Posted on 02 December 2010.
Targeting Silwan’s children
Dec 01, 2010
And other news from Today in Palestine:
Settlers/ Land, Property, Resource Theft & Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing
130 New Housing Units Approved in East Jerusalem Settlement of Gilo
The Jerusalem Local Planning Committee on Monday approved the construction of 130 new housing units in the East Jerusalem settlement Gilo. According to Israel’s Channel 7 news, new units will be built on land in the East Jerusalem town of Beit Safafa.
http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/topics/jerusalem/3051-130-new-housing-units-approved-in-east-jerusalem-settlement-of-gilo- Israel hands demolition orders to village mosque, homes
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Israeli forces on Monday handed demolition notices to a mosque and the owners of two homes in Al-Ma’sara village south of Bethlehem, locals said. Six military jeeps entered the village and soldiers delivered the orders and photographed the homes and the mosque, said Awad Abu Sway, who coordinates settlement issues in the Bethlehem district.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=337224 Settlers torch olive trees south of Nablus
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Residents of illegal settlements in the Nablus district set fire to olive trees on Tuesday, a Palestinian Authority official said. Ghassan Doughlas, who holds the settlements file for the northern West Bank, said settlers from Yizhar settlement torched trees on land belonging to Madama and Asira villages south of Nablus.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=337538 PA lawyers to prosecute settler vandalism
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority Agriculture Minister Ismail Daik announced Tuesday that his ministry established a legal department to prosecute settlers who damage Palestinian fields. In an interview with Watan TV, Daik said 50 employees work at the department documenting settler attacks of Palestinian olive groves and farm land.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=337579 Erase ‘freeze’ from vocabulary: Israel’s Lieberman (AFP)
AFP – Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called on Wednesday for the word “freeze” to be erased from the vocabulary in Israel, as he repeated his opposition to new curbs on settlement construction.
Palestinian territories: “Prolonged occupation, a new type of crime against humanity” – UN human rights expert
GENEVA (29 November 2010)– The Special Rapporteur Richard Falk urged the United Nations and the international community to draft a new protocol of international humanitarian law to address the situation of prolonged occupation and refugee status imposed upon the Palestinian people for over 43 years of Israeli occupation. “The Palestinian experience suggests the need for a new protocol of international humanitarian law,” he said in a statement issued Monday to mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Mr. Falk stressed the need to impose “some outer time limit after which further occupation becomes a distinct violation of international law, and if not promptly corrected, constitutes a new type of crime against humanity.”
East Jerusalem settlers and Israel’s never-ending War of Independence
Settler takeovers in East Jerusalem are generally portrayed as a battle over real estate, but in truth they are much more. For the settlers, they are part of the not-yet-ended skirmishing of Israel’s 1948 War of Independence — a war that, in their eyes, will be won only when Israeli hegemony is imposed in East Jerusalem, with the re-creation of what the settlers themselves refer to as the “Realm of Ancient [Jewish] Jerusalem” — a realm being established in the midst of, and in place of, the existing Palestinian neighborhoods.
Is ‘Peace Now’ friending settlers?, Philip Weiss
We just got this picture of Yariv Oppenheimer, the head of Peace Now in Israel, in green at left, hanging at a party with men who are said to be members of the Yesha Council, the settlers’ group. The guy to the right of Oppenheimer is said to be Danny Dayan, who has said, “a withdrawal from the territories of Judea and Samaria in the hope that a sympathetic president will rule is a suicidal delusion.” Ofer N. found the picture on Facebook (at a farewell party for the outgoing Galei Tzahal radio reporter Guy Varon) and sent it to me… Ofer says that in the background (left) you can see Itamar Ben Gvir, of the Jewish National Front, a Kahanist party.
Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
Israeli Soldiers Fire at Road to Hope Convoy Members
(GAZA / SALEM) – Members of the Gaza Road to Hope Convoy were shot at by Israeli soldiers while partaking in activities on the International Day of Solidarity with the People of Palestine. Ken O’Keefe of Aloha Palestine, is a Salem-News.com writer known for his defender role on the ship Mave Marmara last May, which was attacked by Israeli soldiers while operating in international waters. O’Keefe said, “Today we expressed our solidarity by painting messages of support on a wall in Beit Hanoun and demonstrating against the ongoing siege of Gaza.”
International day of solidarity in Gaza greeted with Israeli bullets in Beit Hanoun
Live bullets were fired from snipers at an Erez control tower within a metre of demonstrators on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on Tuesday morning in Beit Hanoun, Northern Gaza. A German activist Vera Macht was injured as she stumbled while running for cover. The Local Initiative of Beit Hanoun organized the demonstration international mural and with extra attention focusing on the growing international Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, against Israel for its ongoing human rights violations of the Palestinian people. The demonstration was held in the area where 6 farmers and rock collectors, including 2 children had been shot and injured over the previous 2 days, seeing an acceleration of violence against civilians from the Israeli Occupation Forces.
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/international-day-of-solidarity-in-gaza-greeted-with-israeli-bullets-in-beit-hanoun.html#BDS: All I want for Christmas is an end to apartheid – Top ten brands to boycott
While there are many Israeli and multinational companies that benefit from apartheid, we put together this list to highlight ten specific companies to target. Many of these produce goods in such a way that directly harms Palestinians — exploiting labor, developing technology for military operations, or supplying equipment for illegal settlements. Many are also the targets of boycotts for other reasons, like harming the environment and labor violations.
http://youthanormalization.blogspot.com/2010/11/bds-all-i-want-for-christmas-is-end-to.html #BDS:Campuses work to further the BDS movement
The apartheid situation in South Africa ended in the 1990s in large part because of boycotts on college campuses, and many scholars have argued that the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS) is the most effective way for ending the current blockade and occupation of Palestine by Israeli military forces. The BDS movement against companies with Israeli ties has been active at American campuses in recent weeks in response to desperate pleas from human rights organizations, the United Nations, and world political leaders to end the occupation.
http://youthanormalization.blogspot.com/2010/11/bdscampuses-work-to-further-bds.html Black Monday – In Solidarity with Palestine
Today (Monday) is Black Monday, when everyone’s office internet fails as people shop online at their desk. It is also the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Today is a great day to show your solidarity by engaging in both buy-cott and boycott actions to support Palestinian human rights.
Arab Orthodox orgs slam church-Israel ‘collaboration’
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Arab Orthodox Central Council in Palestine and Jordan and the Council of Arab Orthodox Organizations in Palestine issued a statement on Tuesday “strongly condemning” cooperation between Greek Orthodox church officials and Israel’s Ministry of Tourism.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=337488Abuse of Palestinian Children
Chronicle of Fear: Sixteen Year-Old Reports Abuse During Interrogation in Military Jail, Joseph Dana
Mohammed Abu Rahmah was arrested from his home during a military nighttime raid on his village of Bil’in on November 23rd. Abu Rahmah, the son of imprisoned Bil’in organizer, Adeeb Abu Rahmah, was released without charge on Monday, and reports being harassed and beaten during his questioning.
Siege/Rights Violations/Restriction of Movement
Coalition of Human Rights Groups Call Israel’s Gaza Bluff, Alex Kane
A large, international coalition of human rights groups released a report (embedded above) yesterday examining the ongoing and illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip and whether anything has changed post-”Freedom Flotilla.” The answer is that not much has changed. In the aftermath of Israel’s illegal attack on the Gaza-bound “Freedom Flotilla,” international attention was focused on the situation in Gaza. In early July, responding to international pressure, the Israeli government announced an “easing” of the blockade. The “easing” measures included promises of the allowance of more consumer products into Gaza and allowing the entry of construction materials for projects approved by the Palestinian Authority (which has no power in Gaza). This new report has a handy chart looking at the promises made post-flotilla and how they match up to reality.
Israel allows cement, iron for UNRWA in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities allowed 183 truckloads of goods into Gaza on Tuesday, crossings officials said. Palestinian liaison official Raed Fattouh said 138 commercial trucks carried goods for the commercial sector, 13 for the agricultural sector, seven brought humanitarian aid and eight were for the transport ministry. Meanwhile, eight trucks brought cement and iron for the UN refugee agency in Gaza.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=337595 Flying checkpoint stops Tulkarem residents
TULKAREM (Ma’an) — The area north of the At-Tayba checkpoint south of Tulkarem was declared a closed military zone on Tuesday afternoon, with a flying checkpoint erected at the edge of the zone. Troops were seen checking identity cards of Palestinian civilians attempting to pass through the area, with at least three cards confiscated, stranding the bearers – who all worked for a garage nearby – for an unknown period of time.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=337463 “Return to sender” – Israel blocks the mail to Gaza
Palestinians living under siege in the occupied Gaza Strip cannot even communicate by mail, as Israel also severely restricts or delays the delivery of post including letters and packages. Rami Almeghari reports for The Electronic Intifada.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11648.shtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+electronicIntifadaPalestine+%28Electronic+Intifada+%3A+Palestine+News%29Humanitarian Aid Chain from Spain to Gaza
Several Spanish and Latin American actors, writers and singers, with the support of the UNRWA Committee in Spain, have begun a humanitarian campaign called Aid Chain, to raise funds to help refugee children in Gaza through the construction of a “virtual human chain” in which everyone can join.
Carol Chomsky memorial fund will serve ‘purposely wrecked society’ of Gaza and Nakba refugees in Lebanon, Philip Weiss
As many of you know, Carol Chomsky, a linguist and social activist, died nearly two years ago. She had been married for nearly 60 years to Noam Chomsky, whom she met when she was 3 and he was 5 and their parents got together near Philadelphia. Well, here is a way to honor Carol Chomsky and her husband: give money this holiday season to the Chomsky Fund. The Fund was announced yesterday on the anniversary of Partition as a gesture of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Its “initial launch” will end on the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in two weeks, and in the midst of that fundraising period, Noam Chomsky will celebrate his 82d birthday.
Bristling over the worldwide outrage and condemnation in the aftermath of killings of nine peace activists on board an aid convoy bound for Gaza, the Israel government agreed to allow more aid into Gaza to ease the pressure that had been building on the rogue regime because of its illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza.
Racism and Discrimination
U.S. State Department: Israel is not a tolerant society, Adam Horowitz
You can read the most recent State Department report here; it shows that many of these issues remain the same. To understand how and why this level of inequality continues it is useful to look at the Israel Democracy Institute’s new Israeli Democracy Index for 2010 which was released today. It offers some very interesting data that sheds light on current Israeli (especially Jewish Israeli) views on democracy and the Jewish state. Here is a sampling of its findings:
Most Jews would deny Arabs say over future of Israel: poll (AFP)
AFP – Some two thirds of Israeli Jews believe Arab citizens should have no say on security or diplomacy issues as long as the conflict with the Palestinians lingers, a poll showed on Tuesday.
http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101130/wl_mideast_afp/israelarabsdemocracy “Jewish and democratic” Israelis as confused about democracy as is their state, Yaniv Reich
Israelis love to think about themselves as little ‘d’ democrats, but they have a very peculiar way of understanding democratic principles. A new poll released today by the Israel Democracy Institute brings into full, awkward view the contradictory, mutually inconsistent definitions of democracy that cohabit the Israeli psyche. First the (semi) flattering news. 51% of Israeli Jews, the slimmest of majorities but a plurality nonetheless, said that Jews and Arabs should have equal rights. Indeed, just a smidgen above half the population of the so-called “light unto nations” believes that Jews and their neighbors ought to have equal rights. One need not wonder too much about what the other 49% thinks. And I would suspect that more specific questions about actual implementation of equal rights, like, say, the right of return, would see even that 51% plummet into the infinitesimal.
Israelis unleash dogs on Palestinians
Israeli forces have unleashed their dogs on the Palestinians decrying the oppressive policies Tel Aviv implements on the occupied Palestinian territories. The forces used the “savage” animals, sound bombs and tear gas to suppress the protest which erupted before the Israeli troops razed two residences in the Arab neighborhood of Issawiya to the ground, the Palestine News Network (PNN)
http://jnoubiyeh.com/2010/11/israelis-unleash-dogs-on-palestinians.html JCSER: “Israeli Police Used Dogs In Attacking Homeowners In Jerusalem”
The Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights in Jerusalem (JCSER) reported that Israeli policemen used dogs during their Tuesday attack against Palestinian homeowners as the police attacked their homes before demolishing them earlier in the day in Al Esawiyya, in occupied East Jerusalem.
http://www.imemc.org/article/60060Israeli forces enter homes in northern West Bank
TULKAREM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces entered areas in the northern West Bank on Wednesday morning, entering several homes to question civilians and delivering summons orders to others. The raids came in addition to two confirmed detentions in Nablus. In Tulkarem, Palestinian security officials said the homes of Ala Salah Yassin, Ashraf Sareedy, and Basem Al-Hamshary were entered by Israeli intelligence officials and the men of the homes were questioned extensively.
IOF troops detain 7 Palestinians, settlers set fire to cultivated land
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up seven Palestinians in various West Bank areas at dawn Wednesday including MP Nayef Al-Rajoub in Al-Khalil and two brothers in Nablus.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k Israeli troops re-arrest Hamas MP in West Bank (AFP)
AFP – Israeli troops arrested a Hamas MP in the West Bank on Wednesday, just months after he was freed after serving a four-year jail term, Palestinian security sources and witnesses said.
Hamas: PA detains 8 party members
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian security forces recently detained eight Hamas members in the West Bank, the party said Tuesday. Hamas said in a statement that Palestinian Authority forces made the arrests in Nablus, Ramallah, Jerusalem and Salfit.
WikiLeaks exposes Egypt’s duplicity in Gaza siege
CAIRO, Egypt (IPS) – More than 250,000 classified US diplomatic cables released by online whistle-blower WikiLeaks include statements made behind closed doors that could prove embarrassing for Egypt’s government, say analysts.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11653.shtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+electronicIntifadaPalestine+%28Electronic+Intifada+%3A+Palestine+News%29EXCLUSIVE: Gaza wall to be completed this month, says new WikiLeaks cable
Egypt’s underground steel wall on the Egyptian-Gaza border is valued at US$40 million and is due to be completed in December 2010, a US Embassy cable has revealed. The cable has been exclusively leaked to Al-Masry Al-Youm. The wall, which the Egyptian government says is aimed at curbing smuggling between Egypt and the besieged Gaza Strip, has been shrouded in secrecy until the present.
http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/news/exclusive-gaza-wall-be-completed-month-says-new-wikileaks-cableArab-American War Profiteers Benefit from US Occupation of Iraq
The American Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) recently hosted an event to discuss “investment opportunities” with the Iraqi government. That is, the sectarian, illegitimate, puppet Iraqi government that was installed in the wake of the illegal US invasion of Iraq. While the massacre of Iraq and destruction of its ancient civilization should be cause for humanitarian alarm and antiwar activism, Iraq is simply another business opportunity for these vultures. At the time humanity sees in Iraq a horrifying number of widows, orphans, maimed, displaced, birth deformities as a result of depleted uranium and white phosphorus, AACC and its ilk somehow manage to overlook the carnage to focus on how to make a buck.
http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/12/arab-american-war-profiteers-benefit-from-us-occupation-of-iraq/PA erases post from its website refuting Jewish claims to Buraq wall
The Hebrew radio said that the information ministery of the Palestinian authority removed documents posted on its official website affirming that the Jews have no right to Al-Buraq (wailing) wall.
Hamas accuses PA, Israel of cooperating to remove it from W. Bank
Hamas said that the kidnapping of its MPs and the raids waged on their homes and offices are part of a plan carefully prepared by Israel and the PA to eliminate it completely from the West Bank.
Zionist weapons tested on Arabs then sold to the world, Antony Loewenstein
A disturbing piece in the LA Times that shows how Israel is profiting from marketing “anti-terrorist” gear. And Palestinians are guinea pigs: As the threat of terrorism spreads, Israel has moved aggressively to turn domestic security technology into one of its biggest exports. More than 400 Israeli companies export about $1.5 billion annually in domestic security goods and technology, including biometric devices, tear gas canisters, anti-intrusion systems, airport screening machines, explosives detectors and remote-controlled vehicles.
Coming soon – The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict, Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz
We are excited to announce the publication of our new book – The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict(Nation Books). We were very lucky to work with New York-based independent journalist Lizzy Ratner on the project, which explores the political, legal and social legacy of the Goldstone Report and the Israeli attack on Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009. The book includes an edited version of the report along with 13 essays from some of the leading commentators today on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict including: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Naomi Klein, Raji Sourani, Jules Lobel, Moshe Halbertal, Jerome Slater, Brian Baird, Rashid Khalidi, Henry Siegman, Ali Abunimah, Noam Sheizaf, Letty Cottin Pogrebin and Laila El-Haddad. The book will be available on January 11, 2011, but you can pre-order it today to make sure you receive it as soon as possible. Also, be sure to stay tuned to Mondoweiss for excerpts from the book as well as other exciting news.
Hamas: We’ll honor referendum on peace
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh says group will back formation of Palestinian state with 1967 borders, Jerusalem as capital and resolution of refugee issue if approved by referendum, despite group’s differing ideology.
Haniyeh: Israel planning Gaza escalation
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israel is laying the political groundwork for an escalation of attacks on the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister in the Hamas-led government, said Wendesday. “We can sense there is an upcoming Israeli escalation against the Palestinian people in general and the Gaza Strip in particular,” he told reporters at a rare news conference in Gaza City.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=337878Abbas: “We Are Ready For Real Peace, We Demand A Fully Independent State”
Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, stated Tuesday that the Palestinians are ready for real and comprehensive peace with Israel, but will not accept a temporary solution as they demand the implementation of all internationally guaranteed rights.
http://www.imemc.org/article/60057Germany asked U.S. to force settlement freeze on Israel, WikiLeaks cables show
Senior German official urged U.S. to threaten withdrawing its veto on an anti-Israel vote at the UN.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/germany-asked-u-s-to-force-settlement-freeze-on-israel-wikileaks-cables-show-1.328127?localLinksEnabled=falseFatah ‘tipped off’ about Gaza war
Leaked US diplomatic cable says Israel raised the possibility with Fatah and Egypt about taking control of Gaza Strip.
Top 10 Wikileaks Palestine Nuggets
Knesset blocks WikiLeaks debate
Governing body rejects request for session on leaked U.S. diplomatic cables and their consequences for national security.
IDF chief: WikiLeaks exposés will affect our diplomacy
A scandal set off by the publication of secret U.S. cables could lower the level of diplomatic discussions worldwide, says Gabi Ashkenazi.
Radio host: Israel trying to ‘blackmail’ US into war with Iran
Reacting to Raw Story exclusive, Horton tells Fox that Americans ‘oughtta be really upset’ By declaring they’d wage a war against Iran by themselves, the nation of Israel is effectively “blackmailing” the United States into combat operations, according to a radio host who appeared on Fox Business Monday night.
Turkish FM: We don’t hate Israel
Ahmet Davutoglu brushes aside leaked US diplomatic cable that described him as ‘exceptionally dangerous’, says tensions with Jewish state come from sharp policy disagreements.
Jerusalem holds day-long war drill
JERUSALEM, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) — Israel’s National Emergency Authority (NEA) on Tuesday held a comprehensive eight-hour war drill in Jerusalem to prepare the city’s residents for an all-out war with the Jewish state’s adversaries. City workers and schoolchildren practiced fast, orderly evacuations to bomb shelters and other protected areas as the sirens went off. The siren test was also intended to map gaps in coverage throughout the city, according to the Jerusalem Municipality.
Senators press AIPAC on START
Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) are pressing the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC to go public with its support of the START treaty, arguing U.S.-Russian cooperation is essential for the international effort to pressure Iran to curtail its nuclear program, Ben Smith reports.
http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/1110/Senators_press_AIPAC_on_START.html#‘Sara Netanyahu driving us crazy’
Internal tensions in PM’s Office reach new high: Sources close to Netanyahu say at least two senior officials on their way out, accuse his wife of ‘badly influencing him and taking the bureau apart’.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3992243,00.html Maariv runs some scary gossip on Bibi and “the Boss”
Last night, Channel Ten TV News’s Raviv Drucker exposed a letter written to Benyamin Netanyahu in early 2009. The author, one Yisrael Yagel, a former executive in Netanyahu’s 2008 election campaign, penned an indictment of the Prime Minister’s management style, with particular emphasis on the role and influence of Ms. Netanyahu (“the Boss”).
http://coteret.com/2010/11/30/maariv-runs-some-scary-gossip-on-bibi-and-%e2%80%9cthe-boss%e2%80%9d/ Nablus university hosts PR conference
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Nearly 800 people atttended the opening ceremony of a conference for Palestine Public Relations and Communications in Nablus’ An-Najah National University on Tuesday. The ceremony began with the Palestinian national anthem, and Al-Arabiya news anchor Maysoon Azzam opened the conference with a speech on the dangers of stereotyping Palestine in the international media.
In photos: Palestinian men, women race in Jericho
The Palestinian Motorsport Federation hosted its fifth annual rally in the eastern West Bank city of Jericho on 26 November 2010. Some 61 drivers, men and women including seven from Jordan, competed in the motor-sport event.
Josh Ruebner: WikiLeaks: Israel’s Security Concerns Often Clash with U.S. Interests
In an explosive WikiLeaks revelation, Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad, the head of the Political Military Bureau of Israel’s Ministry of Defense, while discussing Israeli requests for U.S. military aid, “acknowledged the sometimes difficult position the U.S. finds itself in given its global interests, and conceded that Israel’s security focus is so narrow that its QME [Qualitative Military Edge] concerns often clash with broader American security interests in the region,” according to the State Department.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/josh-ruebner/wikileaks-israels-securit_b_790100.html Ann Wright on WikiLeaks and Accountability
Col (ret.) Ann Wright discusses cablegate on GritTV with Laura Flanders. “We were told as diplomats, ‘Don’t ever put anything in a cable you wouldn’t want on the front page of a newspaper.’ It shows that they’re a lot of arrogant people, that the system itself wasn’t checking itself,” says Ann Wright, Retired United States […]
http://pulsemedia.org/2010/11/30/ann-wright-on-wikileaks-and-accountability/ Wikileaks: The Tel Aviv Connection, Jeff Gates
What is Tel Aviv to do now that it’s known Israelis and pro-Israelis ‘fixed’ the intelligence that induced the U.S. to war in Iraq? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Con me consistently for six decades and the relationship is over, as is Israel’s credibility as a legitimate nation state. Tel Aviv knows this. But what can the Zionist state do about it? Answer: Wikileaks. Why now? Misdirection. Shine the spotlight on Washington to take it off Tel Aviv. That’s good old-fashioned psy-ops. And challenge the credibility of the U.S. That’s Wikileaks.
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16448 Wikileaks and the New Global Order, Jonathan Cook
The Wikileaks disclosure this week of confidential cables from United States embassies has been debated chiefly in terms either of the damage to Washington’s reputation or of the questions it raises about national security and freedom of the press. The headlines aside, most of the information so far revealed from the 250,000 documents is hardly earth-shattering, even if it often runs starkly counter to the official narrative of the US as the benevolent global policeman, trying to maintain order amid an often unruly rabble of underlings.
WikiLeaks’ harsh lesson on imperial hubris
The new WikiLeaks disclosures provide a useful insight, captured in the very ordinariness of the diplomatic correspondence, into Washington’s own sense of the limits on its global role — an insight that was far less apparent in the previous WikiLeaks revelations on the US army’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Jonathan Cook comments.
Wikileaks helped expose the indignities of Arab leaders, Rami G. Khouri
It is sad and shocking – pitiful, even, in many cases – how many Arab leaders are portrayed in the US State Department cables released by WikiLeaks earlier this week. A few points about the conduct of Arab leaders come to mind, as we learn new details of what they thought, said and did in various diplomatic moments.
WikiLeaks: What the world is saying
The latest WikiLeaks trove of 250,000 diplomatic cables, obtained in advance by five news outlets, has generated enough fodder in the US alone to occupy American readers. But people all over, from Germany to Lebanon to Australia, are also talking about the sometimes troubling, sometimes mundane cables that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is gradually releasing for public consumption.
Wikileaks Exposes Complicity of the Press, GARETH PORTER
A diplomatic cable from last February released by Wikileaks provides a detailed account of how Russian specialists on the Iranian ballistic missile program refuted the U.S. suggestion that Iran has missiles that could target European capitals or intends to develop such a capability.
‘WaPo’ hired Rubin because the Iraq war gang needs to hang together or hang separately, Philip Weiss
Jack Ross at PostRight, at the American Conservative, nails the wackadelic hire of Jennifer Rubin by the Washington Post. Excerpts: Jennifer Rubin is a museum-quality specimen of the Jewish self-hate at the core of the neoconservative phenomenon (and also, not incidentally, of classical Zionism). Others have noted this streak in her without grasping its deeper significance – that both Zionism and neoconservatism are ultimately based on the neurotic need of some Jews to refute classical anti-Semitic stereotypes to themselves. …I’ve long felt that the reason the Washington Post and other pillars of the old establishment have become increasingly neocon since the election of Obama is because they know that they’re all in the same boat as the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan become manifest. So its not surprising that they would bring on a wingnut like Jennifer Rubin. But I will definitely be reading the Commentary blog far less frequently without the morbid entertainment of the Rubin train-wreck, with little to replace it but John Podhoretz’s middlebrow platitudes that would make Max Lerner blush.
‘Daily Kos’ banned me and smeared Rachel Corrie, but we can’t give up on the Democratic Party, Jim Harris
Daily Kos is the “premier online political community with 2.5 million unique visitors per month and 250,000 registered users.” Its stated purpose is simple: “It’s a Democratic blog with one goal in mind: electoral victory.” Well, that’s a warning right there. Its goal is simply to promote the Democratic Party brand, not to promote peace, social justice, or oppose oppression. Yet many of us who blog at Daily Kos use the site to promote values such as opposing wars and oppression, no matter the current political popularity of such a stance. If you write there in support of Palestinian liberation and ending US funding for Israeli oppression, you risk, at a minimum, that you will be subject to regular and vicious attacks from those who defend the status quo, or some slightly modified version thereof. I know, because I was banned from the site after writing on it for over 4 years.
University of Toronto caught in controversy over anti-Zionist master’s thesis, Adam Horowitz
The Canadian Jewish News reports on Jennifer Peto’s master’s thesis from department of sociology and equity studies in education at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE), a branch of the University of Toronto. The paper is titled “The Victimhood of the Powerful: White Jews, Zionism and the Racism of Hegemonic Holocaust Education”:
Israelify the US? Not if you Like the Constitution, Michael Khaled for MIFTAH
In the wake of the controversy which just passed in the U.S. over full body scans and more hands-on pat down procedures in airports, some pundits and security “experts” are calling for the Israelification of American airports. These supporters sing praises of the system in place Israel’s single international airport. They say it is focused more on actual security rather than “security theatre,” yet I would argue that Israelification already has a firm foothold in America, and not just in our airports. The increasing normalization of war crimes conducted and justified in the name of fighting terror, the growing specter of the security state with the patriot act and warrantless wiretaps, ascendance of the “clash of civilizations” worldview among Americans pitting East versus West, and the parallel growth of Islamophobia have all pulled the American mindset closer to the Israelis’. American airports also seem to have copied one title aspect of the Israeli screening system though certainly in a more discerning and less blatant way, namely racial profiling.
The Other Britain Steps in the Right Direction
Fadi Abu Sada – Editor-in-Chief – PNN – After British Foreign Secretary William Hague’s last visit to Palestinian territory and his meetings with local nonviolent activists, we got the chance to meet another member of the British government: Yvette Cooper, the Shadow Foreign Secretary—the member of the opposition party, that is, who “shadows” their counterpart in government and proposes alternatives.
Book review: excavating Palestine’s “Hidden Histories”
In his new book Hidden Histories: Palestine and the Eastern Mediterranean, Basem Ra’ad unearths new renderings of religious, historical and cultural material and offers readers a direction for thinking about research and activism alike.
Exclusive excerpt from Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything In Between, Laila El-Haddad
Laila El-Haddad’s new book, Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything In Between, follows El-Haddad’s life and work from 2004-2010, and includes great reportage from and about Gaza, Palestinian life, several pieces of poetry; a live-tweeted text from Cairo Airport, and even a recipe. It includes a great Foreword by Prof. miriam cooke of Duke University, and has received strong endorsements from Hanan Ashrawi, Ali Abunimah, Profs. Stephen Walt, Sara Roy, and Richard Falk, and Nora Barrows-Friedman. Laila will be undertaking a west-coast book tour in February 2011, requests to have Laila come speak to community or activist groups on the west coast or elsewhere should be made via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free documentary on Israeli women soldiers; UPDATED with disclaimer, TheOnlyDemocracy
Israel is the only country in the world where 18-year-old girls are drafted for compulsory military service. In the award-winning documentary To See If I Am Smiling, the frank testimonials of six female Israeli soldiers stationed in Gaza and the West Bank pack a powerful emotional punch. The young women revisit their tours of duty in the occupied territories with surprising honesty and strip bare stereotypes of gender differences in the military. The former soldiers share shocking moments of negligence, flippancy, immaturity and power-tripping as they describe atrocities they witnessed and participated in. The psychological transformation that these young women underwent as a result of military service is both upsetting and riveting. The culture of war transforms people: personalities change, moral codes are subverted, values are supplanted and masks are constructed to dull the pain of what they did and didn’t do in uniform. “A brave and powerful testimony to the corrosive effect of power.” – Silver Wolf Jury, Int’l Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam (IDFA) *****Disclaimer: The above film apparently received funding from the Israeli government. Also, my original title indicated it was about Shministim, young people who refuse to serve in the army. This is about the experience of people who have served.
Let Americans’ shift on gays in the military be a lesson for Israelis, Philip Weiss
This is a great day in the U.S. The Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, recommended that the U.S. government end the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gays in the military. From now on, he said, they should serve openly. Battalions of liberal commentators, from Chris Matthews on down, will support Obama and the Congress as they move inevitably toward liberalization for a minority that has so often been hunted in our society.
Wikileaks batch at Al-Akhbar
Al-Akhbar has received its own package of Wikileaks documents, it seems. Here is one on the Hariri tribunal and US role in it.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2010/12/wikileaks-batch-at-al-akhbar.htmlNew Revelations: Hariri Assassinated with Russian Missile?!
01/12/2010 “When we asked a number of military experts what kind of explosives would be capable of generating such damage, they mentioned a new type of weapon. The combination of nuclear and nanotechnology science can trigger an explosion the exact strength of which can be regulated and controlled. The weapon is set up to destroy everything within a given perimeter, down to the nearest centimeter. The weapon is shaped like a small missile, a few tens of centimeters long. It must be fired from a drone. Actually, several witnesses assured they had heard an aircraft flying over the scene of the crime.” Indeed, and while western media have announced that indictments against Hezbollah will be issued shortly by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Russian magazine Odnako chose to challenge the entire UN investigation.
http://almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=164122&language=enHezbollah to take action if STL issues indictment in December: report
BEIRUT, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) — Lebanese Shiite armed group Hezbollah will implement “field plans” if the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) issues indictment in December, the local pro- Hezbollah Al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Tuesday. The report said Hezbollah officials will not respond to any foreign actor and will implement their plans. However, the paper added that “the political conflict will shift to a more stable phase if the court’s indictment to be postponed until next March.”
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-11/30/c_13629126.htm Hariri denies calling on US to strike Iran
BEIRUT: Prime Minister Saad Hariri denied Tuesday allegations that he called for a United States strike on Iran back in 2006, as intercepted diplomatic documents suggested Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had voiced regrets over Israel’s war with Hizbullah. Hariri was quoted by the New York Times as asking US officials in 2006 to “go all the way if need be” in halting Iranian nuclear designs.
Hariri Meets Sarkozy: Relationship with Hezbollah Good
30/11/2010 From Tehran, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri travelled to France where he held talks on Tuesday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace, kicking off a three-day official visit to Paris. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Hariri denied relationships with Hezbollah were severed, noting that Hezbollah was a rather important political party in Lebanon. “The relationship with Hezbollah has always been good,” Hariri said. “Sometimes we have differences of opinion, that’s normal, this is politics, this is democracy,” he added. On the other hand, the premier said that “nobody” knows the content of the anticipated indictment to be issued by the so-called Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) over the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri’s case.
Al-Akhbar: “Hariri Held Interview with Israeli Journalist”
29/11/2010 The Washington Post’s journalist who conducted an interview with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri holds the American and the Israeli nationality, the Lebanese daily al-Akhbar reported on Monday. The daily said that “Janine Zacharia has come from Jerusalem; she conducted the interview with Hariri in November 13, and now she is the head of Washington Post’s office in the occupied Jerusalem”. Zacharia speaks Hebrew fluently and she manages the Arabic language, according to her appointment report. Zacharia graduated from an American University whose name was linked to Israel. She has worked as a correspondent for both Jerusalem Report and Reuters. The daily added that Zacharia has lived for five years in the occupied territories and worked as a journalist there. She returned to the US but she worked as Jerusalem Post’s correspondent in Washington, and as a diplomatic editor in Bloomberg channel. Ten years later, Zacharia moved to be the head of Washington Post’s office in occupied Jerusalem.
Palestinians vow to remain neutral amid Tribunal dispute
BEIRUT: Palestinian factions across the spectrum said Tuesday they would stand neutral with regard to the dispute among rival Lebanese parties over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL). Fears of sectarian Sunni-Shiite strife mounted lately over reports of the imminent release of an indictment by the STL accusing Hizbullah members in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005.
Explosion kills 4, wounds 30 in Iraq’s Diyala
Four people were killed and 30 others were wounded in the blast which targeted a restaurant in Diyala’s provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, the source said on condition of anonymity.
http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/90854/7215611.html Iraq blast wounds Health Ministry employee
An employee at Iraq’s Health Ministry was wounded on Wednesday due to a bomb stuck to a governmental car belonging to the Health Ministry in Al Jihad District, western Baghdad.
http://www.alsumaria.tv/en/Iraq-News/1-57051-Iraq-blast-wounds-Health-Ministry-employee.htmlIdentity of Iraq Qaeda group leader uncovered
So called Security Minister of Islamic State of Iraq Hazem Abdul Razzaq Al Zawi who was arrested in Ramadi 10 days ago uncovered during investigations the real identity of Al Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Baker Al Baghdadi and War Minister Nasseruddin Allah Suleiman, an informed source from the Interior …
http://www.alsumaria.tv/en/Iraq-News/1-57049-Identity-of-Iraq-Qaeda-group-leader-uncovered.htmlIraq delays first census since 1987 over land row (Reuters)
Reuters – Iraq’s cabinet decided on Tuesday to postpone again the nation’s first full census in more than two decades as it struggles to end a longstanding dispute between majority Arabs and minority Kurds over land and oil.
Sadrists expect big role in new Iraq government (AP)
AP – The Shiite Sadrist movement was the key bloc that assured Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s re-election, and now the fiercely anti-U.S. fundamentalist group wants its cut in return: A bigger role in Iraq’s new government. Already, it has gotten bolder on the ground.
EXPOSED US IRAQI CONCENTRATION CAMPS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zahkl1q7oT4&feature=player_embedded
U.S. and other world news
Interpol: Julian Assange ‘Red Notice’ Issued
Interpol has issued a red notice for the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The notice is an international ‘wanted poster’ that the agency hopes will lead to the extradition of the wanted person to the country that originally filed the arrest warrant. The notice is now appearing on Interpol’s website, saying that he is wanted for ” sex crimes.” The charges come from an alleged incident in Sweden.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/30/interpol-julian-assange-r_n_790157.html Mike Huckabee: WikiLeaks Source Should Be Executed (VIDEO)
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and possible Republican presidential candidate provided a harsh assessment of what he believes to be an appropriate punishment for the source of the latest WikiLeaks transmission of U.S. embassy cables, saying that “anything less than execution is too kind a penalty.” “Whoever in our government leaked that information is guilty of treason,” Huckabee said, according to a report from Florida Independent. “They’ve put American lives at risk.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/30/mike-huckabee-wikileaks-execution_n_789964.html Ecuador president nixes Assange invitation
QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) — Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa on Tuesday backtracked on an offer of residency to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, insisting no such invitation has been extended. “There has been no formal offer to the director of WikiLeaks,” Correa told a news conference in the coastal city of Guayaquil. “That was a personal remark by the deputy foreign minister; he did not have my authorization.”
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=337682Don’t hunt my son, says mother of WikiLeaks chief
SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — The mother of Australian-born WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange does not want her son “hunted down” by Interpol over two rape charges issued by the Swedish police, a report said Wednesday. The international police agency has issued a global arrest warrant for Assange, one of the founders of the whistleblower website WikiLeaks which has caused a storm around the world by dumping secret messages from US diplomatic missions onto the Internet.
WikiLeaks cables: Bradley Manning faces 52 years in jail
Bradley Manning, a US army intelligence analyst, is suspected of leaking more than 250,000 diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks
Julian Assange: Hillary Clinton Should Resign
Hillary Clinton, Julian Assange said, “should resign.” Speaking over Skype from an undisclosed location on Tuesday, the WikiLeaks founder was replying to a question by TIME managing editor Richard Stengel over the diplomatic cable dump Assange’s organization began loosing on the world over the weekend. Stengel said that the U.S. Secretary of State was looking like “the fall guy” in the ensuing controversy and was her firing or resignation an outcome that Assange would want? “I don’t think it would make much of a difference either way,” he said. “But she should resign, if it can be shown that she was responsible for ordering U.S. diplomatic figures to engage in espionage in the United Nations, in violation of the international covenants to which the U.S. has signed up. Yes, she should resign over that.”
Assange legal position explained
As the latest Wikileaks revelations continue to reverberate around the world, the man at the centre of it all is facing a legal backlash. Julian Assange,The Wikileaks website founder, is now the subject of an Interpol red notice, which calls for member countries to assist in his arrest. The US is considering pressing charges against Assange for espionage. Al Jazeera’s Bhanu Bhatnagar takes a look at his legal position. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D22E1PlwiU8&feature=youtube_gdata
Flashback: Wikileaks chief said he has 5GB of secret docs on Bank of America
In an interview published Monday, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange revealed that his whistleblower website intends to publish a trove of secret documents exposing the corruption of a major American bank. He declined to say which bank, but he offered what may be a telling hint last year as to who the megaleak will target.
Bank of America shares fall amid leak rumours
Shares in Bank of America, the largest US bank, fell by more than 3 per cent amid speculation it is to be Wikileaks’ next target. The whistle-blowing website’s founder, Julian Assange, the subject of a US criminal investigation, claimed a fresh “megaleak” will target a major US bank “early next year”.
US severs access to diplomatic files
In dramatic move following disclosure of sensitive cables, State Department disconnects access to government’s classified computer network. Defense Secretary Gates: Leaks embarrassing but will have little impact on US relations with other countries.
UN slams US over ‘espionage’ revelations
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman says organization will take up issue ‘with our US counterparts on various levels’. White House: Stealing of classified information a crime, Obama ‘not pleased’
WikiLeaks Cables Reveal U.S. Tried to Thwart Spanish Probes of Gitmo Torture and CIA Rendition
The latest disclosures from the massive trove of diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks reveal U.S. officials tried to influence Spanish prosecutors and government officials to drop court investigations into torture at Guantánamo Bay and CIA extraordinary rendition flights. We speak to Scott Horton, an attorney specializing in international law and human rights and a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine. [includes rush transcript–partial]
Leaked Cables Reveal U.S. Pressured Spain to Drop Case of Cameraman Killed in 2003 Attack on Journalists in Baghdad
Leaked U.S. embassy cables from Madrid reveal the United States pressured the Spanish government to close a court case brought by the family of a Spanish cameraman, José Couso. Couso was killed in Baghdad when a U.S. Army tank fired on the Palestine Hotel, which was filled with journalists, on April 8, 2003. Three U.S. soldiers have been indicted in Spanish court for Couso’s death. “I am outraged,” says Javier Couso, the brother of José Couso. “I can’t believe my government conspired with a foreign government… It seems we are citizens, or at least a small province, of the empire of the United States.”
Arab allies urged US to ignore human rights – memo
PARIS: authoritarian allies of the US in the Arab world have urged Washington to ignore human rights and take a more starkly aggressive stand against Islamist militants and Iran, leaked cables show. According to stolen US State Department cables published by the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, Egypt advised the United States to forget about democracy in Iraq.
WikiLeaks cables: You can’t blame Israel for mistrusting Arabs, says Qatari ruler
Israel deserves credit for seeking peace in the face of resurgent Hamas and Hezbollah, Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani tells U.S. senator, according to classified dispatch.
WikiLeaks cables: Qatar okays use of its airbase for U.S. attack on Iran
“I think that you should remove your bases from [Qatar],” Dagan told American diplomats, according to the WikiLeaks document, “[The Qataris] owe their security to the presence of the Americans].”
Turkey PM lashes at U.S. diplomats for WikiLeaks ‘slander’
Tayyip Erdogan denies then-U.S. ambassador’s claim that he holds several Swiss bank accounts.
US Cable Confirms US Killed Women and Children In Yemen
The U.S. media paid scant attention in June when Amnesty International released a report charging that U.S. cruise missiles carrying cluster bombs had struck the village of al Majalah in southern Yemen on Dec. 17, 2009, killing 41 civilians, including 14 women and 21 children.
Pakistani sues US over drone strike
Kareem Khan is seeking $500 million in compensation from the US government over the death of his son and brother.
WikiLeaks cable reveals secret pledge to protect US at Iraq inquiry
Ministry of Defence told US that UK had ‘put measures in place’ to protect American interests during Chilcot inquiry. The British government promised to protect America’s interests during the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, according to a secret cable sent from the US embassy in London. Jon Day, the Ministry of Defence’s director general for security policy, told US under-secretary of state Ellen Tauscher that the UK had “put measures in place to protect your interests during the UK inquiry into the causes of the Iraq war”.
Leaked Cable Reveals US-Israeli Strategy for Regime Change in Iran
According to a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, in August 2007 the head of Israel’s intelligence agency urged US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, R. Nicholas Burns, to join with Israel in carrying out a five-part strategy to implement regime change in Iran.
U.S. scrambled to understand protests in Iran, leaked documents show
Washington talked with foreign embassies, dissidents and businessmen to gauge the Iranian opposition, according to dispatches disclosed by WikiLeaks. As protesters poured into the streets of Iran in the aftermath of the disputed 2009 reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, U.S. diplomats scrambled to decipher the erupting political crisis and the goals of the opposition’s so-called green movement, according to recently disclosed diplomatic cables.
U.S. hits Iran nuclear program with new sanctions
Obama administration blacklists 10 Iranian businesses affiliated with the country’s state bank and national shipping lines.
Inside Story – Targeting Iran’s nuclear scientists
Targeting Iran’s nuclear programme seems to have become about targeting the brains behind it. A top Iranian nuclear scientist has been killed and Iran is, predictably, blaming Israel and the CIA. Are the motives as obvious as they seem? And who really stands to benefit from the attacks? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QN5kb5XZxzM&feature=youtube_gdata
US embassy cables: Saudis fear ‘Shia triangle’ of Iran, Iraq and Pakistan
‘Sarkozy the American’ mulled troops for Iraq: WikiLeaks (AFP)
AFP – Even before his election, President Nicolas Sarkozy convinced the US he was the most pro-American French leader since the war and even discussed sending French troops to Iraq, leaked cables showed.
WikiLeaks cables: Nicolas Sarkozy, the Saudis and Carla Bruni
US embassy cables reveal French president offended Saudi sensibilities by inviting fiancée on state visit. Nicolas Sarkozy offended the Saudis by planning to take Carla Bruni on a state visit before they were married, a secret US cable shows. The French president made a high-profile trip to Saudi Arabia in January 2008 to improve his personal relationship with King Abdullah. But a memo from the US embassy in Riyadh said Saudi contacts “privately shared displeasure with certain French conduct” during the trip. The hosts found Sarkozy’s invitation of his then fiancée, Bruni, “offensive given their strict, conservative culture against the company of an unmarried woman”. In the end, Bruni stayed home. But various “protocol faux pas” were committed by the French delegation. Sarkozy was deemed “less than gracious” for “avoiding tasting traditional Arab foods” and displaying a “bored look during the televised arrival sword ceremony”.
Sarkozy a ‘thin-skinned authoritarian’
US embassy cables have detailed how French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s staff and ministers fear their leader’s temper, and were concerned about the impact of his personal life on his presidency.
Egypt opposition rejects election results as ‘invalid’
CAIRO: Egypt’s leading opposition group dismissed Tuesday the results of parliamentary elections as “invalid,” but nevertheless said its candidates would participate in weekend runoffs. The fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood has predicted its lawmakers will be almost entirely swept out of Parliament by what it said was rampant rigging.
Inside Story – Women in Egyptian parliament
Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, is approaching 30 years in power and is likely to be celebrating victory for his National Democratic Party. For the first time, women will make up at least 12 per cent of parliament thanks to a new quota system. Can female voices answer the widespread calls for real democratic change in Egypt?
U.S is responsible for Egypt ‘s election joke
There is no doubt that the United States is at least morally responsible for the scandalous election joke which took place in Egypt on 28 November.
Elections in Egypt, As`ad Abukhalil
I am sure that the last election is Iran rigged or was characterized with corruption and political interference. But does anyone doubt that the last Sunday election in Egypt was the most corrupt and most farcical in the history of “elections” in the Middle East? Yet, compare the coverage. And imagine if this charade in Egypt took place in a country that is on bad terms with the US.
Jordan: Gravely Ill Woman Detained, Not Treated
(New York) – A Jordanian prosecutor ordered the pre-trial detention of a woman accused of a minor offense despite her life-threatening infection with necrotizing fasciitis, also known as “flesh-eating” bacteria, Human Rights Watch said today.
Riz Khan – When honour meets morality
Should morality be a universal law and can honour killings be stopped by enforcing a collective moral agenda?
Two sisters bring performance art to Syria
In Syria, a country with significant state censorship, the arts are given freer rein – but these sisters’ performance art is toeing even that line.
UK galleries search for Middle East art
Art insitutions in the UK are increasing their acquisitions of contemporary 20th and 21st century works, particualrly those from the Middle East, rather than traditional western works.
Coming soon – The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict
Dec 01, 2010
Philip Weiss &
You’ve heard the controversy –
Now read the report for yourself
We are excited to announce the publication of our new book – The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict (Nation Books). We were very lucky to work with New York-based independent journalist Lizzy Ratner on the project, which explores the political, legal and social legacy of the Goldstone Report and the Israeli attack on Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009.
The book includes an edited version of the report along with 13 essays from some of the leading commentators today on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict including: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Naomi Klein, Raji Sourani, Jules Lobel, Moshe Halbertal, Jerome Slater, Brian Baird, Rashid Khalidi, Henry Siegman, Ali Abunimah, Noam Sheizaf, Letty Cottin Pogrebin and Laila El-Haddad.
The book will be available on January 11, 2011, but you can pre-order it today to make sure you receive it as soon as possible. Also, be sure to stay tuned to Mondoweiss for excerpts from the book as well as other exciting news.
You can also pre-order the book from the following booksellers:
Order from an online bookseller
Find a local bookseller
(Check your local Yellow Pages for a bookstore near you.)
International online orders
Notes on Hanukkah: The Maccabees and Zionism’s ‘invented traditions’
Dec 01, 2010
1. The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, a Hebrew word meaning “to dedicate,” is a minor Jewish festival with no Biblical source.
2. Hanukkah is a historical holiday that commemorates the Jewish defeat of the Seleucidite Syrian Greeks in 165 BCE by a priestly family called the Maccabees. These Maccabees sought to defeat not merely the Greek occupiers, but to defeat their Jewish acolytes, the so-called “Jewish Hellenizers.”3. Our rabbinic sources have not preserved any legitimate historical information for us. But the rabbis do set out the legal requirement of the holiday, a single prescription to light candles for eight nights, in the Tractate Shabbat of the Babylonian Talmud. This legal discussion, our only “official” Jewish source for the holiday, is in essence appended to a much larger discussion of the intricacies of lighting candles for the Sabbath.4. Our historical source for the holiday is the apocryphal Book of Maccabees 4:52 ff. where we read of the Maccabean rededication of the Temple on 25 Kislev, the traditional date of Hanukkah.5. The rabbis who canonized the Hebrew Scriptures at Yavneh circa 100 CE neglected to include the Book of Maccabees in their Bible. There are many ways that we might speculate on this excision of the Maccabees from the Masoretic Bible.
6. The rabbis saw the Hasmonean dynasty as usurpers to the Priestly offices in the Temple and the monarchy. The Hasmoneans were country priests who did not come from the Zadokite lineage and took it upon themselves to lead the rebellion against Antiochus and the Syrian Greeks. From the rabbinic point of view, whatever positive gains were gained by this defeat of the Seleucids was negated in the very strict literal sense of Jewish law regarding priestly succession as elucidated in the rabbinic sources.
7. We can then examine the Hasmonean lineage and its impact on the Jewish culture in Pharisaic and post-Pharisaic Judaism. The first Hasmoneans by and large stayed true to the Jewish legal traditions along the rabbinic model. But as the generations went on, the Hasmoneans continued to garner more and more power and forgot the traditions that stirred the rebellion in the first place. At the nadir of Hasmonean power, the usurpation of the throne by the Idumean pretender Herod, who was technically a member of the Hasmonean clan as he married into the family, capped off what was by then many decades of Hellenization by the Temple priests.
8. So it should be noted that the rabbis were less than thrilled with the physical specimens of the Hasmonean dynasty who populated the Temple precincts in their own day. It would then make sense for the rabbis to seek to expunge the historical record of the Maccabean revolt and the reasons for the celebration of the Hanukkah holiday.9. But the rabbis could not eliminate a holiday which had popular roots among both the Jewish masses and the priestly elite. Hence, they developed a hagiographic tale of a cruse of oil that was found amidst the Temple relics that was the only “pure” oil that could be used to light the Menorah, Hebrew candelabrum; according to the rabbis the oil, a one-day supply, lasted for the eight-day rededication ceremonies. It is curious to note that the Temple Menorah contained seven branches while the Hanukkah Menorah contains nine.10. The story of the cruse of oil knowingly obscured the historical underpinnings of the holiday which, in addition to the Book of Maccabees sources, appears in Josephus’ Jewish Antiquities Book 12, Chapter 7. Our historical sources tell us nothing about the cruse of oil but do tell us a good deal about the Maccabees and their war against the Syrians.11. The rabbis, as is known, were split over their own thoughts and desires about Jewish national independence. There was a faction led by R. Akiba that continued to struggle for Jewish independence while another group, led by R. Yohanan Ben Zakkai, sought to make peace with the occupiers and develop a new Jewish national life based upon study and practice of the written and oral traditions of the Hebrew faith. According to this model the Jews would live at peace with the Romans in exchange for their religious freedom and communal autonomy.
12. The Hanukkah commemoration, a clearly nationalistic holiday, a holiday that was more political than spiritual, was muted within the rabbinic liturgical calendar. The rabbis were deeply concerned with the restoration by the Maccabees of Torah study rather than political independence. The rabbinic Hanukkah is a contemplative holiday that highlights the warmth of family ties and the freedom afforded by the Maccabean revolt for Jews to live in religious freedom.
13. With the dual emergence of new trends in the modern period; Jewish nationalism in the form of Zionism and the increased attention paid by Jews to Gentile-like behaviors and assimilation, the holiday of Hanukkah, a relatively minor part of the Jewish liturgical calendar as we have said, takes on a newly significant role.
14. For the Zionists, the Maccabean revolution was an alternative historical model to the standard narrative of the rabbis. In the Macabees, the Zionists found a valid historical model on which to base their own Judean nationalism. Rather than maintaining the codes and beliefs of the Talmudic sages, the Zionists re-formed a “new” Jewish “nation” upon “invented traditions” that were deeply informed by the Maccabean paradigm.
15. In the Zionist narrative the Hellenizing Maccabees were expunged and the Nationalist Maccabees were valorized. The movement which led to Herod and the eventual destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE was blanked out, as was the paradigm shift of R. Yohanan Ben Zakkai and the emergence of a new humanistic Judaism based upon the collection of the source traditions during this period of the written and oral traditions in the forms of the Masoretic Scriptures and the Mishnah, leading to the magnum opus of this rabbinic formalism, the Babylonian Talmud.
16. Zionism saw itself as heir to the Maccabeean revolution and not to the rabbis. The quietism of the rabbis was eliminated in favor of a new aggressiveness that thought little of the religious and cultural implications of this realignment of Jewish life. Zionism was an attempt to restore national life to the Jews at the expense of the religious imperatives developed in the Diaspora by the Jewish Sages.
17. The increasing level of assimilation by Jews into Gentile society has made Hanukkah a holiday meant to match up against Christmas, a central Christian holiday that forms, with New Year’s Day, the very core of Christian self-definition. Over the past century, Christmas has taken on mammoth proportions and has served to drive the engine of modern Western consumerism.
18. Thus, Jews who felt ill at ease with their own faith turned to Hanukkah as a “twin” holiday to stand up next to Christmas.
19. So, in summation, Hanukkah is a very minor Jewish holiday that has been obscured by the way in which Judaism has used the historical source materials and by the manner in which the Jewish rabbis sought to impress their own stamp upon the conceptualization of the holiday. Modern Jews have reframed the holiday and have given it new meanings not originally inherent in either the historical or the religious sense(s) of the commemoration transforming Hanukkah into a “major” Jewish holiday.
David Shasha is the director of the Center for Sephardic Heritage in Brooklyn, New York. He has written articles for the Huffington Post and publishes a weekly e-mail newsletter Sephardic Heritage Update through the Center. To sign up for the newsletter visit: http://groups.google.com/group/Davidshasha, and you can contact David directly at email@example.com.
‘Daily Kos’ banned me and smeared Rachel Corrie, but we can’t give up on the Democratic Party
Dec 01, 2010
Daily Kos is the “premier online political community with 2.5 million unique visitors per month and 250,000 registered users.” Its stated purpose is simple: “It’s a Democratic blog with one goal in mind: electoral victory.” Well, that’s a warning right there. Its goal is simply to promote the Democratic Party brand, not to promote peace, social justice, or oppose oppression.
Yet many of us who blog at Daily Kos use the site to promote values such as opposing wars and oppression, no matter the current political popularity of such a stance. If you write there in support of Palestinian liberation and ending US funding for Israeli oppression, you risk, at a minimum, that you will be subject to regular and vicious attacks from those who defend the status quo, or some slightly modified version thereof.
I know, because I was banned from the site after writing on it for over 4 years.
My diaries mostly dealt with the daily and routine violence of the occupation. Home demolitions and evictions of Palestinians from their homes are the subject of many (and the mockery they make of a “peace process”).
I was also not afraid to criticize the Jewish establishment, including the ADL and even groups like Hillel when some locals hosted Efraim Eitam. But the last straw was perhaps my last diary, a report of the protest of Israeli peace groups and their concern that Israel is becoming a fascist state. The pressure must have been too intense for the DKos administration to withstand, so it became easier just to ban me.
I was not all that surprised. In one of my comments, made in regard to the ADL’s attack on the Muslim Community Center planned in New York, I stated that no matter where we live in America “we can demand that bigotry be rejected by all, including New Yorkers, and the ADL.” It elicited this emphatic and crude response: “You have no fucking standing my friend, to demand anything.” That statement, I believe, encapsulates the view that, at Daily Kos, unless you conform to certain limits of acceptable criticism of Israeli policy and of the institutions that support Israeli policy (including the Democratic Party), you simply do not have any standing. For example, saying the Israeli settlements should no longer expand is permissible. But say that the US should cease the funding of Israeli aggression and you can expect to be attacked as being an anti-Semite.
A case in point, and again, very crude but not at all subject to administrative sanction at Daily Kos: in attacking the memory of Rachel Corrie and supporting the Official Israeli line about how she was killed, a commenter said:
… if the ISM’s [International Solidarity Movement’s] story were true, and the bulldozer had run over her, then backed over her, they’d have buried her in tupperware. The fact that she actually had an open casket funeral would suggest that this scenario was not, in fact, what happened. Additionally the autopsy report finding dirt and debris in her lungs is consistent with the IDF’s version of the story that she was on rubble, fell, and was buried under it and crushed by it. But that doesn’t fit the ISM’s (and your) narrative of malicious, vindictive, thieving Jews, so their version of the story was a bit different.
Notice the clear accusation of anti-Semitism; in this case simply for refusing to accept the Israeli government story on the killing of Rachel Corrie, and the utter disrespect the commenter exhibits toward the family of Rachel Corrie (does any family ever bury their dead in Tupperware? It looks like a variation of the extremist taunts of Rachel as “St. Pancake”). That is the kind of impunity at Daily Kos allowed for those whose views conform to the current anti-Palestinian policies of the Democratic Party.
Would we expect anything better? Not from partisans of a political party where the leadership is supporting starvation sanctions on the people of Gaza. Not from a forum that promotes the political fortunes of Obama, whose military support of occupation and dispossession of the Palestinians is without parallel, and belies his words of mild disagreement with Israeli policies.
Still, we can hope for better, we can work for better, at Daily Kos and even the Democratic Party itself. There are still supporters of human rights who share the latest news and analysis of US policy active at Daily Kos, and they persevere despite the obstacles. Israel has no worries about the current political leadership of the Democratic Party (and needless to say, the Republican Party), but about the grassroots they should be very worried.
I see a steady erosion of support for unqualified support of Israeli policies and growing support for a human rights and justice approach. The Progressive Democrats of America has supported congressional candidates like Marcy Winograd, a Jewish non-Zionist. While many of us have given up on the major political parties as avenues of creating justice; we need to recognize that we have many allies within the parties, especially the Democratic Party.
So Daily Kos may muzzle a few very active commentators, but the tide is going in the wrong direction for that to be anything but a short-term gain for those who wish to keep the status quo. The future belongs to those who side with human rights and supporting international law.
Jim Harris is now busy with the www.StopAIPAC.org website and organizing a December protest of AIPAC in the Bay Area.
Some things just didn’t make sense
Dec 01, 2010
I grew up in the womb of the Jewish Community of Washington, D.C, studied at our Hebrew Academy (a school that my grandfather helped found), and worshiped at the Beth Shalom Orthodox Jewish synagogue. After marrying, I travelled to visit family in Israel. On one trip, I had the pleasure of seeing one of the Israeli national forests that held trees that I had helped to plant with the coins I collected in my youth. Looking out from atop a tree-covered hill, I remember experiencing a feeling of pride in Israel military power while catching the sounds of Israeli fighter jets passing though the valley below.
My understanding of Israel evolved. On one of the trips to Israel, my uncle, proud of Israel’s many accomplishments, drove us to see diverse different parts of the country, including the swamps that were drained and the forests that were planted. In none of those places did we see any sign of places where Palestinians used to live. “That’s odd,” I wondered. “How do I reconcile us reclaiming a land of empty swamps and deserts and making them bloom with the fact that 700,000 Palestinians had become refugees? Where had these people lived?” Something just didn’t seem to fit. If the land had been empty swamps and deserts, how did 700,000 people become refugees?
In trying to learn more about Muslims, I took a course on Islam that presented the Muslim perspective of what Islam was like. Boy, was it different from the perspective learned from my teachers/rabbis and the U.S. media! The course made the basic tenets of Islam sound altogether similar to those of Judaism that I studied in Hebrew school: devotion to one God, giving charity, acting in humble, respectful ways that bring honor to one’s faith, and treating others as we would be treated. I began to wonder if our perceptions of Arabs were misperceptions.
As I studied the history of Israel, I learned disturbing things that did not fit at all with the things I had been taught. I had been taught things like, “Arabs started all the wars,” and “Jews never terrorized anyone.” I was very surprised to find that these fundamental facts of Jewish history were flatly wrong, that Israel, in collusion with England and France, started the 1957 war, and that there were organized Jewish terrorist groups—the Irgun and the Stern Gang.
These organizations were recognized as terrorists by other Jewish organizations of their day. According to Israeli historians, the Jewish terrorist groups had perpetrated the first bombings of buses and civilian markets in Palestine (only much later did I appreciate the irony in the claim that we can’t negotiate with terrorists, knowing that leaders of the Irgun and Stern Gang had been elected Prime Ministers of Israel).
At least we Jews didn’t commit atrocities. Well, I found out we did one time, in a place called Deir Yassin. Later though, I learned that it wasn’t just Deir Yassin; Israeli historians documented that we Jews had expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinian men, women and children from their homes, whole villages of people, before any Arab army declared war on the nascent Jewish state. I no longer found this surprising.
Having learned that so many of the other “historical facts” I had been taught weren’t true, learning that there had been expulsions didn’t seem surprising. Indeed, the expulsions—committed by horribly persecuted European Jews desperate for a country of their own— seemed to make a whole lot more sense than what I had been taught: that “Arabs fled their villages in order to make it easier for the Arab armies to kill Jews.” When I think of that now, it never really made much sense, as up until about 1920, there were hundreds of thousands of Muslim and Christian Arabs in Palestine, living in peace alongside thousands of Jews.
If Arabs had wanted to “throw the Jews into the sea,” it seems they could have done it long before 1948. Any remaining seeds of doubt were dispelled by learning that there were Haganah war plans—in writing in the IDF archives!—that called for, “Destruction of villages (setting fire to, blowing up, and planting mines in the debris)” and “the population must be expelled outside the borders of the state.”
I was left with a new appreciation of the Israel/Palestine conflict, no longer thinking of “the founding of the Jewish State” but always thinking of “the founding of the Jewish State at the expense of the non-Jewish families who were already living there.” We used to be so proud in hearing that our heroic soldiers killed 20 of theirs for every one we lost because we cared so much for human life. Now I realize that killing 20 of them for each one of ours, or imprisoning hundreds or thousands, shows nothing about our regard for human life./ I’ve begun to consider how the world looks both to us, and to them.
Yes, we are horrified when a Gilad Shalit is taken prisoner. But now I feel the same pain for each and every Palestinian who is taken prisoner. We know the pain when the people of Sderot are terrorized; I feel the same pain for the terror suffered by our brothers and sisters in Gaza. I still feel the pain knowing that Jews were killed in the Hebron massacre of 1929, but now I also realize that over 800 Muslims were killed in Palestine that year, and that the conflict was caused by colonialism and nationalism, not by anti-Semitism. The idea of Israeli democracy and equal treatment was lost, too.
I read the writings of Palestinian Christian families, Israeli citizens, who were displaced from their homes and not allowed to return to those homes after the 1948 war was over, even though the families were still living in Israel. A Jewish person from Minneapolis can go live in the homes of those families, but not the Israeli Christian family who had been expelled. And those trees I had helped to plant? They had been planted over the remains of Palestinian families’ homes and villages. I don’t have the same sense of pride in those trees anymore.
I hear my Israeli relatives talk of Arabs as though they were animals. Having grown up in the Jewish community, I used to think that way, too. I understand that thinking, knowing that we’ve seen Arab terrorism and that my Israeli family members have probably lost close friends to it. Still, I know that we commit most of the killing. I’m left with the same sick feeling upon hearing Arabs called animals as when I heard Blacks called animals back in a less enlightened time in Washington, DC.
My sense of Jewish morality remains as strong as ever. The lessons in Torah tell me that the expulsions of Palestinian families from their homes and villages were not in keeping with Jewish values. Yes, we Jews must have peace and security, but peace and security can’t come from mistreating other people. Peace and security will come when we realize that what we did was not in keeping with our Jewish standards, when we treat our Muslim and Christian brothers as we would ourselves be treated, and when we tear down the walls and invite Palestinians to return to their homes and villages to live in peace together.
Solarz said Israel’s security was a reason for Gulf War
Dec 01, 2010
Steve Kornacki says that the late Stephen Solarz made Chuck Schumer what he is today, though Schumer had the temerity to vote against the 91 Gulf war, as a Brooklyn congressman. And then the next year:
When [Bill] Clinton’s [presidential] campaign ran into trouble after a loss in New Hampshire to Paul Tsongas, Solarz was dispatched to Florida to scare Democrats away from Tsongas with claims that Tsongas, through his opposition to the Gulf War, had endangered Israel’s security. If Clinton won, it seemed, Solarz just might get that promotion to secretary of state.
(thanks to Jeff Blankfort)