Archive | November 29th, 2010

ZIO=NAZI CONSULTED CIA PUPPET MU-BARAK & ZIONIST PUPPET AB-A$$

NOVANEWS
 

November 29, 2010

 

From time to time, the Palestine Center distributes articles it believes will enhance understanding of the Palestinian political reality. The following article was published by AFP on 29 November 2010. To view this article online, please go to:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jirxD9gfhoureos1BvX0c8XG81rQ?docId=CNG.15cc4feb849a0db79c547e6aa131f09a.4a1.

“Israel consulted Egypt, Fatah on Gaza war: WikiLeaks” 

“He explained that the GOI (government of Israel) had consulted with Egypt and Fatah prior to Operation Cast Lead, asking if they were willing to assume control of Gaza once Israel defeated Hamas,” he said, referring to the Fatah party of Palestinian puppet Mahmud Ab-A$$.

 

 

“Not surprisingly, Barak said, the GOI received negative answers from both,” it said.

 

 

Israel launched its massive offensive, dubbed “Operation Cast Lead,” on December 27, 2008 with the stated aim of halting rocket attacks from Gaza.

 

 

During the 22-day war, some 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed in the fighting. Thirteen Israelis were also killed, 10 of them soldiers.

 

 

Barak also “stressed the importance of continued consultations with both Egypt and Fatah,” over reconstruction of the tiny coastal enclave which was devastated by the operation.

 

 

The Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have long been bitter rivals, but their divisions came to a head in June 2007 when Hamas drove its Fatah rivals out of the Gaza Strip and seized control of the impoverished territory.

 

 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Jerusalem Fund.

Israel discussed its planned war on Gaza with the Palestinian leadership and Egypt ahead of time, offering to hand them control of the strip if it defeated Hamas, US documents released by WikiLeaks showed.

 

The attempt to coordinate its devastating offensive against Gaza’s Islamist rulers was revealed by Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak whose remarks were included in a telegram sent in June 2009 by then deputy US ambassador Luis Moreno.

 

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LETTER FROM NAZI CAMP: I HAVE A LOT OF ENERGY TO STRUGGLE

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The following is an excerpt from a letter by Palestinian political prisoner and civil society leader Ameer Makhoul, written in response to a postcard featuring an image of a lighthouse sent by The Electronic Intifada contributor Adri Nieuwhof.

A citizen of Israel, Makhoul was arrested in his home on 6 May 2010 and held in isolation and refused a meeting with his lawyers or family for 12 days following the arrest.

 

The Israeli government indicted Makhoul with trumped-up charges of espionage and assistance to the enemy in a time of war, which carries a life sentence. According to Makhoul, during that time the Israeli authorities used severe interrogation methods that caused him both psychological and physical harm. Last month Makhoul agreed to a plea deal to avoid lengthy imprisonment and now faces a maximum sentence of seven to ten years.

The lighthouse, al-fanar in Arabic, is an inspiration. I have built a lighthouse here in jail. It has been built in my mind because I am not allowed to use the space, but my mind is totally mine. Al-fanar became part of my vision and dream for freedom and human dignity. The lighthouse is out of prison, while the role of the anchor is to be rooted and safe.

In fact, I need both — al-fanar to give direction to my vision, while the role of the anchor is to understand where I currently am. I need to be balanced and realistic to act within a totally unbalanced reality. I need to challenge and to change. I need, and we need to change. The anchor is needed in order to act. The lighthouse shows how and where and for what.

It is not easy to have both elements, especially to “new” prisoners of freedom. It is defined as new but it is almost half a year that I have been in prison. Several prisoners have already been here 23 to 28 years. So I am relatively new here, but for me every day is a lot of time, with a lot of suffering and reflecting on the reality of being Palestinian in my homeland.

To be proven innocent is totally not accepted by the court. Thousands of cases show that both the rate and the number of Palestinians who have been released as innocents is zero. Palestinians are guilty, it is the only option.

The Shabak [Israel’s internal intelligence agency, also known as the Shin Bet] monitored and recorded 30,000 of my telephone calls and those in relevant circles; in addition they surveilled all email, Skype, Internet and electronic media. Yet they declared in the court that they have no material evidence.

Based on my experience and on the findings regarding 7,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, the Shabak having no evidence does not mean the end of the game. They have their secret weapon, which is the so-called “secret evidence.” They present it to the judges, but neither me nor my lawyers are allowed to know what it is about. The Israeli system will never blame the state or the Shabak, but will blame their Palestinian victims.

Statistics and experience show that without a deal with the attorney general the sentence would be double the length! So the lack of evidence is not the road to freedom. Israel will never allow its court to declare me as innocent. On the other hand, every Palestinian refugee of Arab friend or partner in the Arab world is potentially considered a so-called “foreign agent.”

The state’s role is to blame and the victim’s role is to explain, even to prove that he or she is innocent. I have so many friends and partners all around the Arab world and among people in the homeland and diaspora. I have no illusions, but I have a lot of energy to struggle for freedom and dignity.

  

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CCR RESPONDS TO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION WIKILEAKS

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CCR Responds to Criminal Investigation of Wikileaks Release of Classified Documents

 

November 29, 2010, New York, NY — In response to reports of a criminal investigation into the release of thousands of classified United States files and military documents by Wikileaks in July 2010, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following statement:

In the courts, in Congress and with international allies, the United States has unreasonably insisted on keeping massive amounts of information secret. Transparency and accountability are essential elements of good government. For that reason, CCR strongly believes that the release of information by Wikileaks is good for democracy. Democracy thrives on informed citizens and Wikileaks is helping people know what the U.S. and other governments are doing as opposed to what they are telling the public.

The U.S. government under both the Bush and Obama administrations has been characterized by secrecy and lies since 9/11 such that a vacuum of information has developed. Wikileaks has punctured that vacuum and the information released is vitally important to the public interest.

President Obama has the opportunity to turn the tide on the way illegal or troubling revelations about the U.S. government’s activities are dealt with—this administration can end the secrecy and should be held accountable. With the exception of information that would identify and endanger the safety of the individuals named in the documents—which Wikileaks asked the U.S. to advise on without success—the release of this information will make the U.S. a stronger and healthier democracy.

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WIKILEAKS?

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 I have seen little particularly shocking in the latest Wikileaks. Ab-A$$ collaborates with Israel? Israel and the Arab governments don’t want Iran to get a nuclear weapon? They don’t like Turkey? Yes this is all reallya shock how to up my blog traffic? Anyway, I trust Yoshie Furuhashie at MRZine to wade through the non-sense and extract a few of the more important nuggets. See below if you wish to trudge through the bureaucratese. A few comments. We see here the ongoing tension between Israeli/American hopes–an Iran “permanently” prevented from nuclear proliferation–and Israeli/American policy, which is more realistic.

They are consistently stymied by something very simple. As the cables say, “In private, GOI officials have acknowledged that several factors would make any attack against Iran a much more difficult mission…Current USG, EU-3, and IAEA focus on Iran also creates a situation that differs from 1981, when the Israelis felt that the international community was ignoring the Iraqi threat. Israelis hope that the others will solve the Iranian problem for them…[Israel]  appear[s] to have very real concerns about the feasibility of military strikes against the Iranian nuclear program. Nevertheless, the GOI has shown time and again that it will act militarily if it believes that its security is threatened.”

Obama’s policy is less bellicose than Bush’s was, Hooman Majd writes, but it still founders on a lack of understanding of Iranian national sentiment: “The Iranian government has spent years explaining and defending its nuclear program to its people, to the point where cab drivers in Tehran can recite the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) article that entitles Iran to uranium enrichment, and giving up that right in the face of pressure from foreign powers would be a catastrophic defeat for the Islamic Republic…Sanctions, or any kind of external pressure or even threats of military action, will be, in the end, self-defeating.  

In dealing with Iran we have moved from pressure alone to diplomacy plus pressure, all the while including military threats to force the Iranian government to do as it’s told.” The inability to understand that diplomacy must not only be foregrounded but can be the only resolution is a continuing tendency in American policy, mostly due to an entrenched culture of militarism. The old saw, with everything a hammer, all problems come to be seen as a nail, come to mind. America’s declining power to persuade than than coerce–the latter, always somewhat overstated, I think, hiding the fact that American coercive power itself used to be far greater–is part of the problem.

Put differently, America has simply lost its ability to control the foreign policies of mid-level and large states in the global South–like Turkey, Brazil, and Iran, let alone China which simply ignores American dictates. Countries from now on will increasingly go their own way. The question is if whether that fact permeates American political culture before or after the next conflagration.

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DOROTHY ONLINE NEWSLETTER

NOVANEWS

Dear Friends,

Just 3 items this evening.  Most of the international press is full of the Wikileaks, and the domestic press with the usual chit chat.  The 3 items below don’t touch these, but will hopefully interest you.

 

The first item is actually 2 in 1—the Guardian and the Independent on the same subject: Israel trying to clean up its image abroad—in other words, propaganda.  But each of the reports contains details that differ from the other, even though they speak of the same subject.  So, for a well-rounded picture, you have both.

 

In item 2 Akiva Eldar talks about Israel’s attempts to counter the delegitimizing that seems to be growing in Europe.  Eldar says in plain words, it’s not a battle on delegitimizing that’s needed; it’s the government’s policies that need revising “instead of whining and blaming the messengers, the captains of the ship of state would do well to change its direction.”

 

In item 3 Robert Fisk furnishes statistics on the enormous costs of wars—including Israel’s.  Nor does Fisk (he being what he is) downgrade the human cost.

 

Good reading this evening or whenever,

Dorothy

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

 

1. The Independent,

29 November 2010

 

Israel tries to clean up its image abroad

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-tries-to-clean-up-its-image-abroad-2146232.html

 

By Catrina Stewart in Jerusalem

 

 

Israel’s ultra-nationalist Foreign Minister is proposing a major new public relations drive in Europe aimed at bolstering Israel’s flagging image.

 

 

The campaign, expected to launch early in the new year, would rely on teams of volunteers in Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain to deliver Israel’s message, while professionals from public relations and lobbying firms would also be hired to for the rebranding initiative.

 

The campaign is the pet project of Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Moldovan-born Foreign Minister, who is better known for his public relations gaffes than for his diplomacy.

 

Nevertheless, the move also reflects a growing sense among Israelis that they are misunderstood and misrepresented overseas. Many have smarted at international condemnation of the Gaza blockade and have vociferously defended two soldiers convicted in Israel for their treatment of a civilian during the Gaza War two winters ago, arguing that they were operating in difficult circumstances.

 

Moreover, Israeli officials have railed against media portrayals of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an unwilling partner for peace with the Palestinians, contending that the Palestinian refusal to recognise Israel as a Jewish state is as much of a stumbling block as is ongoing settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

 

“Israel’s public image today is dismal,” wrote Alon Ben-Meir, a New York University lecturer in a recent editorial in The Jerusalem Post. “The public relations problem is not due to a lack of attention. The entire world is watching Israel closely, but it does not like what it sees.”

 

Aryeh Green, head of the Israeli advocacy group MediaCentral, welcomed the new PR initiative, but said efforts should also remain focused on promoting accuracy of news reporting from Israel, rather than solely concentrating on putting across a message. The Foreign Ministry initiative, if it goes ahead, will join private advocacy efforts led by groups such as the Israel Project and British-led Bicom, which, among other things, lead tours examining threats to Israel’s security and fly over foreign journalists and commentators to meet politicians, decision-makers and analysts.

 

Other pro-Israel groups, such as Honest Reporting and the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America scour media reports to root out what they perceive as biased or incorrect reporting, and lead email campaigns against journalists or organisations regarded as prejudiced.

 

Whether Mr Lieberman’s plans can do more remains to be seen. At least one Israeli official has argued that such initiatives have failed before: “With every change of season, there will be a politician announcing unofficially a big PR campaign that will change Israel’s image,” the official said.

 

Others will likely question Mr Lieberman’s suitability for the role. A former nightclub bouncer with an assault charge to his name, he has alienated many foreign officials.

 

Many Israelis feel that there is little that can be done to improve Israel’s international image, particularly in Europe, where anti-Israel sentiment is seen to be on the rise.

 

In a recent poll conducted by Tel Aviv University, 56 percent of Israelis said they believed “the whole world is against us,” while 77 per cent said the world would always criticise their efforts to resolve the decades-long conflict.

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

The Guardian

28 November 2010  

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/28/israel-citizen-advocates-europe-pr

 

Israel recruits citizen advocates in Europe

‘Allies and friends’ will promote government policy to press and public meetings as part of fresh PR drive

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/28/israel-citizen-advocates-europe-pr

 

Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem

 

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister, has ordered a range of measures in a bid to improve Israel’s image in Europe.

 

Israel has instructed its embassies in 10 European countries, including the UK, each to recruit 1,000 members of the public to act as advocates for its policies in a new public relations offensive.

 

A cable from the foreign affairs ministry was sent to embassies last week, with instructions from Avigdor Lieberman, the controversial and extreme right-wing foreign minister, to adopt a range of measures aimed at improving Israel’s standing in Europe.

 

The most unusual was the order to identify up to 1,000 people by mid-January to act as “allies” to Israel. One source described them as “friends who are willing not just to receive messages but to actively promote these messages”. These individuals – likely to be drawn from Jewish or Christian activists, academics, journalists and students – will be briefed regularly by Israeli officials and encouraged to speak up for Israel at public meetings or write letters or articles for the press.

 

Five European capitals have also been identified for a more conventional PR push. Israeli embassies in London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Rome will receive funds to hire professional PR firms and lobbyists.

 

PR companies will be asked to focus on political messages, such as: Israel’s position on talks with the Palestinians; subjects which can help “brand” Israel, such as tourism and technology; and regional issues to which Israel wishes to draw attention, such as human rights in Iran or Arab countries.

 

The foreign affairs ministry also suggested that embassies across Europe organise monthly high-profile public events to promote Israel and its government’s policies, and visits to Israel for influential individuals. Lieberman is planning to meet ambassadors to European countries next month to push the new PR offensive.

 

An Israeli official refused to comment on the disclosure but said: “Obviously we are always looking for ways to improve our communications, there’s nothing unusual in that,” adding: “There is anxiety about the way Israel is perceived abroad, and there is particular worry about certain countries in western Europe.”

 

Israel has previously launched drives to improve its image through hasbara – literally meaning explanation, although alternatively interpreted as public diplomacy, spin or propaganda. During its three-week war on Gaza, which began in December 2008, Israel launched a PR strategy through its national information directorate to co-ordinate key messages on a daily basis.

 

The Israeli government, military and various embassies are adept at using social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to promote material. Organisations such as Bicom, the Britain Israel Communications Research Centre, in the UK and the Israel Project in the US, which describe themselves as independent, are dedicated to promoting Israeli policies. Both organisations offer regular briefings, contacts and tours to foreign correspondents based in Israel and Palestine, and all-expenses paid trips to Israel for journalists, including from the Guardian, based elsewhere.

 

Other countries undertake similar PR drives. Rwanda hired the London-based company Racepoint to feed positive stories to the media. Bell Pottinger, headed by Lord Bell, a former adviser to Lady Thatcher, represents Sri Lanka and Madagascar.

 

Meanwhile, the Israeli cabinet today approved a plan to build a huge detention centre capable of holding up to 10,000 illegal immigrants and refugees near its border with Egypt. Israel began building a fence along the border earlier this month. The population and immigration authority has said between 1,200 and 1,500 people, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, have crossed the border each month this year, compared to 300 per month last year. “There is a swelling wave threatening Israeli jobs, a wave of illegal migrants that we must stop because of the harsh implications for Israel’s character,” Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, told the cabinet today.

 

Also today, Major-General Uri Bar-Lev, the top policeman being investigated for alleged sexual assault and rape, said he was withdrawing his candidacy to become Israel’s police commissioner and taking an unspecified time of leave.

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

2.  Haaretz,

November 29, 2010

 

For Israel, ‘delegitimization’ is becoming an excuse

If we say ‘delegitimization’ enough times the public will believe there is no connection between what the gentiles say and what the Jews do.

 

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/for-israel-delegitimization-is-becoming-an-excuse-1.327551

 

By Akiva Eldar

 

The State of Israel is under the threat of delegitimization, “which is no less disturbing than Hamas and Hezbollah,” intoned Defense Minister Ehud Barak in a speech last week.

 

“Attempts by our enemies and their misguided fellow travelers to delegitimize the Jewish state must be countered,” warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu three weeks ago, in response to cries of protest by peace activists at the General Assembly of Jewish Federations in New Orleans.

 

“If the delegitimization continues it will be an obstacle to peace,” declared Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon recently. He added: “We are facing sophisticated enemies who are working in various ways to besmirch Israel’s reputation.”

 

Words like missiles. It’s an emergency. Hush, we’re shooting.

 

A look at the “guidebook” the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs is offering Israelis at the exit gates from the country reinforces the suspicion that the inflation in the expression “delegitimization” (formerly called “anti-Semitism” ) is not a random lexical construction.

 

“How many times have you had occasion to encounter information presented about Israel that was far from being real?” the tourist/good-will ambassador is asked before he is requested to “take part in changing the image of the State of Israel.” The booklet “Explaining Israel” reminds him of such things as the dates of the wars (including Operation Peace for Galilee ) and the victories (including the win by Maccabi Tel Aviv of the European Cup ), the humanitarian delegations and the invention of the disc-on-key.

 

There is not a single word about the Madrid conference, which paved the way to the direct peace negotiations and diplomatic relations with many important countries, such as China. There is no sign of the fact that the Oslo Accords opened doors to Israel in the Arab countries. Nor is there any trace of the peace with Jordan – a bonus for the Oslo agreement. Nothing about the Arab peace initiative, which is still waiting for an Israeli answer. The Public Diplomacy Ministry is also not mentioning that the European Union decided to upgrade relations with Israel – and then froze the process in the wake of the crisis of the Gaza-bound Turkish flotilla.

 

Israel is basking in the light of the delegitimization. It will not allow the inexhaustible tin of olive oil to be defiled by any hint of legitimization. It is much easier to give the world the finger when the whole of it is against you. If we say “delegitimization” enough times the public will believe there is no connection between what the gentiles say and what the Jews do.

 

If we are doomed not to be legitimate in a world that is totally against us – it is possible to throw people out of their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, to take over Silwan and to build settlements and outposts in the territories. If in Europe they are boycotting Israeli vegetables because of hatred of Israel – it is possible today to pass the law in the Knesset concerning acceptance committees in communities, and to shake the very foundation stones of democracy: the rights to equality, freedom and property. They give, they’ll get. If they give delegitimization, they’ll get the citizenship law.

 

Just as even paranoids can have enemies, Israel does have people who hate it and have not come to terms with its existence. However, the unbearable lightness of delegitimization is turning it into a double-edged sword. When the defense minister draws a straight line between delegitimization and Hamas and Hezbollah, there are those who will understand that an Israeli who reveals the establishment of an outpost or expresses criticism of excessive use of force in Operation Cast Lead is collaborating with the worst of our enemies.

 

From there the way is short to draconic legislation to restrict the freedom of expression of academics and human rights organizations, and to threats concerning the livelihood of performers. This is, after all, a time of emergency for Israel.

 

A senior Israeli diplomat in Europe has complained to me that leftist columnists and commentators are subverting the embassy’s public diplomacy efforts. From there the way is short to television presenter Yaakov Ahimeir’s disturbing call to his fellow journalists to defend Israel from “all kinds of slanderers who are trying to undermine our legitimacy.” The laureate of the life achievement award from the Journalists Association in Tel Aviv has proposed making the fight against delegitimization one of the missions of “patriotic journalism.”

 

Indeed, it is necessary not to dismiss the increasing delegitimization of Israel in foreign countries. But instead of whining and blaming the messengers, the captains of the ship of state would do well to change its direction. In the words of Akavia ben Mahalalel: “Your deeds will bring you closer and your deeds will distance you.”

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

3.  The Independent,

27 November 2010

 

Robert Fisk: Oceans of blood and profits for the mongers of war

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-oceans-of-blood-and-profits-for-the-mongers-of-war-2145037.html

 

As casualties continue to mount in Afghanistan, so does the cost of war after nine years

 

Since there are now three conflicts in the greater Middle East; Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel/”Palestine” and maybe another Lebanese war in the offing, it might be a good idea to take a look at the cost of war.

 

Not the human cost – 80 lives a day in Iraq, unknown numbers in Afghanistan, one a day in Israel/”Palestine” (for now) – but the financial one. I’m still obsessed by the Saudi claim for its money back after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990. Hadn’t Saudi Arabia, King Fahd reminded Saddam, financed his eight-year war against Iran to the tune of $25,734,469,885.80? For the custodian of the two holy places, Mecca and Medina, to have shelled out $25bn for Saddam to slaughter his fellow Muslims was pretty generous – although asking for that extra 80 cents was surely a bit greedy.

 

But then again, talking of rapacity, the Arabs spent $84bn underwriting the Anglo-American operation against Saddam in 1990-91 – three times what Fahd gave to Saddam for the Iran war – and the Saudi share alone came to $27.5bn. In all, the Arabs sustained a loss of $620bn because of the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait – almost all of which was paid over to the United States and its allies. Washington was complaining in August 1991 that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait still owed $7.5bn. Western wars in the Middle East, it seemed, could be fought for profit as well as victory. Maybe Iraq could have brought us more treasure if it hadn’t ended in disaster. At least it would help to have paid for America’s constant infusion of cash to Israel’s disastrous wars.

 

According to Israeli historian Illan Pappé, since 1949, the US has passed to Israel more than $100bn in grants and $10bn in special loans – more than Washington hands out to North Africa, South America and the Caribbean. Over the past 20 years, $5.5bn has been given to Israel for military purchases. But for sheer self-abuse, it’s necessary to read of the Midas-like losses in the entire Middle East since just 1991 – an estimated $12,000,000,000,000. Yup, that’s a cool $12trn and, if you don’t believe me, take a look at an unassuming little booklet that the “Strategic Fortnight Group” published not long ago. Its statistic caught a few headlines, but was then largely forgotten, perhaps because it was published in faraway Mumbai rather than by some preposterous American “tink-thank” (as I call them). But it was funded by, among others, the Norwegian and Swiss foreign ministries. And the Indians are pretty smart about money, as we know as we wait in fear of its new super-economy.

 

So since there may soon be a new Israel-Hizbollah war, let’s get an idea of the astronomical costs of all those F-16s, missiles, “bunker-busters”, Iranian-made rockets, smashed Lebanese factories, villages, towns, bridges, power stations, oil terminals – we will not soil ourselves with Lebanon’s 1,300 pathetic dead or Israel’s 130 pathetic dead in the 2006 war for these are mere mortals – not to mention the losses in tourism and trade to both sides. Total losses for Lebanon in 2006 came to an estimated $3.6bn, for Israel $1.6bn – so Israel won hands down in terms of money, even if its rabble of an army screwed everything up on the ground. But among those who paid for this were American taxpayers (funding the Israelis) and European taxpayers, Arab potentates and the crackpot of Iran (funding Lebanon). So the American taxpayer destroys what the European taxpayer rebuilds. It’s the same in Gaza; Washington funds the weapons to blow up EU-funded projects and the EU rebuilds them in time for them to be destroyed again. But boy oh boy, in the Lebanese war, US arms manufacturers make a packet – and so, to a lesser extent do the Iranian and Chinese missile dealers.

 

Let’s break down the 2006 Lebanon war figures. Bridges and roads: $450m. Utilities: $419m. Housing: $2bn. But military “institutions”: a paltry $16m. Hizbollah apparently spent $300m. Overall, rebuilding came to $319m, infrastructure repairs to $454m, oil spill costs to $175m. Just for sadistic fun, you can add forest fires ($4.6m), displaced civilians ($52m) and Beirut airport ($170m). But the biggest cost of all? Tourism, at $3-4bn. Now Israel. Tourism lost $1.4 bn, “government and emergency services” $460n, businesses $1.4bn, compensation paid out $335.4m, forest fires $18m. What have the Israeli army and Hizbollah got against forests? In all, the Israeli losses amounted to 1.5 per cent of GDP, the Lebanese 8 per cent of GDP.

 

And just look at the Middle East “arms race” – the jockeys being the arms manufacturers, the punters being the countries of the region and, of course, their “huddled masses”. Saudi Arabia, as the Mumbai report said, leaps in a decade between 1996 and 2006 from $18bn to $30bn a year – it’s just negotiating a $60bn deal with the US – and Iran from $3bn to $10bn. Israel has gone from $8bn to $12bn. In fact, there’s an interesting correlation between Israel’s state-of-the-art democratically minded missile-firings between 2000 and 2007 – 34,050 – and Hamas’s evil, terrorist-inspired missile firings: a rather piffling 2,333.

 

There’s a host of other goodies in this appalling list of financial and social horrors. On 11 September 2001, just 16 people were on America’s “no-fly” list; by December, it was 594. By August 2008, it had reached an astonishing 100,000. At present rate, the US “terrorist watch list” will reach two million souls in two years’ time. Since 1974, UN peacekeepers on the Golan Heights have cost $47.86m while the UN has forked out $680.93m for its forces in southern Lebanon since 1978.

 

So coming soon to a war near you; oceans of blood, bodies torn to shreds, of course. But bring your credit card. Or a cheque book. It’s big business. And there may be profits.

 

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NOVANEWS**NOVANEWS

NOVANEWS

 

John Bolton considering bid for US president in 2012

In radio interview, former US ambassador to UN slams US foreign policy, says Obama trying to “restructure the American way of life.”

 

Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton on Sunday night announced that he is considering a bid for US president in 2012.

 

Speaking on Jerusalem-based Aaron Klein‘s WABC Radio show, Bolton said he was motivated to run for president over concern “about the direction of national security policy.”

When asked what factors he would consider in making his final decision, Bolton replied: “I think it’s very important on the Republican side that we have a candidate against [US President Barack] Obama who can address these national security issues and to be able to debate him as an equal when you get into the 2012 campaign.”

Earlier in the interview, Bolton, who also once oversaw US non-proliferation policy, came out strongly against the Obama administration’s foreign policy, saying that the US president seems to be ” very uncomfortable asserting American interests around the world.”

“He views national security as a distraction from his real priority, which is restructuring the American way of life. And his foreign policy really consists of making decisions, in the case of Iraq and Afghanistan, only when he is forced to do it,” Bolton added.

Iranian state TV: Israelis killed nuclear scientist

“Agents of Zionist regime attacked 2 prominent university professors who were on their way to work,” report says; another scientist reported hurt.

(AP) Assailants on motorcycles attached bombs to the cars of two nuclear scientists as they were driving to work in Teheran Monday, killing one and seriously wounding the other, according to Iranian state media reports, which accused Israeli agents on motorbikes of attaching the bombs to their cars.

“In a criminal terrorist act, the agents of the Zionist regime attacked two prominent university professors who were on their way to work,” Iran‘s state television network reported on its web site, referring to Israel.

Iran’s nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, said the man killed was involved in a major project at the country’s chief nuclear agency, though he did not give specifics. Some Iranian media reported that the wounded scientist was a laser expert at Iran’s Defense Ministry and one of the country’s few top specialists in nuclear isotope separation.

Nuclear chief Salehi, issued a stern warning as he rushed to hospital to see the surviving scientist, Fereidoun Abbasi.

“Don’t play with fire. The patience of the Iranian nation has limits. If it runs out of patience, bad consequences will await enemies,” the official news agency IRNA quoted Salehi as saying as he met Abbasi at his hospital bedside. Salehi, one of Iran’s vice presidents, was apparently referring to Israel and the US, which Iran alleges are trying to damage its nuclear program.

Salehi also indicated that the scientist killed, Majid Shahriari, was involved in Iran’s nuclear activities. Teheran’s uranium enrichment program is at the center of a bitter row between Iran on one side and the US and its allies on the other. Uranium enrichment is a process that can be used to produce both nuclear energy and nuclear weapons.

The assailants, who escaped, drove by their targets on motorcycles and attached the bombs as the cars were moving. They exploded shortly thereafter, state TV reported.

Shahriari, the scientist who was killed, was a member of the nuclear engineering faculty at Shahid Beheshti University in Teheran. His wife, who was in the car with him, was wounded. Salehi, the nuclear chief who also heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said Shahriari was one of his students and his death was a big loss.

“Shahriari had good cooperation with the AEOI. He was involved in one of the big AEOI projects which is a source of pride for the Iranian nation,” IRNA quoted him as saying. He didn’t provide any details on the project. But the AEOI is involved in Iran’s uranium enrichment program.

“The enemy took our dearest flower, but must know that this nation, through resistance and all its might, will make efforts to remove problems and achieve its desires,” Salehi said.

A second, separate attack in the capital Teheran wounded the nuclear physicist Abbasi. His wife was also in the car with him, and she was also wounded.

A pro-government website, mashreghnews.ir, said Abbasi held a Ph.D. in nuclear physics and was a laser expert at Iran’s Defense Ministry and one of few top Iranian specialists in nuclear isotope separation.

Isotope separation is the process of concentrating specific isotopes of a chemical element by removing other isotopes, for example separating natural uranium from enriched uranium. This is a crucial process in the manufacture of uranium fuel for nuclear power stations, and is also required for the creation of uranium-based nuclear weapons.

The site said Abbasi has long been a member of the Revolutionary Guard, the country’s most powerful military force. It said he was also a lecturer at Imam Hossein University, affiliated to the Guard.

The attacks bore close similarities to another in January that killed Teheran University professor Masoud Ali Mohammadi, a senior physics professor. He was killed when a bomb-rigged motorcycle exploded near his car as he was about to leave for work.

The latest attacks come a day after the release of internal State Department cables by the whistle-blower website Wikileaks, including several that vividly detail Arab fears over Iran’s nuclear program and its growing political ambitions in the region.

Analysis: Wikileaks vindicate, don’t damage, Israel

The US is clearly listening to what Middle Eastern leaders have to say about Iran – now what are they going to do about it?

(haaretz) Based on the trove of diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks on Sunday, the United States is clearly listening to and recording what Middle Eastern leaders have to say about Iran. The question left unanswered is what the US is willing to do about it.

For years now, top Israeli political and defense leaders have warned the world that a nuclear Iran is not just a threat to the Jewish state but is a threat to the entire region.

“If only we could say publicly what we hear behind closed doors,” Israeli officials would comment, following off-record talks they held with Arab leaders throughout the Middle East.

Well, now they can. According to one cable published by WikiLeaks on Sunday, Saudi King Abdullah “frequently exhorted the US to attack Iran to put an end to its nuclear weapons program” and to cut off the head of the snake.

According to another cable, King Hamad of Bahrain, a country with a majority Shi’ite population, urged in a meeting with former CENTCOM commander Gen.

David Petraeus that action be taken to terminate Iran’s nuclear program.

“That program must be stopped,” Hamad said, according to the cable. “The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it.”

Jordan, another country that voiced concern, is uncomfortable with the possibility that a nuclear Iran would provide an umbrella for opposition groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt is also challenged by Iran’s continued nuclear development, as shown by the conviction in April of 26 men who were spying for Hizbullah and plotting attacks in Egypt.

From an Israeli perspective, therefore, it would not be an exaggeration to say that WikiLeaks may have done the country a service on Sunday. By presenting the Arab leaders as more extreme in their remarks than Israeli leaders, the cables show the dissonance in the region and the danger involved in allowing Iran to continue with its nuclear program.

While there were some comments made by Mossad director Meir Dagan regarding leaders in the Middle East – the emir of Qatar is “annoying,” and the king of Morocco is not interested in governing – that are slightly embarrassing, Israeli politicians were spared the more embarrassing analyses of their personalities that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi received.

The information revealed in the cables is vast and informative, providing an unprecedented insight into the way some of Israel’s top intelligence officials and politicians view the region and its challenges.

Dagan, for example, comes out looking much more than just the head of a spy agency, and according to the cables, is sought after by almost every senior US official visiting Israel. In one cable he met with a Homeland Security official, in another with the undersecretary of state. In another he met with officials from the Treasury Department and in another, Mossad officials met with US military officers.

In general and contrary to earlier predictions, the cables did not appear to contain information that could significantly harm Israeli national security.

Most Israeli officials, such as Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Dagan and Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen.

Amos Yadlin, appear to be careful in what they say in the meetings, which are clearly being documented by American aides in the room. In one cable, while Yadlin said that covert means needed to be used to stop Iran, he was quoted as refusing to elaborate.

At the end of the day, though, none of this has changed the state of affairs regarding global efforts to stop Iran. While the UN has ratcheted up sanctions and the US is threatening more and tougher ones, the Teheran regime is continuing to defy the international community and to enrich uranium, making it today just a jump away from creating a nuclear weapon whenever it wants.

 

Hariri says Lebanon won’t join int’l pressure on Iran

 

 

(AP) At of end of Lebanese PM’s visit to Teheran, Ahmadinejad says Islamic unity helps to foil efforts of dominant powers. Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri said on Monday that his country will not be part of any international group that aims to pressure Iran over its controversial nuclear program.

Hariri explained that Lebanon supports Iran’s right to have nuclear power for peaceful purposes.
 
Hariri spoke at the end of his three-day visit to Iran where he met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad said that increasing unity and brotherhood of Islamic nations helps to thwart efforts of hegemonic powers, Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported.

“Promotion of unity and brotherhood of Islamic states particularly unity of Iran and Lebanon foils plots of hegemonic powers,” Ahmadinejad said in a meeting with Hariri, according to the report.

“If the Lebanese government and resistance stand in a joint front, the country will go through the path of dignity, development and honor and the Zionist regime and its sponsors will not be able to harm the Lebanese nation,” the Iranian president said.

Ahmadinejad went on to say that “The Islamic Republic of Iran endorses progress and development of all countries and we believe that regional and international problems will be fixed easily if we stand by each other.”

Lebanese and Iranian officials signed several accords during Hariri’s visit.

 

Ahmadinejad: US planned Wikileaks release to pressure Iran

 

Iranian president responds to documents which exposed Arab calls for strike on country’s nuclear facilities, alleges leaks were an “organized” effort to “stir up trouble.” 

(jpost) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday that leaked American diplomatic cables recounting Arab calls for the US to launch a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities were intended to stir “mischief.”

According to the cables released Sunday by online whistle-blower Wikileaks, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia repeatedly urged the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear program and to stop Teheran from developing a nuclear weapon.

“We don’t give any value to these documents,” Ahmadinejad told a news conference “It’s without legal value. Iran and regional states are friends. Such acts of mischief have no impact on relations between nations.”

Ahmadinejad alleged the leaks were an “organized” effort by the US to stir trouble between Iran and Arab neighbors. When asked to comment on the documents, he said “the material was not leaked, but rather released in an organized way,” according to a Press TV report.

“The US administration released them and based on them they pass judgment …. [The documents] have no legal value and will not have the political effect they seek,” Ahmadinejad was further quoted as saying. He went on to say that the Wikileaks “game” is “not worth commenting upon and that no one would waste their time reviewing them.”

The comments came after Lebanese Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri told Ahmadinejad that his country would not be part of any international group that aims to pressure Iran over its controversial nuclear program, seemingly in reaction to the Wikileaks exposure.

Among the first-published documents on Sunday night were nicknames for a number of world leaders. Ahmadinejad was referred to as “Hitler,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy as a “naked emperor,” the German Chancellor was called Angela “Teflon” Merkel and Afghan President Hamid Karzai as “driven by paranoia.” Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, an “Alpha Male,” while President Dmitry Medvedev is “afraid, hesitant.”

 

Iran’s President Calls Leaked Documents U.S. Plot

 

 

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a news conference on Monday that Iran’s relations with its neighbors would not be damaged by the leaked documents.

(NYT) TEHRAN — In Iran’s first official reaction to leaked State Department cables quoting Arab leaders as urging the United States to bomb Tehran’s nuclear facilities, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed the documents as American psychological warfare that would not affect his country’s relations with other nations, news reports said.

The documents seemed to show several Arab nations, notably Saudi Arabia, Iran’s rival for influence in the Persian Gulf, displaying such hostility that King Abdullah repeatedly implored Washington to “cut off the head of the snake” while there was still time.

Nonetheless, Mr. Ahmadinejad said at a news conference on Monday that Iran’s relations with its neighbors would not be damaged by the reports.

“Regional countries are all friends with each other. Such mischief will have no impact on the relations of countries,” he said, according to Reuters.

“Some part of the American government produced these documents,” he said. “We don’t think this information was leaked. We think it was organized to be released on a regular basis and they are pursuing political goals.”

News reports quoted Mr. Ahmadinejad as calling the documents “worthless” and without “legal value.”

Mr. Ahmadinejad’s news conference was scheduled before the leaked cables were published on Sunday and had been expected to focus on such issues as Iran’s scheduled negotiations on Dec. 5 with world powers over its nuclear program and plans at home to drastically reduce energy and food subsidies. Mr. Ahmadinejad said on Monday that while Iran and the world powers had agreed on a date, the venue was still under discussion.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes but many Western powers say it is designed to build nuclear weapons. That issue was one of the overarching themes of the first batch of leaked documents published in The New York Times and four European newspapers on Sunday.

With steadily increasing sanctions, outside powers have been seeking to persuade Iran to curb its uranium enrichment, a process that can lead to the production of weapons-grade nuclear fuel.

Mr. Ahmadinejad reiterated that Tehran’s enrichment program was legal and “non-negotiable,” Reuters said.

“The complete enrichment cycle and the production of fuel are basic rights” of member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, and “are non-negotiable,” Mr. Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

Netanyahu taps Tamir Pardo as new Mossad chief

Former deputy chief of spy agency was member of elite IDF commando unit, will replace Meir Dagan after eight-year tenure.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday named Mossad veteran Tamir Pardo as his choice as the new head of Israel’s spy agency, to succeed Meir Dagan.

Pardo served in senior positions in the Mossad for many years, as well as in various operative units. He left the agency in 2009, before which he served as deputy Mossad chief.

Pardo’s appointment is still pending the approval of the committee which okays appointments to senior positions in the public service.

Tamir Pardo Channel 10

Tamir Pardo, left, with Major General (res.) Uzi Dayan

Photo by: Ch. 10

In a statement issued Monday, Netanyahu praised Pardo’s rich experience in the Mossad, and said he was certain that Pardo was the right man to lead the organization.

Netanyahu also expressed his appreciation of outgoing Mossad chief Meir Dagan and his contribution to Israel’s security.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the former head of the IDF and fellow member of the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit, also called Pardo on Monday to congratulate him on his apppointment.

“I have known Pardo for many years, from different operations in which we worked together,” Barak said. “Pardo is a highly experienced professional, and is very suitable for the position of Mossad chief.”

Barak also commended Dagan for his eight-year term as head of the Mossad. “The citizens of Israel owe many thanks to Meir Dagan,” he said.

Pardo also served in Sayeret Matkal with Netanyahu’s older brother, the late Yoni Netanyahu, and is a close friend of the prime minister’s family.

 

Palestinians: Gaza war claim exposed by WikiLeaks is untrue

 

Cable among hundreds of thousands revealed by WikiLeaks says that Israel tried to coordinate Operation Cast Lead with Fatah and Egypt.

(haaretz) There were never any actual consultations between us and the Israelis before the Gaza war, a top aid to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday, refuting a WikiLeaks cable that claimed otherwise.

One of the documents included in the over 250,000 diplomatic cables between the United States and its allies which were leaked on Sunday said that Israel tried to coordinate Operation Cast Lead with both Fatah and Egypt.

In a June 2009 meeting between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and a U.S. congressional delegation, Barak claimed that the Israeli government “had consulted with Egypt and Fatah prior to Operation Cast Lead, asking if they were willing to assume control of Gaza once Israel defeated Hamas.”

“Not surprisingly,” Barak said in the meeting, Israel “received negative answers from both.”

Mahmoud Abbas AP 28.10.2010

Mahmoud Abbas speaking during a press conference in Ramallah, Oct. 28, 2010.

Photo by: AP

Top Abbas aid Saeb Erekat denied that Israel had notified the Palestinian Authority of the war before it happened.

“We knew about the war because the Israelis were saying there was going to be a war,” Erekat said.

Several months before the fighting broke out, Abaas asked Israel’s then-prime minister, Ehud Olmert, not to go to war, Erekat said. Abbas told him “he would not go to Gaza on an Israeli tank,” Erekat added.

He said the exchange took place in a face-to-face meeting that he himself attended.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said he wasn’t surprised to learn of Fatah cooperation with Israel.

“We have said several times that Fatah was implicated in this war, and that they wanted to return to Gaza on the back of Israeli tanks. But this information is behind us now. … We hope they will appreciate our position and step forward for real reconciliation,” Abu Zuhri said.

Hamas and Fatah have held several rounds of reconciliation talks since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2007. Earlier this month, the two groups failed to narrow sharp differences on security issues and ended their latest round of talks without setting a date for the next round.

 

Israel recruits citizen advocates in Europe

 

‘Allies and friends’ will promote government policy to press and public meetings as part of fresh PR drive

 

Avigdor Lieberman 

Israel has instructed its embassies in 10 European countries, including the UK, each to recruit 1,000 members of the public to act as advocates for its policies in a new public relations offensive.

A cable from the foreign affairs ministry was sent to embassies last week, with instructions from Avigdor Lieberman, the controversial and extreme right-wing foreign minister, to adopt a range of measures aimed at improving Israel’s standing in Europe.

The most unusual was the order to identify up to 1,000 people by mid-January to act as “allies” to Israel. One source described them as “friends who are willing not just to receive messages but to actively promote these messages”. These individuals – likely to be drawn from Jewish or Christian activists, academics, journalists and students – will be briefed regularly by Israeli officials and encouraged to speak up for Israel at public meetings or write letters or articles for the press.

Five European capitals have also been identified for a more conventional PR push. Israeli embassies in London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Rome will receive funds to hire professional PR firms and lobbyists.

PR companies will be asked to focus on political messages, such as: Israel’s position on talks with the Palestinians; subjects which can help “brand” Israel, such as tourism and technology; and regional issues to which Israel wishes to draw attention, such as human rights in Iran or Arab countries.

The foreign affairs ministry also suggested that embassies across Europe organise monthly high-profile public events to promote Israel and its government’s policies, and visits to Israel for influential individuals. Lieberman is planning to meet ambassadors to European countries next month to push the new PR offensive.

An Israeli official refused to comment on the disclosure but said: “Obviously we are always looking for ways to improve our communications, there’s nothing unusual in that,” adding: “There is anxiety about the way Israel is perceived abroad, and there is particular worry about certain countries in western Europe.”

Israel has previously launched drives to improve its image through hasbara – literally meaning explanation, although alternatively interpreted as public diplomacy, spin or propaganda. During its three-week war on Gaza, which began in December 2008, Israel launched a PR strategy through its national information directorate to co-ordinate key messages on a daily basis.

The Israeli government, military and various embassies are adept at using social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to promote material. Organisations such as Bicom, the Britain Israel Communications Research Centre, in the UK and the Israel Project in the US, which describe themselves as independent, are dedicated to promoting Israeli policies. Both organisations offer regular briefings, contacts and tours to foreign correspondents based in Israel and Palestine, and all-expenses paid trips to Israel for journalists, including from the Guardian, based elsewhere.

Other countries undertake similar PR drives. Rwanda hired the London-based company Racepoint to feed positive stories to the media. Bell Pottinger, headed by Lord Bell, a former adviser to Lady Thatcher, represents Sri Lanka and Madagascar.

Meanwhile, the Israeli cabinet today approved a plan to build a huge detention centre capable of holding up to 10,000 illegal immigrants and refugees near its border with Egypt. Israel began building a fence along the border earlier this month. The population and immigration authority has said between 1,200 and 1,500 people, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, have crossed the border each month this year, compared to 300 per month last year. “There is a swelling wave threatening Israeli jobs, a wave of illegal migrants that we must stop because of the harsh implications for Israel’s character,” Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, told the cabinet today.

Also today, Major-General Uri Bar-Lev, the top policeman being investigated for alleged sexual assault and rape, said he was withdrawing his candidacy to become Israel’s police commissioner and taking an unspecified time of leave.

 

Israel tries to clean up its image abroad

 

Israel’s ultra-nationalist Foreign Minister is proposing a major new public relations drive in Europe aimed at bolstering Israel’s flagging image.

The campaign, expected to launch early in the new year, would rely on teams of volunteers in Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain to deliver Israel’s message, while professionals from public relations and lobbying firms would also be hired to for the rebranding initiative.

The campaign is the pet project of Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Moldovan-born Foreign Minister, who is better known for his public relations gaffes than for his diplomacy.

Nevertheless, the move also reflects a growing sense among Israelis that they are misunderstood and misrepresented overseas. Many have smarted at international condemnation of the Gaza blockade and have vociferously defended two soldiers convicted in Israel for their treatment of a civilian during the Gaza War two winters ago, arguing that they were operating in difficult circumstances.

Moreover, Israeli officials have railed against media portrayals of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an unwilling partner for peace with the Palestinians, contending that the Palestinian refusal to recognise Israel as a Jewish state is as much of a stumbling block as is ongoing settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

“Israel’s public image today is dismal,” wrote Alon Ben-Meir, a New York University lecturer in a recent editorial in The Jerusalem Post. “The public relations problem is not due to a lack of attention. The entire world is watching Israel closely, but it does not like what it sees.”

Aryeh Green, head of the Israeli advocacy group MediaCentral, welcomed the new PR initiative, but said efforts should also remain focused on promoting accuracy of news reporting from Israel, rather than solely concentrating on putting across a message. The Foreign Ministry initiative, if it goes ahead, will join private advocacy efforts led by groups such as the Israel Project and British-led Bicom, which, among other things, lead tours examining threats to Israel’s security and fly over foreign journalists and commentators to meet politicians, decision-makers and analysts.

Other pro-Israel groups, such as Honest Reporting and the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America scour media reports to root out what they perceive as biased or incorrect reporting, and lead email campaigns against journalists or organisations regarded as prejudiced.

Whether Mr Lieberman’s plans can do more remains to be seen. At least one Israeli official has argued that such initiatives have failed before: “With every change of season, there will be a politician announcing unofficially a big PR campaign that will change Israel’s image,” the official said.

Others will likely question Mr Lieberman’s suitability for the role. A former nightclub bouncer with an assault charge to his name, he has alienated many foreign officials.

Many Israelis feel that there is little that can be done to improve Israel’s international image, particularly in Europe, where anti-Israel sentiment is seen to be on the rise.

In a recent poll conducted by Tel Aviv University, 56 percent of Israelis said they believed “the whole world is against us,” while 77 per cent said the world would always criticise their efforts to resolve the decades-long conflict.

 

US soldiers kill Iraqi civilian driver who failed to slow down as he neared troop convoy

 

(AP) U.S. troops who thought they were under attack killed an Iraqi airport employee Sunday as he drove near a military convoy on his way to work, officials said.

The driver, identified by colleagues as Baghdad International Airport worker Karim Obaid Bardan, failed to heed repeated signals to slow down or turn on his headlights as he neared the military convoy, said U.S. and Iraqi security officials.

“As a result, the vehicle was perceived as a threat and a decision was made to engage it with small-arms fire in order to stop it and to protect the convoy from a possible attack,” said Army Col. Barry Johnson, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad.

“Iraqi drivers know that they must use caution and avoid threatening behavior when approaching military vehicles,” Johnson said.

The shooting comes a day after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said U.S. troops would not be needed in Iraq beyond a December 2011 withdrawal deadline already in place between the two nations.

An Iraqi policeman confirmed the driver did not stop or slow. Two other Iraqi officials said the pre-dawn shooting happened near a security checkpoint on the road to the airport and described the shooting as a mistake.

All three Iraqi officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

The shooting is under U.S. investigation, and Johnson said the military “deeply regrets” the driver’s death.

Such so-called “escalation of force” self-defense shootings were common in the years immediately after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, and inflamed tensions between American forces and Iraqis who saw them as occupiers. But the tactic has been less frequent since U.S. soldiers scaled back their presence around Iraq, starting in June 2009, when they stopped patrolling cities without Iraqi forces with them.

Meanwhile, in a shocking killing north of Baghdad, police said gunmen wearing Iraqi security forces uniforms invaded the home of a Sunni sheik in a pre-dawn raid and shot him and his 15-year-old son.

A police officer in the village of al-Meshahda, about 31 miles (50 kilometers) north of the capital, said Sheik Abdul Kerim Talab Mutlak al-Halbussi was a leader of the local Sahwa, or Awakening council. The councils are the government-backed Sunni militias that joined forces with the United States against al-Qaida in one of the turning points of the war.

Two other people in the house were wounded in the shooting, said the police officer. A local hospital official confirmed the casualties. Both spoke on condition of anonymity.

Also, two high-profile officials were killed in separate attacks Sunday night in Baghdad, police officials said. The training and development director of the Sunni Endowment, a publicly funded religious organization, was killed when a bomb hidden on the underside of his car exploded. And an Iraqi army brigadier general was slain in a drive-by shooting.

Hillary Clinton Ordered Diplomats to Steal UN Officials’ Credit Card Numbers

‘National Humint Collection Directive’ Also Called for Them to Steal Passwords, DNA

by Jason Ditz,

www.antiwar.com

One of the first eye-opening revelations from the massive WikiLeaks diplomatic logs release is the length to which the US State Department is being treated as just another of America’s many spying apparatus.

Among the leaks was something called the “National Humint Collection Directive,” a secret document signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last year. The document orders officials at the State Department to conduct mass surveillance and in some cases outright theft against high ranking UN officials.

Incredibly, beyond the simple collection of secret information about officials including UN chief Ban Ki-moon, the directive also calls for State Department officials to try to steal credit card data from a number of top officials, as well as passwords and personal encryption keys. They also sought to collect DNA samples from UN members.

The directive was sent to 33 US embassies across the world, and specified not just Ban, but his top advisers, the heads of all UN agencies, commanders of UN military missions and representatives of all the permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The State Department was chiefly responsible for this attempt, but they were also to enlist the CIA, FBI, and the US Secret Service in the collection of data if necessary. The 1946 UN Convention prohibits most if not all of the attempts at theft and surveillance detailed in the operation.

US Warned Turkey Not to Publicly Question Allegations on Iran

State Dept Demanded Officials ‘Rein In’ PM’s Criticism

by Jason Ditz,

www.antiwar.com

In late 2009 the Obama Administration, it was revealed today, privately warned the Turkish government not to criticize unsubstantiated allegations against Iran’s civilian nuclear program, in particular warning that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comments made Turkey “vulnerable to international community criticism.

Turkish PM Erdogan

The documents, revealed today as part of the WikiLeaks Cablegate release, centered around Prime Minister Erdogan’s criticism of Obama’s allegations as “gossip,” and advised top Erdogan aides and Turkish President Gul to “rein in” the prime minister.

Another document expressed concern at Turkey’s interest in a working relationship with Iran, saying Turkey was missing an opportunity to weaken the Iranian government by not condemning the 2009 election and saying Turkey was motivated by a desire to avoid a region-wide war.

Though US officials have repeatedly accused Iran of making nuclear weapons they have never provided evidence of this assertion, and the IAEA has continually verified the non-diversion of Iran’s nuclear material.

Interestingly, the US mocked Turkey’s claims of “influence” with Iran by saying Turkey was unable to even convince Iran to sign the third party enrichment deal sought by the P5+1. Just months after the cable Turkey did succeed in getting Iran to sign the deal, sparking public US condemnation of Turkey and a refusal by the US to complete the proposed deal.

Iranian nuclear scientist killed, another injured in Tehran bombings

 

(Washington Post) TEHRAN – A prominent Iranian nuclear scientist was killed Monday and a second was seriously wounded in simultaneous car bomb attacks in the Iranian capital, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

The explosions, which took place in front of Shahid Behesti University, are the latest in a string of recent assassination attempts in which five doctors and professors have been killed in Tehran.

Iranian authorities blamed foreign agents for the killings, saying they want to cause chaos in the country. But leading figures in Iran’s opposition movement accused the government of plotting the attacks in order to spread fear in the capital, where many oppose the regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“Undoubtedly the hand of the Zionist regime and Western governments is involved” in the attacks, Ahmadinejad told reporters in a news conference. He said the bombings would not stop Iran from pursuing its nuclear program.

According to Fars, scientists Majid Shahriari and Fereydoun Abbasi were parking their cars in separate locations near the university campus about 7:45 a.m. local time when they were attacked.

Witnesses said each car was approached by a group of men on motorcycles, who attached explosives to the vehicles and detonated them seconds later, the news agency reported. Shahriari was killed instantly. Abbasi was wounded. Both men were with their wives, who were wounded as well.

Abbasi is a high-ranking defense ministry official who is involved in Iran’s nuclear program. He has been barred since 2007 from leaving the country, in accordance with United Nations Security Council sanctions, and is considered a main player in Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile program.

The head of Iran’s nuclear energy program, Ali Akbar Salehi, visited Abbasi in the hospital after the bombing, and spoke to reporters about the scientists, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Salehi said Shahriari was “in charge of one of the biggest projects” of Iran’s nuclear program, ISNA said, but did not specify which program.

“The enemy took our dearest flower, but must know that this nation, through resistance and all its might, will make efforts to remove problems and achieve its desires,” Salehi said.

Shahriari also was known for his involvement in a regional, non-nuclear scientific research project – called Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East, or SESAME – in whichIsrael also participated. He is the second Iranian scientist involved in that program to be assassinated in Tehran.

The SESAME project is based in Jordan, under the auspices of the United Nations. It includes scientists from several Middle Eastern countries. The involvement of both Iran and Israel makes the project unusual, because Israel is not recognized by Iran and has no ties to the Islamic republic. Palestinian scientists also participate.

Iranian and foreign scientists say the project has applications in industry, medicine, nanotechnology and other fields unrelated to nuclear power.

In January, another scientist involved in the SESAME project, Massoud Ali Mohammadi, was killed in Tehran when a bomb attached to a motorcycle exploded in front of his house.

At the time, many thought Mohammadi had been supporting the opposition. Government officials, however, accused the United States and Israel of being behind the attack.

Fars, which has close ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards corps, alleged that foreign “enemies” were involved in Monday’s attacks – a charge Ahmadinejad echoed hours later.

“The enemies of the Iranian nation, who have lost hope in their pressure and sanctions projects, have once again, on the eve of negotiations with Iran, resorted to blind terrorist attacks so that they can advance their illegitimate and oppressive demands against the Iranian nation at the negotiating table,” the agency wrote.

Iranian officials are supposed to meet with representatives of other nations Dec. 5 for talks on nuclear and other issues.

 

Mullen: US Still Thinking About Attacking Iran

 

Doesn’t Believe for One Second Iran’s Program is Peaceful

by Jason Ditz,

www.antiwar.com

Despite providing no new evidence to the contrary, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen says he “doesn’t believe for a second” that Iran’s nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, and reiterated that the US is considering attacking Iran over it.

We’ve actually been thinking about military options for a significant period of time,” Mullen insisted. Indeed the US has been threatening to attack Iran off and on for years, usually citing the civilian nuclear program as a justification.

The threat comes just weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admonished the US regarding Iran, saying that they needed to threaten to attack Iran much more often than they had been in recent months. The US had publicly rejected the call, saying they threaten Iran enough at present, but such a new, high profile threat suggests they may still be on the rise.

It also comes just a week before the planned P5+1 talks with Iran, which are supposed to be a meaningful effort involving US diplomats to kick-start talks designed to prevent a war with Iran. Timing the threat like this may suggest the talks aren’t going to amount to much.

Nasrallah: Evidence held by UN Hariri probe worthless

Hizbullah chief calls investigation a biased “Israeli project;” Netherlands-based tribunal may issue indictments this month.

(ASSOCIATED PRESS) The leader of Hizbullah said Sunday that evidence believed to be held by UN investigators implicating his militant group in the death of a former Lebanese prime minister is worthless.

The Netherlands-based tribunal investigating the 2005 killing of Rafik Hariri is expected to issue indictments possibly as soon as this month.

The court has kept silent on possible suspects but several media reports including a May 2008 report by Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine said the court will indict Hizbullah members based mainly on the analysis of mobile phone calls in the run-up to Hariri’s assassination.

Nasrallah has also said he expects members of his group to be indicted, but has dismissed the court as biased and an “Israeli project.”

The UN tribunal set up to prosecute Hariri’s killers has caused deep divisions within Lebanon’s government, which includes Hizbullah along with pro-Western blocs led by Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the son of the slain leader.

There are fears of an outbreak of violence if the court indicts members of Hizbullah.

Nasrallah has said his group will “cut the hand” of anyone who tries to arrest its members.

On Sunday, he said he is confident the indictments will be based on telecommunications evidence linking his group to the murder. But he said Israel, whom he blames for Hariri’s assassination, has infiltrated Lebanon’s mobile telecommunications network and can manipulate phone calls.

“You are heading toward indictments based on so-called telecommunications evidence. This is not evidence. Such evidence has absolutely no value,” said Nasrallah, addressing the UN-appointed prosecutor, Daniel Bellemare

Lebanese officials have confirmed that Israel has penetrated and has great control over Lebanon’s telecommunications networks. Earlier this year, authorities detained two senior employees of one of the country’s two cellular telecommunication companies on suspicion that they were spying for Israel. They remain in detention several months after their arrest.

Telecommunications minister Charbel Nahhas confirmed at a press conference held with experts in the field earlier this week that Israel was able to infiltrate Lebanon’s mobile telecommunications network and could manipulate phone calls and short messages.

Nasrallah repeated those claims in his speech Sunday and said Israel bugged the mobile phones of Hizbullah members, allowing it to make false phone calls and send false text messages and track the users’ movements.

“This court is amending its laws and work in a way that facilitates its issuing of a premeditated, politicized verdict,” Nasrallah said.

However, he said he was not worried about the indictments, adding his group was stronger and more confident than ever.

Hariri’s assassination in a truck bombing along Beirut’s Mediterranean waterfront on Feb. 14, 2005, transformed Lebanon and the country’s relationship with its larger neighbor, Syria, which is a main patron of the Shiite Hizbullah.

Immediately after the killing, suspicion fell on Damascus — leading to massive protests that ushered in the end of Syria’s nearly 30-year military presence and domination in Lebanon.

Damascus and Hizbullah have denied having any role in the killing.

 

Muslim Brotherhood protests alleged fraud in Zionist Mu-Barak vote

(ASSOCIATED PRESS)–Hundreds demonstrate outside of vote-counting stations; independent monitors barred; gov’t candidates hand out cash and food to voters. Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters protested outside vote counting stations, scuffling with police and denouncing what they called widespread fraud in Zionist Mu-Barak’s parliament elections on Sunday, as the government appeared to determined to ensure its monopoly on the legislature in uncertain political times.

The protests in Cairo and in the Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria capped a day of voting in which many independent monitors were barred from polling stations amid reports of ballot box stuffing and vote buying. In some places, government candidates were seen passing out cash and food to voters near polling stations.

Overhanging Sunday’s parliamentary vote was the more significant presidential election set for next year. For the first time in nearly 30 years, there are questions over the presidential vote. The 82-year-old Zionist puppet Mu-Barak has had health issues, undergoing surgery earlier this year. His party says he will run for another six-year term, but that hasn’t resolved the speculation over the future of the country’s leadership.

Fueling the sense of unease, Egyptians the past year have grown increasingly vocal in their anger over high prices, low wages, persistent unemployment and poor services despite economic growth that has fueled a boom for the upper classes.

Amid the uncertainty, opponents say the ruling party in this top U.S. ally aims to sweep parliament almost completely to prevent any future platform for dissent. In the run-up to Sunday’s voting, at least 1,200 supporters of the Islamic fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood — the ruling party’s only real rival — were arrested and many of its candidates saw their campaign rallies broken up repeatedly.

In the last parliamentary election, in 2005, the Brotherhood stunned the Zionist regime of Mu-Barak by winning a fifth of the legislature, its strongest showing ever. But officials from the ruling National Democratic Party warned heading into Sunday that the Brotherhood would not keep nearly as many in the new, 508-seat parliament.

Sunday’s voting saw sporadic violence — police fired tear gas in one southern Cairo district after police shut down a polling station, and in the southern city of Qena, Brotherhood supporters threw firebombs at police who barred them voting.

But a heavy presence of security forces, along with gangs of intimidating young men hanging around outside polling stations, seemed to scare off most opposition supporters. Only a trickle of voters, far less than in 2005, was seen throughout the day at most Cairo and Alexandria polls.

“People are scared to leave their homes. Anyone is afraid of the thugs,” said Abeer Fathi, a 32-year old housewife in Cairo who nonetheless was able to vote for her Brotherhood candidate. “The authorities are reassured because they know people won’t turn up after they scared them ahead of the vote.”

After polls closed Sunday evening, around 800 Brotherhood supporters massed outside a police station where ballots were being counted in Alexandria, chanting, “No to fraud.” They were confronted by several hundred riot police and truckloads of civilians touting long sticks. Brief scuffles broke out, though some Brotherhood supporters tried to pull their colleagues out of any fighting.

Several hundred others marched toward a counting center in the Cairo district of Shubra el-Kheima but were blocked by a heavy security force. Some protesters threw bottles at police, shouting, “No god but God! No to vote rigging.”

At a press conference after polls closed, NDP spokesman Sameh Kashaf shrugged off accusations of fraud as “not worthy of comment.”

“The Egyptians today have used their democratic right,” he said, saying “a few violations” were dealt with.

Throughout the day, independent monitors from human rights groups were barred entry from many polling stations, leaving only low-level officials from the government-run election committee and police to supervise voting. Under constitutional amendments passed in 2007, independent judges who once acted as monitors no longer observe the vote.

In some places visited by The Associated Press, violations appeared to take place openly.

“The security is running the show,” said Hosny Ragab, a monitor who told AP he was ordered out of a polling center at Alexandria’s al-Raml district despite having accreditation from the election commission.

At one point, busloads of women were brought into the al-Raml polling station, and their escorts were heard telling them to vote for NDP candidate Abdel-Salam Mahgoub. Several of the women told AP they were being paid around $7 each to vote for him. Speaking outside the station to the AP, Mahgoub denied any irregularities. The Brotherhood candidate in the district was beat up by alleged government supporters, appearing to reporters bruised with blood on his shirt.

In the downtown Cairo neighborhood of Abdeen, a plainclothes policeman in a polling station acknowledged to an AP reporter that many ballot boxes were “fixed.” The officer refused to give his name. Fawzi Mahgoub, a poll representative for the district’s Muslim Brotherhood candidate, said his phone was confiscated after he took footage of an officer at the same center stuffing the boxes with ballots.

In nearby back alleys, candidate representatives were seen negotiating with recruiters who promise to bring in a set number of votes — around $9 a vote was the going price at the moment.

“No one votes without being paid,” said one voter who would identify himself only as Mohammed. “My leg hurts, and if there was no money I wouldn’t have come.”

NDP candidates appeared to have a free hand to sway voters entering the stations. In several locations in Cairo, supporters of NDP candidates were seen handing out bags of food to voters inside the polling center or at tents set up in alleys nearby.

Egypt has 41 million registered voters, but turnout has traditionally been very low — around 25 percent in 2005. Secular opposition parties are weak, with little public support and limited resources.

Ahead of Sunday’s vote, Zionist Mu-Barak rejected U.S. calls to allow foreign monitors to observe the election, accusing its ally of trying to play the role of “overseer.”

Egypt argued there were enough local monitors to do the job. But civil society groups say the election committee authorized only dozen monitors. It appeared Sunday that even some of those with papers were being turned away.

The government sensitivity over the vote appears to stem from the uncertainty over the presidential election.

Zionist Mu-Barak, who underwent gall bladder surgery in Germany last spring, has not said whether he intends to run for another, six-year term, though senior ruling party figures insist he will. Even if he runs, a new term would take him nearly to the age of 90, raising questions whether he would complete it.

The Zionist Mu-Barak is widely thought to be grooming his son Gamal to succeed him. But the 46-year-old investment banker-turned-senior party leader faces some opposition within the party and there is widespread resistance to “inheritance” of power among the public.

 

Lansing man who burned Quran was drunk, angry

 

The wife of the man who burned a Quran on the night before Sept. 11 and left it on the doorstep of the Islamic Center of East Lansing doesn’t allow him to get drunk in the house. That’s why he was getting drunk on his mountain bike that night. He left his house on the east side of Lansing about an hour before sundown, stopping off at a Speedway gas station to buy a 24-ounce can of Icehouse.

He was 46 years old, making his living “scratch and scrape” doing odd jobs. And that day in particular, he was “pretty haired up,” he would later tell police, “because it was the anniversary of 9/11 and I’m still, I’m still pissed off.”

He’d already decided what he was going to do. If the Florida pastor Terry Jones wasn’t going to burn a Quran, he would. He carried a copy with him that night in a plastic grocery bag.

He wanted to make a statement “of defiance, a statement of disrespect,” he told the police. “I want them to know that we’re not just gonna roll over for this (expletive).”

But a drunken act of provocation – directed, in this instance, against a community that had publicly denounced the 9/11 attacks and any number of terrorist acts before and since – doesn’t speak so clearly.

The incident made its way into the national news as just another piece of flotsam on a rising tide of Islamophobia, but it provoked outrage in East Lansing, not least because it ran against the city’s image of itself as a diverse community comfortable in its diversity.

The city put up a $10,000 reward.

The man responsible turned himself in. And then, nothing. He wasn’t charged with a hate crime. He wasn’t charged with littering.

Just what had happened that night and why it didn’t add up to a crime, those questions remained mostly unanswered.
The details of that night are contained in police reports obtained by the Lansing State Journal through a Freedom of Information Act request. The man’s name and other identifying information were redacted from those reports because, East Lansing police said, to reveal them would be an unwarranted invasion of the man’s privacy.

The Journal identified him through other means, but chose not to print his name because he hasn’t been charged with a crime. He did not respond to an invitation to be interviewed for this article.

It’s hard to ride a bike while carrying more than one can of beer, the man told police. He stopped five or six times that night to buy more.
He was “pretty rock’n” by the time he reached the bridge where Marsh and Haslett roads intersect. Underneath it, down by the railroad tracks, he started ripping pages of Quran, set it on fire.

And then he pointed his bike back toward East Lansing. He said he didn’t stop at the Islamic Center, just tossed burnt pieces of the book onto the front sidewalk and kept riding, scattering pages as he went.

He would brag about what he did on Facebook, where his profile picture was one of the Danish cartoons of Prophet Muhammad.
“Hey mang, wassup???” read a post from Sept. 12. “Burnt me a coran [sic] yesterday and dropped the half-charred cover at the front door of the mosk [sic] here in town!!! Spread a bunch of pages from hell to breakfast in the rain!!! hoho-hehe-haha!!! (Expletive)-EM!!! LOL”

The reaction of the man’s wife, when she learned about the incident from a newspaper report, was to ask him “Is this you?”
 

At her urging, he turned himself in.

When it comes to the question of what is protected speech under the First Amendment, the law distinguishes between acts of symbolic expression and acts of intimidation.

In the 2003 case Virginia v. Black, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Virginia law banning cross burning was unconstitutional because it ignored “all of the contextual factors that are necessary to decide whether a particular cross burning is intended to intimidate,” as former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor put it.

But the court said laws against cross burning with an intent to intimidate could pass constitutional muster.
In essence, “You don’t have the right to make a threat,” said Jeannine Bell, a professor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law and author of the book “Policing Hatred: Law Enforcement, Civil Rights, and Hate Crime.”

The man didn’t damage anyone else’s property. The Quran he burned was his own. He didn’t make physical contact with another person. So proving he had threatened to do one of those things, and that there was a reasonable expectation that he would, would have been the only way to charge him under Michigan’s ethnic intimidation law.

Even if the burnt Quran is understood as a threat, said Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III, the standard is whether there is a reasonable expectation that those actions will occur, “not might occur, not might be hypothetically believed it might implicitly happen.”
In this case, there was “no evidence of that whatsoever,” Dunnings said.

Bell is less certain. Context matters in these cases, she said.

The fact that the Quran burning took place the night before Sept. 11, that the charred remains were left on the doorstep of the Islamic Center, the man’s words, the Danish cartoon, “all of those issues can be put to a jury or a judge and they can make the determination that this is an explicit threat,” she said.

There was one other crime the man might have been charged with: littering.

East Lansing officials decided not to try, because it “would have trivialized the offense,” said assistant city attorney Tom Yeadon.
There was another factor, too, he said, though a minor one. After news of the case spread, police received e-mails from “extremists on both sides.”

Charging the man with anything would have made his name part of the public record.

“Part of the thought process I had was ‘Do we really want to endanger this person’s life for a littering charge?’ ” Yeadon said.

Mahmoud Mousa, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Lansing, has said that the man who burned the Quran “caused tremendous grief to a lot of people.” But when the decision not to charge him was announced, the community accepted it.

“We really want the whole area to live in harmony,” Mousa said. “We don’t want to create animosity among different groups or different religions.”

But the act, however isolated, left a mark.

“We never put cameras outside the building, because we never really thought anything could happen,” Mousa said.

Now, “We are looking at the options.”

 

Fire damages mosque bomb suspect attended

Update: FBI investigating Corvallis arson attack, reward offered

(Portland Tribune) An early Sunday morning arson fire damaged the mosque that the Pioneer Square bomb suspect attended in Corvallis.

The Corvallis Fire Department said the fire at the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center was intentionally set. It was reported by a police officer on duty at 2:15 a.m. and quickly extinguished.

The FBI is investigating the attack on the center, located at 610 NW Kings Boulevard in Corvallis. The agency is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible.

“We have made it quite clear that the FBI will not tolerate any kind of retribution or attack on the Muslim community,” said Arthur Balizan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “We are working very closely with the leadership at the mosque. We will find the person responsible for this attack and bring the full force fo the federal justice system to bear. In the meantime, the FBI remains absolutely committed to protecting each and every American’s right to live, work and worship in a free and safe society.”

Islamic center leader Imaam Yosof Wanly confirms that Mohamed Osman Mohamud occasionally attended the mosque, but did not seem to be particularly devout in his beliefs.

Mohamud, a Somali-American, was raised in Beaverton and had been attending Oregon State University. Wanly condemned Mohamud’s involvement in the plot to bomb the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Pioneer Square on Friday afternoon.

According to the FBI, Mohamud came up with the plot but was working with undercover agency operatives to accomplish it. He parked a van with a fake bomb near the square and was arrested when he tried to detonate it with a cell phone as the event was beginning.

Mohamud is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday morning.

Israeli police cleared in American protester’s case

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli police officers who fired a tear gas canister that caused American protester Emily Henochowicz to lose an eye were cleared following a police investigation.

The finding of no criminal wrongdoing by the Judea and Samaria district police was announced Sunday.

Henochowicz, a student at Cooper Union in New York who was studying at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy, was hit in the eye on May 31 by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops during a protest at a Jerusalem roadblock against Israel’s interception of an aid flotilla headed for the Gaza Strip. Nine Turkish citizens were killed during confrontations between Israeli Navy commandos and pro-Gaza activists on board one of the flotilla’s ships.

Following surgery at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem to remove her damaged eye, Henochowicz returned to the United States for more surgeries and to complete her studies.

Henochowicz’s family, who alleged that the police fired the canister directly at her, filed a complaint with the district police, which is responsible for investigating the operational activity of the Border Police in the West Bank. 

A Border Police internal probe showed that the tear gas canister hit a wall and then Henochowicz, and that she was not targeted.

U.S. citizen Tristan Anderson, 38, lost an eye and suffered brain damage when he was hit in the head by a tear gas canister during a West Bank protest in March 2009.

Appeals court defangs author of phony wolf memoir

(JTA) — A publisher does not have to pay writer Misha Defonseca for her false memoir about surviving the Holocaust with the help of wolves, a Massachusetts appeals court ruled.

A panel of judges ruled Nov. 24 that Mt. Ivy Press owner Jane Daniel does not have to pay Defonseca $22.5 million, but that the publisher owes $10 million to ghost writer Vera Lee, who did not know that the story was a hoax. A lower court had awarded the money to the authors in a dispute over the best-selling book’s profits.

In “Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years,” Defonseca wrote that she was Jewish and had survived the Holocaust as a child by wandering through Europe under the protection of a pack of wolves.”

The book was translated into 18 languages and made into a feature film in France before Defonseca admitted in February 2008 that she had made up the stories in the book and was not even Jewish.

 

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 Middle EastComments Off on NOVANEWS**NOVANEWS

INDIA: MAOIST BASIC PROBLEMS

NOVANEWS    

Unified Action Plan To ‘Develop’ Maoist Stronghold Districts Is Not Aimed To Solve Any Basic Problems Of The People, But To Crush The Revolutionary Movement! Punish Traitors Severely, Who Are Involved In Scams Of Billions Of Rupees Of Hard Earned Peo

Rajeesh | November 29, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/pglpM-1WU

COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST)

CENTRAL COMMITTEE

Press Release

November 27, 2010

Unified Action Plan To ‘Develop’ Maoist Stronghold Districts Is Not Aimed To Solve Any Basic Problems Of The People, But To Crush The Revolutionary Movement!
Punish Traitors Severely, Who Are Involved In Scams Of Billions Of Rupees Of Hard Earned People’s Money!!

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, yesterday on 26th November, has approved Central Planning Commission’s Rs 137.42 billion ‘Unified Action Plan’ to ‘develop’ naxal affected areas. Two year long, Rs. 33 billion package of the first phase announced by Home Minister is to spend Rs 250 millions in each of the districts of the 9 naxal affected states in the year 2010-11 and Rs. 300 millions for each of the districts in the year 2011-12. He said cabinet committee will review it after 2 years. These rulers claim that, by providing basic amenities in these poor tribal districts, where more than 50% of the population live below poverty line, want to achieve ‘development’ and thus aim to solve naxal ‘problem’. As per them, basic ‘amenities’ include primarily roads, later panchayat buildings, electricity, school buildings, education and health.

On the one hand, since one year these rulers, in the name of Operation Green Hunt, have deployed more than 200 thousands of paramilitary forces and massacred hundreds of tribal people, now on the other hand, in these same areas want to spend millions of rupees. Is it for the benefit of people? Or is it to further its repression on the people? It is easy to understand. While making this announcement, Home Minister P. Chidambaram insisted to spend all the money by end of the March next and show ‘development’.

Involving police department in the programme and placing district superintendents of police in these committees is nothing but an effort to put a ‘developmental’ mask to their fascist repressive measures. Is construction of roads and buildings for ‘people living below poverty line’? Or is it to facilitate state’s armed forces, which are carrying out killings at will and crushing their right to live.

Any adivasi living in these areas can answer this question. Hiding the fact that, by occupying the buildings of educational institutions, armed forces have themselves become a great hindrance to the very education, want to spend billions of rupees to improve educational facilities is an outright deceit. These rulers never bothered, at the loss of lives of adivasis every year for minor diseases like diarrhea and fevers can not be trusted, when want to improve medical facilities under these packages.

In fact, since the last two months not a single day passed without the news of scams. People are witnessing, how tens of billions of people’s money is being whacked away by corrupt political leaders, ministers, big bureaucrats, corporate bosses and noted media barons. These rulers, who shout on top of their voice that Maoists are the biggest internal security threat and their bankrupt intellectuals who beat the drums in unison are the real big dacoits. This can be easily realised without referring history.

Commonwealth Games scam (nearly one billion rupees), 2G spectrum scam (above one billion rupees), Adarsh housing society scandal, Karnataka land scams etc. are enough of evidence. Congress, BJP, DMK, Janata Dal like exploitative ruling class partiesare all, without exception, part of this outright plunder. All these scams are more nakedly and blatantly getting exposed before the people. Maoist understanding that the only way out is to smash this deep-rooted, corrupt, exploitative system completely is day by day getting more people’s acceptance. This is what is threatening these exploitative ruling classes.

By all these scams, which are visible to naked eye, one can easily guess to where and in whose pockets millions of rupees of money by these economic packages would end up. It’s worth noting that these rulers are not afraid of the people that they will mock at them, when they say that ‘development’ will take place by these economic packages.

If we note the fact that Montek Singh Ahluwalia, vice-chairperson of the planning commission, who, designed this economic package, Chidambaram, who approved it, both of them have sincerely and reliably served in imperialist financial institutions and imperialist corporate houses and the leader of this ruling clique,

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who himself spent most of his life in the service of imperialist financial and monetary institutions, then it is easy to understand who will be the end beneficiary. On the one hand, signing hundreds of billions of rupees of MOUs with corporations, facilitating the plunder of country’s resources in tribal areas, threatening the very existence of tribal populations, turning a deaf ear to the demand by the people and democratic forces to make all MOUs public and cancel them all, on the other hand, talking of ‘Development’ is a big joke.

We, the Central Committee of CPI (Maoist) severely oppose this anti-people ‘Unified Action Plan’. Our CC feels that this is a part of the fascist repressive campaign by the centre and state government-sponsored Operation Green Hunt and facilitate it further. The claim that, backwardareas will be developed is a farce, a deceit.

The governments, if at all sincere, should first give all rights over Jal-Jungle-Jameen to adivasis and poor people; cancel all MOUs signed with MNCs and big corporate companies; stop all those projects of big dams, mines, sanctuaries, big steel plants and SEZs which would displace hundreds of thousands of people; and stop Operation Green Hunt immediately under which adivasis are being massacred.

On this occasion, our Central Committee demand to arrest and punish severely all those political leaders, ministers and corporate houses’ heads involved in Commonwealth Games scam, Adarsh housing society scam, Karnataka land scams etc.; and all those saffron terrorist leaders involved in Malegaon, Ajmer Sharif, Mecca Masjid etc. bomb explosions.

(Abhay)

Spokesperson,
Central Committee,
CPI (Maoist)

Posted in WorldComments Off on INDIA: MAOIST BASIC PROBLEMS

IN PARIS

NOVANEWS    

modernityblog | 29/11/2010 Tags: anti-Jewish racismantisemitismBNVCAFranceNaked AntisemitismParis | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p4XPG-2vJ

From the EJP:

 

“PARIS (EJP-AFP)—The Paris City Hall has mobilized its employees to remove wall posters making publicity for an book denouncing the “Jewish mafia”.

The move followed a complaint by the National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA), a body monitoring anti-Semitic incidents in France.

According to BNVCA president Samy Ghozlan, these posters are regularly placed on wall of Paris and its suburbs since November 12.

 

They represent three men standing upright with the mention “The Jewish mafia, the great international predators” and feature a new book by extreme-right author, Herve Ruyssen.

The BNVCA was alerted by several of its Parisian correspondents who were shocked to discover on the walls of diverse locations in the French capital the anti-Semitic advertising posters.

On these posters one could also read: ” Racket, weapons trafficking, murder under contract, drug trafficking, money laudering, casinos and discotheques, pornography, diamond trafficking, slave trade, Third world plundering, artworks trafficking, swindle.”

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on IN PARIS

THEY CAN FILE A CHARGE POSTHUMOUSLY AGAINST JAWAHARLAL NEHRU: ARUNDHATI ROY

NOVANEWS    

Rajeesh | November 29, 2010 Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/pglpM-1WR

Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy’s reaction to yesterday’s court order directing the Delhi Police to file an FIR against her for “waging war against the state”

The Hindu

My reaction to today’s court order directing the Delhi Police to file an FIR against me for waging war against the state: Perhaps they should posthumously file a charge against Jawaharlal Nehru too. Here is what he said about Kashmir:

1. In his telegram to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said, “I should like to make it clear that the question of aiding Kashmir in this emergency is not designed in any way to influence the state to accede to India. Our view which we have repeatedly made public is that the question of accession in any disputed territory or state must be decided in accordance with wishes of people and we adhere to this view.” (Telegram 402 Primin-2227 dated 27th October, 1947 to PM of Pakistan repeating telegram addressed to PM of UK).

2. In other telegram to the PM of Pakistan, Pandit Nehru said, “Kashmir’s accession to India was accepted by us at the request of the Maharaja’s government and the most numerously representative popular organization in the state which is predominantly Muslim. Even then it was accepted on condition that as soon as law and order had been restored, the people of Kashmir would decide the question of accession. It is open to them to accede to either Dominion then.” (Telegram No. 255 dated 31 October, 1947).

ACCESSION ISSUE

3. In his broadcast to the nation over All India Radio on 2nd November, 1947, Pandit Nehru said, “We are anxious not to finalise anything in a moment of crisis and without the fullest opportunity to be given to the people of Kashmir to have their say. It is for them ultimately to decide

Posted in WorldComments Off on THEY CAN FILE A CHARGE POSTHUMOUSLY AGAINST JAWAHARLAL NEHRU: ARUNDHATI ROY

ZIO=NAZI DEMOLITIONS OF A MOSQUE

NOVANEWS 

Wave of Israeli demolitions culminates in destroying a mosque

 

Here is an al Jazeera video of Israel pulling down a mosque in the Jordan Valley village 

of Khirbat Yarza, Tubas, yesterday morning (deep inside the West Bank).

 

Over 60% of the Jordan Valley in the West Bank is under “Israeli control”, though

 in practise, all of the Palestinian territories are.

But in this case, it means, Palestinians cannot build or repair houses without

 Israeli permission. In 95%, however, Palestinians do not get permission to

build or repair,and in the few cases they do get permission, they have to wait

for years. According to the Israeli NGO Brimkon, the Israeli Civil Administr-

ation  grants only 12 permitsa year.

Over a three day period, Israeli authorities demolished a mind-blowing

amount of Palestinian structures: 

Tuesday: a mosque and seven buildings in the Jordan valley and a house that

is home to 18 people in Yatta, Southern West Bank. 

The day before: seven businesses near Hizme, a large family home in the

At-Thuri neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, a newly built road and a

green-house in the Salfit region in the North of the West Bank, six structures

in Jiftlik in the Jordan Valley, and  the day before that: more buildings in

East Jerusalem.  Earlier this week,Israeli demolished the Bedouin village

of Arakeeb in the Negev (today’s Israel) for the seventh time since July

this year.

 See Amnesty International comdenation over Bedouin Vilage demolition.

For more info on this week’s wave of demolitions, see Popular Struggle’s

  Israeli forces demolish mosque as West Bank Demolitions Wave Continues for Second Day in a Row.

Click here to download the July 2010 UN update on demolitions, 

Supporters of Israel should worry less about the construction of mosques in the

 United States, and more about their destruction in the West Bank, which is a much

 greater affront to our values.

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Posted in Middle EastComments Off on ZIO=NAZI DEMOLITIONS OF A MOSQUE

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