cannot agree to this), then such problems as the one below would probably rule the day. 

The second item by Ofra Yeshua-Lyth takes the subject of a Jewish nation-state further, explaining why it would not be a good thing for either Palestinians or Jews.

Brief item 3 shows that the principle of academic freedom is not to be taken for granted in Israel.

The 4th item is longer and hard-hitting.  Phillip Weiss relates (in anger) his visit to Jerusalem—not a very pleasant tour.  As for Jerusalem, it is worth knowing that the biblical city was barely a pinpoint in what is now called ‘Jerusalem.’  Between the biblical city of David and the present Jerusalem, there is absolutely no resemblance in size or anything else.

One point that is not in any of the above items but comes to mind is that this evening on a TV interview, Hillary Clinton bemoaned the fate of guess who?  Right.  Gilad Shalit.  Well I also pity his parents.  But Shalit was a soldier.  Who knows what if any crimes he committed in Gaza?  He was captured!  Why does Hillary Clinton lament his fate but not say a word about the other 10,000 or so Palestinians in Israeli jail—some of them around 12 years old?  Isn’t that terrible? 

Dorothy

===============

Ynet 

September 16, 2010

Kapparot Controversy

  Tel Aviv: Haredim, seculars in chicken slaughter feud

City council member calls on mayor to prohibit chicken slaughter in Ramat Aviv. Haredi representative slams ‘needless hate’

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3954748,00.html

Yoav Zitun

Over 2,000 people have signed a petition, led by Tel Aviv City Council Member Reuven Lediansky, calling on Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai to prohibit the ceremonial slaughtering of chickens, as part of the ritual ceremony performed prior to Yom Kippur.

Members of the “Free Ramat Aviv” group, which has been operating in recent years to counter the Haredi takeover of the northern Tel Aviv neighborhood, plans to take whatever legal steps necessary to prevent the slaughtering, if it indeed takes place in public. 

Last year the municipality prohibited the ritual in public and it was therefore moved indoors, to a banquet hall, where members of the “Free Ramat Aviv” group had already begun protesting early that morning.

The city plans on permitting the custom this year, but under certain conditions: It can only be performed adjacent to synagogues or markets, within a span of 48 hours prior to the start of the fast and under suitable sanitary conditions. 

Adv. Lediansky, the council member leading the petition, wrote in his letter to the mayor that “thousands of chickens will be severely and violently abused. Religious entities plan on performing this ritual throughout the city again this year, including in residential areas, and by doing so will offend many residents of Tel Aviv.” Lediansky added that the chickens are often held in small and crowded stalls, sometimes going for days without water of food. He also quoted clause 4 of a Tel Aviv bylaw stating that “the slaughter of chickens is only permitted inside a slaughterhouse.”

Tel Aviv City Council Member Rabbi Naftali Lobert insisted the ritual is not barbaric, but rather, religious.

“This is no different than a slaughtered chicken that you consume,” he added, “Regarding the chicken’s living conditions, take it up with the chicken farmers.”

The Tel Aviv Municipality commented: “The municipality’s policy is to allow the religious community to perform the ritual for the duration of 48 hours prior to the holiday. As such, the ritual has been authorized in several locations throughout the city, provided the chickens are held inside the stores under suitable conditions and the slaughtering is performed inside the store.” 

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2. National Jewish State: Not a good idea for Palestinians and Jews alike

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ofra-yeshualyth/national-jewish-state-not_b_714040.html

By Ofra Yeshua-Lyth

So many bags are going to be packed and unpacked all over again in the present round of Israeli Palestinian Peace talks. According to the special American envoy George Mitchell, the rivaling leaders have agreed to meet every two weeks over the coming months, with U.S. representatives attending at least some of those meetings. One may look enviously on the lavish gatherings, the next one due this Monday at the enchanted Egyptian-Bedouin Sharm El Sheikh resort. At the same time respect is due for the perfect candor sizzling out of the off-record briefings: no, nobody expects real progress to come out of the discussions, thanks for asking.

President Barack Obama made a special festive plea to Israel and the Palestinian Authority “to move beyond their differences”. However the luggage of the Israeli Prime Minister contains some two thousand year old axioms that would guarantee no such “move” will not occur in any foreseeable future.

“Moving beyond the differences” between a mini-superpower and a semi-functioning civil administration totally controlled by it is already a great challenge. Any symmetry between the two parties will be limited to the sizes of the delegations’ respective presidential suites. The good food and elegant settings might help to forget that Benjamin Netanyahu is the elected leader of the occupying might, fully backed by his relevant constituency, while Mahmoud Abbas’s presidency over an exasperated population with no citizenship or even valid travel documents is much contested.

Still, just for the case that the Palestinians should accept too many Israeli security demands and expect some gesture in return, a real effort was made by the Israeli delegation to secure the breakdown of the negotiations with null results. Benjamin Netanyahu inserted a trump card with an old-new mantra to take the center stage: “we expect you to be prepared to recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people”, Netanyahu reportedly told President Abbas in Washington, making headlines and rallying supporters to the customary indignant Israeli complain: what about our right for self-determination?

What most supporters will not see, and the majority of supposedly impartial observers fail to notice, is that this demand has nothing to do with self-determination; In fact it represents the opposite of this very idea. The basic right of every person to choose and declare his or her own national identity is denied to Israeli citizen and residents alike.

There is no such thing as “Israeli Nationality”. Israeli citizens are categorized according to “nationalities” that in fact represent their religion affiliations or ethnic origins. Rare challenges to this anomaly from within Israel are crushed (if raised by Arabs) or ignored (if the challengers are Jews). The state accords a privileged status to the “Jewish Nationality” which may be certified only by the authorities of the Orthodox rabbinate.

As Netanyahu, a seemingly secular, smart and sophisticated modern man, and the overwhelming majority of Israeli-Jewish citizens know only too well, the concept of the “nation state for the Jewish People” entails green light for human rights violations sanctioned by the strict, undemocratic and openly xenophobic decries of a very ancient, unreformed and outdated religion.

The Orthodox Jewish establishment that exclusively decides “who is a Jew” is far removed from the majority of the Jewish religious institutions in the US (in fact many American Jews are not even as eligible to call themselves Jewish according to the orthodoxy). But it had mastered the reverence and the full cooperation of the Israeli state and its supporters, enabling a perfect instrument for the practice of blatant discrimination against non-Jews who happen to live in the land, mainly the indigenous population.

In the National State for the Jewish People residential rights as well as property claims have their limits for the non-Jewish population. Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel are expected to accept a second-class citizenship. In the occupied territories, the discrimination becomes even more painfully obvious, while its origins are seldom noticed. The flourishing Israeli settlements, resided by Jewish nationals only, are enclaves of state-financed welfare and prosperity. Their dwellers may roam the space between the river Jordan and the sea unhindered by the military checkpoints. Their elevated status is a direct derivation of their religious affiliation. In fact, any complete foreigner landing in these regions from abroad is entitled to the lavish subsidies that make life in the occupied areas so attractive to many Israeli Jews. Provided, of course, that he or she can display the mandatory religious affiliation credentials.

It is hardly surprising that feeble calls for secularization of Israel – a mere separation of politics and religion (“Church and State”) are greeted with panic and libeled as “calls for the annihilation” of the Jewish State. Non-religious Israelis often resent the extent at which the Jewish religion interferes with their personal affairs, down to the consumption of food, leisure patterns, transport and matrimony. They dislike most aspects of the orthodox religious education system and the generous funneling of tax money to sponsor non-working religious populations. Israeli women know that law of the land does not accord them the same rights as men, and on some Jerusalem buses their place is in the back as not to interfere with the view of pious Jewish men. Still, the concept of the “National Jewish State” remains a sacred taboo.

However there is no reason in the world why a Palestinian leader should endorse this taboo and not regard it for what it really is: a basic fault of the Israeli political entity. Perhaps he should remind his Israeli interlocutors that they would certainly recoil were he to present them with a parallel demand to recognize a future Palestine as a “National Moslem State”. Advocates of a Two States Solution should think twice before accepting that one of the desired future political entities would be allowed to be fully identified with any version of an ancient religion.

If anything, Middle East pundits would be well advised to ask Israel to move towards secularity and real democracy. This will be a real step to enable “moving beyond the differences” for the parties in our long suffering region. En route they will be doing a favor to many Israeli Jews.

===================================================

3.  Haaretz,

September 16, 2010

Harsh and disproportionate penalty would bar students from political activism, says one student.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/bgu-reprimands-two-more-students-over-protests-1.314046

By Or Kashti

A disciplinary tribunal reprimanded two Ben-Gurion University students on Wednesday for taking part in a protest over May’s raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla and said it would suspend them if they repeated their actions.

One of the students, Ran Tzoref, said the “harsh and disproportional penalty would bar students from political activism.”

This week, the Be’er Sheva-based institution began taking disciplinary action against students involved in campus protests in violation of university regulations. On Tuesday, it brought a student who was involved in a demonstration for maintenance workers’ rights before a disciplinary panel. In all, seven students are slated to be disciplined, with potential penalties as severe as suspension from classes.

Students and faculty members have castigated the university’s decision, which they say infringes on the students’ freedom of expression. University administrators say they are enforcing the institution’s regulations.

Dr. Dani Filc, head of BGU’s Politics and Government Department, who represented the two students at yesterday’s hearing, complained that university regulations do not enable demonstrations on short notice. Moreover, he said, bringing a small number of demonstrators before a tribunal constituted discrimination.

Tzoref charged that “the decision’s main purpose seems to be to intimidate students and deter them from political activity.”

“We have no intention of violating regulations on a daily basis, but the university has sent a clear message that any small deviation from its restrictive, undemocratic regulations will lead to our suspension from classes,” he said.

He added that the students intend to continue fighting against the university’s restrictions and are considering appealing the tribunal’s decision.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel yesterday joined in the criticism of BGU’s conduct. “Ben-Gurion University has a dubious reputation for upholding students’ freedom of expression,” ACRI’s Anat Hod said. “We have appealed to the court in the past to oblige the university to allow students to demonstrate on campus, but its conditions and restrictions almost nullify the court’s ruling.”

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4. The pharaoh of Jerusalem

by Philip Weiss

September 15, 2010

In the last two days two guides have taken me through the geography of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, and I’m staggered. I wonder why this monstrous structure is not better known, even to people like me, who study the conflict. I wonder how it is that American reporters are not describing the racist devouring of Jerusalem every day in our newspapers and showing it every night on our television news. I wonder why our politicians, or our liberal Democratic ones anyway, are not holding angry press conferences in front of the repulsive separation wall as it lunges to separate a Palestinian village from virtually all its connections to the outside world, so as to privilege the lifestyle, and short commute, of Jews in the new development on the hilltop above them.

I wonder why Rabbi Arthur Waskow, who calls for boycotting the “pharaoh” of BP as a response to the destruction in the Gulf, cannot see the Pharaoh’s works right here and call for boycott. I wonder how it is that Ethan Bronner of the New York Times, who lives in West Jerusalem, could give lectures back home about covering the story and lament the (remote) possibility of Palestinians moving back into Arab houses in West Jerusalem when the only real movement and dispossession, eastward, is in front of his eyes; and millions of Palestinian ambitions are blighted by lack of freedom of movement and constant insults to their human rights. And believe me, if a fraction of what the Palestinians are experiencing were happening to Jews, it is all we would hear about.

But let me try to be a little more reportorial.

What I’m seeing is the result of 40 years of Jewish colonization of one of the jewels of world civilization. During the 43-year occupation, the Israelis have essentially constructed a system of spears radiating out from Jewish West Jerusalem into Palestinian East Jerusalem, and on into the West Bank. These new Jewish neighborhoods are designed to solidify Israeli control over greater Jerusalem in the event of any possible division of the place in a two-state solution, but more important, to make Jerusalem into a Jewish city by choking off the Palestinian life of this international city.

And yes, I imagine, there is a security component to the thinking too. They want to kill us, we have to keep them behind fences.

The choking-off is what I saw in my tours. As this colonization progresses, it takes more and more village land around the city and throws out more infrastructure to serve the colonists, special roads and high barbed wire fences and walls to protect the drivers and their communities. The infrastructure isolates more and more Palestinians from one another. You can tell Palestinian villages from the black water vessels dotting the rooftops—because their water is shut off for days at a time. So when Jeffrey Goldberg, pushing the Israeli side in the U.S., says that Gilo is just a neighborhood in Jerusalem, well it is actually a white stucco fortress/colony built on the outskirts of southern Jerusalem on Palestinian village land, and now requiring more of that land so as to expand, with plans to build a wall right through the neighboring village to protect the colonists from the farmers in the valley. And again, all of this on land that international law says is Palestine’s.

Homes are routinely demolished in that village facing Gilo, so as not to prevent the colony’s growth; and as you travel through Greater East Jerusalem you often see the rubble of Palestinian buildings, Palestinians who dared to try and develop their communities. The Israeli authorities come in and destroy the houses or businesses. Even as the Israelis expand a colony nearby. Rubble and palaces. In a word, systemic racism.

Maybe the most pitiable sight I saw yesterday, inside the West Bank but close to the north Jerusalem colonies of Ramot and Ramat Shlomo, is the hilltop tomb of the prophet Samuel, which is worshiped by Jews and Muslims. The tomb is both a mosque with a minaret and a Jewish place of worship. Well when we visited, busloads of Jewish schoolchildren were arriving and Israeli soldiers were in the tomb davening and Hasidic boys were descending, too. A moving sight. We must have seen 150 religious Israelis.

And meantime the Islamic portion of the tomb is dead. The door is chained, pigeons fly into the outer rooms, the Palestinian who runs a store there told us that the authorities had shut down the minaret. There are no Palestinian worshipers.

Alongside the tomb is a Palestinian village in the West Bank, but the occupation has now cut this village off from the rest of Palestinian life in the West Bank. The school serving the village—that is the photograph at the top of this post—is a one-room building. At this point in our travels, my wife walked away for a few minutes so that our Palestinian friend who lives under these conditions all the time would not see her feelings.

And this is a National Park. An Israeli National Park for the tomb of Samuel, inside Palestinian territory! Do you think the Israelis are ever going to part with this colony? Of course not. We are in the West Bank, the home of the Palestinian state, and these Jews will be here forever.

Now let me remind you that the Israeli settlement nearby, Ramat Shlomo, is the one that pissed off Joe Biden in the spring, when he blew up at Netanyahu over the latest construction orders. Biden got really angry. He said you’re endangering American lives. There was a showdown, and in the end what happened, Obama swallowed it.

Still, you can see why Biden was pissed off. This situation is monstrous and racist. If our politicians were not hogtied by the Israel lobby, they would be bringing reporters with them to the tomb of Samuel and saying, Is this right? This is happening with our tax dollars? They are making a National Park inside Palestinian territory and choking off all Palestinian access to the place! Are you crazy?

Our politicians would declare that the road to peace in Jerusalem doesn’t lead through Baghdad or Tehran– no the road is right here in Jerusalem, and it is blocked by Israeli bulldozers.

Now I mentioned a minute ago that my wife hid her feelings from our Palestinian friend, and I want to unpack this somewhat. The Palestinians live with this all the time. They have the boot stuffed down their throat at every turn. Even the educated professionals, their horizons are blocked off, their aspirations. Academics can’t travel, even into Jerusalem; and when I say, Oh they can’t sustain this, my friend responds, They have sustained it as long as I can remember. You cannot normalize this oppressive situation. The polticians talk about all the businesses thriving. Well the Palestinian people are always trying. The Palestinians are not defeatable, and they are always struggling for this and that. You see beautiful restaurants inside the occupation, lovely hotels, good book stories. But it is not a flourishing life. It is not the life that these people would make for themselves if they had any real freedom. If they were able to compete and cooperate as equals with the Israelis, you would see something entirely different.

So they live with this daily humiliation and they stuff their souls down inside their chest somewhere and one day they bring in friends from the United States and show them around, and a visitor is so overwhelmed by the oppression that she starts crying and has to walk away. Well you understand that it is a little rude to show your friend just how pitiable life here seems to us.

I don’t know how they live with this, my wife said later, and of course you ask that question. The other day we met a man who works in Sheikh Jarrah, right up from the house evictions that happened last winter, a funny Palestinian, my wife and he were joking around a lot, when I said to him, “Are they still living in the tent down there?” I meant the Palestinians who had been thrown out of their houses in Sheikh Jarrah and were living in a tent in the road.

The man’s smile disappeared. “I don’t know.“

“Well it’s just a block away.”

“I’ve never been there. It would make me sick. And then I would have to walk away and there would be nothing I could do about it. So I’ve never seen it.”

Imagine feeling so helpless, and feeling that powerless over your own fate and the life of your society that you avoid knowledge of the fierce conditions. Jews were like this during the advance of anti-Semitism in eastern European cities, they tried to ignore it.

And that’s why my wife walked away, she didn’t want to seem a complete tourist of someone else’s suffering.

My rage at this situation is directed at my own community, American Jews, who have allowed this to develop. I can think of only a few responses to Jerusalem that I can honor. Earlier this year Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights visited Jerusalem and came back and gave speeches about the colonization and said the two-state solution is finished. Jeff Halper came to the States more recently and described the endless process of house demolition. And Charney Bromberg came back and told a Columbia University audience that this situation reminds him of apartheid. 

These are exceptional statements. Liberal Zionists generally can’t face this reality; and our politicians are mute and even the fairly-good piece that Isabel Kershner did on the colonization of East Jerusalem a couple of months back in the Times didn’t convey the monstrous reality. No, liberal Zionsts are are concerned with preserving Israel against the “demographic threat”– a possible Palestinian majority. When you see what Jewish control has meant for non-Jewish residents of Jerusalem,  that seems a particularly filthy euphemism.

 

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WHO WILL CONDEMN ZIO=NAZI’M?

NOVANEWS

who will condemn Israel?

 

No one.

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THE MYTHS OF LIBERAL ZIONISM

NOVANEWS

some new writing, and reminder on talk

You can check out my piece on the developmental and ecological problems associated with dams at Truthout, and my expanded review of Yitzhak Laor’s The Myths of Liberal Zionism at Jacobin Magazine. And if you’re in New York or the Greater Metropolitan Area, you can come to my post-Yom Kippur talk on Gaza at the Church of Gethsemane, at 1012 Eighth Ave between 9th and 10th streets, at 5 PM this Sunday. It’s a fundraiser for Brooklyn for Peace.

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MONDOWEIDSS ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS
09/16/2010

Israeli intel firm behind Pennsylvania’s ‘terror’ bulletins on peace, environment, LGBT groups

Sep 15, 2010

Ali Abunimah

 

ITRR1 jpg scaled 500

The Institute of Terrorism Research and Response website.

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell has just ordered his state’s Homeland Security director to cancel a $125,000 contract with an outfit called the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR). The Associated Press reports

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Information about an anti-BP candlelight vigil, a gay and lesbian festival and other peaceful gatherings became the subject of anti-terrorism bulletins being distributed by Pennsylvania’s homeland security office, an apologetic Gov. Ed Rendell admitted.

Rendell, who claimed he’d just learned about the practice, said Tuesday that the information was useless to law enforcement agencies and that distributing it was tantamount to trampling on constitutional rights. In recent weeks, several acts of vandalism at drilling sites spurred the inclusion of events likely to be attended by environmentalists and the bulletins began going to representatives of Pennsylvania’s booming natural gas industry.

A Philadelphia rally organized by a nonprofit group to support Rendell’s push for higher spending on public schools even made a bulletin, as did drilling protests at a couple of Rendell’s news conferences this month as he toured the state to boost support for a tax on the natural gas industry.

“I am deeply embarrassed and I apologize to any of the groups who had this information disseminated on their right to peacefully protest,” Rendell said at an evening Capitol news conference.

Rendell called the practice “ludicrous” and said the fact that the state was paying for such rudimentary information was “stunning.”

Still, Rendell said he was not firing his homeland security director, James Powers, but he ordered an end to the $125,000 contract with the Philadelphia-based organization, the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response, that supplied the information.

ITRR2 jpg scaled 500What AP does not say is that ITRR is an Israeli “security” and “anti-terrorism” company — and like most of such companies has close ties to Israeli military and intelligence. According to ITRR’s website, the group describes itself as “the preeminent Israeli/American security firm providing training, intelligence and education to clients across the globe.”

The site boasts of its “Israeli-style training” that “All ITRR courses are approved by the Israeli Ministry of Defense.” ITRR lists among its “partners” such groups as “The Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute” and it lists its offices in Philadelphia and Jerusalem. ITRR also shockingly is a “partner” of Philadelphia University.

This nefarious outfit which boasts of its “approval” by the the war criminals at the Israeli Ministry of Defense has been caught red-handed violating the constitutional rights of Americans. How many more states or municipalities have contracts with this human-rights-abusing front? This is an urgent matter that media and civil rights groups must investigate.

UPDATE:

Going through ITRR’s website I found this item which states:

All of the information ITRR’s staff creates is sent to its monitoring center in Jerusalem, where it is analyzed and verified with other local sources.

“We never have just one member of the ground truth network in a country,” Perelman said. Right now, the institute has more than 15 people in the field. “We are constantly cross checking with ground truth sources and communications that we receive through other means.”

ITRR’s network is global but not all countries are currently monitored. “If a client feels the need for coverage in a particular area we will obtain the information and coverage,” Perelman said.

This appears to confirm that ITRR is gathering information on Americans and sending the data to Israel — almost certainly to Israeli intelligence. It would not be surprising if this firm were simply a front for Israeli intelligence and in effect being paid by US taxpayers to spy on them. In Pittsburgh, a city council member has demanded a probe into ITRR accusing the firm of “espionage.”

This post originally appeared on Ali Abunimah’s blog here.

Duss 1, Oren 0

Sep 15, 2010 

Adam Horowitz

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren has an op-ed in today’s Los Angeles Times responding to the Time magazine article last week on whether Israelis care about peace with the Palestinians or not. He uses the occasion to pretty much just repeat every Israeli cliche on the peace process we’ve heard for the past several years:

Yes, many Israelis are skeptical about peace, and who wouldn’t be? We withdrew our troops from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip in order to generate peace, and instead received thousands of missiles crashing into our homes. We negotiated with the Palestinians for 17 years and twice offered them an independent state, only to have those offers rejected. Over the last decade, we saw more than 1,000 Israelis — proportionally the equivalent of about 43,000 Americans — killed by suicide bombers, and tens of thousands maimed. We watched bereaved mothers on Israeli television urging our leaders to persist in their peace efforts, while Palestinian mothers praised their martyred children and wished to sacrifice others for jihad.

Matt Duss responds in the Think Progress Wonk Room:

I understand that it’s Oren’s job as ambassador to offer the Israeli point of view, but framing the issue as “Israeli mothers want peace/Palestinian mothers want death for their children” is pretty disgusting. Is there a deeply objectionable culture of martyrdom rooted in Palestinian society? Yes, there is. It’s amazing what decades of being treated like cattle can do to a people. Oren asks us to sympathize with the Israeli experience of living under terrorist threat, and I completely agree that we should, but so should we try to understand the Palestinian experience of having their daily lives prescribed by a brutal and byzantine system of military law designed specifically to divest them of their land and prevent them securing their national rights.

As for the idea that Israel withdraw from Gaza “in order to generate peace,” this claim has been so conclusively discredited that I’m actually stunned that Oren thinks he can get away with it. Ariel Sharon withdrew from Gaza explicitly in order to forestall peace. Or, as his senior adviser Dov Weisglass put it to Haaretz, “The significance of the [Gaza] disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process”:

“And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.” […]

“The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,” he said. “It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.”

So, either Weisglass was lying then, and the Gaza withdrawal was actually a clever triple-bank shot attempt by Ariel Sharon, a lifelong opponent of the peace process, to move the peace process forward. Or Oren isn’t being straight now.

Due to Gaza closure, 40,000 students refused from UN schools

Sep 15, 2010

Gisha 

From Gisha:

UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) can’t meet enrollment demand because of ban on construction materials

  • UNRWA needs to build 100 schools, none built since 2007 closure

  • UNRWA schools have specialized curriculum on human rights and critical thinking, not available in government schools

Despite Israel’s promise to ease the closure of the Gaza Strip, the Gaza school year opened this week with a severe shortage of classrooms. While for the first time in three years Israel has allowed the import of school supplies for government schools in Gaza, the almost absolute ban on the import of construction materials has left students with lots of pens and notebooks but without classrooms.

UNWRA needs 100 new schools to meet the enrollment demands of the children of Gaza. But despite the “easing” of the closure, building materials for the construction of schools have not been approved to enter Gaza since 2007. Therefore, UNRWA has had to turn away 40,000 children eligible to enroll in its schools for the academic year that began yesterday. Students at UNRWA schools study a specialized curriculum in human rights and critical thinking, not available in government schools. Furthermore, according to UNWRA records, students in its schools score 20% higher than government school students on international aptitude tests.

Students being turned away from UNRWA schools is only one consequence of the classroom shortage in the Gaza Strip. To deal with the shortage of classroom space, students in most of Gaza’s schools study in two shifts, in classrooms with up to 50 students, and sometimes oversized metal containers are used as classrooms, with three children seated at desks designed for two.

Construction of a standard school requires an estimated 220 truckloads of building materials, or 22,000 truckloads for 100 schools. The only crossing Israel allows to open, Kerem Shalom, can accommodate just 250 truckloads per day, mostly for food and basic humanitarian supplies. Despite promises, Israel has yet to approve a single truckload of construction materials for UNRWA’s schools and has agreed to “negotiate” coordinating materials for just 8 out of the 100 needed schools. Since the “easing” of the closure, Israel has allowed just 240 truckloads of construction materials monthly for all uses, compared with more than 5,000 trucks monthly before the closure (4% of pre-closure levels).

According to UNRWA’s Gaza Director John Ging: “The right to education is a basic right of children everywhere. For the children of Gaza, realization of that right depends on the continued construction of schools, because all of the temporary measures and substitutes have already been exhausted”.

For updated information about the Gaza Strip’s crossings, see: http://www.gazagateway.org/.

For “Safe Passage”, a new computer game that allows the player to interactively experience the travel restrictions between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, see http://www.spg.org.il/.

For an information sheet on the changes in the closure policy since the June 2010 cabinet decision, see: Unraveling the Closure of Gaza.

Israel issues 16 demolition notices for Palestinian barns & greenhouses in the Jordan Valley

Sep 15, 2010

Seham 

And other news from Today in Palestine:

* Land and Property Theft and Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing

Report: New East Jerusalem housing plans
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israeli city planners will in the coming weeks discuss a scheme to build over a thousand housing units beyond the Green Line in Jerusalem, an Israeli newspaper reported Tuesday.  On October 7, the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee will discuss plans for 1,362 new homes in Givat Hamatos, between the Talpiot and Gilo, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported. Although Givat Hamatos is not covered by the partial settlement freeze, which excludes occupied East Jerusalem, the timing of the debate could have significant diplomatic consequences, the report noted.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=314950

Residents: Israel to demolish barns, greenhouses
TUBAS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces handed notifications to residents in the Al-Maleh area of the Jordan Valley that 16 barns and greenhouses are slated for demolition, locals said.  One of these houses is owned by the municipality and is used by the public. The head of the village council, Aref Daraghma, appealed to the Palestinian Authority to stop the plan.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=315013

Settlers remove furniture from East Jerusalem home
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers have removed furniture from a Palestinian family’s home in Jerusalem, witnesses said Tuesday.  Mazen Al-Qirsh, a member of the family whose house was taken over by settlers a month earlier in East Jerusalem’s Old City, said the settlers removed furniture in preparation of moving in.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=314955

Settlers build near Palestinian villages on eve of peace talks
A human rights foundation said Israeli settlers kicked off a series of new settlement activities the night of the outset of peace talks between Abbas and Netanyahu.  [Hamas website, may not be accessible to all]
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6

IOF troops bulldoze lands in southern Gaza
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) escorted huge bulldozers into southeast of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, on Wednesday to bulldoze Palestinian cultivated land.  [Hamas website, may not be accessible to all]
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz

Israeli troops hand out 16 demolition notices in northern Jordan Valley
Israeli forces handed out Tuesday demolition notices against 16 tin houses owned by Palestinian shepherds in the Jordan Valley, Save the Valley coordinator Fathi Khaddirat said. [Hamas website, may not be accessible to all]
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Q

UNGA president concerned over Mamilla desecration
NEW YORK (Ma’an) — The president of the UN General Assembly expressed “profound concern” Monday at what he described as desecration of the ancient Muslim Mamilla cemetery in West Jerusalem, the UN news agency reported.  Ali Treki, in a note released by his representative, said he was “alarmed by the intent of erecting secular projects on the site of this holy sanctuary, which is the burial place of venerated religious figures for more than 14 centuries.”
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=314780

Netanyahu to Abbas: Don’t let end of settlement freeze foil peace talks
Prime Minister considering trip to U.S. on Saturday for summit organized by Bill Clinton at which Abbas will also be present; Netanyahu would meet with Obama after summit.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/netanyahu-to-abbas-don-t-let-end-of-settlement-freeze-foil-peace-talks-1.313856?localLinksEnabled=false

Chief justice: State ignoring demolition orders
Supreme Court president orders state to explain why buildings built on Palestinian land were not razed.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3954742,00.html

Five largest Israeli settlements: who lives there, and why
The end goal of the current Israeli-Palestinian peace talks is two separate, sovereign states. Palestinians say that the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, deemed illegal by the United Nations, influence the outcome of such talks. With more than 300,000 Israelis now living in such settlements, Israel expects to keep at least some of them under a final peace deal – possibly as part of a land swap.  An estimated three-quarters of Israeli settlers live on a relatively small percentage of the West Bank, most of them in communities adjacent to Israel proper. Some of them are ideologically driven and some are attracted by the low cost of living; many are motivated by a combination of the two.  Here are the five most populous settlements in the West Bank.
http://rss.csmonitor.com/%7Er/feeds/world/%7E3/JG3o_3iD0LU/Five-largest-Israeli-settlements-who-lives-there-and-why

* Solidarity/Activism/Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment

Night raids resume in Ni`lin; one Palestinian anti-wall activist arrested
At 3 a.m. this morning the Israeli army entered the West Bank village of Ni`lin and arrested a Palestinian man, Barakat Nafi. This is the first house raid since before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan; there used to be one or two such raids every week.  Soldiers came on foot and in jeeps from the nearby gate in the illegal apartheid wall and violently entered the home of the 35-year-old. He was arrested in front of his wife, who afterwards, clearly very shaken, reported hearing him cry out, saying “don’t beat me!” According to his neighbour, Nafi has always had a stoic resolve – so such signs of distress were particularly surprising. No reason was given by the soldiers for the arrest.
http://palsolidarity.org/2010/09/14571/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+palsolidarity+%28International+Solidarity+Movement%29

Gaza deaths protest comes under heavy live fire from Israeli snipers
Click here to view the embedded video.  Over 100 rounds of live ammunition were fired at peaceful protesters in a Tuesday demonstration in the Gaza strip. The protest at the Erez border area near Beit Hanoun yesterday included Palestinian activists from the Local Initiative group, local residents and 4 members of the International Solidarity Movement who marched into the site of the recent fatal Israeli incursion. The demonstrators had a view of the area where only a few days earlier, a Grandfather Ibrahim Abu Sayed and his 17 year-old grandson were killed by Israeli tank shelling.
http://palsolidarity.org/2010/09/14526/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+palsolidarity+%28International+Solidarity+Movement%29

Activists: Israel opens fire at no-go zone rally
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces opened fire Tuesday at a march held to protest Israel’s imposed no-go zone along the Gaza border near the Erez crossing in the north, international peace activists said, with no injuries reported  Demonstrators carried Palestinian flags toward the electric fence demarcating the buffer zone, and attempted to fill in a trench dug by Israeli bulldozers.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=314947

UK unions vote to divest from occupation, Published yesterday
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Many of Britain’s unions have thrown their weight behind a campaign of disinvestment and boycott from companies which are profiting from Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories., Trade unions voted unanimously at an annual conference for a motion put forward by the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, seconded by the GMB, and supported by UNSION, the Public and Commercial Services Union, and the Fire Brigades’ Union., The motion called for the General Council to work closely with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to actively encourage affiliates, employers and pension funds to disinvest from, and boycott the goods of, companies who profit from illegal settlements, the occupation and construction of the separation wall.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=314988

CEO of Israeli Cosmetic Firm Ahava Rattled by Growing Boycott;  False Claims Put Out by Company Are Refuted by ‘Stolen Beauty’ Campaign
WASHINGTON – September 14 – In a recent, quietly circulated letter from the desk of Yaacov Ellis, CEO of Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories—a company at the center of a growing international boycott campaign—and directed at the company’s retail partners, Ellis deploys specious information about his own company’s business practices, contradictory claims about Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, and unfounded innuendo about boycott campaign supporters. This letter comes after a year of pressure, lead in the United States by the women’s peace group CODEPINK and their “Stolen Beauty” Ahava Boycott campaign, and total refusal by the CEO to respond to press queries about his company’s illegal business practices.
http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2010/09/14-3

South African human rights group responds to Zionist Federation criticism of Ahava boycott
This is an open letter sent to the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) from Open Shuhada Street (OSS). OSS recently launched a boycott campaign against Ahava products and received a pernicious response from both Ahava and the SAZF; this is their reply.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/south-african-human-rights-group-responds-to-zionist-federation-criticism-of-ahava-boycott.html

U.S. Boat to Gaza Activists Hit Fashion Week with Style
Activists organizing to send a U.S. boat to break the Israeli blockade and siege of Gaza took their case to the streets Sept. 14. Dressed in t-shirts featuring the ubiquitous “We Will Not Be Silent” slogan in various languages, including Arabic and Hebrew, plus a new design featuring the U.S. Boat to Gaza logo, they tried to hold a “fashion shoot” in front of Lincoln Center, site of New York’s Fashion Week. The plaza was filled with tourists and people with cameras taking pictures of the fashionistas coming and going from the event in Damrosch Park behind the arts center.
http://www.indypendent.org/2010/09/15/us-boat-to-gaza-activists-hit-fashion-week-with-style/

Chris Hedges lends support to USToGaza.org
Chris Hedges speaking at the Tabernacle Church fundraiser for www.ustogaza.org in Philadelphia on September 10, 2010. “You may have the bulldozers, the planes and helicopters that smash houses to rubble…the commandos who descend on ships and kill civilians on the high seas, as well as in Gaza.
http://pulsemedia.org/2010/09/14/chris-hedges-lends-support-to-ustogaza-org/

Academic research collaboration emboldens Israeli apartheid
Israel aggressively courts research partnerships with American universities by hosting academic delegations. These academic delegations are political-educational junkets, which subliminally promote a Zionist ideology along with coordinating potential partnerships with Israeli universities. Diane Shammas comments for The Electronic Intifada.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11519.shtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+electronicIntifadaPalestine+%28Electronic+Intifada+%3A+Palestine+News%29

Youth Against Normalization: Boycott Israel & Its Supporters
http://youthanormalization.blogspot.com/

* The Siege (Gaza & West Bank)/Humanitarian/Restriction of Movement/Human Rights/Racism

Foreign Ministry official: Malaysia considering petitioning Hague over Gaza blockade
Israel is aware of the reports and preparing itself for possible row at the International Court of Justice.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/foreign-ministry-official-malaysia-considering-petitioning-hague-over-gaza-blockade-1.313986

Gaza maternity ward closed over ‘dispute with PA’
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A hospital in the northern Gaza Strip warned Wednesday that it was forced to shut down its maternity ward over an insurance dispute with the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry, a statement read.  The Al-Awda Hospital in the Jabaliya area north of Gaza City said the move placed approximately 7,000 pregnant women with insurance at risk. The hospital said the women all currently receive treatment at the hospital on a yearly basis.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=315197

Gaza journalists call for IFJ visit
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Journalists in Gaza on Wednesday called for the head of the International Federation of Journalists to make an urgent visit to the Strip.  An IFJ delegation is currently visiting the West Bank at the invitation of its affiliate, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate. Journalists in Gaza issued a statement after holding a meeting, and said they had not received any invitation to participate in meetings with the IFJ.  The journalists said they were not informed of a conference via video-link between journalists in Gaza and the delegation in Ramallah, and accused the PJS of arranging meetings in a “secretive and selective way.” Gaza security forces prevented the meeting, the journalists added.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=315122

Hamas bans journalists from debate meeting with int’l organization
GAZA, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) — Hamas security personnel on Wednesday prevented journalists in Gaza from holding a video- conference debate with a delegation from the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), a journalist said.  Yousef Al-Ostaz of the Palestinian journalists syndicate said that the deposed Hamas government sent policemen in plainclothes to the hall that was supposed to host the meeting and ordered them to cancel the video link’s booking.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-09/15/c_13513540.htm

Report: Due To The Israeli Siege on Gaza, 40,000 Students Refused From UNRWA Schools
Gisha – PNN – Despite Israel’s promise to ease the closure of the Gaza Strip, the Gaza school year opened this week with a severe shortage of classrooms. The Legal Center For Freedom of Movement Gisha ,  an Israeli not-for-profit organization, reported on Wednesday.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8773&Itemid=56

Divided We Educate, Mel Frykberg
QALANDIA CHECKPOINT, Occupied East Jerusalem, Sep 14, 2010 (IPS) – A thin Palestinian boy, no older than ten, darts between the piles of garbage and the congested lines of traffic which converge at the Qalandia checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem.
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=52822

* Violence/Aggression & Provocations

Israeli soldiers open fire on handcuffed Palestinian
Israeli media sources have confirmed that an Israeli soldier shot and killed a handcuffed Palestinian youth on Tuesday morning (14.09.2010) in the city of Tel Aviv.  Israel’s Channel Two television station confirmed that police forces detained four Palestinian youths in Tel Aviv during the early hours of Tuesday morning under suspicion of involvement in stealing an Israeli vehicle. One of the youths was killed and another managed to escape while the remaining two were detained by the authorities of the Israeli occupation. According to the television station, “during the arrest, the sound of gun fire was heard then one of the handcuffed detainees fell after being shot in the upper part of his body. He died shortly afterwards.”  According to Channel Two, the Israeli police officer who opened fired on the youth has claimed that the bullet “was shot accidentally from his weapon” and hit the 18 year old Palestinian youth in his back killing him on impact.
http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/news/middle-east/1515-israeli-soldiers-open-fire-on-handcuffed-palestinian

Five Palestinians Wounded As Army Shells Gaza
Palestinian medical sources reported that Five Palestinians were wounded on Tuesday evening, two seriously, after the Israeli army fired artillery shells into an area near Gaza city.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59411

Israeli shelling in Gaza wounds two Palestinians: medics (AFP)
AFP – Three Palestinians were wounded by Israeli tank fire in a clash along the volatile Gaza border on Tuesday, Palestinian sources said.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100914/wl_mideast_afp/israelpalestiniansconflictgaza

Israel army fires on central Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Two Palestinians were injured Tuesday after Israeli forces fired on a group of Palestinians in the central Gaza Strip, medical and security officials said.  One Palestinian was seriously hurt following the incident near Juhor Ad-Dik, east of Al-Bureij refugee camp, medics told Ma’an.  Israel’s military said a group of militants fired an anti-tank missile at soldiers operating near the border fence in northern Gaza. “No injuries were caused,” the army said in a statement.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=314981

IOF Fires at Peaceful Demonstration and Shells Agricultural lands, Killing 3 Farmers and 43 Goats
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) killed three farmers, one of whom was an elderly man with his child grandson as they worked in their land in the north-Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, and the third was a child. The IOF fired artillery shells at the farmers who were in their land less than 500 meters from the northern separation fence between Gaza and Israel. In a separate attack, in the morning of Tuesday 14 September 2010, the IOF opened fire on a peaceful demonstration against the “security buffer zone”. As Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has frequently asserted, the IOF enforcement of the “security buffer zone” inside the Gaza Strip has been carried out by means and methods that gravely violate international law. Al Mezan condemns these Israeli violations and calls on the international community to protect civilians and stop the IOF deadly enforcement of the “security buffer zone” in Gaza.
http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/MMAO-89BDVC?OpenDocument&RSS20=02-P

Israeli troops assault Palestinian workers at West Bank checkpoint
Israeli soldiers stationed at Al Hamra military checkpoint in the Jordan Valley detained a group of Palestinian workers on Tuesday morning and assaulted them, a Palestinian media source reported.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59409

Student says extremists destroyed Koran in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Extremists desecrated a Koran in West Jerusalem on Monday, a Palestinian from Bethlehem said Tuesday.  Bethlehem University student Muhammad Munir claims a group of Israeli Jews tore pages out of the Muslim holy book on Jaffa street.  Munir said he saw the incident while walking from work to his home in Wadi Al-Joz.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=315029

Settlers announce rally at Nablus tomb
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Settler community leaders announced Wednesday that a rally would be held Thursday evening demanding “open access” to the Nablus area, and in particular Joseph’s Tomb.  Following violence precipitated by settler visits to the site – which saw Palestinian areas closed down or put under curfew – the area was closed off to settlers in early 2000.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=315075

Terror In The Village That Became A Minefield

For many villages in Area C, landmines have become a regular feature of daily life. Israeli military training zones occupy nearly 30% of the land, often based around civilian areas, leaving unexploded ordnance (UXO) that cause horrific injuries to local residents. We spent a few days with the victims to see how they live with the constant terror.  Rafat Al-Rushayida is 24, he has lived his whole life in the bedouin village east of Bethlehem that shares his name. Al-Rushayida has played host to a military training zone since 1967, which has now expanded into 50% of the village’s land. He and four young friends showed us what the soldiers left behind.

http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article1538

Israel’s compensation bill since start of second intifada: NIS 89 million and growing
Israel has compensated Palestinians and foreigners who suffered damages or injury from the IDF in 524 separate damage suits.
www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-s-compensation-bill-since-start-of-second-intifada-nis-89-million-and-growing-1.313850?localLinksEnabled=falses

Israel accused of not probing Palestinian deaths (AP)
AP – An Israeli human rights group charged in a report released Tuesday that Israel’s military has failed to adequately investigate cases in which Palestinian civilians have been killed by soldiers.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100914/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinian_deaths

* Retaliation

Rocket, six mortars hit southern Israel (AFP)
AFP – A Qassam rocket and six mortar rounds hit southern Israel on Wednesday morning, the Israeli military said, with the rocket landing near the southern Israeli port city of Ashkelon.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100915/wl_mideast_afp/israelpalestiniansconflictgaza

* Detainees

Israeli soldiers raid Palestinian house in Hebron; one man arrested
At 21.00 on 12 September 2010, the final day of the Islamic festival of `Eid al-Fitr, eight Israeli army jeeps and armoured personnel carriers (APCs) were observed leaving the Israeli-only apartheid roads in Hebron and crossing into the Palestinian Authority-controlled “H1” region. Five international activists followed the vehicles to their destination, a house in the Tel Rumeida area. Around twenty soldiers stayed close to the jeeps, while around ten others entered the targeted house. Other soldiers closed off the area, not letting cars pass. The internationals were already in the area close to the house so they were able to document what was happening, although they were physically prevented from approaching the raided home.
http://palsolidarity.org/2010/09/14558/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+palsolidarity+%28International+Solidarity+Movement%29

Society: Israel detained 14 in Bethlehem over Ramadan
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities detained 14 Palestinians in the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, the head of the Palestinian Prisoners Society in the district said Tuesday.  Abdul Fattah Khalil said the detentions were carried out the Al-Arrub and Ad-Duheisha refugee camps in the district, as well as in Tuqu’, Battir and Al-Ubeidiya.  Lawyers with the society said they were granted access to the detainees, who are being held in the Russian Compound in Jerusalem and the Etzyion and Ashkalon detention centers.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=314924

* Israel’s Arab Helpers

Hamas: PA detained 60 affiliates
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas accused Palestinian Authority security forces Wednesday of detaining 60 party affiliates across the West Bank.  In a statement, the Islamist movement said the PA had escalated its campaign against Hamas leaders and supporters.  On Tuesday, Hamas reported that 65 of its West Bank affiliates were detained by PA forces, and the party has claimed that up to 750 supporters have been arrested since the movement claimed responsibility for two shooting attacks in the West Bank which killed four Israeli settlers and injured two others.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=315087

PA’s militias kidnap husband of MP Halaiqa in Al-Khalil
The Palestinian Authority’s security militias kidnapped Mohamed Zeitoun, the husband of lawmaker Samira Halaiqa, from Al-Shyukh town in Al-Khalil city after summoning him for interrogation. [Hamas website, may not be accessible to all]
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default

ADC fondly remembers George W. Bush
In a 9-11 related press release, the ADC looks back with nostalgia at George W. Bush.  If they had any self-respect, instead of quoting what the stupid war criminal read after someone wrote it for him, they would be calling for sending him to the Hague to stand trial for his crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.
http://ikhras.com/2010/09/adc-fondly-remembers-george-w-bush/

* “Peace” Talks/Political Developments

Balancing peace in the Middle East
Israeli and Palestinian leaders have entered a second round of direct Middle East talks in the past two weeks, but in the end both sides could only agree to talk again on Wednesday. The negotiations in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh were attended by senior US officials including Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, and George Mitchell, the US Middle East envoy. Clinton and Mitchell both expressed optimism over the direction of the talks, but did not say if any tangible progress had been made. Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin reports.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RES70w2bYGc&feature=youtube_gdata

No concessions in Middle East talks
Negotiations in Sharm el-Sheikh end without agreements on Israeli settlements but leaders agree to meet in Jerusalem.
http://english.aljazeera.net//news/middleeast/2010/09/201091421840603676.html

Abbas to attend talks at Netanyahu’s home
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas will visit Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem on Wednesday to continue peace negotiations, Abbas’ spokesman said.  Nabil Abu Rudeineh was confirming a report first aired on Israel’s Channel 2 Tuesday.  Abu Rudeineh, speaking after the second round of direct negotiations in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Sharm Ash-Sheikh, said the talks there were “serious” and wide-ranging.  Abbas will stop in Amman, Jordan on his way to the West Bank, the spokesman said.  Netanyahu’s plane touched down at Ben Gurion International Airport Tuesday afternoon, officials said.  In Egypt, US special envoy George Mitchell said Tuesday that Israel must commit to extending its 10-month moratorium on illegal settlement construction the West Bank.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=315009

Israel considers prisoner release, ceding territories to PA
Despite difficulties in direct negotiations, western officials say Jerusalem considering goodwill gestures, including extending settlement freeze in areas outside settlement blocs. Netanyahu, Abbas to meet in Jerusalem Wednesday.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3954372,00.html

U.S. envoy’s upcoming Syria trip raises speculation of possible peace developments
Reports say George Mitchell will brief Syria’s leadership on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and discuss ways in which Syria could contribute to the talks.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/u-s-envoy-s-upcoming-syria-trip-raises-speculation-of-possible-peace-developments-1.313857?localLinksEnabled=false

* Other News

Report: Turkey denies Israel’s request to question Gaza flotilla captain
Ankara says it has already interviewd captain of the Mavi Marmara as part of Turkish probe and submitted testimony to the UN.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-turkey-denies-israel-s-request-to-question-gaza-flotilla-captain-1.313979

Israeli media: 3 embassies threatened
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — An envelope containing a threatening letter and suspicious white powder was found Tuesday afternoon at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, the Israeli news site Ynet reported.  Similar envelopes were sent to the Swedish and Spanish embassies in the city, according to the report.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=314990

Israeli Arab woman suspected of trying to smuggle weapons from West Bank
Woman detained after guards performing a routine inspection of her vehicle at the Jordan Valley crossing discovered a makeshift pistol and ammunition in her possession.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/israeli-arab-woman-suspected-of-trying-to-smuggle-weapons-from-west-bank-1.313840

Yishai: Ease weapons laws for settlers
In aftermath of West Bank attacks, interior minister says MKs must work to afford settlers firearms.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3954049,00.html

At Ben-Gurion University, student protests can lead to disciplinary action
Student who organized demonstration for maintenance workers’ rights at the campus was brought in for disciplinary hearing, and on Wednesday, several students who protested against Israel’s Gaza flotilla raid will be summoned.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/at-ben-gurion-university-student-protests-can-lead-to-disciplinary-action-1.313848

High Court approves private school for Haredi girls involved in segregation row
Ultra-Orthodox network that runs the Beit Yaakov girls school in Immanuel told last year t it must pay a fine of NIS 5,000 for every day they continued to violate court order requiring it to eliminate any vestige of ethnic discrimination.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/high-court-approves-private-school-for-haredi-girls-involved-in-segregation-row-1.313809

Director: No Hamas involvement in Tel Aviv film
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The director and producer of a low-budget film depicting the “liberation” of Tel Aviv has no affiliation with Hamas, he insists, despite the Israeli media’s coverage of the viral hit as a “Hamas studios” production.  Gaza native Muhammad Al-Amrity says he and his friend Ayman Hijazi made the film. It was inspired by a dream he had of his family that originates in Tel Ar-Rabi, which became Tel Aviv. “I tried to go back to my city in the dream.”
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=315034

Poll: Majority opposed to moratorium
Didi Remez has the results of an interesting poll from today’s Yediot Ahronoth on Israeli attitudes toward the peace process.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/on-the-subject-of-partners-for-peace.html

Pornographer sells Twitter ID to Israel
Israel’s foreign Ministry has acquired the @Israel username on Twitter, the social networking site, from the Spanish owner of adult porn sites.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/pornographer-sells-twitter-id-to-israel-2079392.html

Mubarak: photoshopped
Look what Al-Ahram newspaper did.  They photoshopped a picture of Obama and the other Middle East leaders in the White House to show Mubarak in the front of the group.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2010/09/mubarak-photoshopped.html

* Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest

Mideast Peace Talks: Getting Past the Settlements Issue, Tony Karon
Time.com – Netanyahu may end his settlement construction moratorium in two weeks, but the U.S. warns Abbas to find a way to fudge the issue.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20100914/wl_time/08599201921700

Palestinians, Israelis show no sign of narrowing gaps
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt: The US gave no sign on Tuesday that Israel and the Palestinians had narrowed the gap on Jewish settlements, but said they tackled issues at the heart of their decades-old conflict.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=119297

A Circle Not Easily Squared, Jerrold Kessel and Peter Klochendler
JERUSALEM, Sep 14, 2010 (IPS) – Security first or borders first: security says Israel, borders retort the Palestinians. Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are finally again getting under way. Israel though remains adamant that the only chance the talks have to make headway is for its security concerns to be satisfactorily addressed.
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=52820

‘In Whose Name Do They Talk?’;  Gazans share their views on the talks, Laila El-Haddad
“The negotiations add up to a big zero. They don’t belong to us and neither does Abbas. Things are completely rotten. He doesn’t recognise the Gaza Strip – so what’s he negotiating over?
http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/2010/09/201091310513935393.html

All That You Have Done: Colonialism, Ethnic Cleansing and the Web, Roger Sheety
Despite the current facade of yet another round of fake peace talks, the Israeli government and its professional apologists remain in a panic. Hardly a week passes by without complaint that Israel “is being isolated” or that it is facing a campaign of “delegitimization.” In February of this year the Reut Institute, an Israeli group-think tank, published a remarkably delusional, ahistorical piece of propaganda masquerading as a scholarly report and warning of an internationally concerted effort that seeks to “erode” Israel’s diplomatic status which “may develop into a comprehensive existential threat within a few years.” (*) In essence, any organization or individual that dares criticize Israeli policy in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in particular is a de facto member of this dreaded network of delegitmization. As with all Israeli hasbara (explanation), the Reut Institute blames primarily the Palestinian victims and secondarily those who report or publicize their plight.
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16264

From the Diary of a Binationalist, Udi Aloni
Israeli film director Udi Aloni divides his time between New York City, where he makes films, and the Jenin Refugee Camp, where he has recently moved in order to help his friend Juliano Mer-Khamis establish a school for film and multimedia production. He is currently writing a biweekly column called, Brooklyn – Jenin, about this experience for the popular Israeli news website Ynet. Mondoweiss is excited to be able to present English translations of these columns.

http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/from-the-diary-of-a-binationalist.html

“FUCK YOU, GAZANS!”, Flora Nicoletta
This is the narrative of a 22-year old Palestinian who returned recently to Gaza. Among his misfortunes he was apprehended and arbitrarly detained by the PRO-ZIONIST JORDANIAN REGIME mukhabarat (General Intelligence) in Jordan.

http://uruknet.info/?p=m69751&hd=&size=1&l=e

HAMDULILLAH’ OFFICIAL VIDEO
Ridwan Adhami, Shadia Mansour and I had a sit down in New York to talk about “Hamdulillah’ and how we could represent the meaning of it. People are everything in what I do, the people that come to shows, the people that listen to my music, the people that support me. My people. My family. My friends. I’m feeling very blessed and grateful these days to be able to make my music and have your support. So we reached out to people we know around the world, who knew of the music and felt the same. Ramadan this year opened me to the new friends, new ideas, new plans, new blessings.
This is for you.  Shout out to Ridwan and the whole team. Shadia and the whole fam. And every face and person in my video.
http://illuminarcy.blogspot.com/2010/09/hamdulillah-official-video.html

Veto Power Is an Insult to the International Community: Kenneth O’Keefe
Kenneth O’Keefe is a world citizen. As an anti-war activist and social entrepreneur, he renounced his U.S. citizenship on March 1, 2001 and burned his American passport on January 7, 2004 in protest to the United States’ Imperialism and called for the immediate withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. O’Keefe is a former U.S. Mariner who served in the 1991 Persian Gulf War and subsequently revealed the use of depleted uranium by the United States as a crime against humanity.
http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/09/veto-power-is-an-insult-to-the-international-community-kenneth-okeefe/

* Lebanon

Hizbullah’s arms include drones, long-range rockets – Israel
BEIRUT: Hizbullah has long-range drones and rockets capable of hitting targets more than 300 kilometers from Lebanon, Israel’s counter-terrorism chief has said. Brigadier General Nitzan Nuriel also refused to rule out a pre-emptive Israeli strike on Syria, should Damascus fail to halt its alleged military support of Hizbullah.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=119301

Sayyed Looking for Court to Sue Lebanese State
15/09/2010 Former head of Lebanon’s General Security Directorate Major General Jamil Sayyed is looking for a human rights court to sue the Lebanese State.  Sayyed, who is currently in Paris, said in an interview published Wednesday by Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar that he and a team of advisers were “rummaging around for a human rights court eligible to sue the Lebanese State.”  Al-Akhbar said the World Council for Human Rights of 2007 which finds that the “arrest of officers was in breach of Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” was signed by Lebanon and demanded for the “restoration of political and Judicial rights and an immediate solution to the officers’ status.”  Sayyed stressed that he does not want to “open any battle,” stressing, on the other hand, that he cannot stand idle and not mention a response made by former PM Fouad Saniora back then in which he distorted facts and held the arrest to be justified according to witnesses. “This is what made me press charges against Saniora and State Prosecutor Saeed Mirza.”
http://almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=154226&language=en

Gemayel’s son places blame on Syria for father’s death
BEIRUT: Phalange Party MP Nadim Gemayel, son of late former president-elect Bashir Gemayel, held Syria responsible for a series of assassinations that started with his father and ended with figures of the March 14 coalition including former Premier Rafik Hariri.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=119303

Two steps back for Palestinians in Lebanon
“Everyone here works without a permit,” said Shatila refugee camp resident Mohammed Khalife. “Being legal and having a work permit is the strange thing, not the other way around.”
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11518.shtml

* Iraq

Nine Iraqi soldiers killed in roadside bomb (AFP)
AFP – Nine Iraqi soldiers were killed on Wednesday by a roadside bomb on the outskirts of the main northern city of Mosul, police said.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100915/wl_afp/iraqunrestmosul

US-Iraq raid, roadside bombing kill 18 (AFP)
AFP – Violence killed 18 people in Iraq on Wednesday, including nine in a firefight that broke out during a joint US-Iraq raid in search of a top Al-Qaeda leader in the former rebel base of Fallujah.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100915/wl_afp/iraqunrest

Tuesday: 8 Iraqis Killed, 6 Wounded
Sarah Shourd, the American hiker arrested and accused of spying after illegally crossing from Iraq to Iran, was released on $500,000 bail. Meanwhile, at least eight Iraqis were killed and six were wounded in unusually light violence.
http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2010/09/14/tuesday-8-iraqis-killed-6-wounded/

Seven Killed In Iraq attacks
Gunmen opened fire on the car of a government-backed Sunni militia leader, killing him and three members of his family in Latifiya town, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, a security source said.
http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/VDUX-899RWM?OpenDocument

Iraqi Deputy Minister escapes assassination
Iraqi Deputy Minister for social affairs escaped assassination attempt due to a bombing that targeted his convoy in Al Waziriya region, eastern Baghdad.  11 citizens were wounded in a special US-Iraqi forces operation on the house of former army officer Yassin Kassar, southwestern Falluja, a security source from Anbar Operations Command said.  Two suspects were arrested in this operation, the source added.  Anbar Provincial Council held an urgent session to investigate the operation, the source reported.
http://www.alsumaria.tv/en/Iraq-News/1-54464-Iraqi-Deputy-Minister-escapes-assassination.html

UN experts rap US over private security firms
UN experts have rapped the United States for its failure to prosecute private security personnel over violations in Iraq, citing a case against two US firms which was dismissed after they claimed immunity.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/15/3011868.htm?section=justin

US watchdogs say Iraq has own money for security (AP)
AP – Congressional investigators estimate that Iraq has about $11.8 billion in surplus money available to use for its own security.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100914/ap_on_go_co/us_iraq_budget

Iraqis outraged at payout for US victims of Saddam
Americans win $400m compensation but locals struggle with crippling poverty.
http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100915/FOREIGN/709149830/1042/rss

SYRIA: Precarious existence of Iraqi Mandaean community
DAMASCUS Wednesday, September 15, 2010 (IRIN) – Among the estimated 1.2 million Iraqi refugees in Syria are several thousand Mandaeans, a small religious minority on the verge of extinction in Iraq, and lacking support in Syria.
http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportId=90478

* U.S. and Other World News

UN chief: Ahmadinejad to attend disarmament meeting
A U.S. official told Reuters in Washington that President Barack Obama would probably not attend the disarmament talks, since he will be participating in a UN summit meeting on Sudan and other meetings that same day.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/un-chief-ahmadinejad-to-attend-disarmament-meeting-1.313627

U.S. diplomat fears condemnation of Israel
The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. nuclear watchdog fears Arab ambassadors may condemn Israel at the next board of governors meeting, Asharq al-Awsat reported.
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2010/09/12/US-diplomat-fears-condemnation-of-Israel/UPI-55831284301359/

What does Israel get for not objecting to this deal? U.S. to sell up to $60 billion of arms to Saudi Arabia
U.S. defense official says Congress will soon be notified of arms sale to Saudi Arabia, including 84 F-15 fighter jets and 72 Black Hawk helicopters.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-to-sell-up-to-60-billion-of-arms-to-saudi-arabia-1.313619

US-Saudi arms deal aimed at Iran
Analysts say US arms deal gives Saudis advantage over all regional states except Israel.
http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=41319

US Soldier Committed Suicide Rather Than Take Part in Torture, Greg Mitchell
Alyssa Peterson was one of the first female soldiers who died in Iraq.   Her death under these circumstances should have drawn wide attention.   It’s not exactly the Tillman case, but a cover-up, naturally, followed.
http://www.thenation.com/print/blog/154649/soldier-who-committed-suicide-after-she-refused-take-part-torture

Ex-CIA Agents Confirm Torture at Polish Black Site, Spiegel
Former CIA agents have confirmed rumors that the agency tortured terror suspects at a detention center in Poland. One agent allegedly held a drill to a prisoner’s head while he was naked and hooded.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,717166,00.html

Dutch soldiers accused of war crime
Dutch soldiers stationed in the Afghan province of Uruzgan allegedly violated the laws of war when they carried out a raid on a hospital in the provincial capital Tarin Kowt in 2009.
http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/dutch-soldiers-accused-war-crime

Nato urged to allow partition of Afghanistan
Afghanistan should be allowed to partition along ethnic lines by pulling back Nato forces and acknowledging that the Taliban will not be defeated in their heartland, a senior former American national security adviser has warned.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/7998057/Nato-urged-to-allow-partition-of-Afghanistan.html

Thousands of Afghans stage anti-US protest in Kabul
KABUL, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Police fired into the air to disperse thousands of angry anti-American protesters in Afghanistan’s capital on Wednesday, witnesses and police said, with at least two people suffering apparent gunshot wounds.  Protesters chanted “Death to America”, “Death to Christians”, and “Death to Karzai”, the latter referring to President Hamid Karzai.
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/SGE68E057.htm

Bombshell from London, Eric S. Margolis
The report, presided over by the former deputy director of Britain’s foreign intelligence agency, MI-6, says the threat from al-Qaeda and Taliban has been “exaggerated” by the western powers.
http://www.uruknet.info/?new=69746

Egyptian party boycotts elections
Egypt’s al-Ghad party announces it is going to boycott parliamentary elections amid divisions in the opposition camp.
http://english.aljazeera.net//news/middleeast/2010/09/20109156120578610.html

* Islam in the West

French Senate overwhelmingly votes to ban face veils in public
The French Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a bill banning the burka-style Islamic veil in public, but the leaders of both parliamentary houses said they had asked a special council to first ensure the measure passes constitutional muster amid concerns its tramples on religious freedoms.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/europe/french-senate-overwhelmingly-votes-to-ban-burkas-in-public/article1706743/

Is Muslim life actually “cheap”?, James North
New Republic editor-in-chief Martin Peretz’s anti-Muslim slanders have finally gotten him into trouble in the mainstream, after years during which the major opinion-makers pretended not to notice his chronic racism. Here again is the second half of his latest slur, the part he didn’t apologize for: “Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, especially for Muslims. . . This is a statement of fact, not value.”  The racism is obvious. But underneath it is a dangerous and inaccurate assumption – that the Muslim world today is exclusively or mainly violent.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/is-muslim-life-actually-cheap.html

A note of apology to readers
We made a news decision on Friday that offended many readers and we sincerely apologize for it.  Many saw Saturday’s front-page story and photo regarding the local observance of the end of Ramadan as offensive, particularly on the day, September 11, when our nation and the world were paying tribute to those who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks nine years ago.  We have acknowledged that we erred by at least not offering balance to the story and its prominent position on the front page.
http://www.pressherald.com/note-of-apology.html

Islamophobiapalooza
Is Fox News the dog from “Up,” and the lower Manhattan Islamic community center its squirrel? Jon weighs the evidence in last night’s episode.
http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-september-13-2010/islamophobiapalooza

www.TheHeadlines.org

Help Mondoweiss continue to grow – give a tax deductible donation today

Sep 15, 2010

Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz 

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Mondoweiss is growing – we’ve had over 700,000 unique visitors and 1.2 million page views in the past three months alone. This traffic is being driven by our coverage of the stories that matter to you: the Eden Abergil Facebook scandal, the recent anti-Semitism conference at Yale University, the rising tide of Islamophobia in the US and daily news from Israel/Palestine. Our work is getting noticed, but we need your support to help this to continue.

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Israeli snipers use live ammunition against demonstrators in Gaza

Sep 15, 2010

Vera Macht 

Over 100 rounds of live ammunition were fired at protesters in Tuesday’s demonstration at the Erez border area near Beit Hanoun yesterday as Palestinian protesters from the Local Initiative group, local residents and four members of the International Solidarity Movement marched into the site of the previous day’s fatal Israeli incursion. The demonstrators had a view of the area where only a few days before a grandfather Ibrahim Abu Sayed and his 17 year-old grandson were mutilated and killed by Israeli tank shelling.

The peaceful demonstration was joined by several young Palestinians, who were also protesting their right to their land, much of which is now lost or out of bounds by the Israeli imposed “buffer-zone.” This  buffer zone is 300 metres wide and stretches along the entire border fence on the frontier with Israel. According to the recent United Nations Report “Between the Fence and a Hard Place” the violence used to restrict Palestinians from accessing their land covers areas up to 1500m from the border fence, meaning that over 35% of Gaza’s most agricultural land is in a high risk area causing severe losses of food production and livelihoods.

On a previous demonstration, the activists had managed to partly remove a barbed wire fence, which had prevented them from entering their own farm land. This was met by an Israeli incursion days later, in which tanks and bulldozers unearthed a huge trench in front of the fence, about one kilometre long, three meters deep and two meters wide.

Having marched to the wire fence, 100 metres from the border wall, the demonstrators chanted and waved flags, planting one Palestinian flag beyond the wire fence. They had brought shovels and begun to refill the trench, when the Israel army suddenly opened fire around them. Under heavy shooting with life ammunition, the participants stood their ground, communicating through a megaphone, some crouching low for cover amidst the gunfire that came within 5 metres.

“We attend these demonstration because of the huge border area that takes Palestinian land”, eighteen year-old Hussam told us. “We don’t want it to be separated from our own land, it’s farmland and people are killed for trying to harvest it. Because of that we came to make them feel secure again.”

The shooting created an atmosphere of terror and fear among the demonstrators, having no safe place to hide around in the forcedly neglected area. Nevertheless they managed to hold up their message to the world: “Boycott Israel”. The ongoing attacks against civilians in the buffer zone, destroying livelihoods and wiping out land, have continued for too long despite the awareness of the criminally silent international community.

“We call upon the International community not to stay idle any more, but to take their responsibility to stop the ongoing crimes against humanity, and the violation of International law”, Saber Al Za’anin, the General Coordinator of the Local Initiative stated.

The security situation in the area has been deteriorating. The three innocent civilians were murdered about 700 meters away from the fence while doing their daily check on their land and animals which graze next to the remains of their former home. They were killed instantly, Ibrahim suffered severe shrapnel injuries to his face, chest and stomach and his grandson Hossam had the back of his head blown away.

The Abu Sayed family had been victims of the violent attacks in the bufferzone for decades, culminating in their death. The last decade had been the hardest as their house was destroyed in 2000 by Israeli bulldozers and their rebuilt house destroyed in the 3-week Israeli war on Gaza over the New Year of 2009 that killed a further 1400 Palestinians.

While all the inhabitants of Gaza are victims of Israel’s ‘collective punishment’, a crime against humanity according to article 33 of the Geneva Convention (of which Israel is a signatory), they are the latest to be subjected to its worst manifestation and murdered with complete impunity.

Today’s demonstration, met with the same violence, was a message to the world which shows the unbreakable public resistance.  “We will keep supporting the farmers here, who are suffering from ongoing attacks on their land, olive trees, thyme and lives, despite the terrorist power we are facing”, announced Saber Al Za’ain. 

“We are going to return back to our farms and hold on to our rights on this land.”

Translations by Mohamed El Zaeem.

Regrettable accident #1001: Another Palestinian shot in the back (this one was handcuffed)

Sep 15, 2010

Eva Smagacz

 

News just in from Quds Press News Agency and more details from MiddleEastMonitor:

Israeli media sources have confirmed that an Israeli soldier shot and killed a handcuffed Palestinian youth on Tuesday morning (14.09.2010) in the city of Tel Aviv.

Israel’s Channel Two television station confirmed that police forces detained four Palestinian youths in Tel Aviv during the early hours of Tuesday morning under suspicion of involvement in stealing an Israeli vehicle. One of the youths was killed and another managed to escape while the remaining two were detained by the authorities of the Israeli occupation. According to the television station, “during the arrest, the sound of gun fire was heard then one of the handcuffed detainees fell after being shot in the upper part of his body. He died shortly afterwards.”

According to Channel Two, the Israeli police officer who opened fired on the youth has claimed that the bullet “was shot accidentally from his weapon” and hit the 18 year old Palestinian youth in his back killing him on impact.

The pharaoh of Jerusalem

Sep 15, 2010

Philip Weiss 

Palestinian one-room school house inside the occupation In the last two days two guides have taken me through the geography of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, and I’m staggered. I wonder why this monstrous structure is not better known, even to people like me, who study the conflict. I wonder how it is that American reporters are not describing the racist devouring of Jerusalem every day in our newspapers and showing it every night on our television news.

I wonder why our politicians, or our liberal Democratic ones anyway, are not holding angry press conferences in front of the repulsive separation wall as it lunges to separate a Palestinian village from virtually all its connections to the outside world, so as to privilege the lifestyle, and short commute, of Jews in the new development on the hilltop above them.

I wonder why Rabbi Arthur Waskow, who calls for boycotting the “pharaoh” of BP as a response to the destruction in the Gulf, cannot see the Pharaoh’s works right here and call for boycott. I wonder how it is that Ethan Bronner of the New York Times, who lives in West Jerusalem, could give lectures back home about covering the story and lament the (remote) possibility of Palestinians moving back into Arab houses in West Jerusalem when the only real movement and dispossession, eastward, is in front of his eyes; and millions of Palestinian ambitions are blighted by lack of freedom of movement and constant insults to their human rights. And believe me, if a fraction of what the Palestinians are experiencing were happening to Jews, it is all we would hear about.

But let me try to be a little more reportorial. 

What I’m seeing is the result of 40 years of Jewish colonization of one of the jewels of world civilization. During the 43-year occupation, the Israelis have essentially constructed a system of spears radiating out from Jewish West Jerusalem into Palestinian East Jerusalem, and on into the West Bank. These new Jewish neighborhoods are designed to solidify Israeli control over greater Jerusalem in the event of any possible division of the place in a two-state solution, but more important, to make Jerusalem into a Jewish city by choking off the Palestinian life of this international city.

And yes, I imagine, there is a security component to the thinking too. They want to kill us, we have to keep them behind fences.

The choking-off is what I saw in my tours. As this colonization progresses, it takes more and more village land around the city and throws out more infrastructure to serve the colonists, special roads and high barbed wire fences and walls to protect the drivers and their communities. The infrastructure isolates more and more Palestinians from one another. You can tell Palestinian villages from the black water vessels dotting the rooftops—because their water is shut off for days at a time. So when Jeffrey Goldberg, pushing the Israeli side in the U.S., says that Gilo is just a neighborhood in Jerusalem, well it is actually a white stucco fortress/colony built on the outskirts of southern Jerusalem on Palestinian village land, and now requiring more of that land so as to expand, with plans to build a wall right through the neighboring village to protect the colonists from the farmers in the valley. And again, all of this on land that international law says is Palestine’s.

Homes are routinely demolished in that village facing Gilo, so as not to prevent the colony’s growth; and as you travel through Greater East Jerusalem you often see the rubble of Palestinian buildings, Palestinians who dared to try and develop their communities. The Israeli authorities come in and destroy the houses or businesses. Even as the Israelis expand a colony nearby. Rubble and palaces. In a word, systemic racism.

Maybe the most pitiable sight I saw yesterday, inside the West Bank but close to the north Jerusalem colonies of Ramot and Ramat Shlomo, is the hilltop tomb of the prophet Samuel, which is worshiped by Jews and Muslims. The tomb is both a mosque with a minaret and a Jewish place of worship. Well when we visited, busloads of Jewish schoolchildren were arriving and Israeli soldiers were in the tomb davening and Hasidic boys were descending, too. A moving sight. We must have seen 150 religious Israelis.

And meantime the Islamic portion of the tomb is dead. The door is chained, pigeons fly into the outer rooms, the Palestinian who runs a store there told us that the authorities had shut down the minaret. There are no Palestinian worshipers.

Alongside the tomb is a Palestinian village in the West Bank, but the occupation has now cut this village off from the rest of Palestinian life in the West Bank. The school serving the village—that is the photograph at the top of this post—is a one-room building. At this point in our travels, my wife walked away for a few minutes so that our Palestinian friend who lives under these conditions all the time would not see her feelings.

And this is a National Park. An Israeli National Park for the tomb of Samuel, inside Palestinian territory! Do you think the Israelis are ever going to part with this colony? Of course not. We are in the West Bank, the home of the Palestinian state, and these Jews will be here forever.

Now let me remind you that the Israeli settlement nearby, Ramat Shlomo, is the one that pissed off Joe Biden in the spring, when he blew up at Netanyahu over the latest construction orders. Biden got really angry. He said you’re endangering American lives. There was a showdown, and in the end what happened, Obama swallowed it.

Still, you can see why Biden was pissed off. This situation is monstrous and racist. If our politicians were not hogtied by the Israel lobby, they would be bringing reporters with them to the tomb of Samuel and saying, Is this right? This is happening with our tax dollars? They are making a National Park inside Palestinian territory and choking off all Palestinian access to the place! Are you crazy?

Our politicians would declare that the road to peace in Jerusalem doesn’t lead through Baghdad or Tehran– no the road is right here in Jerusalem, and it is blocked by Israeli bulldozers.

Now I mentioned a minute ago that my wife hid her feelings from our Palestinian friend, and I want to unpack this somewhat. The Palestinians live with this all the time. They have the boot stuffed down their throat at every turn. Even the educated professionals, their horizons are blocked off, their aspirations. Academics can’t travel, even into Jerusalem; and when I say, Oh they can’t sustain this, my friend responds, They have sustained it as long as I can remember. 

You cannot normalize this oppressive situation. The polticians talk about all the businesses thriving. Well the Palestinian people are always trying. The Palestinians are not defeatable, and they are always struggling for this and that. You see beautiful restaurants inside the occupation, lovely hotels, good book stories. But it is not a flourishing life. It is not the life that these people would make for themselves if they had any real freedom. If they were able to compete and cooperate as equals with the Israelis, you would see something entirely different.

So they live with this daily humiliation and they stuff their souls down inside their chest somewhere and one day they bring in friends from the United States and show them around, and a visitor is so overwhelmed by the oppression that she starts crying and has to walk away. Well you understand that it is a little rude to show your friend just how pitiable life here seems to us.

I don’t know how they live with this, my wife said later, and of course you ask that question. The other day we met a man who works in Sheikh Jarrah, right up from the house evictions that happened last winter, a funny Palestinian, my wife and he were joking around a lot, when I said to him, “Are they still living in the tent down there?” I meant the Palestinians who had been thrown out of their houses in Sheikh Jarrah and were living in a tent in the road.

The man’s smile disappeared. “I don’t know.“
 

“Well it’s just a block away.”

“I’ve never been there. It would make me sick. And then I would have to walk away and there would be nothing I could do about it. So I’ve never seen it.”

Imagine feeling so helpless, and feeling that powerless over your own fate and the life of your society that you avoid knowledge of the fierce conditions. Jews were like this during the advance of anti-Semitism in eastern European cities, they tried to ignore it.

And that’s why my wife walked away, she didn’t want to seem a complete tourist of someone else’s suffering.

My rage at this situation is directed at my own community, American Jews, who have allowed this to develop. I can think of only a few responses to Jerusalem that I can honor. Earlier this year Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights visited Jerusalem and came back and gave speeches about the colonization and said the two-state solution is finished. Jeff Halper came to the States more recently and described the endless process of house demolition. And Charney Bromberg came back and told a Columbia University audience that this situation reminds him of apartheid.

These are exceptional statements. Liberal Zionists generally can’t face this reality; and our politicians are mute and even the fairly-good piece that Isabel Kershner did on the colonization of East Jerusalem a couple of months back in the Times didn’t convey the monstrous reality. No, liberal Zionsts are are concerned with preserving Israel against the “demographic threat”– a possible Palestinian majority. When you see what Jewish control has meant for non-Jewish residents of Jerusalem,  that seems a particularly filthy euphemism.

If you appreciate this on-the-ground reporting from Israel/Palestine – please donate to Mondoweiss today.

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MIDNIGHT ON THE MAVI MARMERA

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Collected Fictions
Gordon Lish
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Midnight on the Mavi Marmara

The Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and How It Changed the Course of the Israel/Palestine Conflict

Moustafa Bayoumi, Editor

“We have been attacked while in international waters. That means the Israelis have behaved like pirates … The moment they start to steer this ship towards Israel, we have also been kidnapped. The whole action is illegal.” – Henning Mankell, aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla

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“We have been attacked while in international waters. That means the Israelis have behaved like pirates … The moment they start to steer this ship towards Israel, we have also been kidnapped. The whole action is illegal.”—Henning Mankell, aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla

Eastern Mediterranean, Monday, May 31st, 2010, 4.30am: Israeli commandos, boarding from sea and air, attack the six boats of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla as it sails through international waters bringing humanitarian relief to the beleaguered Palestinians of Gaza.  Within minutes, nine peace activists are dead, shot by the Israelis. Scores of others are injured.  The 700 people on board the ships are arrested before being transported to detention centers in Israel and then deported.

Within hours, outrage at Israel’s action echoes around the world. Spontaneous demonstrations in Europe, the United States, Turkey, and Gaza itself denounce the attack.  Turkey’s prime minister describes it as a “bloody massacre” and “state terrorism.” Lebanon’s prime minister calls it “a dangerous and crazy step that will exacerbate tensions in the region.”

In these pages, a range of activists, journalists, and analysts piece together the events that occurred that May night, unpicking their meanings for Israel’s illegal, three-year-long blockade of Gaza and the decades-long Israel/Palestine conflict more generally. Mixing together first-hand testimony, documentary record, and illustration, with hard-headed analysis and historical overview, Midnight on the Mavi Marmara reveals why the attack on Gaza Freedom Flotilla may just turn out to be Israel’s Selma, Alabama: the beginning of the end for an apartheid Palestine.

CONTRIBUTORS: Ali Abunimah, Eyad Al Sarraj, Lamis Andoni, Omar Barghouti, George Bisharat, Max Blumenthal, Noam Chomsky, Marsha B. Cohen, Juan Cole, Murat Dagli, Jamal Elshayyal, Sümeyye Ertekin, Norman Finkelstein, Neve Gordon, Glenn Greenwald, Arun Gupta, Amira Hass, Nadia Hijab, Adam Horowitz, Rashid Khalidi, Stephen Kinzer, Iara Lee, Henning Mankell, Paul Larudee, Gideon Levy, Alia Malek, Lubna Masarwa, Mike Marqusee, Yousef Munayyer, Ken O’Keefe, Daniel Luban, Kevin Ovenden, Ilan Pappé, Doron Rosenblum, Sara Roy, Ben Saul, Adam Shapiro, Raja Shehadeh, Henry Siegman, Ahdaf Soueif, Raji Sourani, Richard Tillinghast, Alice Walker, Stephen M. Walt, Philip Weiss, and Haneen Zoabi.

Publication September 1 2010 256 pages

About the Author

Moustafa Bayoumi is the author of How Does it Feel to be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America, which won an American Book Award and an Arab American Book Award. His writing has appeared in The Nation, The London Review of Books, and The Village Voice. He teaches at Brooklyn College, New York.

In the Media

Ma’an News Agency, excerpt by Mike Marqusee, August 14th 2010

IPS Inter Press Service, August 23rd 2010

Counterpunch, August 20th – 22nd 2010

Grit TV, August 19th 2010

Juan Cole, “Book of the Day,” August 16th 2010

Ramallah Online, “Book of the Day,” August 16th 2010

Mondoweiss, August 2nd 2010

Palestine HadNews, July 7th 2010

The Chronicle of Higher Eduction, June 28th 2010

Shoah, June 26th 2010

Mondoweiss, June 24th 2010

New York Times, June 11th 2010

Watch the Video

This Time We Went Too Far
Norman G. Finkelstein
Hardcover ($20), Ebook ($10), Print + Ebook ($25)

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The Ugly Truth Podacst Sept 16, 2010

crescentandcross | September 16, 2010  Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p2dGk-uu

http://theuglytruth.podbean.com/2010/09/16/the-ugly-truth-podacst-sept-16-2010/

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Mark Dankof joins the program as we interview one of the best minds out there in the so-called “truth movement”, Les Visible of http://smokingmirrors.blogspot.com/.

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on THE UGLY TRUTH

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