Archive | September 24th, 2010

PROTEST AGAINST CON-DOM PLANS TO SLASH PUBLIC SPENDING

 NOVANEWS

Protest against the Tory plans to SLASH Public Spending, Jobs & Pensions

3rd Oct at Tory Party Conference at the ICC Birmingham

Assemble 12.00 Lionel Street Birmingham B3 1AG

Action plan for lead up to demo

Hi everyone

We had a very succussful meeting on Tuesday evening. Since then Birmingham City University, Aston Villa home match and Aston Mail centre have all been leafleted with a great response everywhere we go. Birmingham University UNISON voted nearly unanimously to back the demo and will be leafleting the campus next week as well making a £100 donation.

A full action plan is below and the main events are:

  • Saturday 25th September 12 – 2pm Right to work stall Birmingham city centre near the Bull. Please bring Trade Union literature on alternative budgets etc and membership forms

  • Sunday 26th September Eid Mela, Cannon Hill Park 12pm Leafleting Phone Ely 07841 164780 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              07841 164780      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

  • Tuesday 28th September, final planning meeting, likely to be in PCS office at 6pm but pls check the email on Monday. This meeting will elect a committee.

  • Wednesday 29th September Right to work Press call on Broad st by Jobcentre and Connexions. The timing will be between 12 and 2, final time to be confirmed. UNISON stalls will be running around Birmingham, other unions are welcome to come and support. We are aiming to coordinate this with a press call from Birmingham MP’s. To highlight jobs cuts and privatisation and their impact on disabled people

  • Friday 1st October early evening Stewards training and placard making

Public activity

Wednesday 22nd September       Leafleting Villa match, home entrance 6.30pm – 7.30pm (k.o 6.45pm)

Thursday 23rd September            5.30 – 6.45pm leafleting GMB mass meeting

Saturday 25th September            12 – 2 pm trade union stalls city centre

                                                            Leafleting Blues football match

                                                            12pmSoho road leafleting  – Please call Pete 07722241530 if you can help

Sunday 26th September              Eid Mela, Cannon Hill Park Phone Ely 07841 164780 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              07841 164780      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Tuesday 28th September            leafleting Victoria sq 5- 6pmFinal planning meeting 6pm PCS Office (pls check email on Monday)

Wednesday 29th September     Stall/leafleting New st station (ramp) 4- 6pm

Thursday 30th September           Stall/leafleting New st station (ramp) 4- 6pm

Friday 1st October                         Stall/leafleting New st station (ramp) 4- 6pm

                                                            Stewards training and placard making

Saturday 2nd October                   12 – 2 pm trade union stalls city centre, we want to organise UNISON, PCS, CWU, NUT stalls and more in the city centre to highlight the cuts, build for the demo and recruit to our unions

Fundraising

Branch donations are starting to come in, we urgently need more, please let us know as soon as any donation is formally agreed.

A press advert is £850 for front page strap

Leaflets – 25 000 postcards approx £320

Letter to Press

We will be circulating a letter to go to the Birmingham mail early next week

Ring round

We have lots of contact phone numbers – any office we can use to phone round?

Stewards We need each union to ask for people to volunteer as stewards.

I think thats all the main points from the meeting! Anything I’ve missed or any other planned activities pleased email us

Thanks

Matt

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SOLIDARITY WITH SHEIKH JARRAH

NOVANEWS

Joel Beinin on Silwan

Joel Beinin has a typically excellent essay up on Middle East Report online on the protests occurring at Silwan, the new generation of activists organizing the protests at Sheikh Jarrah (especially Matan Cohen), the prospects for peace moving forward, and elliptically, what it means to be a left Zionist in Israel. Beinin writes:

“The protest organizers are consciously striving to create a conflict between the many ‘left Zionists’ among whom it has become fashionable to attend the weekly demonstrations in Sheikh Jarrah — people like prestigious Hebrew University professors Menachem Brinker, Moshe Halbertal, Avishai Margalit and Zeev Sternhell, novelist David Grossman, and former speaker of the Knessset Avraham Burg, who typically function as a loyal opposition — and the Israeli state apparatus. But the young organizers are not concerned with ideology as such.”

On September 1, Elad — a Hebrew acronym for “To the City of David” — convened its eleventh annual archaeological conference at the “City of David National Park” in the Wadi Hilwa neighborhood of Silwan. Silwan, home to about 45,000 people, is one of 28 Palestinian villages incorporated into East Jerusalem and annexed by Israel after the June 1967 war. It lies in a valley situated a short walk beyond the Dung Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City. Elad, a militant, religious, settler organization, claims that Silwan is the biblical City of David mentioned in the second book of Samuel and that the Pool of Shiloah (Siloam) located there watered King Solomon’s garden.

The public was invited to tour recent excavations and hear a program of lectures advancing Elad’s thesis that its unearthed findings prove its historical claims. Palestinian community activists in Silwan joined with Israeli Jews from Ta‘ayush (Living Together) and “Solidarity with Sheikh Jarrah” to organize a demonstration exposing Elad’s political manipulation of archaeology. The call for the demonstration explained: “We will be there to remind everyone that the Elad Association is not a research institution interested in archaeology, but a political tool for the Judaization of East Jerusalem through the expulsion of the Palestinian inhabitants. We will remind them that they are in an occupied village called Silwan, and not in a Biblical tourist site.”

The protest organizers continued: “Various state organs that are supportive of Elad’s project, like the Israeli police, the Jerusalem municipality, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and many others, are trying…to hide from the public eye the fact that these excavations are carried out in the service of the settlements.”

Historical “Facts on the Ground”

The atmosphere in Wadi Hilwa was already heated. On August 26, for the third time according to Arab residents, Elad settlers attempted to break down the iron door of the mosque near the Pool of Shiloah using an acetylene torch. Wadi Hilwa resident Muhammad Qara’in called the Jerusalem police for assistance, but the duty officer hung up on him. When clashes began between Arab residents and settlers the Border Guards arrived and began shooting live ammunition and tear gas at the Palestinians. Two settler cars were torched and the windshields of several others were smashed in the melée. Police cordoned off Wadi Hilwa. But this measure did not prevent the continuation of clashes the next night, since the aggravating factors — the Elad settlers — are in the middle of the neighborhood.

Since 1994 Elad has been underwriting archaeological excavations to supply proof for its version of Silwan’s history. In the process, they are destroying evidence of the presence of many other peoples and cultures on the site – 21 strata dating from the time of the Canaanites, who established the first permanent settlement in Silwan some 5,000 years ago, and the levels of the Muslims who ruled the place from the mid-seventh to the early twentieth centuries.

Elad also began seizing Palestinian homes in Silwan in 1991 and settling Jewish families in them, using dubious legal maneuvers that were criticized by a 1992 commission of inquiry appointed by the Israeli government. But Jerusalem municipal executive authorities have done nothing to remove Elad from the Palestinian homes it has illegally occupied. Elad now controls about 25 percent of the Wadi Hilwa neighborhood as well as other properties in Silwan.

Some Israeli archaeologists accept Elad’s claims that its excavations are “scientific” and unrelated to its settlement project. Other renowned Israeli archaeologists contest Elad’s version of Silwan’s biblical history. According to Benjamin Kedar, chairman of the board of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Elad is “an organization with a declared ideological agenda, which presents the history of the City of David in a biased way.” To date, no conclusive archaeological evidence affirming the presence of King David or King Solomon or of a Jewish temple on the scale described in the Bible has been found in Silwan or elsewhere.

Policing Protest

Although the Elad tour and conference were in a national park and open to the public, police and Border Guards blocked the access of the demonstrators on the grounds that, “You are leftists,” as one officer put it. Daniel Dukarevich, a physician and an immigrant to Israel from the former Soviet Union, attempted to cross the police barrier and attend the conference. Border Guards seized him and beat him viciously.

Dukarevich was immediately surrounded by a group of young women who bravely tried to protect him — and themselves after the Border Guards began beating them as well. Several demonstrators recorded the incident and later uploaded their video footage to YouTube. Others chanted, “Brave soldiers are beating [female] demonstrators,” while drummers, a regular presence at demonstrations, kept up a military cadence. Dukarevich was eventually dragged away by police with blood streaming down his face. Police can later be seen ushering a settler car through the barricade.

Veteran CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl and a crew from “60 Minutes” happened to be on the scene to do a story about Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem. Stahl’s jaw dropped and her face became visibly strained as she watched the beating. When some semblance of calm was restored, she interviewed a Wadi Hilwa resident who told her, “The Elad organization will not be successful in its attempts to falsify the history of this region and to ignore the indigenous people of the village. The collusion between Israeli authorities and ‘private’ settlement enterprises such as Elad are clear to us all — highlighted by the military’s attempts to shut down this demonstration today.” Stahl’s story has not yet aired.

Later, ten more Jewish demonstrators who attempted to enter the conference were arrested. They were taken off to the jail and courthouse complex housed in former pilgrim hostels in the Russian Compound — a picturesque plot of land in central Jerusalem originally owned by the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox cathedral. After the British conquered Jerusalem in 1917 they expropriated the area, except for the church itself, to build a government center. The state of Israel compensated the Soviet Union for the land in 1964 with $3.5 million worth of oranges.

Five of the detained demonstrators were released at 1:30 am the next day. One of them, Matan Cohen, is a student at Hampshire College and a member of Students for Justice in Palestine on that campus. He was one of the prominent organizers of the campaign that led to Hampshire’s February 2009 divestment from six corporations with holdings in companies complicit in Israeli human rights violations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

(College administrators claim the divestment was unrelated to the activists’ demands, though the president acknowledged “the good work of Students for Justice in Palestine that brought this issue to the attention of the committee.”) Cohen had spent most of his summer break working with the renowned Israeli filmmaker, Udi Aloni, teaching film to youth in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank. As a condition of his release, police officers demanded that Cohen sign a document consenting not to return to East Jerusalem for three months. Although he was due to return to Hampshire for his senior year within days, he told them, “I’m not signing anything and I’m not leaving before the others are also released.” Frustrated with Cohen’s resolute stand, the police eventually let him go without conditions.

When the court opened for business on September 2, Cohen and ten others who had participated in the demonstration were present to check on the status of those who had not yet been released. There they met Nasir Ghawi, the head of household of one of the four Palestinian families who have been evicted from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, also to make way for Jewish settlers. Further evictions are threatened. Ghawo is the most articulate spokesperson for all the Sheikh Jarrah evictees.

He and his lawyer were in court to argue that someone acting for the Sephardic Community Committee, which claims to own his home, had falsified the eviction order by adding names not included on the original court document to it. “I only want basic justice,” he said. “If the document is falsified, than we should be returned to our home and the settlers removed until the case is settled.” The court postponed the hearing on the forgery question until November and the Ghawi family remains in the street. It had earlier ruled similarly with regard to the Hanun family.

The relationship between the Jews who had participated in the Silwan demonstration and Nasir Ghawi was warm, familiar and mutually supportive. All of the Jews present were regular participants in the weekly demonstrations held at Sheikh Jarrah since November 2009 to protest the eviction of Palestinian families from the neighborhood. Ghawi knew most of them by name or face. He speaks fluent Hebrew, which makes it easier for those who do not speak Arabic to get to know him well. (Ta‘ayush has members who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, but the Jerusalem branch is an entirely Jewish group today, although they work closely with Palestinians in both Sheikh Jarrah and the south Hebron hills.)

Since most East Jerusalem Palestinians speak at least some Hebrew, there is less pressure on Jewish activists there to learn Arabic. Sara Benninga, who was prominent in the demonstration at Silwan (and also in the Sheikh Jarrah demonstrations), due to her extraordinary stamina in leading chants in Arabic, Hebrew and English, said: “We know we should learn Arabic. I have tried to do it several times. But it is hard to find the time while working, going to school and maintaining political activity.”

The language dynamics are somewhat different in the West Bank, where many of the prominent young Jewish activists speak at least enough Arabic for basic communication and several, like Matan Cohen, are totally fluent. Many West Bank men, of course, speak Hebrew because of their extensive experience in Israeli jails. But for Cohen and his peers in Anarchists Against the Wall, the language of communication whenever possible is Arabic.

More surprising than the cordiality between Arab and Jewish protesters is the intimacy between Jewish protesters and the police. The police and the protesters recognize each other and address each other by name. It is obvious who the police commanders are; the officers imagine that the demonstrators have a similar hierarchy, although this is far from the case. At the Silwan protest, the police commander asked Asaf Sharon, a Ph.D. student in political philosophy at Stanford University, to step aside and speak to him one on one. Sharon later reported that the officer told him, “If you calm your people down, there won’t be any more arrests. If you don’t, I will start arresting more of you” (Dukarevich had already been taken away). Sharon held up his wrists as though they were already handcuffed and said, “Take me first.” He was later arrested for trying to enter the conference area.

A New Protest Generation

At Sheikh Jarrah and in Silwan, as in the villages of the West Bank, the Jewish protesters demonstratively disregard the authority of the Israeli state, although Palestinians must be more circumspect since they would likely suffer grave consequences for openly challenging the occupation authorities. The Jewish protesters aim to make the police and the army pay as high a price as possible for continuing the occupation.

Every demonstration requires the deployment of extra police or soldiers to a place where they would not normally be. Every arrest requires the time and energy of the court system, whether or not detainees are eventually charged. Every instance of gratuitous police brutality — and there have been many in East Jerusalem, even according to Israeli courts — delegitimizes the police, exposes their political bias and draws more establishment personalities into the movement.

Intense direct confrontation with the authority of the Israeli state is a considered strategy, according to one of the influential behind-the-scenes organizers of the Jewish participation in the protests in Sheikh Jarrah. It is designed to produce “a transition from protest to struggle…. We are there to struggle in a subversive way.” The protest organizers are consciously striving to create a conflict between the many “left Zionists” among whom it has become fashionable to attend the weekly demonstrations in Sheikh Jarrah — people like prestigious Hebrew University professors Menachem Brinker, Moshe Halbertal, Avishai Margalit and Zeev Sternhell, novelist David Grossman, and former speaker of the Knessset Avraham Burg, who typically function as a loyal opposition — and the Israeli state apparatus. But the young organizers are not concerned with ideology as such.

Some call themselves Zionists; some do not. Some are secular; some are modern Orthodox or formerly observant but respectful of religion. As such, the new protest generation has a very different social makeup than the mostly older and resolutely secularist “left Zionists” of Peace Now, the nearly defunct Meretz party and the Labor Party. The protests are animated by social networks that have been formed over the last decade in struggles against Israel’s separation barrier and efforts to protect the Palestinians of the south Hebron hills from the depredations of violent, radical settlers.

The Arab and Jewish protesters regard the creeping Judaization of East Jerusalem — which is now most aggressive in Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah — as a mortal threat to Palestinian-Israeli peace. Rather than ideology, the glue that binds the Jewish protesters together and the Jews and the Palestinians of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan to each other is moral outrage over blatant injustice and discriminatory application of Israeli law.

However many states there may or may not be on the horizon in Israel and Palestine, the new generation of Israeli protesters see themselves as building a culture of peace and living together with Arabs in opposition to the segregationist version of peace — “us here, them there” — long promoted by the “left Zionist” peace camp. This approach to peace remains marginal in Israeli society, although it has many Palestinian proponents, even among those who remain committed to a two-state solution. It is surely more hopeful than the diplomatic exercise now underway.

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TAGLIT-BIRTHRIGHT PROGRAM

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Rachel Marcuse spent 10 days in Israel as part of the Taglit-Birthright program — a fully sponsored trip for young North American Jews to learn more about the country. She went to bear witness and ask questions about the Israeli state’s treatment of Palestinians, and to learn about other complex issues in Israel today. After the program, she spent another 10 days elsewhere in Israel and the West Bank of Palestine talking to Israeli Jews, Palestinian citizens of Israel, international activists, and Palestinians in the occupied territories. . This series first appeared in rabble.ca .

“Birthright” trips are a major tool employed in an effort to influence how young Jews feel about Israel. 
In addition to reading Rachel Marcuse’s account of her experiences on the trip, I got to hear in the last couple of years from a few trip participants.
What struck me as particularly interesting in all these accounts is that the way the trips are structured and planned creates conditions that keep participants constantly tired and when there is free time – it’s spent in bars, in what seems like an attempt to minimize opportunities to debrief and engage in introspection. 
Due to her level of political awareness and willingness to stick her neck out, Marcuse’s trip was characterized by a level of engagement with the reality of the Israel/Palestine conflict – which, while small and fleeting, still stands out as unusual. My impression based on other stories is that for the most part
anything to do with these issue is completely hidden from view.
In all, participants are encouraged to form emotional attachments to each other and to the country, while their critical faculties are kept in a more or less constant haze.

Racheli Gai.
http://mondoweiss.net/marcuse?utm_source=Mondoweiss+List&utm_campaign=5d7fd1cc1a-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email

……………………………………………………….
——–
Jewish Peace News editors:
Joel Beinin
Racheli Gai
Rela Mazali
Sarah Anne Minkin
Judith Norman
Lincoln Z. Shlensky
Rebecca Vilkomerson
Alistair Welchman 
————
Jewish Peace News archive and blog: http://jewishpeacenews.blogspot.com

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A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS


Guess who would like to bring down Iran’s nuclear plans?

24 Sep 2010

What a story:

Little doubt remains that the Stuxnet worm represents one of the most sophisticated digital attacks on critical infrastructure systems that cybersecurity researchers have ever seen. The motives of whoever launched that attack is a far murkier question–but a mounting stack of theories is starting to point to a targeted sabotage of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The latest, put forward by Frank Rieger, a researcher at security and encryption firm GSMK, posits in a Frankfurt newspaper (translation here) and on his blog that Stuxnet targetted a nuclear enrichment facility in the Iranian town of Natanz. Stuxnet has spread internationally, but the vast majority of infections have happened in Iran, according to numbers from antivirus firm Symantec in July.

Rieger points to signs that Stuxnet was engineered to infect systems as early as January 2009. And in July 2009, whistle-blower site Wikileaks posted a note from an anonymous source describing a nuclear accident in Natanz. The head of Iran’s nuclear program resigned shortly thereafter, and Rieger points to official Iranian numbers that showed a reduction in working enrichment centrifuges.

 

So this is why we pay Serco so much

24 Sep 2010

Need more evidence how dysfunctional and undemocratic is the relationship between Serco and the Australian government?

Detainees who protested on the roof of a Sydney detention centre this week have been put in maximum security isolation as punishment, a refugee advocate says.

Nine Chinese nationals, including five men and four women, one of whom is two months pregnant, climbed on to the roof of the Villawood centre on Wednesday morning.  

One of them came down at 4pm on Thursday and the rest followed about six hours later.

Another 11 asylum seekers ended a 30-hour protest on the roof on Tuesday night.

Justice Action Network spokesman Jamal Daoud says he believes all but one of the rooftop protesters are now in maximum security compounds.

“All of them are in Stage One at the moment, except the pregnant woman – she was taken to hospital last night,” said Mr Daoud, who has been in regular contact with detainees.

“They usually put someone in there for punishment…. They are in isolation, they are not allowed to go outside the room.”

Serco, the company that runs the centre, declined to comment on the asylum seekers’ situation and told AAP all inquiries should be referred to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

A DIAC spokesman refused to comment on where the protesters were housed, saying it was a matter for Serco.

“As far as where they’re housed, that’s a matter for Serco and their ongoing management of the centre,” he said.

Ben-Gurion University is ripe for boycott

24 Sep 2010

South Africa knows a thing or two about apartheid. No wonder growing numbers of people there won’t tolerate similar or worse behaviour in the Zionist state:

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Unisa vice-chancellor Barney Pityana and author Breyten Breytenbach have added their voices to calls for the University of Johannesburg to sever academic ties with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Mail & Guardian reported in May that the senate had debated the matter then and had asked a senate subcommittee headed by deputy vice-chancellor Adam Habib to make recommendations within three months.M&G. “It has taken a long time because the matter is highly contested. And I can’t say what our senate will decide.”online petition launched after the May senate meeting. It calls for “the suspension of UJ’s agreement with Ben-Gurion” and this week had notched up nearly 200 signatories. M&G he had thought the senate meeting in question would be held late in October and he would “need to make inquiries” before commenting.M&G
reported at the time.

The petition’s signatories come from a range of local universities and identify themselves as “the academic community of South Africa, a country with a history of brute racism on the one hand and both academic acquiescence and resistance to it on the other”.

The cooperation between the two universities dates from the 1980s, when the local partner was called Rand Afrikaans University. The agreement now under fire involves scientific interaction and was signed in August last year, renewing a controversial apartheid-era collaboration, its critics say.

On Wednesday next week UJ’s senate will hear recommendations on the future of the university’s ties with Ben-Gurion.

The

“We have concluded our deliberations and arrived at recommendations,” Habib told the

Tutu, Pityana and Breytenbach are recent signatories to an

Law professor John Dugard, theologian Allan Boesak, ANC stalwart Kader Asmal, struggle veteran and language-rights expert Neville Alexander, poet Antjie Krog, former Freedom of Expression Institute director Jane Duncan and Wits University sociologist Ran Greenstein are among other recent additions to the petition.

Leading the fight to retain ties with Ben-Gurion is the South African Associates of Ben-Gurion University, whose chairperson, Herby Rosenberg, told the

His organisation’s president, Bertie Lubner, was on a plane and unavailable, he said. The associates arranged that local advocate David Unter-halter and Ben-Gurion professor Ilan Troen argue in the May senate meeting for retaining ties with UJ, the

“The Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories has had disastrous effects on access to education for Palestinians,” the petition reads.

“While Palestinians are not able to access universities and schools, Israeli universities produce the research, technology, arguments and leaders for maintainingthe occupation.”

By virtue of its ties with the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and the arms industry, Ben-Gurion “structurally supports and facilitates the Israeli occupation”, the petition says.

One example of its “complicity is its agreement with the IDF to provide full university qualification to army pilots within a special [Ben-Gurion] programme,” it says.

The petition calls on UJ’s senate to suspend the relationship with Ben-Gurion until, “as a minimum”, Israel “adheres to international law and … as did some South African universities during the struggle against South African apartheid, openly declares itself against the occupation and withdraws all privileges for the soldiers who enforce it”.

Scahill on Blackwater madness under God and country

23 Sep 2010

U.S. Businessman: Blackwater Paid Me to Buy Steroids and Weapons on Black Market for Its Shooters.

Seriously.

The Rajapaksa dictatorship

23 Sep 2010

The ongoing pain in Sri Lanka, the rise of Sinhalese authoritarianism and Tamil oppression. Former UN spokesman in Colombo Gordon Weiss explains on Australian TV:

 

America wants faceless men to kill its enemies

23 Sep 2010

The largely secret war now being fought by unaccountable private firms. This is how the West fights battles:

More private contractors than soldiers were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent months, the first time in history that corporate casualties have outweighed military losses on America’s battlefields.

More than 250 civilians working under U.S. contracts died in the war zones between January and June 2010, according to a ProPublica analysis of the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Labor, which tracks contractor deaths. In the same period, 235 soldiers died, according to Pentagon figures.

his milestone in the privatization of modern U.S. warfare reflects both the drawdown in military forces in Iraq and the central role of contractors in providing logistics support to local armies and police forces, contracting and military experts said.

Steven Schooner, a professor of government contracting at George Washington University Law School, said that the contractor deaths show how the risks of war have increasingly been absorbed by the private sector. Private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan provide fuel, food and protective services to U.S. outposts — jobs once performed by soldiers.

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ZIO=NAZI BRUTAL ATTACK ON FLOTILLA

  NOVANEWS

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/turkey-lauds-un-report-on-gaza-flotilla-1.315265UN Human Rights Council report: Israel flotilla raid broke international law; UN appointed experts say that the military raid on the flotilla was ‘brutal and disproportionate’.

By The Associated Press    and Haaretz Service

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu praised Thursday the UN Human Right Council’s report on the Gaza flotilla, telling Anatolia news agency that the report was fair, impartial and used strong evidence.

The report, compiled by three United Nations appointed human rights experts, said that Israeli forces violated international law when they raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, killing nine activists, earlier this year.

The UN Human Rights Council’s fact-finding mission concluded that Israel’s naval blockade of the Palestinian territory was unlawful because of the humanitarian crisis there, and described the military raid on the flotilla as brutal and disproportionate.

“We expected the council to release a strong report based on strong evidence, and in this sense the report met our expectations,” said Davutoglu. “We hope that Israel will learn to use language of international law and act in line with it.”

The Israeli Foreign Ministry responded late Wednesday by saying the Human Rights Council had a biased, politicized and extremist approach.

Israel has maintained that its soldiers acted in self-defense when they shot and killed eight Turkish activists and one Turkish-American aboard the Mavi Marmara on May 31. Israel Defense Forces released footage showing its troops coming under attack as they tried to board the boat.

The Human Rights Council blamed Israel prior to the investigation and it is no surprise that they condemn after, said Andy David, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, referring to the 47-member body’s resolution in early June condemning the raid.

Israel refused to cooperate with the panel, preferring instead to work with a separate UN group under New Zealand’s former Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and Colombia’s former President Alvaro Uribe that is also examining the incident but has yet to publish its findings
“Israel is a democratic and law abiding country that carefully observes international law and, when need be, knows how to investigate itself,” the Foreign Ministry statement said.

“That is how Israel has always acted, and that is the way in which investigations were conducted following Operation Cast Lead, launched to protect the inhabitants of southern Israel from rockets and terror attacks carried out by Hamas from Gaza,” said the statement.

MK Hanin Zuabi (Balad), who was on board the Mavi Marmara, praised the UN Human Rights Council’s report and added that “the criminals” who ordered and carried out the raid should be brought to justice.

Fawzi Barhoum, spokesman for the Islamic militant group Hamas that controls Gaza, said the report emphasized that Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories violates human rights not only against Palestinian people but against innocent people who came to show their sympathy.

“Now it’s required to be a mechanism in order to translate this report into action and to bring the occupation commanders to trial for the crimes they committed,” Barhoum said.

The Human Rights Council’s report was compiled by former U.N. war crimes prosecutor Desmond de Silva, Trinidadian judge Karl T. Hudson-Phillips and Malaysian women’s rights advocate Mary Shanthi Dairiam. It is scheduled to be presented to the council on Monday

The Human Rights Council, based in Geneva, was re-established in 2006 by then UN Security General, Kofi Annan, following accusations that its predecessor, the UN Commission on Human Rights, openly and systematically discriminated against Israel.

But the new body has also passed several resolutions condemning Israel over the past few years, especially for its actions in the Palestinian territories, and is often of accused of unfair bias against Israel.

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SATYARUPS JANA: A PRIZE CATCH UNDER UAPA

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Rajeesh | September 24, 2010| Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/pglpM-1W6

by Nisha Biswas

On July 9, 2009 Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, the Chief Minister of West Bengal assured his colleagues in State Assembly that the government would see that Unlawful Activity Prevention Act (UAPA) is not misused. He also informed the assembly that from the day of banning of Communist Party of India (Maoist) by the Centre and the imposition of UAPA in West Bengal (June 22, 2009) till that date, only 39 persons have been arrested by invoking this Act, out of which thirty were from West Midnapore, five from Bankura and four from Purulia. However, as his habit is, he did forget (intentionally?) to mention the first arrest of Gour Chakroborty, spokesperson of CPI(Maoist) on the day the Maoist party was banned by the Government of India, without giving him a chance to clarify his stand.

The exact number of persons arrested so far under this Act is not known but the estimate is that it is not less than a couple of hundreds. However, an RTI inquiry by APDR reveals that, till March 2010, only 30 persons have been arrested from West Midnapore under UAPA. The list begins with unbanned CPI(Maoist) party Spokesperson Gaur Chakroborty, activists Raja Sorkhel, Prasun Chatterjee, Bangla People’s March editor Swapan Dasgupta (who died in custody), PCPA spokesperson Chhtaradhar Mahato, treasurer Sukhashanti Baskey, and other high profile persons, including activists of democratic movement to people like Satyarupa Jana of Pankhai, Khejuri of East Medinipur.

Satyarupa belongs to the region, which happened to be the ruling party stronghold during Nandigram protest. She is such a politically naïve person that she never bothered to find out what is happening on the other side of Taikhali Bridge. Even today, she is at loss in explaining why so many from Nandigram were murdered. Her life of 48 years has been a struggle to make both ends meet – she has tried to educate her three sons and is proud of the fact that they are doing well and that one of her daughter-in-law is a para-teacher and the other one is doing her graduation. Hers is a normal conventional life of a little ambitious and industrious person who has taken risks and has almost never missed any opportunity of an extra earning. Satyarupa says that she did hear gun shots and the noise of bomb hurling, but has always tried to keep her family and self away from all these political chaos.

Today the same Satyarupa Jana is languishing in Midnapore Central jail since 24th May of this year and is accused of various offenses including waging and conspiring war against the state, collecting and keeping arms, sedition. Her “seizure list” includes a bag of arms used for killing the Trinamool Congrss Panchayat leader Nishikanta Mondal at Nandigram on September 22, 2009. She is booked under Sections 121/121A/122/123/124A/120B of Indian Penal Code, Sec 25/27 of Arms Act and also under section 20 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. In Khejuri PS Case no. 65/10 dtd 14.05.2010 she is termed as a hard core Maoist; such a hard core Maoist who before her arrests had not heard the name of Mao or his ism.

Satyarupa is a perfect example of the misuse of a draconian Act to meet the agendas of political parties and their associates. So who is Satyarupa? Satyarupa is one who has never missed any chance of earning money for a better life. She has vended vegetables, fish, sold sarees in the weekly bazars. But she has always treaded the lawful and truthful ways and was never ever lured by illegal means. It was four or five years back when she first heard the name of Self – Help Groups and how it can improve one’s economic status.

Being industrious, she was among the first few who took the training and made her own group naming it Ma Durga Self Help Group. Among the few groups that she formed one was named after revolutionary freedom fighter Matangini Hazra, who had been assassinated in front of Tamluk Police Station. Her group includes ex-panchayat President of CPI(M) and wife of ex-panchayat member belonging of Trinmool Congress. Including all colours, she had skillfully tried to avoid any political confrontation.

Problem started with the government instruction that the Supervisor of NREGA work will be amongst the presidents of the Self-Help Groups functioning in the locality. And there too we find that Satyarupa has already taken seven-day training in BDO office around March end. Therefore the work of renovation of B M School pond at Pankhai, Khejuri costing more than two Lakhs goes to her. Satyarupa, even today in Midnapore jail believes that truth prevails and that as long as her accounts are clear and that she is honest and sincere, she has nothing to be afraid off. She never felt the need to give any commission to any political group or person. This raised a huge discontent amongst the local leaders and their accomplices. They, therefore, tried to stop her work under NREGA and instructed local village people not to work in her projects.

But, who can stop Satyarupa? She was growing big to bigger without any political patron. She recruited people from Bartala, a neighbouring village. Work started at 11am of May13, 2010 and the commotion started within three hours, i.e. around 2pm while she was going home for lunch. She was beaten up by the vested interests and was brought to Khejuri PS. She was interrogated there and when in the night, Lutfar Rehman and Somen Mondal of the same village, on the instruction of OC Atanu Santra went to the PS for her release, they too were arrested.

She and the other two were produced in Court on 15th May and police took them in custody for further investigation for ten days. In these ten days Satyarupa witnessed severe beating of Lutfar and Somen and was taken to Nandigram once. According to police in these ten days she helped them in locating a bag of arms used for killing Nishikant Mondal. She denies knowledge of any such bag and remembers the threat of OC Atanu Santra of Khejuri PS that they are going to put her in jail to rot for the rest of her life.

I met her in the only Female Ward of Midnapore Central Jail, where I too had to spend 43 days for waging and conspiring war against the State and sedition. Bengali writer Manik Mondal, school teacher Sri Kanishka Chowdhury and myself were arrested from Rameswarpur of Lalgarh on June15, 2010. All through the 43 days of my stay with her, I did not find her interested in politics, she never read newspaper and always asked me who are Maoists and who am I.

She does not understand an iota of politics and her only worry is when will she be back with her family and the losses that she is incurring because of her detention. In Jail we were termed Maoists, I used to enjoy the special status and privileges associated with this word, whereas Satyarupa used to get very angry and had repeatedly complained to jail authorities and warned other inmates that if they do not stop calling her Maoist, she too will start calling them by their crimes for which they are arrested or convicted.

Posted in WorldComments Off on SATYARUPS JANA: A PRIZE CATCH UNDER UAPA

HOW TO HANDLE HAMAS

NOVANEWS

September/October 2010

Summary: 

Hamas is central to Israeli security and Palestinian politics, yet the international community refuses to work with it. This is a mistake — Israel, the United States, and others should exploit Hamas’ vulnerabilities with a mix of coercion and concessions.

DANIEL BYMAN is a Professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and a Senior Fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of the forthcoming book A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism.

www.ForeignAffairs.com.

The biggest obstacle to peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians is not the Palestinians’ demand that Jewish settlements in the West Bank be dismantled, the barrier separating much of the West Bank from Israel, or the recent rightward shift of the Israeli body politic. It is the emergence of Hamas as the de facto government of the Gaza Strip, where 1.5 million Palestinians reside.

Hamas has regularly attacked Israel with rockets from Gaza or allowed others to do so. It poses a strong and growing political threat to the more moderate Palestinian Authority, which is led by President Mahmoud Abbas and his technocratic prime minister, Salam Fayyad, and which governs the West Bank and used to run Gaza, too. Whereas PA leaders see negotiations with Israel and institution building as the best way to ultimately gain statehood, Hamas seeks to undermine the peace process. Many Hamas members have not reconciled themselves to the Jewish state’s existence. Hamas’ leaders also fear that Hamas would reap none of the benefits of a peace deal and that in the event of one, the PA would score political points at their expense. Hamas has shown repeatedly that it can bring talks to a painful end by castigating moderate Palestinians and turning to violence.

Despite Hamas’ centrality to Israeli security and Palestinian politics, Washington still clings to the policy that the Bush administration established after Hamas beat more moderate Fatah candidates in elections in Gaza in 2006. The United States and other members of the international community withdrew development aid from Gaza, tacitly supporting Israel’s shutdown of the Gaza Strip, and refused to work directly with Hamas. Their hope was to force Hamas’ collapse and bring Fatah back to power. But isolation has failed, and today Hamas is far stronger than when it first took power. The Obama administration, more by default than by design, has continued these efforts to isolate and weaken Hamas, opposing talks with the group and condoning Israeli military raids.

Posted in Politics1 Comment

ACTION TODAY: CHILDREN DEAD FROM PREVENTABLE CAUSES

NOVANEWS

Dear,

Big news: UNICEF just announced that the number of children under the age of five dying each day has significantly dropped over the past year: from 24,000 to 22,000. We’re asking you to take action today and help make that number ZERO.

We know you believe that 22,000 children dying from preventable causes each day is 22,000 too many. They die from causes most of us will never have to worry about – such as starvation, unsanitary living conditions, no access to clean drinking water, or lack of a five-cent vaccine.

We are making remarkable progress toward a world in which no child dies from preventable causes, and can see a light at the end of the tunnel. But without a strong commitment by the U.S. government, we will never reach zero. Please urge Congress to fully fund our committment to UNICEF this year to help save millions of children’s lives and protect their futures.

From measles campaigns in Pakistan to emergency food in Ethiopia; from hurricane relief in Haiti to anti-malarial bed net distribution in Nigeria – UNICEF’s work is having a huge impact. And with this latest announcement comes more hope – we can see that the drop in child mortality is actually accelerating.
In a very concrete way, the news about a drop in child mortality demonstrates that global investment and strategic partnerships are putting comprehensive child survival strategies in place that get results. Over the last 50 years, UNICEF and its partners have helped reduce the worldwide child mortality rate by more than 50%. This pace of improvement is increasing, and we are getting closer to a day when zero children die from preventable causes.

Please write Congress today and urge continued strong support of UNICEF so that we can continue to reduce the number of preventable child deaths around the world.

Thanks for all that you do,
– The Change.org Team
 
This email was sent by Change.org to info@shoah.org.uk.

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Posted in HealthComments Off on ACTION TODAY: CHILDREN DEAD FROM PREVENTABLE CAUSES

WHERE IS THE SHETY ‘ ISRAEL’?

NOVANEWS    

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on WHERE IS THE SHETY ‘ ISRAEL’?

ARAB DEMOCRACY

NOVANEWS


 

 

رجل الأمن

23 Sep 2010

خالد برّاج في روايته بعنوان “سيرة رجل حقير” يستعرض الكاتب الفرنسي ديديه داينيكس حياة رجل أمن فرنسي عاصر مراحل و محطات أساسية من تاريخ فرنسا الحديث.
فمن زمن الإحتلال النازي خلال الحرب العالمية الثانية مروراً بقيام الجمهورية الخامسة و ثورة الطلاب عام 1968 وصولاً إلى إنتخاب الإشتراكي فرنسوا ميتران رئيساً للجمهورية عام 1981 يظهر كلمان دوبريه (بطل الرواية) كموظّف عادي, لا تعنيه السياسة لا من قريب و لا من بعيد يضع في خدمة مرؤوسيه في مختلف الإدارات و الحقبات ذكاءه و دهاءه الخارقين للحفاظ على النظام السياسي القائم, فهو رجل بوليس في الوحدات الخاصة خلال الإحتلال النازي لفرنسا مهمِته الأساسية إلقاء القبض على اليهود و أعضاء المقاومة الفرنسية و تسليمهم إلى السلطات الألمانية و هو أيضاً المحافظ على أسس و إستمرارية الجمهورية الخامسة خلال سنوات حكم الرئيس شارل دوغول من خلال ملاحقته الشيوعيين و أعضاء جبهة التحرير الوطني خلال الثورة الجزائرية و صولاً إلى قمع ثورة الطلاب عام 1968 و التضييق على الشيوعيين و الإشتراكيين خلال السبعينات بعد توقيع إتفاقية البرنامج المشترك بين الحزبين الشيوعي و الإشتراكي عام 1972.
يستخدِم بطل الرواية (كلمان دوبريه) جميع الأساليب المعروفة (تعذيب – ترغيب – رشوة – إغتيال إلخ…)

لإتمام مهامه كرجل مخابرات يحاول الدفاع عن النظام السياسي في شتّى المراحل و هو لا يشكِك بالنظام القائم لأنّ فلسفته نابعة من أنّ رجل الأمن يُنجِز مهامه بمعزل عن السياسة فالأمن في خدمة النظام السياسي القائم, فإن كان نظام الماريشال بيتان يوصي بإلقاء القبض على اليهود فيجب تنفيذ ذلك و إن كان النظام الجديد فيما بعد يضمن الحرِية الدينية للأفراد و المجموعات فيجب العمل على المحافظة على هذه الحرِية.
لكنّ كلمان دوبريه رجل مخابرات فريد من نوعه إذا ما قارنه مع رجال مخابرات آخرين لا سيّما في دول العالم الثالث و بالأخص في العالم العربي, فهو بالرغم من سطوته, إجرامه و سيطرته الأمنية لم يلجأ إلى الإنتفاع المادي من خلال وظيفته, ظلّ مردوده المادي الوحيد خلال عمله في مجال المخابرات راتبه الشهري و هو يفتخِر بأنّه خلال 40 عام من العمل البوليسي/ الإستخبراتي لم يستغِل منصبه لتحسين وضعه المادي أو الإجتماعي و هي صورة مغايرة لرجال المخابرات في عالمنا العربي إذا ما أردنا المقارنة مع بطل الرواية, فالبرغم من وجه الشبّه الخاص بأساليب المخابرات القمعية و الوحشية و التي هي مشتركة بطبيعة الحال بين بطل الرواية و معظم رجال المخابرات فإنّ الفرق الأول أنّ كلمان دوبريه ” رجل الأمن” كان في خدمة النظام القائم و السياسة العامة المتبّعة بينما في معظم دول العالم الثالث و العالم العربي النظام السياسي هو في خدمة الأمن و تُبنى الأنظمة (و قد بُنِيت) بالشكل المعكوس: الأمن أولاً – الدستور ثانياً – السلطات الدستورية في خدمة الأمن ثالثاً – المجتمع المدني رابعاً ممّا يعطي مجالاً واسعاً للأمنيين (العسكر و المخابرات إلخ…) للتدخُل في الحياة السياسية و فرض رؤيتهم على المجتمع و على المُنتخبين وصولاً إلى السيطرة الكلِية على الحياة السياسية من خلال الأمن.
أمّا الفرق الثاني فهو الإنتفاع المادي من المنصب الأمني, كلمان دوبريه لم يستغِل منصبه الرفيع ليزيد من حجم مدخوله الشهري و هو لم يبتزّ أو يهدِد رجال الأعمال و التجّار و الإقتصاديين ليشارك في صفقة هنا أو هناك أو التطفُل على مشروع تجاري مُربِح, ظلّ كما هو خلال فترة عمله يحافظ على النظام القائم بإستخدام الأساليب المخابراتية القذرة و الحقيرة (و لذلك هو رجل حقير) لمنفعة إستمرارية النظّام السياسي القائم دون التفتيش عن منفعة شخصية سوى ترقيته الطبيعية في السُلَم الوظيفي خلال فترة عمله.
لا تختلف أساليب رجال الأمن (خصوصاً المولجين الحفاظ على الأمن الداخلي للبلاد و ليس الخارجي) عن بعضها البعض في مُعظم أقطار العالم و هي أساليب رخيصة و حقيرة و وحشية مُبررها الدائم الحفاظ على الأمن و إستمرارية الدولة (أو النظام؟)

 لكن الفرق شاسع بين رجالنا الأمنيين (أي في العالم العربي) الذين ينتفعون مادياً (صفقات بأرقام خيالية, إبتزاز لمشاركة رجال أعمال بمشاريع تجارية إلخ…) بحكم موقعهم و معظم رجال الغرب الأمنيين الذين يخدمون النظام كموظفِين حكوميين مرادهم الوحيد الحفاظ على النظام القائم و الإنتفاع بالترقية الوظيفية و تعويضات نهاية الخدمة.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on ARAB DEMOCRACY

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