Archive | September 28th, 2010



September 28, 2010

by Gordon Duff


By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

In 2000, the United States Supreme Court, by a 5/4 margin, the deciding vote being Justice Clarence Thomas, perhaps the worst justice in court history, elected a President.  Investigations since have shown that the election wasn’t even close, Bush lost by millions of votes and more than a few states.

Electronic voting machines were hacked then and again in 2004.  Exit polling, our only reliable statistical control proves it alone.  However, the string of suppressed criminal prosecutions tied to the massive electoral fraud are not hard to discover.  There were also some mysterious deaths.

Of course, the court has no place in a Presidential election, no constitutional provision allowed them to stop a recount under the guise of “equal protection.”  This was a coup, plain and simple.  A few months later we had 9/11 and the Patriot Acts.  After that, there was no more constitution, only “emergency decrees” which stripped citizens of all constitutional rights.


We began arresting people and detaining them without trial, torturing confessions, denying legal representation.  We ended the right to be confronted by one’s accuser, all privacy rights disappeared and then we started summary executions, foreign nationals, American citizens, no trial, no oversight, nothing.

The rights won by the English nobility from King John, the Magna Carta, disappeared and are permanently gone.  Without habeas corpus, there is no freedom of any kind.  Habeas corpus was suspended five years ago and will never return.  No American has had a single guaranteed right of any kind for that long.

We can’t even begin to discuss constitutional rights.  They no longer exist, not under Bush who took them away or under Obama who enjoys the same privileges.

Invasions.  We invaded two countries, installed corrupt dictatorships and began stripping one of its oil while turning the other into the largest narcotics source in the history of the world.  In the process, we stripped America too, clean as a “Safeway chitterling” (chitlin’).

At home, the Supreme Court decided that bribing elected officials was a right of “free speech.”  If all corporate ownership and control was entirely American this would still be an abuse.  However, since most of America is owned and controlled by a combination of Israelis, Chinese and Arabs, three groups with powerful agendas that are inconsistent with American values, the court ended up transferring what little power and influence America once had over her own affairs offshore.

In truth, that happened in 1913 when the Federal Reserve was set up, foreign owned banks that took control of the US economy.  The constitution expressly forbid such a thing but had no power to stop it.

A constitution with no power isn’t a constitution at all.

We could look at constitutional history.  A good case could be made for the convention that drafted the constitution having one clear agenda, protecting rule by the few and creating a sham democracy.  The idea of this might shock some Americans.  Who thinks about things like having two houses in congress or a supreme court.  Nobody ever asks about the electoral college.  OK, look at this for a moment.  We elect the senate, or at least now we do.  They used to be picked, not elected and were like our nobility, with power to control all legislation.  The senate was the rich people and their chosen representatives who could stop any law.  They also ratified treaties and confirmed Supreme Court justices.

When you realize that the president was chosen through an “electoral college” and not a real vote and that the congress was controlled by a senate that wasn’t elected and the Supreme Court was picked by a president picked by the electoral college and justices were confirmed by a senate that was picked, your head should be swimming.

Some of that is changed.  We elect the senate now.  It hasn’t made much difference.

You say it doesn’t matter anyway, you say that all parties, all candidates are exactly the same, taking orders from the same people, the same corporations or the same foreign countries?  Is this what you are saying?  Wasn’t the constitution supposed to stop all this?

Do you see what I mean by “fail?”

It isn’t even that.   Congress is run by “rules.”  No law can be voted on without getting out of committee, committees which are controlled by legislators with lots of seniority, generally from areas that don’t have, well, what do we call it?  Free elections?

What has happened is that powerful financial organizations have gotten control of key regions of the country, maintained that control for generations and inherited control of each committee in our legislature.  This gives those “money boys” total control of the government.  No law is even read without their nod, much less voted on.

What we have ended up with is a government that does one thing full time, campaign.  And, as campaigns last forever and cost endless amounts of money and corporations owned by prettymuch anyone can give as much as they want anywhere and anytime, your government will, by necessity, only represent the rich and powerful.

If this were the case, we would always be at war.

If this were the case, we would have a continually lowering standard of living and an increasing gulf between rich and poor.

If this were the case, the streets would be full of drugs and the prisons would be overflowing.

If this were the case, Americans would be afraid of their own government.


First thing, get rid of the Federal Reserve.  I liked that part of the constitution, the place where it said only congress had the right to print money.  Keep that.  Ever notice how all the other countries in the world seem to have parliaments and prime ministers?  Ever notice how, when someone really screws up, a government can “fall?”  Right now, the Supreme Court by a 5/4 margin is likely to do anything asked of it, whether by an oil company or that “special country” in the Middle East.  You know the one.

No more seniority system, no more “soft money,” no more special retirement, no more lobbyists, no more free trips, no foreign money spent on our government, no more “work for the people today” and get paid by the folks you were supposed to protect the people from for the rest of your life.


How many Americans know that judges are picked by political parties?  Yup, they may be elected but most elections in the US are virtually unopposed.

In fact, most elections aren’t elections at all.  The winner is chosen in a primary, picked based on financial backing, not dedication or experience.  This guarantees that there will never be an honest judge and damn few honest people in government beyond township supervisor or town council.

If you could check, and you can’t, you will find that, in the majority of cases, one person makes decisions for an entire state, usually the person with the connections to the utility companies, organized crime, the  casino industry and trade unions.  Check into President Harry S. Truman’s career.



YouTube – Veterans Today –




28 September 2010

Jewish Boat to Gaza boarded by Israeli Pirates

News has just come in of the boarding of the Jewish boat, the Irene (named after Irene Bruegel one of the founders of Jews for Justice for Palestinians). Not content with a UN Human Rights Committee Report that branded the attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla as illegal, having used brutality, torture as well as deliberately executing 6 passengers, Israel has now compounded this with the boarding of the latest ship.

We hope that there are no casualties and that none of the passengers were subject to the normal ritual violence from the thugs that wear Israeli military uniforms.

All those who took part, including Captain Glyn Secker of JfJP, should feel proud of themselves for standing up as Jews to defy this cruel and immoral blockade of Gaza whose only effect is to hurt the very people they say are terrorised by Hamas. This is the answer to those who oppose sanctions against Israel because of ‘anti-semitism’ and all the other reasons that their friends in Apartheid South Africa gave.

Just as Jews rightly honour what are termed ‘righteous Gentiles’ for having risked their lives to save Jews during the holocaust, so we should honour those who reject Zionism and its barbaric treatment of the Palestinians.

Well done Glyn!

Tony Greenstein

Jewish Boat to Gaza boarded by Israeli forces and taken toward Ashdod port

For immediate release

28 September, 2010

Jewish Boat to Gaza boarded by Israeli forces and taken toward Ashdod port

The Irene, a boat carrying nine passengers and aid for Gaza’s population has been taken over by the Israeli navy and denied access to Gaza.

The boat is flying a British flag and its passengers include citizens of the US, the UK, Germany and Israel. Two journalists are also on board.

Last contact with the boat’s captain, Glyn Secker, was at 0937 GMT, when their path had been cut off by a Destroyer. Recent reports from other news sources indicated that the boat has been surrounded and boarded. At this point they were less than 20 miles from Gaza’s shore. Since then all phones went dead.

The occupied Gaza Strip’s territorial waters end 12 nautical miles from shore, but the Israeli blockade is enforced at 20 miles from shore.

Israeli attorney Smadar Ben Natan who is representing the passengers has asked to see her clients immediately.

Local group Physicians for Human Rights-Israel has asked for permission to send an independent doctor to visit the passengers immediately, after hearing from organizers that at least one passenger suffers from serious chronic health problems and is in need of medical care.

Speaking from London, a member of the organizing group, Richard Kuper of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, has condemned the Israeli army’s apparent action and said that this boat and its fate are a symbol of the chances for peace in the region. The way it is being treated by Israeli authorities indicates that they have no real intentions of reaching peace, he said. He called for worldwide support for the boat and its message of protest against the siege of Gaza and the occupation.

European Jews for a Just Peace, Jews for Justice for Palestinians (UK), Juedische Stimme fuer einen gerechten Frieden in Nahost (Germany), American Jews for a Just Peace (USA), Jewish Voice for Peace (USA), Jews Against the Occupation Sydney.




New Act of Israeli Piracy SOP, Memory of Murdered American Dims

September 28, 2010

by Michael Leon  


Furkan Dogan, shot five times from close range. Planned to become a doctor; son of Dr. Ahmed Dogan (Assistant Professor at the University of Irkiis).

– Israeli Piracy Continues, Terror State Issues No Apologies –

As news broke that the Israeli navy engaged in yet another act of piracy of nine Jewish activists off the coast of Gaza halting humanitarian aid on the ship, Irene, memories have dimmed of last May’s deadly assault, the infamous Massacre on the Mediterranean.

By Dave Lindorff and Linn Washington in This Can’t Be Happening

Murder is murder, and terror is terror, you might think. But when terror is committed against an American citizen by the state of Israel the response from the US government is not protest, and it is surely not to demand justice, much less seek vengeance. It is silence.

In 1985, when terrorists from the Palestine Liberation Front, in an act of piracy on the high seas in the Mediterranean, took control of the Achille Lauro, an Italian cruise ship, and executed the Jewish American Leon Klinghoffer, shooting him in the forehead and then pushing the wheelchair-bound 69-year-old overboard, the US responded with dramatic action. To rescue the passengers, Italian negotiators had worked out a deal granting safe passage to Tunisia to the pirates, in return for the freeing of the ship and its other passengers. But President Ronald Reagan dispatched a US fighter plane to intercept the plane carrying the PLF pirates to safety, and forced it to land at a US airbase in Italy, where they were turned over to Italian authorities for prosecution.

[Video smuggled off the MaviMarmara [censorship issues may result in music instead of footage]

Compare this to another more recent act of piracy, the violent assault and high-seas boarding of the Turkish cruise ship Mavi Marmara and a flotilla of smaller ships bound from Turkey to Gaza by troops from the Israeli Defense Force, who commandeered the vessels, killing eight Turkish and one young Turkish-American passenger. The US failed to condemn this latter act of piracy, and as for the American who was slain, 19-year old Furkan Dogan, there was not a word of protest.

Worse yet, we learn only now that in July, two months after the May 31 IDF attack, the Turkish government supplied the Obama Administration with the result of the Turkish Council of Forensic Medicine’s autopsy of young Dogan, which showed clearly that he had been murdered by two shots to the face fired by Israeli commandos at point blank range while he lay, gravely injured, on the deck of the ship.

Dogan’s other wounds, according to the autopsy, included a shot to the back, leg and foot. He was said to have been writhing in a conscious or semi-consciousness state on the deck “for some time” when he was executed.

Turkey, a NATO ally of the United States, says it sent the autopsy report to the US via the US Embassy in Turkey, as soon as it was completed, assuming the US would want to prosecute Israel for his death. Instead, the Obama administration and the US Justice Department sat and continue to sit on the information, saying nothing. A request by ThisCantBeHappening for information from the Justice Department about the autopsy elicited only a brief “We have no comment for you,” from DOJ spokesman Dean Boyd.

Meanwhile, while Israel has been claiming that its boarding party on the Mavi Marmara only used their guns and killed people after they were attacked by passengers and crew on the ship, the truth appears to be that they came aboard guns blazing, and intent on causing harm. A fact-finding mission of the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) says it has concluded that Dogan, for example, was not resisting the boarding, but rather, was filming it, using a small hand-held video camera from his position on the boat’s top deck.

He would not be the only videographer or photographer shot. IDF troops made a concerted effort to stop all photographers and videographers from recording their actions, not only shooting at those who were filming them, but also confiscating or destroying hundreds of cameras, memory cards and other recording equipment.

Turkish medical examiners concluded that five others of the nine killed, in addition to Dogan, were slain execution-style by IDF troops in the assault on the Mavi Marmara.

Although the conclusions of the Human Rights Commissioner’s report and of the Turkish medical examiners has been big news in Turkey for the past week, the US media has maintained a news blackout, even though one of the murdered victims was an American. It’s a sad commentary on the extent to which the US corporate media have become propagandists for the US and Israeli governments. 

The UN fact-finding mission, which interviewed 112 witnesses to the attack, was chaired by Judge Karl T. Hudson-Phillips, Q.C., retired judge of the International Criminal Court and former attorney general of Trinidad and Tobago. Other members included Sir Desmond de Silva, Q.C. of the United Kingdom, former chief prosecutor of the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, and Ms. Mary Shanthi Dairiam of Malaysia, founding member of the board of directors of the International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific.


Posted in PoliticsComments Off on ZIO=NAZI NEW ACT OF PIRACY



Contact the Foreign & Commonwealth Office

I have just seen this urgent request to contact the FCO re the crew of the Irene:

There is a link to the FCO’s website, from where you can email a message. There is a letter on the website which can be cut and pasted onto the box on the website. I think it is important to stress that the interception of the boat and her crew is completely illegal and that the UK should be extremely concerned about the unlawful imprisonment of its citizens by a foreign state.

This is the text of a message from Simon Natas, a solicitor to the FCO:

Dear Sirs

I understand that the Jewish Boat to Gaza , the Irene, has been intercepted by the Israeli Navy and diverted to Ashdod . The crew of the boat, two of whom are British, have been detained by the Israeli authorities. I am extremely concerned as to the safety and well being of all the crew, some of whom are elderly.

I note the alarming evidence about mistreatment of crew and passengers of the Mavi Mamara whilst in Israeli detention as contained within the recent UN Human Rights Council report and trust that the UK authorities will do all they can to ensure the release of those detained and to ensure that their human rights are respected whilst in custody.

I should be grateful if the FCO would:

i) confirm as a matter of urgency that contact has been made with the Israeli authorities and that steps are being taken to protect the interests of those in Israeli custody.

ii) confirm that it has expressed to the Israeli authorities in the strongest terms that the interception of the Irene is unlawful and the detention of her crew contrary to Article 9, paragraph 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which prevents arbitrary arrest or detention.

iii) confirm that it has conveyed to the Israeli authorities its support for the message of the boat, namely that the illegal and inhumane siege of Gaza must end as a first step towards a just solution to the conflict.

Yours faithfully,

Simon Natas




September 28, 2010

Trailer: Seven Deadly Myths

 “We didn’t come to them [the Palestinian villagers in the Negev] to collect their taxes. We came to inherit the land from the hands of strangers. That was the basis of our thinking. To inherit the land. And he who inherits, dispossess others. That’s why we wouldn’t let them return” – Amnon Noiman

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on SEVEN DEADLY MYTHS



Jewish Gaza-bound activists: IDF used excessive force in naval raid

Activists aboard Gaza-bound ship ‘Irene’ counter IDF version that the vessel was taken over in a peaceful manner.

By Yanir Yagna

Israel Defense Forces soldiers used excessive force while taking over a Gaza-bound aid ship organized by Jewish and Israeli activists, the boat’s passengers said Tuesday, countering the military’s official version claiming that the takeover had been uneventful.

A boat with 9 Jewish activists aboard sets sail from Famagusta harbor in the Turkish-occupied north of ethnically divided Cyprus in a bid to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza, Sept. 26, 2010

Earlier Tuesday the IDF reported that Israeli naval commandos peacefully boarded the Jewish aid boat attempting to break a naval blockade on Gaza, saying “IDF naval forces recently boarded the yacht ‘Irene’, and it is currently being led to the Ashdod seaport along with its passengers.”

However, testimonies by passengers who were released from police questioning later in the day seemed to counter the IDF’s claims, with Israeli activist and former Israel Air Force pilot Yonatan Shapira saying that there were “no words to describe what we went through during the takeover.”

Shapira said the activists, who he said displayed no violence, were met with extreme IDF brutality, adding that the soldiers “just jumped us, and hit us. I was hit with a taser gun.”

“Some of the soldiers treated us atrociously,” Shapira said, adding that he felt there was a “huge gap between what the IDF spokesman is saying happened and what really happened.”

The former IAF pilot said he and his fellow activists were “proud of the mission,” saying it was organized “for the sake of a statement – that the siege on Gaza is a crime, that it’s immoral, un-Jewish, and we have a moral obligation to speak out. Anyone who stays silent as this crime is being committed is an accessory to a crime.”

Eli Usharov, a reporter for Israel’s Channel 10 affirmed Shapira’s version of the events, telling Haaretz that the takeover was executed with unnecessary brutality.

“They used a taser gun against Yonatan. He screamed and was dragged to the military boat,” Usharov said, adding that both Yonatan and his brother Itamar were handcuffed.

The Channel 10 reporter also said that the activists managed to have a serious heart-to-heart conversation with the troops once they were all placed on board the military vessel, and that “overall the atmosphere was good.”

Reuben Moscowitz, a Holocaust survivor who took part in the mission, expressed his disbelief that “Israeli soldiers would treat nine Jews this way. They just hit people.”

“I as a Holocaust survivor cannot live with the fact that the State of Israel is imprisoning an entire people behind fences,” Moscowitz said, adding that “it’s just immoral.”

“What happened to me in the Holocaust wakes me up every night and I hope we don’t do the same thing to our neighbors,” Moscowitz said, adding that he was comparing “what I went through during the Holocaust to what the besieged Palestinian children are going through.”




Dear All,

The big story of the day in Israel today is not the boat to Gaza but Israel’s Foreign Minister’s speech at the UN, in which he declared that peace would take decades, maybe 3.  This at a time when Israel’s PM is supposedly trying to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians.  Netanyahu distanced himself from Lieberman’s remarks, saying, apparently, that Lieberman had not notified him of what he was going to say when addressing the UN.  I have not included info on this below.

But while I was searching for reports about today’s boat to Gaza, I learned from Ynet that Mairead Maguire had been denied entry into Israel.  That news was only in 2 of the dozen or so newspapers that I read on line—the one below in Ynet and in the Independent. 

As for the boat, I enclose 3 reports (2-4), each slightly different from the other. 

None of the reports that I read noted one rather interesting point: the meaning of the name of the boat: Irene.  I would suspect that the name was selected intentionally by those on it, though I can’t affirm that.  Irene in Greek means peace.

And then there is item 5—a real whopper.  Turns out that Holland (and perhaps other European countries] give tax breaks to organizations supporting the IOF and colonies and colonists and evidentially the colonization of Palestine as a whole. 

Thank goodness for the boats.  At least they offer some positive information.



1.Ynet Tuesday, September 28, 2010

  Maguire. Persona non grata Photo: AP

     Nobel laureate detained at airport

Irish Peace Prize recipient Mairead Maguire deported after participating in May flotilla to Gaza, now arrives as member of women’s peace delegation,7340,L-3961531,00.html

Aviel Magnezi.

Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire was detained Tuesday at Ben-Gurion International Airport and once again faces deportation from Israel.

Maguire was one of the initiators of a flotilla to Gaza last May, sailing on the vessel Rachel Corrie, which was taken over by the Israeli navy without incident after the violence on another flotilla vessel, the Marmara, left nine activists dead. 

Maguire appealed the order to prevent her entry and was held at the airport until a decision was reached. She arrived Tuesday morning from Frankfurt as part of a women’s peace delegation which she was involved in organizing along with five other women Nobel Peace Prize laureates. 

The Interior Ministry emphasized that after she was deported following the last flotilla, an permanent order was issued to prevent her from reentering. She was also told, the Ministry said, that if she nonetheless insisted on entering, she must obtain a special permit in advance. 

The Ministry said Maguire had chosen to ignore the warning and came to Israel without a permit, so she was prevented from going through passport control and is now awaiting a flight that will take her back to her home country.  

Judy Williams, an American Nobel recipient who was expected to arrive to take part in the same delegation, said preventing entry to an activist like Maguire was very concerning. People who dedicate their lives to working for peace do not need to be considered a threat to security, she said. 

After she was taken off the Rachel Corrie, Maguire had supper with staff from the immigration department of the Interior Ministry who had questioned her earlier. She smiled and recalled a previous flotilla in which she had participated in December 2009.

Maguire was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for her work in bridging between Catholic and Protestant communities in Northern Ireland. About two years ago she strongly criticized Israel and called for its exclusion from the UN, claiming its leadership had for many years ignored decisions by the international community about the conflict with the Palestinians.


2.  The Guardian Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Israel Israeli navy diverts Gaza-bound yacht Naval personnel board boat carrying 10 Jewish activists who were trying to break sea blockade

[also worth reading is the CNN report.

    Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem Tuesday 28 September 2010 11.52 BST 

The Israeli navy today boarded a yacht carrying 10 Jewish activists who were attempting to break the sea blockade around Gaza, forcibly diverting the vessel to the nearby port of Ashdod.

“There was no resistance, no violence,” an Israeli military spokeswoman said. “Before we boarded, we twice asked the captain not to cross the international line into Gaza waters but he refused.”

Contact with the passengers and crew via satellite phone was cut off.

The boat, the Irene, sailing under a British flag, was carrying 10 Jewish passengers and crew from Israel, Britain, the US and Germany.

It was also carrying cargo, including medical supplies, fishing equipment, textbooks and children’s toys, which the Israeli authorities said they would transfer to Gaza by land from Ashdod.

Shortly before the takeover, Miri Weingarten, media adviser to the Irene, spoke to the British captain, Glynn Secker. He reported that the boat was flanked by a small military boat bearing machine guns and a naval frigate, with which he was in contact.

The crew and passengers were warned that they were close to restricted waters and would not be allowed to proceed. They were told the Israeli passengers would be held legally liable.

Secker reported that the mood on board the Irene was high-spirited. All on board had pledged to resist the Israeli troops passively rather than physically.

Among the passengers are an Israeli Holocaust survivor, an Israeli whose daughter was killed in a suicide bombing in 1997, and a former Israeli air force pilot.

The boat’s sponsors include the UK organisation Jews for Justice for Palestinians, which is supported by Marion Kozak, the mother of the Labour leader, Ed Miliband.

The interception comes almost four months after Israeli naval commandos boarded a flotilla of ships to prevent it reaching the Gaza Strip, which has been under blockade by Israel for over three years. Nine Turkish activists were killed in the bloody assault, on 31 May.

The Irene is the first boat to get close to Gaza since the May flotilla despite a number of pledges to send aid by sea to the besieged territory. The Free Gaza Movement, which helped organise the flotilla, is planning a further attempt this autumn.

Since the assault on the flotilla, Israel has agreed, under international pressure, to ease the blockade of Gaza, allowing in a wide range of food and goods. However, badly needed construction materials are still limited, exports are still banned, and there is no free movement of people from Gaza into Israel.


3. Al Jazeera Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Israel seizes Gaza aid boat

Source: Al Jazeera and Agencies 

Voyage organised by European Jewish groups to condemn “collective punishment against 1.5 million Palestinians”.

Israeli soldier turned peace activist Itamar Shapira is among the eight Jewish activists on board the Irene [AFP]

An aid ship carrying eight Jewish activists from Europe, Israel, and the US was apprehended by the Israeli navy just miles off the coast of Gaza after being warned by a warship.

Navy commandos boarded the Irene, and then the passengers were led off the boat.

Rich Cooper, an organiser with Independent Jewish Voices, told Al Jazeera that his group is now demanding the immediate release of the activists.

The ship had left the port of Famagusta in Turkish-held northern Cyprus on Sunday afternoon.

The Israeli army had said it would offer to transfer the ship’s aid supplies to the port of Ashdod and then ask the crew to turn back.

Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence minister, had repeatedly warned that Israel will intercept any ship nearing Gaza, which is governed by the Palestinian group Hamas.

“In the tradition of the civil rights movement … we assert our right to continue to Gaza under international law,” Glyn Secker, the Irene’s captain, told Al Jazeera on Monday.

Jewish gesture

The 10-metre catamaran was tiny in comparison with the six-ship May 31 aid convoy that contained 10,000 tonnes of aid and over 700 activists.

But the voyage was a gesture by left-leaning European Jewish groups to highlight what they see as a flawed Israeli policy of collective punishment against 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza.

Yousef Rizka, a Hamas official, said: “The government has received Jewish activists heading to Gaza before. The government positively views all attempts to break the siege on Gaza”.

Israel eased its naval blockade following harsh international condemnation for storming the Mavi Marmara. The nine deaths aboard the Freedom Flotilla were a public-relations disaster for Israel.

Since then, groups from Iran, Ireland, Lebanon, and Libya, among others, have been trying to reach Gaza – with varying degrees of success.

Groups represented on board the Irene included the UK-based Jews for Justice for Palestinians and the German Jewish Voice organisation.

“The boat’s cargo includes symbolic aid in the form of children’s toys and musical instruments, textbooks, fishing nets for Gaza’s fishing communities and prosthetic limbs,” read a statement from European Jews for a Just Peace movement, the activist network that co-ordinated the voyage.

“We stand in the proud Jewish tradition of justice, of championing the rights of the downtrodden, of implacable opposition to prejudice and racism.”

Kate Katzenstein-Leiterer, a leader of the German Jewish Voice, was quoted in June as saying, “We want Israel to behave in a way that it can be recognised as a democratic state. Now it is recognised as a criminal state. That is not what we want.”

‘One future’

Reuven Moskovitz, an 82-year-old Holocaust survivor among the passengers on the British-flagged vessel, is a founding member of the Jewish-Arab village Neve Shalom (Oasis of Peace).

“We are two peoples, but we have one future,” Moskovitz said in a statement on the Jewish Boat to Gaza website.

Another passenger was Rami Elhanan, an Israeli whose daughter died in a 1997 suicide bombing at a Jerusalem shopping centre.

Eli Osherov, a reporter from Channel 10 in Israel, was also on board.

Andy David, Israel’s foreign ministry spokesman, described the voyage as “a provocative joke that isn’t funny”.

Secker, the Irene’s captain, told Al Jazeera Monday that the organisers had “a particular point to make, as the voice of Jews who have an alternative opinion to that of the Israeli establishment”.


4.  Haaretz Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Israel commandos ‘peacefully’ board Jewish Gaza-bound aid boat

IDF says commandos peacefully intercepted the ‘Irene’, the latest vessel to try to breach an on the Palestinian territory in the wake of Israel’s deadly flotilla raid in May.

By Amos Harel, Haaretz Service and News Agencies.

Israeli naval commandos have peacefully boarded a Jewish aid boat attempting to break a naval blockade on Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces said at 11:30 A.M. Tuesday.

“IDF naval forces recently boarded the yacht ‘Irene’, and it is currently being led to the Ashdod seaport along with its passengers,” the military said in statement that branded the boat a “provocation yacht”.

IDF chief spokesman Avi Benayahu deplored the fact that “naval forces and fighters are being diverted from our main mission” to “a surreal assignment” of intercepting a boatload of activists.

“Its entire intention was to generate media attention and (stage) a provocation. This matter is especially regrettable as we are talking about a group of Jews and of Israeli citizens, and even someone who has worn an IDF officer’s uniform.”

Before boarding, the navy transmitted two warnings to the boat, which refused to turn back and sailed further into the blockade area, the IDF said.

Shortly before, an Israeli warship had hailed the catamaran carrying Jewish activists toward the blockaded Gaza Strip, according to the group’s website.

An Israeli destroyer was cutting off the boat’s path and another small boat was also approaching, the ‘Jewish Boat to Gaza’ website posted minutes before reports of the interception.

At around 11:00 A.M., a navy boat shadowing the ‘Irene’ made radio contact with the activists, asking: “Where are you going? Where did you come from? What nationalities are on board?” according to the website

The crew replied:

“They came from Farmagusta, the nationalities on board are British, American, German and Israelis, we are going!” the website said.

The Irene is the latest vessel to try to breach the 3-year-old embargo on the Palestinian territory in the wake of the deadly Israeli raid on a Turkish-led flotilla in May, which drew international condemnation.

Earlier, Capt. Glynn Secker said he expected the navy to intercept the Irene, which is carrying nine Jewish activists from Israel and other countries.

“We will not obey them, we will not help them,” Secker said. “But we will not confront them physically. We will engage in no violence.”

Israel had asked the vessel, which Secker said was carrying medicines, therapeutic toys, water purifiers and outboard engines, to dock in an Israeli port. Cargo that receives security clearance would be transported to Gaza.

In the end, Secker predicted, the catamaran would be towed to the southern Israeli port of Ashdod, as has happened with other blockade-busting ships.

The Israeli foreign ministry has labeled the voyage a politically motivated provocation.

Nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed in May when Israeli commandos raided the lead ship in the Turkish-led flotilla. Both sides claimed they acted in self-defense.

The international condemnation triggered by the deaths forced Israel to relax its land blockade of Gaza but the naval blockade remains in force. Israel, with Egypt’s cooperation, imposed the blockade after Hamas militants seized control of Gaza in June 2007.

The measure was intended to keep out weapons, turn Gazans against their militant Hamas rulers and pressure the group to free a captive Israeli soldier. Those aims were not achieved but the embargo deepened the misery of Gaza’s 1.5 million people.

Activists behind the convoy involved in May’s deadly raid have said they will send a new flotilla of at least eight ships to try to break the blockade by the end of this year. The Freedom Flotilla Coalition, an umbrella group of pro-Palestinian activist behind the efforts, said no date has been set.


5.  [forwarded by Neta Golan]

Europe Offers Tax Benefits for Illegal Settlements

By David Cronin

BRUSSELS, Sep 28, 2010 (IPS) – Organisations raising funds to benefit the Israeli army and illegal settlements in the West Bank enjoy tax-exempt status in Europe, an IPS investigation has shown.

The Sar-El Foundation is one of several groups working in the Netherlands dedicated to supporting the Israel Defence Forces. It organises regular visits to Israel, where Dutch volunteers spend three-week periods training with the IDF.

Max Arpels Lezer, the foundation’s Amsterdam-based chairman, said that he tries to encourage volunteers to work in Israeli hospitals but if “that is not possible they can do civilian work on military bases.”

He has previously stated that while the volunteers do not become soldiers, “they help in the battle against the Palestinians.” But he would not comment when asked why he wishes to assist the Israeli army, given that a United Nations inquiry led by retired South African judge Richard Goldstone found that its troops committed war crimes during a three-week offensive against Gaza in 2008-2009.

“I don’t wish to answer the question,” he said. “We don’t talk about politics. Our organisation is a non-political organisation.”

Under Dutch law, foundations such as Sar-El are exempt from tax, and individuals giving money to them can deduct the donations from their income tax.

A similar group Collectieve Israël Action (Collective Action Israel) collects about eight million euros (11 million dollars) per year, according to its website. Among the projects it assists are training for Israeli soldiers, particularly on the applications of advanced technology. The CIA’s board of advisers includes Doron Livnat, director of Riwal, a supplier of cranes used in the construction of the massive wall that Israel has built in the West Bank. That wall was found to be illegal in a 2004 opinion issued by the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The Nachamoe Foundation, meanwhile, raises money for the upkeep of Israeli families. The foundation has admitted that some of the families live on Israeli settlements between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.These settlements violate international law; the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention forbids an occupying power from transferring part of its own civilian population into the land it is occupying.

Some groups in the Netherlands have categorised support for the IDF as “humanitarian aid”. Visie voor Israël (Vision for Israel) encourages its sympathisers to give donations that will be used to buy gifts such as backpacks for Israeli soldiers. A newsletter from the organisation says that the quantity of gifts provided has increased substantially since the Israeli army’s offensive against Gaza over the past two years.

Shuva is one of several Christian Zionist organisations working in the Netherlands viewing the foundation of Israel and the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza as the fulfilment of a Biblical prophecy. According to one of its 2009 newsletters, it has financed a school in Nofei Nechemia, an extension (frequently termed an “illegal outpost” by Israeli newspapers) of the Israeli settlement of Ariel the West Bank. Shuva has stated too that it helps hundreds of settlers establish themselves in four Israeli communities in the West Bank every year.

A spokesman for the Dutch inland revenue service said that the country’s tax rules do not contain any clauses relating to breaches of international law. He said that Dutch legislation allows non-profit organisations to apply for tax exemptions based on their stated goals. “At any given moment, the Dutch tax authorities may decide to revoke this favoured status” after examining the activities of those benefiting from it, he added. But the spokesman said he was unable to speak about the status enjoyed by any particular organisation.

Ghada Zeidan from United Civilians for Peace, a Palestinian solidarity group in the Netherlands, said it is “very difficult” to convince the authorities that they should take action against fundraising by pro-Israel organisations. “The problem is that there is a kind of culture of acceptance of it,” she added.

Earlier this year a campaign was launched in Britain to have the Jewish National Fund (JNF) stripped of its status as a charity. While the JNF presents itself as an ecologically minded body that plants trees in Israel, it has actively supported violence against Palestinians for many decades. One of its leading figures Yosef Weitz explicitly advocated in 1940 — eight years before the state of Israel was founded — that Palestinians should be forced out of Palestine. More recently, the JNF has concentrated much of its energies on settling Jews in the Negev, a process that has involved the uprooting of indigenous Bedouins, often by the destruction of their homes.

The latest accounts made public by the JNF in London say that its total income for 2008 amounted to 7.7 million pounds (12.2 million dollars). Another priority for the fund has been to help the Benji Hillman Foundation; set up in memory of a soldier killed when Israel attacked Lebanon in 2006, it offers accommodation to young people who travel from abroad to join the Israeli army.

A spokesman for the British revenue authority said he could not say if any investigations have been undertaken into the JNF’s activities.

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) — one of the organisations monitoring the JNF’s work — is seeking a probe into whether fundraisers for foreign armies can be considered charities under British law. Matthew Richardson, an ISM activist, noted that the JNF has powerful allies — David Cameron, the British Prime Minister — has agreed to be one of its patrons; so too did his predecessors Gordon Brown and Tony Blair. Richardson added: “The JNF is very embedded within the (pro-Israel) lobby and the political elite as a whole.” (END)

The state said that Marti and Chappell belong to the International Solidarity Movement, an organization “that supports an ideology that is anti-Zionist, pro-Palestinian and universally revolutionary.” Haaretz 24/03/10 

Equality or nothing. — Edward Said

Posted in Middle East1 Comment



Gush Shalom press release 28.09.2010  

Peace Activists Demonstrating at Ashdod Port to Protest Capture of Ship

Dozens of peace activists gathered on the beach near Ashdod port, to which the Jewish Peace Ship is being towed by the Israeli Navy, to protest the capture of the ship and the continued blockade of Gaza, which has turned it into a huge prison with no entry or exit. The activists held signs with the captions: “Medicines – A Security Risk?”, “Let Gaza Live,” The blockade and the construction on settlements destroy us all,” “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.” Later the demonstrators moved to the gates of Ashdod Port where they currently remain

The government does not miss any opportunity to present to the world the ugly, aggressive and brutal face of Israel. Israel’s security would not have been damaged in the least – quite the contrary – if the peace activists on the ship had been allowed to reach Gaza as the respected guests of its Palestinian residents. The sailors who are now shackled and led to detention for their support for peace, save a small measure of the dignity of the State of Israel and of Judaism, whose name Binyamin Netanyahu bears in vain.

Phone numbers for contact at Ashdod Port

Nurit Peled-Elhanan (wife of Rami Elhanan who sailed on the ship and is now in detention):

054-757 8703

Zvia Shapira (mother of Yonatan and Itamar Shapira who were on the ship and are now detained):

 054-747 4994

Adam Keller, Gush Shalom spokesperson): 054-234 9750

Posted in CampaignsComments Off on LET GAZA LIVE



Haaretz ,

September 28, 2010

Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate resists deportation from Israel

Mairead Maguire has been barred from entering Israel as a result of her participation in the Rachel Corrie Gaza-bound aid ship in June.

By Jack Khoury

Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire refused to board a U.K.-bound flight on Tuesday after being barred by security from entering Israel.

Maguire’s entry was barred due to her participation in an attempt to violate Israel’s naval blockade on the Gaza Strip aboard the aid ship Rachel Corrie in June. The vessel was intercepted and boarded by the Israeli Navy and led to Ashdod harbor, with Maguire being deported from Israel, along with the ship’s other passengers.

Prior to her deportation, Maguire signed a document stating she would refrain from entering Israel again.

Israeli authorities prevented the Irish Nobel laureate from entering the country upon her arrival at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Tuesday, proceeding to escort Maguire to a U.K.-bound flight.

However, Maguire resisted her deportation, causing a scene and refusing to board the flight. The flight’s captain then declared he would allow her to board the plane, finally bringing security Israeli authorities to decide that the Nobel laureate would remain in the country until the following day.

Petah Tikva District Court issued on Wednesday a temporary order to let Maguire stay in Israel until Friday, when it is to discuss a petition submitted against her deportation.

During the court hearing Maguire claimed that contrary to statements made by Israeli authorities, she did not cause any interference, but was dragged by security guards to the jet bridge, where she sat on the floor, refusing to move.

Captain of the Lufthansa flight, present at the scene, told Maguire he could not force her to board the plane as long as she refused to do so, Maguire added.

Maguire said she refused to board the plane because she knew a petition had been submitted to the Israeli court.

Maguire won the 1976 peace prize for her work with Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.

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Jack Khoury




Haaretz ,

September 28, 2010

Dozens of Arab families may be evicted from East Jerusalem neighborhood under court ruling

Judges reject appeal by Palestinians claiming to own a large plot in the western portion of Sheikh Jarrah, enabling settlers to move ahead with plans to build in the area.

By Nir Hasson

A Supreme Court ruling Sunday may allow settler groups to move into dozens more homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Justices Yoram Danziger, Esther Hayut and Miriam Naor unanimously rejected an appeal by Palestinians claiming to own a large plot in the western portion of the neighborhood. The court ruled that the custodian general, and other owners, including settler representatives, succeeded in proving they owned the property.

The decision means the properties’ owners will be able to initiate proceedings for the eviction of dozens of Palestinian families living on the property.

Moreover, the settlers will be able to move ahead with plans to build in the area.

Aryeh King, one of the leaders of the settlement movement in East Jerusalem said yesterday that in two days three Palestinian families whose leases are ending are expected to be evicted from their homes. The plan is for Jewish families to move in.

King also said that he is advancing a project to build dozens of housing units for Jews in the neighborhood.

Sheikh Jarrah has been a bone of contention between Jewish groups – who call the neighborhood Shimon Hatzadik after the ancient rabbi they believe is buried there – and Palestinians living there. Tensions have risen over the last year as the court has allowed Jewish groups to reclaim homes they said they were forced to leave after 1948, thereby allowing them to evict Palestinian families in favor of Jewish ones.

To date the struggle had focused on the eastern part of the neighborhood. Three families have thus far been evicted from the area and 25 more are under threat of eviction.

Settlers ready to claim plots

However a settler group had made preparations to claim plots in the western segment.

Following the Six-Day War, the custodian general took over the homes and the properties in the area. Over the years the custodian general restored some of the properties to the legal Jewish owners. Other properties were bought by groups that identify themselves with the settlers – either directly by the custodian general or by the inheritors.

Among those owning property in the neighborhood is American businessman Irwin Moskowitz, who is considered an important patron of settlement activity.

Yithzak Memo, another right-wing activist involved in settlement in the western portion of the neighborhood, also bought property in the area.

King says that right-wing groups own about half the homes in the neighborhood.

In 1997 Palestinians sued, arguing that the property on which Jews settled in the 19th century had not been sold to them but leased and that the ownership remained Palestinian. In 2006 the Jerusalem District Court rejected the suit and they appealed to the Supreme Court.

Sunday the Supreme Court rejected their appeal and ruled that Jews are the owners of the homes. The ruling, written by Danziger, states that the Palestinians failed to prove the terms of the lease between the original owners and the Jews who lived in the neighborhood.

Evidence that payments for the lease were made were rejected by the court as constituting evidence that the Jews did not buy the property.

The legal significance of the ruling is that the status of the Palestinians living in the eastern portion of the neighborhood is now the same as that of those living in the western side – subletting Jewish owned property.

Sources familiar with the issue say that henceforth it will be easier for settler groups to evict Palestinians from the area.


Posted in PoliticsComments Off on ZIONIST RACIST VERDICT

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