Archive | November 11th, 2010

DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS

Dear Friends,

Count your blessings.  Only 2 items this evening due to the combination of a meeting that I had to attend and to the news in the newspapers.  Of course there is in addition to the 2 items below some news about the Clinton-Netanyahu talks.  The best part of that report is the picture of the two, Clinton with a big big smile on her face, Bibi lips tightly closed and looking quite unhappy.  Would almost seem to suggest that Clinton said something that clipped Bibi’s wings.  But I doubt it, unfortunately.  You can see the picture here http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-serious-on-peace-talks-netanyahu-tells-clinton-1.324198

To get down to serious matters (not that peace is not a serious matter; only that I don’t believe that these talks even if they resume will end in anything peaceful).  You Americans should be screaming bloody murder!  With economic conditions as they are in the US, you can hardly allow your tax dollars to stuff arms manufacturers pockets.  It’s time that you woke up to what is happening to your hard earned money.  And on top of that, the last thing that Israelis need is more weapons!  $400 million on top of the $3 billion for military equipment and also $10 billion in credit guarantees, while many of you in the States are jobless and hungry!  Come on!  Tell your leaders that they are taking food out of babies’ mouths.  Israel has more than enough weapons.  It does, it does, it does!!!! 

The 2nd item is about instances of Israeli racism.  Isn’t it amazing that Jews can be racist!?!

May tomorrow bring happier news.

Dorothy

================================== 

1.Haaretz,

November 11, 2010

U.S. to store another $400m worth of emergency military equipment in Israel Equipment to stand at Israel’s disposal in an emergency; hike will bring the value of American military equipment stockpiled in Israel to $1.2 billion by 2012.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/u-s-to-store-another-400m-worth-of-emergency-military-equipment-in-israel-1.324046

By Anshel Pfeffer

The U.S. government is to move an additional $400 million worth of military equipment to emergency storage in Israel over the next two years.

The equipment, which includes so-called smart bombs, will stand at Israel’s disposal in an emergency.

The U.S. Congress approved the hike last month, which will bring the value of American military equipment stockpiled in Israel to $1.2 billion by 2012. The story was first reported this week by Defense News magazine’s reporter in Israel, Barbara Opall-Rome.

The U.S. stores equipment in Israel by virtue of a special clause in U.S. foreign aid law governing war reserves stockpiles for allies. According to the clause, the equipment can be utilized by American forces throughout the world, and also, in an emergency, by the military in the country where the equipment is stored.

The clause was originally intended to allow South Korea use of American equipment in case of a surprise attack by North Korea.

The type of equipment stockpiled in Israel is determined through dialogue between the Israel Defense Forces and the U.S. Army’s European Command. The issue was raised in discussions last week during the visit by the IDF’s logistics and technology chief, Maj. Gen. Dan Biton, at the Pentagon in Washington.

The agreement between the two armed forces also includes conditions under which the IDF may use the equipment. It is believed that a great deal of the equipment will include precision weapons launched from the air.

IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said this week that in Israel’s future wars, much more precise weaponry will be needed to strike urban targets from the air without injuring civilians.

During Operation Cast Lead, 81 percent of the missiles and bombs launched from the air on and by IDF artillery were of the precision type.

Use of the the American equipment is allowed with permission of the American administration; Israel used such U.S. weaponry during the Second Lebanon War.

The first time equipment was stockpiled in Israel was in 1990, when a ceiling of $100 million in value was set, which was raised to $300 million during the first Gulf War and later raised to $400 million. It was doubled in 2007 after the Second Lebanon War, and, as noted, will reach $1.2 billion by 2012.

It is assumed in Israel that the U.S. administration asked Congress to increase the value of U.S. emergency equipment to signal its continued commitment to Israel’s security. It is also believed the increase is meant to as an indication to Israel that it will not need to mount a surprise attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities and that it can take risks for peace.

Israel is also expected to be allowed more involvement in selecting the types of equipment and weapons to be stored here and greater freedom to use it in an emergency. The equipment is stored in special bases for emergency supplies that are under American supervision.

Ben-Gurion International Airport and a base in Nevatim are expected to stockpile U.S. equipment arriving by air during both war and peacetime. 

The agreement on the additional stockpiling is part of the very significant upgrading in security relations between Israel and the United States, which also involved an increased number of joint exercises with the United States, during which joint command over complex operations were also drilled. The upgrading of relations in the security realm also involved the special allocation of $500 million to finance the purchase of an Iron Dome battery, and the signing two months ago of an agreement to supply the IAF with the first squadron of the future F-35 fighter aircraft.

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

2. Haaretz,

November 11, 2010

Gang suspected of attacks on Arabs in Jerusalem

Young men have reportedly been roaming in and around Independence Park seeking Arabs to attack, trying to identify them by their accent.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/gang-suspected-of-attacks-on-arabs-in-jerusalem-1.324050

By Nir Hasson and Shlomo Papirblatt (Chile )

Two Arabs have been attacked on central Jerusalem’s Hillel Street recently, near the place where a Chilean tourist was assaulted last week, mistaken for an Arab.

The tourist, Jose Toledo, was moderately injured Thursday after he was attacked by a group of young men as he was walking through the capital’s Independence Park.

Young men have reportedly been roaming in and around Independence Park seeking Arabs to attack, trying to identify them by their accent. Haaretz has learned of two attacks over the past two weeks, and the stabbing of an Arab in July.

Annan Yagmor, 21, of Silwan, said that on Saturday night he was approached by a group of men in Independence Park as he was walking home. They asked him for a cigarette, accompanied him a short way, jumped him and beat him. He said they wanted to see his ID card and shouted “Arab, Arab.” They also sprayed him with tear gas.

Adem Sabih said he was similarly attacked on October 31 in the same area, by 20 or 30 skullcap-wearing young men. They asked him his name and then jumped him; one shouted “kill that Arab.” He said he was smashed in the head with a rock several times before he could flee.

Jerusalem City Councilman Meir Margalit said it appeared that “a gang of thugs,” some with large knitted skullcaps and others with black skullcaps, were terrorizing East Jerusalem Arabs. He said he could not “shake the feeling that if the situation were reversed, if Jews were being attacked by Arabs, the authorities’ response would be different.”

The Chilean media has been in an uproar over the attack on Toledo by what he said was a gang of youths who thought he was an Arab. Members of Chile’s parliament have also protested, and Israel’s ambassador to Santiago, David Dadon, was summoned Tuesday to the Chilean Foreign Ministry for clarifications.

The incident was widely reported in South American media outlets.

According to the Chilean press, Toledo, 43, was attacked as he was walking through Independence Park by eight young men who injured him in the head and eyes. According to the reports, he was hospitalized over the weekend.

Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno said in a statement he expected Israel to explain the incident.

Two Chilean members of parliament raised the issue, claiming that it was one of a series of cases in which Chileans of Arab descent had been attacked on visits to Israel.

Unable to ignore the protests, the Chilean Foreign Ministry summoned Dadon to meet with the director general of the consular section, Carlos Klammer, who asked Dadon to obtain information urgently on the events leading up to the attack.

The case also provoked anger in Chile’s Jewish community, which released a statement yesterday protesting the summoning of the Israeli ambassador to the Foreign Ministry. The president of the Chilean Jewish community, Gabriel Zaliasnik, criticized what he said was the way a criminal incident had become political. He said that “even before the details were known, certain members of parliament said this was a racist incident.”

The incident was also publicized outside Chile. According to Peruvian radio, “A Chilean tourist was cruelly attacked in Jerusalem because he was believed to be an Arab.” Venezuelan newspaper El Universal reported extensively on the incident and Dadon’s summons to the Foreign Ministry, as did newspapers in Argentina, Equador and other countries.

The Chilean press quoted Dadon as saying that it was “absurd” to think Toledo had been attacked because he looked like an Arab, because “half the population in Israel looks Arab, because they are of Eastern origin, and the other half look like Chileans.”

Dadon was also quoted as saying the park had seen violent incidents in the past when men had been attacked because they were suspected of being gay.

“The incident has been blown up here out of all proportion also by members of parliament of Palestinian extraction who took advantage of it to accuse Israel of racism after it was reported that he might have been attacked because of an Arab appearence,” Dadon told Haaretz yesterday. “Following our swift and tough response, the matter was immediately removed from the media’s agenda.”

 

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YOUNG JEWISH ANTI-OCCUPATION

  NOVANEWS

http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2010/11/11/young-jewish-activists-attract-positive-press-for-anti-occupation-message/

Young Jewish Activists Attract Positive Press for Anti-Occupation Message

by Wendy Elisheva Somerson

The five young Jewish activists who disrupted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech in New Orleans earlier this week shouted familiar criticisms of the Occupation. What was unexpected and new was the way the U.S. and Israeli media portrayed the protest, seeming to hear the critiques with fresh ears and unusual sympathy.

The five activists from the Young Leadership Institute of Jewish Voice for Peace disrupted Netanyahu’s speech at the Jewish Federation’s General Assembly on Monday, November 8, five separate times.

The first activist unfurled a banner that read, “The Loyalty Oath delegitimizes Israel” and yelled the same message until she was escorted out of the hall by security. Separated by pauses of a few minutes, the four remaining protesters each unfurled banners and yelled similar messages while they were escorted out: “Silencing dissent delegitimizes Israel,” “Occupation delegitimizes Israel,” “The siege on Gaza delegitimizes Israel,” and finally, “The settlements betray Jewish values.”

With each additional disruption, some members of the crowd grew increasingly agitated, and attacked the protesters before security was able to lead them out. Appearing uncomfortable, Netanyahu was forced to respond to the protesters at least twice. At one point, he remarked, “Israel is guilty until proven guilty,” and “the greatest success of our detractors is when Jews start believing that themselves. We’ve seen that today.”

As an anti-Occupation activist (I helped found Jewish Voice for Peace’s Seattle chapter), I have been pleasantly surprised by how much press the youth activists’ action is receiving and even more surprised by how much of it is positive. Anti-Occupation activists are often depicted negatively or completely ignored by the press; however, I believe there are at least three reasons for this newly sympathetic coverage:

    * The disruptions of Netanyahu’s speech coincided with Monday’s announcement that Israeli authorities approved construction of over 1,000 Jewish homes in occupied East Jerusalem.
    * The activists worked from within Jewish community to turn the Jewish Federation’s focus on the “international effort to delegitimize Israel” on its head.
    * Since the horrendous attacks on Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009, the mainstream media has begun running more critical coverage of the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians.

What seems entirely new to me is how many Jewish and Israeli sources are situating these activists squarely within the Jewish community, quoting them at length, and referencing the poetic “Young Jewish Declaration,” thereby giving a voice to young anti-Occupation Jews.

For example, in an article about the “hecklers,” the Israeli newspaper Haaretz included 17-year-old Jewish Voice for Peace member Hanna King’s explanation of why they organized a protest:

    We believe that the actions that Israel is taking, like settlements, like the occupation, like the loyalty oath, are contrary to the Jewish values that we learned in Jewish day school … This is not Tikkun Olam. Oppressing people in refugee camps is not Tikkun Olam. And it is a hypocrisy that I cannot abide.

The Jewish press has also emphasized that many other Jews at the General Assembly agreed with the young activists. The Jewish Journal highlighted the remarks of an Israeli journalist in the audience who asked, “What were they against … The loyalty oath? The occupation? Gaza? Most Jews would agree with them.” The Journal proclaimed that the protesters “sounded like a younger generation of Jewish activists, rather than the often anti-Semitic protesters who make up [the] left-wing anti-Israel movement.” I had to read this line over and over.

While I take exception to this characterization of the so-called anti-Israel movement, I was shocked and pleased to see the Jewish media validate these young critics of the Israeli government as legitimate participants in Jewish public discourse. Often these voices are pushed to the margins, but the Journal quotes another General Assembly attendee as saying, “Hey, we talk about getting the younger generation involved in Israel … here they are.”

A screenshot from Israeli news of young Jewish activist Emily Ratner being removed from the Jewish Federation’s General Assembly. Click on the picture to read Ratner’s statement about the event on Mondoweiss.

The Jerusalem Post reported that while many General Assembly participants didn’t agree with Jewish Voice for Peace activists’ method of delivery, they did agree with messages about ending Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. Furthermore, several participants said “they would like such issues that weren’t aligned with the policies of the Israeli government to be discussed at Jewish events.”

Seeing all this positive coverage made me want to find out how the activists themselves felt about their portrayal in the media and more about their engagement in the General Assembly as a whole. I spoke to two of the activists, both of whom I know through the Seattle chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP): Eitan Isaacson, one of the disrupters of Netanyahu’s speech, and Stefanie Fox, JVP’s national organizer, who helped convene the Young Leadership Institute that took place for several days before the protest.

Eitan Isaacson, who has joint Israeli/US citizenship, said the Israeli media has been overwhelmingly positive — and mostly accurate — in representing the activists’ message. He was especially pleased with a live reporter from Israel’s Channel Two, who immediately understood their message that “the real de-legitimizers of Israel are Israel’s policies and not peace and human rights organizations.”

Having put much effort, along with other activists, into a spoof website of Birthright, Isaacson was thrilled that Haaretz highlighted the fake Birthright “tour,” Birthright For Us All, which purports to take Jews and Palestinians on a free trip to Israel that includes a visit to the West Bank and the Separation Wall. Isaacson said they created an alternative Birthright trip to highlight the Jewish community’s practice of using free trips to bribe its youth into supporting Israel. When asked why the press has been so positive, Isaacson said:

    The time has come for the Jewish community to talk. We didn’t say anything new. We just made the disaffection of young Jews apparent. The press follows power, so if you want to make an impact, you have to follow the power. If it weren’t for the interruption of Netanyahu, people wouldn’t be discussing it.

The press has mostly focused on the Netanyahu interruption; however, Stefanie Fox emphasized that over a dozen young Jews attended JVP’s Young Leadership Institute prior to and during the General Assembly. In addition to planning the Netanyahu protest, they also built connections through formal and informal conversations regarding how to talk about Israel with family members and how to organize within Jewish communities.

Through a writing workshop, they wrote “The Young Jewish Declaration” as a collaborative piece. Later at the assembly, they attended panels and workshops where they were pleased to meet other young Jews with similar political views.

Fox and Isaacson were disappointed by the student track that the General Assembly created for young people, which kept them from participating in most of the panels about Israel’s image or future. “The Jewish Federation is reaching out to youth,” Isaacson said, “but not as future or current leaders. They want to redirect any questions they have about Israel into unconditional support.” For example, Isaacson mentioned meeting a Hillel student who came to the General Assembly for a “day of service” in New Orleans, but was overwhelmed by the amount of pro-Israel propaganda.

After the Netanyahu protest, Isaacson talked to several students who felt turned off by the increasingly hostile crowd chanting “Bibi, Bibi” (Netanyahu’s nickname) in response to the protesters’ disruptions. Fox also heard from several young Jews with a range of responses to the disruptions. Many were scared by the crowd’s mob mentality, and many agreed with the message, if not the approach, of the protesters.

I’m thrilled that the next generation of Jewish youth is willing to criticize Israeli policies, that the press is beginning to present young Jewish anti-Occupation activists as legitimate Jewish voices, and that these young Jewish leaders, rooted in the Jewish value of justice, are going to help change the future for both Israelis and Palestinians.

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ZIONIST MU-BARAK SHOULD FREE BLOGGERS

 

Contact: Mohamed Abdel Dayem, program coordinator. Phone: (212) 465-1004 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (212) 465-1004      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, x103; E-mail: m.abdel.dayem@cpj.org   

Egypt should free blogger held beyond his term

New York, November 10, 2010-Egyptian authorities must immediately release blogger Abdel Karim Suleiman, known online as Karim Amer, who completed his four-year prison sentence on November 5, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. CPJ also calls on authorities to investigate and punish a security officer who reportedly assaulted Amer on Tuesday. 

The government’s continued imprisonment of Amer reflects its overall abusive treatment of the blogger, who was subjected to repeated instances of harassment and abuse during his detention. Authorities moved Amer last week from Borg al-Arab Prison outside Alexandria to a State Security Investigations facility in the city, where he was to undergo release procedures. The agency has continued to detain Amer without explanation, and he was beaten by a security officer, his lawyer, Rawda Ahmad, told CPJ.

“There is no legal basis for Amer’s detention beyond his court-imposed sentence,” said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “It’s alarming that a law enforcement officer would feel he could attack someone with impunity. The assault should be investigated, and charges should be brought against the officer.”

Arrested on November 6, 2006, Amer was convicted by an Alexandria court on charges of insulting Islam and President Hosni Mubarak. A student at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, Amer was expelled in 2006 because he frequently criticized the state-run religious university, which he accused of promoting extremist ideas, and Mubarak, whom he referred to as a dictator.

Amer was the first blogger in Egypt to be convicted explicitly for his work, CPJ research shows. In 2007, inmates severely beat Amer on the orders of prison officials, CPJ research shows. In April, security officers confiscated Suleiman’s notebooks and letters of support that he receives.  

CPJ is a New York-based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide.

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THE NOT SO GRADUAL DEGRATION OF A NATION

NOVANEWS

November 11, 2010

by Sibel Edmonds  

Paying To Be Raped

Every single day millions of us are being subjected to the shameful processes of being searched, screened and viewed naked, patted, groped, fondled, poked and stroked by badge-wearing strangers- police under a different name. Every single day. Millions of us, Americans. Being violated. Being degraded.

You know exactly what I am talking about. I am taking about me, you, your mother, her brother, his brother’s wife and toddler son, their grandmothers. I am talking about the systematic degradation of our people. I am talking about being raped of our dignity, privacy, and decency. I am talking about a daily systematic rape we actually pay to be subjected to. I am talking about severe violations we elect people to bring upon us. Yes, I am talking about traveling, TSA police, and being reduced to naked and helpless subjects of government police practices.

Considering its short tenure, the motherland police force, aka Department of Homeland Security, has had a one of a kind success. In less than a decade it is now the third largest cabinet police department. It has around 200,000 employees, and that’s without counting contract employees – which exceed this number.

Now remember, we still have the FBI, CIA, NSA, DIA…plus all the other state and local police forces from before. TSA makes up over 60,000 of DHS employees. This 60,000 federal police force oversees 450 airports, so that makes it around 133 police per airport. And that’s in addition to local airport police.

What do I mean by not so gradual and systematic degradation? I mean in less than ten years, they went from this:

Degrad1 to This Degrad2 then to This Degrad3

And now to this, this, this, and this all together:

degrad11Degrad22Degrad23Degrad24

Next, coming soon, very soon, it will be This

Degrad5 and This Degrad6

Last week TSA announced that airline passengers should expect to see and feel additional pat-down procedures at U.S. airports over the coming weeks to provide another layer of security. They said passengers should continue to expect “an unpredictable mix of security layers that include explosives trace detection, advanced imaging technology, canine teams, among others.”

The following blurb comes from CNN, thanks to one of its employees who chose to speak up a little, only a little (all emphasis in bold are mine):

Rosemary Fitzpatrick, a CNN employee, said she was subjected to a pat-down at the Orlando, Florida, airport on Wednesday night after her underwire bra set off a magnetometer. She said she was taken to a private area and searched, with transportation screening officers telling her the pat-down was a new procedure.

According to Fitzpatrick, a female screener ran her hands around her breasts, over her stomach, buttocks and her inner thighs, and briefly touched her crotch.”I felt helpless, I felt violated, and I felt humiliated,” Fitzpatrick said, adding that she was reduced to tears at the checkpoint. She particularly objected to the fact that travelers were not warned about the new procedureS.

Okay, up to this point I was pleasantly surprised to see this piece being run by a mainstream outlet, and the fact that this woman didn’t take the rape in silence and go away the way most do when it comes to these government sanctioned and implemented systematic rapes, but then I reached the following:

“I am appalled and disgusted at the new search procedures and the fact that passengers have not been made aware of the new invasive steps prior to entering the security area,” Fitzpatrick wrote. “It appears once you enter the security area, passengers forfeit their rights. There were no signs, video information, etc. at the entrance of the security area at the airport. Why?”

She added: “As an experienced traveler for work who was in tears for most of the search process, I have never experienced a more traumatic and invasive travel event!”

First, let me give her due credit for saying out loud that she objected and felt: helpless, violated, humiliated, appalled and disgusted. But after that, it is my turn to be appalled. Is the process supposed to get less humiliating, appalling, traumatic, and disgusting if the violators give prior notice about the violations, the rapes, to come??!!! Please walk with me through the following reasoning:

Two rapists are brought before a judge. One had caught his victim by surprise through a blitz attack, then violently raped her. The other had stalked his victim for a while, sent her some disturbing warning notes, and then violently raped her. Victim one turns around and tells victim two: Why do you feel violated?! Your rapist gave you the courtesy of warning notes – and that makes his rape much less of an offense than my rapist!!

My question to CNN’s Fitzpatrick is this: Next time, when these people squeeze your breast, poke your buttocks and stomach, and grab your crotch, will you feel okay? Far less violated? All because now you know what to expect?!

After reading the piece I quickly scanned other news sites, both mainstream and alternative. Almost all of them picked up the story and reported it per the original, and the strongest cursory comment at one site was that the story and Fitzpatrick’s experience was ‘unsettling.’ Wow! How hard-hitting! But that was not what I found, and find, so very ‘unsettling.’ Not at all.

What I find truly unsettling is that we only have a handful like Fitzpatrick who come forward screaming about the horrifying, humiliating, violating, traumatic …nature of these federal police practices (abuses) in all our airports. Now that is truly unsettling, shocking, and appalling as far as I am concerned. Millions are going through these routine rape processes (Yes, RAPE: raping you of your dignity, privacy, humanity, and more. Ok?!) without a peep. What is going on here? Have ‘their’ systematic humiliation and degradation practices been so successful that millions take it regularly without any protest, objection, action, counteraction?!

I am talking about the hard-core ACLU following liberals. Where the he … are you?! I can’t hear or see you. Where is the protest? Give me a holler, and let me know where and when and I’ll be there to join. Here I’m hollering on the record. And no, don’t go file a couple of lawsuits and say that you’ve done your share; that lazy move hasn’t worked for at least a decade!!

I am talking about those on the extreme right of those mentioned above. What happened to your slogan of small government and keeping a tight rein on federal government practices? Isn’t this as close and personal it gets, when your feds are squeezing your testicles while breathing inches from your face, and while you are fully paying for these squeezing and probing services?! I thought you’d attributed these practices to those commies, shouldn’t you be barking when it is in your own backyard?

I am talking about old fashion patriarchal guys. Where are you macho and good ole cowboy mentality testosterone walking bags when your wives and daughters are being fondled, squeezed, and intimately probed? Shouldn’t you be roaring like lions and throwing punches like John Wayne when it comes to those who violate your ‘women’? Don’t you feel your manliness under attack when they make you stand in front of them, with your legs apart, arms up to each side, while their hands wrap around measuring your buttocks?

I am talking about us Americans, those to the right, the ones on the left, the upper class- lower class, and those in the middle…Here we are, the entire nation, being violated and raped on a daily basis by our servants whom we pay for dearly. Last time I checked we were paying them over $7 Billion – here it is with all the zeroes: $7,000,000,000. Please, don’t even try to bring up that ‘security’ punch line so overused and abused, because last time I checked they were not providing much in terms of ‘security.’ In fact they couldn’t even secure their own personnel files and records.

Soon they will be bending us over to give us a thorough cavity search. After that it will be all cavities… And after that…There will be one or two who may stand up and scream. And for ‘them,’ one or two, even ten will be very easy to quash and ‘eliminate.’ Yet, I am still here, still hoping; hoping that somehow I’ll get to see that number in the tens of thousands and beyond, and that’s the only hope I see to stop our expedited degradation process. They say it always starts with one. Well, here I am, willing to be one. How about you?

2010 copyright – Sibel Edmonds – originally posted at Boiling Frog Blog

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JB CAMPBELL: DEFENSE AGANIST ZIONIST AGGRESSION

NOVANEWS

November 11, 2010

by Gordon Duff

public outrage

Defense Against Zionist Aggression

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Submitted for publishing for information purposes only.   This is a highly controversial document.

Once we acknowledge the threat that faces us – Zionist Aggression – we are left with the problem of how to remove that threat.  Jews are in controlling positions in every segment of our lives, from the financial collapse of Wall Street, to the collapse of our currency by the Federal Reserve Corporation, the collapse of the US military from Jewish wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a de facto Jewish war against Pakistan and a threatened Jewish war against Iran.  Trillions of tax dollars have been lost to the pockets of Jewish bankers and speculators.

The news media have always been and continue to be in the hands of Zionists.  These lie factories, thanks to the Internet, are in freefall collapse and deservedly so.  If the news media had been honest, we would have been informed and warned of the criminal conspiracy so that we could have dealt with it legally.  But we were not informed or warned.  It was not in the interest of the Zionists to do so, as they explained in their  Protocols a hundred years ago.  So to save ourselves we must take the law into our own hands, where it belongs anyway.  This is where the failure of news has put us.

Zionists are the masters of destruction.  They now admit that they possess several hundred nuclear weapons, quite illegally in terms of international agreements, but very logically since it was Zionist mad scientists who designed and developed nuclear weapons and supervised the use of two of them on helpless Japanese civilians.  Whether the Zionist nukes actually will work is open to question, since much of what the Israeli military does ends in failure, as we saw with the Lavi jet fighter and Merkava tank and their disastrous invasion of Lebanon in 2006, which ended in a rout. 

The Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was a catastrophic failure that destroyed an elaborate US/Israeli operation to sink the ship and blame it on the Egyptians, which would have “forced” the US military to join Israel and invade and occupy the Arab countries.  It is now generally acknowledged that Israel engineered the shock and awe attacks on 9-11, with the complicity of the US air force and intelligence agencies.  This attack was finally successful in putting the US at war with Islam.

Israel’s military strategy is completely dependent on the US military backing it up.  The fact that Israel now slyly brags about its illegal nukes and even threatens to burn European cities with them indicates they may not actually function, that they are bluffing.  Reports of American missile sites being mysteriously knocked out suggest that much of the world’s nuclear arsenal is kaput.  But it has been Jews such as Einstein, Oppenheimer and Teller who have been behind the dropping of nuclear weapons on people in the past and Jews such as Netanyahu and Lieberman who want to drop them on people now.

I am proposing that we neutralize the Zionist threat before they try to use them again.

Zionist aggression is caused by their control of our money system.  If this is taken away from them, and only if this is taken away from them, we could regain our national health, and the rest of the world could do so, too.  There is a very simple way to do this.  It has been done before in this country.  The two presidents who did it were shot in the head soon afterward, so there is a risk involved.  The Austrian leader of Germany also did this quite successfully until stopped by the combined forces of the Jewish allies (America, England and the Soviet Union) some years later.  The Jews were successful in stopping these men mainly because the people didn’t understand the nature of money and debt, which the Jews call “credit.”

Once we understand that Jewish Rule depends on their control of our money system we can figure out how to beat them.  Events have shown that there is no political solution, i.e., by elected politicians.  The politicians can’t save us even if they wanted to, which they don’t.  The police and FBI are controlled by Jewish agencies such as the ADL and SPLC. 

There is lately talk of a US military coup against the Jews but this is frankly unlikely, since there is no curriculum in the military academies teaching the army, navy and air force about Jewish subversion.  The Jews have made sure that the only curriculum is about the Moslem threat and the threat presented by American “patriots.”

The way Jews control our money and our lives should be basically understood.  It has been done by Privatization of the only legitimate function of the federal government, the creation of our money.  This writer is not an admirer of the US Constitution for reasons explained in other essays, but Article 1, Section 8 does specify that “the Congress shall have power to coin money and regulate the value thereof.”

Nevertheless, Alexander Hamilton persuaded President Washington and the Congress to allow the private Bank of New York to become the first Bank of the United States in 1791, in a charter lasting twenty years until 1811.  On the Caribbean island of Nevus, Hamilton’s birthplace, it is known and openly recorded that Hamilton’s actual father was named “Levy.”  Hamilton was a Rothschild agent.  The Bank of New York, aka the Bank of the United States, was a private, profit-making company owned mainly (at least 72 %) by the Rothschild-owned central bank in London – the Bank of England. 

So, from the very beginning of this country, the financial system has been owned and controlled by foreign Jews and their agents here.  Despite a bloody war for independence from England, our money and credit was still run by the Bank of England – and is to this day.  Dividends to investors have continued virtually uninterrupted for 219 years!  The Bank of New York is today known as the New York Federal Reserve Bank, the actual headquarters of the Federal Reserve System.

Anyone still dumb enough to pay Jewish income taxes should examine the back of his canceled check to the IRS.  It will say, “Pay to the order of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.”  Why do you suppose it doesn’t designate the IRS or Treasury Department?  Why does your tax money go to a private, profit-making English corporation owned by Jews?

The (first) Bank of the United States lost its charter in 1811.  Due to our second war with England in thirty-six years, the War of 1812, it was not possible to charter a second Bank of the United States – owned by the Bank of England! – until 1819, when another twenty-year charter was granted.  In 1833, President Jackson cut off its funds and this private British-Jewish company calling itself the Bank of the United States died six years before its charter would have expired.

People were a lot smarter or more educated in the 19th Century and they would not allow the Congress to create another private, foreign-owned central bank that would profit by lending us our own currency at interest.  By 1913, however, the persistence of the Jews finally paid off when Paul Warburg of Germany bribed and manipulated American politicians to pass the Federal Reserve Act, which gave us our third and current private central bank.

Paul Warburg’s brother, Max, was Germany’s chief financial advisor to the Kaiser as well as the head of the German espionage service during World War I, while Paul was on the board of the Federal Reserve – while Germany and America were at war!  Only Jews can get away with such wild criminality.

Our corrupt government pretends to sell treasury bonds on Wall Street which are converted by the Federal Reserve into Federal Reserve Notes for which we pay the Fed to use our own currency!  In other words, our government can print and sell bonds but cannot print and distribute currency.  The currency must be supplied to us from a private, British/Jewish company (printed at the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving!) at great profit to itself.  The US government is now trillions of dollars in debt to this artificial company calling itself by the grandiose name of the Federal Reserve System.

This scam must have irritated John F. Kennedy because he attempted to put an end to it, sort of in the manner of Andrew Jackson, by ordering the issuance of Series 1963 United States Notes – about $4.3 billion worth.  That was just the beginning of his move to destroy the Fed.  He tied the US Note to silver and this would have meant the end of the Federal Reserve Note, for who would have wanted something backed only by smoke and mirrors?  But, five months later, JFK was dead and the US Notes were withdrawn from circulation.  I still have one.

But, what Jack Kennedy did can be done again and must be done again.  The Federal Reserve Note must be replaced by the United States Note and be issued by the Congress interest-free.  This is exactly how the economic miracle of Germany was produced starting in 1933, when Germans were still starving due to our rapacious and sadistic program of “reparations payments to the victors” of World War I.  Hitler and Schacht issued interest-free currency tied only to the productivity of the German worker, since we had stolen all of Germany’s gold ten years earlier. 

By 1935, while American farmers were starving to death and trekking to California to pick other people’s prunes or working themselves to death building dams, six million formerly unemployed German workers were taking paid vacations on cruise ships and buying their first cars.  Germany was manufacturing again and exporting goods while the rest of the world was mired in the Great Depression, engineered by the Jewish-owned central banks – the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve.  To the Jewish banker, German success was an outrage that had to be controlled or destroyed, and so we became the military partners of the Soviet Union for three and a half years, something America can never live down. 

Together, we, the Jewish allies, destroyed Germany and millions of Germans for the crime of being successful.   To be successful, though, requires the removal of Jews from power.  That’s what Germany did, or attempted to do.  For that they had to die.  For that we were ordered to kill them, which we did by the millions.

Today we face the modern version of the Great Depression.  Actual unemployment in 1933 was 25%.  Today it is 22% and climbing.  This writer was “laid off” a very good job and subsequently homeless for 21 months and was lucky to get his old job back – but for how long?  Those 21 months were the most terrible, degrading and frightening of his life during which he and his wife lost their home and vehicles and horses and virtually all of their belongings.   Millions of Americans are experiencing this terror right now, with 43 million of us on food stamps!  All of this misery has been caused by Jewish bankers and Jewish speculators on Wall Street.

George W. Bush lied us into two evil wars of aggression for the benefit of Israel and the Jewish war profiteers on Wall Street and the banks.

We are the victims of Jewish aggression.  I have spent much space on our money system, since it is the heart of our lives.  No money – no lives.  We must remove the Jews from our money or we will die, and soon.  Now, of course, the Jews cannot let go of our veins, arteries and bank accounts.  It would be against their religion, the control of all money.  We must pry them loose.

There is no legal way to do this, because Jews are the law.  The Jews are God and they are the law.  So, to bring them under control we must ignore Jewish law and make our own law.  What law is that?  It is the law of survival.

The Jewish Problem is much more terrible than we even know.  Jewish subversion has saturated our lives with death and filth and our minds with confusion and an inability to defend ourselves.  If you wonder how this was done, read a few of the twenty-four Jewish Protocols.  You’ll get the picture very quickly.  Few can read all twenty-four of them – they are too revolting.

Defense Against Jewish Aggression requires that Jews be disfranchised from all positions of power and influence in the important aspects of our lives.  Starting with government, of course.  Medicine, law, banking, finance, news, publishing, entertainment – all must be free of Jews and Jewish influence.  Our actions should start against the powerful Jewish organizations of subversion, such as the Anti-Defamation League, AIPAC, the Jews-only Masonic lodge they call B’nai B’rith and the Council on Foreign Relations, which is roughly 70% Jewish. 

There are hundreds and hundreds of Jewish organizations such as the American Jewish Committee, the Zionist Organization.  Quite simply, these subversive organizations must be destroyed.  Jews must be put on notice that their dreamy days of power are ending.  All things must end and Jewish power is one of them.

Naturally, the Jews will fight hard to prevent losing their unearned power over us.  That is, they will hire as many of us as they can to fight us.  Jews can’t fight.  They can kill, assassinate, murder and just about anything by stealth, but they can’t fight.  When the Jew is confronted with his Jewishness, he splits.

The filmmaker John Carpenter made a great training film for us in this coming struggle.  THEY LIVE.  Malevolent aliens live among us.  But most of us can’t tell who’s who, or realize how they control our lives.  A small group of resistance fighters have special glasses that reveal the hideous faces of the aliens, who have taken over the organs of power.  The aliens are so evil that no mercy can be shown them.  If you see the scary face, start shooting, because they mean to enslave all of us and kill some of us.  The only way to save ourselves is to kill them and keep killing them until the source of their power can be turned off – forever.

Carpenter’s aliens are the Jews.  Most of them actually look like us.  Carpenter’s special glasses represent the Jewish Protocols.  Once you read a few of them, you see immediately what we’re up against.  That’s why the Jews always freak out whenever the Protocols are mentioned.  They are probably the most important writings you will ever read, even if you can only manage a few of them.  Victor Marsden of the London Morning Post translated them in a special room in the British Museum but could only manage a page or so per day, so malevolent and disturbing were they.  He died shortly after finishing his work.

Just look at Palestine!  Do you want to live the way those people live, showing your papers to some creepy armed Jew at a checkpoint twice a day, fearful that he may refuse to let you pass today?  This is how life is under Jewish Rule.  But forget Palestine – now we’re getting a well-deserved dose of Jewish Rule at our airports.  In case you hadn’t considered it, the only reason for “airport security” is the fake fear that enraged, crazy Moslems are trying to get on board with bombs and guns, which the TSA can’t seem to find at the best of times. 

And why are these Moslems supposedly enraged and crazy?  Because of Israel, right?  Isn’t airport security all about Moslems being angry about Israel?  Now there may have been a couple of fake Moslems with phony explosives in their pants or shoes, but real Palestinians?  Name one.  Not to mention that most airport security is run by Israeli companies.

TSA now stands for The Sex Aggressors.  These morons are now authorized to squeeze your private parts for Glocks and grenades.  Little kids, too!  A friend of mine’s wife was strip-searched in June after she’d passed successfully through the metal detector because the moron thought she “didn’t look right.”  “Airport security” is the result of what Israel does to Arabs.  When you get your crotch squeezed, if you haven’t got the brains to stop flying, think about Defense Against Jewish Aggression.

DAJA.  First step:  Recognize the Jewish Problem.  Where does the Problem originate?  Well, probably in the synagogues, in Hebrew school, in all the brainwash programs the Jews have for their kids.  These kids are born and bred to hate us, to feel nothing when they cheat us, steal from us and kill us.  It’s all laid out in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, and of course in the Talmud.  The problem is with the rabbis.  I’ve written it before but Defense Against Jewish Aggression means the entire rabbinical class has to be wiped out. 

That means all the rabbis who preach Jewish hate and all the Jews who accept it.  The rabbis are the political commissars who keep the party members in line, just like the Jewish commissars under Stalin who shot Russian soldiers from behind to terrorize the rest into attacking the Germans.  I’d bet that a lot of Jews who’d like to assimilate with us would even help wipe out some of the hate-mongering rabbis.

Theodor Herzl comes to mind.  Herzl, the supposed designer of Zionism, actually hated the Jewish ruling class and all typically Jewish ways.  What he wanted was to blend with the Gentiles, whom he greatly admired.   He was rejected because in those days, it was hard to trust a Jew, no matter how much he wanted to be a Gentile, or a Christian.  Sad story.  So Plan B was to get the Jews out of Europe, out of polite society, and into a land for Jews only.  Herzl knew that most Jews just couldn’t behave properly, so the humane thing was to put them somewhere they couldn’t do any harm.  What he didn’t count on was the rise of the Russian Jews, the real Zionists, whom he’d never heard of before his 1897 Zionist Congress in Basel. 

These uncouth roughnecks from the Pale showed up, demanding to go to Palestine.  Not Uganda, not Madagascar, not America, not South America – Palestine.  These were the phony Jews, the poseurs, the Khazar converts to Judaism but converts who possessed the deadliest zeal in the history of the world.  They wanted to kill all the Palestinians and take over “the holy land.”  Well?

My late friend, Heinz Weichardt, was another.  His mother was Jewish, a famous opera singer in Berlin, his father a well-known journalist with the big German papers.  Heinz was a life-long supporter of Hitler and of National Socialism.  I recommend his memoir, “Under Two Flags,” on the Gnostic Liberation Front website.  Jews such as Aaron Russo and David Cole have done more to hurt the Jewish racket than anyone on our side.  So we mustn’t be indiscriminant in our Defense Against Jewish Aggression.

Anti-Jewish operations must be designed carefully.  The big organizations must be taken out first.

The US military has never exactly covered itself in glory.  Actually, it has been a total disgrace to America.  The military has done the Jews’ dirty work, and I do mean dirty, ever since the Civil War and the Indian Wars.  World Wars I & II?  Imagine, Americans going to fight Germans in Europe!  Most Americans in those days were of German descent.  Korea, Vietnam… Total disgraces.  Desert Storm?  Burying alive thousands of Iraqis with their hands up.  Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, Bagram, Jessica Lynch, Pat Tillman, Fallujah, Predator drones – Jesus, what a shower of shit the US military has always been, including the glory days against the fascists.  (Read Other Losses, Crimes & Mercies, Operation Keelhaul if you’re craving US military glory.)

And, soldier boys, I have news for you.  The Jews consider YOU to be the fascists.  That’s what the military is for, to absorb the “fascistic element” of society (masculine men) into a controllable organization, because you scare the hell out of the Jews.  They dread the day that you will turn on them, stop killing their enemies like the fools you are, and aim your guns at them.  Watch THEY LIVE.  How do you think the guards at Abu Ghraib could become so sadistic so early in our invasion and occupation of Iraq?  They were conditioned by Jews with Jewish hate before they ever got out of the US.

I do have one good story to tell about the marines.  A buddy of mine, Mike Hanson, was at the airport in West Beirut in ’83, near where Arafat and his men were holed up.  A half-dozen Israeli tanks came rolling up to wipe them out.  The marines just looked at them but the captain in charge of the airport detail climbed up on the lead tank and held the muzzle of his .45 against the Jew commander’s head.  “If this tank moves another foot, your brains are gonna be all over this tank.”  Jew commander ordered everyone to leave.  This is the only language Jews understand. 

The upshot was, a truck bomb soon killed over 240 marines nearby.  Victor Ostravsky, a Mossad officer, revealed that the Mossad knew about the plot but deliberately withheld the information.  Translation:  the bombing of the marine barracks was a Mossad operation, probably in retaliation for the marine captain’s heroism.  Mike bunked in the open and escaped the blast at the barracks.  He carried out a lot of bodies.

But that captain was the exception that proves the rule:  the US military man is always obeying Jewish orders.  So, the only way for a US military man to gain his honor is to join with this DAJA program – Defense Against Jewish Aggression.  It’s the only way to gain honor.  You can’t regain something you never had.  You joined up to fight, didn’t you?  Against all enemies, foreign and domestic?  The only foreign enemies we have are in Israel.  You don’t need to mess with them.  The real enemy is domestic, the Jew who sends you to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran to kill people who never threatened us but who are hated by Jews.  We have to clean up this country by wiping out the Jewish organization.  Once the organization is wiped out, the Federal Reserve and its stinking Note can be wiped out and replaced by the debt-free US Note.

And that’s how we’re going to clean up this Jewish mess.

Posted in USAComments Off on JB CAMPBELL: DEFENSE AGANIST ZIONIST AGGRESSION

MONDOWEISS ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS

11/11/2010

U.S. Justice Department prepares for the ominous expansion of law prohibiting ‘material support’ for terrorism

Nov 10, 2010

Michael Deutsch

 

In late September the FBI carried out a series of raids of homes and anti-war offices of public activists in Minneapolis and Chicago. Following the raids the Obama Justice Department subpoenaed 14 activists to a grand jury in Chicago and also subpoenaed the files of several anti-war and community organizations. In carrying out these repressive actions, the Justice department was taking its lead from the Supreme Court’s 6-3 opinion last June in Holder v. the Humanitarian Law Project which decided that non-violent First Amendment speech and advocacy “coordinated with” or “under the direction of” a foreign group listed by the Secretary of State as “terrorist” was a crime.

The search warrants and grand jury subpoenas make it quite clear that the federal prosecutors are intent on accusing public non-violent political organizers, many affiliated with Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), of providing “material support,” through their public advocacy, for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The Secretary of State has determined that both the PLFP and the FARC “threaten US national security, foreign policy or economic interests,” a finding not reviewable by the Courts, and listed both groups as foreign terrorist organizations (FTO).

In 1996, Congress made it a crime then punishable by 10 years, later increased to 15 years, to anyone in the U.S. who provides “material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization or attempts or conspires to do so.” The present statute defines “material support or resources” as:

any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial services, lodging training, expert advice or assistance, safe houses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel and transportation except medicine or religious materials.

In the Humanitarian Law Project case, human rights workers wanted to teach members of the Kurdistan PKK, which seeks an independent Kurdish state, and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which sought an independent state in Sri Lanka, how to use humanitarian and international law to peacefully resolve disputes, and to obtain relief from the United Nations and other international bodies for human rights abuses by the governments of Turkey and Sri Lanka. Both organizations were designated as FTOs by the Secretary of State in a closed hearing, in which the evidence is heard secretly.

Despite the non-violent, peacemaking goal of this speech and training, the majority of the Supreme Court nonetheless interpreted the law to make such conduct a crime. Finding a whole new exception to the First Amendment, the Court decided that any support, even if it involves non-violent efforts towards peace, is illegal under the law since it “frees up other resources within the organization that may be put to violent ends,” and also helps lend “legitimacy” to foreign terrorist groups.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts, despite the lack of any evidence, further opined that the FTO, could use the human rights law to “intimidate, harass or destruct” its adversaries, and that even peace talks themselves could be used as a cover to re-arm for further attacks. Thus, the Court’s opinion criminalizes efforts by independent groups to work for peace if they in anyway cooperate or coordinate with designated FTOs.

The Court distinguishes what it refers to “independent advocacy” which it finds is not prohibited by the statute, from “advocacy performed in coordination with, or at the direction of, a foreign terrorist organization, which is for the first time found to be a crime under the statute. The exact line as to where independent advocacy becomes impermissible coordination is left open and vague.

Seizing on this overbroad definition of “material support,” the U.S. government is now moving on political groups and activists who are clearly exercising fundamental First Amendment rights in vocally opposing the government’s branding of foreign liberation movements as terrorist and support their struggles against U.S. backed repressive regimes and illegal occupations.

Under the new definition of “material support,” the efforts of President Jimmy Carter to monitor the elections in Lebanon and coordinate with the political parties there including the designated FTO, Hezbollah, could well be prosecuted as a crime. Similarly, the publication of op-ed articles by FTO spokesmen from Hamas or other designated groups by the New York Times or Washington Post, or the filing by human rights attorneys of amicus briefs arguing against a group’s terrorist designation or the statute itself could also now be prosecuted. Of course, the first targets of this draconian expansion of the material support law will not be a former president or the establishment media, but members of a Marxist organization and vocal opponents of the governments of Israel and Colombia and the U.S. policies supporting these repressive governments.

President Obama in his foreword to the recent autobiography of Nelson Mandela, Conversations with Myself, wrote that “Mandela’s sacrifice was so great that it called upon people everywhere to do what they could on behalf of human progress. [and] . . . [t]he the first time I became politically active was during my college years, when I joined a campaign on behalf of divestment, and the effort to end apartheid in South Africa.” At the time of Mr. Obama’s First Amendment advocacy, Mr. Mandela and his organization the African National Congress (ANC) were denounced as terrorist by the U.S. government.

The “material support” law, if in effect back then, would have opened Mr. Obama up to potential criminal prosecution. It is ironic, and the height of hypocrisy, that this same man who speaks with such reverence for Mr. Mandela and recalls his own support for the struggle against apartheid, now allows the Justice Department under his command to criminalize similar First Amendment advocacy against Israeli apartheid and repressive foreign governments.

To provide financial support for the legal expenses those under attack contact: tax deductible checks can be sent to the National Lawyers Guild Foundation. c/o National Lawyers Guild, 132 Nassau St. Room 922, New York, N.Y. 10038

Michael Deutsch is a lawyer with the People’s Law Office in Chicago and has been representing political activists and victims of government repression for the past 40 years.

Bil’in invaded for the fourth time in three days

Nov 10, 2010

Hamde Abu Rahme 

IMG 9397

(Photo: Hamde Abu Rahme)

The following is an update to a story we posted yesterday:

Today, November 10th, the village of Bi’lin was raided again. The Israeli Army entered at around 8 pm for the second time today. In the morning, at around 3.00 am, they entered the village with five jeeps and searched Ashraf al-Khatib‘s home. The soldiers also broke down the door of the neighbor’s house, and went in. However, they were not able to find who they were looking for in either of the houses.

When people from the village arrived, the 20 soldiers pointed their guns directly in the face of the people, and acted very aggressively. They also broke down the door of al-Khatib’s house when they entered.

Later, the same night, the army returned to the village, about 9 pm. Soldiers entered al-Khatib’s house again, also this time failing to find him there. The soldiers then took off and left the village, for the second time that evening.

These two raids make it a total of four raids over the last three days. Ashraf al-Khatib is obviously a target these days. Earlier today, al-Khatib received a phone call from a captain in the Israeli intelligence (Shabak/Shin Bet), demanding to see him in Ofer Military Prison. It was made clear that until he shows up for interrogation the army will come to his house frequently. This is a well known tactic used by Israel, to terrorize the village and the families involved to make life unbearable for them.

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(Photo: Hamde Abu Rahme)

Why I disrupted Bibi’s speech – A response to Ben Sales at New Voices

Nov 10, 2010

Matthew Taylor 

Taylor TheOccupationDelegitimizesIsrael

Taylor protesting Netanyahu in New Orleans.

Ben Sales, editor of New Voices, posted a lengthy critique of the protesters who disrupted Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at the General Assembly. Here’s my response, which I submitted as a comment to his blog:

As one of the protesters who was dragged out – I was chanting “The Occupation Delegitimizes Israel” – I’d like to respond to a few of your remarks, and shed light on my motivations. (I will not attempt to speak for JVP, my fellow protesters who interrupted Netanyahu, or the dozen young Jewish activists who worked to make it possible).

It seems to me that Israel is on a suicidal course to impending self-destruction, a catastrophic road that will lead to ruin for both the Palestinian people and the Jewish people. Israel’s institutionally insane, greedy policies of land theft, settlement construction, house demolitions, settler-only roads, and so on are not only oppressing the Palestinian people in a horrific manner, these policies are also causing hatred of both Israel and of the Jewish people. A friend of mine who served many years in the IDF said to me, “the single greatest threat to the Jewish people today is the occupation.” Not Iran. Not the so-called “delegitimizers.” The occupation.

I chose to participate in the action at Netanyahu’s speech because I see very few options today to get this vital message out to both Jews and to the world. As you well know, the American Jewish Establishment (see Beinart’s article in the New York Review of Books) has created a McCarthy-like environment in which any real dissent against Israel’s policies is silenced in extremist fashion.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have been called a “self-hating Jew” for the simple fact that I believe major Israeli policy change is in the best interest of the the Israeli people and the Palestinian people. Ironically, I believe that it is those who defend Israel reactively regardless of its policies, and who tar and feather people like me with these despicable labels, are the ones who put the Jewish people at risk by enabling Israel’s suicidal and oppressive policies.

So anyway, where are we supposed to speak? There is no space for us. The General Assembly had zero space for our message. If we’d proposed a workshop entitled, “How are the occupation, settlements, house demolitions, and settler-only roads delegitimizing Israel?” I can assure you the GA leadership would never have approved it. The GA is a space for 100% pro-Israel cheerleading and pro-Israel brainwashing propaganda and nothing else.

At the GA, I had a number of casual conversations with attendees and came to the belief that those drawn to the GA are largely those who have yet to seriously question the “Israel: Right or wrong” echo chamber effect created by American Jewish Leadership. If one were to attempt to discern the views of young Jews about Israel solely from a survey of GA attendees, one might believe that young Jews are uncritically supportive of Israel, and Peter Beinart was wrong.

But from my conversations in the wider world, I believe the GA is not at all representative of the young Jews broadly, and that the GA attendance skewed very right wing. Of course it did — do you think the GA’s organizers would send invitations to the numerous young Jews, nationwide, who are members of Students for Justice in Palestine, and who advocate for various forms of boycott, divestment, and sanctions? And even among the right wing GA attendees, the admirers of Bibi who I spoke to, I heard a lot of pain and struggle with the dissonance. One self-described Republican Hillelnik told me something like, “Israel is absolutely an apartheid state – come on, it’s obvious, of course it is – but I would never admit that in a public discussion about Israel, because I don’t want people to think Israel is so bad.”

Another young Jewish college student told me that while she loves Bibi, she hates what Israel is doing to the Palestinians in the West Bank, and she doesn’t know how to reconcile those feelings. These kinds of unsettling internal contradictions, privately held on the young right, provide a potential for more awakenings and more young Jews to join the ever growing tidal wave of young Jewish moral dissent that is heading for major confrontation with the paranoid, desperate, and deeply misguided American Jewish Establishment.

When I stood to unfurl my banner and chant my slogan, my first goal was to get a message out to the larger world. It is important to me to be in solidarity with my Israeli and Palestinian brothers and sisters who are engaged in nonviolent struggle against the crimes of the occupation every single day in Palestine (for example, Bil’in), and getting this dissent into the media I think is ultimately helpful to the cause of pressuring Israel to change. Given the media firestorm that ensued, I believe this tactic was successful.

As far as persuading people in the room — this was a secondary goal. Did we win hearts and minds? I think many people felt alienated by what we did. I saw one young woman crying, she was so upset that her beloved Bibi’s speech had been disrupted. I felt genuinely sad about that and wished I could have done something to help her with her pain. But the truth is downright painful and when you love a family member you have to be honest with them. What serves an alcoholic more – smiling while they brag about their plans to go to the bar with your money to get drunk, or performing an intervention and telling them in no uncertain terms they have to get into rehab?

Israeli columnist Gideon Levy has called Israel an alcoholic who is drunk on settlement expansion and colonization of the West Bank. I believe U.S. Jews must perform an “intervention,” cut off Israel’s supply of guns and bombs and bulldozers that it uses to confiscate Palestinian land, and get Israel into a rehab program of equality, peace, coexistence.

What we did, I think, was one part of that “intervention.” We got a truthful message out in the face of extreme, highly self-deluded power. And given the fact that a dialogue ensued among Jews about our message on this and other sites, and that we got so much media attention, I think the tactic was effective. Boycott, divestment, and sanctions is another part of the nonviolent intervention to persuade Israel to change.

As for a positive vision, I have one word for you: Equality. Israel from its founding has been based on inequality, and inequality has been growing more over the years. I support any political program based on equality between Israelis and Palestinians, and I oppose any political program based on inequality. There are many different ways the Israel/Palestine conflict can be addressed based on equality. You can have a two state solution based on equality, a one state solution based on equality, a six state solution based on equality (Johan Galtung’s proposal for a Middle East Community, modeled after the early versions of the EU).

Today in Israel, we have a one state solution based on extreme inequality and extreme oppression. Our voices at Bibi’s speech called for change, and I stand by our actions.

P.S. – Last time I checked, JVP does not advocate for one state or two state, but for international law, human rights, and equality. Check the website, the position is clearly stated.

For the peace that can only come from True Equality,

Matthew

Thinking of Rachel Corrie during the olive harvest in the Galilee

Nov 10, 2010

Hatim Kanaaneh 

It is olive gathering season and people in Arrabeh are at it again. This year the crop is good. A friend from Jerusalem had asked us for two jerry cans of fresh olive oil direct from the press. Raja Shehadeh was scheduled to have a book launch in Jerusalem and we decided to kill two birds. That morning, the next session of the Rachel Corrie case was being held in Haifa. We loaded the olive oil and headed to Haifa to start the day with this third bird. Knowing our friends in Jerusalem to be olive oil connoisseurs we loaded the new fifty-liter Italian-made stainless steel special container that we had purchased for our own use in the trunk of the car and headed out for a day of adventure and Palestinian camaraderie.

But there was a hitch: how much hassle will the security guards at the entrance to the parking area under the Haifa court building give us? Will they insist on opening our overnight bags? How alarming will the empty container seem to them? Will they insist on verifying the nature of the liquid contents of the two jerry cans? Will they alert the special explosive experts in the Haifa police department? Will they hold me till the end of the proceedings? Will I miss the Corrie case session altogether? Might chemical analysis of the oil reveal traces of fertilizer, perhaps the explosive type? And what if the sneaky farmer who sold me the olive oil at the press had tampered with the olive oil?

Recently there has been some friction between the youth of our two clans in the village. What if he decided to take revenge on me? And I had let him load the two oil containers in the trunk of my car in my absence. Who knows what he could have thrown in the trunk while I was busy sipping coffee with the press owner and talking nonsense about the year’s olive crop? I worried myself sick. That sneaky son of a bitch!

It was already too late; I had already arrived at the entrance to the underground parking area. In my anxious trembling I almost drove over the toes of the gate attendant sitting on his chair. He extended his arm out to stop me, made an attempt to stand up, but then put his hand on his back with a pained look on his face and motioned me to proceed. Wow! There is little that an Arabic saying didn’t cover: “God kills a big camel to feed a lame jackal.” He, in His wisdom had afflicted a good Jew with a painful back condition to save an Arab the trouble of inspection. It was a good omen for the day.

I found a parking space in the center area of level minus-two but I decided to skip it acting on a hunch. I circled the entire building three times thus descending to the bottom floor. I chose the furthest corner where I backed into a stall till my fender touched the wall. That way no one can pass behind my Subaru Outback and notice the suspicious load visible through the glass of the backdoor.

The location also allayed my vague sense of insecurity: should any thing happen while I attended the court on the sixth floor, the damage would be most unlikely to reach me all the way from the depth of the far corner of minus-five. I walked across to the elevator feeling rather pleased with my level of smarts. As we emerged at ground level the day looked particularly bright. I gave my wife a tight hug. Even the security guards at the gate to the court complex seemed exceptionally kind. The first one motioned me through without a question. The second man did not sound as if he were mocking me with the standard question of “Do you carry a weapon on you?

Any knife, scissors, fingernail clippers?” As I emptied my pockets of their contents of coins, car keys, mobile phone and wallet and walked through the metal detector, it occurred to me that there must be an easier way to confirm my innocence. So many others bypass the checkup by showing a certain certificate or a tag around their neck verifying their identity as lawyers, judges, or security people. Perhaps I should show them my card and explain how careful I had been in parking my car with its suspicious cargo. Perhaps that will help. But then I recalled an American senior citizen friend of mine who had happened to show her visiting card to inspectors upon arrival at the Tel-Aviv airport. She had already given them my address.

That and the logo on her card from her previous position with the March of Dimes for the disabled which read “We shall overcome,” cost her a few hours of explaining as to what she was planning to overcome while visiting a Palestinian village in Galilee. I didn’t toy with the idea of showing them my card for too long. The voluntary gesture together with the address would have sufficed to make somebody suspicious. I kept the entertaining possibilities to my self, collected my belongings as they emerged from the x-ray machine and made it to the bathroom of the café on the ground floor; I always get an urge to evacuate when scared. It is physiologic.

We arrived late as is my usual deliberate timing. (This is one more of my secret code messages to the world announcing my independence and uniqueness: I will not be beholden to European standards of punctuality! Rebellion knows no limits.) In court it was the same circus act as before: Husain Abu-Husain trying to force another mystery witness testifying behind a screen to jump through ignited hoops of logic and memory to no avail. Except that the atmosphere in court was more relaxed, almost jovial.

For one thing the room was larger than before with more than double the space for audience. The Judge seemed to be in a tranquil mood. It could have been because of the seeming more elevated position of his seat in this room. In the two weeks since he had performed for us last he had grown a white beard that came to a point at its lower end giving him a sort of grandfatherly agreeable look with a faint hint of Mephisto-like mischief. He had a kindly twinkle in his darting blue eyes. Three times he descended from his elevated perch to help the witness orient himself and find his D-9’s position relative to other items on a photograph he was shown.

This gesture, I should admit, uplifted my spirit, not unlike tales of the great royalty of old mixing with their subjects or of Greek deities consorting with earthly devotees. The judge’s kind condescension knew no limits: At one point, when the lawyer questioned the witness’s inability to distinguish Rachel Corrie from local Palestinians, the judge entered the fray arguing that some Palestinians can be as light-skinned (read: pretty) as Americans. A subdued titter went through the court in appreciation of the cross-cultural compliment.

The court session closed early; another witness had not shown up. A new date was set and we were on our way to Jerusalem: before leaving Haifa we stopped at Moshe’s Falafel and Shawarma joint, manned by Arabs and frequented by Asian foreign workers. In Jerusalem, to reach our destination we drove along the outskirts of Mea Sha’arim, the neighborhood of Ultra-Orthodox Jews.

The street was crowded with pedestrians of all ages, all with the outwardly display of their religious identity. We delivered the consignment of olive oil to its destination and headed to The Swedish Christian Study Center at Jaffa Gate to listen to Raja Shehadeh read from his new book, A Rift in Time, retracing the wanderings of his great-great uncle in this corner of the Ottoman empire. In this part of the old city soldiers and policemen on duty were outnumbered only by Christian nuns and monks. Later we ate fish and slept well.

The next morning we took our leave from our friends, visited the Educational Book Store on Saladin Street then walked around Arab East Jerusalem. It was Friday high noon and people of all ages were streaming to Al-Aqsa Mosque for the weekly group prayer. I could hardly believe my eyes: These were the very same folks I had seen the day before at Jaffa Gate and in Mea Sha’arim with the very same hurried and purposeful stride of conviction and commitment. Except that their whiskers were trimmed differently and their women were enveloped in alternative wrappings.

My Christian wife and I, a Moslem, both secular, felt we didn’t belong; we were triply excluded and insecure. What if one group or the other took umbrage at my wife’s bare arms?

“Let us get the hell back to Galilee,” I said in my manliest gruff voice.

My wife sought to deflate my contentious ego. She reminded me of our daily reality: “Why? The Galilee lacks bearded men and draped beauties? Or did you forget the Chief Rabbi of Safad and his fatwa against renting rooms to Arab students?”

“You are right. Galilee is next only to Jerusalem in holiness.”

“And it will get holier as time goes on. Judaizing Galilee will bring us more of what you are running away from in Jerusalem. It is not Moslems versus Jews only. The Christians are into it to their necks with moral and financial support from all the fundamentalists in Texas and DC.”

“Don’t let the religious veneer fool you. You know it is a fight over land and who tells whom how and where to live and when to breathe.”

Still, we headed home to Galilee. As we neared Arrabeh we remembered that our nephew’s family had begun gathering our olive crop of the year. We stopped in the field, a mere show of solidarity. My two dozen trees came down to me from my late father, one fifth of his field that had been in the family for centuries. As we were hanging around shooting the breeze with our relatives and milking away the ample fruit supply from the laden branches, a strange figure flitted across the field.

It was an Orthodox Jewish young man. He obviously was heading to one of the hilltop settlements established by Sharon to guard against me and my people “stealing state lands.” He made as if he did not notice us. His fellow settlers in the Occupied Territories are reported to be active on daily basis driving Palestinians from their olive fields and confiscating their produce, right under the watchful eye of the IDF.

How long it would be, I wondered, before he and his fellow settlers will start taking action against me, the usurper of their god-given Galilee holy land? Would his settlement decide one day to clear my field for their development needs? Would they call in the Army D-9s? Will I dare to put on a bright orange jacket, carry a bullhorn and challenge the Caterpillars like Rachel did?

Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh is a Palestinian doctor who has worked for over 35 years to bring medical care to Palestinians in Galilee, against a culture of anti-Arab discrimination. He is the author of the book A Doctor in Galilee: The Life and Struggle of a Palestinian in Israel. This post originally appeared on his blog A Doctor in Galilee and a previous reports from the Corrie trial for Mondoweiss can be found here and here.  

 

Israel carried out 35 attacks against Palestinians in East Jerusalem during October

Nov 10, 2010

Seham 

And other news from Today in Palestine:

Settlers/ Land, Property, Resource Theft & Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing

Abbas seeks urgent Security Council meeting over East Jerusalem construction
Israel vows to continue East Jerusalem construction, despite row with U.S.; Netanyahu says Israel has ‘never accepted restrictions’ on building in Jerusalem, adding that there is ‘no connection’ between peace process and development in the capital.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/abbas-seeks-urgent-security-council-meeting-over-east-jerusalem-construction-1.324007

U.S. responds to Netanyahu: Settlements clearly linked to peace process
Netanyahu says building in Jerusalem hasn’t affected the peace process in 40 years in response to U.S. disappointment with Israel’s plan to build 1,300 homes in E. Jerusalem.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-responds-to-netanyahu-settlements-clearly-linked-to-peace-process-1.323844?localLinksEnabled=false

Netanyahu to Obama: Jerusalem is not a settlement
PM says building in Jerusalem hasn’t affected the peace process in 40 years; Obama calls Israel’s East Jerusalem building plans ‘unhelpful’ to peace efforts.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/netanyahu-to-obama-jerusalem-is-not-a-settlement-1.323825?localLinksEnabled=false

Netanyahu: Row over settlement construction ‘overblown’
U.S. anger over latest East Jerusalem building plan is misplaced and Palestinian foot-dragging is still the main obstacle to peace, insists PM in interview with Fox.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/netanyahu-row-over-settlement-construction-overblown-1.323956?localLinksEnabled=false

Israel rejects world’s criticism over Jerusalem building
JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel on Tuesday rejected global criticism of moves to build 1,300 new homes in occupied East Jerusalem, insisting it would never limit construction in its “capital,” the premier’s office said.  “Israel sees no connection between the peace process and the planning and building policies in Jerusalem that have not changed for the last 40 years,” said a statement from the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332420

Israeli Court Issues 45-day Extension for Wall Encircling al-Walajeh
Al-Walajeh – PNN – Residents of al-Walajeh, northwest of Bethlehem, witnessed what appeared to be a near-fatal setback when the Israeli High Court of Justice ordered a 45-day grace period in which the Israeli army may continue building the wall that will completely encircle the village.  Seen through the broken window of one family’s future home, the village of al-Walajeh will likely be surrounded on all sides by the Israeli wall.  The court ruling, delivered on Monday, effectively halves the current land area of the already winnowed village. Al-Walajeh has lost 13,000 of its original 17,000 dunums of land since 1948, or about 75% (a dunum is about a quarter of an acre). Once the wall is complete, a development many say they can expect within the mandated 45 days, villagers will be cut off from another 1,800 dunums.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9118&Itemid=60

Settlers Open New Settlers Only Road in Hebron
Hebron – PNN – A group of extremist settlers opened a new settlers-only road in the old city of Hebron today. Reports from the Palestinian Information Center indicate that the group attacked two Palestinian families, including one worker employed in building Israeli settlements.  In this particular project, the role of the Israeli military in this heavily Palestinian southern West Bank city is unclear.  The story is developing.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9117&Itemid=64

Netanyahu Strikes Again in Har Homa
Hagit Ofran – Eyes on the Ground in East Jerusalem – Har Homa has become a symbol of Netanyahu’s refusal of peace, since as Prime Minister in 1998 he established this settlement. The plan for further extending Har Homa had been in existence for years. Pushuing it forward at this timing is not accidental. This is a huge provocation, a calculated attempt by Netanyahu to torpedo peace talks and also avoid blame, by forcing the Palestinians to be the ones to walk away from the negotiation table.
http://settlementwatcheastjerusalem.wordpress.com/

Settlers target Palestinian olive trees
During the last few years, Palestinian olive trees – a universal symbol of life and peace- have been systematically destroyed by Israeli settlers. “It has reached a crescendo. What might look like ad hoc violence is actually a tool the settlers are using to push back Palestinian farmers from their own land,” stated a spokeswoman for Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights organisation monitoring incidents in the West Bank.  The tree and its oil have a special significance throughout the Middle East. It is an essential aspect of Palestinian culture, heritage and identity, and has been mentioned in the Bible, the Qur’an, and the Torah. Many families depend on the olive trees for their livelihood.
http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=397349&version=1&template_id=46&parent_id=26

The great book robbery of 1948
A new documentary reveals a hidden chapter in the history of the Nakba — the Palestinian expulsion and flight at the hands of Zionist militias as Israel was established in 1948 — which saw the systematic looting of more than 60,000 Palestinian books by Israeli forces and the attempted destruction of Palestinian culture.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11617.shtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+electronicIntifadaPalestine+%28Electronic+Intifada+%3A+Palestine+News%29

Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

Six International volunteers Arrested for helping replant farmland in Saffa
Six international volunteers were arrested on Sunday while accompanying Palestinian farmers to their land to prepare it for crop planting in Safa village, north of Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59859

Demonstrators wave Palestinian flag for first time on Beit Hanoun crossing
Dozens of Palestinians and foreigners demonstrated Tuesday near the Beit Hanoun border crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, for the first time ever waving the Palestinian flag on the crossing gate
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U

Anarchists Against the Wall
Founded in 2003, Anarchists Against the Wall (AATW) is a direct-action group that was established to resist the construction of the wall Israel is building on Palestinian land. The group works in cooperation with the Palestinians in a joint popular struggle against the occupation. Since then, Anarchists Against the Wall has been on the forefront of the Israeli solidarity movement, participating in thousands of demonstrations and direct-actions- against the wall specifically and the occupation more generally- all over the West Bank.
http://www.tadamon.ca/post/8333

Young, Jewish, Proud: Netanyahu’s Speech Disrupted, Max Ajl
Click here to view the embedded video.  The video above is of a number of young people working with Jewish Voice for Peace disrupting Netanyahu’s speech at Florida. They have started a campaign called Young, Jewish, and Proud as part of this initiative; I was proud to see my friends Matan Cohen, Emily Ratner, and Rae Abileah among those who stood up and screamed at Netanyahu. I was scared to see the audience’s reaction: the boos, the cheering, the ripping-apart of the posters. They made it very clear what was going on there. It was a hate rally.
http://www.maxajl.com/?p=4409&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+http%2Fwwwmaxajlcom%2Ffeedrss2+%28Jewbonics%29

Wait– Zionist uses choke-hold on Netanyahu protester… a woman… in the USA?, Philip Weiss
Remember how that female protester being stomped became a giant issue in the Rand Paul campaign for Senate in Kentucky?  Why isn’t the chokehold applied to Rae Abileah, a young woman protesting Netanyahu at the Federations General Assembly in New Orleans, a bigger story? Here is JTA’s Jacob Berkman, the Fundermentalist.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/huh-zionist-uses-choke-hold-on-netanyahu-protester-a-woman-in-the-usa.html

Jewish Values vs. Israeli Policies: Why five young Jews disrupted PM Netanyahu in New Orleans,  Rae Abileah
On Monday morning, the GA plenary began with Oscar the Grouch — seriously, the Sesame Street puppet opened the plenary with a satire about how gross it was that Israelis were so friendly, always sharing, caring and helping each other out. Next, New Orleans Mayor Landrieu stressed a belief in tikkun olam, the Jewish principle of “repairing the world”, and almost in the same breath, an unending support for Israel. Contradiction? We think so.  Our well-orchestrated protest began with the bold voice of local New Orleans resident Emily Ratner, who stood up after applause for Netanyahu and proclaimed, “The Loyalty Oath delegitimizes Israel!” as she unfurled a banner with the same message.  (The protest was captured on video by AP here) As Emily was removed from the room she continued shouting, and Netanyahu commented from the podium, “If they came to delegitimize Israel, they came to the wrong address.” We believe we were knocking on exactly the right door, with a message to the Jews in attendance: Israel’s occupation and oppressive policies delegitimize Israel in the eyes of the world.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/jewish-values-vs-israeli-policies-why-five-young-jews-disrupted-pm-netanyahu-in-new-orleans.html

The Young Jewish Declaration
A vision of collective identity, purpose and values written by and for young Jews committed to justice in Israel and Palestine. It is an invitation and call to action for both our peers and our elders, launched as a counter-protest at the 2010 Jewish Federation General Assembly in New Orleans.
http://www.youngjewishproud.org/

#BDS: Students push for divestment at university
USC’s campus has recently become the scene of a growing movement by pro-Palestine supporters speaking out against what they see as illegal occupation of territory and discriminatory practices by the Israeli government.  The movement, known internationally as the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” movement, aims to achieve sanctions or other official action against Israel.  Activists hope to achieve this by means of boycotting certain Israeli institutions and stopping business in — or divesting from — companies that are involved in the occupation of what BDS supporters say is Palestinian territory.  The movement has been spearheaded on campus by Students for Justice in Palestine, a pro-Palestine student group that has attempted to raise awareness for the movement by hosting events and collecting petition signatures.
http://youthanormalization.blogspot.com/2010/11/bds-students-push-for-divestment-at.html

“My position has not changed regarding normalisation with Israel. I reject it completely”
“Although Al Aswany’s book has been translated into 19 languages, the author has, until now, refused to permit its translation into Hebrew. Needless to say, he was not impressed with the actions of the IPCRI. “What the centre and the translator did is piracy and theft,” he told news agency AFP , “I will be complaining to the International Publishers’ Association.”…On this point, at least, both parties are in agreement. Al Aswany is equally emphatic on this point: “My position has not changed regarding normalisation with Israel. I reject it completely,” he told AFP.”
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-position-has-not-changed-regarding.html

Anti

Canada Stands by Israel, Jim Miles
A couple weeks after being rejected by the General Assembly for a position on the Security Council, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper has expressed his sour grapes at the rejection stating that Canada will not ‘pretend’ to be an ‘honest broker.’ The other option then is dishonesty.
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16403

Israeli Abuse of Palestinian Children

IOA rounded up 33 children in Silwan last month
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has detained 33 Palestinian children in the Silwan town, in occupied Jerusalem, a report by the Wadi Hilwa information center said.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%

Israeli occupation police round up more children in Silwan
A joint Israeli security force of the police and intelligence stormed houses of Jerusalemites in Silwan town, occupied Jerusalem, and took away a number of children.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bc

Statistics Show 6700 Prisoners Including 283 Children, 35 Women
Bethlehem – PNN – Abdul Nasir Farwaneh, director of the statistics department of the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs, said 6700 Palestinians are in Israeli prison, including 283 children and 35 women. About 70,000 have been jailed since the 2000 al-Aqsa Intifada.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9123&Itemid=68

Siege/Rights Violations/Restriction of Movement

The Archbishop and the Siege
Dr Barry Morgan – The Church in Wales – The Archbishop of Wales, has been at the center of a comntroversy since Spetember, when in a sermon he strongly denounced the the Siege of Gaza and the occupation of the West Bank.
http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=43300

Gaza’s hospitals: Bring your own medicine, Hani Almadhoun
In the summer of 2005 when I was visiting my family in Gaza, my 3 year old niece, Roa, had an incident and I took her to the local hospital. The doctor told us he could not see Roa, who was bleeding from her head, because it was a non-life-threatening case and he sent us home. As we needed to get medical attention to Roa, I remembered the local mosque had a clinic and since it was few blocks away from the PA-run hospital, we went there. This Doctor was professional, gracious and upbeat. He took care of Roa in a minute and treat her injuries and we’ve paid about a dollar for his services. The clinic was run by a Hamas group that was then not part of the government. I was pleasantly surprised with the service and care we received at this medical clinic.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/gaza%e2%80%99s-hospitals-bring-your-own-medicine.html

How Israel’s easing of Gaza blockade has hurt Gaza business
Israel’s lifting of the Gaza blockade allows Israeli goods into Gaza, but has not allowed Gazan manufacturers to import raw materials or export goods.
http://rss.csmonitor.com/%7Er/feeds/world/%7E3/20so-v9bzPo/How-Israel-s-easing-of-Gaza-blockade-has-hurt-Gaza-business

PA wants Israel to expand Gaza crossing
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Wheat and animal feed importers in Gaza have warned of a coming crisis because of Israeli measures to reduce the quantities that enter the enclave to half or less.  Israeli forces have refused a request from the Palestinian Authority to return the Karni crossing, which was used to transport such items, to normal operations. The crossing is open twice weekly, and one of those days is reserved for international organizations.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332424

Gaza: 1 terminal partly open
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities partially opened the Kerem Shalom crossing on Wednesday between Israeli and Gaza for the limited transfer of goods and fuel, a Palestinian crossing official said.  Raed Fattouh, charged with the coordination of goods into the Strip, said 240-250 trucks of humanitarian aid and commercial merchandise would be allowed into Gaza through Kerem Shalom terminal. Limited quantities of domestic-use gas and industrial diesel were also scheduled to enter through the same terminal in southern Gaza, according to Fattouh.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332484

Tourism Initiative to Regenerate Neglected Areas,  Palestine Monitor
Since the 1990’s, efforts to awaken tourism in Palestine have taken slow steps towards creating a vibrant and productive industry. Last week, the mission made an ambitious leap with the launch of the Sustainable Rural Tourism initiative. Organised by the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism, the Rozana Institute, and a network of other organisations, the Sustainable Rural Tourism workshop at Bir Zeit University marked the launch of a project that aims to tap into an under-used resource for economic development in Palestine: rural tourism.
http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article1606

Racism and Discrimination

Israel needs a Leftist revolution to stop the fascism
A social-democratic revolution on the left is the necessary condition to stop the time of fascism exemplified by a loyalty oath to a ‘Jewish and democratic state.’
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/israel-needs-a-leftist-revolution-to-stop-the-fascism-1.323717

Violence & Aggression

LRC: “Israel Carried Out 35 Attacks Against The Palestinians In East Jerusalem In October”
The Land Research Center (LRC) reported that the Israeli Authorities, the police and the army carried out 35 attacks against the residents and their property in occupied East Jerusalem in October.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59864

New Incursion By Israeli Troops Into Gaza
Israel has launched a ground incursion into the Gaza Strip with its forces advancing hundreds of meters into the east of the southern city of Khan Younis, Press TV reported on Wednesday.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59875

Worker shot by Israeli force in northern Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man was injured by Israeli fire on Wednesday while he collected scrap construction materials in northern Gaza near the Erez crossing.  Gaza medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said a 28-year-old identified only by his initials YG was lightly injured and transferred to the Kamal Udwan Hospital for treatment.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332543

Clashes Reported in East Jerusalem Neighborhood
Palestinian sources reported Tuesday that clashes took place between dozens of Palestinian residents and Israeli policemen in the eastern side of Al Esawiyya town, in occupied East Jerusalem. The town and nearby areas have been surrounded since three days.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59863

Two Palestinian workers wounded in IOF shelling
Two Palestinian workers were wounded on Tuesday when the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired an artillery shell at a group of workers collecting gravel south of Gaza Strip.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?x

Violent clashes between OJ citizens and Israeli security
Israeli occupation policemen stormed the Isawiye suburb in central occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday and provided protection for workers who were using cement cubes to close one of its entrances.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Q

Israeli forces raid Jerusalem community center
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided the Wadi Hilwa information center Tuesday in the flashpoint neighborhood of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem.  The forces claimed that the raid was due to illegal buildings linked to the center, Ma’an’s correspondent reported. Center director Jawad Siam said the forces took photographs, but did not mention the extensions to the building.

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332272

Detainees

IDF arrests Hamas lawmaker from the West Bank in pre-dawn raid
Mahmoud Ramahi had been previously arrested by Israel in 2006 after the capture of Gilad Shalit and released in 2009.

Police arrest seven in sweep of East Jerusalem neighborhood
Law enforcement operation in Issawiya follows a series of recent incidents in which Israeli vehicles were stoned in the neighborhood.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/police-arrest-seven-in-sweep-of-east-jerusalem-neighborhood-1.323965?localLinksEnabled=false

Arrests Campaign in Silwan and New Excavation in Hilweh Valley in East Jerusalem
Palestinian sources reported on Wednesday that Israeli soldiers abducted, after midnight, Muhammad Odeh, an owner of construction materials store, and requested Hammudeh Siyam, a shopkeeper to head to the nearest police station for questioning. Both are residents from the village of Silwan in the old city of Jerusalem.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59874

Soldiers Abduct Twelve Palestinians, Including PLC official, In The West Bank
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Wednesday at dawn, twelve Palestinians, including the assistant secretary-general of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), in the occupied West Bank.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59869

Jaffa imam detained on security charges
Petah Tikva court extends remand of Mohammad Ayash, 30, by eight days.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/jaffa-imam-detained-on-security-charges-1.323981?localLinksEnabled=false

Israeli police interfere in repairs at Aqsa Mosque, detain three of its guards
The Israeli police detained three guards of the Aqsa Mosque after they prevented a group of settlers from making what they called repairs in the Islamic Khatuniya School at the Aqsa Mosque.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6

IOF soldiers detain eldest son of MP Halaika
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) broke into the house of MP Samira Al-Halaika and took away her eldest son Anas in a pre dawn raid on Wednesday, the MP said in a press release.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k

They can’t stop them
No matter what they do, Israeli terrorists can’t stop Palestinian strugglers.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2010/11/they-cant-stop-them.html

Palestinian prisoners in Ramon jail on hunger strike after repressive acts
Ahrar center said the Palestinian prisoners in Ramon jail went on hunger strike after the prison administration sent military units to storm some sections and took punitive measures against detainees.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7

Shin Bet Mistreatment of Palestinian Detainees, Steve Lendman
An October B’Tselem/HaMoked, Center of the Defence of the Individual report, titled “Kept in the Dark: Treatment of Palestinian Detainees in the Petach-Tikva Interrogation Facility of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet)” is discussed below. Though, in some respects, treatment over the years has changed, it remains harsh, abusive, and in violation of international law, prohibiting all forms of torture and mistreatment at all times, under all conditions, with no allowed exceptions.
http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/11/shin-bet-mistreatment-of-palestinian.html

Reprisals

Gaza militants launch bomb attack against IDF patrol
Two bombs explode as army convoy passes along Gaza border – no casualties reported.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/gaza-militants-launch-bomb-attack-against-idf-patrol-1.323974?localLinksEnabled=false

Armed group says targeted Israeli bulldozer
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The armed wing of Islamic Jihad said its forces planted a landmine which exploded under an Israeli vehicle in the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday.  The Al-Quds Brigades said the operation, at 8:15 a.m., targeted a military bulldozer in Al-Qaraqa, east of Khan Younis, “to affirm the right of resistance to any Israeli aggression.”
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332639

Fatah

Fatah: Hamas security services are nothing more than ‘militias’
Senior Fatah official Azzam el-Ahmed lashes out at Hamas ahead of Fatah-Hamas reconciliation talks in Damascus this week.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/fatah-hamas-security-services-are-nothing-more-than-militias-1.323834?localLinksEnabled=false

PA military court sentences two Hamas members to actual imprisonment
The Palestinian authority’s military court in Ariha (Jericho) city issued actual prison sentences against two Palestinian citizens affiliated with Hamas Movement.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7

Exclusive: IDF revives liaison position for peace talks
YAAKOV KATZ – J-Post – “Ahead of the prospect of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority picking up speed in the near future, Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), has appointed a senior officer to serve as the military-civil body’s liaison to the negotiations.”
http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=43304

Hamas

Hamas bans Fatah event in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Local authorities in the Gaza Strip banned the Fatah movement from holding a festival commemorating the death of Yasser Arafat, a senior party leader said Wednesday.  Zakarya Al-Aga said Hamas police refused to approve a request for the event.  Major Ayman Al-Batneejy, a police spokesman, said permission was denied on “security” grounds.  Hamas “cherishes the memory of the late president as a great national figure,” he said, but the movement is afraid that “collaborators will take advantage of the event causing problems for both governments.”
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332722

Hamas visits families of Fatah affiliates killed in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A delegation of Hamas leaders headed by Gaza’s Minister of Interior Fathi Abu Hammad visited families of slain members of Fatah’s military wing in the northern Strip on Wednesday.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332635

Hamas Militia Blockades al-Aqsa University in Gaza, Kidnaps Students
Khan Yunes – PNN – On Wednesday afternoon a Hamas militia surrounded al-Aqsa University in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunes and kidnapped a number of students.  Local source explained that militia brigades inspected students, circulated pictures of Yasser Arafat, and moved a number of students to an undisclosed location. This comes after Hamas blocked entrance to a number of Gaza Strip neighborhoods for the sixth anniversary of Arafat’s death. Hamas has ruled the coastal enclave since 2006.  The story is developing.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9125&Itemid=73

Targeting Fun in the Gaza Strip
For the few with money in the Gaza Strip, a new water park provided relief from monotony and widespread misery. Hamas, though, has now burned it down — and sent a message that even the elite must conform to the Islamists’ restrictive rules.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,728138,00.html

Other Political “Developments”

Hamas, Fatah differ on obstacle to unity
Fatah and Hamas officials will meet Tuesday in Damascus for what observers say could be a landmark unity discussion, as delegates tackle the remaining obstacle to reconciliation, the re-forming of national security services. While parties appeared optimistic, statements differed over what remained to be resolved in talks.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332139

Palestinian groups hold more reconciliation talks (Reuters)
Reuters – Representatives of the rival Hamas and Fatah groups met in the Syrian capital Damascus on Tuesday in a second round of talks designed to try and narrow divisions that have damaged the Palestinian cause.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101110/wl_nm/us_palestinians_hamas_fatah

PIC: Abu Mujahid Says Israel’s Propaganda on Resistance is Addressed to the West
The spokesman for the popular resistance committees, Abu Mujahid, told the Palestinian Information Centre, on Tuesday night, that recent claims by the Israeli authorities about new attempts by the Palestinian resistance to capture more soldiers were directed at western countries.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59879

Obama sees “enormous obstacles” for Mideast peace (Reuters)
Reuters – The Middle East peace process faces “enormous obstacles” but the United States will do all it can to achieve a “just” outcome in talks between Israelis and Palestinians, President Barack Obama said on Wednesday.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101110/pl_nm/us_mideast_obama

Livni: Two-state solution only way to keep Israel Jewish and democratic
In speech to General Assembly of Jewish Federations of North America, Kadima chief Tzipi Livni calls on world Jewry to support Israel in the fight against anti-Semitism and Iran.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/livni-two-state-solution-only-way-to-keep-israel-jewish-and-democratic-1.323838?localLinksEnabled=false

Other News

Erdogan: Israel must apologize
In interview with France 24 Turkish prime minister calls on Israel to apologize, pay compensation for IDF flotilla raid before countries can begin to renegotiate ties. ‘Israel responsible for current state of relations,’ he says
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3982560,00.html

Ashkenazi: In a future war we’ll need to evacuate civilians
IDF Chief of General Staff says IDF is already working on target banks for future conflicts with Hamas, Hizbullah.  Israel will have to evacuate civilian populations during a future conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip or Hizbullah in Lebanon, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said on Tuesday.  “In the future, we will not meet the enemy on the traditional battlefield,” Ashkenazi said. “Hamas chooses to fight within an urban setting. It could have alternatively chosen to fight in the open areas.”
http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=194587&R=R2

IDF fears kidnapping attempt
Commanders brief soldiers on security protocols following recent military intelligence on intention to carry out soldier abductions.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3982210,00.html

Kristallnacht anniversary: Controversial Jewish speaker sparks Jewish ire in Germany
Kristallnacht commemorations in Germany tonight will include a speech in Frankfurt by Alfred Grosser, a prominent Franco-German intellectual who escaped the Nazi regime in 1933 and has become a critic of Israel.
http://rss.csmonitor.com/%7Er/feeds/world/%7E3/7q5klOXUEuM/Kristallnacht-anniversary-Controversial-Jewish-speaker-sparks-Jewish-ire-in-Germany

17 arrested for stealing $42.5 million meant for Holocaust survivors
Individuals participated in fraud against the Claims Conference, which issues payments to Jewish Holocaust victims, by falsifying documents attesting to eligibility for Holocaust-related compensation.
http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/17-arrested-for-stealing-42-5-million-meant-for-holocaust-survivors-1.323840?localLinksEnabled=false

Treasury adviser: It’s irresponsible to have too many kids
Avi Simhon aroused firestorm at Sderot Conference on Social Issues by suggesting that main reason for poverty in Israel was irresponsible procreation.
http://www.haaretz.com/themarker/treasury-adviser-it-s-irresponsible-to-have-too-many-kids-1.323880?localLinksEnabled=false

Israeli cheaters
“But Israel’s biggest-selling daily, Yediot Ahronot, ran a large story on Friday, alleged the ICF failed to meet the requirement that all opponents be registered as chess federation members and have collected a minimum of 1,200 points.  It said many of the opponents were pupils from a Tel Aviv junior high school, bussed to Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, and quoted some of them as saying they knew little or close to nothing of chess.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2010/11/israeli-cheaters.html

Headdress, radio, holy book help tell Arafat story (AP)
AP – Yasser Arafat had a knack for turning ordinary objects into symbols, including the black-and-white checkered headdress that came to represent the Palestinian quest for a homeland.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101109/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_arafat_s_artifacts

Analysis/Op-ed/Human Interest

Is Palestine America’s Next Vietnam?, Ira Chernus and Tom Engelhardt
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hasn’t been alone in playing for time when it comes to American policy, that’s for sure. (Think, for instance, of our Afghan War commander Gen. David Petraeus.) But Netanyahu played out the pre-election months with some skill and much shuffling of feet, as he officially pondered Obama administration proposals to reinstitute a settlements freeze in return for copious concessions. All the while, of course, West Bank building has been ramping up, as the 2010 elections crept ever closer. Now, it’s happened and let’s be blunt: it’s a good moment for him and his policies – in Washington. The new crew of Republicans who were swept into Congress seem to consider fealty to him and his right-wing government the sine qua non of political life.
http://original.antiwar.com/engelhardt/2010/11/09/is-palestine-americas-next-vietnam/

Biden is Not Taking It Personally, Belen Fernandez
I sometimes worry about Philip J. Crowley, assistant secretary for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Public Affairs and emcee of the department’s Daily Press Briefings. Do his work habits adversely affect his behavior outside the office? For example, when asked at the supermarket whether he would prefer paper or plastic, does he say it’s too early to tell and revert to a discussion of U.S. commitment to direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians?
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16401

De Gaulle/Arafat, Philip Weiss
The latest London Review of Books has a wonderful piece by Jeremy Harding reviewing two biographies of Charles De Gaulle. It is easy to admire De Gaulle now as a great leader and supporter of decolonization; what I never knew was how difficult was De Gaulle’s rise. The Allied powers looked on the French resistance with great suspicion, and on De Gaulle as a headstrong nationalist believer with too much charisma. Roosevelt and Churchill sought to displace him with more pliable types. And De Gaulle struggled to unify the resistance– indeed to build an idea of French identity.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/de-gaullearafat.html

My meeting with Henry Waxman, Brian Van Slyke
Disclaimer: I wrote the following a couple of hours after my encounter with Congressman Henry Waxman today. This is not verbatim, it is not a transcript, but it is my recollection of the conversation. I’ve kept in everything from our discussion as I remembered it – including the things I said that could have been much better.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/my-meeting-with-henry-waxman.html

The internet broke the third rail for Walt and Mearsheimer,  Philip Weiss
It is testament to the strength of the U.S. discourse that nearly 5 years on, Walt and Mearsheimer keep on tickin. I know I say our politics are broken all the time, and they are broken, but as Mearsheimer himself has said, the internet has been a game-changer, and these men have been given oxygen by the internet. Given international oxygen, actually; though it has served the American discourse.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/the-internet-broke-the-third-rail-for-walt-and-mearsheimer.html

The Weight of a City, Michael Khaled
When I decided years ago to leave my home in America after graduating to come to Palestine and start my career here, my family was less than thrilled. Not only was I moving too far away, but to a place torn apart by generations of conflict. When one of my uncles heard the news, he asked me where I wanted to live, and I have to admit, I hadn’t given it much thought at the time so I just blurted the first city that came to mind: Jerusalem.
http://www.miftah.org/Display.cfm?DocId=22805&CategoryId=13

The fight has broken out inside the Jewish family,  Philip Weiss
The news from the Jewish Federations’ General Assembly in New Orleans is important. I announce landmarks every 100 yards, but this is a big one. The significance of the event is that several young Jews calling themselves proud Jews took Palestinian solidarity into the Jewish family and made trouble with an explosive disruption of rightwinger Netanyahu’s speech. These Jews were brave and surely inspired by the countless brave Palestinians who have taken far greater risks in the occupied territories. But they said, this is our place to voice our anger, an official Jewish space. We are part of the Jewish community. Deal. And the official community responded with rage and violence.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/the-fight-has-broken-out-inside-the-jewish-family.html

Speaking out on Kashmir and Palestine in the US
The United States has become a battleground for both the struggles of the peoples of Palestine and Kashmir, for freedom from military occupation and for justice. Awareness amongst the US public is broadened as the repression of both struggles grows ever more violent, and meanwhile those wishing to stifle debate on these issues in the US resort to harassment and intimidation.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11615.shtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+electronicIntifadaPalestine+%28Electronic+Intifada+%3A+Palestine+News%29

Netanyahu: Intellectual Father of the ‘War on Terror’, Thomas Harrington
“The Israel connection is significant because Israel has long been at the heart of America’s foreign policy woes. America’s misguided war on terror is in fact a complete adoption of Israeli security paradigms without any regard for the actual threats that confront the U.S., making Israel’s many enemies also the foes of Washington. The Israeli Lobby might not have singlehandedly brought about the disastrous Iraq war, but it certainly was a major factor in the push to invade, taking its cues from the Israeli Foreign Ministry.”
http://original.antiwar.com/thomas-harrington/2010/11/09/netanyahu-intellectual-father/

Sisyphus in the South Hebron hills, David Shulman
Another good day, as good days go in south Hebron. This means two relatively hopeful reports in a row; my readers may begin to lose interest, or to suspect my judgment has somehow become impaired. Certainly, the objective situation, including much violence and terror on the ground in south Hebron, is worse than ever, given this settlers’ government that is contemptuous of Palestinians, blind to the catastrophe that it itself is creating, and utterly unwilling to make even the slightest move toward peace. Then there’s the virulently anti-democratic right, well represented in the government by the Foreign Minister and others of his ilk from the Israel Beitenu party; they, together with other members of the Knesset from the far and not-so-far right, have initiated an unprecedented wave of racist and chauvinist legislation (you can find the whole list in Neve Gordon’s recent essay on “Thought Crimes” in the London Review of Books). If you want to know what it feels like to see the country you live in slide, day by day, toward a rabid, ruthless authoritarianism, or worse—invidious comparisons are ready at hand– all you have to do is read the Israeli newspapers. Nearly every day we wake to another new and terrible surprise.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/sisyphus-in-the-south-hebron-hills.html

The Oslo Virus and the Struggle for Bantustans, Haidar Eid – Gaza
In ‘The Music of the Violin,’ a short story by South African writer Njabulo Ndebele, one of the characters comments on the ‘concessions’ made by the apartheid regime to the indigenous people: “That’s how it is planned. That we be given a little of everything, and so prize the little we have that we forget about freedom.”  This is what the endless “peace process” looks like seen from Gaza, where we live under a four-year-old Israeli siege.  We pass the time struggling to survive, wondering if this is the day an air strike will take away our life, our loved ones or our home.
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16404

Heads Or Tails, One Or Two-State Solution, Mitri I. Musleh
Now that the US midterm election has passed, President Obama may have a chance to pay more attention to the Palestinian/Israeli problem.  The challenges facing President Obama have not changed. The Palestinian leadership remains divided, unproductive and out of touch with the facts on the grounds and the Palestinian populace. The Israeli leadership remains committed to the Zionist plan of establishing the Greater Israel and has turned a deaf ear to any country in the world that opposes this vision. Further, the Israeli leadership is going ahead with its plan regardless whether the Palestinians decide to continue or discontinue the direct talks.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9114&Itemid=58

Waiting for Godot in Palestine, NICOLA NASSER
The statement by former U.S. President George W. Bush in his 497 – page memoir of “Decision Points” that a secret peace deal was worked out between the then-prime minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, and Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, which “we devised a process to turn .. into a public agreement” had not Olmert been ousted by a scandal to be replaced in the following elections by Binyamin Netanyahu, who reneged on his predecessor’s commitments, is a piece of history which highlights the fact that peace making in the Arab – Israeli conflict and the peace process have been hostages to the rotating U.S. and Israeli elections since the Madrid peace conference of 1991.
http://www.counterpunch.com/nasser11102010.html

Separation Without Separating — A Friendly Divorce for Palestine and Israel
On the Palestinian side, leaders over the last couple of decades, explicitly or inadvertently, made Israelis and Americans believe that they can negotiate away the Palestinian right of return, in return for financial compensation and concessions over Jerusalem. While some Palestinian leaders might believe they can do so (and Israelis and others could not be happier about that), political realities suggests otherwise. The Palestinian people, especially those living in refugee camps, as well as others in the diaspora, are not likely to accept such a concession on their behalf, by leaders who do not represent them and do not have the authority to strip away their rights.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amjad-atallah/separation-without-separa_b_781097.html

How to Anger the Pro-Israel Lobby, Stuart Littlewood
To their eternal shame, Western churchmen seem to care little about the plight of their brothers and sisters in the Holy Land or the fate of the holy places where Christianity was born.  There are, of course, honourable exceptions. One such is the Archbishop of Wales, the Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan, whose church has provided Palestinians in Gaza with a mobile dental unit.  He is not best pleased that the Israelis make it difficult to obtain fuel and medical supplies for it, and he didn’t mince his words when recently reporting to the Church’s governing body how things really are in Gaza.
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16402

The mighty march of progress: British war graves in Gaza, Jared Malsin
ZAWAYDA, Gaza (Ma’an) — The Gaza War Cemetery is a slightly parched but still green oasis in an otherwise run-down neighborhood on the eastern edge of Gaza City.  Inside a leafy compound, underneath rows of white marble gravestones, lie more than 3,500 mainly British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in two world wars. Aside from the British there are Australians, Poles, Canadians, Greeks, two dozen Indian Muslim soldiers, and some 700 Turks.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332413

Outrage, Misguided, Noam Chomsky
People rightly want answers, and they are not getting them except from voices that tell tales that have some internal coherence—if you suspend disbelief.  The U.S. midterm elections register a level of anger, fear and disillusionment in the country like nothing I can recall in my lifetime. Since the Democrats are in power, they bear the brunt of the revulsion over our current socioeconomic and political situation.  More than half the “mainstream Americans” in a Rasmussen poll last month said they view the Tea Party movement favorably—a reflection of the spirit of disenchantment.
http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/6615/outrage_misguided/

Nir Rosen on “Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America’s Wars in the Muslim World”
Independent journalist Nir Rosen has been covering the Middle East since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. In his new book, Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America’s Wars in the Muslim World, Rosen writes in length about Iraq, the US occupation, the civil war, and how the war affected the broader Middle East, from Jordan to Syria to Lebanon. Rosen also write about Afghanistan, and his time unembedded with the Taliban, as well as the role of independent media and the failures of the US press.
http://www.democracynow.org/2010/11/10/nir_rosen_on_aftermath_following_the

Take note of Arab youth activism, Rami G. Khouri
In the past few weeks I have had the pleasant and instructive experience of mixing with hundreds of mostly young Arabs at events in Doha, Dubai and Beirut that were related in one way or another to a fascinating new wave that seems to be gaining momentum as it moves across the region: entrepreneurship. This is a reason for both hope and concern, because entrepreneurship could either turn out to be a great boost that shatters old ways and propels a tired Arab world forward, or it could be another false hope that is unrealistically burdened with more expectations than it can handle.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=5&article_id=121385#axzz14qYq1AsL

Multi-Billion-Dollar Arms Deals Could Haunt U.S., Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 9, 2010 (IPS) – When the Shah of Iran, a strongly pro-U.S. ally, was ousted from power after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the stridently anti-U.S. regime of Ayatollah Khomeini that captured power also inherited a military bonanza: billions of dollars worth of state-of-the-art weapons provided by the United States.
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=53502

What Laila Sees, David Smith-Ferri
Kabul, Afghanistan – “We live in constant fear of suicide attacks,” said Laila, an Afghan woman who lives in Kandahar city and who visited with us yesterday. “When will the next one strike and where?”  “Twelve days ago,” she continued, “a good friend was walking home from the mosque. A four-minute walk. An IED was detonated, and my friend lost half his face. Another man lost his leg, and his son lost his leg, too. We live with that kind of uncertainty, when you don’t know what is going to happen from one moment to the next.”
http://original.antiwar.com/david-smith-ferri/2010/11/09/what-laila-sees/

Obama’s Fake Muslim Outreach, Stephen Lendman
While slaughtering Muslims abroad, supporting Israeli’s illegal occupation and genocidal Gaza siege, as well as waging domestic war on Islam, Reuters, on November 9, headlined, “Obama says US earnest, reaching out to Muslim world,” saying:  From Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country, “President Barack Obama said Tuesday that Washington’s effort to reach out to the Muslim world was earnest and would help improve security, although he acknowledged that there was still more work to do.”
http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/11/obamas-fake-muslim-outreach.html

George Bush’s “all-time low”
He’s got to be joking, right? No, he isn’t. It’s been nearly two years since he left the White House with the lowest domestic and global approval ratings of any US president in living memory. But, it seems, we still can’t get enough of George W. Bush. This morning’s papers lead with extracts, snippets and lines from Bush’s new memoir, Decision Points. The Times (£) is serialising the book and has an exclusive interview with “The Decider” himself. The Guardian’s front page focuses on how Bush instructed the Pentagon “to draw up plans to attack Iran”. The Indy, oddly, leads with a review of the book from the New York Times’s chief literary critic, Michiko Kakutani.
http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/mehdi-hasan/2010/11/george-bush-iraq-low

You’d have to give Chris Matthews sodium pentathol to find out why we invaded Iraq, Philip Weiss
This is mind-numbing. Last night on Hardball, Chris Matthews interviewed Joseph Wilson, Michael Isikoff, David Corn and Thomas DeFrank about Bush’s memoir. They harped on a lie in the book: Bush’s claim that he was upset when he learned that there were no WMDs in Iraq. As if he were surprised.  But as Matthews pointed out, and the guests agreed, that’s not why we went to war. WMD was merely how the project was sold. And for 15 minutes or so Matthews railed about wanting to know the reasons that we went to war. He walked up to the edge. He mentioned neoconservatives, and he mentioned all the Middle East experts who surrounded Bush when he himself knew nothing about the Middle East. But as to the reasons why, he left a complete blank, and it was left to Joseph Wilson to offer his own estimate of why: because we wanted to change the politics of the Middle East, we wanted to bring democracy to the Middle East. The neoconservative lines. Yes and why did they undertake this project?
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/youd-have-to-give-chris-matthews-sodium-pentathol-to-find-out-why-we-invaded-iraq.html

Lebanon

Yes, you can rely on Israeli military propagandists to learn about private deliberations between Hizbullah and Hamas: how dumb those Israeli propagandists are
“Hamas asked Hezbollah to fire rockets on northern Israel during Operation Cast Lead, but the Lebanese militant group refused, Maj. Gen. (res. ) Dan Harel said on Tuesday.”
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2010/11/yes-you-can-rely-on-israeli-military.html

Israel: Hezbollah, Syria, Iran Likely Involved in Hariri’s Murder
09/11/2010 As the countdown has started before the “politicized” final indictment in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri be released, Israeli media is insisting to “uncover” the “secret” details of the indictment.  On Tuesday, Israeli daily Yedihot Ahronot reported that the indictment would include Hezbollah as well as a number of Syrian and Iranian officials.  The Israeli daily quoted experts inside and outside the occupied territories who are following up on the Hariri murder case as saying that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s son-in-law Assef Shawkat is reportedly involved in Hariri’s 2005 assassination and that he would likely to be summoned for trial by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
http://almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=161648&language=en

Iraq

Bombs kill 4, wound 19 in Baghdad’s Christian areas
The 11 roadside explosives are detonated less than two weeks after an attack on a church.  A string of bombings targeting Baghdad’s Christian community killed at least four people and wounded 19 others Wednesday, officials said, less than two weeks after a bloody siege at a Baghdad church left scores dead.
http://feeds.latimes.com/%7Er/latimes/middleeast/%7E3/0P7BtLYtAT4/la-fgw-iraq-christian-20101110,0,7073426.story

Iraq bombings target Christian houses
A series of attacks targeted on Wednesday morning houses of Christians in different regions of the capital Baghdad. Two roadside bombs near the house of two Christians in Zayouna, eastern Baghdad, detonated causing damages to the targeted house, a security source told Alsumaria News.
http://www.alsumaria.tv/en/Iraq-News/1-56258-Iraq-bombings-target-Christian-houses.html

Tuesday: 4 Iraqis Killed, 18 Wounded
At least six Iraqis were killed and 18 more were wounded in light violence. Security was tightened around some locations following a particularly bloody day in southern Iraq yesterday. Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the United States could keep troops in Iraq beyond a 2011 deadline if Iraqis make the request. Also, Three British soldiers were referred to a prosecutor and could face a war crimes trial over allegations they abused Iraqi detainees.
http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2010/11/09/tuesday-4-iraqis-killed-18-wounded/

NCCI Exclusive Interview at the Center for Victims of Torture: Providing Mental Health Services and Support to Iraqi Refugees
While human rights groups draw attention to torture and other violations in Iraqi prisons, the necessity of providing mental health services and other resources for victims of torture is generally overlooked. The NGO Coordination Committee for Iraq (NCCI) spoke with representatives at the Amman branch of the Center for Victims of Torture (http//www.cvt.org) about its role as a non-profit, mental health services provider for Iraqi survivors of torture and trauma who currently live in Jordan as refugees.
http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/MDCS-8B3HYT?OpenDocument&RSS20=02-P

Iraq PM Maliki likely to win support for second term
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki appeared likely to win a second term, breaking an eight-month deadlock over a new government, after winning support on Wednesday from members of the main factions.
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6A92ZS20101110

U.S. calls for Iraqi president to step down
“We’ve been under tremendous pressure by the Americans in … clearly asking President Talabani to step down,” said a Kurdish source close to the talks. He said both President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have asked Talabani to step aside in recent phone calls.
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/11/08/103383/us-calls-for-iraqi-president-to.html

Iraqi reconstruction a sham – former contractor
O’Brien worked as a US Department of Defense contractor in Iraq as an advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, advising on infrastructure issues.
http://rt.com/usa/news/iraq-reconstruction-failure-usa/

Iraqis decry soaring deadlock costs
Iraqis frustrated by party leaders’ failure to form a unity government after eight months of political deadlock, have staged a massive rally in Baghdad, calling on officials to speed up the process of reaching a power-sharing deal. Much of the public anger stems from soaring economic costs the country accrued since March’s general elections failed to yield a leadership because not a single bloc won enough seats. Many complain that the impasse has caused a standstill in the country, freezing job growth and public services. They also say officials’ salaries, which are many times more than the average Iraqi’s pay, are a major waste of money. Rawya Rageh reports from Baghdad. [November 9, 2010]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJIpgwehBuo&feature=youtube_gdata

PM cautions against open door to Iraq Christian immigration
BAGHDAD — Iraq’s prime minister on Tuesday cautioned other countries not to encourage Christians to abandon their homeland, after France took in dozens of people wounded in a bloodbath at a Baghdad church.  In the latest attacks on the minority community, meanwhile, three homes in the Mansur district of western Baghdad belonging to Christians were firebombed without causing any casualties, an interior ministry source said.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i7UnCGkDgkqskzrvZ5cS9HO5oy4A?docId=CNG.484ab5331fa20716a96f97d055e68940.531

How an Iraqi Christian school became 82 percent Muslim
Sectarian violence and a Christian exodus has left Baghdad’s St. Elia Catholic school largely surrounded by Muslims, who were drawn to the school’s no-hitting rule.
http://rss.csmonitor.com/%7Er/feeds/world/%7E3/JAeOv9Dse6k/How-an-Iraqi-Christian-school-became-82-percent-Muslim

The Ancient World | Mesopotamia
We look to Greece and Rome for the roots of the modern world. But, as Michael Wood reminds us, civilised life in Iraq began 4,000 years earlier. Driving north out of Samawa towards Baghdad, a short way beyond the Euphrates bridge, a tarmac track leaves the main road, heading  eastwards into a scarred, dun-coloured wasteland. Soon you enter the real desert, swept by sandstorms. Then, after 60km or so, a haunting scene unfolds.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2010/nov/10/ancient-world-mesopotamia

U.S. & Other World News

“War Torn: 1861 – 2010” – New Doc Chronicles Post Traumatic Stress Disorder From Civil War to Iraq & Afghanistan
A new documentary, “War Torn: 1861–2010,” airing on HBO on Veterans Day chronicles the lingering effects of war on military veterans throughout American history, from the Civil War through today’s conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. We speak with the filmmakers, Jon Alpert and Matt O’Neil and with the parents of two soldiers who committed suicide after coming home from Iraq.
http://www.democracynow.org/2010/11/10/war_torn_1861_2010_new_doc

US says it has legal authority to kill American-born Anwar al-Awlaki
An ACLU lawsuit is challenging the legality of including Anwar al-Awlaki on a secret ‘kill list.’ The US says killing the cleric, an Al Qaeda member, would safeguard national security.
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2010/1108/US-says-it-has-legal-authority-to-kill-American-born-Anwar-al-Awlaki

Iran hawks step up pressure on Obama — some see echoes of Iraq
Emboldened by President Obama’s political struggles, foreign-policy hard-liners are stepping up efforts to press the administration to take a tougher stance — and perhaps even launch an attack — on Iran.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/iran-hawks-step-up-pressure-on-obama-some-see-echoes-of-iraq/print

Human Rights Watch  US: Torture Should Not Go Unpunished
(New York) – The US government is wrong to not criminally prosecute CIA officials who destroyed evidence of torture, Human Rights Watch said today. The televised statements of former President George W. Bush acknowledging his personal responsibility for ordering torture demonstrate the need for the Obama administration to pursue prosecutions of senior US officials responsible for planning and authorizing the torture and ill-treatment of detainees, Human Rights Watch said.
Acting US Attorney John Durham, who is also in charge of an ongoing investigation into improper interrogations of detainees, announced today that he would not pursue criminal charges for the destruction of CIA videotapes showing interrogations of terrorism suspects.
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/HRW/272c90cd5cd23ef6a39c4c033697cfa6.htm

Waterboarding is torture, Downing Street confirms
No 10 dismisses George Bush’s claim in his memoirs that interrogation technique is legal and helped foil attacks on Heathrow and Canary Wharf.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/09/george-bush-memoirs-waterboarding

Waterboarding Is No Basis for Truth
George W Bush has resorted to the most obvious and, he apparently believes, convincing, defence of torture – namely, that it has saved lives.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/nov/09/george-bush-waterboarding-torture

Bush book defends waterboarding
George Bush, the former US president, has reopened the debate on the legality of the use of torture in his newly published book Decision Points, in which he defends his “war on terror” in Afghanistan and the decision to invade Iraq. Bush says interrogation techniques like waterboarding have helped save lives in the US and UK by exposing leading members of al-Qaeda. In response, the British government, a key US ally in the wars, has reinforced its position against any form or use of torture. Laurence Lee reports from London. [November 9, 2010]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNwETCQLNXo&feature=youtube_gdata

George W. Bush praises President Obama’s Afghanistan surge
He expresses gratitude that Obama “stood up to critics by deploying more troops, announcing a new commitment to counterinsurgency in Afghanistan, and increasing the pressure on Pakistan to fight the extremists in the tribal areas.”
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/44783.html

Obama Lawyers Defend ‘Kill Lists’, William Fisher
Lawyers for the Barack Obama administration told a federal judge Monday that the U.S. government has authority to kill U.S. citizens whom the executive branch has unilaterally determined pose a threat to national security.  That claim came in federal court in Washington, D.C., in response to a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). The two human rights legal advocacy organizations contend that the administration’s so-called “targeted killing authority” violates the constitution and international law.
http://original.antiwar.com/fisher/2010/11/09/obama-lawyers-defend-kill-lists/

Bush book sheds light on Israeli strike on Syria (AP)
AP – Former President George W. Bush confirms in his memoir that the target of a 2007 Israeli airstrike was a Syrian nuclear reactor and suggests he quietly approved — a revelation with special relevance at a time when Israel is calling for a “military option” against Iran’s nuclear program.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101109/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_bush_memoir

Muslims say Obama failing to keep Cairo promises (Reuters)
Reuters – President Barack Obama’s pledge on Wednesday to strive for better relations with the Muslim world drew skepticism in Cairo, where last year he called for a new beginning in the Middle East after years of mistrust.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101110/wl_nm/us_indonesia_obama_mideast

Muslim Americans Foil Terror Threats, William Fisher
A new report on violent extremists in the United States finds that terrorism plots by non-Muslims greatly outnumber those attempted by Muslims, and that Muslim-American communities helped foil close to a third of al-Qaeda-related terror plots threatening the country since Sept. 11, 2001.  The report comes from the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a not-for-profit organization advocating for the civil rights of American Muslims. It consists largely of MPAC’s “Post-9/11 Terrorism Incident Database.”
http://original.antiwar.com/fisher/2010/11/09/muslim-americans-foil-terror-threats/

Jordanians vote in polls boycotted by Islamic opposition
AMMAN, Jordan (AFP) — Jordanians turned out in force on Tuesday for an election likely to produce MPs with tribal links and loyal to a government that faces little challenge after opposition Islamists pulled out.  Polls closed at 7:00 p.m., and senior election official Saad Shehab announced that turnout had reached 53 percent.  The vote came as Jordan faces an economic crisis with a record budget deficit of $2 billion (€1.44 billion) and a foreign debt of $11 billion, or nearly 60 percent of GDP.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332436

Egypt rights groups say fair November election unlikely
CAIRO (AFP) — A coalition of Egyptian rights groups said Tuesday that a government crackdown on opposition candidates will prevent a fair parliamentary election later this month.  The Forum of Independent Human Rights Organisations charged in a press conference that violations in the poll, which will be held on 28 November, “started early for these elections.”  Gamal Eid, the director of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, noted in particular the broad powers granted to the interior ministry and “restrictions on independent candidates belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood and those who splintered from the National Democratic Party.”
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332414

Bahraini Blogger Ali Abdelemam
Rasha sent me this: I cite with her permission):  “I just wanted to bring to your attention the case of Ali Abdelemam.  He is a bahraini blogger and the moderator of the now banned Bahrain Online which is a chat room which is viewed by the Bahraini government as being anti-government.  Nothing on Bahrain Online is censored and it became so important in bahrain that many ministers and government officials would get their news from there.  Ali Abdelemam is now being charged under the Bahraini governments “anti-terrorism” laws.  Before the trial, he was detained without access to counsel.  There is also evidence that he has been tortured by bahraini authorities.  The trial is closed to all the media.  No one has any idea what’s going on.  The bahraini government has basically gone crazy.  Of course this isn’t unexpected.  After nearly a decade of liberalization, they are arresting people left and right and accusing prominent opposition figures of terrorism.  22 have been arrested so far and we expect many more.  Bahrain is definitely regressing.  Before no one was scared of the government and we said whatever we wanted.  Now my parents refuse to talk about the situation on the phone.  My friends on facebook are silent about the situation.  My mother who was visiting me in the US warned me about posting any anti-government articles on facebook.  People are scared.”  Here’s a link to a blog about Ali Abdelemam as well as a wall street journal article on him.”
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2010/11/bahraini-blogger-ali-abdelemam.html

‘Gay’ Saudi prison video on YouTube gets man extra five years
RIYADH: A Saudi man already jailed for alleged homosexuality was sentenced to five more years after appearing in a YouTube video of allegedly gay men inside a Saudi prison, a newspaper said Tuesday.The unidentified 27-year-old man was convicted by a Jeddah judge “for crimes including homosexuality, imitating women, and possessing pornographic video clips.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=121358

www.TheHeadlines.org

The Mavi Marmara is set to hit the big screen in Turkey

Nov 10, 2010

Adam Horowitz 

Polat Alemdar is back! And this time he’s kicking ass and taking names in none other than the Holy Land.

ValleyofthewolvespalestineIf you don’t know what I’m talking about, Alemdar is the hero of the popular Turkish television show, and now film series, Valley of the Wolves. A 2006 film took aim at the American invasion of Iraq, and the upcoming movie is focused on exacting revenge for the Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla.

The 2006 film was criticized for being anti-American and anti-Semitic, the latter charge arising from a Jewish American doctor character, played by Gary Busey, who harvests Iraqi organs to sell abroad. I know that sounds totally unbelievable. I mean really, Gary Busey – Jewish?!

Robert Mackey notes on the Times Lede blog that the film seems to echo Steven Speilberg’s Munich (without the handwringing), and will most likely not help strained Israeli-Turkish relations:

After viewing the trailer for a new Turkish action movie, in which the hero travels to Palestine to exact revenge on the Israeli commander who ordered the raid on the Gaza flotilla, in which nine Turks were killed, the Israeli news site Ynet News suggests, “The already tense relations between Israel and Turkey are about to get even more strained.”

Also, an interesting note on the Valley of the Wolves series from twitter. @hkubra made the following comments which were retweeted by Ali Abunimah:

FYI: Valley of the Wolves is an ultra-nationalist, violence-addicted franchise produced by ultra-nationalist conservatives…its content is often almost racist & full of hate speech on any non-Turkish group, their messages are against a plural Turkey as well

My meeting with Henry Waxman

Nov 10, 2010

Brian Van Slyke 

Disclaimer: I wrote the following a couple of hours after my encounter with Congressman Henry Waxman today. This is not verbatim, it is not a transcript, but it is my recollection of the conversation. I’ve kept in everything from our discussion as I remembered it – including the things I said that could have been much better.  

***** 

It’s not every day you see a Representative of the House outside of the coffee shop you’re about to enter. Well, at least not one as recognizable as the liberal titan Henry Waxman. But there he was: talking on his phone on the street corner, only ten feet away from me. 

Dear lord, I thought to myself. Should I say something to him? Should I say something about ending military aid to Israel, ending the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan? Oh god, I should, but I hate confrontations.  

The congressman continued to walk around on his phone, talking to someone who was probably Very Important about a Seriously Important Subject. Should I say something? 

Waxman went into a next door restaurant and sat down to eat with another man, someone I didn’t recognize. Oh damn, there went my opportunity, I thought. I don’t want to interrupt his lunch – that would be rude. 

And I almost walked away. But then I thought: Our two wars and occupations are rude – they don’t give a damn if they interrupt anyone’s lunch. I’m never going to get this opportunity again. So I quickly contacted some friends and asked – what should I say to Henry Waxman? Several people told me: just tell him you’re young, you’re Jewish, and you’re disappointed in the way congress has dealt with Israel and Palestine. Let the conversation go from there. 

I waited around for a few minutes outside, deliberating with myself if I should spark what was sure to be a tense conversation in a crowded place. And just as I was about to chicken out – this was a Congressman, after all – I saw Mr. Waxman and his companion exit the restaurant, walking directly towards the car I was standing next to. 

Excuse me, I said as Waxman approached, before I really realized what I was doing, are you Henry Waxman?  

Yes I am, he replied, strolling up to me, ready to talk with this random citizen on the street. This was actually a pleasant surprise – I was expecting him to shake my hand and then quickly rush off to whatever Important Meeting he had next. 

It wasn’t to remain pleasant for very long. 

My name’s Brian Van Slyke, and I’m a young Jewish American, I said. 

Okay, nice to meet you, he said as he stuck out his hand for me to shake.  

I took his hand and shook , and the words just spilled out: I just want to say that I’m really disappointed in the way your Democrat-led congress has dealt with the Palestine/Israel issue.  

Well, there was no going back now. 

He nodded his head slowly, as if he already knew where this were going. 

I can’t believe that Congress continues to provide Israel with 3 billion dollars in military aid every year, I continued. To me, this is in direct opposition to the promotion of freedom, democracy, and human rights you liberal Democrats claim to promote. 

He stood up a little straighter and his eyes widened – this certainly wasn’t what we was expecting to hear. 

That money is supporting an apartheid wall, it is being employed to expand Israel’s illegal colonies, it is maintaining a deadly and unjust occupation, it – 

Wait a minute, he said, waving his hand. Let me stop you right there before you take your rhetoric too far. 

Okay, I had had my say –  I was ready to hear his response. 

There are nations in the Middle East that want nothing more than to wipe Israel off the map, and that money we give is to protect them from that threat. The Separation Wall was installed to stop terrorist attacks. It was put up and it has stopped Palestinians from blowing themselves up and killing innocent Israelis.   

I could almost see him mentally going down the AIPAC checklist of responses. 

You can’t – I began to interject. 

Wait a minute, he insisted, waving his hand again. Let me say what I have to say. You said your part, let me say mine. That was fair, I thought. I don’t like when people interrupt me, so I was willing to respect that for him as well – even though he had certainly cut me off only moments ago. 

He went on: And the settlements, he seemingly emphasized his watered-down choice of the words – settlements – to contrast my far more accurate term (colonies), well they are another story. If you are talking about the settlements in Jerusalem, that’s one thing. If you’re talking about the settlements in the West Bank, that’s another. The settlements in East Jerusalem are a difficult matter, as they are in the capital of that state [Israel]; but if you’re going to have a Palestinian state, they are going to want East Jerusalem for their capital. The settlements in the West Bank, well I certainly agree that those have to stop in order to bring about a two-state solution. But the Separation Wall, that has saved innocent people’s lives.  

This was just too much – I had so many rebuttals boiling inside of me that I nearly blurted them all out at once. But I took a deep breath and decided to take him point-by-point: I think you’re completely wrong there. That Wall, which is enforcing apartheid rule, is not maintaining peace but fostering misery. It makes life unbearable for many Palestinians – it has stolen countless Palestinian land; it has cut families and towns off from each other; trips to work or school that were once normal now take hours or are just impossible to make at all. Its destroying lives, towns, and economies while stealing land. You can’t say that’s saving innocent lives because – 

He cut me off: Look, before terrorists were killing Israelis in buses and now they’re not. 

I’m sorry, I said, slightly indignant, I let you finish, so will you let me finish what I was saying? 

No, you said your thing, then I said my thing, and now I have to go. We don’t have time to talk about this whole issue in this small discussion. By the way, I think you’re understating some of your case and overstating other parts. He, along with the man he had been dining with, started to make towards the car next to me. But I wasn’t ready to let him get off that easily. 

The military aid to Israel which you and the rest of congress provide is the thing that is killing innocent people. That money goes to build weapons that kill Palestinians, bulldoze homes, and maintain Gaza as the world’s largest open air prison camp! It – 

There are Arab nations in the Middle East that want to destroy Israel! He stammered, still heading towards the car. Some of those include Palestinians! 

Now, that just made no sense. He was obviously frustrated. 

First of all, I began (okay, I was losing my cool too – my voice was on the rise), that just has no basis in reality! Palestinians don’t have a nation. You can’t just make things- 

They were supposed to! Israel withdrew from Gaza and said have this country, we will help you build an economy – but their will was to elect Hamas! He was reaching for the car door, opening it, but still facing me and arguing. 

There were so many absurd statements in that single sentence that I was simply flabbergasted. Honestly, my next reply should have been more thoughtful, but I was just at a loss for words. I had no idea how to reply to a man that was so detached from reality. 

You honestly don’t understand the situation, do you? You don’t seem to know the issue at all, it’s as though- 

I know what apartheid is! He insisted as he climbed into the passenger seat and his companion entered the driver’s side. I know what apartheid looks like. That is not apartheid.  

He closed the door without another word. 

I bent down and looked into the window, but he refused to make eye contact with me and stared straight ahead as his companion put the keys into the ignition.  

No, I raised my voice loud enough so that the car window wouldn’t be a barrier. You know who knows what apartheid looks like? That would be Desmond Tutu! I’m pretty sure Desmond Tutu is more familiar with apartheid than yourself. And he says that there is apartheid in Israel and Palestine! 

The congressman just shook his head and did not respond. The engine had started and his companion, who hadn’t said one word the whole time, shifted the car into drive. 

By the way, that’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu, I continued, perhaps louder than I should have, Nobel peace prize winner, who lived under and struggled against apartheid in South Africa. Are you really going to disagree with Desmond Tutu on what apartheid looks like?  

The car drove off without another response. 

I looked around and saw that there were people looking at me oddly – but I didn’t feel ashamed, I just became aware that my heart was pounding from nervousness and adrenaline. I was glad that I had overcome my initial trepidation.

I finally went and got that coffee I was initially after. 

*** 

I don’t think our little argument will change Congressman Waxman’s mind in anyway, nor do I suspect that he will he wake up tomorrow suddenly aware of the errors of his way. Yet, I do think our encounter shook him up. I’m fairly positive that the last person he would’ve expected to challenge him on military aid to Israel would be a young Jewish kid on the street. But alongside my Jewish peers that openly challenged Prime Minister Netanyahu just yesterday, I think we’re beginning to show the old guard that we do not share the loyal-to-Israel-no-matter-what mentality. Instead, that identity is rapidly fading for many Jews who are instead reclaiming their long legacy of standing for social justice. 

So, I hope Mr. Waxman tells his colleagues – Democrats and Republicans alike – of this unfortunate, annoying, and surely frustrating occurrence. And this is the message I hope he carries: whether you are the Prime Minister of Israel speaking to a massive gathering of Jews, or you are a Congressperson outside of a coffee shop who happens to meet a young Jew, it is no longer safe to assume that we all abide by the blind allegiance to a state that falsely claims to speak for everyone of us. Rather, our allegiance is to our fellow human beings, and especially to those that are oppressed – and that means challenging the apartheid and colonialist policies of Israel wherever we find them.  

I hope they are beginning to understand that we are everywhere.

Brian Van Slyke is an activist as well as an educator. He has facilitated workshops and classes on everything from organizing protests to the history of colonialism and slavery. He was raised by a Jewish mother who taught him solid non/anti-Zionist principles.

NYT implies Muslims are the hostile ‘other’

Nov 10, 2010

James North 

The New York Times is at it again.  In an article about President Obama’s mild criticism of Israel’s plans to build more settlements in occupied Palestine, the newspaper said:

Despite their efforts to build mutual trust, Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu seem to keep talking past each other. On Tuesday, they were worlds apart in symbolism as well as substance: the president voiced his criticism of Israel while on a visit to Jakarta, capital of the world’s most populous Muslim country.

On examination, this paragraph — in what purports to be a news article —  is quite astonishing. Here’s the implication:

     * The Muslim world is a bloc, which by its very nature, its essence, opposes Israel.

     * If you want to promote peace in Israel/Palestine, you don’t encourage this Muslim bloc by “criticizing” Israel while you are in the “capital of the world’s most populous Muslim country.”

And just exactly what was Obama’s incendiary statement, uttered in the enemy capital?

When asked in about Israel’s plans for 1,000 housing units for a contested part of East Jerusalem, Mr. Obama said, “This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations.

The fight has broken out inside the Jewish family

Nov 10, 2010

Philip Weiss 

I announce landmarks every 100 yards, but the news from the Jewish Federations’ General Assembly in New Orleans, captured on the amazing video above, is a big one. Several young Jews calling themselves proud Jews took Palestinian solidarity into the Jewish family with an explosive disruption of rightwinger Netanyahu’s speech. These Jews were brave and surely inspired by the countless brave Palestinians who have taken far greater risks in the occupied territories. But they said, this is our place to voice our anger, an official Jewish space. We are part of the Jewish community. And the official community responded with rage and violence and incoherence.

These young people are liberators. The Jewish family will never be the same; the fight has begun inside the family and begun openly at last. Now Netanyahu, whose coalition included fascistic elements, has finally been called out to his face inside the Israel lobby, by angry young Jews, as their parents’ generation swallowed his ethnic cleansing and landgrabbing.

Last year at J Street, the Palestinian solidarity types were quiet. Rabbi Eric Yoffie attacked noble Richard Goldstone in a keynote speech and some people booed but they swallowed it. The panels were all Zionist. Jonathan Chait attacked this website twice during a panel with Matt Yglesias, and I said nothing about it. Passive. I thought, what is my place here, am I a real Jew?

Two years ago I went to an all-night Nakba seder on Market Street in Philadelphia and at 1 in the morning a lot of young Jews did a workshop on their relationships to their families, how out they are with their parents. There was a lot of soulsearching, including by yours truly, but it wasn’t like we were doing it at our families’ seders, no we were gathering among ourselves. For years I was afraid of my mother’s best friend, who made aliyah to Israel 40 years ago. I never came out to her. She’s a Holocaust survivor, I was afraid to declare. She had power over me. I said to myself, If I were on some panel and she walked in the back of the room, I’d go silent. Well this summer I wrote her a letter and then had a conversation with her. Not a very good conversation, but now she knows. She yelled at me, but now she knows.

This is happening all over. There are non-Zionists inside the tent– the JCC is Manhattan is hosting Gideon Levy next week as part of its “Other Israel” festival, and Tablet says that “many” Jews are for a binational state. These Jews are going to make a revolution in Jewish attitudes; and first they must take on their elder.

You’d have to give Chris Matthews sodium pentathol to find out why we invaded Iraq

Nov 10, 2010

Philip Weiss

This is mind-numbing. Last night on Hardball, Chris Matthews interviewed Joseph Wilson, Michael Isikoff, David Corn and Thomas DeFrank about Bush’s memoir. They harped on a lie in the book: Bush’s claim that he was upset when he learned that there were no WMDs in Iraq. As if he were surprised.

But as Matthews pointed out, and the guests agreed, that’s not why we went to war. WMD was merely how the project was sold. And for 15 minutes or so Matthews railed about wanting to know the reasons that we went to war. He walked up to the edge.

He mentioned neoconservatives, and he mentioned all the Middle East experts who surrounded Bush when he himself knew nothing about the Middle East. But as to the reasons why, he left a complete blank, and it was left to Joseph Wilson to offer his own estimate of why: because we wanted to change the politics of the Middle East, we wanted to bring democracy to the Middle East. The neoconservative lines. Yes and why did they undertake this project?

At the end of the segment Matthews said he wants to give Bush sodium pentathol to learn the real reason we went in there.

This is self-imposed ignorance. You will never learn why from a leader, particularly one who wouldn’t know an idea if it peed on his leg. Analysts have to do their digging and offer their insights.

Matthews is a man of insight; and the answers are all around him, in Tom Friedman’s statement to Haaretz that it was 25 neocons who started the war, in Joe Klein’s statement that it was Jewish neocons who came up with a benign domino theory of the Middle East, in the neocons’ own pronouncement that the road to Jerusalem lay through Baghdad, in Clean Break in which Perle, Feith, and Wurmser say that removing Saddam will help Israel to “secure the realm,” in Phil Zelikow’s statement that the unnamed reason was the threat to Israel, in Walt and Mearsheimer’s paper and book, in Glenn Kessler’s revelation that Condoleezza Rice regarded the war as a “way to bring democracy to the region and help Israel”, and on and on. And yes, Doug Feith’s father lost all his family in the Holocaust and Feith is a Zionist.

Chris Matthews knows these reasons darn well why, he just can’t say them.

And what about this from Justin Elliott at Salon, reading Bush’s book:

“He was grateful to Elie Wiesel: For the famous Holocaust survivor’s strong support for the invasion of Iraq war. Bush writes:”

 One of the most fascinating people I met with was Elie Wiesel, the author, Holocaust survivor, and deserving Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Elie is a sober and gentle man. But there was passion in his seventy-four-year-old eyes when he compared Saddam Hussein’s brutality to the Nazi genocide. “Mr. President,” he said, “you have a moral obligation to act against evil.” The force of his conviction affected me deeply. Here was a man who had devoted his life to peace urging me to intervene in Iraq. As he later explained in an op-ed: “Though I oppose war, I am in favor of intervention when, as in this case because of Hussein’s equivocations and procrastinations, no other option remains.”

Was this important? Obviously. And how different from Tom Lantos, Holocaust survivor in the House, comparing Saddam to Hitler? Did Zionism play any role in these men’s thinking? Does a bear spit in the woods?

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11/10/2010

My meeting with Henry Waxman

Nov 09, 2010

Brian Van Slyke 

Disclaimer: I wrote the following a couple of hours after my encounter with Congressman Henry Waxman today. This is not verbatim, it is not a transcript, but it is my recollection of the conversation. I’ve kept in everything from our discussion as I remembered it – including the things I said that could have been much better.  

***** 

It’s not every day you see a Representative of the House outside of the coffee shop you’re about to enter. Well, at least not one as recognizable as the liberal titan Henry Waxman. But there he was: talking on his phone on the street corner, only ten feet away from me. 

Dear lord, I thought to myself. Should I say something to him? Should I say something about ending military aid to Israel, ending the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan? Oh god, I should, but I hate confrontations.  

The congressman continued to walk around on his phone, talking to someone who was probably Very Important about a Seriously Important Subject. Should I say something? 

Waxman went into a next door restaurant and sat down to eat with another man, someone I didn’t recognize. Oh damn, there went my opportunity, I thought. I don’t want to interrupt his lunch – that would be rude. 

And I almost walked away. But then I thought: Our two wars and occupations are rude – they don’t give a damn if they interrupt anyone’s lunch. I’m never going to get this opportunity again. So I quickly contacted some friends and asked – what should I say to Henry Waxman? Several people told me: just tell him you’re young, you’re Jewish, and you’re disappointed in the way congress has dealt with Israel and Palestine. Let the conversation go from there. 

I waited around for a few minutes outside, deliberating with myself if I should spark what was sure to be a tense conversation in a crowded place. And just as I was about to chicken out – this was a Congressman, after all – I saw Mr. Waxman and his companion exit the restaurant, walking directly towards the car I was standing next to. 

Excuse me, I said as Waxman approached, before I really realized what I was doing, are you Henry Waxman?  

Yes I am, he replied, strolling up to me, ready to talk with this random citizen on the street. This was actually a pleasant surprise – I was expecting him to shake my hand and then quickly rush off to whatever Important Meeting he had next. 

It wasn’t to remain pleasant for very long. 

My name’s Brian Van Slyke, and I’m a young Jewish American, I said. 

Okay, nice to meet you, he said as he stuck out his hand for me to shake.  

I took his hand and shook , and the words just spilled out: I just want to say that I’m really disappointed in the way your Democrat-led congress has dealt with the Palestine/Israel issue.  

Well, there was no going back now. 

He nodded his head slowly, as if he already knew where this were going. 

I can’t believe that Congress continues to provide Israel with 3 billion dollars in military aid every year, I continued. To me, this is in direct opposition to the promotion of freedom, democracy, and human rights you liberal Democrats claim to promote. 

He stood up a little straighter and his eyes widened – this certainly wasn’t what we was expecting to hear. 

That money is supporting an apartheid wall, it is being employed to expand Israel’s illegal colonies, it is maintaining a deadly and unjust occupation, it – 

Wait a minute, he said, waving his hand. Let me stop you right there before you take your rhetoric too far. 

Okay, I had had my say –  I was ready to hear his response. 

There are nations in the Middle East that want nothing more than to wipe Israel off the map, and that money we give is to protect them from that threat. The Separation Wall was installed to stop terrorist attacks. It was put up and it has stopped Palestinians from blowing themselves up and killing innocent Israelis.   

I could almost see him mentally going down the AIPAC checklist of responses. 

You can’t – I began to interject. 

Wait a minute, he insisted, waving his hand again. Let me say what I have to say. You said your part, let me say mine. That was fair, I thought. I don’t like when people interrupt me, so I was willing to respect that for him as well – even though he had certainly cut me off only moments ago. 

He went on: And the settlements, he seemingly emphasized his watered-down choice of the words – settlements – to contrast my far more accurate term (colonies), well they are another story. If you are talking about the settlements in Jerusalem, that’s one thing. If you’re talking about the settlements in the West Bank, that’s another. The settlements in East Jerusalem are a difficult matter, as they are in the capital of that state [Israel]; but if you’re going to have a Palestinian state, they are going to want East Jerusalem for their capital. The settlements in the West Bank, well I certainly agree that those have to stop in order to bring about a two-state solution. But the Separation Wall, that has saved innocent people’s lives.  

This was just too much – I had so many rebuttals boiling inside of me that I nearly blurted them all out at once. But I took a deep breath and decided to take him point-by-point: I think you’re completely wrong there. That Wall, which is enforcing apartheid rule, is not maintaining peace but fostering misery. It makes life unbearable for many Palestinians – it has stolen countless Palestinian land; it has cut families and towns off from each other; trips to work or school that were once normal now take hours or are just impossible to make at all. Its destroying lives, towns, and economies while stealing land. You can’t say that’s saving innocent lives because – 

He cut me off: Look, before terrorists were killing Israelis in buses and now they’re not. 

I’m sorry, I said, slightly indignant, I let you finish, so will you let me finish what I was saying? 

No, you said your thing, then I said my thing, and now I have to go. We don’t have time to talk about this whole issue in this small discussion. By the way, I think you’re understating some of your case and overstating other parts. He, along with the man he had been dining with, started to make towards the car next to me. But I wasn’t ready to let him get off that easily. 

The military aid to Israel which you and the rest of congress provide is the thing that is killing innocent people. That money goes to build weapons that kill Palestinians, bulldoze homes, and maintain Gaza as the world’s largest open air prison camp! It – 

There are Arab nations in the Middle East that want to destroy Israel! He stammered, still heading towards the car. Some of those include Palestinians! 

Now, that just made no sense. He was obviously frustrated. 

First of all, I began (okay, I was losing my cool too – my voice was on the rise), that just has no basis in reality! Palestinians don’t have a nation. You can’t just make things- 

They were supposed to! Israel withdrew from Gaza and said have this country, we will help you build an economy – but their will was to elect Hamas! He was reaching for the car door, opening it, but still facing me and arguing. 

There were so many absurd statements in that single sentence that I was simply flabbergasted. Honestly, my next reply should have been more thoughtful, but I was just at a loss for words. I had no idea how to reply to a man that was so detached from reality. 

You honestly don’t understand the situation, do you? You don’t seem to know the issue at all, it’s as though- 

I know what apartheid is! He insisted as he climbed into the passenger seat and his companion entered the driver’s side. I know what apartheid looks like. That is not apartheid.  

He closed the door without another word. 

I bent down and looked into the window, but he refused to make eye contact with me and stared straight ahead as his companion put the keys into the ignition.  

No, I raised my voice loud enough so that the car window wouldn’t be a barrier. You know who knows what apartheid looks like? That would be Desmond Tutu! I’m pretty sure Desmond Tutu is more familiar with apartheid than yourself. And he says that there is apartheid in Israel and Palestine! 

The congressman just shook his head and did not respond. The engine had started and his companion, who hadn’t said one word the whole time, shifted the car into drive. 

By the way, that’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu, I continued, perhaps louder than I should have, Nobel peace prize winner, who lived under and struggled against apartheid in South Africa. Are you really going to disagree with Desmond Tutu on what apartheid looks like?  

The car drove off without another response. 

I looked around and saw that there were people looking at me oddly – but I didn’t feel ashamed, I just became aware that my heart was pounding from nervousness and adrenaline. I was glad that I had overcome my initial trepidation.

I finally went and got that coffee I was initially after. 

*** 

I don’t think our little argument will change Congressman Waxman’s mind in anyway, nor do I suspect that he will he wake up tomorrow suddenly aware of the errors of his way. Yet, I do think our encounter shook him up. I’m fairly positive that the last person he would’ve expected to challenge him on military aid to Israel would be a young Jewish kid on the street. But alongside my Jewish peers that openly challenged Prime Minister Netanyahu just yesterday, I think we’re beginning to show the old guard that we do not share the loyal-to-Israel-no-matter-what mentality. Instead, that identity is rapidly fading for many Jews who are instead reclaiming their long legacy of standing for social justice. 

So, I hope Mr. Waxman tells his colleagues – Democrats and Republicans alike – of this unfortunate, annoying, and surely frustrating occurrence. And this is the message I hope he carries: whether you are the Prime Minister of Israel speaking to a massive gathering of Jews, or you are a Congressperson outside of a coffee shop who happens to meet a young Jew, it is no longer safe to assume that we all abide by the blind allegiance to a state that falsely claims to speak for everyone of us. Rather, our allegiance is to our fellow human beings, and especially to those that are oppressed – and that means challenging the apartheid and colonialist policies of Israel wherever we find them.  

I hope they are beginning to understand that we are everywhere.

Brian Van Slyke is an activist as well as an educator. He has facilitated workshops and classes on everything from organizing protests to the history of colonialism and slavery. He was raised by a Jewish mother who taught him solid non/anti-Zionist principles.

 

Jewish Values vs. Israeli Policies: Why five young Jews disrupted PM Netanyahu in New Orleans

Nov 09, 2010

Rae Abileah 

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The five young Jewish activists after disrupting Netanyahu.

Being young and Jewish and realizing what Israel’s occupation is really like, contrary to what we may have been taught in our religious schools or high school trips to the holy land, can be a lonely journey. It can be compared to a “coming out” experience, where sharing your perceptions with friends and family, let alone a room full of over 4,000 Jews, can be a daunting task.  While more American Jews—and particularly young American Jews—are growing disillusioned with Israeli policies implemented in the name of all Jews with the support of old-guard groups such as AIPAC, it is still often a scary thing to publicly criticize Israel within the broader community.

In New Orleans during the Jewish Federation’s General Assembly (GA), Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) created a safe space for young Jews, like myself, whose stomachs are still churning from the bombings in Gaza nearly two years ago, and whose eyes can no longer be averted from the daily reality of oppression for Palestinians. We came together to organize effectively and from the heart.  And if we have faith in our generation’s capacity to transform politics and create peace, then we can believe in JVP’s mission as possible in the face of all odds.

Picture 5Image from Israeli television news of Emily Ratner being removed from the GA.

On Monday morning, the GA plenary began with Oscar the Grouch — seriously, the Sesame Street puppet opened the plenary with a satire about how gross it was that Israelis were so friendly, always sharing, caring and helping each other out.

Next, New Orleans Mayor Landrieu stressed a belief in tikkun olam, the Jewish principle of “repairing the world”, and almost in the same breath, an unending support for Israel. Contradiction? We think so. 

Our well-orchestrated protest began with the bold voice of local New Orleans resident Emily Ratner, who stood up after applause for Netanyahu and proclaimed, “The Loyalty Oath delegitimizes Israel!” as she unfurled a banner with the same message.  (The protest was captured on video by AP here) As Emily was removed from the room she continued shouting, and Netanyahu commented from the podium, “If they came to delegitimize Israel, they came to the wrong address.” We believe we were knocking on exactly the right door, with a message to the Jews in attendance: Israel’s occupation and oppressive policies delegitimize Israel in the eyes of the world.

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Eitan Isaacson protesting Netanyahu (Photo: Matthew Hinton, The Times-Picayune)

The second protester was Israeli resident Eitan Isaacson who unfurled a banner stating, “Silencing Dissent Delegitimizes Israel.”  He was forcefully removed from the building while chanting in English and Hebrew.

Isaacson stated that the purpose of the action was as follows: “We’re here to call out the elephant in the room. Israel continues to expropriate Palestinian land for Jewish-only communities, passes increasingly racist laws in the Knesset, the foreign minister wants to strip Palestinian citizens of their citizenship — these are the reasons Israel is becoming a pariah in the world.”

After Netanyahu continued to decry delegitimization, Matthew Taylor of Berkeley, CA, arose, unfurled a banner reading “Occupation Delegitimizes Israel” and spoke the slogan loudly.  Taylor was pushed to the ground, his button-down shirt ripped open, and his shoe flung from his foot (he lost the shoe during the protest). (Photo: attached) Meanwhile, an enraged rabbi grabbed Taylor’s banner and proceeded to rip it to pieces with his teeth and fists.

Several minutes later, Israeli activist Matan Cohen stood up on his chair to unfurl yet another banner while shouting, “The siege on Gaza delegitimizes Israel!” Matan is the founder of Anarchists Against the Wall in Israel and has been a prominent organizer at Hampshire College.  Cohen explained his reasoning for demonstrating: “Right now, the choice for those of us who care about the future of Israel and Palestine is between the status quo–which includes continued settlement expansion, the siege of Gaza, and the racist Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman–or Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions. Given that choice, Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions will win every time.”

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A photo of Abileah’s arm after the protest.

And finally, after Netanyahu summarized the two “greatest threats” to Israel – a nuclear Iran and “delegitimizers”– I stood up and unfurled a pink banner that read, “The settlements betray Jewish values” and in Hebrew: “Justice, justice you shall pursue,” a verse from Deuteronomy. 

The crowd had grown increasingly hostile with each disruption, and I was instantly attacked from all sides. 

A man in the row in front of me pulled the El Al seat cover off his chair and tried to gag me with it.  Another man came up from the side and grabbed me by the throat.  I fell into a pile of chairs until two female sheriffs buoyed me up and hustled me out of the room. The police later confided that they were trying to protect me from the angry mob and get me out of there in one piece.

The JTA reported: “Jeff Shapiro from San Antonio grabbed her from behind and put her in a choke hold, dragging her backwards towards the floor.  When asked later if he had ever put a woman in a chokehold, he replied, ‘Not really. No. I really did not know what was going to happen, I wanted to keep her in check. I was trying to help.’” Jeff Shapiro, according to an Internet search is the president of the synagogue brotherhood and a 7th grade teacher at Temple Beth-El, and is the chair of the Federation’s San Antonio Association for Jewish Education.

Some in the audience chanted “Am Yisrael Chai” and later “Bibi! Bibi!” to try to drown out our voices.  Others tackled us or shouted obscenities.  But not all were outraged by our actions and words.  We heard later about the many Jewish students who were brought to tears seeing the visual display of an internal conflict of values they themselves felt.

As Rob Eshman’s blog in the Jewish Journal summarized:

“What were they against?” one Israeli journalist in the audience asked rhetorically. “The loyalty oath? The occupation? Gaza? Most Jews would agree with them.”

Why did we feel the need to take such a bold, direct action that some might view as rude or inappropriate?  We would have been content to stand silently holding up our banners, revealing the truth in a more subtle, somber way, but the instant violence projected at us meant that our banners were ripped from our hands within seconds of unfurling them.  Giving voice to the cause of justice seemed the moral thing to do.  We also would have been happy to participate in dialogue, had the GA created a comprehensive program that encouraged a multiplicity of views and opinions. 

Rather, the GA was a propaganda grounds for furthering a narrative about the state of Israel that simply does not stand up to the facts as we have witnessed them.  When the traditional routes of civic engagement fail us, we turn to nonviolent direct action, and the time-honored tactics that secured women the right to vote, an eight-hour day for workers, and civil rights protections for people of color.

By staging this loud disruption of Netanyahu’s speech, we inserted an alternative narrative into the GA and into the media in Israel and the US. The Israeli occupation and the oppression of Palestinians in Israel cannot be ignored.  We made visible the unsettling disconnect between Jewish values of social justice and current Israeli policies. Instead of the single-sided story Netanyahu and his supporters hoped to present, we were able to create a dynamic conversation that reverberated through the papers, radio stations (including the Israeli Army Radio), blogs, twitter, and among the delegates. 

Our disruption has been picked up by AP, the New York Times, Haaretz, The Jersualem Post, NPR, Democracy Now!, The Jewish Forward, Ynet News, and many more outlets.  We heard from many students who said the protest sparked discussions about Israel’s policies and emotional exchanges.  A group of rabbinic students met to discuss the occupation.

With our actions, we opened up the possibility for people to have genuine dialogue about these issues, and we are part of a seismic generational shift in the Jewish community that Peter Beinart outlined in his groundbreaking piece in the New York Review of Books entitled “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment.” (Incidentally, Beinart tweeted after our action, “Expect more of this.”) We are not willing to leave our Jewish and democratic values at the door, which means we must stand up and criticize Israeli policies.

The shift is also evident in blogger comments about the actions we took at the GA, which include remarks such as: “I think the use of force in this instance against people peaceably holding banners is more than a bit ridiculous.”  Rabbi Moshe Waldoks commented, “These protests would not have been necessary if the American Jewish leadership at the GA had created an open opportunity to ask the questions that need to be asked about the loyalty oath…”

A new website launched November 8, www.YoungJewishProud.org, presents our group’s Young Jewish Declaration, a compelling vision of collective identity, purpose and values written as an invitation and call to action for peers who care about Israel and Palestine. It is also a strong challenge to elders.  The declaration includes these words: “We are your children, your nieces and nephews, your grandchildren… We refuse to knowingly oppress others, and we refuse to oppress each other. We won’t be won over by free vacations and scholarship money. We won’t buy the logic that slaughter means safety. We will not quietly witness the violation of human rights in Palestine.” 

The actions are in part a protest of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and Jewish Public Affairs Council (JCPA) newly announced $6 million dollar program to target campus, church, peace and human rights groups that are working to end Israel’s human rights violations through nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions pressure campaigns. The Federations and JCPA are calling this initiative the “Israel Action Network.”  Critics say it is a “Shoot the Messenger” approach.

We also announced the creation of a spoof Birthright Trip called Taglit-Lekulanu, Birthright for All, open to Palestinian and Jewish-Americans, which was followed up with a spoof denial. The goal of the spoof was to highlight the one-sided narrative that Birthright presents, the ways it renders Palestinians invisible. The rebuttal laid bare the problematic assumptions underlying Birthright trips, such as the emphasis on marrying Jews and procreating.  The spoof was picked up Tuesday, November 9 by Haaretz in a piece that sheds a glaring light on the Birthright agenda.

Perhaps the most inspiring voice of the day came from the youngest member of the JVP delegation, 17-year-old Hanna King, a freshman at Swarthmore College, who was quoted in the Jewish Daily Forward as saying, “I think I’m very much succeeding in practicing tikkun olam and derech eretz by standing up for the rights for all people.  It such hypocrisy for these Jewish leaders that I grew up learning to say that, you know, that the Holocaust was a tragedy but what we’re doing to [the Palestinians] is fine.”  In an article in Haaretz,

King continued to say, “We believe that the actions that Israel is taking, like settlements, like the occupation, like the loyalty oath, are contrary to the Jewish values that we learnt in Jewish day school.  This is not Tikkun Olam. Oppressing people in refugee camps is not Tikkun Olam. And it is a hypocrisy that I cannot abide.  We must be tough on all countries that abuse human rights but I care about Israel because for me it’s personal. “

Rae Abileah is a 28-year-old Jewish-American of Israeli descent and is a national organizer with CODEPINK Women for Peace and a member of Jewish Voice for Peace.  She lives in San Francisco, CA and can be reached at rae@codepink.org


Memo to NYT: fix your boilerplate

Nov 09, 2010

James North 

Journalists use the term “boilerplate” for brief standard explanations.  Here, for instance, is how the BBC describes the West Bank settlements:

“All the settlements on occupied territory are considered illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.”

Simple.  Truthful.  Unbiased.  Sixteen words.

Here’s how Isabel Kershner handled the same reality in today’s New York Times:

“Located within the city limits set by Israel after the 1967 war, Israelis consider it [the Har Homa settlement] an integral Jewish neighborhood of their capital. But the Palestinians and much of the world consider it and similar Jewish developments across the 1967 lines as illegal settlements on occupied land.”

Kershner’s formulation is a modest improvement on some of the Times’s previous versions.  But she still leaves the impression that settlement legality is a matter of opinion, instead of a violation of international law.

Here’s the hidden subtext:

“An integral Jewish neighborhood” (just like the old King’s Highway in Brooklyn, or Rogers Park in Chicago), is being challenged by “Palestinians and much of the world” (people with an irrational hatred for Israel), who “consider” (it’s just their opinion) that such “Jewish developments” (like Co-op City in the Bronx) are “illegal settlements.”

It is no wonder the American reader is confused.

Sisyphus in the South Hebron hills

Nov 09, 2010

David Shulman 

November 6, 2010, Samu’a, West Bank

Another good day, as good days go in south Hebron. This means two relatively hopeful reports in a row; my readers may begin to lose interest, or to suspect my judgment has somehow become impaired. Certainly, the objective situation, including much violence and terror on the ground in south Hebron, is worse than ever, given this settlers’ government that is contemptuous of Palestinians, blind to the catastrophe that it itself is creating, and utterly unwilling to make even the slightest move toward peace.

Then there’s the virulently anti-democratic right, well represented in the government by the Foreign Minister and others of his ilk from the Israel Beitenu party; they, together with other members of the Knesset from the far and not-so-far right, have initiated an unprecedented wave of racist and chauvinist legislation (you can find the whole list in Neve Gordon’s recent essay on “Thought Crimes” in the London Review of Books). If you want to know what it feels like to see the country you live in slide, day by day, toward a rabid, ruthless authoritarianism, or worse—invidious comparisons are ready at hand– all you have to do is read the Israeli newspapers. Nearly every day we wake to another new and terrible surprise.

Actually, it’s much worse than what I’ve just described. Some of the racist bills before the Knesset may not pass; some may be referred to the Supreme Court, which, hopefully, will pronounce them in contravention of the Basic Laws (though the Knesset can then still overrule the court); some—especially those penetrating into the conscience of the individual and attempting to force it to conform—may not be enforceable. It’s important to keep in mind that the men and women who have proposed these laws have a visceral hatred for humane and democratic values and that they are now all too close to the centers of power, their voices heard in cabinet meetings and, with disgusting regularity, in the media. These are people who cheerfully use the democratic framework in order to subvert it.

But the truly demoralizing experience is watching the minds of your neighbors and other ordinary people become infected, as if by a virus, with the mean and brutal vision of the far right and its paranoid delights, above all its loathing of Palestinians and failure to recognize them as fully human. A sinister sickness stalks the streets of Israel. The settlers were the first to cultivate it, but it is the amorphous, volatile, and at the same time strangely supine center where it has now taken root.

It is early November, and so far there has been no rain to speak of. Ezra says this is punishment for our sins—and this time he means not just the endless evils of the occupation but the cumulating sins against the planet and its forms of life by human beings everywhere. We are picking stones from the baked soil of a field just under the “illegal outpost” of Asahel, with its row of ugly pre-fab buildings and its watch-tower and its fence. The field belongs to farmers from Samu’a who have had no access to it until today; they cannot approach their own lands bordering on the settlement without Israeli activists beside them.

Khalid shows us what this means: high on the slope, and relatively removed from the outpost, is a field recently hoed and plowed, ready now for the rain, if it ever comes, and the sowing of seeds. The soil looks dark and perhaps—if you stretch your imagination to the limit– even potentially fertile. But “our” field is a washed-out, dessicated, caked and crumbly brown, with nothing but thorns and bristles and half-buried rocks to hold the eye. It has been untouched for a long time, except perhaps by the settlers’ goats. In a wild, utopian burst of faith, we have come to clean it and heal it and coax it back to life, though we know that the chances its Palestinian owners will actually be able to plant and reap here are close to nil.

We expect the settlers to descend on us at any moment, but very surprisingly on this hot Shabbat morning the few inhabitants of Asahel appear to be asleep. We work peacefully for an hour, and the field begins to look a little better. It is full of hidden life: a preying mantis sunning herself on a rock; a hibernating yellow scorpion discovered under another rock; several tough white partridge eggs; fresh droppings from the wild deer and antelopes we see from time to time in south Hebron. There is no dearth of stones, but eventually we move on over the hill to another field, immediately abutting the outpost.

Now we are no longer alone: a corpulent, bearded settler dressed in Shabbat white, with a huge, pious skull-cap on his head, emerges above us, screaming profanities, his wife and one or two others close behind him. I remember him all too well.

It’s just over a year since I last came here, with our Palestinian friends from Samu’a, to clear away the stones. Now I’m wondering if some kind of bad karma is rooted in this field. Looking at the unimaginable proliferation of stones before us, I do a quick mental calculation. Last time we managed to work for half an hour or so before the soldiers arrived. Today there are more stones than ever. Let’s say we manage to clear at least one of the ruined terraces, assuming we get a respite of an hour or so before we’re either arrested or driven away.

At this rate—say, optimistically, four or five hundred stones removed from the ground, three or four times each year—it will take us some 50 years to clear the whole field. And anyway what good will it do? The settler, oozing smugness and derision, is shouting: “How good of you idiots to clear the field for me! You know I’m the one who is going to use it. You know your Palestinian friends all belong to the Hamas, which means you, too, are serving the Hamas. But please do go on working.”

He may well, of course, be quite right about the fact that he, and no one else, will successfully claim this field. Khalil—erect, manly, unafraid– cannot bear it, and he shouts back uphill, in Hebrew, at the settler: “God knows that this land is mine. God knows.”

Do stones grow naturally in this soil, like thorns, like the hardness that petrifies the human heart? No, the problem is that since the terraces have all been destroyed, the rains, when they finally come, wash away the topsoil, exposing the infinite store of rocks underneath. We are working well now, it is hot, my hands are scratched and aching, there are not enough hoes and shovels, and it is all borrowed time, since the settler, breaking the Shabbat rules, of course, has already summoned the army on his cellphone.

Soon the soldiers begin to filter down the hill, and then the police arrive, too. Yehuda and I consult: how far do we want to go in confronting them? Last time we were arrested here together and spent the day in the Kiryat Arba’ station; for once we had time to talk at leisure. Since then he has written a first novel, about to be published, and he has a good plot sketched out for his next one. I’d welcome the opportunity for another long talk, but today we have about ten guests from abroad with us, and we don’t want to get them into trouble.

We decide we’ll wait to see the inevitable order declaring this field a Closed Military Zone—closed, that is, to Palestinians and Israeli peace activists, not to settlers—and then follow Khalid’s lead as best we can. If they arrest any of the Palestinians, of course, we will insist on being arrested with them.

Strangely, miraculously, the soldiers have arrived without the signed order. Of course they can phone back to headquarters and have one delivered. But for the moment, they adopt the superficial tones of reason (is it possible that even they are fed up with the settlers?). “What are you doing here? What’s going on?” We’re working, we answer, in the fields that belong to these people. “What do you mean by ‘belong’?” asks the officer in charge, a lean, young, rather soft-spoken man.

It’s a good question; that something might actually “belong” to Palestinians is, perhaps, a novel idea in the south Hebron hills. Yes, I say, they own this field, and they have the kushans—the Ottoman land-registry documents—to prove it. The officer has never heard of a kushan, and we have to explain. He is not overtly hostile. He calls the Palestinian owners together and tells them, in Arabic: You say you have documents. Bring them tomorrow morning to such-and-such an office, and we’ll check into it.

In the meantime, stop the work. He says it over and over, ten, twelve times. The Palestinians repeat their claim. Minutes pass, and an incongruous, unhappy intimacy seems to develop between the two parties thrown together on this rugged hill, the soldiers who serve the occupation—and the settlers—and these men from Samu’a who are trying desperately to survive with dignity and, against all odds, to reclaim their land.

Still no written order. Maybe, we joke among ourselves, the Mahat, the senior commander in the area, doesn’t want to defile the Shabbat by signing it. Maybe, Yehuda says, they’ve devised a new system, the “Sacrament of the Closed Military Zone”—the Mahat has only to pass his hand over the printed form and, with God’s help, it signs itself. In any case, the Palestinians are reluctant to leave without that formal piece of paper driving them away. It is humiliating to them, and besides, they are farmers who have touched again their ravished soil; they go back to the shovels, they scrape away more thorns, pry more boulders from the ground, and we work beside them in the sun, thirsty, waiting for some resolution.

Time goes by. Finally, they tear themselves away, and we follow them uphill toward the road. I guess the karma of this field isn’t bad after all. For once, you could almost say, we won. In a reality recalcitrant as rock, today we cut loose a few small stones.

Of course, in the end they, and we, must lose, as Khalid bitterly says: Every time it’s like this, they say bring us the papers so we can examine them, then it drags on for months and we have no access to the field, and the rains come and go without sowing, and eventually we lose our claim. Israeli law cruelly says that a field that is not worked for three consecutive years reverts to state ownership.

It also says that a field that is more than 50% rocks belongs to the state. There are, I assure you, still plenty of rocks on that hillside, though we made a dent.

Yet even minor victories count in the ongoing micro-struggle of south Hebron, where every well and plot of land and olive tree has to be fought for, held on to with all our might in the face of the settlers’ insatiable greed and the predatory system that nourishes and protects that greed. So it was a good enough morning, and for once no one got hurt or arrested, and they didn’t even manage to drive us away with their guns and bureaucratic forms. The fat white settler, perhaps slightly disgruntled, screams at our backs as we move away from Asahel. “You scum, you fools, you idiots, you whores, you wicked sinners, you will be going straight to Hell.” This is too much for me, so, against my usual rule, I turn back toward him and I shout: “It is you, and those like you, who have turned this place into a living hell.” He sputters and fumes.

Zviya—a relatively new recruit to our ranks, a retired head-mistress with the decisiveness and authority and open heart that go with that role—says, walking beside me, “Don’t you have to die to go to hell?” Two weeks ago she saved a Palestinian sheep that soldiers tried to steal; she embraced the sheep, which was bleating in terror, and held on hard even when the soldiers hit her and tried to pry it out of her arms, until in the end they gave up and the sheep ran back to its herd. She’s made for Ta’ayush, anyone can see it. “You know,” I say to her, watching the dizzy hills offering themselves to the flames of the midday sun and the distant blue horizon dipping toward infinity, “I think that when we die we don’t actually go anywhere. I think we simply are not.

Or maybe we become a clod of baked earth in some field like this one, and that’s just fine with me.” She laughs. “I want to be cremated when I die,” she says, “and I used to want my ashes to be spread over some of the many places I have loved in this world, but recently I’ve changed my mind. I want them to spread my ashes over the hills of south Hebron.”

David Shulman is the Renee Lang Professor of Humanistic Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and an activist with Ta’ayush.

Gaza’s hospitals: Bring your own medicine

Nov 09, 2010

Hani Almadhoun

In the summer of 2005 when I was visiting my family in Gaza, my 3 year old niece, Roa, had an incident and I took her to the local hospital. The doctor told us he could not see Roa, who was bleeding from her head, because it was a non-life-threatening case and he sent us home. As we needed to get medical attention to Roa, I remembered the local mosque had a clinic and since it was few blocks away from the PA-run hospital, we went there. This Doctor was professional, gracious and upbeat.

He took care of Roa in a minute and treat her injuries and we’ve paid about a dollar for his services. The clinic was run by a Hamas group that was then not part of the government. I was pleasantly surprised with the service and care we received at this medical clinic.

But fast forward now to the year 2010, when Hamas is the de facto government of Gaza and you will see a different image of the crumbling health care system under this current government. I have been reading a number of news reports about the crisis facing the health care system in Gaza and especially the Strip’s largest hospitals. As I was writing this article, I spoke to a number of relatives and friends in Gaza to verify those reports.

Palpress reports the story of Tamer, a 14 year old school boy who was hit by a car on November 4th  on his way back from school. He now rests in Gaza hospital, but his family reports that it took a doctor 36 hours  to see their child. Worse,  when the nurse came to take care of his injuries, the nurse instructed the family to go to the nearest pharmacy and purchase bandages, gauze pads, roller bandages, and silk tape so that their son can be cared for. The nurse said that his hospital is out of stock of those items.

Of course Tamer’s family made a number of trips to the nearby pharmacy and picked those items up. Another patient confirms that the nurse asked them to purchase non-latex gloves so that he can use them to do his job.

The Gaza government’s Director General of Pharmacies, Dr. Muneer Albarash, confirms that Gaza lacks 100 kinds of medications and 160 kinds of other medical supplies. Of course he points fingers to the Ramallah government for not sending in those supplies, especially in the last two months.

But when I spoke to a number of relatives, they confirmed that the local pharmacies are not short on medical supplies and medications where people now go to purchase what they need when they need it. “When I pick something up from the pharmacy, it reads ‘not for sale’, or ‘donated by this government or that’ ” said Mohammad, a relative of mine.

Dr. Albarash seems to deny the accusations that his government sells donated medical supplies to raise money. “Those are unfounded rumors.” Instead he said that the Health Ministry in Ramallah only sent 37 percent of Gaza’s allocated medical supplies. That may be true, but the government in Gaza received a lot of medical supplies from many entities and groups such as the UAE Red Crescent and the Arab Physicians Association. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if the cash-strapped government sold some of those supplies to make payroll.

When it comes to health care, there are things that Hamas has done right. For example, Gaza has a few specialist doctors who used to run their own shows and charge patients an arm and a leg for, say, back surgery.

Those dozen specialists were making a killing, but they are unable to meet the demand for their services and their prices were too steep. Solution: Hamas made those doctors act as mentors to local physicians and surgeons to train them in carrying out back surgeries. As a result, instead of having one doctor that does those surgeries, there are a dozen of so of those trainees who benefited from this program.

Wait– Zionist uses choke-hold on Netanyahu protester… a woman… in the USA?

Nov 09, 2010

Philip Weiss

Remember how that female protester being stomped became a giant issue in the Rand Paul campaign for Senate in Kentucky?

Why isn’t the chokehold applied to Rae Abileah, a young woman protesting Netanyahu at the Federations General Assembly in New Orleans, a bigger story? Here is JTA’s Jacob Berkman, the Fundermentalist:

When the final protester stood up and opened a banner reading, “Young Jews say the loyalty oath de-legitimizes Israel,” Jeff Shapira from San Antonio grabbed her from behind and put her in a choke hold, dragging her backward towards the floor. When I asked Shapira later if he had ever before put a woman in a choke hold, he replied: “Not really. No. I really did not know what was going to happen, I wanted to keep her in check. I was trying to help.” …

Fundermentalist’s take: Shapira said he was just trying to help, but in the end the aggressive responses from audience members to the protesters isn’t helping Jewish federations any with some segments of the very demographic that they are trying desperately to reach.

While clearly some of the younger attendees at the GA helped in shouting down the JVP protesters, a number of young leaders in the Jewish world told me that the scene made them very uncomfortable, that while they do not agree with JVP’s tactics, they too are critical of the policies that were being protested. And the hostility they witnessed from some audience members gave them pause to wonder if the federation system, ideologically, is a good fit.

My response to Fundermentalist: You are equivocating about an outrage. When America had slavery, the great editor William Lloyd Garrison wrote, “I will not equivocate—I will not excuse—I will not retreat a single inch—and I will be heard.” (David Bromwich quotes it here.)

JVP is in the Wm Lloyd Garrison role. They are leading. They will be heard.

De Gaulle/Arafat

Nov 09, 2010

Philip Weiss 

The latest London Review of Books has a wonderful piece by Jeremy Harding reviewing two biographies of Charles De Gaulle. It is easy to admire De Gaulle now as a great leader and supporter of decolonization; what I never knew was how difficult was De Gaulle’s rise. The Allied powers looked on the French resistance with great suspicion, and on De Gaulle as a headstrong nationalist believer with too much charisma. Roosevelt and Churchill sought to displace him with more pliable types. And De Gaulle struggled to unify the resistance– indeed to build an idea of French identity.

I’ve collected a few excerpts below that had me thinking about the analogy to the Palestinian resistance, Palestinian nationalism, and the leader of that struggle, Yasser Arafat. In the end it is hardly surprising, as Harding shows, that Arafat himself made the analogy. This is what historical study should be about, looking at the past not to explain our own struggles, but to shine a light on them, and gain inspiration from them. When you read this piece and then hear Palestinians dismiss the P.A. as Vichy or Collaborationist, you understand that they are not just rejectionist, they are operating in a strong historical framework. Harding:

By the end of July [1940] only five or six thousand of De Gaulle’s compatriots had answered his appeal to join the Free French. The question for many unfree French had been to effect a realistic salvage of their country and swallow their national pride: from this angle, De Gaulle’s stance looked reckless and irresponsible…

As his voice became more influential and people began to tune in to the broadcasts, spinning the dial away afterwards, so that the wireless wasn’t set to an incriminating wavelength, he issued calls for mass displays of ‘symbolic resistance’ which worked directly on the stifled patriotic impulse and, increasingly, on the republican imagination of his listeners…

Churchill could see the merits of De Gaulle, while Roosevelt held him in barely disguised contempt as a dangerous marginal. Notwithstanding his affection for France, Roosevelt felt in 1942, as Stalin did, that it would have to adjust to a new status in the world, of which De Gaulle lacked any proper sense…

The PCF [French Communist Party] was yet another in a ring of rivals surrounding the general and, as Hazareesingh says [Le mythe gaullien by Sudhir Hazareesingh], De Gaulle was struggling on two fronts, hoping to assert that his was the only legitimate voice speaking for France on the international stage, while coming to an accommodation with the non-Gaullist strands of the Resistance.A unified Resistance, one of the most vexed areas of the picture, became a possibility towards the end of 1942, when the PCF sent delegates to London and agreed terms with De Gaulle; Free French forces were by then a respectable size, around 40-50,000 strong and a credit to the general.

That left the Allies. ‘As soon as America entered the war,’ De Gaulle noted, ‘the Free French were eliminated from the Allied conferences.’ The 26 signatories of the ‘Declaration by United Nations’ against the Axis in 1942 did not include France; De Gaulle was not invited to Washington a few months later..

By now, [42] the Americans believed they might have found an alternative to De Gaulle: General Henri Giraud, a senior officer who had been captured by the Germans and subsequently escaped – a Vichy loyalist, wanted by the Reich and ready to do the Allies’ bidding….

the way De Gaulle saw it [to Churchill:] Ought Washington really to be making all the decisions, including whether or not to deal with the enemy? ‘You allow the Americans leadership of the conflict when you should be exercising it, morally in any case. Do so! European opinion will support you.’ But already Churchill had put De Gaulle’s broadcasts from London on hold and asked the president whether he should scrap them altogether if Washington had another man in mind. ‘I hope you get to Berlin before the Americans,’ De Gaulle told the Soviet ambassador in London…

When he met De Gaulle for the first time in Casablanca, Roosevelt told him he should not imagine he was the sole legitimate representative of the French, since he hadn’t been elected. Neither had Joan of Arc, De Gaulle replied…

the difficulties he experienced in 1942-43 would confront many of the liberation movements in the European colonies after World War Two: the rocky path towards recognition as ‘sole legitimate representative’ of a people; the ambiguous presence of a puppet regime or rival ‘liberators’; deathly partisan feuding; the epic contest with powerful backers.

Together, Fenby’s account and De Gaulle’s own war memoir read as a draft schedule for modern independence struggles in the rest of the century; they also anticipate Washington’s wishful thinking, which persisted through the Cold War, when the forces it backed in the Third World weren’t always the ones to prevail.

De Gaulle was not an anti-colonial: throughout the war he had been ready to take on the British when he felt they were undermining French interests in Lebanon and Syria, and he clung tenaciously to the idea of a French neo-colonial commonwealth of African states after their independence in 1960. He had presided over Algerian decolonisation not because he believed it to be just, but because he had come to grasp that hanging on would do immense damage to France.

Nonetheless, he knew what it was to embark on a national liberation struggle for a people under occupation, raise an army against the enemy and face down a superpower.[*] Gradually, his name became associated with decolonisation struggles as he attempted, without much success, to find a role for France as a buffer against US foreign policy; as president, during a speech in Phnom Penh, he would have harsh words to say about the American presence in Vietnam, the ‘national resistance’ it had fuelled in the south, and the folly of Washington’s war.

[*] Hazareesingh has pointed out in a recent issue of Foreign Policy that Arafat used to wear a cross of Lorraine.

Obama, they’re laughing at you

Nov 09, 2010

Seham 

And more news from Today in Palestine:

Settlers/ Land, Property, Resource Theft & Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing

Settlers to build 800 new homes in Ariel: Peace Now
JERUSALEM, (AFP) — Jewish settlers are poised to begin work on a new settlement outcropping comprising 800 new homes in the sprawling West Bank settlement of Ariel, Israel’s settlement watchdog said on Tuesday.  According to Peace Now spokeswoman Hagit Ofran, the new outpost will encircle the Palestinian town of Salfit, which lies just to the south of Ariel in the northern West Bank.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332362

Israel to establish 11 new villages in Negev
The Israeli housing ministry announced a new scheme to judaize the Negev, south of Palestine occupied in 1948, that envisages establishing 11 new villages in the area from Beersheba to Arad.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd

Israel plan for Jerusalem homes provokes Palestinian outrage (AFP)
AFP – Israel’s approval of more than 1,300 new homes in occupied east Jerusalem on Monday sparked a furious reaction from the Palestinians who accused Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu of sabotaging peace talks.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101108/wl_afp/israelpalestiniansconflictsettlerjerusalem

Israel to build more homes in East Jerusalem
The move comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Obama administration officials in Washington about stalled peace talks with the Palestinians.  Setting the stage for another potential clash with the Obama administration, Israel said Monday it would build an additional 1,300 homes on disputed land in East Jerusalem.
http://feeds.latimes.com/%7Er/latimes/middleeast/%7E3/P1fx7eOzItE/la-fg-israel-housing-20101109,0,3305680.story

After U.S. chides Netanyahu over East Jerusalem construction, more settlement plans unveiled
In addition to the 800 homes in East Jerusalem announced on Monday, Israel also releases plan to construct 1,000 homes in West Bank settlement of Ariel.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/after-u-s-chides-netanyahu-over-east-jerusalem-construction-more-settlement-plans-unveiled-1.323676?localLinksEnabled=false

US disappointed by plans for new Jerusalem homes
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States is “deeply disappointed” over Israel’s announced plans to build 1,300 new settler homes in annexed East Jerusalem, a State Department spokesman said Monday.  Washington is “deeply disappointed by the announcement of advanced planning for new housing units in sensitive areas of East Jerusalem,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.  The United States saw the announcement as “counterproductive to our efforts to resume direct negotiations between the parties,” he added.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332105

After GOP victory, emboldened Israel declares new building in East Jerusalem
Israel publicized plans to build more than 1,300 new homes in East Jerusalem, angering Palestinians and disappointing the US on the eve of a Netanyahu visit.
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/1108/After-GOP-victory-emboldened-Israel-declares-new-building-in-East-Jerusalem

Minister: Construction permit announcement Interior Ministry’s fault
An Israeli official addressed the US criticism of east Jerusalem housing construction permits, saying that “There is no doubt that the finger of blame is pointed at Eli Yishai and the Interior Ministry. They are the ones responsible for announcing the permits.”
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3981728,00.html

Erekat: Israel sabotaging peace with new settlement plans
RAMALLAH (AFP) — The PLO on Monday accused Israel’s prime minister of working to sabotage peace talks by approving the building of 1,300 new settler homes in annexed East Jerusalem.  “We thought that [Benjamin] Netanyahu was going to the United States to stop settlement activity and restart negotiations but it is clear to us that he is determined to destroy the talks,” chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erakat told Agence France-Presse.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332061

EU condemns Israeli building in east Jerusalem
JERUSALEM — The European Union’s top diplomat says she is “extremely concerned” over an Israeli push to build new homes in east Jerusalem, territory the Palestinians claim for the capital of a future state.  EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton condemned the Israeli construction plan, saying Tuesday it hindered peace efforts and should be reversed.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/09/AR2010110902182.html

Israeli conference to discuss allocating Jordan as state for Palestinians
Netherlands MP Geert Wilders is scheduled to attend a conference in Israel to discuss a plan to turn Jordan into a national homeland for Palestinians and shoot down the two-states proposal.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6

Blueprint Negev, Rebecca Manski
Picking up a passenger by the hot, treeless roadside, Bedouin advocate ‘Ali Abu Subayh wheels his Fiat around onto a path, spitting rocks and coating the windows with dust, headed toward an “unrecognized village” in southern Israel. Between the 1950s and 1970s, the Israeli government displaced the Bedouin of the Negev desert into a sliver of land less than 2 percent the size of their former range. The government built seven townships for the Bedouin, and simultaneously declared all existing Negev Bedouin villages to be illegal. Today, Abu Subayh and 80,000 other Bedouin citizens of Israel born in one of these 45 “unrecognized” villages are threatened with further displacement. More than once, Abu Subayh, a field worker with the Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages, has himself returned home to find a piece of paper flapping on the post at the entrance to the goat pen—a demolition order.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/blueprint-negev.html

Sebastia’s living community sidelined for ancient ruins, Sarah Irving
The most obvious difference between the two leaflets is the sites they describe. The first covers the Roman, Byzantine and Crusader remains at the heart of the village, as well as the Ancient Greek, Roman and medieval remains on the hilltop, which is five-minute walk away. The second only mentions the latter. It also features a stern injunction: “Do not enter the village of Sebastye [Sebastia] without the express permission of the IDF [Israeli army] authorities. All visits to the National Park are subject to security regulations for visitors in Judea-Samaria,” the Israeli name for the occupied West Bank.  The archaeological “park” is actually a series of excavated buildings from various historical periods, surrounded by Palestinian olive groves which probably cover more remains going back to the Bronze Age. The Israeli authorities’ forbidding instructions to visitors of the park stem from the fact that the site is designated as Area C, so that it can be visited by Israeli citizens. The village, on the other hand, is Area A — Palestinian Authority-controlled — under the classifications which date back to the Oslo accords. Technically, Israeli citizens break the law by entering the village.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11613.shtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+electronicIntifadaPalestine+%28Electronic+Intifada+%3A+Palestine+News%29

Israeli forces confiscate cement mixer
HEBRON (Ma’an) – Israeli forces confiscated a cement mixer and a pump belonging to Zalloum Company Monday in Bet Awwa south of Hebron, locals said.  A Zalloum company employee said he was using the mixer when forces raided the area and confiscated it.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332190

Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

Bil’in night-raided by soldiers pursuing wounded demonstrator
Today at about 3 in the morning the Israeli army entered the village of Bil’in. About 50 soldiers came in by jeep and by foot. As they arrived to the two targeted houses, they ran and took positions outside, while a number of them entered the house of two brothers.  Soldiers hammered on the door of one house, demanding to see 30 year Ashraf al-Khatib. It turned out they were at the wrong house. They then went to another house by forcing one of Ahsraf’s brothers to show them the way to where Ashraf lives. Soldiers entered that house and his brother’s family’s house, and with the same procedure woke up the family, again asking for Ashraf al-Khatib. His brother, Haytham al-Khatib, is a journalist from the human right’s group B’tselem and was one of the people roused by the army. Though they had again entered a house where their target did not live, they remained inside for about one and a half hours, searching all the rooms.
http://palsolidarity.org/2010/11/15421/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+palsolidarity+%28International+Solidarity+Movement%29

Hecklers disrupt Netanyahu’s speech at U.S. Jewish conference
Protesters chant ‘loyalty oath delegitimizes Israel’ during Prime Minister’s speech at Jewish Federations General Assembly.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/hecklers-disrupt-netanyahu-s-speech-at-u-s-jewish-conference-1.323644?localLinksEnabled=false

Five young Jews disrupt Netanyahu speech with call for new Jewish identity, Philip Weiss
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeEPo7FVjTc&feature=player_embedded

Video of activists disrupting Netanyahu at Jewish Federations General Assembly, Adam Horowitz
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/video-of-activists-disrupting-netanyahu-at-jewish-federations-general-assembly.html

International organizations urged to abandon online Israel event
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — In a letter, 17 organizations in the US and abroad were urged by several groups to respect the Palestinian boycott call and cancel their participation in a November Internet event, “With Earth and Each Other.”  The event is organized by Friends of the Arava Institute, and other partners, including the Jewish National Fund, to benefit Israel’s Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, a statement from the group Adalah-NY said in a statement Monday.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332008

Boycott coordinating organization established in Europe
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Monday marks the establishment of a European coordinating organization for promoting the academic and cultural boycott of Israel, following a founding meeting in Paris in September.  EPACBI currently includes representatives from organizations in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332042

Media kit for BDS media marathon on 12 and 13 November
Nov 8, 2010– Join us in the BDS media marathon on the 12 and 13 November as part of the Week Against the Apartheid Wall! Follow the links for articles, video footage and audio pieces on the Wall, settlements, apartheid and BDS.
http://stopthewall.org/latestnews/2393.shtml

#BDS: Boston-area towns back pro-Palestinian resolutions
BOSTON (JTA) — Voters in five Boston-area districts backed a nonbinding resolution supporting Palestinian rights in Israel.  The ballot question passed with about 56 percent in favor in the five districts in the Nov. 2 election.  The referendum, sponsored by a group called Massachusetts Residents for International Human Rights, an offshoot of the Somerville Divestment Project, asked voters if the state representative from their district should be instructed to vote in favor a nonbinding resolution calling on the U.S. government “to support the right of all people, including non-Jewish Palestinian citizens of Israel, to live free from laws that give more rights to people of one religion than another.”
http://youthanormalization.blogspot.com/2010/11/bds-boston-area-towns-back-pro.html

Audio: Highlights from Montreal BDS conference
More than 600 activists from Quebec, Canada, and the United States gathered in Montreal from 22-24 October for a weekend-long conference on growing the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. The Electronic Intifada contributor Gretchen King produced an audio report from the conference.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11614.shtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+electronicIntifadaPalestine+%28Electronic+Intifada+%3A+Palestine+News%29

another cool boycott video, this one from Toronto
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/another-cool-boycott-video-this-one-from-toronto.html

Help the Palestinians. Go See This Movie, Robert Naiman
A big challenge to turning Americans on to the idea of action to support the human rights of Palestinians is that the situation appears to many as a) far away and b) totally hopeless. Try to talk up the issue, and you are likely to get a look that says, “Why should I pay more attention to something that is far away and totally hopeless? I already have enough opportunities to feel angry, depressed, and powerless.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/help-the-palestinians-go_b_780609.html

“My Name is Rachel Corrie” – Report on play and the panel discussion that followedFrom www.911oz.com
The stars were definitely aligned yesterday evening when play, acting and panel discussion all came together in one powerful surge that marked yet another turning point for Palestine in the usual hostile climate we’ve all grown used to in Melbourne. Not only did Hannah Norris step into the persona of Rachel Corrie conveying all her passion and idealism as though she was truly amongst us in Daniel Clarke’s dramatic yet sensitive production, but the panel discussion that followed took the audience to realms that no one thought possible. After the last tear was wiped away when the lights dimmed on 10-year-old Rachel’s rallying words to end poverty, a panel discussion was in danger of being a cliched afterthought.
http://endtheoccupationblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-name-is-rachel-corrie-reaction.html

Anti

Canadian lawmakers resurrect McCarthy in hearings that say criticism of Israel is anti-Semitismby Jillian Kestler-D’Amours
The Canadian Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism (CPCCA) held an international Conference on Combating Anti-Semitism in Ottawa from Nov. 7-9, in what for many not only signals Canada’s increasingly pro-Israel policy, but demonstrates the dangerous worldwide trend of equating legitimate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/canadian-lawmakers-resurrect-mccarthy-in-hearings-and-conference-that-say-criticism-of-israel-is-anti-semitism.html

#BDS: Cape Town Opera Spreads False Information and Promotes Polishing the Chains of Apartheid Israel
In a recent report in the Mail and Guardian[1], a South African daily news source, the managing director of the Cape Town Opera reiterated his rejection of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s appeal to the group to cancel their ill-conceived tour of Israel. Archbishop Tutu had urged the CTO to cancel their tour, saying that “to perform Porgy and Bess, with its universal message of non-discrimination, in the present state ofIsrael, is unconscionable”
http://youthanormalization.blogspot.com/2010/11/bds-cape-town-opera-spreads-false.html

#BDS: How Arab normalization is undermining the boycott movement
Wassim Al-Adel, The Electronic Intifada – While boycott and divestment campaigns in the West become more sophisticated and widespread, the Arab world’s longstanding boycott of Israel is being undermined by Arab governments, companies and businessmen. This attempt at no-concession normalization with Israel must be countered by all those working for justice in Palestine. The recent Adalah-NY campaign against Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev sheds light on the burgeoning relationship between Arab governments and businesses, and Israel.
http://youthanormalization.blogspot.com/2010/11/bds-how-arab-normalization-is.html

Chronicle of Higher Ed: Ideas can’t circulate in occupation because teachers and students can’t, Philip Weiss
An issue that is rarely discussed in the American media: the occupation helps to stifle Palestinian intellectual life and the free exchange of ideas by limiting scholars’ travel, to archives, foreign institutions and to meet one another. Amy Kaplan has a fine piece on the subject in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Oh and yes she says that Palestinians bear some of the responsibility for the lack of resources, but the overall conditions are oppressive.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/chronicle-of-higher-ed-ideas-cant-circulate-in-occupation-because-teachers-and-students-cant.html

Likud MK launches new award for Zionist arts
Culture and Sports Minister says she intends to fight against growing public delegitimization of arts center in West Bank settlement of Ariel.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/likud-mk-launches-new-award-for-zionist-arts-1.323608?localLinksEnabled=false

Harper says Canada will stand by Israel
He said the persecution of Jews is becoming a global phenomenon in which anti-Semitic ideologies target the Jewish people in their “homeland” of Israel and uses the “language of human rights to do so.”
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Harper+says+Canada+will+stand+Israel/3794912/story.html

Michael Oren urges U.S. Jews to defend Israel against aggressors
 During Jewish Federations General Assembly, Israel’s ambassador to U.S. tells Jews to ‘respect the decisions made by the world’s most resilient democracy… even if you disagree with us.’
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/michael-oren-urges-u-s-jews-to-defend-israel-against-aggressors-1.323620

Israeli Abuse of Palestinian Children

Teenager detained at Hebron checkpoint
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli troops detained a young man at a military checkpoint south of Hebron on Monday evening, his parents said.  Anan Ismael, 19, was headed home from work in Beit Awwa, near Hebron, in a taxi when he was stopped and detained, relatives said.  An Israeli military spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332106

Israel arrested over 345 Palestinians in October, including 140 children
MEMO – A report released by the Supreme National Committee for the Support of Prisoners, has confirmed that last month, forces of the Israeli Occupation arrested more than 345 Palestinian citizens from various parts of the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip including 130 children and two women.
http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/news/middle-east/1725-israel-arrested-over-345-palestinians-in-october-including-140-children

Siege/Rights Violations/Restriction of Movement

Industrial Fuel – Needs Vs. Supply – Oct 10 – Nov 6
http://www.gazagateway.org/2010/11/industrial-fuel-%e2%80%93-needs-vs-supply-%e2%80%93-oct-10-%e2%80%93-nov-6/

UNRWA Strikes Wreak Havoc in Refugee Camps
Refugee camps across the West Bank have been thrown into crisis by a United Nations Relief & Works Agency (UNRWA) strike. Schools, health centres, sanitation and food distribution have been suspended for over two weeks as a result of pay disputes between management and ground staff.  “The students just sit at home now,” says Mahmoud Tohee, popular committee chairman for Al-Amari camp, Ramallah. “The schools are closed completely.” The children have already missed a fortnight, and the streets they play in are filled with trash and sewage, left to fester by UNRWA’s striking labourers. Sick residents are forced to travel elsewhere for treatment now that the health centre has closed.
http://www.palestinemonitor.org/spip/spip.php?article1604

Gaza siege keeps graduate student from attending program in the US,  Adam Horowitz
Abed Al Hadi Basheer is being prevented from attending gradutate school at Washington State University because Israel will not allow him to leave Gaza in order to attend his student visa interview in Jerusalem. The only possible bright side to this story is that it is exposing more Americans to Israel’s collective punishment of ordinary Gazans.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/gaza-siege-keeps-graduate-student-from-attending-program-in-the-us.html

Israel expels two Swedes from occupied Palestine
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) detained and later expelled two Swedish citizens, one of them was a lawmaker, upon their arrival in the occupied Palestinian territories.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7

In Palestine, Occupational Hazards
It’s late May, and I’m sitting in a stylish apartment furnished with Palestinian antiques, dining with colleagues from Birzeit and Al-Quds Universities. They’ve studied and worked in Paris and New York, Amman and Cairo; next week they have meetings in Geneva and Berlin. And yet, they cannot travel nine miles to conduct research in a Jerusalem archive, and they cannot meet in person with scholars from universities in Gaza.
http://chronicle.com/article/In-Palestine-Occupational/125246/

Racism and Discrimination

Former Israeli Arab MK set to lose pension for skipping trial
Knesset Committee approves in first reading bill to deny stipends from lawmakers who fail to appear at a criminal trial against them, as former MK Azmi Bishara did by fleeing Israel.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/former-israeli-arab-mk-set-to-lose-pension-for-skipping-trial-1.323797?localLinksEnabled=false

AFP: One in Four Israelis Living in Poverty, Mostly Arabs
One in every four Israelis lives below the poverty line due to economic misfortunes like layoff and payment reductions, AFP reported on Monday.
http://www.imemc.org/article/59856

Looking Beyond the Loyalty Oath: the Rising Tide of Jewish Nationalism and the Palestinian Factor, Ben White
On October 10, an overwhelming majority of the Israeli cabinet approved a proposed amendment to the country’s Citizenship Law, which if made into law would require any non-Jew seeking citizenship to swear his loyalty to Israel as a ‘Jewish and democratic’ state.
http://muftah.org/?p=407

The loyalty oath and Israel’s Zionist “left”
The Zionist “Left” is distancing itself from a loyalty oath bill on the Israeli government’s table, but the proposed oath is entirely consistent with Israel’s racist foundations and continued ethnic cleansing — all of which the Zionist “Left” has played a central role in perpetrating and whitewashing.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11612.shtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+electronicIntifadaPalestine+%28Electronic+Intifada+%3A+Palestine+News%29

SA Rabbi Denies Existence of Apartheid in Israel, Iqbal Jassat – Pretoria
The late Palestinian author and eloquent spokesman for the Palestinian cause in the West, Edward W. Said, in a ‘96 essay titled ‘Mandela, Netanyahu, and Arafat’ brilliantly captured the contrasts amongst these leaders. But the defining gaps were not related to personalities; instead Said unpacked crucial differences related to and informed by ideology. For instance he cited Nelson Mandela’s commitment to the African National Congress’ [ANC] single goal for which it was created: the end of apartheid, and the institution of legal equality – one person, one vote – between blacks and whites.
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16396

Violence/Aggression & Detainees

Four Injured, Five Arrested in Silwan; Clashes in ‘Issawiya
Maysa Abu Ghazala – Jerusalem – PNN – Clashes in two East Jerusalem neighborhoods on Wednesday evening left four youths suffering the effects of tear gas inhalation and five arrested.  According to area resident Mahmoud Sayyam, the unit of Israeli soldiers dressed as Arabs entered the area on Wednesday evening. When Palestinians tried to stop them, the soldiers threw tear gas canisters, which resulted in the four injuries.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9115&Itemid=64

Confrontations in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Confrontations erupted on Tuesday morning between Israeli forces and hundreds of Palestinian school children in the East Jerusalem town of Al-Isawiya.  An Israeli police spokesman said workers from the Jerusalem municipality performing car safety checks were pelted with stones by local youth. He said the police responded and dispersed the young men.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332166

Israeli and American Rankings on Violence and Corruption, Steve Lendman
Launched in May 2007, the Global Peace Index (GPI) ranks nations according to peacefulness. Its 2010 report includes 149 countries, graded on the basis of “ongoing domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society and militarisation….”
http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/11/israeli-and-american-rankings-on_09.html

Hamas official Nasif on hunger strike, IOA denies him visits
The Palestinian prisoner committee said that the Israeli occupation authority refused to allow its lawyer to visit senior Hamas official Ra’fat Nasif who is going on hunger strike.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2b

IOF troops advance in central Gaza, detain 4 citizens in WB
A number of Israeli armored vehicles advanced in central Gaza east of the Maghazi refugee camp on Tuesday morning, Palestinian security sources told the PIC reporter.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2b

IOA extends administrative detention of wife of Hamas leader
The IOA has extended the administrative custody, without charge, of Muntaha Al-Tawil, the wife of El-Bireh Mayor and Hamas leader Sheikh Jamal Al-Tawil, for three months.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq

War Criminals

Netanyahu at GA: Goldstone authors owe Israel’s army an apology
Speaking at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, PM warns against the delegitimization of Israel and the perils of a nuclear Iran.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/netanyahu-at-ga-goldstone-authors-owe-israel-s-army-an-apology-1.323642?localLinksEnabled=false

Fatah

PA detains controversial blogger
QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — Residents of a conservative northern West Bank city were surprised when security forces detained a controversial blogger whose postings on Facebook had infuriated Muslims.  A high-ranking source in the general Palestinian intelligence services told Ma’an that the detainee, who was not identified, was arrested in Qalqiliya. He refused to give specific details and would not identify the detainee. However, Ma’an has learned from other security sources that the man “who claimed divinity” is a 25-year-old university student.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=331563

Abbas should release journalist, Tareq Abu Zaid, press freedom group says
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms called on President Mahmoud Abbas to release journalist Tareq Abu Zaid, a correspondent for Aqsa TV.  “Today marks one year after the arrest of Abu Zaid in the city of Nablus in the West Bank,” MADA said in a statement calling on Abbas to release the journalist so he can celebrate an upcoming Muslim holiday.  Abu Zaid in February was sentenced to a year and a half in prison despite a Supreme Court decision to release him. Aqsa TV is the official broadcaster of Hamas, the rival movement of Fatah, which controls the PA.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332038

Fatah condemns Israeli TV report on member corruption
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Fatah’s Central Committee on Monday denounced a report by Israel’s Channel 10 accusing Fatah leader Ahmad Qrei’a of embezzlement.  The committee said the TV report was fabricated and groundless.  The report questioned the relationship between President Mahmoud Abbas and Qrei’a, in particular why Abbas had excluded the former prime minister from top positions.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332163

PA complains: Shin Bet officers met with top Hamas officials ‘over coffee’
Senior Palestinian Authority officials say reported meeting embarrasses senior Fatah officials in Ramallah; Shin Bet refused to comment on the reports.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/pa-complains-shin-bet-officers-met-with-top-hamas-officials-over-coffee-1.323677?localLinksEnabled=false

…Hamas: Alleged meeting ‘more like home raid’
JENIN (Ma’an) — A reported meeting between Israeli intelligence and Hamas officials was less a consultation and more a series of home raids and interrogations, Hamas representatives said.  The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Tuesday that PA officials had complained to Israeli internal intelligence leaders about a meeting held between department representatives and Hamas leaders in the northern West Bank.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332280

Hamas

Hamas nixes Arafat commemoration in Gaza Strip
The decision comes as representatives of the Fatah and Hamas prepare to meet in Syria to discuss ways of solving the dispute between them.  As it has every year since taking control of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007, on Monday Hamas announced its decision to ban Fatah supporters from holding a rally in the Gaza Strip to mark the anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death.  Zakariya al-Agha, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said the Hamas government had informed him formally of the decision to ban the rally, which was scheduled to be held on November 11. He said the rally, which had been planned by Fatah, was supposed to be held in Gaza City’s Katibeh Square.
http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=194540

Palestinian ‘sentenced to death by hanging’
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A court in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip has sentenced a man from Beit Lahiya to death by hanging after he was convicted of killing a child, a Palestinian human rights group said Monday.  Zahi Abdul Rahman Al-Masri, 32, was convicted of the willful killing of Samah Sofian Al-Shamali, 9, on in December 2004, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said in a statement expressing grave concern over the continued application of the death penalty in the occupied Palestinian territories.  The group called on the Palestinian Authority to announce an immediate moratorium on the use of capital punishment and on President Mahmoud Abbas “not to ratify these cruel and inhumane sentences.”
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332043

Israel’s Arab Friends

Anti-normalization committee slams Jordanian gov’t for military ties with Israel
The higher executive committee for defending the homeland and confronting normalization slammed Jordan’s government for forcing the Jordanian army to engage in joint activities with Israel.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2

Political “Developments”

Resheq hopes Fatah would rid itself of foreign conditions
Success of the Hamas-Fatah meeting in Damascus hinges on Fatah’s ability to rid itself of American and Israeli interventions and conditions, Ezzet Al-Resheq, political bureau member of Hamas, said.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcO

Palestinians demand immediate statehood to counter Israeli ‘unilateralism’
Raising the stakes in the deadlock over stalled peace talks, Saeb Erekat said it was clear from the latest announcement of building plans in East Jerusalem and Ariel that Israel wants settlements, not peace.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/palestinians-demand-immediate-statehood-to-counter-israeli-unilateralism-1.323796?localLinksEnabled=false

Abbas: We will have final word
Palestinians will have the final word if negotiations with Israel fail, President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=331777

Palestinians say it’s time to recognise their state
JERUSALEM, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Israel’s plan to build new homes on occupied land should be countered by international recognition of a Palestinian state, the chief Palestinian negotiator said on Tuesday.  Raising the stakes in the deadlock over stalled peace talks, Saeb Erekat said it was clear from the latest announcement of building plans that Israel wants settlements, not peace.
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LDE6A81HS.htm

Report: Netanyahu hopes to shift US focus from talks
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, currently visiting the US, is trying to shift the focus from the Palestinian issue to the Iranian issue, an Israeli newspaper reported Monday.  Last night, he met US Vice President Joe Biden and asked him to threaten Tehran with a military offensive to stop its nuclear program, the Hebrew-language daily Maariv reported.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332065

Ya’alon to Russia: Tell Palestinians Israel is Jewish
Twenty years after renewal of diplomatic ties with Israel, vice prime minister urges Moscow to support Israel against PA, Iran. ‘Canceling Iranian missile deal not enough,’ he says.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3981630,00.html

Other News

Israel to deploy anti-rocket defense system only in extreme cases: report
JERUSALEM, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) — The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will deploy Iron Dome, an anti-rocket defense system, in cases of extreme rocket fire from the Gaza Strip or southern Lebanon, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.  The IDF’s top brass originally contemplated deploying the system on a full-time basis in strategic locations to counter rocket fire aimed at civilian targets.  However, following months of deliberations, it was recently decided that the system would instead be stored at an air force base in central Israel.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-11/09/c_13597111.htm

Anger and curses as women pray out loud at Western Wall
JERUSALEM (AFP) — More than 100 Jewish women endured curses and abuse early Monday as they tried to pray out loud at the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, where women are banned from raising their voices.  As the group of worshippers gathered at the back of the women’s section of the wall and began singing and praying, accompanied by a police escort, a knot of outraged onlookers — most of them men — began shouting abuse.  The women are part of a group called Women of the Wall.  The organization’s mission is to win the social and legal right for women to wear prayer shawls, pray and read out loud from the Torah collectively at the wall — practices which have traditionally been reserved for men.  As they raised their voices in song, several dozen Orthodox men gathered for an impromptu counter-demonstration, shouting abuse and trying to pray louder in a bid to drown out the women’s voices.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=332110

Suspected gang rape leader signs plea bargain for lesser sentence
13 teens were arrested in march for allegedly raping a teenage girl for three years since she was 15-years-old.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/suspected-gang-rape-leader-signs-plea-bargain-for-lesser-sentence-1.323614?localLinksEnabled=false

Analysis/Op-ed

Noam Chomsky on Gaza
That the Israel-Palestine conflict grinds on without resolution might appear to be rather strange. For many of the world’s conflicts, it is difficult even to conjure up a feasible settlement. In this case, not only is it possible, but there is near-universal agreement on its basic contours: a two-state settlement along the internationally recognised (pre-June 1967) borders—with “minor and mutual modifications”, to adopt official US terminology before Washington departed from the international community in the mid-1970s.
http://www.newstatesman.com/middle-east/2010/11/israel-chomsky-obama

MJ Rosenberg: Netanyahu Sticks it to the United States…Again
The US demand that the Israeli settlement insanity stop now. The Israeli government needs to learn that even in a political system governed by campaign contributions, there are limits. Aren’t there?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mj-rosenberg/netanyahu-sticks-it-to-th_b_780735.html

Israeli Banks Profiteering from Occupation, Stephen Lendman
Wall Street does it. Other Western banks do it. They all exploit markets, often ripping off customers illegally. Why not Israeli banks also in their own back yard, easily in expanding settlements.  The Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) includes 10 feminist organizations and non-affiliated activist women in Israel. Founded in 2000, it advocates “radical social and political change,” and is “a leading voice against the occupation, committed to feminist principles of organizing and Jewish-Palestinian partnership in a relentless struggle for a just peace.”
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16394

Mike Pence takes part in a venerable Washington tradition, Adam Horowitz
Pence refuses to acknowledge the empirical fact of Israel’s nuclear arsenal. Unfortunately, he’s not alone. Stakeout also asked this question of John Edwards and then-Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte, who also tried to dodge it. Helen Thomas asked a similar question of Obama at his first news conference. One of the few politicos to answer that question in a remotely straightforward manner was Russ Feingold.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/mike-pence-takes-part-in-a-venerable-washington-tradition.html

‘Zionism and peace are incompatible’ — Israeli general’s son, Philip Weiss
Now that the two-state-solution is all but dead, it is vital for Americans to hear the voices of Israelis and Jews and Palestinians who are imagining a different future. And maybe we are witnessing in that the end of Zionism. The important thing though is the strength of the voices, and the moral and spiritual vitality of them, and their potential leadership. Here is Miko Peled, an Israeli, the son of a war hero, uncle of the victim of a suicide bomber,writing a month ago. No summary by me does justice to his language.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/zionism-and-peace-are-incompatible-israeli-generals-son.html

Historic move to expose Israel, George S. Hishmeh
A recent meeting in the Vatican of some 200 Catholic bishops, mainly from the Arab world, will very likely go down in history for adopting the strongest condemnation by Christian church leaders of present-day Israeli policies and actions.
http://gulfnews.com/opinions/columnists/historic-move-to-expose-israel-1.706037

The Resurrection of Ariel Sharon, William A. Cook
‘He’s neither alive nor dead.’  Raanan Gissin, Sharon’s former advisor, made the above comment last month as quoted in the Jerusalem Post (20-10-2010) upon the exhibit of a lifelike sculpture by Noam Braslavsky in Tel Aviv. The wax figure shows the comatose Sharon’s chest move up and down “to depict Sharon’s dependence on a breathing machine.” Some have found the work unsettling. “It’s very tragic,” Gissin noted. It’s “only sickening voyeurism,” Kadima MK Yoel Hasson declaimed. Braslavsky created “the sculpture because Sharon has been absent from the public eye for so long,” according to the Post’s article. Regardless, the exhibit has stirred up the Israelis as they are forced to revisit the former PM who is not yet dead.
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16397

Al-Qaeda’s Latest Christmas Gift to Israel, Maidhc Ó Cathail
While Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) may have claimed responsibility for the parcel bomb plot, it’s worth considering how this latest Yemen-linked terror scare has been a gift to their avowed enemies. A mere two weeks before the discovery of mail bombs addressed to “two places of Jewish worship in Chicago,” Rupert Murdoch sounded prescient as he received an award from the Anti-Defamation League for his support of Israel. “The terrorists continue to target Jews across the world,” declared the media mogul in his acceptance speech. “But they have not succeeded in bringing down the Israeli government – and they have not weakened Israeli resolve.” Equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, the Fox News owner smeared the growing worldwide condemnation of Israel’s rogue behaviour as an “ongoing war against the Jews.”
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16395

A Rally Organizer Booked Ray Hanania To Perform a Comedy Routine And Had To Apologize For It The Next Day
“Ray Hanania, an Arab-American Muslim comedian also gave several unfunny jokes related to Muslims and how scary their portrayed as being.  At one point he gave an especially loud clunker: “Let’s all say ‘I want sanity’ in arabic: AYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYI!” The writer then added “For one reason or another, many people walked out before the rally was over.”  We at Ikhras have watched Ray’s comedy routines, and we know the reason.  However, his performance that evening was not entirely a failure.  A delayed punch line was delivered the next day by the organizer who had to apologize:  ”McMahon apologized for disappointing people the following day on the Facebook page.  She admitted this was her first time organizing a political rally and swore that she would never put together another event like it again.”  Now that’s very funny.
http://ikhras.com/2010/11/a-rally-organizer-booked-ray-hanania-to-perform-a-comedy-routine-and-had-to-apologize-for-it-the-next-day/

Lebanon

Senator Kerry urges Lebanese to accept Hariri court
Foreign Relations Committee chairman says Beirut ‘doesn’t have the power’ to change tribunal probing assassination of former PM ‘because it was created by UN at Lebanon’s request’.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3981595,00.html

Sayyed slams Tribunal decision to dismiss request
BEIRUT: Former head of the General Security Major General Jamil Sayyed slammed Monday a recent decision by the president of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) to dismiss a legal request he made. “The decision issued Friday night by STL’s president Judge Antonio Cassese has relied on fallacies and distortions of facts made by Judge Ralph Riashi.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=121338

Iraq

Monday: 25 Iraqis, 11 Iranians Killed; 50 Iraqis, 63 Iranians Wounded
At least 36 people were killed and 113 more were wounded in new violence across Iraq. Two of the deadliest attacks targeted Shi’ite pilgrims near Iraq’s holiest sites. Although figures are inexact, at least 11 Iranian pilgrims were killed and as many as 63 were wounded in those cities alone. The pilgrims were visiting holy sites in Iraq just a week before the Eid al-Adha holiday begins. Meanwhile, Iraqi politicians met in Arbil where they were to have announced a deadlock-breaking deal concerning government formation, but instead bickered over the details until they ultimately agreed to continue discussions tomorrow.
http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2010/11/08/monday-25-iraqis-11-iranians-killed-50-iraqis-63-iranians-wounded/

Basra car bomb kills 10, wounds 30: military (AFP)
AFP – A car bomb in a crowded market in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on Monday killed at least 10 people and wounded 30, a military officer said.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101108/wl_mideast_afp/iraqunrestbasra

US open to keeping troops in Iraq after 2011: Gates (AFP)
AFP – US Defence Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday said Washington was open to keeping troops in Iraq beyond a 2011 deadline, but it was up to Baghdad to make a request.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101109/pl_afp/iraqusmilitary

It’s a shame that Iraqi Shia can’t generate this much sympathy as they are systematically targeted…
35 Iraqis hurt in Baghdad church attack arrive in France (AFP)
AFP – Thirty-four Iraqi Christians and a Muslim guard wounded in a deadly Al-Qaeda attack on a Baghdad church just over a week ago flew into France late Monday for admission to hospitals for treatment.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101109/wl_mideast_afp/franceiraqunrestchristians

Pregnant Iraq Christian awaits medivac unaware she is widow (AFP)
AFP – As she lay in a Baghdad hospital bed awaiting her evacuation to France for treatment Monday, Siba Nadhir still did not know her husband had been killed in the church bloodbath in which she was wounded.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/iraq/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101108/wl_mideast_afp/iraqunrestchristiansfrance

Graduates Cut Out of Basra Oil Boom
On a recent afternoon in the southern city of Basra, a cry went up in the local bazaar that the police were coming. In an instant, street-sellers rolled up their wares and scattered. One of the vendors, Gasim Talib, wasn’t so lucky.  As he received an earful from the local officers, Talib had some strong words of his own.  “What do you want me to do? There are no jobs; there isn’t even a government to find us jobs. How can I make a living if I don’t sell on the streets?” Talib said.
http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/VVOS-8AZQLZ?OpenDocument&RSS20=02-P

Servicemen at ‘UK’s Abu Ghraib’ may be guilty of war crimes, court hears
Evidence of alleged systematic mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at JFIT facility near Basra submitted to court.  British servicemen who filmed hundreds of interrogation sessions at a secret prison near Basra which has been described as “the UK’s Abu Ghraib” may be guilty of war crimes, the high court heard today.  Evidence of the alleged systematic and brutal mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at the facility, operated by a military intelligence unit called the Joint Forces Interrogation Team (JFIT), has been submitted during proceedings brought by more than 200 former inmates.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/nov/08/servicemen-uk-abu-ghraib-court-iraq

Video: ‘I hope you die of cancer… I hope your kids die’
A further clip submitted during high court proceedings reveals secret British military interrogation techniques including threats, abuse and humiliation.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2010/nov/08/iraq-middleeast1

WikiLeaks: The Smear And The Denial
The UK and US media smears described in Part 1 should be kept in mind when considering the gravity and importance of the latest WikiLeaks. In addition to thousands of previously unreported civilian killings, the leaks revealed more than 1,300 claims of torture by Iraqi police and military between 2005 and 2009. More than 180,000 people were detained at some point between 2004 and 2009, or one in 50 Iraqi males.
http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/11/wikileaks-the-smear-and-the-denial/

Iraq’s future could look like Lebanon
The second general elections in Iraq since US-led forces brought down Saddam Hussein will likely not be remembered fondly – nor should they. The poll took place in March, and while much sound and fury surrounded the meeting of the country’s political principals on Monday in Irbil, Iraq remains without a new government.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=17&article_id=121312

U.S. & Other World News

US Kills 14 People In Pakistan
U.S. missiles were fired by remote-controlled aircraft an hour apart. Nine people were killed at a house in Sedgai village and five others in a vehicle hit in the town of Ghulam Khan.
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2010/11/07/14-killed-in-drone-strikes-in-Pakistan/UPI-80701289192149/

Bragging about killing Afghan civilians was met with disbelief
Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs’ big talk about killing Afghan civilians and getting away with it made him stand out when he joined a new platoon at an Army base in southern Afghanistan a year ago, according to written statements from his comrades.
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/11/07/103325/news-on-the-usfghan-body-parts.html#ixzz14iO5VAOd

The Afghan War: To 2014 and beyond
When 2014 rolls around and there are still scores of thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, don’t say they didn’t warn you.
http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/11/08/afghanistan_2014_and_beyond

Canada considers extending Afghanistan mission
Canada is poised to extend its military commitment in Afghanistan for three years beyond a withdrawal deadline of July 2011, officials have said.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11713954

Obama Administration Claims Unchecked Authority To Kill Americans Outside Combat Zones, ACLU
The Obama administration today argued before a federal court that it should have unreviewable authority to kill Americans the executive branch has unilaterally determined to pose a threat.
http://www.aclu.org/national-security/al-aulaqi-v-obama

Bush: Waterboarding legal ‘because the lawyer said it was’
Is waterboarding torture, as the UN Convention Against Torture asserts? Or is it not torture, but just punishable by death? (Sen. John McCain pointed out during his presidential campaign that the US hanged several Japanese men after they were convicted of waterboarding American soldiers during World War II).
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/bush-waterboarding-legal-because-lawyer-was/

Bush ordered Pentagon to ‘study’ for attack on Iran, The Guardian reveals
Former U.S. president’s new book, obtained by British daily, details instructions to ‘study what would be necessary for strike’ to stop the bomb clock’.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/bush-ordered-pentagon-to-study-for-attack-on-iran-the-guardian-reveals-1.323777?localLinksEnabled=false

Scarborough: Plan to attack Iran ‘neoconservatism on crack’
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough blasted the Republican Senator of South Carolina Monday for saying the United States should seek regime change in Iran through the use of military force. “I don’t get this,” said Scarborough on his show Morning Joe. “This is neoconservatism on crack. How many miles of terrain does the United States have to occupy?”
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/scarborough-senators-call-attack-iran-on-crack/

Ali Gharib: Iran Sanctions Don’t Work — Counterproductive and Hurt Ordinary Iranians
At the Middle Eastern affairs journal Muftah, Hani Mansourian takes a well warranted critical look into the human cost of sanctions against Iran.  With Iran seemingly recalcitrant on its nuclear program and the United Statesunwilling to put up “robust economic, political and strategic incentives that will give Iran’s leaders reason to cooperate,” many proponents of escalating measure hold out hope that the people of Iran to rise up and oust their regime due to ever tightening sanctions and perhaps even an eventual military attack.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ali-gharib/iran-sanctions-dont-work_b_780562.html

Senator Kerry: Israel and Turkey must renew close ties
Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee visits Ankara as part of a wider Middle East tour that will also take him to Israel.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/senator-kerry-israel-and-turkey-must-renew-close-ties-1.323805?localLinksEnabled=false

Obama backs India’s Security Council bid
Barack Obama has thrown his support behind India becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council – an endorsement that underlines the world’s shifting geopolitics and the role of Delhi as a possible counter-weight to mounting Chinese influence.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/obama-backs-indias-security-council-bid-2128796.html

Jordan Islamists could turn ‘tough’ outside Parliament to garner support
AMMAN: Jordan’s boycott by Islamists of Tuesday’s general election means they may now resort to a tougher stance outside Parliament, posing a threat to stability in the kingdom, analysts said. “The Islamists now might weigh the option of adopting a tough opposition which could cross or ignore some red lines” traditionally respected in their relationship.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=121318

Jordan goes to the polls
Polling stations have opened in parliamentary elections in Jordan. The main opposition – the Muslim Brotherhood – is boycotting the vote, saying it suspects fraud. A low turn out is also expected among many Jordanians of Palestinian origin. Al Jazeera’s Nisreen El-Shamayleh reports from a Palestinian refugee camp in the capital of Amman.

Nine acquitted in Algeria for breaking fast
ALGIERS: A court in northeast Algeria acquitted nine Muslims who were charged with breaking the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan in August, rights activists said after the trial Monday.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=121319

Lawsuit filed in Okla. against Islamic law ban
Okla. Muslim sues to block ballot measure barring courts from using Islamic, international law.  An Oklahoma Muslim filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday to block a state constitutional amendment overwhelmingly approved by voters that would prohibit state courts from considering international law or Islamic law when deciding cases.  The measure, which got 70 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election, was one of several on Oklahoma’s ballot that critics said pandered to conservatives and would move the state further to the right.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/lawsuit-filed-okla-islamic-law-ban/

The Three Unfinished Wars of the West Against the Rest; The Lies of Islamophobia, JOHN FEFFER
The Muslims were bloodthirsty and treacherous. They conducted a sneak attack against the French army and slaughtered every single soldier, 20,000 in all. More than 1,000 years ago, in the mountain passes of Spain, the Muslim horde cut down the finest soldiers in Charlemagne’s command, including his brave nephew Roland. Then, according to the famous poem that immortalized the tragedy, Charlemagne exacted his revenge by routing the entire Muslim army.
http://www.counterpunch.com/feffer11082010.html

2012: Exploiting Islamophobia to Win Big, Kelley B. Vlahos
Why did Renee Ellmers, a Republican candidate for Congress from North Carolina, produce a campaign ad skewering her opponent for not vociferously opposing the Park 51 Islamic center planned for Manhattan near Ground Zero, over 500 miles away?  Because it was good campaign strategy, that’s why. She presumed that the Newt Gingrich-hyper-generated history of the Muslims conquering the city of Cordoba 13 centuries ago, complete with illustrations and the juxtaposition of Ground Zero, would pay off, particularly among the disgruntled southern conservatives in her district, which covers the central and eastern parts of the state. And she was right – this blatant exploitation of their fears certainly didn’t hurt and might very well have helped her beat seven-term incumbent Democrat Rep. Bob Etheridge in one of the many GOP upsets of the midterm elections.
http://original.antiwar.com/vlahos/2010/11/08/2012-exploiting-islamophobia-to-win-big/

Night raid in Bil’in

Nov 09, 2010

Hamde Abu Rahme 

IMG 9301

(Photo: Hamde Abu Rahme)

Today, November 9 at about 3:00 in the morning, the Israeli army entered the village of Bil’in. About 50 soldiers entered the village by jeep and foot. When they arrived at the two targeted houses, they ran and took positions outside while a number of soldiers entered the house.

IMG 9308
(Photo: Hamde Abu Rahme)

At first the soldiers were hammering on the door of one house, demanding to see 30-year old Ashraf al-Khatib. It turned out they went to the wrong house.

They then went to another house – forcing one of Ashraf’s brothers to show them where Ashraf lives. Soldiers then entered that house, and his brother’s family’s house, and again they woke up the family, asking for Ashraf al-Khatib. His brother, Haytham al-Khatib, is a journalist from the human right’s group B’tselem and was of the ones woken up by the army.

Even though they entered a house where their target didn’t  live, they stayed there for about one and a half hours, searching all the rooms.

Haytham al-Khatib told me about his 6-year-old son’s reaction to waking up to see dozens of soldiers in his house, “he asked me to close the door, because he didn’t want to see them.” Haytham himself was prevented when he wanted to record the raid in his family’s houses – the soldiers simply locked him in a room for more than an hour, away from his children and wife. The children in the houses are ages 1,5 and 8 years old, and this is not the first time they have seen their homes raided at night.

However, after 1.5 hours of searching for the target in three houses, two of which he doesn’t reside in, Ashraf al-Khatib was not found. Five weeks ago Ashraf was shot in his leg with live ammunition by an Israeli soldier during a demonstration in Bil’in. The bullet went through his leg, breaking the bone.

Even though he was heavily injured and in major pain, the soldiers tried to arrest him. Luckily he was brought to safety, and then taken to a hospital for surgery by fellow protesters. Tonight the army decided to come and take him in front of his wife and 1.5 year old daughter instead.

The soldiers finally retreated from the targeted houses by foot, walking toward the military road that follows the illegal segregation fence in Bil’in, at about 4.30 AM. The village of Bil’in has suffered from frequent night raids over the last few years, and a number of villagers have been taken for interrogation and imprisoned for their non-violent resistance to the occupation and segregation wall on Bil’in’s land.

IMG 9324

(Photo: Hamde Abu Rahme)

Video of activists disrupting Netanyahu at Jewish Federations General Assembly

Nov 09, 2010

Adam Horowitz 

And here is an AP report on the protest:

Dana Milbank, for one, wasn’t too impressed with Netanyahu’s response. From the Washington Post website:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs a mulligan after his speech to the Jewish Federation in New Orleans on Monday. He was interrupted by the heckling of Jewish peace activists. But the problem was his response: Instead of brushing it off, he said the accusers believed that “Israel is guilty until proven guilty,” adding: “The greatest success of our detractors is when Jews start believing that themselves. We’ve seen that today.”

On the positive side, one audience member distinguished himself by picking up a protest banner left behind by the demonstrators and ripping it with his teeth.

The JTA also reports:

After the final protestor stood up and opened a banner reading, “Young Jews say the loyalty oath delegitimizes Israel,” Jeff Shapira from San Antonio grabbed her from behind and put her in a choke hold, dragging her backwards towards the floor.

When asked later if he had ever put a woman in a choke hold, he replied, “Not really. No. I really did not know what was going to happen, I wanted to keep her in check. I was trying to help.”

For more on the reasons behind the protest see www.youngjewishproud.org/.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on MONDOWEISS ONLINE NEWSLETTER

THE ZIONIST STATE-MORE DANGEROUS THAN SMALLPOX

NOVANEWS

November 11, 2010


As I thumb through the various “news” outlets–papers, radio, TV, internet, etc, I note how out of place that 3-letter word is, since there is nothing “new” when it comes to Israel. As far as her and her demands go, it is SOP, BAU and SOS, since whatever she wants she gets.

Take for example the “news” coming out of the mouth of Bibi himself, that “East Jerusalem never has been an occupied territory, has always belonged to the State of Israel and will continue to be so forever.”

That is “news” however (very sad news I am sure) to the Palestinians who have lived there for thousands of years until it was stolen from them by a bunch of Europeans engaging in identity fraud by pretending to be the descendants of various biblical characters and who have used the Holocaust like a worn-out credit card in purchasing sympathy to which they have no claim.

How do you know when Israel is lying? Easy–when one of her leaders or supporters has their mouths open. A general rule of thumb goes that you cant believe a word that comes out of their mouths, since lying is their native tongue and they have all the magical potions and incantations they need in making the lie as big as they need it to be.

Has Israel forgotten UN resolution 242 put upon them over forty years ago to return the land they stole in June of ‘67. No, as with many things involving these people, they have specially-tuned memories quick to recall what is convenient and even quicker to forget what is not.

Bibi says that our Congress will not give him any trouble about the new building that is going on. Well, what do you know, he spoke the truth. I guess even a broken clock is right twice a day. The only thing he left out is how far our prostitute Congress is willing to go in pleasing Big Daddy, because the fact is they will throw the entire nation under the bus for Israel’s sake and that is not an exaggeration.

Obama gets slapped in the face by Israel along with Secretary of State Clinton, Senator Mitchell, and the 300 million Americans they are supposed to represent, and yet you hear barely a peep out of any of them when they should be so angry you could fry an egg on the top of their heads over not only what is being done to the Palestinians but as well to the entire world.

Peace? Israel wants peace as much as a dentist wants a cavity-free world. No, what Israel wants is war, war, and more war, as long as it is America doing the fighting for her and the fact that America has suffered greatly only adds more pleasure to the entire situation as far as Israel is concerned.

I started out this article saying Israel is more dangerous than smallpox. Let me explain why.

In the very short window of time since 1948 Israel has become a superpower, not just in the Middle East but the world. Israel has the best military might in the world thanks to good ol’ Uncle Sam. She bullies her neighbors with that military might, pushing them around like rodents. Israel has an arsenal of nukes (I tend to go with the high end of 600 +) and she never settles for a penny less then 100% complete satisfaction.

In thinking back over it however, I am now convinced that smallpox is nothing but a minor cold compared to the danger Israel poses to the entire world. She is the most dangerous, out of control animal ever to prowl the earth, mark my words. If they want your land they will take it. If they want your money, they will take it. If they want something as up close and personal as your KIDNEYS THEY WILL TAKE THEM.

Sounds cynical? Well, I might have thought so too had I not lived through a 2 hour attack where Israel threw thousands of rockets, machine gun bullets and torpedoes at my ship, USS LIBERTY that resulted in 34 of my friends being killed, so I guess this is a case of “you had to be there”. When a people can’t trust their own government to protect them from being MURDERED by an out of control rogue state, well folks, then it’s time turn out the lights because the party is over.

Smallpox? Like I said, nothing but a cold as far as the real epidemic the world faces if Israel gets her way in infecting the world with the plagues of Zionism and war, the only vaccination to which is the truth, the whole truth and nothin’ but.

(C) 2010 Phillip F. Tourney

USS LIBERTY SURVIVOR, 3- Time President of Liberty Veterans Association

Author“What I Saw That Day…Israel’s 1967 Holocaust of American Servicemen aboard the USS LIBERTY and Its Aftermath”

nomorewarsforisrael@gmail.com
http://theuglytruth.podbean.com
http://www.poweroftruthradio.com

Please check out the brand new book detailing Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS LIBERTY here

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on THE ZIONIST STATE-MORE DANGEROUS THAN SMALLPOX

HAIDER EID ON HAMAS

NOVANEWS

My friend Haidar Eid, professor at Gaza’s al-Aqsa University, has some questions for the Hamas government, in a context in which Hamas has cracked down on what fractions of their movement consider to be “inappropriate” or “un-Islamic” behavior on the part of women. As Haidar asks, “Of course, these practices claim to ‘protect our customs and traditions,’ but is there a traditional text that bars women from smoking, for instance?”

The initial emergence of  Hamas was intertwined with organic participation in the 1st Intifada. Its current ascendancy is a reflection of the worsening conditions for social struggle in Gaza and Palestine more broadly in the wake of the petering-out of the 1st Intifada and the capitulation at Oslo, and the way that capitulation finally crystallized in the failures at Camp David. As Sara Roy writes, it was “Within this context of desperation and hopelessness, the Islamist opposition, notably Hamas, has reasserted itself…loyalties began to shift to the Islamists in the context of growing desperation and political failure.” Still, the government’s policies are one thing, and the culture is another–Amal Nasr’s reflections in Open Democracy offer a textured discussion of how poverty interacts indirectly with death and occupation to repress or constrain women’s possibilities in the Gaza Strip.

I’ll spare the reader any agonized self-indulgent reflections on how to “relate” to the fact that there are things going on in Gaza that we may not like. If that’s what you’re into, you can go read the insane mutterings of the anti-Deutsch group which the loons over at Platypus thought fit to publish (and which Gabriel ripped apart here).  What we do not like is very frequently the result of occupation. The internal struggle is for Palestinians like Haidar and others to fight, and maybe we can support them a little bit, but not so much, and certainly not by ranting about Islamic fundamentalism.

Hamas’s victory in the 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council elections surprised everyone, including its own members and leaders. Many local and international activists were also relieved, as the victory was a blow to the Bush doctrine in the Middle East. It was also a test of the credibility of the liberal democratic approach and its applications in the region.

This article is not concerned with domestic or foreign reactions and attempts to topple the sole democratic experience in the Arab world. Rather, it tackles Hamas’s failure to live up to its own commitments to its constituencies, many of whom were not necessarily supporters of the movement. It also examines the extent of Hamas’s credibility in committing to the social contract that major democracies abide by in terms of respecting individual citizens and safeguarding their dignity. This contract applies not only to male but also to female citizens.

First, one ought to reiterate the fact that Hamas is part of the resistance camp. In addition to the enormous sacrifices that many of its leaders and cadres have made, if creatively invested, Hamas’s actions ultimately support the interests of the Palestinian cause. This implies the following question: has Hamas been able to actually build on this high level of commitment and sacrifice, not only on the part of the movement but of Palestinians in general?

Despite its somewhat fiery statements, Hamas’s impulse and willingness to deal with American propositions are indeed astonishing. Two letters were sent, as far as I know, to the new Obama administration after the term of former US President George W. Bush ended. The Americans emphasized that they declined to accept the first letter. However, it is the content of the letters and how they reflect the aspirations of Palestinians — both in all of historic Palestine as well as in the Diaspora — that is significant.

The content of these letters along with statements made by senior Hamas leaders indicate to the US Hamas’s acceptance of and commitment to the two-state solution; i.e. the creation of an independent Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.

Yet many Hamas leaders simultaneously accentuate their refusal to recognize the State of Israel and accept the two-state solution! Simply put, the Palestinian leadership elected by the majority of one-third of the Palestinian people, i.e. the population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, is announcing its commitment to a racist solution that disregards the rights of 6-7 million Palestinian refugees, and the national and cultural rights of 1.4 million Palestinians in Israel.

The grave danger underlying this position lies in the fact that it follows the downward trajectory of the right-wing secular dominion over Palestinian leadership since the 1960s. It also follows the downfall of the Stalinist Palestinian left, whose leadership was co-opted by the nongovernmental organization sector and the Palestinian Authority, and commandeered the internal decision-making of the respective Palestinian organizations.

This led to the adoption of positions that were radically different from those they had historically advocated. Indeed, those positions were forsaken with pragmatic justifications that are antithetical to the questions the left should be able to answer creatively, such as the two-state solution and membership in the hijacked and discredited Oslo-era Palestine Liberation Organization.

Therefore, many international supporters and Palestinian activists opposing the Oslo accords, or the second Nakba as the late Edward Said referred to them, have had exaggerated “hope.” Hamas’s success in the 2006 elections was due mainly to the fact that the Palestinian national movement failed to accomplish its declared goals, abandoned the “interim program” and accepted an exceptionally racist solution that denies internationally legitimated historical rights.

However, Hamas’s acceptance of the two-state solution, or a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders as it is often called, is not at odds politically with either the left or right wing of the national movement.

But what does this state look like? And does Hamas have an alternative to the two-state, or two-prison, solution which has become impossible to achieve?

The experience of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip offers a miniature model of an Islamic state, whereas the West Bank stands as the Bantustan state to be declared in November 2011. It is common knowledge that Gaza has recently undergone ideological social transformations through laws that are enforced without being enacted. Such laws target individual freedoms, particularly those of women, who are no longer allowed to smoke water pipe in public or ride behind their spouses on motorcycles. Likewise, female students are now forced to wear the jilbab and the hijab, while female lawyers must wear the hijab.

Of course, these practices claim to “protect our customs and traditions,” but is there a traditional text that bars women from smoking, for instance? The democracy that provided the foundation for the 2006 elections is based on guaranteeing individual freedoms. Many statements made by Hamas leaders inside and outside of Gaza before the elections emphasized that those leaders would respect such freedoms if elected.

The transformation of many members of the resistance, who are willing to sacrifice their lives for their homeland and who exerted impressive efforts to defend Gaza in 2009, into religious police like those in Saudi Arabia requires a serious and critical revision by Hamas.

Therefore, it is obvious that Hamas is unable to realize that the war on Gaza in 2009 has created a new political reality whereby Israel pulled the trigger on the racist two-state/two-prison solution. Hamas insists on adopting this approach and claims it is a temporary tactic until the balance of power shifts, as the movement assumes it will within the truce period of ten or twenty years. During this time, it plans to build a state after its model in Gaza.

This only indicates the lack of a clear strategic vision to end the conflict, a vision that draws on past global struggles against colonialism, particularly against the abhorrent South African apartheid regime, which collapsed resoundingly in 1994.

Unfortunately, there has been no indication, based on my reading of many statements made by Hamas leaders, of a clear understanding within the movement either of the apartheid nature of the State of Israel or of the tools used by the South African anti-apartheid movement. One such tool is the international boycott campaign, without which the apartheid regime would not have ended. This demonstrates Hamas’s failure to understand the role of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS).

As a recent report by the Israel-based Reut Institute indicates, even the Israelis themselves are concerned about the momentum the BDS movement is gaining. There is no statement whatsoever, either in public speeches of Hamas officials or in its literature, which indicates an understanding of these efforts which, as Reut claimed, served to “delegitimize Israel” and “pose a threat to its very existence.”

In a fashion similar to the boycott movement against the South African apartheid regime, the BDS movement is guided by a national boycott committee, the BDS National Committee (BNC), particularly the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). The difference between the two experiences is that in South Africa, the United Democratic Front (UDF) — a broad coalition of civil society groups struggling against apartheid within South Africa — founded its movement on linking grassroots popular resistance with international solidarity.

This was particularly true of the boycott campaign. The failure of both the nationalist and Islamist wings of the Palestinian leadership to study, build upon and link this experience with the history of Palestinian resistance must also be rectified immediately.

However, it is evident that the development of an alternative leadership cannot wait. As a benchmark in the history of the Palestinian struggle, the formation of the BNC along with its main objectives have reconnected the various segments of the Palestinian people to stand in the face of occupation, colonization and institutionalized racist discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel, and to call for the return of refugees.

These indivisible demands distinguish the new alternative Palestinian strategy. Yet the question remains: is Gaza willing to constructively interact with such a positive development in the Palestinian struggle with openness to the other national players and without a narrow factional vision?

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Posted in PoliticsComments Off on HAIDER EID ON HAMAS

WINGNUTS ON PARADE

NOVANEWS

November 11, 2010  

(c) 2010 Phillip Giraldi

Most voters seemed to understand that the outcome of America’s midterm election was the result of a devastated economy and the President Barack Obama’s failure to create jobs or even to understand the difficulties that are confronting many American families.  But it’s nevertheless strange how America’s elites never seem to get it, probably because they are completely immune to the consequences of their own actions through their possession of money and power. 

The latest failure to compute comes from the triumphant Republican Party, which appears to believe that the electoral results were an endorsement of the foreign and security policies of George W. Bush, which will mean blanket approval of a prolonged stay in Afghanistan coupled with new adventures in Iran, Yemen, and Somalia.  There is also sure to be a continuation of the highly effective US embargo directed against Cuba, which has been so successful at removing Fidel Castro from power.

The euphoria of the Republican triumph is bringing to the surface the usual flotsam and jetsam driven by various agendas linked to foreign countries, none of which in any way benefit the American people.  Too bad there was not a national referendum item on the midterm ballot with only one question:  “Shall the federal government dismantle its overseas bases, bring its soldiers home, and leave the rest of the world in peace?” 

Fortunately there are plenty of Republicans and also Democrats around who will make sure that such a question is never asked and who are intent on expanding America’s worldwide footprint.  For those folks there should be a second question:  “Should any elected official with close and continuing ties to a foreign country be required to resign, turn in his US passport and go live there?”

There are a few choice anecdotes coming out of the recent election not to mention the rise of a new generation of leaders who will undoubtedly call for America rejection of the darkness known as isolationism, which we all know automatically precedes appeasement and directly thereafter to Munich in 1938.  Leading the pack is Senator Lindsey Graham, who has already called for the obliteration of Iran and is apparently prepared to go toe to toe with a “cheating” China. 

And then there is Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is the odds on favorite to become the next Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Ros-Lehtinen is Cuban born and lives in Florida.  A school teacher in her former life, her razor sharp mind has latched on to a number of principles that are intended to guide us all through the shoals of foreign policy. 

She has supported every measure by the Bush and Obama administrations to make war on just about everyone and has also lined up behind the various Military Commissions, Patriot Acts, and claims of State Secrets Privilege.  She wants to make the Patriot Act permanent.  Regarding Iraq she has observed “Whether or not there is a direct link to the World Trade Center does not mean that Iraq is not meritorious of shedding blood.  The common link is that they hate America.”

Regarding Cuba, Ros-Lehtinen’s particular personal bête noir, she has again demonstrated acuity worthy of King Solomon.  “I welcome the opportunity of having anyone assassinate Fidel Castro and any leader who is oppressing the people.”  It goes without saying that Ros-Lehtinen considers herself a close friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, opposes aid to the Palestinians, and supports Israeli settlement expansion, calling on Obama to stop criticizing “an indispensible ally and friend of the United States.”

Another rising star in the foreign and security policy firmament is Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon of California, who will likely head the House Armed Services Committee.  Buck’s knowledge of war and warriors comes from his onetime ownership of western wear store chain in Santa Clarita, California, which eventually went bankrupt.  His six children (he is a Mormon) have not served in the military, a common attribute of government officials and talking heads who like war. 

Buck will undoubtedly serve as an excellent counterpoint to Ros-Lehtinen at Foreign Affairs.  His heavyweight analysis of what needs to be done includes developing a “broad vision for national defense policy that emphasizes winning the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq…”  After the midterm election he observed “Our citizens have spoken and they want a defense budget that is sufficient to address the challenges of today and the threats of tomorrow.”  In other words, Buck noticed that the election was really about wasting more money on wars even though it was not on the ballot and was never mentioned. 

He concluded that America must hike its defense spending, which already exceeds that of the rest of the world combined.  He also will be revisiting the Obama plan for a phased pullout from Afghanistan starting next year which he considers to be a sellout to the Taliban.

A Republican newfer from Minnesota named Chip Cravaack also deserves honorable mention.  During a newspaper interview Cravaack, an ex-Navy pilot, was asked about earmarks.  He asked what an earmark was and, when it was described to him, he said that he was against it.  He ran his campaign out of a motor home that he called the “war wagon” and his staffers and volunteers were given military titles.  But on the plus side, he calls himself a Tea Partier so maybe he will eventually figure things out.

And just to demonstrate that foreign policy idiocy is bipartisan, there was a congressional race in Illinois between incumbent Democrat Jan Schakowsky and Republican challenger Joel Pollak.  The two candidates eschewed any debate over the economy and instead traded insults over who was a better candidate for Israel.  According to the Israeli media Pollak, an Orthodox Jew born in South Africa, started the exchange by claiming that Schakowsky was “soft on Israel’s security,” that she was “too sympathetic to the Palestinians” and supportive only of “weak” sanctions against Iran. 

Pollak, one of whose supporters is Alan Dershowitz, asked Schakowsky to join him in “condemning the Obama administration’s ongoing attack on Israel.”  In a debate with Schakowsky, Pollak unrolled a map of Israel and announced “My focus tonight will be Israel.”

Schakowsky’s campaign countered that she had a 100% pro-Israel voting record, which was the truth, including even a vote in favor of Israel’s right to defend itself after it killed 300 Palestinian children in operation Cast Lead against Gaza.  She also cited self defense when signing a congressional letter endorsing the killing of US citizen Furkan Dogan on the Gaza flotilla.  In addition, she has enthusiastically endorsed every actual and proposed piece of legislation sanctioning Iran.

Schakowsky, who has considerable baggage due to her possible involvement with Turkish lobbyists as documented by Sibel Edmonds, was never challenged by Pollak on the issue, possibly because the Edmonds revelations also involved Israel.  Jan Schakowsky defeated Pollak in the election by a large margin, demonstrating perhaps that the electorate was not as consumed by the Israel issue as was Pollak.

Ros-Lehtinen, McKeon, and Schakowsky-Pollak together demonstrate that there are altogether too many elected officials in Washington who are overly concerned with Washington managing the affairs of others.  That someone who has called for the assassination of foreign heads of state who are “oppressive” can possibly be considered for the chairmanship of an important committee dealing with foreign affairs is a strong indication that there is something very wrong on Capitol Hill. 

That a former western wear shop owner who has never been in the military and evidently feels that his family ought to likewise avoid that burden should head the committee dealing with the armed forces must be some kind of joke.  And congressional candidates arguing about who adores Israel the most brings back memories of Joe Biden and Sarah Palin’s lovefest on the issue.  Wasn’t there anyone out there running for office who pledged to put the interests of the American people first?

source– www.antiwar.com

nomorewarsforisrael@gmail.com
http://theuglytruth.podbean.com
http://www.poweroftruthradio.com

Please check out the brand new book detailing Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS LIBERTY here

Posted in USAComments Off on WINGNUTS ON PARADE

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