Archive | September 28th, 2010

THE JEW BOAT GOES TO GAZA

NOVANEWS

By now you have heard (did this make it to the print edition?):

The passenger list includes:

Reuven Moskovitz, from Israel, is a founding member of the Jewish-Arab village Neve Shalom (Oasis of Peace) and a holocaust survivor. Speaks German, Hebrew and English.

Rami Elhanan, from Israel, who lost his daughter Smadar to a suicide bombing in 1997 and is a founding member of the Bereaved Families Circle of Israelis and Palestinians who lost their loved ones to the conflict. Speaks Hebrew and English.

Lilian Rosengarten, from the US, is a peace activist and psychotherapist. She was a refugee from Nazi Germany. Speaks English and German.

Yonatan Shapira, from Israel, is an ex-IDF pilot and now an activist for Combatants for Peace. Speaks Hebrew and English.

Carole Angier, from the UK, is the biographer of the renowned author, Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi. Speaks English, French, Italian and German.

Glyn Secker, from the UK, is the boat’s captain and a member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians. Speaks English.

Dr. Edith Lutz, from Germany, is a peace activist and a nurse. She was on the first boat to Gaza in 2008. Speaks German and English.

Alison Prager, from the UK, is a teacher and peace activist. She is media coordinator for the boat. Speaks English.

Itamar Shapira, from Israel, is Yonatan’s brother, and a member of the boat’s crew. Speaks Hebrew, Spanish and English.

Eli Osherov, Israeli reporter from Israel Channel 10 News.

Supporters: Jewish organizations and individuals from UK, Holland, Germany, US, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, France, Austria, Australia and Israel.

Organizers and sponsors: 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. 

Visit www.jewishboattogaza.org and join us on Facebook and Twitter (links on site.)

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NOVANEWS

09/29/2010

New video disproves settler version of Silwan shooting

Sep 28, 2010

Adam Horowitz 

From the Wadi Hilweh Information Center:

Wadi Hilweh Information Center video reveals that the testimony given by the guard who killed Samer Sarhan last week Wednesday is invalid. The video recording was aired on Israeli Channel Two News.

The killer told the Israeli police that the incident had occurred when he was trying to defend himself from a planned ambush. He claimed that the street in Wadi Hilweh where he was driving was blocked by garbage containers, and that after stopping, his Jeep did not start. He claimed that after he stepped out of the vehicle, Palestinian residents began throwing stones at him – according to the claims – and that he had to shoot to defend himself. As a result Samer Sarhan was killed.

However, the video camera which was unveiled by Wadi Hilweh Information Center clearly shows that the street was not blocked and that the killer had fled in his vehicle immediately after the shooting.

It should be noted that the Israeli police accepted the shooter’s version and released him to his home less than 24 hours following the incident. This leads the residents of Silwan to fear that the settlement guards have complete freedom to use their weapons as they deem fit.

Silwan residents often complain about the conduct of the settlement guards. For example, on June 2nd, settlers’ guards tried to disperse demonstrators despite the presence of Israeli police at the scene, wounding one of the mosque personnel, Ayoub Mazen Auda, in the leg, and attacked a photographer of Silwanic, Ahmed Siyam. To our knowledge, the guards were not arrested or tried for their assault.

Why aren’t our congressmen hearing from this victim of endless Israeli expansion?

Sep 28, 2010

Philip Weiss 

Now that Israel has made clear that the endless colonization process will continue, you’d think we might hear from the victims of that process.

Meet Atta Jaber, a farmer whose house outside Hebron has been destroyed four times by settlers but who rebuilds and hangs on, rarely leaving his property, because he has no choice but to defend his livelihood and ancestral lands for the sake of his children. Last week, Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions took me down to the occupied hills to meet Jaber. You see him above, standing next to his half-plowed zucchini and tomato field, left. And just past the tomatoes you can see the gas station that the Jewish colony Kiryat Arba built on his stolen land, and a hillside beyond that with settler “outposts” on it (not visible in my pic; but erected this year, Jaber says, in complete defiance of the alleged freeze).

On the way back to Jerusalem, Halper said he has continually urged American congressmen to have face-to-face conversations with Jaber, as I did– in which I asked this weathered farmer in his 40s questions about his experience and aspirations, and he answered me with eloquence and sincerity, in English. Just see for yourself. This man has greater political sophistication about the issue than just about anyone you will meet inside the Beltway. Halper shook his head over the fact that hundreds of our congresspeople visit the region at the behest of AIPAC, but never make this simple journey to see the victims of Israeli expansion. No: they sign letters saying that Israel is blameless and they put pressure on the Palestinians.

I made four videos of my visit with Jaber, and I thought it best to just post them all here, and give some descriptions of them so you can jump around and listen to this man tell you about his life. 

In Video 1, Jaber points out the landscape of the occupation: the new buildings that Kiryat Arba is putting up and pouring cement for right across from him and the outpost buildings they’ve established on the bare hill to the right. And he says that just yesterday the illegal colonists tore down Palestinian grapevines. (Salim Shawamreh and Jeff Halper of ICAHD both appear on this video.)

Then Jaber explains the settlers’ motivation: state ideology and religious ideas, their deed from Abraham. As if Muslims are not also sons and daughters of Abraham. And he tells the story of his own nephew’s arrest for trying to stop the settlers from tearing out his irrigation pipes.

The best part of this video is about halfway through when Jaber tells me how afraid he is for his life and crops, and I ask him who is helping him, and he tells me: ICAHD and Rabbis for Human Rights. That’s all, folks. Later on Jaber told me that B’Tselem is also helping him, but this is the sorrow and the pity: an honest man is terrorized by Jewish religious crazies on his own land, his lands are stripped of water, in the most important political terrain in the world, and just a few brave people are helping him. But Anthony Weiner and Barney Frank and Rachel Maddow and Jerrold Nadler and Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are nowhere to be seen. Oh my. This will be an exhibit in the Nakba Museum some day.

Video 2. This one’s short. You’ve heard about the separate roadways? Jaber shows me the old Palestinian road right next to his lands and then the wide settlement road that was put in, on his family’s land, stealing hundreds of acres of Palestinian land in the supposed Palestinian state. You see the roads side by side, you see Kiryat Arba across the way. And while Jaber may use that road locally, I believe that if he tries to travel any distance on it, he could be arrested.

Video 3. We were in Jaber’s house and I asked him whether he’s ever attacked a settler, and why not. I apologize for my tone now; I think violence will get us nowhere. I was shocked by what Jaber had told me about the attacks on him. Jaber repeatedly tells me this idea is not in his mind, and tells me about the dangers of taking up arms– to his own humanity and to his family. He also tells me about settlers who have been kind to him. Then at about 5:36 he starts talking about the two state solution, which he supports– if only the occupation were gone.

The highlight of this video is Jaber’s insistence that Palestinians want to be left alone to make their own future. “We are a clever people. We are not beggars. We have muscles. We have minds.” And a few millionaires too. And note Jaber’s analysis that in the years 1970-1990 or so, it was one country and Palestinians had freedom, but that Israel didn’t want one-state because it didn’t want Palestinians. In his analysis, you see the logic of the slow Judaization that is taking place across the country.

Finally, in video 4, he shows me a tomato/zucchini field from which the Israeli civil administration and water company, Mekorot, tore out his irrigation pipes. On his own land. Right next to a water meter that records how much he owes Mekorot. You can see the desiccated tomatoes.

I forgot to mention that it was after the Civil Administration tore out water pipes from Jaber’s family land in August, that we got that incredible video of the five-year-old boy screaming in anguish as his father was arrested. The boy is a cousin once removed of Jaber, who told me that his nephew, who was arrested in that video, is still in jail, two months later. What do Barney Frank and Howard Berman have to say about that? Diddly.

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Obama continues Bush policy promoting anti-democratic crackdown in the West Bank

Sep 28, 2010

Adam Horowitz 

Nathan Thrall has a great article in the current issue of the New York Review of Books on an issue that has received scant attention in the US press – US support for Salam Fayyad’s anti-democratic crackdown in the West Bank. 

US support has come mainly through the work of Lieutenant General Keith Dayton, who has been training the Palestinian security forces being used to round up, arrest and intimidate the Palestinian Authority’s opponents. One of the most notable, though understated, points of the article is the continuity from the Bush to Obama administrations in supporting this misguided and dangerous policy.

It’s worth reading the entire piece, but here’s a snippet that describes the beginning of the project and it’s true aims:

The first United States security coordinator, Lieutenant General William “Kip” Ward, arrived in Jerusalem in March 2005. Elliott Abrams, formerly the deputy national security adviser to President George W. Bush, told me that Ward’s mission was organized in response to three closely coinciding events: the reelection, in November 2004, of Bush, who wanted to rebuild Palestinian security forces as a part of his 2003 road map to Middle East peace; the death, nine days later, of Yasser Arafat, who had resisted American attempts to reform the Palestinian security services; and the victory of America’s favored candidate, Mahmoud Abbas, in the January 2005 presidential election.

Ward’s mission concentrated initially on security reform but was soon limited to preparing for Israeli Prime Minister Sharon’s disengagement from Gaza and four northern West Bank settlements in August and September 2005.21 The withdrawal went fairly smoothly for Israel, but Ward failed to prevent violence on the Palestinian side. Settler greenhouses were looted, empty synagogues were burned, and Palestinians began fighting one another for control of Gaza.

Weeks after Dayton took over from Ward at the end of 2005, Hamas defeated Fatah in the January 2006 parliamentary elections. Overnight, Dayton’s task changed from reforming the security forces to preventing a Hamas-led government from controlling them. State Department lawyers sought ways to continue assisting the Fatah-dominated security forces of the Palestinian Authority, which would soon be led by Hamas, a group the US had declared a terrorist organization. The solution was to send direct aid to President Abbas, who was elected separately and could be considered detached from the incoming Hamas-led government and legislature. In a reversal of its longstanding policy of pressuring the Palestinian president to give power to the cabinet, the US advised Abbas to issue decrees and make appointments that would limit the new government’s rule, particularly over the security forces. Hamas reacted by establishing a security service of its own. Abbas banned the Hamas force in a decree that the cabinet then declared illegal. During the next year, Hamas and Fatah engaged in a series of violent clashes in which leaders on both sides were assassinated.

Dayton, meanwhile, was overseeing the recruitment, training, and equipping of Abbas’s rapidly expanding security forces. Khaled Meshaal, chief of Hamas’s politburo, delivered a fiery speech denouncing “the security coup” as a “conspiracy” supported by “the Zionists and the Americans”—charges Fatah denied. In February 2007, on the brink of civil war, Fatah and Hamas leaders traveled to Mecca, where they agreed to form a national unity government, a deal the US opposed because it preferred that Fatah continue to isolate Hamas. Fayyad became finance minister in the new government, despite, he says, American pressure not to join. The Peruvian diplomat Alvaro de Soto, former UN envoy to the Quartet, wrote in a confidential “End of Mission Report” that the violence between Hamas and Fatah could have been avoided had the US not strongly opposed Palestinian reconciliation. “The US,” he wrote, “clearly pushed for a confrontation between Fateh and Hamas.”

One month before Gaza fell to Hamas in June 2007, Hamas forces attacked USSC-trained troops at their base near Gaza’s border with Israel, killing seven and withdrawing only after three Israeli tanks approached. Testifying before Congress the following week, Dayton claimed that the attack had been repulsed and denied that Hamas was on the rise—a prediction not borne out during the following weeks. “It took [Hamas] just a few days,” said Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, “to flush away a 53,000-strong PA security apparatus which was a fourteen-year Western investment.”

Though several members of the Bush administration later said that the entire strategy had been mistaken, the defeat of American-backed Fatah forces offered a rather different lesson to the small circle that had influence over the USSC. “We didn’t regard this as proof the project wasn’t working,” Abrams said, “but rather that the project was needed.”  

This project has more or less amounted to an US attempt to instigate a Palestinian civil war, similar to the contra policy in Nicaragua during the 1980s (Elliott Abrams ring any bells?). The result, as Mustafa Barghouti describes it in the last line of Thrall’s article, is that Palestinians are now having to live “not [under] one occupation but two.”

What has this policy looked like on the ground? Nora Barrows-Friedman wrote in Electronic Intifada how the recent resumption of peace talks had led to an increased crackdown on activists in the West Bank. From her piece Activists face broad PA crackdown in West Bank:

“The Palestinian Authority (PA) forces came late at night and started shooting inside the camp,” Shihab said. “They came in, shooting, acting like the Israeli military. They wanted to make the people afraid. Everyone went to the main street and started throwing stones, because people thought they were the Israelis, not the PA forces.”

Shihab, who didn’t want to give his last name, is a spokesperson for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a Marxist-Leninist political party, in Dheisheh refugee camp in southern Bethlehem in occupied West Bank. He told The Electronic Intifada that in the last few weeks, the PA’s security services have been waging a campaign of intimidation and violence inside Dheisheh, intent on what he called “destroying the unity and community within the camp.”

According to Shihab, on 31 August, PA forces attacked the camp in an attempt to find a member of Hamas hours after an armed attack by Hamas activists on a car near a settlement in Hebron during which four Israeli settlers were killed. Since then, PFLP members who intervened by negotiating with the PA forces to convince them to cease their attack and leave the camp during the subsequent clashes inside Dheisheh, have been summoned to the PA police stations and subsequently arrested and thrown in jail.

“The PA wants to defend the occupation. They want to show the Israelis that they can control the Palestinian people,” Shihab said.

And here’s a statement from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights that demonstrates the level of impunity the US-backed forces are operating with:

Abdullah Rebhi Abu Se’da, 23, and his brother Sa’eed, 17, from Nablus, were beaten and tortured while they were detained by the Palestinian National Security Forces (NSF) in Junaid Prison. They were detained on the ground of a personal dispute between Abdullah and an NSF member. Sa’eed was transported to the hospital. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) calls upon the Attorney General to seriously investigate this crime and bring perpetrators to justice.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR and the testimony of Abdullah Rebhi Ahmed Abu Se’da, 23, at approximately 21:00 on Wednesday, 22 September 2010, the NSF arrested Ahmed Rebhi Abu Se’da, 26, and his brother Sa’eed, 17, from a car wash shop belonging to Ramzi Mohammed Abu Se’da in Ras al-‘Ein neighborhood in Nablus. They were transported to Junaid prison. Later on the same day, the NSF arrested their brother Abdullah, 23, as well. Abdullah and Sa’eed were subjected to torture and beating on their feet (Falaka) several times. As a result, Sa’eed suffered from severe exhaustion, and was then transported to Nablus Specialized Hospital for medical treatment. A PCHR field worker, who visited Sa’eed at hospital, reported that there were clear blue bruises on his feet. Doctors said that he suffers from spasm of nerves and cannot breathe normally.

It should be noted that detention of the three brothers was on the ground of a personal dispute between Abdullah Abu Se’da and an NSF member that took place in the evening of the same day in the car wash shop.

‘Why would YOU want to go THERE?’

Sep 28, 2010

Warda Yusuf 

This post introduces a new contributor, a young European Muslim who works in Israel/Palestine. She uses the Arabic pseudonym, Warda Yusuf, an homage to her grandfather, out of visa concerns.

There she stood in a Cambridge University debating chamber, her stutter not failing her as she cried “A ba-ba-ba-BI-national state. A democracy for ALL. A-a-a-a secular state, one founded on li-li-li-liberal values, pra-pra-pra-progressive values… and her name Mother of Exiles”. The last part almost came out as a whisper as the room of people stared at her, the reference to Emma Lazarus’s The New Colossus struck home. “Why can’t both Jews AND Palestinians have the right of return?” she whimpered. More stares. Grabbing for air, “Why can’t the Zionist project be dismantled, and instead the two groups share in each others’ diaspora poetry, the poetry of exiles, yearning a return to the motherland?”. The stares transformed into the suffocating humidity of Jaffa port on an August afternoon, and then the oppressive might of the Separation Wall.

A young idealist I was, calling for a One State solution based on equality for all citizens. The tension in that room irked me, why were people still committed to a Two State solution? It is racist and forged on a history of lies, and a refusal to recognise that before anything we are humans, yes before we are Palestinians, or Israelis, or Jews, or Christians, or Muslims, we are humans.

Yet when I arrived for the first time in the hallowed land just two months ago, it was nothing but despair that I felt and have felt every day I’ve been here since. Where was that powerful hope The New Colossus had, supposedly, etched on my spirit? The conviction with which I spoke in that debate back at university in the UK? Nowhere to be found in the Holy Land, that’s for sure.

If not actually Palestinian, being a hijab-wearing Muslim is enough to situate me in my appropriate camp before I even open my mouth here– appearance is what counts. If you tie your headscarf at the back of the neck, well done you, you get first class citizenship. If you pin it round the neck, what a shame, be prepared for some empty bus seats next to you. This ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality struck me right to the bone the moment I set foot in the country. Entering the tourist office in the Old City of Jerusalem to ask how to get to the German Colony, a suitably Israeli part of town, I was greeted with “why would YOU want to go THERE?”.

Um, how about because I thought this was a free country?

The subsequent stares on the bus and in the streets of the German Colony are enough to make me shiver at the thought of returning, for I live in East Jerusalem, where a kippah-wearing Jew is more likely to be stared at than any girl with a hijab.

This leads me onto my next point of despair regarding a One State solution. Whilst geographically speaking a Two State solution is arguably long dead, psychologically speaking the two separate worlds, if not states, are alive and well. In fact they are more than that, they are the bed rock of life here. One fateful walk from Sheikh Jarrah to the Mamilla shopping mall development took me from quiet Arab villas in Sheikh Jarrah, through the busy Arab souq of Salah ad-Din street past Damascus gate and into the heart of the Muslim quarter of the Old City. Passing the Via Dolorosa and heading into the Christian quarter, which, although still firmly Palestinian, is imbued with a Greek flavour. Coming up for air at Jaffa gate something smells odd, is it the remnants of what was an Ottoman mosque, now lovingly called the Tower of David? I’m not sure, but after a few steps (or galactic light years) I enter consumer heaven.

Ralph Lauren and Gap line the streets, Judaica boutiques are the cherry on top; classical music breathes out of the mall’s hidden mouths. Then it hits me, lo-behold a huge TopShop, a famous British fashionista outpost, stands before me, and I realise somewhere along the way I was transported from the streets of Damascus or Cairo, to what could be London or Paris. I suddenly found myself feeling very sick, what exactly had happened? What type of place is this? Jerusalem is decidedly two worlds in one space.

In fact it’s not just two sides of one city, it’s also one side seeping into, encroaching upon and smothering the other. The rapidly growing utra-right wing Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem represents a microcosm of this. Speaking to residents of the controversial settlements in Sheikh Jarrah, the Palestinians who do remain in the coveted area live in extreme fear for their livelihoods, watching large numbers being forced out of their homes in recent years. One local man stared at the sky, tears to his eyes, as he told me, almost begging me to help, that he had been to court for the third time that day, but that it was only a matter of time before they took his home, leaving him and his family with nowhere to go. Yet “they” feel rather differently about the situation. Two of the women reported that life in this area was beautiful, the best they could ask for. Within this checkerbox of a neighbourhood, the two groups, living side by side, really did inhabit separate worlds.

Was my idealism shot down? Well I certainly began to question if a One State solution is truly possible, even if politicians shook hands and “Palestrael” were created, would the residents be able to live together as equals? I’m not sure. Perhaps the establishment of a Palestinian state is a necessity, the Palestinians need to get away, move on, live in peace – by themselves. Israel as a Jewish state is here to stay, and there is no point in trying to challenge that, it will be easier and cause less hassle if the Palestinians quietly take their patch of the West Bank. Who wants to live with the Israeli Jews anyway?

Nevertheless I recall al-Ladhi yuwaswisu fee sudurin nas, the one who whispers evil in the breasts of men (Qur’an 114:5), and despite my despair I realise I cannot let myself fall into that way of thinking. That train of thought is not of one who believes every human has a soul in them, and every human wants to be heard and respected. Can I say I am a believer in humanity all whilst supporting the segregation and division of two peoples? Is this what mankind needs today? Have I not read Benedict Anderson’s “Imagined Communities” and seen the myth of nationalism for its true colours? Maybe it is unattainable but what would man be without his hope and integrity?

I would be forgoing both my hope and integrity were I to believe in a Two State solution. Despite the despair I find myself, the severity of this situation can only strengthen my conviction of the need for a One State solution.Humans are humans first and foremost; people can and must live together. Indeed a young idealist I was and will be.

While the world sends its regrets, settlers move to evict dozens of Palestinians from E Jerusalem homes

Sep 28, 2010

Seham 

and other news from Today in Palestine

* Land and Property Theft and Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing

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.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/dozens-of-arab-families-may-be-evicted-from-east-jerusalem-neighborhood-under-court-ruling-1.316055?localLinksEnabled=false

Report: Settlers prep to evict Jerusalem families
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A Sunday court ruling has opened the door for further evictions of Palestinian families in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, settlers told the Israeli press Monday.  Jerusalem settler leader Aryeh King told the Israeli daily Haaretz that before the weekend, three Palestinian families would be evicted from their homes and replaced with Jewish settlers.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=318772

Message to PM: Hebron Jews lay cornerstone for new preschool
Jewish settlers in Hebron mark end of settlement freeze by holding groundbreaking ceremony; move largely symbolic, project undertaken without official approval. Community leaders: Government must live up to its duties.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3960877,00.html

Foundation: Israel digging tunnels under Al-Aqsa mosque
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage on Monday said Israel is expanding the tunnel network under the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. In a statement, the foundation said Israel was digging on the northern and southern sides of the mosque, and that digging to the west of the compound extended for more than 600 meters.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=318675

Vice PM: Settlement freeze was a mistake
Silvan Shalom tours Hebron as Israel’s settlement moratorium expires; knocks Palestinian request to extend freeze, saying even 10 months were ‘excessive.’
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/vice-pm-settlement-freeze-was-a-mistake-1.316006?localLinksEnabled=false

Revava Revival
Knesset member Danny Danon led two events in the West Bank celebrating the end of the construction moratorium imposed by President Benjamin Netanyahu 10 months ago. Together with Yesha Council leader Dani Dayan, and MKs Nissim Zeev and Tzipi Hotovely, Danon called for a massive expansion of the settlements.
http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article1550

Abbas: Settlement construction will ‘force’ us to quit talks
Palestinian President reiterates threats to walk out of peace negotiations, despite U.S. efforts to mediate compromise.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/abbas-settlement-construction-will-force-us-to-quit-talks-1.316184?localLinksEnabled=false

Human Rights Watch:  “Israel: Extend Settlement Freeze”
(Jerusalem) – Israel should make permanent and total the partial “freeze” on construction in West Bank Jewish settlements, Human Rights Watch said today. Israel’s construction of settlements and their infrastructure violates its obligations as an occupying power and the rights of Palestinians in the West Bank, including unjustly limiting their ability to build homes and access their lands, Human Rights Watch said.
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/09/26/israel-extend-settlement-freeze

UN ‘Disappointed’ at Israeli Settlement Activity
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reminded Israel on Monday that the building of settlements on occupied territory was illegal, and said he was “disappointed” by the government’s failure to extend its partial ban on further West Bank construction.
http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=2c5769052ded7a07c9db15a3fe1bcec6

World leaders decry…
World leaders express regret as Israel announces it would not extend 10-month freeze on new settlements in the West Bank.
http://english.aljazeera.net//news/middleeast/2010/09/201092718349628699.html

US ‘disappointed’…
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100927/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_us_mideast_mitchell

Sarkozy condemns…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAOXbYAdOvk&feature=youtube_gdata

London ‘disappointed’…
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100927/wl_uk_afp/israelpalestinianspeacebritain
    
Ireland regrets…
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-09/28/c_13533190.htm

* Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Sanctions & Divestment

Arabs rally: October Riots wound still bleeding
Ten years after 2000 riots left 13 Israeli Arabs dead, parents demand international community launch official probe into events.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3961002,00.html

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.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3961531,00.html

S. African university mulls BGU boycott
University of Johannesburg to vote on termination of collaboration agreement with Ben-Gurion University. ‘Boycott might risk activities that strengthen co-existence,’ BGU president warns.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3960978,00.html

Israel seizes Gaza aid boat
Voyage organised by European Jewish groups to condemn “collective punishment against 1.5 million Palestinians”.
http://english.aljazeera.net//news/middleeast/2010/09/201092882030712571.html

Israelis surround Jewish boat to Gaza, force it to change course, Philip Weiss
Various sources are reporting that the “Irene,” the catamaran carrying seven Jews to Gaza from Cyprus, was intercepted this morning by several boats in the Israeli navy, apparently in international waters, and forced to make course for Ashdod, in Israel. Reuters has an Israeli gov’t spokesman complaining about the “surreal” mission to which Israeli forces were assigned today and noting the presence on the boat of a former uniformed Israeli officer, Yonatan Shapira.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/israelis-surround-jewish-boat-to-gaza-force-it-to-change-course.html

Israel Navy to use force if Jewish aid boat heading for Gaza refuses to comply
The military has been closely watching the vessel, named the Irene, since it left the port of Famagusta in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus on Sunday.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-navy-to-use-force-if-jewish-aid-boat-heading-for-gaza-refuses-to-comply-1.316047?localLinksEnabled=false

Group: Sane government won’t hinder Jewish boat
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israeli peace groups on Monday applauded Jewish activists on board an aid ship sailing to Gaza.  In a statement, Gush Shalom applauded the courage of activists on board the Jewish Peace Boat who were “working to end the Gaza Siege and get for its inhabitants the natural right to come and go, like everywhere else in the world.”
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=318523

Foreign Ministry: Jewish activists won’t be allowed into Gaza
Passengers on board Gaza-bound ‘Jewish ship’ will be handled like previous flotillas, officials say.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3961007,00.html

500 Swiss sign up to board Freedom Flotilla 2
More than 500 activists from Switzerland alone have signed up to take part in the humanitarian Freedom Flotilla 2 convoy, which is expected to set sail to an under siege Gaza before the end of 2010.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz

Israeli ties: a chance to do the right thing, Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The University of Johannesburg’s Senate will next week meet to decide whether to end its relationship with an Israeli institution, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, on the grounds of that university’s active support for and involvement in the Israeli military. Archbishop Desmond Tutu supports the move. He explains why
http://www.timeslive.co.za/world/article675369.ece/Israeli-ties–a-chance-to-do-the-right-thing

SA university must reconsider Israel ties – Haidar Eid
As a graduate of the University of Johannesburg and a resident of Gaza, I find it distressing that the university has signed an agreement with Israel’s Ben Gurion University despite the policy of ethnic cleansing and the latest war crimes committed against the people of Gaza by the nation’s government
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=318766

French BDS Activists Request Your Help!
The repression against BDS activists in France is reaching a new height with the prosecution of a French MP, Alima Boumediene-Thiery (member of the French Senate) who participated in a BDS action in the Paris region one year ago and who is a supporter of the BDS campaign. Her trial is due to take place in Pontoise (North of Paris) on Thursday October 14.  She is accused (like all the other French BDS activists prosecuted) of “incitement to racial hatred” and “discrimination against the Israeli nation”.
http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/topics/economy-of-the-occupation/2883-french-bds-activists-request-your-help-

Symposium: The New Media & the Palestine Question: Blogging Out of Conflict
Panel 1 – Changing the Public Discussion
Participants: Jerome Slater, Adam Horowitz
Moderator: Will Youmans

Addressing: How has blogging/new media affected the public debate on Israel/Palestine? How has blogging/new media responded to the Main Stream Media and vice versa? What results has this interaction had on the public discussion of Israel/Palestine?
http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/d/EventDetails/i/14720/pid/223

Something new is happening in Palestine, David Shulman
Something new is happening in Palestine. I saw and heard things today that are relatively rare in my experience. I saw conflict erupt in the village between those who wanted to throw stones at the Israeli soldiers and generate more violence, as in the past, and the no less passionate people who intervened fiercely to prevent this from happening. I heard tough words of peace and hope. I saw the most dignified and brave demonstration I’ve ever seen. I also saw the army react with its usual foolishness, which I’ll describe, and I saw the soldiers hold back when they could easily have started shooting. It wasn’t an easy day by any means, but it was good.
http://theonlydemocracy.org/2010/09/something-new-is-happening-in-palestine/

N.Y. musicians’ union shuts down debate over Israel/Palestine, Rich Siegel
Rich Siegel has been a member of Local 802, Associated Musicians of Greater New York, for 25 years, and lately resigned. Below, his explanation, followed by his letter of resignation to the president of the union as well as to the editor of the union paper, Allegro.  There has been an ongoing struggle and controversy about the publishing of letters on this issue at local 802 for awhile. It began with an article about a member bringing a music program to Palestinian children on the West Bank. The article was a human interest story which did not get into the politics at all. Even so, predictably, a Jewish member wrote in complaining about Anti-Semitism. I responded to that, as did Tom Suarez, and our letters were published.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/n-y-musicians-union-shuts-down-debate-over-israelpalestine.html

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

Industrial Fuel – Needs Vs. Supply – Aug 29 – Sep 25
http://www.gazagateway.org/2010/09/industrial-fuel-needs-vs-supply-aug-29-sep-25/

Goods – Needs Vs. Supply – Aug 29 – Sep 25
http://www.gazagateway.org/2010/09/goods-needs-vs-supply-aug-29-sep-25/

27 Sept. ’10: 10 years to the second Intifada – summary of data
Israeli security forces killed 6371 Palestinians, of whom 1317 were minors. At least 2996 of the fatalities did not participate in the hostilities when killed. 2193 were killed while participating in the hostilities. For 694, B’Tselem does not know whether they participated in the hostilities or not. An additional 248 were Palestinian police killed in Gaza during operation Cast Lead, and 240 were targets of assassinations.  Palestinians killed 1083 Israelis in Israel and the Occupied Territories. 741 of the fatalities were civilians, of whom 124 were minors, and 342 were members of the security forces.  B’Tselem Executive Director Jessica Montell: “Palestinian and Israeli Civilians have paid a terrible price due to the conflict. At the close of the decade, we hope to start a new chapter, in which both sides do all they can to adhere to their obligations and protect civilians from the impact of hostilities.”
http://www.btselem.org/English/Press_Releases/20100927.asp

* Violence/Aggression & Provocations

Palestinians killed in Israeli raid
At least three men are killed in the strike that targeted a car outside a refugee camp, near the Israeli-Gaza border.
http://english.aljazeera.net//news/middleeast/2010/09/201092723256191228.html

Jihad says fighters not injured in airstrike
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement denied on Tuesday that three Palestinians killed in an Israeli airstrike on Monday night were affiliated to the faction’s Al-Quds Brigades.  The dead, three young men in their 20s, were transferred to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah, officials said.They were identified as Ala Abu Zbeida, Awni Abdul Hadi, and Muhammad Eid.  A later statement issued by the Ansar As-Sunna, a Salafi group, said those killed were affiliated to the movement adding that “Israeli forces assassinated three militants east of Al-Bureij camp.”
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=318848

Medics: Gaza worker shot at northern border
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – A Palestinian worker collecting stone aggregates near Gaza’s northern border was injured Tuesday when Israeli forces stationed near the Erez crossing opened fire. The worker said he was collecting rubble from an evacuated settlement before the incident.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=318865

Gaza family narrowly escapes Israeli airstrike
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian family from the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip narrowly escaped death when an Israeli drone fired a missile at the family’s home Monday night, relatives said.  The shelling coincided with an airstrike on the nearby Al-Bureij camp killing three militants.  Kamal Abu Shamla, an inspector in the Gaza Strip’s Ministry of Education, told Ma’an that his and his brother’s family of 30 escaped death “only by a miracle” after their 3-story home was hit by Israeli missile.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=318795

Riots Grip East Jerusalem, Mel Frykberg
SILWAN, Occupied East Jerusalem, Sep 27, 2010 (IPS) – Tension, the twisted carcasses of gutted vehicles, buses with smashed windows, smouldering dumpsters, streets riddled with rubber-coated steel bullets and empty cartridge cases, teargas, and air thickened with black soot from burning tyres marked the beginning of the fifth day Monday of continuous rioting in East Jerusalem.
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=52978

7,400 killed in decade of Mideast violence: report (AFP)
AFP – More than 7,400 people have been killed by Israeli-Palestinian violence since the outbreak of the second Palestinian uprising 10 years ago this month, an Israeli rights group said Monday.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100927/wl_mideast_afp/israelpalestiniansconflicttollrights

* Detainees

Center: Palestinian rights worker detained in Silwan
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian human rights worker was detained by Israeli police in Silwan on Monday, the director of the Wad Hilwa Information Center said.  Jawad Siyam said Mahmoud Qara’in was detained near his office, and Israeli police were deployed heavily at the entrance of Silwan inspecting residents as they entered or leave. Ma’an’s reporter said Israeli police also searched several homes across the neighborhood.  A spokesman for Israel’s National Police did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.  A settler’s car was also set alight in the Wad Hilwa area, causing extensive damage to the vehicle.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=318623

Israel soldiers injure and detain Hebron child
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli soldiers attacked and detained a 13-year-old Palestinian boy on Monday in the Ar-Ras neighborhood of Hebron, witnesses said.  Locals said soldiers hit Sayel Rebhi Abu Quweder, leaving him bleeding from his forehead and with bruises on his face. The boy was then handcuffed and taken to an unknown location, residents added.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=318630

Israeli police detain 24 in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli police detained 24 Palestinians from an East Jerusalem neighborhood on Tuesday, an official said.  Wad Hilwa Information Center director Jawad Siyam said several women and children in the Silwan neighborhood were briefly detained when Israeli military and police forces shut down the entrance to the Wad Hilwa area.  Palestinians were prevented from entering or exiting to enable settlers to move freely in the neighborhood, Siyam told Ma’an. Entrances were closed off when clashes erupted between settlers and residents, he said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=318961

* War Criminals and their enablers

ICC should decide on Gaza conflict investigation
An independent report highlights the continuing failure of both the Israeli and Hamas authorities to investigate violations of international law documented by the UN over a year ago.  Amnesty International has urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to decide on whether it can investigate alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the 2008-9 conflict in Gaza and southern Israel.  The Human Rights Council must make the same call after it considers today a report by a committee of independent experts highlighting the continuing failures of both the Israeli and Hamas authorities to investigate violations of international law that were documented more than a year ago by a UN fact-finding mission headed by Judge Richard Goldstone.
http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/icc-urged-decide-gaza-conflict-investigation-2010-09-27

The details of those killed on the Mavi Marmara
The following appears on pages 30 and 31 of the UN report into the Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/the-details-of-those-killed-on-the-mavi-marmara.html

US criticises ‘unbalanced’ flotilla probe (AFP)
AFP – The United States on Tuesday criticised a UN probe into Israel’s storming of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, urging the Human Rights Council to prevent the report from being used to torpedo peace talks.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100928/wl_mideast_afp/israelconflictgazaunrightsflotilla

* Israel’s Arab Helpers

Egypt detains 12 migrants along Israel-Sinai border
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Egyptian security forces stopped two groups of African migrants attempting to cross the border into Israel from the Sinai Peninsula on Tuesday, a security source said.  The source said forces spotted eight migrants near the Taba crossing trying to breach the fence into Israel. “The officers hailed the migrants who submitted without resistance and were identified as Sudanese nationals from Darfur,” the source explained.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=318845

* “Peace” Talks/Political Developments

Arab League: We’ll endorse Abbas’ position
Ahead of Arab foreign ministers’ meeting in Cairo next week, Palestinian president says he hopes Israel will hold off settlement-building in West Bank as long as Mideast peace talks continue, fears Israeli and Palestinian leadership may miss a ‘historic opportunity’ for their peoples.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3961303,00.html

Abbas: Opposition has every right to mistrust Israel
PARIS, France (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that he did not fault Palestinian opposition factions for treating with suspicion Israeli plans for the West Bank.  “There is a difference between opposition and ‘enemies of peace’,” he told reporters in Paris following a meeting with French Jewish leader Richard Prasquier. Palestinians have every right to be wary of Israel, he said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=318785

Hamas says Palestinian reconciliation on the way
The Syria-based Palestinian militant Hamas leader says only minor issues remain for a full reconciliation with the rival Fatah group.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/hamas-says-palestinian-reconciliation-on-the-way-1.315979

Direct negotiations suspended
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks come to de facto halt after Israel lets settlement moratorium expire. PA says will wait until Arab League convenes before making final decision on talks’ fate.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3961142,00.html

Abbas asks Netanyahu to extend settlement freeze for 3 or 4 months
De facto Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has asked Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu to extend the freeze on settlement activity for three or four months to give peace talks a chance to progress.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz

Fatah official: Israeli settlements could kill two-state solution
Expanding Israel’s illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian territory have reached a point of no return and could kill an internationally backed, two-state solution, a top Fatah official said on Monday.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/fatah-official-israeli-settlements-could-kill-two-state-solution-1.315997

Lieberman: Palestinians to blame for absence of peace deal
Foreign minister meets with UN chief, says the PA did not show ‘real good intention’ during negotiations this past month, though insists that direct talks should continue.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/lieberman-palestinians-to-blame-for-absence-of-peace-deal-1.316035?localLinksEnabled=false

Iran the key to Middle East solution: Israel FM (AFP)
AFP – Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday that Iran is at the heart of the Middle East conflict and that a settlement with the Palestinians could take decades.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100928/wl_mideast_afp/israelpalestinianspeaceuniran

Netanyahu seen unlikely to accept U.S. offer for compromise in Mideast talks
Proposal aimed at solving impasse over freeze would also include U.S. guarantees on matters including refugees, security arrangements and Israel’s status as a Jewish state.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/netanyahu-seen-unlikely-to-accept-u-s-offer-for-compromise-in-mideast-talks-1.316046?localLinksEnabled=false

Netanyahu, Clinton hold new talks on settlement freeze (AFP)
AFP – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton again Monday, after talks a day earlier, to discuss the controversial end of a partial settlement freeze.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100927/pl_afp/israelpalestinianspeaceclinton

U.S. hopes Arabs will keep supporting Mideast talks
NEW YORK, Sept 27 (Reuters) – The United States said on Monday it hopes the Arab League will continue to support direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks following Israel’s decision to allow its partial settlement building freeze to expire.  “We will have further conversations with key countries in the coming days and we hope that the Arab League meeting will continue to affirm its support for the process,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters.
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/WAT014663.htm

87 US Senators urge Obama to keep Abbas at talks (AFP)
AFP – Eighty-seven US Senators urged President Barack Obama on Monday to press Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas not to walk away from US-backed peace talks with Israel.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100927/pl_afp/israelpalestinianspeaceuspolitics

Rezqa blasts Abbas for letting AL decide for him
from The Palestinian Information Center – Daily News
Dr. Yousef Rezqa described de facto president Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to refer the decision on resumption of Israeli settlement activity to the Arab League as an evasion of responsibility.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz

* Other News

Lieberman presents plans for population exchange at UN
Controversial scheme would see part of Israel’s Arab population moved to a newly created Palestinian state, in return for evacuation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/lieberman-presents-plans-for-population-exchange-at-un-1.316197?localLinksEnabled=false

Gül: Turkey told Hamas to stop firing rockets into Israel
Turkey has urged the Palestinian group Hamas to stop rocket attacks on Israel and seek dialogue with Europe and the United States, President Abdullah Gül has said.
http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/news-222870-100-gul-turkey-told-hamas-to-stop-firing-rockets-into-israel.html

2 Druze suspected of spying for Syria
Majdal Shmas residents Fares Shaer and Said Abu-Zayad accused of working for Syrian intelligence service. One of them tells investigators he was asked to kidnap IDF soldier in exchange for money.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3961452,00.html

Gaza’s First Female Truck Driver
Gaza, Palestinian Territory Omar Ghraieb – In Gaza city, you’ll rarely see a woman riding a motorbike, bicycle or car, and you definitely won’t see a woman riding a truck.  Gaza city has a small, closed and conservative society, where traditions and religion control residents’ lives and social relations. Women in Gaza often get the brunt of it, complaining that they aren’t allowed to exercise equal rights and freedoms.  But all that might be slowly changing.
http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7020039385?Gaza%E2%80%99s%20First%20Female%20Truck%20Driver

* Analysis/Opinion/Human Interest

U.S. Coalition Says Palestinians Unfairly Pressured to Remain at Table
WASHINGTON – September 27 – The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation today criticized the Obama Administration for pressuring the Palestinians to remain at the negotiating table despite Israel’s open refusal to end its illegal settlement activities.  “Israel’s settlements are illegal under international law,” said Executive Director Rob Mosrie. “It makes no sense to force Palestinians to continue to sit down with Israel to negotiate a supposed two-state solution to the conflict while Israel continues to colonize and ethnically cleanse the very territories that are ostensibly designated for a future Palestinian state.”  According to Jeffrey Feltman, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern affairs, the administration is “making clear to the Palestinians that we do not believe that it is in their interest to walk out of the talks.”  “The Obama Administration is wrongly arm-twisting the Palestinians to remain at the negotiating table while Israel consumes more Palestinian land,” said National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner.
http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2010/09/27-9

A one-state solution in Israel is difficult but not impossible’,  Ilan Pappe

The official historical narrative of Israel had been that when Israel was founded in 1948 the Palestinians voluntarily left the land and Israel had the right to take over their possessions. We are a few historians who after researching Israeli, British and UN archives found that Israel had systematically dispossessed the Palestinians, expelling one million in 1948, which was half the Palestinian population. This is ethnic cleansing, a crime and imposes responsibility on Israel. The fate of these refugees is at the heart of the Arab-Israel conflict. I support their right to return to Israel.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/interviews/A-one-state-solution-in-Israel-is-difficult-but-not-impossible/articleshow/6632677.cms

What Obama should tell his Middle East team, Stephen M. Walt
I’m sure most of you are “shocked, shocked” to hear that the Israeli government rejected U.S. requests that it extend the so-called freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank. Never mind that it wasn’t a real freeze (i.e., it didn’t stop existing projects or the expulsion of more Palestinians from East Jerusalem, etc.); the partial halt in new authorizations did have a certain symbolic value. By refusing to extend it, the Netanyahu government has shown that it cares more about continuing the 43-years-and-counting process of colonization than it does about achieving a final peace deal.
http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/09/27/settling_for_more_settlements

Gareth Porter on Mavi Marmara UN Fact-Finding Mission
US historian and investigative journalist Gareth Porter has written a comprehensive summary of the OHCHR’s investigation into Israel’s deadly raid on the Mavi Marmara in May. Israel had responded to the report earlier by calling it “biased, politicized” and conducted with an “extremist approach.” (Watch Mavi Marmara survivor Ken O’Keefe’s response to the Israeli accusations here.)
http://pulsemedia.org/2010/09/28/gareth-porter-on-mavi-marmara-un-fact-finding-mission/

Contradiction in Washington Prevents Peace in the Middle East, Osamah Khalil
Israel’s ten-month “freeze” on settlement building, declared under pressure from the Obama administration last November, is set to expire this month. James Cunningham, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, reportedly warned European envoys that direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians were on the verge of collapse over the settlement freeze. While attention has focused on whether the freeze will continue, few have asked if it was ever truly in force.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/osamah-khalil/post_936_b_739254.html

A Test of Israel’s Character, Roger Cohen
At a dinner hosted by American Jewish leaders for the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, I was seated with a senior U.S. diplomat to my left, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization to my right, and Abbas opposite. It was like listening to a rousing peace overture as an ominous leitmotif of disaster keeps returning with ever greater insistence.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/24/opinion/global/24iht-edcohen.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

U.S. Saves Talks but Not Palestine
Netanyahu’s ability to stare down both the Palestinians and Obama made for another of those “there-goes-Palestine” moments. This is the third time that Obama has been steamrolled by Netanyahu.
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=7370&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Syriacomment+%28Syria+Comment%29

Oren: Colonization benefits Palestinians, Matthew Taylor
A howler from today’s NYT story about the expiration of the so-called settlement freeze: Israeli officials said that Mr. Netanyahu felt it important for his credibility not to extend the moratorium beyond 10 months., “It is a read-my-lips moment,” said Michael B. Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the United States. “This establishes credibility, not just for the Israelis but for the Palestinians. Establishing that the man is true to his word is going to be a very important asset going forward.”
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/oren-colonization-benefits-palestinians.html

NPR ombud says Israel lobby was ’successful’ in changing coverage, Susie Kneedler
Last week on a local call-in show on WOSU, Ohio, NPR ombudsman Alicia Shepard virtually boasted about  NPR’s giving into “pro-Israeli” pressure: “NPR is not as much criticized for its Middle East coverage as it was back in 2002, which it was attacked quite strongly by a pro-Israeli group.  And that group was in many ways successful, and as a result NPR went back and re-evaluated the coverage and how things are handled and started doing things a little differently….”
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/npr-ombudsperson-says-israel-lobby-was-successful-in-changing-coverage.html

CAMERA will release motheaten lions to gobble up ‘Jewish defamers of Israel’, Philip Weiss
CAMERA, the Israel lobby group, is having a conference in two weeks at Boston University with a whole session devoted to “Jewish Defamers of Israel” and three speakers on the subject, including Alvin Rosenfeld of Indiana University who 3 years ago gave us all a hernia with his American Jewish Committee report equating anti-Zionism with anti-semitism. This time he’s talking about Jews at Sea. Maybe he is talking about the Jewish boat to Gaza? Or people like me, hopelessly unaffiliated, married to shikses/shaigitzes, out of touch with our roots?
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/camera-will-release-motheaten-lions-to-gobble-up-jewish-defamers-of-israel.html

Why I protested AIPAC (and what brought me to that point), Russ Greenleaf
I’m not anti-Israel. I’m not a self-hating Jew. When Israel launched the Gaza war in 2008, I was a member of Brit Tzedek v’Shalom. We were committed to working politely within the Jewish community, promoting a two-state solution, stressing our pro-Israel credentials, refusing to do street protests.   The Gaza war was a wake-up call for me, and for thousands of other Jews. I was jarred by the sight of white phosphorus exploding over Gaza – the most densely populated place on earth. White phosphorus shells made in the USA, fired by the Israeli army. White phosphorus – the incendiary chemical weapon that burns flesh down to the bone – banned for use against people, even against soldiers. Now it was being used against Palestinian children. An illegal weapon. A terror weapon. Right on my TV screen – video evidence that Israel was committing war crimes.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/why-i-protested-aipac-and-what-brought-me-to-that-point.html

Shame, Jeff Pozmantier
I should be ashamed. At least that’s what an emailer told me through the bravery of his Internet connection.  What radical action did I take? What offensive remark did I make?  Apparently, my offense was sending an invitation to a discussion about J Street conducted by Dan Kohl, J Street’s political director. Netanyahu can meet with Abbas, Abbas can meet with Jewish community leaders in New York, and Israel can conduct back door negotiations with Syria and Hamas. But, I should be ashamed because I asked fellow Jews to meet with a pro Israel, pro two state Jewish organization whose tactics  are questioned by the emailer?   Do we stop supporting the ADL because we disagree with their mosque/community center position? Should we not support AIPAC because they received funding from Madoff and had two people accused of espionage?
http://palestinenote.com/blogs/blogs/archive/2010/09/26/shame.aspx

How U.S. Jews Strangle Peace Talks, Peter Beinart
What would it take to make American Jewish groups admit that an Israeli prime minister is not serious about peace?
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-09-27/us-jewish-groups-help-make-palestinian-state-impossible/?om_rid=DKP5Im&om_mid=_BMoI6iB8U3WXOQ

American Islamophobia, Inextricably Linked with Support for Israel, Alex Kane
One of the themes that has arisen from my blogging lately on Israel/Palestine and anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States is the close connection American Zionism has with the existence of Islamophobia and anti-Arab attitudes here. You can see it in the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s opposition to the Park51 Islamic community center in lower Manhattan; in how intertwined the opposition to the Park51 project is with big-wig Zionists’ funding; and in the alliance between far-right groups, who see the Israel/Palestine conflict as a key battle in the fight to end “Islamism,”and right-wing Zionists like Pamela Geller.
http://alexbkane.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/american-islamophobia-inextricably-linked-with-support-for-israel

On Edge In The Holy Land
Israel, Hizballah, and Syria are all readying for a new conflict – and threatening regional upheaval. Hizballah can hit anywhere in Israel with many more projectiles, Syria has new Iranian Scud missiles, and Israel has positioned troops and armaments along its northern border.
http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article1549

MJ Rosenberg: Netanyahu to US: Drop Dead
Prime Minister Netanyahu sent a clear message to President Obama when he ignored the US request to extend the settlement freeze to keep the US-sponsored negotiations going. It was “drop dead.” His statement came in his decision to end the settlements freeze which the Palestinians have said must be extended if they were to keep negotiating. Prime Minister Abbas says that he has not decided what to do now.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mj-rosenberg/netanyahu-to-us-drop-dead_b_740380.html

Israeli Raid on Gaza Flotilla: Revealing UN Rights Council Report, Richard Lightbown
Following Israel’s raid on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on 31 May, the UN Human Rights Council elected to establish an independent international fact-finding mission to investigate violations of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law. On 23 July the three-person Mission was appointed. It consisted of Chairman Karl Hudson-Phillips, retired Judge of the International Criminal Court and former Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago; Sir Desmond de Silva, former Chief Prosecutor of the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone; and Ms Mary Shanthi Dairiam, a specialist on international women’s rights. They were assisted by a large team including external specialists in forensic pathology, military issues, firearms, the law of the sea and international humanitarian law. The Mission began work in Geneva on 9 August and an advanced unedited edition of its report was published just over six weeks later on 22 September.
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16292

No Closure without Addressing the Nakba, Hasan Afif El-Hasan
Facts that cannot be denied regarding the Palestinian-Israeli issue: the conflict did not start in 1967; Arab Palestinians constituted seventy-five percent of the total population and owned around 94.2 % of the land in Palestine by the end of the Mandate in 1948; and majority of the Palestinians today are refugees scattered throughout the world.  Israel insists that nothing that occurred prior to 1967 will ever be negotiable, and the present negotiations view the conflict as having started in 1967. The Israelis must be held accountable, legally, financially and morally for the crimes they committed against the Palestinians in 1947-48. There cannot be a closure to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict without addressing the crimes perpetrated by the Israelis, the massacres, the ethnic cleansing and the confiscating of the Palestinians’ lands and properties.
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16291

Reasoning Against Peace, JONATHAN COOK
With the resumption of settlement construction in the West Bank yesterday, Israel’s powerful settler movement hopes that it has scuttled peace talks with the Palestinians.  It would be misleading, however, to assume that the only major obstacle to the success of the negotiations is the right-wing political ideology the settler movement represents. Equally important are deeply entrenched economic interests shared across Israeli society.  These interests took root more than six decades ago with Israel’s establishment and have flourished at an ever-accelerating pace since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the 1967 war.
http://www.counterpunch.com/cook09282010.html

Breaking Israel’s Stranglehold over American Foreign Policy, Maidhc Ó Cathail
“The American people must learn that Israel is and always has been a strategic liability that has done immense damage to the United States and its worldwide interests,” concludes the former CIA officer.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26466.htm

Stopping the Crazy, Joharah Baker for MIFTAH
The other night on the Oprah Show, Jon Stewart, America’s comedy sweetheart, announced he was hosting a “Rally to Restore Sanity” in Washington DC next month. The rally, he surmised, was for the silently busy majority of Americans who could finally make their voices heard to the less sane minority that is ruling their country.  “Seventy to 80 percent of the people in this country are reasonable, nice individuals, may disagree on principle on things, but could come up with rational compromises, could accomplish things, could get things done, could live with the results. And then the other 15 to 20 percent of the country run the place,” he quipped.  In Israel, America’s other sweetheart, the same could be applied. Two days ago, the so-called 10-month moratorium on settlement construction came to an end. Jewish settlers took to the streets in celebration. In Revava, a West Bank settlement, settlers released 2,000 balloons symbolizing the number of housing units that will be immediately constructed. “Today it’s over and we will do everything we can to make sure it never happens again,” one joyous settler said.
http://www.miftah.org/Display.cfm?DocId=22630&CategoryId=3

Are they Done Thanking Bloomberg?
It seems American Muslims might finally be done thanking Bloomberg for his support for the Park 51 project.  He can now lay off some of the extra staff he had to hire a few weeks ago to accept the abundance of gratitude that overwhelmed his office.
http://ikhras.com/2010/09/1536/

* Lebanon

Israel collaborator given hard labor life sentence
BEIRUT: Head of the Permanent Military Court, Brigadier Nizar Khalil, demanded on Monday a life sentence of hard labor for a man charged with collaborating with Israel. Detainee Haitham Nayef al-Zaher was stripped of his civil rights after being charged with collaborating with the Mossad, providing it with information on Lebanese and Syrian military and civil sites and entering Israel without a permission.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=119751#axzz10lcuLlJJ

Political deadlock in Beirut as Tribunal row drags on
BEIRUT: Both Hizbullah and the Future Movement remained committed to their stances regarding to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) as the Cabinet refrained from tackling the issue of false witnesses and the funding of the UN-backed tribunal on Monday.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=119753

Travel advice to Lebanon not altered – US Embassy
BEIRUT: The United States Embassy denied on Monday media reports suggesting it had altered its travel advice to American citizens in Lebanon, less than a week after an article erroneously claimed it had asked its compatriots to leave the country.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=119757

Lebanon’s Ground Zero – more democratic than the US
“There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over.” These are the words of US politician Newt Gingrich.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=119747

Why Palestinian refugees in Lebanon support violence rather than peace talks
With little faith in Israeli-Palestinian talks, and largely unable to integrate into Lebanon, many Palestinian refugees see violence as the only way to secure their ‘right of return.’
http://rss.csmonitor.com/%7Er/feeds/world/%7E3/PqM8bzvVu2Y/Why-Palestinian-refugees-in-Lebanon-support-violence-rather-than-peace-talks

* Iraq

Monday: 9 Iraqis Killed, 26 Wounded
As if the political deadlock over the premiership did not already stoke sectarian tensions in Iraq, the Interior Ministry has now ordered the demotions of hundreds of Sunni police officers. Meanwhile, the violence continues. At least nine Iraqis were killed and 26 more were wounded across the country, while a sniper wounded a U.S. soldier in Amara.
http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2010/09/27/monday-9-iraqis-killed-26-wounded-2/

IRAQ: Mysterious killings continue to shake Baghdad
Baghdad’s scourge of mysterious killings continues almost seven months after a national election that has so far failed to produce a government.   Assailants regularly target their victims with silencer pistols or small bombs.  In the latest such attack, a police officer was gunned down in the western Baghdad neighborhood of Khadra on Monday morning, according to police sources.  On Sunday, gunmen with silencers killed a civil servant from the cabinet. Also killed in other attacks were an official from Iraq’s anti-corruption commission; a lieutenant colonel in the police’s counter-terrorism unit; and an army major, police said. In a separate attack, a state television announcer was wounded when assailants planted a bomb on his car Monday.  Another state television announcer was killed a few weeks ago in a near-identical attack.
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2010/09/baghdad-silencers-and-bombs-shake-city.html

Iraq Shi’ites Miss Deadline on Government Leader
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A Shi’ite-led political bloc missed its own deadline on Monday to choose a nominee for prime minister, continuing a stalemate that has left Iraq without a new government 6-1/2 months after an inconclusive election.
http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=71523f0d2649503f547238b607842a5b

* Iran

Iran says it killed 30 militants behind bomb attack
Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said on Sunday they had killed about 30 people who were the “main elements” behind a bomb attack in northwest Iran.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nation-world/sns-iran-blast,0,7943926.story

Iran defense chief: Russia unreliable
The Iranian defense minister says Russia’s “reneging” on an agreement to supply Tehran with the S-300 missile defense system indicates the Kremlin is untrustworthy, Press TV reported.
http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/1756742.html

Israel Suspected in Worm Sabotage of Iran’s First Nuclear Plant
The worm has spread to over 10,000 computers in Indonesia. Computers in the U.S. have also been infected.
http://www.dailytech.com/Israel+Suspected+in+Worm+Sabotage+of+Irans+First+Nuclear+Plant/article19726.htm

The President and I (a *must watch* interview of President Ahmadinejad), Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich
I was pleasantly surprised when my request for an interview with Mr. Ahmadinejad, Iran’s president was accepted. President Ahmadinejad has never shied away from being heard, but these interviews had been exclusive to prominent mainstream media personalities such as Larry King and Charlie Rose. However, it was the mainstream media’s projection of Mr. Ahmadinejad that always remained questionable.
http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2010/09/president-and-i-must-watch-interview-of.html

Ahmadinejad to throw stone towards Israel
London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper reports Iranian president planning symbolic gesture during upcoming visit to Lebanon.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3961362,00.html

Why Doesn’t the US Talk to Iran?, ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH and KARLA HANSEN
The unrelenting diplomatic and geopolitical standoff between Iran and the United States is often blamed on the Iranian government for its “confrontational” foreign policies, or its “unwillingness” to enter into a dialogue with the United States. Little known, however, is the fact that during the past decade or so, Iran has offered a number of times to negotiate with the United States without ever getting a positive response from the U.S.
http://www.counterpunch.com/zadeh09272010.html

* Afghanistan

Afghans say civilians died in raid
Residents of village in Laghman Province say they fired on NATO forces in self-defense during the Sunday raid.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiI-TdJwSjA&feature=youtube_gdata

Mistrial Declared In Case Of Two Blackwater Contractors Accused Of Murdering Unarmed Afghan Civilians
(AP) – A federal judge has declared a mistrial in the case of two former Blackwater contractors accused of murdering two unarmed Afghan civilians and wounding a third man in Kabul.  WAVY-TV of Norfolk reported Monday that the jury came up deadlocked after several days of deliberations. A new trial date was set for March 1.  Justin H. Cannon and Christopher Drotleff face life in prison for the shootings on May 5, 2009, when they were in the country to train the Afghan National Army. They were working for North Carolina-based Blackwater Worldwide, which changed its name to Xe (zee) Services.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/27/blackwater-case-mistrial_n_740486.html

US soldier faces murder charges
Army Specialist Jeremy Morlock, 22, from Wasilla, Alaska, will face charges on Monday of premeditated murder in the deaths of three Afghan civilians, assaulting a fellow soldier and “wrongfully photographing and possessing visual images of human casualties”.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2010/09/20109274360444411.html

US Soldier Describes Thrill Kill of Innocent Afghans
Confession Video:  Corporal, 22, Tells How His ‘Crazy’ Sergeant Allegedly Murdered For Kicks, Collected Body Parts.
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/us-soldier-describes-thrill-kill-innocent-civilians-afghanistan/story?id=11732681

Army censors photos of Afghan corpses in ‘kill-for-sport’ trial
Evidently worried about a repeat of the anger aimed at US forces over photos of torture at Abu Ghraib prison, the US military is restricting access to photos of Afghan corpses in the “kill-for-sport” trial of five US soldiers.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/army-censors-photos-kill-for-sport-trial/

3 Australian soldiers face serious charges after 5 children killed in Afghanistan operation
The special forces soldiers, who were not identified, face multiple charges including manslaughter, dangerous conduct, failing to comply with a lawful general order and prejudicial conduct, Brigadier Lyn McDade, the director of military prosecutions, said in a statement.
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-as-australia-afghanistan,0,2304661.story

Afghan poll body orders vote recounts in 7 provinces
Afghanistan’s election body has ordered a partial recount of votes from seven of the country’s 34 provinces on suspicion of fraud, potentially delaying the results of a parliamentary poll further, an official said on Monday.
http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCATRE68Q19X20100927

Afghan ‘vote-rigging videos’ emerge
Amateur footage appears to show fake votes being filled in as border police tasked with stopping poll fraud look on.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2010/09/201092614267602479.html

Spreading Democracy in Afghanistan, DAVE LINDORFF
US-led forces in Afghanistan sure did a bang-up job this week at promoting the concept of Western “democracy.”  The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the puppet intelligence agency of the Afghan government, between them, arrested and held three journalists. Rahmatullah Nekzad, a freelance reporter for Al Jazeera and the Associated Press, Mohammed Nader, a staff correspondent and cameraman for Al Jazeera, and Hojatullah Mojadadi, an Afghan local radio station manager, were all held without charge for the “crime” of allegedly having developed contacts with the Taliban. Nekzada and Nader were held by US forces for three days. Mojadadi was held by Afghan authorities for six days.
http://www.counterpunch.com/lindorff09272010.html

* U.S. and other world news
 

Report: US seeks online spy powers
The Obama administration wants to be able to intercept all forms of online communication, the New York Times reports.
http://english.aljazeera.net//news/americas/2010/09/2010927162223438280.html

U.S. should be able to shut Internet, former CIA chief says
Cyberterrorism is such a threat that the U.S. president should have the authority to shut down the Internet in the event of an attack, Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-internet-security,0,4054676.story

FBI Raids Seen as Political Retribution
Recent raids by federal agents on the homes and offices of peace activists are being viewed by civil libertarians and civil society groups as further proof that the U.S. is morphing into a “surveillance state” where the right to privacy and other constitutional protections are being quietly whittled away.  On Sept. 24, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided the Minneapolis homes of five antiwar activists, the office of a Minneapolis antiwar group, and the Chicago homes of the head of an Arab-American organization and a prominent peace activist.
http://original.antiwar.com/fisher/2010/09/27/fbi-raids-seen-as-political-retribution/

Syria says interested in peace talks with Israel
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meet in New York. State Department says Damascus ‘very interested’ in pursuing Israeli-Syrian peace.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3961144,00.html

US warns Syria against destabilizing Lebanon, Iraq (AFP)
AFP – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Syria on Monday against taking destabilizing measures in either Iraq or Lebanon, during talks with her Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem in New York.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100928/pl_afp/ussyriairaqlebanondiplomacy

Egyptian tycoon jailed for murder
An Egyptian tycoon is given 15 years in jail for ordering the killing of a Lebanese pop singer in a retrial, after earlier being sentenced to death.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/int/news/-/news/world-middle-east-11427153

Remembering the godfather of Pan Arabism
Fond memories of Gamal Abdel Nasser, 40 years after his death. His radio oratory transfixed listeners, reawakening a fading pride.
http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100928/NATIONAL/100929427/1042/rss

 www.TheHeadlines.org

Walt & Mearsheimer should rename their book, ‘They’ve Got Us by the Short and Curlies’

Sep 28, 2010

Philip Weiss 

As years pass, the Walt and Mearsheimer thesis grows stronger and stronger, less arguable. The Israelis gobble more colonized territory, threatening the trickle of a process that Obama has started, and what does the Senate do?

87 Senators sign a letter pressuring Mahmoud Abbas!!! Letter is dated Sept. 24, and says nothing about colonization, but describes all the Arab “enemies of peace” and outrageous acts of violence. Liberal beacon Barbara Boxer and Pennsylvania Dem Robt Casey are lead signatories.  The Cable:

The senators sent the letter (PDF) to Obama on Monday. It stated that “Neither side should make threats to leave just as the talks are getting started,” a thinly veiled reference to Abbas’s multiple statements that he would leave the talks if the moratorium was not extended.

N.Y. musicians’ union shuts down debate over Israel/Palestine

Sep 28, 2010

Rich Siegel 

Rich Siegel has been a member of Local 802, Associated Musicians of Greater New York, for 25 years, and lately resigned. Below, his explanation, followed by his letter of resignation to the president of the union as well as to the editor of the union paper, Allegro.

There has been an ongoing struggle and controversy about the publishing of letters on this issue at local 802 for awhile. It began with an article about a member bringing a music program to Palestinian children on the West Bank. The article was a human interest story which did not get into the politics at all. Even so, predictably, a Jewish member wrote in complaining about Anti-Semitism. I responded to that, as did Tom Suarez, and our letters were published.

This began a fire-storm of responses, a couple were published, and then the union decided to stop publishing letters on the subject, so no rebuttals, and nothing at all on the subject for several months. With a new administration in place at the union, I was able to get a letter published asking members to respect BDS. Another fire-storm.

Another member, cellist Aaron Minsky, organized a letter writing campaign, not to disagree with me, but to shut down all mention of Israel in our union paper. He succeeded. The union published one letter as a rebuttal to my letter, and is now refusing to publish any letters on the subject at all. Additionally no further articles relating to Palestine have been published after that one article two years ago. I don’t know whether this is a matter of policy or not.

It should be noted that this paper regularly features articles on political issues, regularly publishes letters to the editor on political issue, and endorses candidates. An entire issue was dedicated to the endorsement of Obama prior to the 2008 election.

To the Editor: 

I am writing to notify you of my decision to resign from local 802 effective immediately. As I have been a member since 1984 with one short interruption, as I have served on the hotel committee, and as for many years I was busy working on local 802 contracts, I think my contributions to the local warrant your publishing my statement about my reason for resigning. 

In the June issue Tino Gagliardi stated the following: “We have a very long and proud tradition of printing in Allegro almost every letter – if not every single letter – we receive.” He went on to state that he would not be publishing any more letters about the Israel/Palestine situation. Subsequently he has refused to publish a very relevant letter written by member Tom Suarez, which Tom has brought to my attention.

If an open forum in a union paper is referred to as a “proud tradition” then what possible reason could there be for limiting it in regard to one issue? Perhaps because up until now, union positions have been easy. Just stay to the left and you’re safe. Support civil rights, oppose wars from Vietnam to Iraq, oppose apartheid South Africa. But here is this nasty Israel/Palestine issue which has people who identify as “progressive” at odds with each other, and many of the people on one side are people from my background: Jews, the survivors of the holocaust, people whom you don’t want to offend because of past history.

The pro-Israel line is heard everywhere. I grew up deep inside it, as a former teenage Zionist youth group president, and remained with it as an adult, as former house pianist at the Plaza Hotel in Tiberias, Israel. But many of us have investigated the issue and are no longer satisfied with what we have identified as the propaganda-filled mythology we were raised with. This is particularly relevant today as our country gives Israel $15 million per day while our economy is in the toilet, and while Israel is urging us to attack Iran, after having encouraged us to invade Iraq.

By failing to allow discourse in Allegro about the controversy, local 802 is betraying the core purpose of a union: to protect the weak from the abuses of the powerful, and it has done this on three levels: 1) by failing to address a human rights emergency, 2) by failing to allow discussion about solidarity with foreign workers by not patronizing those who abuse them, and 3) by failing to protect the rights of our own colleagues to not be shouted down by aggressive members.

Instead of cutting off discourse on Israel/Palestine, local 802 should be discussing the possibility of participating in BDS (boycott,divestment,sanctions) as some unions have done, and should be discussing making a statement and taking a stand on this issue. Instead, you are caving in to members who want to shut down people like myself and Tom, and as such you will be their union, and not mine.

Rich Siegel

Zionists did BDS

Sep 28, 2010

Philip Weiss 

Observant Jews are celebrating the holiday of Sukkot this week, celebrating the journey to Jerusalem. During festival rituals, the observant use an esrog, a type of citron fruit. And yes, I had to look it up! How’d I learn about esrogs? From the following passage in the novel, A Simple Story, by the late Israeli writer S.Y. Agnon (who won the Nobel Prize in ’66). The story is set in Galicia, a section of Poland/the Ukraine in which Agnon grew up. The passage describes a train ride by the novel’s hero Hirshl Hurvitz, back home from a loonybin to his native city, Szybusz.

[T]here was no need to entertain Hirshl on the way, for a train ride to Szybusz, especially in the month of Elul, was entertainment in itself. The passengers, it turned out, were divided into four camps. The first of these, a party of esrog dealers on their way back from Greece, was in a bellicose mood. Why, to think of the weeks they had just spent running around that land of unscrupulous cutthroats without tasting a Jewish meal or hearing a Jewish prayer in order to bring Jews esrogs for Sukkos–and here the local Zionist press had the gall to attack them and blacken their names! The Zionists in the car shouted back that any Jew buying or blessing citrons from Corfu when Jewish farmers were sweating blood to grow the same fruit in Palestine was an out-and-out anti-Semite. At this point the fray was joined by a band of Hasidim, some of them returning from taking the baths and others on their way to their rabbis for the High Holy Days: anyone purchasing an esrog from Palestine, they yelled, was himself doing business with anti-Semites, which was what the irreligious Jewish farmers there were.

 

Jewish passengers to Gaza said to be detained in Ashdod, shaken but OK

Sep 28, 2010

Philip Weiss

 Update: We just got word that Lillian Rosengarten and other passengers on the Jewish boat to Gaza are being held in Ashdod, Israel. “Shaken but OK.”

Various sources are reporting that the “Irene,” the catamaran carrying seven Jews to Gaza from Cyprus, was intercepted this morning by several boats in the Israeli navy, apparently in international waters, and forced to make course for Ashdod, in Israel. Reuters has an Israeli gov’t spokesman complaining about the “surreal” mission to which Israeli forces were assigned today and noting the presence on the boat of a former uniformed Israeli officer, Yonatan Shapira. 

The press release from the boat organizers:

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.

This from the Jewish boat itself a few hours ago:

LATEST FROM THE BOAT:

An Israeli destroyer is cutting off their path.   Another small boat is  also approaching.

Several small boats and a frigate are stationary aboat a mile away from Irene.

The army hailed them and said they can not go to Gaza, which is  restricted and Irene’s passengers will be legally liable, especially the Israelis.

The frigate then moved closer while the small boat is now crossing their path too – it has machine guns front and back of it.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on MONDOWEISS ONLINE NEWSLETTER

A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS


The seriously deadly threat of non-violent Jews

28 Sep 2010

Israel using excessive force and abusing civilians? Just another day on the job:

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.

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.”

 

Hoder sees the darkest side of Ahmadinejad’s brutality

28 Sep 2010

The outrage of imprisoning Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan for 19.5 years, the longest sentence ever given for anybody in his position.

A profoundly insecure and undemocratic regime has shamed itself before the world.

 

Private armies are out and looking for business

28 Sep 2010

Private mercenaries have never have it so good. Business is booming as governments increasingly rely on them to do the dirty work they no longer want to do:

Insurers have drawn up plans for the world’s first private navy to try to turn the tide against Somali pirates who continue to plague the global shipping industry by hijacking vessels for ransoms of more than £100m a year, The Independent has learnt.

The new navy, which has the agreement in principle of several shipping groups and is being considered by the British Government, is the latest attempt to counter the increasingly sophisticated and aggressive piracy gangs who operate up to 1,200 miles from their bases in the Horn of Africa and are about to launch a new wave of seaborne attacks following the monsoon season.

A multi-national naval force, including an EU fleet currently commanded by a British officer, has dramatically reduced the number of assaults in the Gulf of Aden in recent months. But seizures continue with 16 ships and 354 sailors currently being held hostage. The Independent has seen Nato documents which show both ransom payments and the period that pirates are holding vessels have doubled in the last 12 months to an average $4m and 117 days respectively.

In response, a leading London insurer is pushing ahead with radical proposals to create a private fleet of about 20 patrol boats crewed by armed guards to bolster the international military presence off the Somali coast. They would act as escorts and fast-response vessels for shipping passing through the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean.

Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT), which insures 14 per cent of the world’s commercial shipping fleet, said the unprecedented “private navy” would work under the direct control of the military with clear rules of engagement valid under international law. Early discussions have also been held with the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Transport and the Foreign Office.

 

How to be gay in the Islamic Republic

 28 Sep 2010

The curious, crazy, sad, desperate and oppressive society in Tehran.

 

Shell and Iran kissing in a tree

28 Sep 2010

The sheer futility of trying to boycott Iran is revealed once again:

Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, paid the state-owned Iranian oil company at least $1.5bn (£0.94bn) for crude oil this summer, increasing its business with Tehran as the international community implemented some of the toughest sanctions yet aimed at constricting the Islamic republic’s economy and its lifeline oil business.

Sensitive trading documents seen by the Guardian show the UK-registered company stepped up its orders of Iranian oil at a time when other major buyers, including BP and Reliance Industries, India’s largest conglomerate, halted orders amid impending trade sanctions aimed at curbing Tehran’s perceived desire to acquire nuclear weapons.

Shell is not accused of acting illegally because the sanctions – enforced by the US, UN and EU – stopped short of banning the import of Iranian oil. But its trades with the state-owned oil company, a major contributor to the finances of a government which has made its nuclear programme a priority, are likely to expose Shell to growing political pressure.

 

Zionist circus swings back into town and media watches

27 Sep 2010

In case anybody still believes that “peace talks” between Israel, the complicit Palestinian Authority and Washington has achieved anything at all, think again.

 

Let our Diggers kill at will beause we say they’re noble

27 Sep 2010

So Australian troops in Afghanistan kill civilians and are now facing charges. It’s called accountability, something sorely lacking in Western societies at war for decades.

Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, a top quality Murdoch quality that regularly writes about refugees stealing our jobs, women and sand, thinks it’s bloody outrageous in an editorial today:

In the early days of the campaign in Afghanistan, we were introduced to a new phrase: “asymmetrical warfare” – the relative imbalance between the methods and tactics used by the Taliban and other murdering fundamentalists and the tactics used by coalition forces, including Australian troops, who are constrained by various laws and conventions. In short, we conduct war by the rules. The Taliban do not.

The dangers of this imbalance exist not only for the women and children used as shields by Taliban insurgents, or for the Afghan civilians targeted by fundamentalist suicide bombers. Dangers also exist for Australian soldiers who are caught in gun battles with Taliban operatives using civilians as cover.

And the danger extends beyond the immediate threat of death and injury.

Our soldiers also face the danger of legal action arising from the unique and distressing circumstances that arise when fighting an utterly amoral opponent.

Three soldiers have been charged following the deaths of five Afghan children in 2009. Those deaths remain a tragedy.

That charges have been laid by our own military against the soldiers is obscene.

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As two of the soldiers said in a statement: “It should not be forgotten that the casualties were ultimately caused by the callous and reckless act of an insurgent who chose to repeatedly fire upon us at extreme close range from within a room he knew contained women and children.”

That’s the reality of combat in Afghanistan. By charging the three soldiers, the military is giving strength to the vicious and inhuman tactics of our enemy.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER

U.S. ARMY COVERUP: MURDER FOR SPORT IN AFGHANISTAN

NOVANEWS

September 28, 2010

by Gordon Duff

Parents Of Soldier Say They Warned Army About Thrill Kill Sergeant

‘Crazy’ Sergeant Allegedly Continued Murdering Innocent Civilians

By MATTHEW COLE, BRIAN ROSS and ANGELA M. HILL

The allegations are reminiscent of the military’s darkest days in Vietnam.  Again, young GI’s caught up in a difficult war are accused of widespread drug use and the random killing of innocent civilians, apparently for sport or thrills. But the parents of one of the five soldiers charged with the premeditated murder of unarmed Afghans say that before one of the murders they tried to warn the Army and a U.S. Senator – and no one helped. Now their son, 20-year-old specialist Adam Winfield, is charged with taking part in a killing three months after the Winfield family tried to blow the whistle.

The soldiers were serving at Forward Operating Base Ramrod in southern Afghanistan. On a videotaped confession obtained by ABC News, one of the soldiers, Corporal Jeremy Morlock, described how his Sergeant, Calvin Gibbs, had the men in his unit pick out civilians at random and then kill them with grenades and rifle fire

“Gibbs called it like, ‘Hey you guys wanna, you guys wanna wax this guy or what?’ And you know, he set it up, like, he grabbed the dude.”

Morlock told how Gibbs allegedly threw a grenade at the civilian, and then told Morlock and the others, ‘Wax this guy. You know, kill this guy, kill this guy.’ ”


YouTube – Veterans Today

Morlock said that killing people came “too easy” to Gibbs. “”He just really doesn’t have any problems with f___ing killing these, these people, to be honest.” Morlock also told investigators he believed that Gibbs was crazy and wouldn’t hesitate to silence witnesses. “If Gibbs knew that I was sitting in front of this camera right now,” said Morlock, “there’s no doubt in my mind that he’d f—— take me out if he had to.”

‘The Threats Are Already Coming My Way’

In February, Adam Winfield told his parents back home in Florida about the grenade incident via Facebook. “Did you not understand what I just told you what people did in my platoon?” wrote Adam. “Murder,” responded his mother, Emma. “Yeah, an innocent dude,” answered Adam. “I want to do something about it. The only problem is I don’t feel safe here telling anyone.” Adam said that there was a rumor that he was going to talk and “the threats are already coming my way.” His mother then told him she would “do the right thing” and get him some help. Adam suggested she contact the Army, and she said “ok.” As Chris Winfield, Adam’s father, told ABC News in an interview, “The guy that was doing this was his superior. This was his staff sergeant.”

“[Adam] said that if he told anybody over there,” said Chris Winfield, ” that this particular individual was keeping an eye on him. And he would never make it past that night. He would never make it home. The Winfields say they called six different Army offices and Senator Bill Nelson, D.-Fla., to get help.

Chris Winfield said he left at least four messages. “I said my son is in Afghanistan. . . . He’s in the front lines. There’s a rogue sergeant out there apparently killing innocent victims. And my son found out about this. And they’re threatening him because he might say something. And I said you gotta get him out of there. You need to call me back, please.” At the command center at Fort Lewis, Washington, the headquarters for his son’s division, Winfield says he finally got a sergeant on the line, with a disappointing response. Recalls Winfield, “The sergeant came back to me and said, ‘You know, it’s a terrible situation, but from our end, it’s a he-said, she said conversation. And there’s nothing we can do about it. “I was floored,” said Winfield. Sen. Nelson’s office told ABC News they had no record of a call from the Winfields.

Gibbs Becomes Suspicious of Winfield Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Gibbs was becoming suspicious of Winfield, according to other soldiers. An Army investigator asked Cpl. Morlock during his taped confession if he thought Gibbs was serious about maybe having to “take out” Winfield. “Oh, f___ yeah, for sure, definitely,” answered Morlock.

“So you didn’t take that as a joke,” said the investigator, “or like maybe it was just bull____.” “[Gibbs] doesn’t bulls____,” said Morlock. “He doesn’t need to.” Chris Winfield told ABC News he gave his son a message from the Army. ” I told him, this is what they told us to do, you know, duck. Keep your head down. Stay away from this guy. Do the best you can. You know? And it’s tough. As a parent, you know? I didn’t expect him to come home.” Adam Winfield did come home, but he is now charged with pre-meditated murder.

Three months after trying to blow the whistle, he says Sergeant Gibbs forced him to take part in another murder. He claims he aimed his rifle over the body of the Afghan victim. Said Emma Winfield, “It’s heartbreaking.

You know, again, I’m so thankful that he made it out of there alive. But he doesn’t deserve to be treated the way he’s been treated. When in February, he reached out. And as parents we did what we could do. And we will probably always regret that we didn’t do more.” “But we were working from the place that he was afraid for his life,” said Emma. “And we weren’t going to do anything to risk his life. And now, in essence, we’re just fighting for his life. And fighting for justice to be done.”

‘A Serial Killer’

At Fort Lewis Monday, the military held its first hearing on the case, as lawyers for Corporal Morlock sought to have the videotaped confession kept out of evidence, maintaining he only played along during the murders, and that he was heavily medicated with prescription drugs during the interview. “My client did not kill anyone,” said Waddington. “He did not use any bullets or grenades to kill any of those individuals.”

Waddington said his client had little choice but to go along with Gibbs. “If your sergeant says, ‘Let’s go to this village, we’re going to sweep this village and he throws a grenade at someone, and threatens you that if you’re not on his team and you’re a possible snitch and you’re going to get beaten or killed by him, then you’re going to role play along with it.”

A lawyer for Sergeant Gibbs declined to comment on the case, but it is clear the other soldiers will seek to blame him for forcing them to participate. Eric Montalvo, the lawyer for Adam Winfield, told ABC News that he believes Gibbs is “essentially a serial killer,” calling him “Mansonesque.”

The military says the investigation of the murders also led to the discovery of widespread drug use at Forward Operating Base Ramrod.

Corporal Emmitt Quintal, one of the men charged, blamed the drug use on “Bad days, stressful days, days that we just needed to escape” in a taped interview with Army investigators. Asked how frequently the men used drugs to escape, Quintal responded, “I’d say probably anywhere from three to four, every three to four days.” The Winfields say they believe their son Adam was a good soldier. “You know, he’s a good kid,” said Chris Winfield.

“That was put in a horrific situation,” added his wife, “with you know, a lack of command out in the field. And a failure of the military to be responsive to a cry for help.” The military now confirms it is investigating the allegations that the parents of Adam Winfield tried back in February to warn the Army that both innocent Afghan civilians, and U.S. soldiers, were being put at risk.

Posted in WorldComments Off on U.S. ARMY COVERUP: MURDER FOR SPORT IN AFGHANISTAN

STUART LITTLEWOOD: REAPING TERROR’S REWARD

NOVANEWS
September 28, 2010

Get in there first – that’s the secret –
If it wasn’t for the “war on terror” America and Israel wouldn’t be enjoying such military fun and games and reaping such fat rewards. Whole new industries are flourishing thanks to the considerable effort they’ve devoted to sowing the seeds of terror.

The Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR), for example, is an American-Israeli corporation “created to help organizations succeed and prosper in a world threatened by terrorism.” Institute of Terrorism Research and Response in Israel (http://www.terrorresponse.org/)

Its partners include The Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute – “your gateway to business in Israel”. Their global intelligence division even maintains a presence in London where, they claim, “our intelligence-gathering and analysis, research, training, and consulting services reduce your vulnerability to global and regional forms of terrorist threats and mass-casualty events.”  It’s just a coincidence, of course, that Britain’s most important security bodies – the Intelligence & Security Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee and Defence Committee – are all headed by senior Israel flag-wavers with access to highly classified material.

ITRR recently staged a Mass Casualty & Terrorism Workshop in Jerusalem attended by students from Philadelphia University. Topics included mass casualty management, security and counter-terrorism, forensic medicine as it relates to terrorism and visits to suicide bomber sites. “These site visits include actual video footage of the events… One student was amazed with the resiliency of the Israeli people and how quickly they are able to return a site ‘back to normal’.”

Just across the border in Gaza is the mother of all mass-casualty sites far more serious than anything Israel has had to cope with, although it caused it. A visit there would have opened students’ eyes to how the Palestinians are never given the chance to return to ‘normal’ after Israel’s endless terror onslaughts, robbed as they are of medical essentials and reconstruction materials.

I bet ITRR’s workshop didn’t cover that.

“First used by Zionists”

The other day I was sent a list of Zionist ‘firsts’ pulled together in a handy aide-memoire. Let’s call them claims for the timebeing. I’ve seen evidence for some, but others are new to me. A friend who watches things closely says the listing has been posted in forums repeatedly, with requests for any corrections.

Let’s ask again. Can anyone refute these claims on delphiforums…?

http://forums.delphiforums.com/n/main.asp?qu=Israel+first+with+terrorism&find=Search&webtag=olun&ctx=search&cl=650364&af=31&o=relevance&be=0

Here’s the roll-call on who introduced terrorism (along with biological, chemical and nuclear weapons) to the Middle East: 

  • Bombs in Cafés: first used by Zionists in Palestine on March 17th, 1937 in Jaffa. (actually grenades).

  • Bombs on Buses: first used by Zionists in Palestine Aug. 20th-Sep. 26, 1937

  • Drive-by shootings with automatic weapons: IZL and LHI in 1937-38 and 1947-48 (Morris, Righteous Victims, p681.)

  • Bombs in Market Places: first used by Zionists on July 6th, 1938 in Haifa. (Delayed-action, electrically detonated)

  • Bombing of a passenger Ship: first used by the Zionists in Haifa on 25 November 1940, killing over 200 of their own fellows.

  • Bombing of Hotels: first used by Zionists on July 22nd, 1946 in Jerusalem (Menachem Begin went on to become Prime Minister of Israel).

  • Suitcase bombing: first used by Zionists on October 1st, 1946 against British Embassy in Rome.

  • Mining of Ambulances: First used by Zionists on October 31st, 1946 in Petah Tikvah

  • Car-bomb: first used by Zionists against the British near Jaffa 5 December 1946.

  • Letter Bombs: first used by Zionists in June 1947 against members of the British government, 20 of them.

  • Parcel Bomb: first used by Zionists against the British in London 3 September 1947.

  • Reprisal murder of hostages: first used by Zionists against the British in Netanya area on 29 July 1947.

  • Truck-bombs: first used by Zionists 4th Jan 1948 in the centre of Jaffa, killing 26.

  • Aircraft hijacking: world-first by Israeli jets Dec 1954 on a Syrian civilian airliner (random seizure of hostages to recover 5 spies). 14 years before any Palestinian.

The only form of violent terrorism not introduced into Palestine by the Zionists was suicide bombing, a tactic used almost entirely by people fighting occupation of their “homeland” – think 1000s of Japanese in 1945, 100s of Tamils and 38 Lebanese in the 80s – most of the latter being motivated by socialism/communism, not Islam – see http://amconmag.com/article/2005/jul/18/00017/

  • Biological Warfare – pathogens used by Zionists in 1948, prior to the seizure of Acre, putting typhus into the water supply.

  • Chemical Warfare – nerve gas very likely used by Zionists in Feb/March 2001 in at least 8 attacks in Khan Younis and Gharbi refugee camps (Gaza) and the town of Al-Bireh (West Bank).

  • Nuclear threats – made by Zionists e.g. 2003: “We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen, before Israel goes under.” – Remarks of Martin Van Creveld, a professor of military history at Israel’s Hebrew University, 1st Feb 2003.

And, if you think only Muslims need worry, then see http://www.masada2000.org/sharepain.html – “Israel Has Nuclear Weapons and MUST Use Them and All Those Arming the Arabs Must Share the Pain!”. Comes with cute music.

To these we could add “sofa slaughter” with armed drones. The Israelis use this armchair technique extensively in Gaza, unleashing death and destruction on civilians by remote control at no personal risk to themselves. There are interesting variations too. For example, during the 40-day siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem in 2002 the Israeli Occupation Force set up cranes on which were mounted robotic machine guns under video control. According to eye-witnesses eight defenders, including the bell-ringer, were murdered, some by armchair button-pushers and some by regular snipers.

Right now we’re witnessing a cyber-terror attack against Iran with an ultra-sophisticated virus that disables thousands of industrial computers including those controlling Iran’s nuclear programme. This is an extremely sinister development with frightening global implications. The presumption is that it’s Zionist inspired and implemented by Israeli stooges and sympathisers since no-one else hates and fears the Iranians this much, but the truth may never be known.

Banned horror weapons spread terror

There’s also the use, suspected or real, of prohibited weapons. In July 2006 doctors in Lebanon and Gaza were saying: “We never saw before wounds and corpses like those that arrive in the ward…” The majority of victims were women, children and elders caught in Israeli attacks in the street, in the market place and at home.

What they saw led doctors to believe that a new generation of weapons was being used. Common to all victims was the lack of visible wounds, but they had serious internal edema and hemorrhage with loss of blood from all orifices. All the bodies had a covering of dark powder making them look black, but they were not burnt. Clothes and hair were not damaged or burnt.

Electron microscope scans showed the presence of phosphorous, iron and magnesium at below normally detectable levels. Elements that are used as additives to boost the blast of thermobaric (fuel-air energy) bombs and grenades were found on skin samples, but none of these could be seen by instruments normally used in hospitals and emergency wards.

Thermobaric weapons leave no fragments on or in the victims’ bodies making it all the more difficult to provide proper care for the injured. “This fact already puts them outside established conventions of war, regardless of whether they are used against military or civilians,” say the doctors.

The effect of a thermobaric shell or grenade, according to the GlobalSecurity website, is devastating. “Those near the ignition point are obliterated. Those at the fringe are likely to suffer many internal, and thus invisible injuries, including burst eardrums and crushed inner ear organs, severe concussions, ruptured lungs and internal organs, and possibly blindness. The destruction, death, and injury are caused by the blast wave.”

Another report, published by Defense Technology, says: “Each tissue type… is compressed, stretched, sheared or disintegrated by overload according to its material properties. Internal organs that contain air (sinuses, ears, lungs and intestines) are particularly vulnerable to blast.”

The United States uses 40mm thermobaric grenades developed for the war against “terror” in Afghanistan. These little beauties produce a thermobaric overpressure blast and “all enemy personnel within the effective radius will suffer lethal effects as opposed to the conventional fragmentation round.”

The grenades are fired from a specially developed weapon. “You can put six rounds on target in under three seconds,” one Marine Corps corporal said. “I thought this thing was sick.”

America is reported to have lost nuclear bombs, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for them to mislay shipments of thermobaric grenades, which in the wrong hands would wreak havoc in the metro or London’s Underground.

Hoist by their own petard

A perfectly good form of words is used to brand, outlaw and crush any organization, individual or country the US doesn’t like.

Under Executive Order 13224 (“Blocking Property and prohibiting Transactions with Persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support Terrorism”), Section 3, the term “terrorism” means an activity that —

(i) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, property, or infrastructure; and (ii) appears to be intended

(a) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(b) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(c) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, kidnapping, or hostage-taking.”

The order was signed 23 September 2001 by George W Bush, the irony being that his definition of terrorism fits the United States and its bosom-buddy Israel like a glove.

Since then, of course, we’ve seen the Zionists commit the foulest act of state terrorism in recent times. During their Cast Lead onslaught they butchered at least 350 more children, and Gaza has been under daily attack ever since. So the “most moral army in the world” must have blown to bits, shredded, incinerated or smashed with snipers’ bullets at least 1,400 Palestinian youngsters in the last ten years. The numbers left maimed or crippled don’t bear thinking about.

And let’s not forget the assassinations and extra-judicial executions. In the US there’s a presidential prohibition on assassination except in war situations, but if they can conjure up an intelligence ‘finding’ that enables them to label the target a ‘terrorist,’ and claim the murder was an act of self-defence in a war situation, they’re in the clear.

Assassination became official Israeli policy in 1999. Their preferred method is the air-strike, which is lazy and often messy, as demonstrated in 2002 when Israeli F-16 warplanes bombed the house of Sheikh Salah Shehadeh, the military commander of Hamas, in Gaza City killing not just him but at least 11 other Palestinians including seven children, and wounding 120 others.

According to the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem 408 Palestinians have been killed in the course of targeted assassinations since the second Intifada (uprising) began in 2000. This systematic extermination is regarded as legal and legitimate by Israel’s attorney-general.

In a sane world you’d expect the American and Israeli administrations to be hoist by their own petard, branded as “persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism”, and punished in the same way they seek to punish others.

Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. For further information please visit www.radiofreepalestine.co.uk

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on STUART LITTLEWOOD: REAPING TERROR’S REWARD

WAR CRIMES, AMERICA’S MORAL MELTDOWN

NOVANEWS

September 28, 2010

by Gordon Duff  

MASS KILLINGS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN “WINK AND NOD” ARMY POLICY

By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

Over 40 years ago, I was in Vietnam, part of an American military effort draped with shame and failure.  My Lai was the crowning achievement of the war, nearly 600 women and children mowed down by automatic weapons fire.  The man we know as General Colin Powell helped shove it under a rug.  Lt. Calley,  worse than many of Himmler’s SS executed for war crimes during World War II, became a hero to many Americans.  Killing civilians was “policy” in Vietnam.  You could murder anyone you wanted as long as they could be made to look like enemy combatants.  If you killed them with a knife, even if others held them to the ground, you were awarded a Silver Star.  This isn’t conjecture, I know this to be a fact.

When the Bush Administration sought legal protection from accusations of war crime, shopping the dregs of the legal world and coming up with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, someone willing to sign off on virtually anything, we could see it coming.  We had an administration of “Chickenhawks,” psychotic war mongers who were physical cowards, shirking wartime service through trickery, influence and excuses.  Thus we ended up with a President who claims to have been a National Guard mail clerk in Alabama, missing the 10 years of combat during Vietnam, a war mongering Vice President who piled up student deferments and a Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, who did a short peacetime stint in the Navy.

Congress was worse, with the “war party,” the GOP, lined from one end to the other with draft dodgers.  Their only noticeable veteran was John McCain.  The real mastermind of the Bush Administration was radio host Rush Limbaugh who claims he was rejected for service in Vietnam because of an anal cyst.

What those of us who actually fought in a war knew is that the leadership of the military itself, called by Colonel David Hackworth “the Perfumed Princes of the Pentagon,” was utterly corrupt and bereft of real combat experience, leadership ability and moral character.  That leadership has, if anything, gotten worse.

As our two most recent disastrous wars played out, one seemingly forever, we began with stories of prisoner abuse, kidnappings, torture on a mass scale.  The Wikileaks video showing two Apache helicopter crews murdering unarmed Samaritans was quickly ignored.  In fact, dozens, perhaps hundreds of incidents of criminality have been covered up, the press delightfully complicit, never asking why nothing is done, never asking why the military never calls anyone of rank and power to account.

When reports come in, such as those from FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, that planeloads of narcotics and moved across the world by the US military or we hear that bales of American aid money are being transported out of Afghanistan to, well, we don’t know, do we?  Are we really sure that it isn’t the military itself that is stealing the money, running the drugs, managing the $65 billion dollar a year drug operation in Afghanistan?  Is there any reason, any scrap of proof that can show they aren’t doing it?

When the Bush administration decided to “outsource” the war, “outsource” the CIA, turning a third of our massive defense budget over to political cronies, shouldn’t all of this been expected?

When the American “Taliban,” we can’t call them anything else, Christian Evangelists, read “Christian Zionists,” not really Christians at all, but a distorted, a perverted form of Christianity more science fiction, heavy on apocalypse, heavy on “end times” and very light on real scripture, a “Christ free” version of Christianity, was pushed onto our military, mass killings, drunken orgies, drug use, torture and inhumanity had to be expected.

What is the worst possible situation imaginable?  How could we have found so many wartime cowards to lead a nation during a period of threat?  What was the threat?  Was it real or one concocted by the endless nest of military and intelligence geniuses, best call them what they are, phonies and vermin, the golfing partners of the military industrial complex.

Hadn’t we better admit that we have allowed ourselves to be led into, not only wars, but a total sacrifice of American freedoms and values, entirely for the glorification of cowards, phonies and sociopaths?  Does this seem a bit harsh?

Excuse me for being angry.

Last week, Dr. Aafia, a housewife from Boston who was kidnapped while visiting her father in Pakistan, was convicted of trying to kill several Americans.  She had been in detention, raped and tortured for years.  Were the people she was accused of trying to kill, a totally fictional crime, themselves like the death squads that roam Iraq and Afghanistan, shooting innocent civilians from armored vehicles, helicopters, tossing hand grenades into crowds?

Today we learn that the current murder squad being investigated in Afghanistan operated in Iraq.  This is one such unit, there could be dozens.  Today we learn that the Army knew about this all along, members of these military units that claim they were under threat of death, forced to participate in war crimes, had reported the incidents.

Nothing was done.  ABC News carried the story today, parents were told, the Army was called.

Were hundreds killed?  More?

It is one thing losing a war.  It is one thing seeing America pass laws nullifying our constitution and civil rights.  It is one thing watching so many Americans cheer war crimes, atrocities, injustice, torture.

Imagine how this is going to play out.  Afghanistan has a population between 30 and 40 million.  Pakistan has nearly 200 million people.  They are all going to hear about this.  We spend billions, not millions, not tens or hundreds of millions but billions winning the ‘hearts and minds’ of the people, all so we can be “safe from terrorism.”

What a crock.

We hope people are afraid of us  because if they aren’t, they certainly hate us.  Do people in Pakistan and Afghanistan get afraid?  Don’t we hear, every day, all day long, about how crazy they all are, wanting to blow themselves up?  Are we stopping terrorism by sending Americans over there, so they can be murdered conveniently, none of those phony visas, passports or magic trips through Israeli run airports for them.

Who is ultimately responsible?  The answer is easy, the American people.  All the signs were there.  The 2000 election had a smell about it, the jackals behind the scenes during Iran Contra, you remember that, don’t you?  The Reagan administration?  Whatever you want to call it, it was our government getting into the “crack” business and, as a sideline, peddling arms to Iran, you know, missiles and such, by the shipload.

Oh, you forgot?

It wasn’t more than a few months before we got 9/11, the largest coordinated attack on America in its history, confounding our air defenses, intelligence services, even the laws of physics were violated.  Learn what you can do when defense contractors own TV networks.


YouTube – Veterans Today –

There is another aspect of “war crimes” we have missed, how it allows the public to blame veterans.  40 years after Vietnam, most of that army is dead, endless numbers dying soon after the war, suicide, diseases, so many diseases, the reasons, we will never know.

Nobody cared, nobody cares.

With half the survivors of Vietnam, what few are still around, sick and dying, congress talks about little else other than trying to get out of paying medical expenses for their lingering deaths caused by Agent Orange poisoning.  The Gulf War vets are having identical experiences.

Our new vets, well, you can read about them every day.  Today they are mass murderers.  Yesterday they were killing their families.  Maybe when they get out of prison or the insane asylums, they can all join service organizations and drink, smoke and talk about the war while planning bingo and pancake suppers.

Or, they can buy motorcycle gang attire and ride around Washington pushing for new wars so others can die slowly like they did, like their fathers did.

Is this how it really is?

When did America get the idea that the only way to be “safe” was to make the entire world fear it?  How did that work out for ancient Rome?  As soon as things got a bit dicey, money got tight, political trouble set it, the barbarians descended on the Empire like locusts.  This is where the Dark Ages came from, you remember them, don’t you?

When the barbarians sacked Rome in 476 AD, there was nobody left to defend it.  Everyone had gone, died off, whatever people do after becoming useless.

The parallels between Rome and the United States are not minor ones, not anymore.  America has offended and alienated the entire world.  Our only hope is sinking hopelessly in debt to finance war after war, all fought with armies that are crumbling around us.

Was this the plan all along?  America is certainly an empire, albeit a failed one, with troops stationed around the world.  I still love joking with German friends how they have been occupied for 65 years.  They are doing well by it, money to burn, prestige and vast economic power while the United States sits, broke, broken and facing continual rumors of civil war or Balkanization.  You haven’t heard that?  Listen to the news, what do you think all this means?

Who do we blame?  Our entertainment industry has worked hard to foster fear and hatred, to keep America on a permanent war footing.  Of course that same industry is controlled by a small nuclear power in the Middle East with delusional dreams of world conquest.

They control the news also, prettymuch all of it.  We can’t forget this factor, not at all.  We aren’t just going crazy on our own, we have professional psychotics helping us every step along the way.

Are we simply supposed to stop fighting for America?  Maybe is that a wrong question.  Were we really fighting “for” America at all?  David Ray Griffin, in his new book, Cognitive Infiltration, makes a case that the “attacks” America supposedly responded to after  9/11 couldn’t possibly have come from the Arab world.  Imagine, if you will, December 7, 1941.  Buy Griffin’s book.  Read it.  “Grow a pair.”

What if, after the Pearl Harbor attack, the US invaded Canada?

This was 9/11.

What can we expect?  Billions have been spent, thankfully not our tax dollars, but privately, to get Americans to hate Islam and to force Islam to fear and hate America.  Thank that same “special country” for this.  They have a plan.  It involves America “going away” as soon as possible.  It seems to be working very well for them.

What America can’t expect is leadership, civilian, military, economic, anything.  That time is gone.  We are in an age of gangsterism, we don’t build, we steal, we don’t defend, we torture and brutalize.

How do you know if you are part of it?  Do you watch the news?  Are you enraged because they tell you to be enraged or are you enraged because you know you are being lied to?

What is the difference between a human and a beast?  Is there a difference at all?  At one time, some saw religion as the defining difference except that half the killing, maybe most of the killing in our history has been driven by religion.  Certainly the moral meltdown we now suffer is a result of the “Talibanization” of Christianity.

A majority of Americans who consider themselves “religious” favor torturing innocent people.  No, these are the poll results.  You can’t make up stuff like this.  This was how witch hunts worked.  What we used to do here in America, we used “faith based” initiatives to test the guilt of suspects.  If you held a guilty person under water, they would survive.  Then you burned them alive.

If you held an innocent person under water, they drowned, dead….

This is how we work now, exactly.  This is what Americans, at least those who profess religious affiliations, demand of our government and they are getting it.  Was that marriage between Christian Zionism and our military leadership fostered by Cheney and Rumsfeld, really meant to be more a political ploy than real religion, a mistake or were things supposed to end up like they have?

This is who we have become.

How is it working out for you?

Posted in USAComments Off on WAR CRIMES, AMERICA’S MORAL MELTDOWN

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