Archive | October 20th, 2010

REPRESENTATION DILEMMA IN MILITARISTIC SOCIETIES

NOVANEWS


http://www.kvinnatillkvinna.se/en/representation-dilemma-in-militaristic-societies

Slava Greenberg from Isha L’Isha. Photo: Linda Forsell.

Pushing for women to become police officers, soldiers and politicians is wrong in militaristic societies like Israel , maintains Slava Greenberg, project manager and coordinator at the Isha L’Isha organisation. Therefore, in their work they have chosen to ignore certain parts of UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

At a recent women’s conference in Mexico, Slava Greenberg was asked, on behalf of Isha L’Isha, to sign the UN proclamation Say No – Unite, on violence against women. The proclamation is based on Resolution 1325 and stresses the importance of women’s representation at peace talks, within the police and military, and in decision-making positions.

– I’m aware of its importance in other parts of the world – such as in India where peaceful police squads put a stop to violence against women in conflict zones – but such a demand on us would be devastating. We already have women in the police service and army, in most positions normally held by men. This does not correspond in any way to our dream of change. We don’t want the army to exist at all, she says.

Instead she advocates feminist movements using and adapting parts of Resolution 1325 that are most beneficial for their specific work. To further strengthen her line of reasoning she mentions the committee that was appointed to investigate the boarding of the Ship to Gaza convoy. Another women’s organisation has appealed against the composition of the committee to the Supreme Court, demanding that a woman be included in compliance with 1325.

– We had a lengthy discussion on this within Isha L’Isha and decided not to have any part in the appeal, Slava Greenberg explains, and went on to saying that the woman appointed should be somebody with a broad consensus among the Israeli Jewish community or have some form of military experience.

– We don’t think that this committee will change anything, or take any responsibility whatsoever for what happened, she says.

In the early 2000s Isha L’Isha worked intensively to spread awareness of Resolution 1325 in Israeli society through various campaigns. They showed that the conflict has a gender perspective and that women lacked decision-making positions. In 2005 the organisation drew up a shadow report to the UN on the situation of women in Israel and an index of 200 women from different sectors and positions in society in order to highlight the competence that was claimed to be lacking.

– It was during this process that we realised that we were facing a dilemma. Not all women wish to be part of a military environment or to represent Israel at the negotiating table, and not all women have the perspective to promote peace and gender equality. From that moment we began focusing on human security and diverted from the narrow interpretation of Resolution 1325.

This insight led to the organisation arranging an alternative conference together with the Coalition of Women for Peace under the title of “Security for Whom?” during which they presented an alternative to Israel ’s military security discourse.

Isha L’Isha no longer sees lobbying and legislation as being effective. Instead they have begun interpreting 1325 in a more flexible manner and have found usable parts of the resolution such as, for example, women in peace movements, women in conflict zones and women’s rights activists, and strive to empower feminists within the framework of civil society. They also shape opinion for their view on representation in relation to appeals, such as the case with Ship to Gaza .

– We believe that there should exist different forms of representation for different women, that diversity among women should be represented so that it is not always the same white upper class women involved, says Slava Greenberg.

In ten years time she hopes for the feminist peace movement to be more visible and for civil society as a whole working towards peace. In order for the alternative view of security that Isha L’Isha stands for to have an impact, she realises that certain insights are required.

– People need to be made aware of the benefits of living in the world that we’re talking about and what they are losing in the current situation. As well as being unnecessary and immoral, the siege of Gaza swallows up resources that could be put to better use in health care and education, says Slava Greenberg.

Isha L’Isha is one of the leading actors against human trafficking in Israel , offers legal advice and psychosocial support to vulnerable women, and are opinion-formers towards the general public and public authorities on issues concerning women’s participation and rights.

Jenny Rönngren
Freelance Journalist

 

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on REPRESENTATION DILEMMA IN MILITARISTIC SOCIETIES

DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER

  • NOVANEWS

Dear Friends,

First off, an apology.  I got my Gideons mixed up yesterday.  The person initiating the law to prohibit East Jerusalem Palestinians from being tourist guides is Gideon Ezra, not Gideon Saar.  The two are much alike in their thinking and policies, but are nevertheless 2 different persons.  Sorry.

Below are 2 reports, 3 partial reports, and one item consisting of 2 brief letters—6 items all told.  The abbreviated items contain the links, should you wish to read the whole.

I find the initial item very disturbing.  Several years back (in 2006) the then Israeli Minister of Education, Yuli Tamir, expressed her intention to reinstate the ‘green line’ (the 1949 armistice line) on maps in textbooks. Her proposal caused such a ruckus in the Knesset that she had to back down. 

[for more on the story see Akiva Eldar ‘Putting back the green line—once we can find it’

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/putting-back-the-green-line-once-we-find-it-1.206551, and  ‘PM Olmert backs Tamir proposal to add green line to textbooks’ http://www.haaretz.com/news/pm-olmert-backs-tamir-proposal-to-add-green-line-to-textbooks-1.206288]   

In the same vein as the uproar she faced, students at Tel Hai College were upset this year to find marked on a calendar distributed to them 3 dates commemorating Palestinian events.  

It’s not that the events did not happen.  Israeli Jews simply don’t want to publicize them or to know about them.  Israel’s history must remain clean and reflect only the Zionist or nationalist narrative. 

This is worse than the uproar that Tamir caused, because that was largely by politicians and Knesset members, whereas students are more likely to represent the thinking of the general public. 

And so it goes, friends.  As I said yesterday, we are speeding towards a repeat of Nuremberg, but with Jews now playing the parts of those who formed the Nuremberg laws. 

Item 2 reports on the continuation of the Corrie trial tomorrow, and reveals that the main witnesses of the event that killed the Corrie’s daughter, Rachel, will give testimony behind a screen.  The courts–the municiple court and the Supreme Court, to which the Corries appealed–care more for the supposed security of the man who drove the bulldozer over Rachel  than having him face his victim’s parents. 

There were 3 drivers that day, all told.  The screen will hide all 3 (one of whom testified on October 7).  I should perhaps add that the summary of the October 7th session that I distributed had one important omission.  My spouse caught it after I had sent the report.  There is in the area (or was?) a camera that operates 24 hours a day and has the potential to rotate 360 degrees.  For some reason that was not convincingly explained, the camera did not operate the 5 hours during which the crucial events, including Rachel’s murder, were taking place. 

Of course it is also possible that the camera was operating and did focus on what was happening, but that this part of the film somehow or other disappeared!?!  This is the kind of thing that the Corries are up against.

Items 3, 5, and 6 are merely extractions—3 relates that there is at present no majority in the Knesset in favor of the loyalty oath.  Let’s hope that remains the case when the bill actually comes up for a vote. But I wouldn’t bet on it.  5 is about olive picking in Palestine.  I have extracted the most important points of this piece, namely the number of olive trees that Israel has uprooted the past 10 years.  Item 6 informs us that the US is selling Saudi Arabia $60 billion in arms—exactly what is needed in this area!  Of course the deal is not to be carried out over night.  It is expected to last 15-20 years.  Just imagine–were such sums used for medical research how much progress could be made!

Item 4 contains 2 letters to the editor of the Guardian. The letters respond to an article or letter that apparently praised the Jewish National Fund.  The 2 letters (neither very long) set things straight.

All the best,

Dorothy

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

1. Ynet,

October 20, 2010

Student Protest

     Uproar at Tel Hai College: Nakba marked on calendar

Students return identity cards after finding out college calendar marks Palestinian commemoration days. ‘What’s next? Will they mark Six-Day War as national occupation day?’ One of them asks

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3972371,00.html

Tomer Velmer

Students at the Tel Hai Academic College discovered Wednesday that Nakba Day, Land Day and a day commemorating the Arab-Israelis killed during the October 2000 events are marked on the Student Union’s calendar. 

On Nakba Day Palestinians commemorate the ‘catastrophe’ of Israel’s inception in 1948, while Land Day commemorates the Israeli government’s announcement in 1976 of a plan to expropriate thousands of dunams of land for security and settlement purposes.”

The outraged students returned their student cards as an act of protest and said, “It cannot be that in a community which symbolizes Zionism the symbols of Israel’s enemies are sanctified.” 

Thousands of students at Tel-Hai received the calendar as a gift from the Student Union for the beginning of the academic year. “I was sitting in class with some friends, and out of boredom we looked through the calendar. We came across a page in which Nakba Day was marked proudly, as if it were the Jewish New Year or Passover eve,” said one of the students. “It was so bizarre that at first we didn’t comprehend what we were seeing.”

Page marking memorial day for student killed during October 2000 events

Nelson Mandela’s statement, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others” was written under “Nakba Day,” leading the protesting students to believe that the Palestinian days of commemoration were purposely marked on the calendar.

“As students we have no problem with any political affiliation, and the calendar should of course include dates that are important to all religions, but marking the Palestinian commemoration days is disrespectful and shames the State of Israel,” another student said. 

“What’s next? Will they mark the Six Day War as the ‘Day of national occupation’? There are those in our college who are ashamed of our Zionist identity, but we are proud to be studying in Yosef Trumpeldor’s community,” he added. 

Zeev Greenberg, dean of students at Tel Hai College, said the chairman of the Student Union was not aware that the Palestinian days of commemoration were marked in the calendar. 

“The union was told that if another such incident repeats itself the college will stop funding it,” he stressed. 

The Student Union expressed regret over the “unfortunate mishap,” but added, “We represent the entire student body at the college, Arabs and Jews alike, and therefore it was important for us to mark the holidays of all the students who are enrolled here.” 

The Student Union said the calendar was produced off campus, adding that it did not sanction the addition of the Palestinian commemoration days to the calendar.

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

2.  The Guardian,

October 20, 2010

Rachel Corrie case: Israeli soldier to testify anonymously

Family criticises decision to allow soldier who drove bulldozer that killed daughter to give evidence from behind screen

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/20/rachel-corrie-case-soldier-anonymous

 Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem

[to see photo, use link] American peace activist Rachel Corrie being interviewed in the Rafah refugee camp in Gaza Strip a few days before she was killed by a bulldozer. Photograph: Getty Images

The Israeli soldier at the controls of a bulldozer that crushed to death 23-year-old Rachel Corrie in Gaza in March 2003 is due to give evidence tomorrow in the civil lawsuit brought by the American activist’s family.

However the judge hearing the case in Haifa has ruled that, for security reasons, the soldier can testify anonymously from behind a screen, denying Cindy and Craig Corrie the opportunity to face the man who directly caused their daughter’s death.

Israel’s supreme court refused to hear an appeal by the family challenging the judge’s ruling. However, the unit commander in charge that day will testify in full view of the court as his identity is already known.

“I’ll be grateful at least to be able to hear [the bulldozer driver’s] words but I won’t get the complete picture and I’ll be disappointed by that,” Cindy Corrie said in an interview in Jerusalem last week.

“They’ve said it’s the security of the witnesses they are trying to protect. I can understand it would be uncomfortable for the soldiers to have to see us, but I can’t understand how our family is a threat to their security.”

Corrie, from Olympia, Washington state, was killed while attempting to protect the home of a Palestinian family in the Rafah area of Gaza from being demolished by Israeli troops seven and a half years ago. A posthumous book and play based on the graphic and moving emails she wrote to friends and family made her an iconic figure.

An internal Israeli military investigation, which was never published nor released to the US government or the Corries, concluded that the bulldozer driver had not seen Rachel and that no charges would be brought. The case was closed.

The family brought a civil case – “absolutely our last resort” – against the state of Israel, which opened in March this year and is expected to conclude early next year. Among the early witnesses was a fellow activist, Briton Richard Purssell, who described how Corrie disappeared from view under the advancing bulldozer.

The driver’s evidence will be a key moment in the case but the Corrie family has been careful not to invest too much in his evidence. “While the driver is very important, to me he is not the only person who has responsibility,” said Cindy Corrie. “Responsibility is shared with a lot of people. My focus isn’t entirely on the driver.”

Sarah Corrie Simpson, Rachel’s older sister, said: “Ultimately the individual had the ability to stop that act. However if you only hold responsible the individual, you’re losing the broader context of what’s going on. You have to look at the chain of command and what sort of orders were being given at that time.”

The family, while wanting an acceptable end to their battle for justice, was wary of the concept of closure. “It’s hard to conceive of that,” said Craig Corrie. “People talk about it, but it’s real hard to define what closure would be when you’ve lost a child, lost a little sister.”

Sarah Corrie Simpson said closure was difficult to define: “I’m not sure how you ever get to a place where you even feel close to that when you know there are people out there on the other end of what happened to Rachel, and you’ve never even been able to see their faces. Mum talks about being able to see the humanity of the person that was on the other end – and now the majority of soldiers will get to testify behind a screen, and that takes that away from us.”

At the very least, the family hoped their legal battle would shine a light on the Israeli Defence Force’s (IDF) investigative process.

Cindy Corrie said if the IDF were, as it claimed, the most moral army in the world, “they should be willing to look at a system that is much more transparent than what exists right now”.

Last month, a colonel responsible for writing operating manuals for military bulldozers, testified that there were no civilians in a war zone.

Cindy Corrie said: “It’s a window, hearing that coming from these people, a real window into the mindset – and it’s very, very concerning. And I think every Israeli should be really concerned.”

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

3.  Haaretz,

October 20, 2010

No Knesset majority for loyalty oath for Jews and non-Jews

Only 56 of 120 MKs say they support the bill requiring Jews and non-Jews alike to pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state; Justice Minister: I’ll quit if loyalty oath applies only to non-Jews.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/no-knesset-majority-for-loyalty-oath-for-jews-and-non-jews-1.320116

By Jonathan Lis

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

4. The Guardian,

20 October 2010

Letters

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/20/why-jnf-plants-israeli-forests

Why the Jewish National Fund plants forests in Israel 

If diplomats are virtuous men sent abroad to lie for their country (Henry Wotton), what is Samuel Hayek of the Jewish National Fund’s excuse (Letters, 16 October)? The JNF’s focus, from the day it was established, was to purchase land for Jewish settlers and to alienate it from the Arab peasants who tilled the land. When Hayek writes that the JNF’s work “is not based on any political or religious affiliation”, he is either being disingenuous or he has not read the JNF’s own entry on the Charity Commission website, which states that its objects include the “such charitable purposes as benefit persons of Jewish religion, race or origin”.

When the supreme court ruled in the Ka’adan case that the Israeli Lands Authority (and so the JNF) could not refuse to lease land to non-Jews, the JNF lobbied for a new law, which passed its first reading by four to one in the Knesset in 2007. The bill included a clause stating that “the leasing of JNF lands for the purpose of settling Jews will not be seen as unacceptable discrimination”.

Last week the “unrecognised” Bedouin village (Jewish villages are never unrecognised) of Arakib in the Negev was demolished for the seventh time in order that the JNF could begin planting its forests. This is not sustainable development but colonial expansion at the expense of the indigenous populaton. If Hayek doesn’t believe the JNF’s behaviour is racist, what would he say about a British National Fund that refused to rent or lease its land to British Jews?

Tony Greenstein

Brighton

• Samuel Hayek portrays the Jewish National Fund as humanitarian and politically neutral, supporting incontestably worthwhile projects such as planting trees to develop the environment of Israel. It’s true that millions of trees were planted by the JNF in Israel in the 1950s and 1960s using donations from diaspora Jews. The narrative promoted by the JNF was that a barren, rocky land was being turned into a green oasis.

As a child in the 1950s, I eagerly contributed to this project, donating my weekly “charity money” to JNF-sponsored fundraising activities at my synagogue school. I have certificates to show that trees were planted in Israel in my name. But when I visited Israel years later, I realised the darker purpose of the massive tree-planting project. I found many wooded parks planted on the sites of Arab villages razed to the ground by Jewish militias in 1947-48.

Mr Hayek is right: JNF-sponsored tree-planting transformed the landscape ecologically. I now know that the programme of tree-planting was used to transform the landscape in a more political and historical sense as well, to render invisible any trace of the previous inhabitants. Mr Hayek’s claim that the JNF supports the population of Israel, whatever their background, represents (to use his own words) “a distortion of the truth on the grandest of scales”.

Dr Barry Stierer

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

5.   Al Jazeera Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Olives – A Palestinian family affair

http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2010/10/20/olives-palestinian-family-affair

By Nour Odeh in  Middle East

This product [olves] is part of the Palestinians’ identity and history; an element in their collective memory, despite their reality of exile. This is why patriotic rhetoric, writings, poems, and songs abound with reference to olive trees and their stubborn roots, deeply planted in the earth – able to resist and survive.

But this important commodity is one of the most battered sectors of the economy.

In the past 10 years alone, Israel has uprooted approximately 1.2 million fruit-bearing trees, most of them olives. Israel has also confiscated tens of thousands of hectares of Palestinian land as part of its illegal settlement expansion practice and wall building. This means that thousands of Palestinian farmers have been barred or severely restricted from accessing their olive groves.

Employing an intricate and ever-changing system of permits and movement restrictions, Israeli occupation authorities control when and for how long a Palestinian farmer can access his grove to plant, plough the field, or harvest his crop.

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

6. Haaretz,

October 20, 2010

No Knesset majority for loyalty oath for Jews and non-Jews

Only 56 of 120 MKs say they support the bill requiring Jews and non-Jews alike to pledge allegiance to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state; Justice Minister: I’ll quit if loyalty oath applies only to non-Jews.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/no-knesset-majority-for-loyalty-oath-for-jews-and-non-jews-1.320116

By Jonathan Lis

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

6.  Haaretz,

October 20, 2010

U.S. announces $60b arms sale to Saudi Arabia, says ‘Israel doesn’t object’

Official Andrew Shapiro says U.S. consulted with Israel over course of sealing deal, which includes 84 new Boeing F-15 aircraft and 70 upgrades of existing Saudi F-15s.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-announces-60b-arms-sale-to-saudi-arabia-says-israel-doesn-t-object-1.320307

By Natasha Mozgovaya

 

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER

ATTACK ON USS LIBERTY A HOUSEHOLD WORD

NOVANEWS

JIM CONDIT Jr: Help Make Attack on USS Liberty a Household Word

October 20, 2010

by Gordon Duff   

USS Liberty

WHY IS A STRAFED LIFE RAFT FROM THE USS LIBERTY IN AN ISRAELI MUSEUM

Attack on the USS Liberty by Israel an Offense to All Americans

By Jim Condit Jr., Candidate for Congress, Ohio 8th District Constitution Party for Veterans Today

Is it possible to break the censorship NOW around the attack on the USS Liberty in 1968, and its implications today?  Yes.  Utilizing the little known Reasonable Access Law, I, as a congressional candidate, have been airing radio ads over major talk show stations in the Midwest since October 8th, 2010. 

Editor’s note: Jim Condit is the only candidate for ANY public office in the United States standing up for the crew of the USS Liberty.


YouTube – Veterans Today –

Here is the text of the radio ad:

Jim Condit Radio Ad on USS LIBERTY

Phil Tourney, in his new book,  “What I Saw That Day”,  documents his horrific experiences when Israel deliberately attacked the USS Liberty in June, 1967,  killing 34 brave US Sailors, and wounding 174.

Israel tried to sink the Liberty, blame Egypt, and trick the US into attacking the Arab world. But our sailors radioed that ISRAEL was attacking them.  They kept the ship afloat and foiled the plot.

Evidence indicates that pro-Israeli traitors also engineered the 911 attacks against the USA;  to trick us into fighting wars for them and accepting police state measures here at home.  This same group is using Obama to attempt a Communist takeover of our country.

This is Jim Condit Jr. Phil Tourney himself is my guest Sunday night at 10 PM on 55krc. That’s 10 PM, Sunday on, 55krc.

And see  “Shock Therapy for the Tea Party” video at TheRestOfTheStory2010.com – Paid for by Jim Condit Jr. for Congress.

Shock Therapy for the Tea Party at TheRestOfTheStory2010.com

END OF TEXT OF RADIO AD

You can hear the radio ad at our website, www.TheRestOfTheStory2010.com – and there you can help us air these ads.  We are also able to air Sunday night radio shows for one hour at 10 PM eastern time on WKRC (550 AM), which carries Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, etc.

Anyone in the world can listen to our live shows with Phil Tourney by going to www.55krc.com at 10 PM eastern on Sunday night.  Our remaining shows as of this date will run on October 24th and October 31st.

Veterans Today editor Gordon Duff will be appearing on the radio show with Phil Tourney on October 31st

Consider these following reasons why this strategy is so powerful:

  • USS LibertyA little known law, the Reasonable Access Law, requires stations to carry the radio ads of congressional candidates on FCC-licensed stations without alteration or censorship. This law was passed by Congress in the 1970s, and was upheld by the courts in Becker vs. the FCC in 1996.

  • At night, between midnight and 5 AM EST, WLW (700 AM) is one of those “Clear Channel” stations that gets to turn its power up, allowing them to reach 38 states and half of Canada. This is the time slot for the American Truckin’ Network, which attracts truckers nationwide. Through 700 WLW in these overnight hours — we have a tremendous chance to make the attack on the USS Liberty a household world amongst truckers in 38 states and half of Canada.

  • During the day, WLW reaches 150,000 to 300,000 people in their cars and homes between noon and 6 PM.

  • By the way, I am running for Congress against Republican incumbent John Boehner and his democratic opponent in the 8th District of Ohio. Congressmen Boehner refuses to initiate a proper inquiry into the attack on the USS Liberty. He shares this shameful distinction with all major congressional leaders and all US Presidents since 1968.

  • Based on this “pilot program” in 2010, I hope to recruit 70 to 90 Americans to run as a congressional candidate in each of the major media centers in this country in 2012. This dynamic strategy could reach 30 million people by then.

Needless to say the USS Liberty is a sensitive issue. I am 1/4th Italian – and Sicilian Italian at that. Just as only a tiny fraction of Italians were in the Mafia, so only a tiny fraction of Jews are driving the Zionist organizations that are a major part of the impetus behind so many problems today. It was not anti-Italian to try and break the evil influence of the Mafia several decades ago. And it is not anti-Semitic to try and break the evil influence of the Zionists organizations today.

400 people going to www.TheRestOfTheStory2010.com and donating $25 to our radio ads campaign for the USS Liberty would help us achieve saturation advertising in an important part of the Midwest during the last 7 days of this 2010 campaign. 

Working together, we can make the attack on the USS Liberty and its implications a topic of discussion in households all over the USA. This will provide a springboard for Americans to understand and reevaluate what is happening in our world today.  Remember the USS Liberty.

 

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THE TRUE SIGNIFICANCE OF AHMADINEJAD’S LEBANON VISIT

NOVANEWS

October 20, 2010

by Debbie Menon 

By Alistair Crooke  ( Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran )

Our friend and colleague, Alastair Crooke, founder and director of the Beirut-based Conflicts Forum, has written the following post about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon.  We heartily commend it to our readers’ attention.

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

Firstly, let us put to one side the nonsense: The President of Iran’s visit was not about embedding Lebanon as a part of the Iranian state, nor was it about paving the way for any Hizbullah ‘take-over’ of Lebanon; and nor can the visit be described as a ‘provocation’. It was of course self-evidently intended to express defiance towards Israeli military hegemony and to assert a stand of counter-deterrence to any Israeli military threat, but that it is very different from an ‘act of provocation’ deliberately intended to draw an Israeli response.  All these claims for the purpose of the visit are just a part of the psychological warfare mounted against Iran, and can be ignored.

The visit was, in fact, a State visit. The Iranian President was formally invited by the Maronite Christian President of Lebanon some while ago. Iran is a prominent regional state, just as Turkey is – whose Prime Minister happens to be visiting Beirut today.

Iran’s popularity on the streets should not surprise anyone.  It is real, and it is heartfelt – and extends beyond the Shi’i of the south of Beirut.  Having been present here in Beirut throughout the war of 2006, I experienced the almost universal shock at how leaders and so-called ‘friends of Lebanon’ such as Tony Blair and Condoleezza Rice tried to fend-off and delay a ceasefire – in order to allow Israel more time to ‘finish the job’, i.e. to destroy more bridges, more infrastructure and impose civilian casualties – as our ‘price’ to be paid for Hizbullah’s seizure of Israeli soldiers.

Feelings here are still raw on this point, and all sectors of opinion know that the only real support for Lebanon in those dark hours came from Syria and Iran.  Unsurprisingly, there was a direct element of gratitude in expression to Iran in recent days both for the support then, and its subsequent economic assistance to repair the damage.

But this does not constitute the deeper significance of the welcome extended to the representative of Iran in Lebanon – Lebanon, the bellweather of the wider politics of the Middle East.  It goes beyond a belated ‘thank-you’.

In May this year, Zbig Brezezinski gave a brief talk at the Council for Foreign Relations (CFR) in Montreal.  He told his audience that there were two factors shaping global politics in the world today. The first, he said was that “for the first time in all of human history, mankind is politically awakened and stirring”, adding that “all over the world people were aware of what was happening politically and are “consciously aware of global inequities, inequalities, lack of respect, and of exploitation”.

His second point was that the élites that rule us are less united and more diversified than before (he gave the transition of the G8 into the G20 as example); the élite is both less homogeneous and less restrained by adherence to traditional values and culture; the consequence of this is a more surveilled, and a more controlled society, Brzezinski has written.

On this latter point, Brzezinski is echoing the warnings of Michael Young’s (1958) ‘The Rise of the Meritocracy’ whereby a social revolution was shaping by ‘sieving people according to education’s narrow band of values’ and a new [élite] created, which – at least until recently – saw their position in society and their individual ‘lifestyles’ as validation of their ‘ability’ and ‘talent’; but who saw those who were excluded, merely as symptoms of others’ personal weakness, lacking and failure.

It scarcely needs adding that such a description is not confined to the élites of the West:  The ultra-rich, narcissitic and disdainful élites of the Middle East are as just as divorced from the rest of humanity, and just as exploitative and in love with themselves as any member of the Wall Street űberclass.

When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Hassan Nasrallah quote Imam Ali (the son-in-law of The Prophet)’s dictum that Muslims should be the ‘friend of the oppressed; and enemies of the oppressor’, or speak of western ‘double-standards’, New York Times sophisticates may sneer at this talk as ‘all hat and no cattle’; but they simply miss the point.

Simplistic to some, perhaps – Islamist movements and Iranian leaders do harp continuously on just those global inequities, inequalities, lack of respect and of exploitation to which Brzezinski attributes the unprecedented political ‘awakening’. The tables are turned: as the values of ‘the market’ and the secular liberal world order appear increasingly hollow to those who see in it only privilege, disparity of wealth and self-enriching self-interest, the language of resistance and defiance of western political and business élites, who style themselves as ‘the international community’ of course resonates deeply in a Middle East that is ‘awakening politically’ and ‘stirring’.

This, it should be understood, is the underlying dynamic to the shift in the strategic balance of the Middle East and to the emergence of an ‘resistance axis’ to that very that very élite dominated ‘world order’ and its systems of control imposed upon societies. The élites fear this awakening; and are determined to ensure its failure.

In short Islam – particularly Shi’i Islam – is taking over the clothes of the European early Renaissance (before the Enlightenment); Islam stands, for many Muslims, for a humanism and a respect for justice, human dignity and defiance of tyranny that Europe once espoused.  Of course, few in the West will see it in these terms: they have been too busy creating an inverted mirror image of what they perceive still to be western ‘virtues’ – and call it Iranian ‘theocracy’.

The significance of President Ahmadinejad’s visit was the popular articulation of this awakening, and the profound struggle ahead that it portends – more than just a signal of gratitude to an Iranian President.

Alastair Crooke—former British intelligence agent, European Union adviser in the Middle East, and founder of the Beirut-based Conflicts Forum


Watch Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter’s analysis, although old, it is worth listening to again:

Israel’s influence of US policy & the Israeli lobby

 
YouTube – Veterans Today –


Related post:

America is a state of mind

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on THE TRUE SIGNIFICANCE OF AHMADINEJAD’S LEBANON VISIT

A LETTER FROM DANIEL McGOWAN(DYR) TO FOXMAN(ADL)

NOVANEWS
A Letter from Daniel McGowan (DYR) to Abraham Foxman (ADL)
 
October 20, 2010
 

  • October 19, 2010

Mr. Abraham Foxman 

Dear Mr. Foxman:

We were quite disappointed to have not qualified for your so-called Top Ten Anti-Israel Groups in America

Surely our annual commemorations since 1995 of the Deir Yassin massacre by Jewish terrorists on April 9, 1948 should have warranted inclusion in your top ten.  Some of our commemorations have even taken place at Deir Yassin in clear sight of the Children’s Museum at Yad Vashem.  You may like to review footage of one of them at http://video.google.com

While for you that should have been outrageous enough, our books, websites, lectures, vigils, and especially our scholarship program should surely have brought us into your top-ten.  Perhaps you have seen our newest video?  No need to buy a copy; you may view it for free at http://vimeo.com/15528714

And need I remind you of our website honoring Jews (and former Jews) who believe in one state with equal rights of citizenship for all?  RighteousJews.org is growing as more and more people see that in spite of all the lives and money lost in the name of Zionism, Israel today is no more a Jewish state than was South Africa a White state under its apartheid regime.

We note that your list also ignores the persistent, indomitable work of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends in Ann Arbor Michigan.  This group of mainly Jews has led weekly vigils in front of the local synagogue for over 7 seven years to protest the criminality of Zionism and the distortion of prophetic Judaism that organizations like yours foment endlessly.  

 Kindly notice that our Board consists of Jews and non-Jews.  We are neither anti-Semitic nor self-hating, but we do oppose Jewish supremacy and we support human rights for all people living in Israel/Palestine.

Sincerely,

Daniel McGowan

Executive Director

Posted in USAComments Off on A LETTER FROM DANIEL McGOWAN(DYR) TO FOXMAN(ADL)

A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS


Who knew that occupation caused Muslims to hate us?

20 Oct 2010

Robert Pape tells us what we should already know. When the West occupies and kill Muslims, they may want to respond in kind. Funny that:

More than 95 percent of all suicide attacks are in response to foreign occupation, according to extensive research that we conducted at the University of Chicago’s Project on Security and Terrorism, where we examined every one of the over 2,200 suicide attacks across the world from 1980 to the present day. As the United States has occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, which have a combined population of about 60 million, total suicide attacks worldwide have risen dramatically — from about 300 from 1980 to 2003, to 1,800 from 2004 to 2009. Further, over 90 percent of suicide attacks worldwide are now anti-American. The vast majority of suicide terrorists hail from the local region threatened by foreign troops, which is why 90 percent of suicide attackers in Afghanistan are Afghans.

Myopic Jews berate IAJV for caring about human rights

20 Oct 2010

Following the Australia-wide advertisement by Independent Australian Jewish Voices (IAJV) calling for a more open debate over Israel/Palestine, the following letters have appeared in the Australian Jewish News over the last weeks:

What a dismay to find Independent Australian Jewish Voices’ advertisement in last week’s AJN.

We do live in a democracy where anyone has freedom of expression. However, it is beyond comprehension that this group could even suggest deconstructing vital security systems designed to keep Israel as safe as possible. The very idea that they would ask us to pressure the Australian government with their views is ill-conceived. Such pressures can only incite further anti-Semitism. The protective policies have been designed to safe-guard their relatives who have chosen to live in Israel.

Israel is not just a memorial to the Holocaust as implied in the ad. Israel stands for the present and future existential future existence of the Jewish people. Israel cannot afford the luxury of complacency. It must stay vigilant. Our turbulent past has taught us that.

Rosie Hersch
Brighton East, Vic

“ENOUGH is enough”. This is the title of a large advertisement in The Australian, signed by the Independent Australian Jewish Voices (IAJV).

Now I am returning the same title to them. Everybody is entitled to their opinions, but to advertise it in newspapers is to me a cowardly way to do so.
It has been shown on TV many times how people on the flotilla attacked the Israeli soldiers with iron bars and other tools. They were warned in advance that they were in foreign waters and that they should turn back. One of their answers was: “Jews, go back to Auschwitz”. Didn’t the members of the IAJV notice it? I wonder how would they react in such a situation.

With the rise of the anti-Semitism around the world, does embattled Israel need this?
Only citizens who live in their own country have the right to criticise it. Why do those academics not advertise Israel’s courageous medical achievements in Haiti, or the fact that this tiny country accepted refugees from Darfur, or that Israel’s army is the only army in the world that tried to warn their enemies about forthcoming bombardments? I do not recall Hamas doing so before sending rockets to Sderot.

My Jewishness has always been and will remain to be a source of pride, in spite of the fact that I lived through the Holocaust and lost my entire family.

Helen Lepere
Elsternwick, Vic
 

Invade, beg, pay

20 Oct 2010

Is the British rule that massive aid to poor countries can mostly come after a disastrous Western invasion and occupation?

Britain is to double to £3.8bn the amount of aid money spent on war-torn countries such as Afghanistan, raising fears among charities that national security priorities will determine development spending.

As David Cameron warned that Britain would be “mad” not to direct money to broken states, Save the Children warned that poor, but stable, countries in Africa might lose vital funds as the new National Security Council prioritises aid spending. Patrick Watt, Save the Children’s director of development, said last night: “What is the real driver of aid allocation? Is it poverty, is it need and the ability to use money effectively or is it the agenda of the National Security Council? We do need to have a balanced approach to aid allocation that reflects the principles of the 2002 International Development Act which stipulates that all aid should be for poverty reduction.”

An Oxfam policy adviser also expressed concerns about aid being delivered through “military structures” that could risk civilian aid workers.

The row broke out after the government decided, in the strategic defence and security review, to double by 2014 the £1.9bn that is spent on what are known as “fragile and conflicted states”. This echoes the thinking of Andrew Mitchell, the international development secretary, who told the Guardian in January: “We would build on what [the Department for International Development] is today and make it even more successful and perhaps wire it in a little bit better into the Whitehall constellation.”

It is understood that the government is planning to narrow the list of priority fragile countries, which currently includes Nigeria and Kenya, to just five. They are expected to be Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Iraq.

 

Back on ABC TV News24 talking Afghanistan, drugs policy and 9/11

20 Oct 2010

I appeared again last night on ABC TV News 24 The Drum with former politician Kerry Chikarovski and ABC journalist Chris Uhlmann (previous appearances here). The show is available here for two weeks.

We discussed Australia’s role in Afghanistan and whether the country should maintain troops there. It appears that the US alliance and “national security” reasons are enough for an open-ended commitment despite serious negotiations already occurring with the “enemy”. Staying in a war “to get the job done”, as our major political leaders say, is deeply embarrassing and parochial. At least independent Andrew Wilkie and the Greens are calling for a rational withdrawal. Propping up a corrupt and illegitimate government in Kabul is a strange and immoral way to back Washington.

A leading Victorian unionist said yesterday that he believed 9/11 was an inside job and not orchestrated by Osama Bin Laden. Kevin Bracken was dismissed on TV as a conspiracy nut but I argued that there has never been a robust investigation of the September 11 attacks and though I didn’t believe the Bush administration was behind the outrages the general public doesn’t know the full story of that fateful day.

Finally, the issue of an open and frank debate about drugs in society was canvassed. Surely the question of decriminalisation should be addressed, as the Portuguese example is an inspiring model. The current path, with soaring drug problems due to illegalities, isn’t working.

US TV viewers get small taste of Zionist madness

20 Oct 2010

America’s 60 Minutes ventured into East Jerusalem last weekend and offered insulated foreigners what the West is funding; racist discrimination in the name of Judaism: 

Aussie Zionist lobby comically tries to help clueless union

20 Oct 2010

While growing numbers of global unions are showing solidarity with Palestinians calling for BDS, a few groups prefer to ignore the elephant in the room; the occupation. How to manage it? It doesn’t exist. History will record who stood tall against oppression and who equivocated:

An Australian version of the British organisation, Trade Unions For Israel (TUFI), will be launched during a mission by seven local unionists to Israel and the West Bank later this month.

The delegation, comprising union leaders from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, will meet with Members of the Knesset, representatives of Israel’s trade union roof body Histadrut, officials of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), and media commentators.

TUFI convenor Michael Borowick said the new group will be pursuing similar principles at a local level to Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine.

Borowick, the assistant secretary of the Australian Workers Union’s Victorian branch, said TUFI was conceived during a meeting with a British union official in May.

TUFI was established in Britain to promote Israeli-Palestinian trade union co-operation and strengthen the links between the Israeli, Palestinian and British trade union movements.

The idea for a British TUFI was inspired by an historic agreement in 2008 between the Histadrut and the PGFTU to base future relations on negotiation, dialogue and joint initiatives. It has led other agreements between unions representing major sectors, such as transport and construction, in the intertwined Israeli and Palestinian economies.

“It seemed there was a need to refocus on trade unions because there are a lot of supporters of Israel within the [Australian] trade union movement and there has been a specific initiative to channel that interest,” Borowick told The AJN.

Borowick said the inaugural TUFI mission from Australia will be in two parts, with TUFI UK hosting the Australians for four days, after which a further five-day itinerary will be provided by the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council.

“We’re trying to match up unions from here with their equivalent in Israel, and we’re meeting the PGFTU officials in the West Bank,” he said.

Borowick last month slammed a decision by the Victorian Trades Hall Council to endorse local boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activities at a time when Israelis and Palestinians are in peace talks, and trade union contacts are rapidly developing.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on A.LOEWENSTEIN ONLINE NEWSLETTER

FROM RABBI YOSEF TO MARX

NOVANEWS
Date
October 20, 2010 
 

In case the Goyim cannot find a purpose in their life, Israeli senior Sephardi Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is there to help them out.  In his Saturday sermon  Rabbi Yosef revealed that the sole purpose of Gentiles is to serve Jews.
“Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world.”  

The Rabbi was also kind enough to provide the Goyim with some precise tasks. “Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat.
That is why gentiles were created.”

I guess that it is about time the friends of Israel in Western politics started to fully comprehend their role in our Judified universe — AIPAC and the Conservatives’ Friends of Israel do indeed, have a crucial function : They are there to ‘help’ our politicians grasp why they ‘were created’.

And their role is, apparently, to ‘serve the Jews,’ as the Chief Rabbi describes it so eloquently.

But there is a further and even much more sinister meaning to Rabbi Yosef’s sermon: according to the Rabbi, the Goyim will ‘work’ hard, they will ‘plow’ and ‘reap’ while the Jew ‘sits like an effendi (master)’ and ‘eats’. In just a few words Rabbi Yossef expresses the depth of Judaic contempt towards labour.

The senior Rabbi provides us with a devastating glimpse into the Judaic alienation from these aspects of the human condition and human experience. In an unequivocal manner, Rabbi Yosef depicts a clear dichotomy: Jews are the master race and the Goyim are nothing but a work force. The Goyim are there to sweat and struggle while the Jew is ‘sitting’   and ‘eating’. I guess that Rabbi Yossef has managed, in just a few words, to portray the intrinsic relationships between Judaism and Capitalism.

But in fact, Rabbi Yossef didn’t invent anything new here — his Saturday sermon sounds familiar enough to me. Karl Marx in his paper On The Jewish Question, identified aspects of Jewish ideology at the heart of Capitalism: “It is mankind (both Christians and Jews) that needs to emancipate itself from Judaism” Marx wrote.

Marx managed to identify an inclination towards exploitation at the heart of Jewish culture.

However, being a humanist, Marx wanted to believe that mankind (Jews and others) could overcome this tendency. Many early Zionists too, were also convinced that in Zion, Jews would liberate themselves and eventually become a nation like other nations,through productivity and labour.

Seemingly though, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is not that impressed with either Marx, or some of the ideals within the early Zionist dream:  Rabbi Yossef is brave (or foolish) enough to sketch the inherent bond between Jewish culture and Capital.

The only question that is still open is, for how long can the rest of humanity tolerate that kind of Rabbinical arrogance? 

Posted in EducationComments Off on FROM RABBI YOSEF TO MARX

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