Archive | February 8th, 2011

The ”Palestine Papers”: an alternative Analysis for action

NOVANEWS

 

Al-Shabaka Commentary

The Egyptian people’s massive demonstrations against the Mubarak regime, following on from the Tunisian people’s successful despatch of their own dictator, took the limelight away from the Palestine Papers, Al-Jazeera’s 23-26 January 2011 release of over 1,600 confidential records of the “peace process” over the past decade. But for Palestinians the burning questions remain: how to assess the content of the documents and the meaning of their release — and how to deal with the revelations.

Much of the analysis of the documents has focused on the concessions the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) and the remnants of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have been willing to make to secure a deal in the face of Israel’s intransigence.

Yet it is important to recall that the broad lines for the concessions were drawn when the late Yasser Arafat was leading the negotiations process, in particular as regards the refugees’ right of return. Today’s negotiators have been willing to go further on Jerusalem — Arafat refused to do so at Camp David. However, the proposals for land swaps to accommodate Israeli settlements have been there for years, an incentive to the Israelis to keep creating facts on the ground. By the time Taba came around, Arafat was signaling willingness for more concessions.

In other words, if the Palestinians find reason to rise up against their leadership in the papers released by Al-Jazeera, there was cause aplenty to do so during the 1990s when over a dozen Oslo accords effectively put Palestinian territory, economy, and security under Israeli control.

The difference between Al-Jazeera’s “Palestine Papers” and the Oslo accords is that the Papers are more accessible to a general audience whereas the accords ran into thousands of pages, many very technical. In effect, the Palestine Papers make it impossible for Palestinians to claim they do not know what is being negotiated on their behalf.

Beyond the content of the Palestine Papers, there is the meaning of their release. Arafat made tremendous concessions throughout the 1990s but in the end refused to sign a final peace agreement below what he defined as the bare minimum of Palestinian rights. Today’s negotiators have set a much lower bar — reflecting the much weaker Palestinian position — and yet they have, in the final analysis, refused to continue a process that does not even recognize the 1967 lines, despite tremendous pressure by the Americans to do so. (See the excellent analysis of the Palestine Papers by Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada and an Al-Shabaka policy advisor, for a discussion of the Obama administration’s regression from its predecessor’s position.)

The problem for the PA/PLO is that the Americans need them to sign. The urgent American desire to stamp a “case closed” on the whole Palestine question comes through loud and clear from the records of the past two years. At one point, for example, the Palestinian negotiating team is invited to the Pentagon to meet with Admiral Michael Mullen who reportedly tells Abbas, “Arabs and Muslims have only one thing on their mind: Palestine. So, we want to help you establish a Palestinian state.

I have 230,000 troops in Iraq & Afghanistan and I am bringing back 10 each week draped in American flags or in wheelchairs. This is painful for America. Because I want to bring them back home, a Palestinian state is a cardinal interest of the USA.”

It is not unthinkable that the U.S. administration stands to benefit from the release of the Palestine Papers. If outraged Palestinians manage to boot Abbas, Erekat et al out of office, there could be an opportunity to replace them by an even more docile leadership willing to sign on America’s dotted line.

Faced with the revelation of these latest assaults on their universally recognized human rights, how can the Palestinian people respond? Five things come to mind.

  1. It is important to read at least the key documents among the Palestine Papers to see exactly how the negotiation process was conducted. Not enough Palestinians have read the Oslo Accords, or at least the more easily accessible parts, to understand the implications for their rights. It is not possible to plan effective strategies without this knowledge.
  2. It is vital to understand and relate to the very different perspectives of Palestinian communities in Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank, Jerusalem, Gaza, Europe, the U.S. and beyond. Statements of denunciation by Palestinians “outside” will ring hollow in the occupied territories and among refugees unless they are backed by some tangible capacity to contribute to and influence the situation on the ground, including people’s need to survive and live as normal a life as possible. The reality is that Palestinian refugees and exiles cannot even go to Palestine if Israel and/or the PA do not want them to. A great deal of creativity will be needed to reinforce meaningful avenues of engagement between those “outside” and those “inside.”
  3. Statements of response by Palestinian communities should focus on a very few key points that are unassailable (rather than on lengthy denunciations), and that can be picked up and hammered home by Palestinians everywhere, for example:
    • The current PA and PLO leaders lack any mandate to represent the Palestinian people in negotiations.
    • The Oslo-initiated process of negotiations under occupation has proven a disastrous failure and must be stopped until the occupation is ended.
    • The PLO must be reconstituted as a fully representative body.
  4. Action is needed with regard to the two resolutions that the PA/PLO are introducing at the United Nations. The one that is currently tabled at the Security Council condemns Israeli settlements and is in fact a smart way of putting America on the spot. If the U.S. abstains, it only barely sustains the fiction that it is an acceptable mediator. If it vetoes it is completely exposed.

    However, the PA/PLO push to increase the number of states that recognize a Palestinian state and take that case to the U.N. is a potentially dangerous initiative, especially given the limits on territory and sovereignty that will be imposed in the Palestinians’ present weak circumstances, and given the police state that is being built on the ground (see the devastating report by Aisling Byrne here). Ways must be found to resist this push to statehood at any cost.

  5. Palestinians in exile can (and do) turn the weakness of physical separation from the land of Palestine into strength in many ways:
    • Financially and politically supporting the popular struggle and boycott movements launched and led by Palestinians on the “inside” and getting their story out through the media and public speaking;
    • Engaging with the diverse grassroots groups that support justice throughout the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere, by focusing on the responsibility of their governments to uphold international law.
    • Continuing to build and strengthen community organizations that will push the levers of the political and media systems in the countries where they live in favor of Palestinian rights;
    • Using the Palestine Papers in outreach to the governments of the countries where they live, as well as missions to the U.N. in New York and Geneva, among others, to demonstrate that the Palestinian people are not being represented in the current diplomatic process and that their rights and interests must be taken into account.
      In short, Palestinian voices must be raised — loudly and strategically, with empathy and passion — so that other Palestinians hear and take heart, bringing the world away from empty protestations of statehood to meaningful support of the rights to self-determination, freedom, equality, and return.

 

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save Our Forests-How Did Your MP Vote?

NOVANEWS

 

On Wednesday MPs’s voted on whether or not to demand a rethink of the government’s plans to sell our forests.

You can see how your MP voted below. If you’re not sure who your MP is you can check on the Parliament website here.

This vote was not binding – it was an “opposition day debate”

. That means although the government won the vote, it was a massive success for us. We caused a real stir, put MPs under pressure, and persuaded a good number of government MPs to rebel against the government line. If we keep going like this we can win the campaign!

The next time MPs vote on selling off our woodland, it could be a make or break vote to pave the way for privatisation. We need to keep the spotlight on every one of them. Please call or email your MP to let them know you are watching how they vote.

If they voted the right way, now’s a great time to get in touch to say thank you and to ask them to keep fighting to save forests. If they didn’t vote the right way, we need to keep the pressure up – and make sure they realise that we’ll keep campaigning until they change their mind.


MP Name sort by Party sort by Constituency sort by Did MP vote to save our forests? sort by Contact MP
Adam Afriyie Con Windsor No Email
Phone
Adam Holloway Con Gravesham Absent Email
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Adrian Bailey Lab West Bromwich West Yes Email
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Adrian Sanders LDem Torbay Yes Email
Phone
Aidan Burley Con Cannock Chase No Email
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Alan Beith LDem Berwick-upon-Tweed Absent Email
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Alan Campbell Lab Tynemouth Yes Email
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Alan Duncan Con Rutland and Melton No Email
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Alan Haselhurst Con Saffron Walden No Email
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Alan Johnson Lab Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle Yes Email
Phone
Alan Keen Lab Feltham and Heston Absent Email
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Alan Meale Lab Mansfield Yes Email
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Alan Reid LDem Argyll and Bute both Email
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Alan Whitehead Lab Southampton, Test Yes Email
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Alasdair McDonnell SDLP Belfast South Absent Email
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Albert Owen Lab Ynys Môn Yes Email
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Alec Shelbrooke Con Elmet and Rothwell No Email
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Alex Cunningham Lab Stockton North Yes Email
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Alison McGovern Lab Wirral South Yes Email
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Alison Seabeck Lab Plymouth, Moor View Yes Email
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Alistair Burt Con North East Bedfordshire No Email
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Alistair Carmichael LDem Orkney and Shetland No Email
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Alistair Darling Lab Edinburgh South West Yes Email
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Alok Sharma Con Reading West No Email
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Alun Cairns Con Vale of Glamorgan No Email
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Alun Michael Lab Cardiff South and Penarth Yes Email
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Amber Rudd Con Hastings and Rye No Email
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Anas Sarwar Lab Glasgow Central Yes Email
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Andrea Leadsom Con South Northamptonshire No Email
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Andrew Bingham Con High Peak No Email
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Andrew Bridgen Con North West Leicestershire No Email
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Andrew George LDem St Ives No Email
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Andrew Griffiths Con Burton No Email
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Andrew Gwynne Lab Denton and Reddish Yes Email
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Andrew Jones Con Harrogate and Knaresborough No Email
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Andrew Lansley Con South Cambridgeshire No Email
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Andrew Love Lab Edmonton Yes Email
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Andrew Miller Lab Ellesmere Port and Neston Absent Email
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Andrew Mitchell Con Sutton Coldfield No Email
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Andrew Murrison Con South West Wiltshire No Email
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Andrew Percy Con Brigg and Goole No Email
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Andrew Robathan Con South Leicestershire No Email
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Andrew Rosindell Con Romford No Email
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Andrew Selous Con South West Bedfordshire Absent Email
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Andrew Smith Lab Oxford East Yes Email
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Andrew Stephenson Con Pendle No Email
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Andrew Stunell LDem Hazel Grove No Email
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Andrew Turner Con Isle of Wight No Email
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Andrew Tyrie Con Chichester No Email
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Andy Burnham Lab Leigh Yes Email
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Andy Slaughter Lab Hammersmith Yes Email
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Angela Eagle Lab Wallasey Yes Email
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Angela Smith Lab Penistone and Stocksbridge Yes Email
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Angela Watkinson Con Hornchurch and Upminster No Email
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Angie Bray Con Ealing Central and Acton Absent Email
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Angus MacNeil SNP Na h-Eileanan an Iar Yes Email
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Angus Robertson SNP Moray Absent Email
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Ann Clwyd Lab Cynon Valley Yes Email
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Ann Coffey Lab Stockport Yes Email
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Ann McKechin Lab Glasgow North Yes Email
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Anna Soubry Con Broxtowe No Email
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Anne Begg Lab Aberdeen South Yes Email
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Anne Main Con St Albans No Email
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Anne McGuire Lab Stirling Yes Email
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Anne McIntosh Con Thirsk and Malton No Email
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Anne Milton Con Guildford No Email
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Anne-Marie Morris Con Newton Abbot No Email
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Annette Brooke LDem Mid Dorset and North Poole both Email
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Austin Mitchell Lab Great Grimsby Yes Email
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Barbara Keeley Lab Worsley and Eccles South Yes Email
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Barry Gardiner Lab Brent North Yes Email
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Barry Sheerman Lab Huddersfield Yes Email
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Ben Bradshaw Lab Exeter Yes Email
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Ben Gummer Con Ipswich No Email
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Ben Wallace Con Wyre and Preston North No Email
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Bernard Jenkin Con Harwich and North Essex No Email
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Bill Esterson Lab Sefton Central Yes Email
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Bill Wiggin Con North Herefordshire No Email
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Bob Ainsworth Lab Coventry North East Yes Email
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Bob Blackman Con Harrow East No Email
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Bob Neill Con Bromley and Chislehurst No Email
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Bob Russell LDem Colchester No Email
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Bob Stewart Con Beckenham No Email
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Brandon Lewis Con Great Yarmouth No Email
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Brian Binley Con Northampton South No Email
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Brian H Donohoe Lab Central Ayrshire Yes Email
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Bridget Phillipson Lab Houghton and Sunderland South Yes Email
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Brooks Newmark Con Braintree Absent Email
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Caroline Dinenage Con Gosport Absent Email
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Caroline Flint Lab Don Valley Yes Email
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Caroline Lucas Green Brighton, Pavilion Yes Email
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Caroline Nokes Con Romsey and Southampton North Yes Email
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Caroline Spelman Con Meriden No Email
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Catherine McKinnell Lab Newcastle upon Tyne North Yes Email
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Cathy Jamieson Lab Kilmarnock and Loudoun Yes Email
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Charles Hendry Con Wealden No Email
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Charles Kennedy LDem Ross, Skye and Lochaber Absent Email
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Charles Walker Con Broxbourne No Email
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Charlie Elphicke Con Dover No Email
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Charlotte Leslie Con Bristol North West No Email
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Cheryl Gillan Con Chesham and Amersham No Email
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Chi Onwurah Lab Newcastle upon Tyne Central Yes Email
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Chloe Smith Con Norwich North No Email
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Chris Bryant Lab Rhondda Yes Email
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Chris Evans Lab Islwyn Yes Email
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Chris Grayling Con Epsom and Ewell No Email
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Chris Heaton-Harris Con Daventry No Email
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Chris Kelly Con Dudley South No Email
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Chris Ruane Lab Vale of Clwyd Yes Email
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Chris Skidmore Con Kingswood No Email
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Chris White Con Warwick and Leamington No Email
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Chris Williamson Lab Derby North Yes Email
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Christopher Chope Con Christchurch No Email
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Christopher Huhne LDem Eastleigh No Email
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Christopher Leslie Lab Nottingham East Yes Email
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Christopher Pincher Con Tamworth No Email
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Chuka Umunna Lab Streatham Yes Email
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Claire Perry Con Devizes No Email
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Clive Betts Lab Sheffield South East Yes Email
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Clive Efford Lab Eltham Yes Email
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Conor Burns Con Bournemouth West No Email
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Conor Murphy SF Newry and Armagh Absent Email
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Craig Whittaker Con Calder Valley No Email
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Crispin Blunt Con Reigate No Email
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Dai Havard Lab Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney Yes Email
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Damian Collins Con Folkestone and Hythe No Email
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Damian Green Con Ashford No Email
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Damian Hinds Con East Hampshire No Email
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Dan Byles Con North Warwickshire No Email
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Dan Rogerson LDem North Cornwall No Email
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Daniel Kawczynski Con Shrewsbury and Atcham No Email
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Daniel Poulter Con Central Suffolk and North Ipswich No Email
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Danny Alexander LDem Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey No Email
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Dave Watts Lab St Helens North Yes Email
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David Amess Con Southend West No Email
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David Anderson Lab Blaydon Yes Email
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David Blunkett Lab Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough Yes Email
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David Burrowes Con Enfield, Southgate No Email
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David Cairns Lab Inverclyde Yes Email
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David Cameron Con Witney No Email
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David Crausby Lab Bolton North East Yes Email
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David Davies Con Monmouth No Email
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David Davis Con Haltemprice and Howden No Email
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David Evennett Con Bexleyheath and Crayford No Email
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David Gauke Con South West Hertfordshire No Email
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David Hamilton Lab Midlothian Yes Email
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David Hanson Lab Delyn Yes Email
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David Heath LDem Somerton and Frome No Email
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David Heyes Lab Ashton-under-Lyne Absent Email
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David Jones Con Clwyd West No Email
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David Lammy Lab Tottenham Yes Email
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David Laws LDem Yeovil No Email
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David Lidington Con Aylesbury No Email
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David Miliband Lab South Shields Yes Email
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David Morris Con Morecambe and Lunesdale Absent Email
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David Mowat Con Warrington South No Email
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David Mundell Con Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale No Email
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David Nuttall Con Bury North No Email
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David Ruffley Con Bury St Edmunds No Email
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David Rutley Con Macclesfield No Email
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David Simpson DUP Upper Bann Yes Email
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David Tredinnick Con Bosworth No Email
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David Ward LDem Bradford East No Email
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David Willetts Con Havant No Email
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David Winnick Lab Walsall North Yes Email
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David Wright Lab Telford Yes Email
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Dawn Primarolo Lab Bristol South Absent Email
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Debbie Abrahams Lab Oldham East and Saddleworth Yes Email
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Denis MacShane Lab Rotherham Yes Email
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Dennis Skinner Lab Bolsover Yes Email
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Derek Twigg Lab Halton Yes Email
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Desmond Swayne Con New Forest West No Email
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Diana Johnson Lab Kingston upon Hull North Yes Email
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Diane Abbott Lab Hackney North and Stoke Newington Yes Email
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Dominic Grieve Con Beaconsfield Absent Email
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Dominic Raab Con Esher and Walton No Email
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Don Foster LDem Bath No Email
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Douglas Alexander Lab Paisley and Renfrewshire South Yes Email
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Douglas Carswell Con Clacton No Email
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Duncan Hames LDem Chippenham No Email
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Edward Balls Lab Morley and Outwood Yes Email
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Edward Davey LDem Kingston and Surbiton No Email
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Edward Garnier Con Harborough No Email
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Edward Leigh Con Gainsborough No Email
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Edward Miliband Lab Doncaster North Yes Email
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Edward Timpson Con Crewe and Nantwich No Email
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Edward Vaizey Con Wantage No Email
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Eilidh Whiteford SNP Banff and Buchan Yes Email
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Eleanor Laing Con Epping Forest Absent Email
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Elfyn Llwyd PC Dwyfor Meirionnydd Yes Email
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Elizabeth Truss Con South West Norfolk No Email
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Emily Thornberry Lab Islington South and Finsbury Yes Email
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Emma Reynolds Lab Wolverhampton North East Yes Email
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Eric Illsley Lab Barnsley Central Absent Email
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Eric Joyce Lab Falkirk Yes Email
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Eric Ollerenshaw Con Lancaster and Fleetwood No Email
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Eric Pickles Con Brentwood and Ongar No Email
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Esther McVey Con Wirral West No Email
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Fabian Hamilton Lab Leeds North East Absent Email
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Fiona Bruce Con Congleton No Email
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Fiona Mactaggart Lab Slough Yes Email
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Fiona O’Donnell Lab East Lothian Yes Email
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Francis Maude Con Horsham Absent Email
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Frank Dobson Lab Holborn and St Pancras Yes Email
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Frank Doran Lab Aberdeen North Yes Email
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Frank Field Lab Birkenhead Yes Email
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Frank Roy Lab Motherwell and Wishaw Yes Email
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Gareth Johnson Con Dartford No Email
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Gareth Thomas Lab Harrow West Yes Email
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Gary Streeter Con South West Devon No Email
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Gavin Barwell Con Croydon Central Absent Email
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Gavin Shuker Lab Luton South Yes Email
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Gavin Williamson Con South Staffordshire No Email
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Gemma Doyle Lab West Dunbartonshire Yes Email
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Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Con The Cotswolds No Email
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Geoffrey Cox Con Torridge and West Devon No Email
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Geoffrey Robinson Lab Coventry North West Yes Email
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George Eustice Con Camborne and Redruth No Email
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George Freeman Con Mid Norfolk No Email
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George Hollingbery Con Meon Valley No Email
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George Howarth Lab Knowsley Yes Email
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George Mudie Lab Leeds East Yes Email
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George Osborne Con Tatton No Email
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George Young Con North West Hampshire No Email
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Geraint Davies Lab Swansea West Yes Email
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Gerald Howarth Con Aldershot No Email
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Gerald Kaufman Lab Manchester, Gorton Yes Email
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Gerry Adams SF Belfast West Absent Email
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Gerry Sutcliffe Lab Bradford South Yes Email
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Gisela Stuart Lab Birmingham, Edgbaston Absent Email
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Glenda Jackson Lab Hampstead and Kilburn Yes Email
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Gloria De Piero Lab Ashfield Yes Email
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Glyn Davies Con Montgomeryshire No Email
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Gordon Banks Lab Ochil and South Perthshire Yes Email
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Gordon Birtwistle LDem Burnley No Email
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Gordon Brown Lab Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath Yes Email
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Gordon Henderson Con Sittingbourne and Sheppey No Email
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Gordon Marsden Lab Blackpool South Yes Email
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Graeme Morrice Lab Livingston Yes Email
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Graham Allen Lab Nottingham North Absent Email
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Graham Brady Con Altrincham and Sale West No Email
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Graham Evans Con Weaver Vale No Email
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Graham Jones Lab Hyndburn Yes Email
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Graham Stringer Lab Blackley and Broughton Absent Email
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Graham Stuart Con Beverley and Holderness No Email
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Grahame Morris Lab Easington Yes Email
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Grant Shapps Con Welwyn Hatfield No Email
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Greg Clark Con Tunbridge Wells Absent Email
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Greg Hands Con Chelsea and Fulham Absent Email
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Greg Knight Con East Yorkshire No Email
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Greg Mulholland LDem Leeds North West Absent Email
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Gregg McClymont Lab Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East Absent Email
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Gregory Barker Con Bexhill and Battle No Email
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Gregory Campbell DUP East Londonderry Absent Email
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Guto Bebb Con Aberconwy No Email
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Guy Opperman Con Hexham Absent Email
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Harriet Harman Lab Camberwell and Peckham Yes Email
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Harriett Baldwin Con West Worcestershire No Email
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Hazel Blears Lab Salford and Eccles Yes Email
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Heather Wheeler Con South Derbyshire No Email
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Heidi Alexander Lab Lewisham East Yes Email
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Helen Goodman Lab Bishop Auckland Yes Email
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Helen Grant Con Maidstone and The Weald No Email
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Helen Jones Lab Warrington North Yes Email
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Henry Bellingham Con North West Norfolk No Email
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Henry Smith Con Crawley No Email
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Hilary Benn Lab Leeds Central Yes Email
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Hugh Bayley Lab York Central Yes Email
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Hugh Robertson Con Faversham and Mid Kent No Email
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Hugo Swire Con East Devon No Email
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Huw Irranca-Davies Lab Ogmore Yes Email
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Hywel Francis Lab Aberavon Yes Email
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Hywel Williams PC Arfon Yes Email
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Iain Duncan Smith Con Chingford and Woodford Green No Email
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Iain Stewart Con Milton Keynes South No Email
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Iain Wright Lab Hartlepool Yes Email
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Ian Austin Lab Dudley North Yes Email
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Ian Davidson Lab Glasgow South West Yes Email
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Ian Lavery Lab Wansbeck Yes Email
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Ian Liddell-Grainger Con Bridgwater and West Somerset No Email
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Ian Lucas Lab Wrexham Yes Email
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Ian Mearns Lab Gateshead Yes Email
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Ian Murray Lab Edinburgh South Yes Email
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Ian Paisley Jnr DUP North Antrim Absent Email
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Ian Swales LDem Redcar No Email
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Ivan Lewis Lab Bury South Yes Email
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Jack Dromey Lab Birmingham, Erdington Yes Email
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Jack Lopresti Con Filton and Bradley Stoke No Email
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Jack Straw Lab Blackburn Absent Email
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Jackie Doyle-Price Con Thurrock No Email
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Jacob Rees-Mogg Con North East Somerset No Email
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Jake Berry Con Rossendale and Darwen No Email
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James Arbuthnot Con North East Hampshire No Email
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James Brokenshire Con Old Bexley and Sidcup Absent Email
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James Clappison Con Hertsmere No Email
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James Duddridge Con Rochford and Southend East No Email
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James Gray Con North Wiltshire No Email
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James Morris Con Halesowen and Rowley Regis No Email
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James Paice Con South East Cambridgeshire No Email
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James Wharton Con Stockton South No Email
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Jamie Reed Lab Copeland Yes Email
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Jane Ellison Con Battersea No Email
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Jason McCartney Con Colne Valley Absent Email
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Jeffrey M Donaldson DUP Lagan Valley Yes Email
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Jennifer Willott LDem Cardiff Central No Email
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Jenny Chapman Lab Darlington Yes Email
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Jeremy Browne LDem Taunton Deane No Email
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Jeremy Corbyn Lab Islington North Yes Email
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Jeremy Hunt Con South West Surrey Absent Email
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Jeremy Lefroy Con Stafford No Email
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Jeremy Wright Con Kenilworth and Southam No Email
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Jesse Norman Con Hereford and South Herefordshire No Email
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Jessica Lee Con Erewash No Email
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Jessica Morden Lab Newport East Yes Email
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Jim Cunningham Lab Coventry South Yes Email
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Jim Dobbin Lab Heywood and Middleton Yes Email
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Jim Dowd Lab Lewisham West and Penge Yes Email
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Jim Fitzpatrick Lab Poplar and Limehouse Yes Email
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Jim McGovern Lab Dundee West Yes Email
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Jim Murphy Lab East Renfrewshire Yes Email
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Jim Shannon DUP Strangford Yes Email
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Jim Sheridan Lab Paisley and Renfrewshire North Yes Email
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Jimmy Hood Lab Lanark and Hamilton East Yes Email
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Jo Johnson Con Orpington No Email
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Jo Swinson LDem East Dunbartonshire No Email
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Joan Ruddock Lab Lewisham, Deptford Yes Email
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Joan Walley Lab Stoke-on-Trent North Yes Email
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Joe Benton Lab Bootle Yes Email
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John Baron Con Basildon and Billericay No Email
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John Bercow Speaker Buckingham Speaker – does not vote Email
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John Cryer Lab Leyton and Wanstead Yes Email
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John Denham Lab Southampton, Itchen Yes Email
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John Glen Con Salisbury No Email
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John Hayes Con South Holland and The Deepings No Email
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John Healey Lab Wentworth and Dearne Yes Email
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John Hemming LDem Birmingham, Yardley No Email
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John Howell Con Henley No Email
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John Leech LDem Manchester, Withington No Email
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John Mann Lab Bassetlaw Yes Email
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John McDonnell Lab Hayes and Harlington Yes Email
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John Penrose Con Weston-Super-Mare No Email
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John Pugh LDem Southport Absent Email
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John Randall Con Uxbridge and South Ruislip No Email
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John Redwood Con Wokingham No Email
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John Robertson Lab Glasgow North West Absent Email
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John Spellar Lab Warley Yes Email
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John Stanley Con Tonbridge and Malling Absent Email
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John Stevenson Con Carlisle No Email
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John Thurso LDem Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross Absent Email
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John Whittingdale Con Maldon No Email
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John Woodcock Lab Barrow and Furness Yes Email
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Jon Cruddas Lab Dagenham and Rainham Yes Email
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Jon Trickett Lab Hemsworth Yes Email
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Jonathan Djanogly Con Huntingdon No Email
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Jonathan Edwards PC Carmarthen East and Dinefwr Yes Email
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Jonathan Evans Con Cardiff North No Email
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Jonathan Lord Con Woking No Email
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Jonathan Reynolds Lab Stalybridge and Hyde Yes Email
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Julian Brazier Con Canterbury No Email
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Julian Huppert LDem Cambridge No Email
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Julian Lewis Con New Forest East Yes Email
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Julian Smith Con Skipton and Ripon No Email
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Julian Sturdy Con York Outer No Email
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Julie Elliott Lab Sunderland Central Yes Email
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Julie Hilling Lab Bolton West Yes Email
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Justin Tomlinson Con North Swindon No Email
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Justine Greening Con Putney No Email
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Karen Bradley Con Staffordshire Moorlands No Email
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Karen Buck Lab Westminster North Yes Email
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Karen Lumley Con Redditch No Email
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Karl McCartney Con Lincoln No Email
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Karl Turner Lab Kingston upon Hull East Yes Email
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Kate Green Lab Stretford and Urmston Yes Email
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Kate Hoey Lab Vauxhall Yes Email
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Katy Clark Lab North Ayrshire and Arran Yes Email
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Keith Simpson Con Broadland No Email
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Keith Vaz Lab Leicester East Yes Email
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Kelvin Hopkins Lab Luton North Yes Email
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Kenneth Clarke Con Rushcliffe No Email
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Kerry McCarthy Lab Bristol East Yes Email
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Kevan Jones Lab North Durham Yes Email
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Kevin Barron Lab Rother Valley Yes Email
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Kevin Brennan Lab Cardiff West Yes Email
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Khalid Mahmood Lab Birmingham, Perry Barr Yes Email
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Kris Hopkins Con Keighley No Email
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Kwasi Kwarteng Con Spelthorne No Email
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Lady Hermon Ind North Down Absent Email
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Laura Sandys Con South Thanet No Email
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Laurence Robertson Con Tewkesbury Absent Email
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Lee Scott Con Ilford North No Email
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Liam Byrne Lab Birmingham, Hodge Hill Yes Email
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Liam Fox Con North Somerset No Email
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Lilian Greenwood Lab Nottingham South Yes Email
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Linda Riordan Lab Halifax Absent Email
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Lindsay Hoyle Lab Chorley Absent Email
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Lindsay Roy Lab Glenrothes Yes Email
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Lisa Nandy Lab Wigan Yes Email
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Data provided thanks to publicwhip.org.uk

Posted in CampaignsComments Off on save Our Forests-How Did Your MP Vote?

First They Come

NOVANEWS

On last Tuesday’s BBC Newsnight, the leader of the “English Defence League”, Stephen Lennon, was given a national platform to tell us how afraid he is of “Muslim Pimping Gangs” and “inams”. After his admittance of quite recently not knowing how to switch a computer on, I am thinking perhaps it is Mr. Lennon we should be worried about.
The argument for giving such far-right wing groups such prominence in the media is one of freedom of expression, but my interpretation of “freedom of expression” has never included inciting hatred against sections of society based on their race or religion. Another argument is that racist people appearing on television will expose themselves as exactly that, but we cannot ignore the fact that the BNP described Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time as their “single biggest recruitment night” ever.

It is also impossible to ignore the role of the government’s rhetoric in boosting the EDL’s confidence. As the EDL held what they promised would be their biggest ever demonstration in Luton on Saturday, Prime Minister David Cameron was busy making yet more promises to crack down on “Islamist extremism”.

I went to Luton on Saturday, keen to see if the media’s estimates of up to 7000 EDL members in attendance would bear fruit. On the ground, 2000 was the highest figure I heard. Muslim youths took to the streets near a local mosque, keen to defend their community.
I had spent the evening before at the home of Benjamin Zephaniah, poet and seasoned anti-racism activist. He showed me a book entitled British Citizenship Test: Study Guide. Inside, I found the following revision questions for anyone considering applying for citizenship:
What year did the Church of England come into existence?

What is the main role of the House of Lords?

suggested answer – Remain unelected forever…

When was the second referendum for a Scottish Parliament?

I really think we should put Stephen ‘simple man’ Lennon and Nick Griffin to the test. Incorrect answer = citizenship revoked.
“This situation with the EDL is like that poem ‘First they came’”, Benjamin remarked.
‘First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.’

See: life on Wheels
We can continue to ignore the EDL, or to appease their rhetoric, but if we fail to speak out now, who will be left when they come for us?

Posted in CampaignsComments Off on First They Come

Shoah Backfires

Monday, 10 January 2011 15:00

By Gilad Atzmon

For years  Israelis and Zionists have been pumping  ‘Shoah’ into our veins by using every possible propaganda outlet: media, education, Hollywood, music, literature, billboards and so on.

Seemingly they have been very successful : We are all properly ‘ Holocausted ‘. We accept the suffering of the Jewish people — and we have even managed to draw a universal message from it all.

We do accept that a real Shoah is taking place in front of our eyes in Palestine, where the Jewish state locks millions of Palestinians behind bars: it starves them,  it stops medical supplies, food, cement, and educational materials from getting in. But it does not stop there — when the Jewish state feels like it, it also kills Palestinians indiscriminately.  It either blitzes them with white phosphorous , or  sends in its tank battalions  to drive over Gaza.

In preparation for Holocaust Memorial Day (1), London Zionist mouthpiece  The Jewish Chronicle is  very disturbed by a UK-based  pro Palestinian web site named shoah.org.uk. The site is obviously dedicated to the Palestinian Holocaust.

The Jewish paper insists that  the Shoah — like Israel — is a ‘Jews only club’. They do not want to ‘let anyone else in’.

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust told the Jewish paper, “Using the word ‘Shoah’ in this context is done with the sole intention of causing offence to Holocaust survivors, their families and the wider Jewish community and shows the greatest possible disrespect to the tragedy of the Holocaust.”

I would fiercely argue that Pollock is wrong.  Using the word ‘Shoah’ in this very context is there to awaken the world, the Jews, and holocaust victims in particular,  to the fact that the biggest current  perpetrator of crimes against humanity — is actually  the Jewish state.

Mark Gardner, of the  Community Security Trust, said: “This website is yet another sickening example of how the Holocaust is perverted by anti-Zionists in order to attack Israel and Zionism.”

Mark Gardner is almost correct; anti Zionists do indeed use the Shoah as a means of mirroring. And it is now an accepted fact that the Palestinians are the last victims of Hitler. It is also becoming accepted that the Israelis are the Nazis of our time. And tragically enough, the crimes in Palestine carried out by the Jewish state are also being committed in the name of the Jewish people. As if this is not enough, it is Jewish pilots who drop white phosphorus from planes which are decorated with Jewish symbols.

These facts are disturbing and demand the immediate attention of world Jewry.

Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies ( another morbid institute that claims to represent British Jews ) told the Jewish Chronicle  that “even without delving into what is clearly a one-sided and skewed narrative, by virtue of its title, this website is extremely provocative and any trivialisation of the Holocaust in which over six million Jewish men, women, and children were systematically murdered is completely abhorrent.”

Benjamin is probably too lame to grasp that what we see here is the total opposite — We are actually witnessing an acceptance of an astute universalising of the holocaust as carrying a humanist message for all of us. We can see a deeper understanding of the true moral meaning of that historical event.

Surely we need to stand up against all forms of ethno-centric homicidal policies. And it seems clear that Israel is no different from Nazi Germany in that regard. In fact Israel is far worse, because Israel acts under the guise of being a democracy, and its merciless policies are a  reflection of the majority Israeli population’s yearning to live in a ‘Jews only’ state.

However, a few questions are still left open — Why exactly do the aforementioned Jews from the Jewish Chronicle and the Board of Deputies want to maintain the notion and reality of historical suffering as being exclusively Jewish property? Why don’t they want anyone else to use the word ‘Shoah’?  Why do they demand a total control over the usage of words and applications of meanings ?

Can you imagine a Ukrainian protesting against the word ‘famine’ being  applied to the situation in Ethiopia?

I really wonder why so many Jews insist on grounding their identity politics on suffering and being hated by others?

For clearly, one must admit that being loathed is not exactly something to  brag about.

I am bewildered.

(1) It is interesting to read the definition of the Holocaust Memorial Day on the official HMD’s site:

“HMD is about remembering the victims and those whose lives have been changed beyond recognition of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and the ongoing atrocities today in Darfur.”

Basically everywhere except in Palestine.

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on Shoah Backfires

Mondoweiss Online Newsletter

NOVANEWS

 

Window of democracy has likely already shut (and Hillary knocks at Suleiman’s door)

Feb 07, 2011

Philip Weiss

 

It helps to know something about Egypt if you’re writing about it. (I guess). Here’s a really smart piece by Joshua Stacher of Kent State at Foreign Affairs saying that the “democratic window has probably already closed,” that the regime has never broken down, its central institution, the military, remaining as powerful as ever. And now the gov’t is successfully playing the young demonstrators off against the ordinary citizens’ desire for normal times. Some grim excerpts (Thanks to Ibn Tufayl):

If those guiding the transition choose to direct it toward a democratic end, then it will have to include forces that are currently banned in the country, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, and individuals who have been tortured or imprisoned, such as Ayman Nour. It will have to include the youth elements from the street organizing committees as well as the irrelevant figures that head the country’s existing opposition parties. Managing such a transition from dictatorship to democracy is a massive challenge even in the best of times. The leader of the transition will therefore determine whether it results in a genuine democracy or continuous authoritarian rule. If that person is General Omar Suleiman, who was sworn in as vice president on January 30, the prospects for democracy are grim…

The protesters have been given an ambiguous choice about this transition. Go home and — perhaps — be invited to the negotiating table later, or continue protesting and be excluded from Suleiman’s negotiations. Some independent figures, such as Amr Moussa and Nabil Fahmy, have broken ranks with the protesters and met with Suleiman. Given that many of these individuals held previous appointments in Mubarak’s Egypt, protesters will likely be skeptical of their intentions as agents of change.

There is no doubt that the post-Mubarak era is afoot, but it is not necessarily a democratic one. The Egyptian military leaders that are governing the country seem content to leave Mubarak in his place so Suleiman can act as the sitting president. Indeed, even leading government officials, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have begun to direct their concerns to Suleiman’s office. Hence, as the protesters in Tahrir Square — and the non-protesters facing empty refrigerators and wallets at home — have begun to feel the state’s squeeze, the regime has so far maintained its ability to control how the conflict is unfolding.

When the uprising began in Egypt, many linked the events in Tunis and Cairo and declared that 2011 might be the Arab world’s 1989. Instead, 2011 is showing just how durable and adaptable the authoritarian regimes of the Arab world truly are. Faced with real challenges and moments of potential breakdown, Egypt’s military did not hesitate or even break a sweat

Who built the Suez Canal?

Feb 07, 2011

James North

 

My old history books gave the credit for constructing the Suez Canal to Ferdinand de Lesseps, a French developer.  But he had help.

The excavation took some 10 years using forced labour (Corvée) of Egyptian workers during a certain period. Some sources estimate that over 30,000 people were working on the canal at any given period, that altogether more than 1.5 million people from various countries were employed, and that thousands of laborers died on the project.

Part of my family’s history is that my great-grandfather was unable to settle down right away after fighting with the Union Army in the American Civil War at the ferocious battles of Fredericksburg and Gettysburg.  He travelled around the world, arriving in 1869 in Egypt just as the canal was opening.  In Cairo, he attended one of the first performances of Verdi’s opera Aida, written for the occasion.

Those hundreds of thousands of Egyptians who actually built the Suez Canal also have descendants — who also have family memories.  As they continue to bravely occupy Tahrir Square, they might be excused if they have not lost their suspicions about Western sincerity.

Mike Huckabee’s ill informed and dangerous views on Israel/Palestine may end up in the White House

Feb 07, 2011

Wayne Smith

 

 

Arutz Sheva is an Israeli news service associated with the settler movement.

I find former pastor, turned politician and political commentator, Mike Huckabee’s recent statements in Jerusalem quite inflammatory and incredibly uninformed. I am an evangelical pastor volunteering for 3 months in Israel/Palestine with an international Christian organization called Ecumenical Accompaniment Program for Palestine and Israel. Let me share my perspective of a few of Mr. Huckabee’s statements based on the “facts on the ground” as I understand them here in Israel/Palestine.

Huckabee: “My question is how would the government of the United States feel if Prime Minister Netanyahu began to dictate which people could live in the Bronx, which ones could live in Manhattan, and which could live in Queens. The Jewish settlers’ have the right to build anywhere in the place that God gave them.”

There is a semblance of logic here but East Jerusalem is not Israel’s territory to control. It is territory which it occupied by force in 1967 and illegally annexed as part of Israeli Jerusalem soon after its conquest. True, the US might not like being told who can build in the Bronx or Queens, but that analogy doesn’t apply here. It is more like the New York National Guard invading Newark, New Jersey, annexing it as part of New York City, and then severely restricting the residents in any construction while a flood of New Yorkers invaded with official support and few building limitations. Iraq conquered Kuwait by force of arms and felt it had every right to relocate Iraqi civilian population into Kuwait City but the US and the world community did not take too kindly to that whole scenario. Oh, and by the way, such a right of Jews to build wherever they want in this occupied territory is ILLEGAL. The Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory, states very clearly that “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

Huckabee: “If Palestinians want an independent state, they should seek it from Arabs — not Israel. There are vast amounts of territory that are in the hands of Muslims, in the hands of Arabs.”

The aspiration of Palestinian nationhood is not based on a request to Israel to magnanimously give up a chunk of its sovereign territory to provide space for a Palestinian nation. It is based on international law calling upon the state of Israel to relinquish territory they have occupied and controlled by force of arms. Israel’s very right to exist is based on the UN mandate to partition Palestine, granting Israel nationhood with boundaries established through the negotiated armistice of 1948. They have no international right to control the occupied Palestinian Territories. If those occupied territories were returned to the former sovereign control of Egypt in the case of Gaza, and Jordan in the case of the West Bank, then we would be talking about calling upon Arab countries to release these territories for a Palestinian state. It is the height of injustice and ignorance to suggest that Palestinians vacate a land that they have occupied for hundreds and hundreds of years to give way to the State of Israel, the vast majority of whose population has come to this region in the last 100 years. Such a suggestion means that the 1.5 million in Gaza and 2.5 million in West Bank would follow in the footsteps of the 700,000 who fled as refugees from the area mandated for Israel in 1948.

Huckabee: “This place is the place that God gave them.”

As a fellow pastor I believe I understand what Mr. Huckabee means when he talks about this being Israel’s “God given land”, but my understanding of a just, loving and merciful God would never relegate the 4 million Palestinians who are indigenous to this area to the dust pile of history to make way for the nation of Israel. It is my belief that God not only cares about the Israeli people but He also passionately cares for and walks among this gracious, industrious and determined Palestinian people.

It is most alarming to me that Mike Huckabee, who at one time had his eye on the Oval Office and may yet again, would make such uninformed, provocative and unconstructive statements in the midst of this tension filled area. May it be that more knowledgeable, balanced and productive voices from America be raised up.

Wayne Smith has been a pastor at Praise Covenant Church in Tacoma, Washington for the past 10 years.

Gaza Justice minister asks U.N. to follow up on the Goldstone Report

Feb 07, 2011

Kate

 

And other news from Today in Palestine:

Land, property, resources theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers

13 Jewish homes approved in Sheikh Jarrah
7 Feb – Construction plans drawn up ‘with sole aim of creating trouble,’ says Meretz councilman, but head of Israel Land Fund argues, ‘Arabs should thank Jews for letting them stay free of charge on land that belongs to them’ … Aside from the approved 13, sources in the municipality said plans were in the works for hundreds of new homes. 
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4025141,00.html

Jerusalem set to approve contentious Jewish housing in Arab neighborhood
7 Feb – The Jerusalem Municipal Committee for Planning and Building is expected to approve today the construction of two buildings that will include 13 apartments for Jewish residents in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Backing the plan are settler organizations who currently occupy three homes in the neighborhood. Following the plan’s approval, it will be necessary to evict a number of Palestinian families living on the site in order for construction to commence. The planning committee is also expected to approve a new access road south of Har Homa, which will enable the expansion of the neighborhood.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/jerusalem-set-to-approve-contentious-jewish-housing-in-arab-neighborhood-1.341693

IOA takes hold of endowed Islamic land in central J’lem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) ordered the seizure of endowed Islamic piece of land belongs to 15 Palestinian families in central occupied Jerusalem in order to establish a settlement project. Ziyad Qawas, the guardian of this land that contains other endowed real estate, said the IOA issued an order to confiscate this land which is located west of the US consulate in Nablus street in addition to other property including a mosque, a gas station, a garage and stores built on this land.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.

Israel razes Araqib village for the 12th time
NAZARETH, (PIC)– Bulldozers of the Israeli interior ministry, escorted by big numbers of Israeli police and army forces, on Monday razed all houses in the village of Araqib in the Negev for the 12th consecutive time, Palestinian sources reported. Dr. Awad Abu Freih, the spokesman for the committee in defense of Araqib, said that the bulldozers of the so-called Israel land administration and of the interior ministry demolished all constructions in the Bedouin village and left women and children in the open, cold weather without shelter. He told the Quds Press that police and army forces encircled the village’s graveyard and assaulted the inhabitants who resorted to the cemetery for sanctuary.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd

Palestinian family ‘imprisoned’ in own home
The Al Khatib family is from the village of Hizma, a Palestinian town on the northeastern outskirts of Jerusalem. The village sits on some 10,400 dunams of land and is surrounded by five Palestinian villages: Anata, Beit Hanina, Shufa’t, Jab’a & Ar-Ram. However, in 2004 the Israeli military began clearing village land for construction of the Separation Wall. When the five-kilometer stretch of the wall cutting through Hizma was completed, the village lost about 4,318 dunams of land – and the Al Khatib family. The 24-person Palestinian family is now surrounded by the Israeli settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev, imprisoned in their own home. The village of Hizma borders the settlements of Pisgat Ze’ev, Neve Yaakov, Geva Binyamin, and Almon.
http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/topics/jerusalem/3259-palestinian-family-imprisoned-in-own-home-

New pictures of the school in Eil il Hilwe [Jordan Valley]
7 February
http://www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=161:new-pictures-of-the-school-in-ein-il-hilwe&catid=15:2010&Itemid=21

Jewish settlers bulldoze archaeological sites
SALFIT, (PIC)– Jewish settlers started on Sunday to bulldoze vast areas of Deir Sama’an in Kufr Al-Dik village west of Salfit, which is famous for its archaeological sites. Eyewitnesses reported that the area is strategic and fertile and is rich in Roman relics, describing it as one of the most important archaeological sites in Salfit district. The inhabitants said that they could not enter that area for the past eight years after the establishment of a settlement outpost near it. [The word ‘Deir’ دير found in many village names means ‘monastery’ and such villages normally have archaeological sites, not necessarily Christian ones]
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2

Leading rabbi calls Israelis to prepare to build alleged temple
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– A leading West Bank rabbi said Saturday that the Aqsa Mosque must be taken from Palestinian hold in order to pave the way for the alleged temple. “We must save the site and return it to Israeli ownership; and if we cannot build the temple on grounds of law it does not absolve us from doing what we actually are able of,” said Dov Lior, rabbi of the Karyat Arba settlement near Al-Khalil. He is also considered the chief rabbi in the occupied West Bank.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2

Fearless in the West Bank / Akiva Novick
Special: Jewish hikers ignore security warnings, go on trips throughout Judea and Samaria …  Friday trips around territories under Palestinian rule have grown into a trend recently, drawing hikers from around the country. These excursions have turned into yet another territorial battle between Israelis and Palestinians in the area, keeping security forces busy … Naturally, there are those looking to cause trouble. The activist group Garin Jericho and its Nablus and Hebron equivalents hold protest trips to the cities that had Israeli presence prior to the signing of the Oslo Accords. “The goal is to return to these cities, and through that return to the rest of Judea and Samaria,” says Meir Bretler, one senior activist.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4024789,00.html

Violence 

Israeli gunboats strike Palestinian fishermen
Gaza Strip (Pal Telegraph) – Israeli gunboats stationed off Gaza city shore opened Monday heavy fire at Palestinian fishermen; no causalities were reported. Local sources said that the fishermen were enforced to leave the sea after being targeted by Israeli fire.
http://www.paltelegraph.com/palestine/gaza-strip/8403-israeli-gunboats-strike-palestinian-fishermen.html

Palestinian worker shot by IOF soldiers
GAZA, (PIC)– A Palestinian worker collecting gravel east of Gaza city was shot by the Israeli occupation forces and sustained injuries, medical sources said on Monday. Adham Abu Salmiya, the spokesman for medical services, told the PIC that the worker was slightly wounded in the incident. He added that the soldiers fired at a group of workers in Shujaia suburb using machine guns and injured one of them who was hospitalized.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd

B’Tselem petitions High Court to order JAG’s office to decide in the case of Firas  Qasqas, killed three years ago
The incident took place on 2 Dec. 2007 in the village of a-Tira, Ramallah District. Firas Qasqas, a 32-year-old husband and father of three from the village of Batir in Bethlehem District, came to a-Tira with his family to visit relatives. According to information obtained by B’Tselem, that afternoon, Qasqas and two of his brothers-in-law went for a walk in an open area near the houses of the village. Suddenly, they saw a group of soldiers some 500 meters from them. Without warning, the soldiers opened fire at the three men, who were unarmed and had not done anything to endanger the soldiers’ lives. A bullet struck Qasqas in the back and exited from his stomach
http://www.btselem.org/English/Firearms/20110207_Qasqas_petition.asp

Madhut Yusuf’s relatives consider petitioning against Gantz
Family members of Druze soldier Madhat Yusuf, who was killed at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus in September 2000, told Ynet on Saturday they were considering filing a petition with the High Court of Justice against Major-General Benny Gantz.Gantz, who has been named as Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s choice as the next IDF chief of staff, was commander of the Judea and Samaria Division at the time. It was claimed he did not exhaust all options to save Yusuf, who was badly injured in clashes in the Joseph’s Tomb compound, despite the fact that there was a force ready to enter and rescue the soldier. 
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4024293,00.html

Statement: Israelis attempt murder of six reporters in OJ
RAMALLAH, (PIC)– A Palestinian rights group accused in a press statement released Sunday the Israeli army of attempting to kill six journalists amid assaults on 36 civilians during clashes that broke out Friday in East Jerusalem. According to the Rasid (Monitor) human rights society, a military unit deliberately targeted an assembly including news correspondents covering clashes that erupted between the troops and residents of the Bab Al-Amoud neighborhood, when soldiers fired rubber bullets and toxic gas used for the third time against unarmed civilians. The soldiers had intent of premeditated murder, the statement says.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd87MD

Activism / Solidarity / BDS

A week’s collection of Israel/Palesting VIDEOS
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2011/2/4/941354/-Israel-Palestine-News

Nabi Saleh marches with the people of Egypt
6 Feb – Despite pounding rain and aggressive repression tactics employed by the army, the village of Nabi Saleh marched Friday in solidarity with the people of Egypt. The demonstration was also in honor of 14 year Nabi Saleh resident Islam Tamimi, who was arrested in a night raid in the village almost three weeks ago and remains in jail.
http://palsolidarity.org/2011/02/16526/

Who’s afraid of the cultural boycott? / Max Blumenthal & Joseph Dana
…We began to understand the power of the cultural boycott in disrupting the apathy that pervades middle class, urban Israeli society. Apathy allows Israelis to live in comfort behind iron walls while remaining immune to the occupation and inoculated from its horrors. The culture of apathy allows them to watch the news and let out a groan of concern without thinking seriously about political engagement … The cultural boycott forces Israelis to deal with Israel’s behavior towards Palestinians by targeting them where it counts most: in the heart of their affluent comfort zones.
http://maxblumenthal.com/2011/02/whos-afraid-of-the-cultural-boycott/

Palestinians speak on growing boycott of Israel / Kim Bullimore
…Over the past five years, the BDS campaign has gone from strength to strength internationally, with trade unions, student groups and other sectors announcing support. Kim Bullimore spoke with Omar Barghouti and Hind Awwad in Ramallah about the growing international campaign. Barghouti is a Palestinian political and cultural analyst and a founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). Awwad is the national coordinator of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC).
http://directaction.org.au/issue29/palestinians_speak_on_growing_boycott_of_israel

Rutgers pro-Palestinian rally not what enraged Jewish students think
The Forward – The Saturday evening event was a stop on a multi-city tour titled Never Again for Anyone, stressing that neither Jews nor Arabs should suffer at the hands of aggressors. Days earlier, the conservative blog Atlas Shrugged had exhorted readers to protest the pro-Palestinian presentation at Rutgers University, whose organizers the blog described as “Holocaust Deniers and Islamic Supremacists.” 
http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/rutgers-pro-palestinian-rally-not-what-enraged-jewish-students-think-1.341378

War crimes

New flotilla for Gaza on deadly raid’s anniversary
MADRID (AFP) — A new flotilla of ships will try to reach Gaza at the end of May to mark the first anniversary of deadly Israeli raid against a similar convoy that killed nine Turkish activists, organizers said Monday. The flotilla that will try to break Israel’s blockade of the territory this time will consist of around 15 boats with activists from 25 nations compared to just six ships last year, they told a news conference in Madrid.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=357889

Report: Gaza complains to UN over Goldstone follow-up
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) 7 Feb — Gaza Minister of Justice Mohammed Faraj Al-Ghoul reportedly sent a letter to UN officials last week, asking why the international body had failed to follow-up on local efforts to respond to allegations outlined in the Goldstone report. 
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=357679

Detention

IOF troops detain 10 Palestinians, mostly minors
RAMALLAH, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up ten Palestinian citizens in various West Bank areas at dawn Monday mostly minors, local sources reported.  Quds Press reported that a large number of IOF soldiers stormed tens of Palestinian homes and searched them after forcing their inhabitants into the open, cold weather. Palestinian sources said that IOF soldiers barged into Beit Ummar town, north of Al-Khalil, and took away six minors.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bc

Group: Prisoners denied basic needs
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian detainees held in Israel’s Etzion prison near Bethlehem are denied basic needs, Palestinian Prisoners’ Society lawyer said Sunday. The lawyer said Israeli authorities refused to allow the organization to bring blankets, clothing or food to detainees. He said the prisoners were considering starting a hunger strike in protest at conditions in the facility.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=357502

‘We were for blackmail’ escaped Hamas prisoner says
[Ayman Noufel was] detained in 2007 after Hamas forces in Gaza ripped a section of the border wall down, allowing thousands of Strip residents to spill into Egypt, where most bought provisions and fuel. “I left to get things we needed for the house, I was riding in a car and we passed a checkpoint of Egyptian security. I was arrested and taken immediately to the El-Arish police center where I was questioned and tortured for two weeks,” Noufel said. Egyptian officials said he was detained for belonging to Hamas … During the interrogation sessions, Noufal said, “They asked what kind of weaponry Hamas had, how prepared the movement was and what the range of projectiles had reached.” 
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=357600

Haniyeh visits escaped prisoner
Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday visited a Hamas militant who returned to the Gaza Strip after escaping an Egyptian jail. Haniyeh congratulated Noufel on his release, and said he prayed to God to protect all resistance fighters. Ayman Noufel, a leader in Hamas’ armed wing the Al-Qassam Brigades, returned to the Al-Buriej refugee camp in central Gaza on Saturday.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=357829

Palestinian held by Israel sustains stroke upon hearing of son’s death
GAZA, (PIC)– A Palestinian man held in the Israeli Ramle prison sustained a stroke after hearing his 16-year-old son had died from cirrhosis of the liver. Two months later, his family has no clue to his whereabouts or medical condition. The man Fawzi Atiyya Abu Ghunaim like many other Palestinians jailed in Israel has been denied family visits and contact under the Shalit law imposed four years ago. Abu Ghunaim, a  father of eight, was arrested in 2009 and has since been detained without sentence.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2b

Siege

OPT: Prices soar in Gaza as Rafah, tunnels close
GAZA, 7 Feb (IRIN) – More than a week of political unrest in Egypt has heightened the threat of a humanitarian crisis in neighbouring Gaza. Egyptian soldiers fled their posts on the northern border on 30 January, forcing the Rafah crossing – a critical valve for the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza – to close. 
Around 60 Palestinians, attempting to return home via Cairo when Gaza’s southern border closed, are still being held in the “deportation room” at Cairo airport. Among them are six children and several critically ill patients who are running out of medication.
… Petrol has now run out entirely and the only fuel available is the limited amount coming from Israel at treble the price. A fuel shortage in Gaza would not only mean no cars, but also no electricity.
http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportID=91844

Housing Ministry criticized UNRWA’s ‘weak’ role in Gaza reconstruction
GAZA, (PIC)– The Ministry of Public Works and Housing urged the UN Relief Works Agency to shoulder responsibility in rebuilding the war-torn Gaza, criticizing the “weak, partisan” role it has so far played. “The UN has played a partisan role in rebuilding Gaza,” the ministry said in a press statement on Sunday. “It has veered from its humanitarian role and begun to act as one of the Quartet who have besieged Gaza.” Discussing the effects of the recent Israeli war on Gaza, the statement says 100,000 residential units have yet to be restored, 55,000 of those being completely destroyed.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=

The circles in the sky over Gaza / Yasmeen El Khoudary
People keep talking of a new war. They tell you about their neighbors — they’re probably too shy to admit that it’s their family, not their neighbors — who already started stocking up on food items and candles in preparation for the upcoming war. “People are really scared,” they tell you, using “people” instead of “we.” Everyone — groundless news reports and loud rumors — is saying that they can hear the war drums, can’t you?! … Well, congratulations Israel for winning the psychological war on Gaza. No, you don’t find it enough that you are honored to be the only power on the planet that finds purpose in physically besieging a whole population, but you also want to drive them mad.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11779.shtml

Bulk goods crossing continues to operate
Israeli authorities told their counterparts on the Gaza crossings that two terminals would be open for the limited transfer of goods on Monday, officials said. 
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=357622

Reprisals

2 mortar shells hit south; no injuries or damage
6 Feb – Palestinians fired two mortar bombs at Israel which hit the Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries or damage were reported.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4024772,00.html

Egyptian uprising and Palestine

Palestinian security suppressing West Bank fervor over Egypt protests / Amira Hass
We are still preoccupied with demonstrations and their dispersal in this part of the world. After the immediate shock and anger died down last Wednesday, however, one could not help but notice the European, mainly French, scent that wafted from Al-Manara Square in Ramallah where the Palestinian Authority once again suppressed a demonstration of support for the Egyptian people that evening. A few hours earlier, in the same streets, supporters of Fatah had held an undisturbed demonstration in support of the Egyptian government and President Hosni Mubarak. 
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/palestinian-security-suppressing-west-bank-fervor-over-egypt-protests-1.341722

Palestinian streets quiet as PA suppresses protests / Mel Frykberg
RAMALLAH, Feb 7, 2011 (IPS) – The Palestinian Authority (PA) is using brute force and intimidation tactics – similar to those deployed in Cairo – to suppress pro-Egyptian and Tunisian protests in the West Bank. However, despite PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his ruling Fatah party being all too keenly aware of their own tenuous grip on power, it appears Palestinians are not yet ready to rise up like their brethren in the region.
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=54390

Now Gaza begins to shake / Pam Bailey
6 Feb – Gaza City – Ripple effects of the Egyptian uprising are now spreading to Gaza, where some groups are planning a new rally next week. Moves by some Gazans to mimic protesters in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen by taking to the streets are making the Hamas government nervous. Government officials sponsored an official rally in solidarity with the Egyptian protesters earlier, but when a small group of journalists and bloggers organized their own, six women and eight men were arrested
http://www.truth-out.org/now-gaza-begins-shake67503

Egyptian uprising and Israel

Israel turns down another Egyptian request to send more troops to Sinai
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israel has refused an Egyptian request to send more troops to the Sinai Peninsula to confront growing dangers as described by Egyptian sources, Hebrew daily Maariv reported on Monday. It said that the Egyptians justified their request by saying that it was meant to confront the growing dangers in the peninsula, citing the latest explosion in the gas pipeline.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2

Will Egypt unrest affect Israel’s electric supply?
An interview with Electric Corporation head Amos Lasker — The lack of political stability in Egypt, together with Saturday’s fire in the pipeline transporting natural gas to Israel and Jordan, has focused Israeli attention on its natural gas sources. While the current disruption appears to be temporary, those in charge of Israel’s energy economy must prepare now for the possibility of more prolonged interruptions, whether due to problems operating the pipeline or a reversal in Egypt’s commitment to supplying natural gas to Israel. 
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/will-egypt-unrest-affect-israel-s-electric-supply-1.341721

Minister: Israel to step up plans for gas imports
JERUSALEM (AFP) 7 Feb – Israel is to step up plans for an offshore platform for importing liquid natural gas in the wake of the weekend attack on an Egyptian gas pipeline, a cabinet minister said on Sunday.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=357467

Army Chief Ashkenazi: Prepare for all-out war
In his final days on the job, Chief of Staff Ashkenazi warns about growing radicalization in region; given recent changes across Middle East, Israel must prepare for a battle in several theaters, he says … However, Ashkenazi said that both Hamas and Hezbollah pose only a limited threat to Israel at this time. “I do not underestimate Hamas or Hezbollah, but they cannot take over the Negev or Galilee,” he said. 
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4025266,00.html

Politics / Diplomacy

Hamas says Gaza cabinet shuffle still on books
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) 7 Feb — A shuffled cabinet has been set and is ready to assume its duties, Hamas politburo member Khalil Al-Hayya said in a statement Monday, adding that the body would not take office until the timing was right. 
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=357655

Abbas, Abdullah meet as region remains in turmoil
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas sat with Jordan’s King Abdullah on Sunday, the PA government press agency WAFA reported, saying the two discussed the latest political developments in the region. 
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=357555

Haneyya: Gaza will not detract from Jordan’s sovereignty
GAZA, (PIC)– Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haneyya, receiving a medical delegation from Jordan on Monday, expressed strong refusal of an Israeli proposal that would have Palestinian refugees resettle in Jordan as an alternative homeland. “We cannot engage in any Israeli project that detracts from Jordan’s sovereignty,” Haneyya said. “The Palestinians are honored guests in Jordan until they return to their land.”
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bcOd8

Other Palestine news

Palestinians want Bethlehem on UN heritage list
BETHLEHEM, Palestinian Territories (AFP) – The Palestinian Authority is to launch a campaign to get the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Jesus’s traditional birthplace, added to UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites, officials said on Sunday.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110206/wl_mideast_afp/palestiniansbethlehemunescocultureheritage

Palestinian artist wins Joan Miro prize

Palestinian-British artist Mona Hatoum has received the 2011 Joan Miro Prize for her great skill in connecting personal experience with universal values.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/164128.html

Ma`an Arabic readers divided on Palestine papers
6 Feb – Readers of Ma’an’s Arabic-language news site were divided over the publication of leaked PLO documents by the Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera, according to a survey. Almost 60,000 readers answered a poll on the news site, and 56.8 percent (33,310) said Al-Jazeera should not have published the papers. Meanwhile 24,887 voters, 42.4 percent, disagreed and said the network was right to uncover the documents. Of readers polled, 434 (0.7 percent) were neutral.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=356701

Other Israel news

North Korean couple gets refugee status in Israel
Man, woman in their 50s flee oppressive regime, infiltrate Israel from Egypt and settle in Jerusalem. Interior Ministry grants request for political asylum, says it is ‘falsely depicted as being intolerant’
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4024363,00.html

‘Taliban women’: A cover story
Newly-religious women walking around covered head-to-toe in black clothes are growing in numbers. Even six-year-old girls are made to hide their faces. Haredi rabbis finally condemn growing trend 
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4021877,00.html

Anti-secular MK to be reinstated
Israel Eichler, who called Israel ‘evil regime’, seculars ‘two-legged animals’, to be sworn in to Knesset
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4024870,00.html

Analysis / Opinion

Palestine is the key to Arab democracy / Sam Bahour
…The obvious question is: if Palestinians are so experienced in taking to the streets, why then are there so few serious demonstrations in Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem or Gaza in solidarity with the Egyptian people? The reason is that the Palestinian Authority has been co-opted by a US-dominated and foreign-funded agenda which, in times of crisis, understands a single tool: force. 
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=357809

It will not happen to us / Akiva Eldar
7 Feb – The Israeli Democracy Index for 2010, published recently by the Israel Democracy Institute, shows that nearly 40 percent of Israelis believe there is too much freedom of expression in Israel. 59 percent of Jews who identify with the right, 49 percent of those who say they are center, and 39 percent of those who believe they are left, think that human and civil rights groups such as the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and B’Tselem cause damage to the country. Avigdor Lieberman knew what he was doing when he declared war on them.
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/it-will-not-happen-to-us-1.341726

Multiculturalism – Arab, that is / Merav Michaeli
7 Feb …what Cameron is basically saying is that “this swarthy Islam doesn’t fit in so well in our nice white country.” It seems that the white Westerner’s primeval fear of the Arab mob is uncontrollable, and is sparked even if the mob is in Egypt and demanding freedom. Many Israelis who travel to London and return astounded by the fact that “the streets are full of Arabs,” can probably relate. Indeed, this white, Western fear exists here to the same extent, and here too it is reinforced by the masses demonstrating in Egypt. So there’s a good chance that we’ll soon hear the prime minister or one of his ministers taking a page from Cameron in justifying more measures against the Arab community in Israel. 
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/multiculturalism-arab-that-is-1.341728

In Mideast, US backing means absolute power / Fadi Elsalameen
America’s horses, Salam Fayyad and Mahmoud Abbas, I am sorry to say, have created an authoritarian police state that is actively suppressing people’s dissatisfaction with them … “America’s horse” is the Arab leader who is backed by the United States and given a license to rule however he deems appropriate, as long as he doesn’t threaten Israel’s security or other American interests in the region. In return, he is allowed to abuse human rights and deny his people economic and political rights.
http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/in-mideast-u-s-backing-means-absolute-power-1.341180

A US accepted by the Arab world is good for Israel / Gideon Levy
6 Feb – After two years of letting the Middle East down, U.S. President Barack Obama finally appeared this past week in all his glory … Even if the worst scenario happens (which is doubtful ) and the Muslim Brotherhood rises to power in Egypt, the United States will be perceived as having stood in the right place without inflaming the hatred against it. The Muslim Brotherhood will have to remember this, and with them the masses of Egyptians, Arabs and Muslims. 
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/a-u-s-accepted-by-the-arab-world-is-good-for-israel-1.341500

Made in America – the People’s Revolution / Yvonne Ridley
US administrations have been blighted since 9/11 by a deadly cocktail of arrogance and ignorance with a twist of strong desire for revenge thrown in. But before you take aim and fire you have to know your enemy, and the scattergun policies of the Bush Junior and Obama regimes have served only to create hatred and mistrust against the US in areas where it was never really present before. In fact, far from driving the likes of al-Qaeda into oblivion, this strategy turned America into al-Qaeda’s most successful recruiting officer.
http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/articles/americas/2027-made-in-america-the-peoples-revolution

Iraq

Saturday: 4 Iraqis killed, 10 Iraqis, 9 Iranians, 2 Pakistanis injured
At least five Iraqis were killed while 21 people were wounded. Among the wounded were Pakistani and Iranian pilgrims who were traveling to shrines in Salah ad-Din province. Separately, journalists decried new restrictions against them. Also, the Victory Arch, which symbolized Saddam’s rule, is being rebuilt. 
http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2011/02/05/saturday-4-iraqis-killed-10-iraqis-9-iranians-2-pakistanis-wounded/

Sunday: 3 Iraqis wounded
Sunday was fairly peaceful as only three people were reported injured in light violence. Clashes also took place during a demonstration in Basra, but no casualties were reported in them.
http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2011/02/06/sunday-3-iraqis-wounded/

Iraq cabinet ramps up spending as oil prices rise
AFP – Iraq’s government submitted a revised draft budget to MPs for approval on Sunday, raising projected public spending as oil prices have increased, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said. The new spending programme estimates overall expenditure at $81.86 billion, or 96.6 trillion Iraqi dinars, while income will be $68.56 billion, leaving a shortfall of $13.3 billion– about a 16 percent budget deficit.
http://www.france24.com/en/20110206-iraq-cabinet-ramps-spending-oil-prices-rise

Iraq repairs Saddam’s triumphal sword arch
Officials in Iraq have begun to restore the notorious “Hands of Victory” arch in Baghdad, enraging many who see the massive bronze sculpture commissioned by Saddam Hussein to mark the war with Iran as a symbol of the brutality and excesses of his long rule.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iraq-repairs-saddams-triumphal-sword-arch-2206361.html

Lebanon

Ghajar withdrawal on hold
Israel freezes plan to pull out of border village of Ghajar as result of toppling of Lebanese government, tensions over Hariri report, official in Jerusalem says. ‘We won’t be giving Hezbollah free gifts,’ he says
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4024810,00.html

Hariri ally quits talks on new Lebanon gov’t
BEIRUT (AFP) 7 Feb — Christian leader Amin Gemayel on Monday said his pro-West party would not join Lebanon’s next cabinet, accusing the Iran-backed Hezbollah of seeking to unilaterally control the new government.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110207/wl_mideast_afp/lebanonpoliticsgovernment

Lebanon tribunal debates terrorism at first hearing
LEIDSCHENDAM, Netherlands (Reuters)  Feb — The U.N.-backed Lebanon tribunal opened its first session on Monday trying to settle legal points before it can issue arrest warrants in the assassination of former premier Rafik al-Hariri.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110207/wl_nm/us_lebanon_tribunal

Mikati strives to form gov’t as Lebanon crisis drags on
BEIRUT (AFP) – Ten days after the appointment of Hezbollah-backed candidate Najib Mikati as its new prime minister, Lebanon is yet to see a government as a political deadlock drags on. “We are still stuck in this impasse as the crisis is deep, and there is no deep solution to this crisis,” said Sahar Atrache, an analyst with the International Crisis Group think tank.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110206/wl_mideast_afp/lebanonpoliticsgovernment

Other Mideast, Arab world

Banned Islamists say time for change in Morocco
RABAT, Feb 7 (Reuters) – The banned Islamist group Justice and Charity, believed to be Morocco’s biggest opposition force, has said “autocracy” will be swept away unless the country pursues deep democratic reform.
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/banned-islamists-say-time-for-change-in-morocco

Jordan’s tribes warn of revolt if no reform
(AP) Members of Jordan’s major Bedouin tribes are warning of a Tunisia or Egypt-style revolt in the country if the US-backed ruler does not speed up political reforms. It is very rare for Jordan’s tribesmen, who form the bedrock of support for the monarch, to criticize the government.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4025118,00.html

Islamists reject offer to join new Jordan gov’t
AMMAN, Jordan (AFP) — Jordan’s Islamist opposition said on Sunday it has rejected an offer to join a new government led by Prime Minister Marruf Bakhit and tasked with pushing through reforms. 
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=357525

Tunisia takes steps to halt ‘security breakdown’
TUNIS, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Tunisia suspended activities of the former ruling party on Sunday, saying it acted to prevent a breakdown in security after some of the worst unrest since the president was ousted in a revolt last month. Security officials in the coalition government put in place after President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia have said there is a conspiracy by officials close to the old administration to spread chaos and take back power.
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/tunisia-suspends-activities-of-ex-ruling-party

U.S.

Help bring Al Jazeera English to US airwaves / Jillian C. York
What’s preventing your cable provider from carrying Al Jazeera English?  Part of the reasoning over the years–that is, beyond the histrionics–has been lack of demand, but in light of recent events, it seems that argument may no longer be valid … For their part, Al Jazeera has recently launched a slick campaign for Americans to “Demand Al Jazeera”; the website (http://english.aljazeera.net/demandaljazeera/) encourages viewers to enter their zipcode to contact their local provider and demand the channel.
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/02/help-bring-al-jazeera-english-to-u-s-airwaves.html#more-35644

‘The Palestine Cables’: Al Jazeera is viewed in White House for Egypt coverage, but US complained about its 08-09 Gaza coverage / Alex Kane
Despite the fact that the Obama administration has been watching Al Jazeera to get the latest out of Egypt, the U.S. has a tortured history with Al Jazeera, as Jeremy Scahill of the Nation points out:  bombing its offices in Afghanistan, shelling a hotel in Iraq and killing the network’s Iraq correspondent and holding a network employee in Guantanamo Bay for seven years.  Recent WikiLeaks cables obtained by Counterpunch add more to the U.S.-Al Jazeera story. According to a January 31 story authored by Kathleen Christison, the U.S. government, in the wake of the 2008-09 Israeli assault on Gaza, held a meeting with Al Jazeera to complain about its coverage of the assault:
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/02/the-palestine-cables-al-jazeera-is-viewed-in-white-house-for-egypt-coverage-but-u-s-complained-about-its-08-09-gaza-coverage.html

Israelis to receive expedited clearance in US airports
Israel joins US program that will allow travelers go through automated biometrics checks upon arrival
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4024868,00.html

Arab unrest complicates counterterrorism efforts
WASHINGTON (AP) — The unrest engulfing Arab streets and threatening authoritarian governments in the Mideast is complicating U.S. counterterrorism efforts, scrambling the volatile battleground against al-Qaida in Yemen and raising concerns about the durability of Egypt’s stance against militants.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110206/ap_on_re_us/us_mideast_unrest_terrorism

The Bush-Obama line on Palestine: forget ’67

Feb 07, 2011

Alex Kane

 

The election of President Barack Obama brought great hope that his administration could be the one to bring about a settlement to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. But Obama has largely followed the Bush administration’s pro-Israel slant. New documents released by WikiLeaks and Al Jazeera shed further light on the continuation of the Bush administration’s disastrous policy on Israel/Palestine.

As part of its ongoing release of secret State Department cables, WikiLeaks yesterday released documents concerning Brazil. One 2005 document, written from the U.S. embassy in Brazil, centers on a first-time gathering in Brazil between Arab and South American leaders. The U.S. was worried about language concerning Israel/Palestine in the final document that came out of the summit:

Despite repeated Brazilian promises over many months that the Summit Declaration would not contain language inimical to Middle East peace efforts, the final text contains problematic paragraphs that existed in earlier declaration drafts. In addition to the demand that Israel withdraw to its June 4, 1967 frontiers, the declaration also calls on Israel to comply with the International Court of Justice July 2004 decision on dismantling the security wall.

The reference to the 1967 borders and the International Court of Justice decision as “problematic” is unsurprising, given that the Bush administration showed the utmost contempt for international law. This cable further confirms the Bush administration’s double-dealings when it came to the borders of a future Palestinian state: while the Bush administration backed the 2003 Road Map that called for a halt to Israeli settlement building, a secret letterto the Israeli government contradicts that plan:

In a key sentence in Bush’s 2004 letter, the president stated, “In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.”

Contempt for international law, and support for Israel’s insistence that negotiations not be based on the 1967 borders, has continued into the Obama administration. Despite President Obama’s pledge in 2009 to push for a “viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967,” documents published by Al Jazeera as part of the “Palestine Papers” tell a different story. Ali Abunimah, writing in Al Jazeera, analyzes:

The next day [after Obama’s 2009 UN speech] during a meeting at the US Mission to the United Nations in New York, Erekat refused an American request to adopt Obama’s speech as the terms of reference for negotiations. Erekat asked Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Hale why the Obama administration would not explicitly state that the intended outcome of negotiations would be a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with a third party security role and a staged Israeli withdrawal. Hale responded, “You ask why? How would it help you if we state something so specific and then not be able to deliver?” according to Palestinian minutes of the meeting.

At the same meeting, which Mitchell himself later joined, Erekat challenged the US envoy on how Obama could publicly endorse Israel as a “Jewish state” but not commit to the 1967 borders. Mitchell, according to the minutes, told Erekat “You can’t negotiate detailed ToRs [terms of reference for the negotiations]” so the Palestinians might as well be “positive” and proceed directly to negotiations. Erekat viewed Mitchell’s position as a US abandonment of the Road Map.

On 2 October 2009 Mitchell met with Erekat at the State Department and again attempted to persuade the Palestinian team to return to negotiations. Despite Erekat’s entreaties that the US should stand by its earlier positions, Mitchell responded, “If you think Obama will force the option you’ve described, you are seriously misreading him. I am begging you to take this opportunity.”

Erekat replied, according to the minutes, “All I ask is to say two states on 67 border with agreed modifications. This protects me against Israeli greed and land grab – it allows Israel to keep some realities on the ground” (a reference to Palestinian willingness to allow Israel to annex some West Bank settlements as part of minor land swaps). Erekat argued that this position had been explicitly endorsed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice under the Bush administration.

“Again I tell you that President Obama does not accept prior decisions by Bush. Don’t use this because it can hurt you. Countries are bound by agreements – not discussions or statements,” Mitchell reportedly said.

The US envoy was firm that if the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not agree to language in the terms of reference the US would not try to force it. Yet Mitchell continued to pressure the Palestinian side to adopt formulas the Palestinians feared would give Israel leeway to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank without providing any compensation.

At a critical 21 October 2009 meeting, Mitchell read out proposed language for terms of reference:

“The US believes that through good faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome that achieves both the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state encompassing all the territory occupied in 1967 or its equivalent in value, and the Israeli goal of secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meets Israeli security requirements.”

Erekat’s response was blunt: “So no Road Map?” The implication of the words “or equivalent in value” is that the US would only commit to Palestinians receiving a specific amount of territory — 6258 square kilometers, or the equivalent area of the West Bank and Gaza Strip — but not to any specific borders.

Alex Kane blogs on Israel/Palestine at alexbkane.wordpress.com, where this post originally appeared.  Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

American revolution

Feb 07, 2011

Philip Weiss

 

I insist that the Egyptian revolution is having a huge effect on our discourse. Two indications that I am right: 

–On Saturday, Hillary Mann Leverett was on MSNBC. Alex Witt asked her about the Muslim Brotherhood, and Leverett said they were a legitimate part of the Egyptian polity and were opposed to the inhumane blockade of Gaza. Or words to that effect. She went on for a bit about Gaza. It was a huge moment for the mainstream media, not to hear the usual b.s. about Hamas and weapons.

–Today on WNYC, public radio in New York, Brian Lehrer hosted on Nawal El Saadawi, an Egyptian feminist. When Lehrer got out some homiletics about how Suzanne Mubarak had been good for feminism in Egypt and had battled female genital mutilation, El Saadawi dismissed him, saying that the first lady had coopted feminism and actually deterred the battle against female genital mutilation. (This same analysis, applied to the Palestinians, would allow Americans to understand how the P.A. has normalized the occupation.) But let me salute Lehrer. To his great credit, Lehrer has been staggered by the Egyptian revolution and has responded by opening up his show to many Arab and Arab-American voices, including voices of the Egyptian Diaspora.

On the other hand, look at the list of 8 names just below the word “Directory” at Foreign Policy (it’s on a strip at the left hand side, halfway down the page). Eight men, five of them Jewish. No Arab-Americans. Yes I know, this is the flavor of the U.S. establishment. But it sure does feel a little samey. 

Obama envoy to Egypt revealed to work for pro-Mubarak (and not surprisingly pro-Israel) lobby firm

Feb 07, 2011

Seham

  

Here is the latest from Twitter:

 

And more recent developments:

Alert: End US tear gas & military aid to Egypt, Tunisia & Israel
Egyptians, Americans and people worldwide have been outraged in the last days by the photos, twitter messages and news articles showing that the tear gas canisters fired by Egyptian police at peaceful, pro-democracy protesters in Egypt are “Made in USA.” While we are seeing these pictures now from Egypt, we have seen similar ones in recent months from Tunisia and Palestine. All three places have had in common repressive governments, armed by US companies with tear gas and other weapons. All three have used extreme violence against unarmed protesters who were demanding basic human rights, maiming and even killing protesters with impunity.  In all three places, Combined Systems Inc., a US company based in Jamestown, Pennsylvania, is providing the tear gas – often under its brand-name CTS, an acronym for Combined Tactical Systems – that these governments are employing to crush protest, deny human rights and cling to power.
http://adalahny.org/press-releases-other/action-alert-end-us-tear-gas-supply-and-military-aid-to-egypt-tunisia-and-israel

Talks fail to end Egypt protests
Pro-democracy protests continue at Tahrir Square, a day after government held talks with opposition to end turmoil.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/20112764216497806.html

Tahrir Square remains resilient
Pro-democracy protesters continue to defy the curfew and rally in Tahrir Square, they say that they would rather sleep under a tank than allow anyone to evict them.

Egypt opposition enters talks
The Muslim Brotherhood joined talks with Omar Suleiman, the newly appointed Egyptian vice-president, on Sunday, but said that it had little trust in the government following through on promised reforms. Meanwhile, over a million protesters flooded Cairo’s Tahrir Square, observing a “Day of the Marytrs”, with both Muslims and Christians offering prayers for those who have died since protests began on January 25. Hundreds of thousands also protested in the cities of Alexandria and Mansoura. Al Jazeera’s Emike Umolu has more.

Live blog Feb 7 – Egypt protests
From our Doha headquarters, we keep you constantly updated on Egypt, with reporting from Al Jazeera staff.
http://english.aljazeera.net/http://blogs.aljazeera.net/node/3431 

Egypt tycoon says Google executive to be freed
CAIRO, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Egyptian telecoms tycoon Naguib Sawiris said on Sunday that authorities had promised him a Google Inc <GOOG.O> executive missing in Cairo would be freed on Monday.  Sawiris told a television satellite channel he owns that he had asked for Wael Ghonim’s release during talks with Vice President Omar Suleiman on Sunday, alongside opposition groups, to try to end the country’s political turmoil.
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/egypt-tycoon-says-google-executive-to-be-freed 

Confessions of criminals : The police set us free !!
These videos show the criminals whom were set free by the orders of Habib El-Adly on January 28th and 29th to create chaos and fear in the society. There is no logic what so ever that thousands of prisoners in prisons across Egypt to escape in this way knowing how strong our prison system is. There is no logic what so ever that hundreds of dangerous thugs arrested in police stations to escape and take gun like that ,in fact it is insulting because as far as I know the police officers should stop them even if it costs them their life.
http://egyptianchronicles.blogspot.com/2011/02/confessions-of-criminals-police-set-us.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EgyptianChronicles+%28Egyptian+chronicles%29

Security forces camp attacked in Egypt’s Rafah
CAIRO, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) — Militants attacked a camp belonging to Egyptian security forces in the town of Rafah in the Sinai Peninsula early Monday morning and one civilian was injured, security sources said.  Attackers fired three grenades at the camp, a security source told Xinhua, adding that one exploded in the camp and the other two exploded in the desert.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-02/07/c_13721705.htm

Probe finds Sinai pipeline blast was caused by bomb
Sinai security sources says ‘foreign elements’ targeted pipe that supplies Jordan; supplies to Israel were halted as a precaution.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/probe-finds-sinai-pipeline-blast-was-caused-by-bomb-1.341844?localLinksEnabled=false

Revealed: US envoy’s business link to Egypt
Frank Wisner, President Barack Obama’s envoy to Cairo who infuriated the White House this weekend by urging Hosni Mubarak to remain President of Egypt, works for a New York and Washington law firm which works for the dictator’s own Egyptian government.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/revealed-us-envoys-business-link-to-egypt-2206329.html 

Obama envoy Wisner works for Egypt military, business lobbyists
High-powered Washington lobby firms have helped the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak secure enormous benefits in Washington. President Obama’s special envoy to Egypt, Frank Wisner, works for one such firm which has had many contracts with Egypt’s military and leading business families.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11782.shtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+electronicIntifadaPalestine+%28Electronic+Intifada+%3A+Palestine+News%29

On Egypt, Clinton acknowledges a Mubarak ouster now could complicate transition
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made her comments as the administration appeared to be realizing the risks and complexities of a transition to democracy in a key strategic ally of 80 million people.
http://feeds.washingtonpost.com/click.phdo?i=82f651c82322741a3dbd8338535d0b59 

Egypt’s Treaty With Israel Is ‘Rock Solid,’ ElBaradei Says Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel is “rock solid,” Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program.  “I assume Egypt will continue to respect it,” ElBaradei said when asked about the current treaty. He also said “everyone in Egypt, everyone in the Arab world wants to see an independent Palestinian state.”  Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule has been shaken by almost two weeks of popular demonstrations. Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-02-06/egypt-s-treaty-with-israel-is-rock-solid-elbaradei-says.html 

Israel ‘refuses’ more Egyptian troops on Arab soil
“… Fearing a complete breakdown of the peace treaty with Cairo, the government last week refused a second Egyptian request to allow it to deploy more military forces in Sinai, The Jerusalem Post has learned. As first reported last week by the Post, Israel allowed the Egyptian military to deploy units in Sinai for the first time since the signing of the peace treaty in 1979, in response to growing anarchy in the country. Two battalions – amounting to about 800 soldiers – were deployed in the Sharm e-Sheikh region and around Rafah, which is split between the Sinai and the Gaza Strip….”
http://friday-lunch-club.blogspot.com/2011/02/israel-refuses-more-egyptian-troops-on.html 

Army tries to limit Cairo protest camp space
CAIRO, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Anti-government protesters swarmed over army trucks and armoured vehicles on Sunday to stop a move by troops to squeeze the area they have occupied in central Cairo for more than a week.  The army wants to persuade protesters to leave Tahrir Square and the surrounding area, a traffic hub in downtown Cairo, to allow life to get back to normal after near economic paralysis.
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/army-tries-to-limit-cairo-protest-camp-space 

Senior US Marine Says “Multiple Platoons” Are Headed To Egypt
A senior member of the US Marine corps is telling people “multiple platoons” are deploying to Egypt, a source tells us. There is a system within the US Marines that alerts the immediate families of high-ranking marines when their marine will soon be deployed to an emergency situation where they will not be able to talk to their spouses or families.
http://www.businessinsider.com/senior-us-marine-says-multiple-platoons-are-headed-to-egypt-2011-2#ixzz1DCUtkamH 

Suleiman ‘panned’ Egypt opposition
Leaked US cables raise questions over whether vice-president can be honest broker in any talks with Muslim Brotherhood.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/20112620314460519.html 

Omar Suleiman ‘Demonized’ Muslim Brotherhood: WikiLeaks
Egypt’s new vice president, Omar Suleiman, has long sought to demonize the opposition Muslim Brotherhood in his contacts with skeptical U.S. officials, leaked diplomatic cables show, raising questions whether he can act as an honest broker in the country’s political crisis. U.S. Embassy messages from the anti-secrecy WikiLeaks cache of 250,000 State Department documents, which Reuters independently reviewed, also report that the former intelligence chief accused the Brotherhood of spawning armed extremists and warned in 2008 that if Iran ever backed the banned Islamist group, Tehran would become “our enemy.” The disclosure came as Suleiman met on Sunday with opposition groups, including the officially banned Brotherhood, to explore ways to end Egypt’s worst political crisis decades.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/06/omar-suleiman-muslim-brotherhood_n_819341.html 

Shocking ‘Egypt images’ emerge
Videos uploaded on YouTube appear to show scenes of recent violence in Cairo and Alexandria.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/201126145542683316.html 

Egypt impasse continues
As the government tries to get the country back to normal, protesters continue to demand Mubarak’s ouster.
http://english.aljazeera.net/video/middleeast/2011/02/201126101023682669.html

Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt talks
Opposition group says it is sticking to condition that Hosni Mubarak step down, as about a million protest in Cairo.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/201126131743308918.html 

The Lede: Latest Updates
Mohamed ElBaradei told CNN he would not negotiate with the regime until President Mubarak resigns.
http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=4290b5de9e774b460d75ff44f5dc201b

Opposition figure ElBaradei slams Egypt talks
WASHINGTON, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei slammed fledgling negotiations on Egypt’s future on Sunday and said he was not invited to the talks. The Nobel Peace laureate said weekend talks with Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman were managed by the same people who had ruled the country for 30 years and lack credibility. He said the negotiations were not a step toward the change protesters have demanded in 12 days of demonstrations calling for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/opposition-figure-elbaradei-slams-egypt-talks 

Madeleine Albright: ‘The Mubarak era is over’
Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Sunday that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s time as leader should be over. “I think there is never an indispensable leader,” she told CNN’s Candy Crowley. “There is a time with dignity that one needs to leave.” “I think that the Mubarak era — my own personal opinion — is the Mubarak era is over and the question is how to have a process that really works properly, that allows these various voices to come together and not disagree on some of the tactical aspects,” Albright added. The Clinton-era State Department head also suggested that Israel needed to come to terms with the new reality in Egypt.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/albright-mubarak-era-over/ 

Customers queue at Egypt banks
Some 341 bank branches, including 152 in Cairo, are opening across the country after a week.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/20112681158721997.html

Wikileaks: “US officials ‘consistently skeptical’ of Suleiman’s effort to depict the Brotherhood as the bogey man …”
“… Omar Suleiman, has long sought to demonize the opposition Muslim Brotherhood in his contacts with skeptical U.S. officials, leaked diplomatic cables show, raising questions whether he can act as an honest broker in the country’s political crisis. U.S. Embassy messages from the anti-secrecy WikiLeaks cache of 250,000 State Department documents, which Reuters independently reviewed, also report that the former intelligence chief accused the Brotherhood of spawning armed extremists and warned in 2008 that if Iran ever backed the banned Islamist group, Tehran would become “our enemy.”
http://friday-lunch-club.blogspot.com/2011/02/wikileaks-us-officials-consistently.html 

Egypt’s chief archaeologist says mummies are safe
LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters) – None of the mummies in Cairo’s main archaeological museum were damaged during a break-in last week but 70 other exhibits will need restoration, top Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass said on Sunday.
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/egypts-chief-archaeologist-says-mummies-are-safe 

EGYPT: Vigilantes fill security vacuum
CAIRO 07 February 2011 (IRIN) – “The situation is becoming so dangerous these days… Thieves are everywhere and if we don’t stay up all night, we could wake up in the morning to find our properties looted,” Farouk, a civil engineer in his late thirties and one of the watchmen manning a checkpoint in the well-heeled residential area of Nasr City in northern Cairo, told IRIN.
http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportId=91854

Mubarak’s empire remains strong
Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, has an extensive network of business connections and homes in some of the most sought-after locations around the world. But while Egypt’s economy may be suffering, Mubarak’s personal wealth remains strong. Al Jazeera’s Paul Brennan reports on the Mubarak empire.

Egypt’s elite fears instability
Well-heeled Egyptians, who drive the country’s economy, are concerned about ongoing unrest.
http://english.aljazeera.net/video/middleeast/2011/02/20112784021333846.html

Protests/Protesters/Attacks Against Them & Eyewitness Accounts
The Martyrs
http://twitpic.com/3wvmsf
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7zm8nHwvpQ&feature=player_embedded 

Artists and Intellectuals Sign a Statement Demanding the Stepping Down of Mubarak
http://www.maxajl.com/?p=4909&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+http%2Fwwwmaxajlcom%2Ffeedrss2+%28Jewbonics%29 

Pictures of the dead rise in Egypt’s Tahrir Square
Loved ones carry posters of the deceased to gain strength from their sacrifices and to keep memories of them alive. Some estimates put the death toll at about 300. They carry posters with photos of young men killed in the last two weeks in demonstrations around their country. Appearing daily in Tahrir Square, those commemorating the deaths blame President Hosni Mubarak’s government, and they demand justice.
http://feeds.latimes.com/%7Er/latimes/middleeast/%7E3/FNYXDjofDng/la-fg-egypt-dead-20110207,0,2615753.story 

Amnesty International: Fears for Google employee in Egypt
Amnesty International warns that a Google employee reportedly arrested in Cairo during mass protests is facing a serious risk of torture and other ill-treatment by Egyptian security forces.  Amnesty International today warned that a Google employee reportedly arrested in Cairo during mass protests is facing a serious risk of torture and other ill-treatment by Egyptian security forces. Father of two Wael Ghuneim was arrested by Egyptian security forces on 28 January 2011 during protests in Cairo, eyewitnesses said. His whereabouts remain unknown.
http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/fears-google-employee-egypt-2011-02-06 

Copts join Tahrir protests in display of unity
Egypt’s Coptic Christians held a mass in Cairo’s Tahrir Square Sunday afternoon as a sign of Muslim-Christian unity. “God bless the dead. God bless the dead,” recited a Coptic priest wearing a crucifix. By his side, a Muslim sheikh stood holding a Koran, as the faithful chanted “A single hand.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=124617 

Christians, Muslims “One Hand” in Egypt’s Youth Revolution
Sunday saw a return to Egypt of themes of national unity across the Christian-Muslim divide that recalled the heyday of early Egyptian nationalism in 1919, when the modern nation was formed in the cauldron of mass demonstrations against British colonial rule.  Nowadays, Copts are roughly 10 percent of the Egyptian population, or about 8 million people. Coptic Christianity is its own branch of the faith, tracing itself to the foundational teaching of the Apostle Mark the Evangelist in Alexandria.

Egyptian voices reflect diversity
Al Jazeera meets the vanguards of the pro-democracy protests that have flooded Cairo’s Tahrir Square for 12 days.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/201126194730350605.html

Getting Married in square
Ola and Ahmed got married at Al Tahrir square , yes they got married in front of hundred thousands protesters.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqiDHqfXhJk

Real News Video: Egypt: Protesters Dismiss ‘Cosmetic Changes’
http://palestinianpundit.blogspot.com/2011/02/real-news-video-egypt-protesters.html 

Egyptian Protesters Fear Retribution, But Press On
Though members of the Egyptian government have made some concessions, political activists remain worried about their safety and the future of Egypt. This will be especially true in the coming week, when many officials are expected to return to work. “The calmer things are, the more fear there will be because the Ministry of Defense people will be back to work,” Cairo native Eman Hashim told The Huffington Post by phone.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/05/egypt-protesters-fear_n_819184.html?utm_campaign=020511&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Alert-world&utm_content=FullStory

Egyptian women well represented in Tahrir protest
CAIRO (AFP) — Veiled from head to toe, or dressed in trendy outfits, Egyptian women are out in force in the ongoing opposition rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, countering stereotypes common in parts of the West. “I’ve been coming here since Friday 28 [of January],” said novelist Sahar Al-Moggi, waving an Egyptian flag during a crowded rally at Tahrir Square — the focal point of 12 days of protests demanding the departure of embattled President Hosni Mubarak.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=357373 

Revolutionaries on the rooftop (part two)
Translation via DotSub coming soon. Young protesters occupying an apartment building near the site of fierce battles between pro- and anti-government crowds discuss their motivations, the events of the past two weeks, and the diverse make-up of Egypt’s democracy movement. (With reporting and translation by Lara el-Gibaly)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsb8xrZmCWw&feature=youtube_gdata 

Revolutionaries on the rooftop (part three)
Translation via DotSub coming soon. Young protesters occupying an apartment building near the site of fierce battles between pro- and anti-government crowds discuss their motivations, the events of the past two weeks, and the diverse make-up of Egypt’s democracy movement. (With reporting and translation by Lara el-Gibaly)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loY-hFDmvC4&feature=youtube_gdata 

Wednesday night intense battle
Strong images which appear to show scenes of the intense fighting in Cairo and Alexandria from last Wednesday.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqydgpyVNKY&feature=youtube_gdata

Even children understand Mubarak is to blame
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if9SPHGHaZU&feature=player_embedded 

29/1/2011 The Battle for Lazoughli Square
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFd0ho3ymw8&feature=player_embedded 

#Jan25 Martyr
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5duYPWZAh88&feature=player_embedded 

#Jan25 Tahrir martyrs funeral
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCrj5fODITw&feature=player_embedded 

Following the Yellow Baby 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mO28D4ullO4&feature=player_embedded 

#Jan25 The Revolution’s Soldiers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5e_C3OPNUY&feature=player_embedded 

More #Jan25 videos
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8WM6_lPuEY&feature=player_embedded
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8d1CQ9kkfb8&feature=player_embedded 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4L5ruTm0SNM&feature=player_embedded 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loY-hFDmvC4&feature=player_embedded
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ni5y0RbSZs&feature=player_embedded 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRcTf0h2jE0&feature=player_embedded
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMVcVWp_h4k&feature=player_embedded 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWCh52Ml-Us&feature=player_embedded
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXx67qbY4JY&feature=player_embedded 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es4jG0AwhWI&feature=player_embedded
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLWaAf0oSgk&feature=player_embedded

Throwing flowers at the protesters
http://yfrog.com/hsyofwxj

Revolutionary Women
http://justimage.org/blog/2011/02/06/revolutionary-women/ 

Egypt protests: the Tahrir Square medic
Doctors came under attack while still treating injured protesters Dina Omar is a 30-year-old Egyptian cardiologist living in Beirut; when news broke of Egypt’s anti-Mubarak uprising last month she flew back to Cairo and has been working at a frontline medical station in Tahrir Square since. I found out about the 25 January protests the day after they happened while surfing the internet, and I knew straight away that I needed to return – not just to check on my family, but also to witness something momentous that was happening to my country. I booked a flight and was due to travel on the Friday, but it was then that violence flared up across the country and the plane wouldn’t take off. We all sat in the airport terminal watching these horrific images from Cairo on the television, and it was terrifying – I couldn’t get any sleep. On Saturday the plane finally made it and as we touched down in Cairo I couldn’t have been happier. My family are originally from Heliopolis but now they live in New Cairo, and as I reached the neighbourhood all that happiness quickly drained away. Security had disappeared; our street is full of half-built villas with no protection, and my brother and the doorman had to stand through the night defending our home from looters. 
http://newsbreakingonline.com/news/egypt-protests-the-tahrir-square-medic.html 

Angry Friday protest in Giza
Anti-Mubarak protest on Nile Street, Agouza Giza on Angry Friday. The protesters were trying to reach to Al Tahrir square in Cairo while police then blocked all bridges between Cairo and Giza. Giza, Egypt. 28/01/2011
http://www.demotix.com/news/578145/angry-friday-protest-giza

At Night in Tahrir Square, Cairo Protest Gives Way to Poetry and Performances, Anthony Shadid
Some protesters collapse in exhaustion at the end of the day, but no one else seems willing to surrender a moment that feels imbued with the idealism of defiance.
http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=41161709684569357486eb3dde25a3d9

Media Repression & Role of Media and Social Networking
Egypt frees Al Jazeera journalist
Military releases Ayman Mohyeldin following appeal by the channel and correspondent’s supporters.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/201126202228183972.html 

Egypt detains Al Jazeera journalist
Channel calls for immediate release of correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, detained by Egyptian military.
http://english.aljazeera.net//news/middleeast/2011/02/201126181913527735.html 

Ayman Mohyeldin, Al-Jazeera English Correspondent, Detained In Egypt
CAIRO — The Egyptian military detained a correspondent for Al-Jazeera’s English-language news channel in Cairo on Sunday, said the network, which has been targeted repeatedly throughout the unrest in Egypt.  Ayman Mohyeldin, an American citizen, was detained near Tahrir Square, where protests calling for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak continued for a 13th day.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/06/ayman-mohyeldin-aljazeera_n_819278.html 

Egyptian prime minister: Arrest of journalists ‘not intended, my dear’
Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq appeared to feign surprise Sunday when he was told that journalists and human rights activists had been arrested at anti-government protests in his country.  “Why are you detaining them?” CNN’s Candy Crowley asked. “Oh, frankly speaking, it’s not intended at all my dear,” Shafiq replied. “I insist to assure all of the authorities here not to ban anyone or not to bother anyone doing his work. But during some periods, such as the period we’re passing now, you will not be — it’s rather difficult to be sure 100 percent that this man or [some] men [aren’t exhibiting] some bad behavior.”
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/egyptian-pm-arrest-journalists-not-intended/ 

How Twitter engineers outwitted Mubarak in one weekend
The way Twitter managed to get past Egypt’s internet shutdown was the perfect example of a crisis breeding innovation.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/feb/06/twitter-speak-tweet-mubarak-networker 

Inside Story – Egypt through a US media lens
The US media’s coverage of events in Egypt has been described by some critics as a recipe for killing the democracy movement in its cradle. The mainstream American media have wheeled out the usual suspects to offer their expertise on the topic – but do they really get it? On this episode of Inside Story we shine a spotlight on US media coverage of the uprising in Egypt and ask whether their reporting has been professional and impartial or US-centric and commercially driven. And what about the knock-on effect on the American public? Could the mainstream media’s ratings war be driving them to create fear of democracy in the Middle East so as to make the story relevant to their viewers?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4Sc4Ypdslg&feature=youtube_gdata 

Al-Jazeera is helping to break the silence | Wadah Khanfar
In an era of transparency, the Middle East’s fate can no longer be decided behind closed doors. It is almost a century since the state borders that today divide the Middle East were drawn up. The shape of the region was negotiated behind closed doors and imposed by colonial powers without consulting its people. The impact of those deals still haunts the region and, many would argue, plays a central role in its instability.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/07/aljazeera-break-silence-media-middle-east

Friends of the Dictator
US Sen Kerry encouraged by movement toward a new Egypt
WASHINGTON, Feb 6 (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry said on Sunday he’s encouraged by what he described as the rapid and dramatic series of events toward a new Egypt without President Hosni Mubarak. “Tally up what has happened in the last 12 days,” said Kerry, who has echoed calls by President Barack Obama and others for Mubarak to promptly end his 30-year-old rule.
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/us-sen-kerry-encouraged-by-movement-toward-a-new-egypt

Palestinian security suppressing West Bank fervor over Egypt protests
The European-trained Palestinian Special Police Force has become a leading security apparatus in the West Bank. 
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/palestinian-security-suppressing-west-bank-fervor-over-egypt-protests-1.341722?localLinksEnabled=false 

World Solidarity
Protesters march in San Francisco to support Egypt
Calling for an end to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s reign, a few thousand protesters marched in San Francisco on Saturday in what they called a show of solidarity with the people of Egypt and countless others throughout the world.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/02/05/BAOA1HJDVT.DTL#ixzz1DCVrSzH7 

Hanadi Omar and Mazin Qumsiyeh, “Rallies throughout Occupied Palestine in Solidarity with Egypt and Tunisia”
This was Ramallah’s fourth and largest rally in solidarity with the peoples of Egypt and Tunisia. The previous three, organized by youth groups, were violently suppressed by Palestinian Authority agents, funded primarily by the US and the EU. The PA also sent in plainclothes officers into today’s crowd who chanted pro-Abbas slogans and assaulted several of the protesters. The organizers stressed that they will continue mobilizing in support of human rights, against the Israeli occupation and status quo, and in solidarity with struggles around the world, especially in Arab countries, for freedom, democracy, and social justice. The next upcoming event is a call by the Popular Committees in Palestine to demonstrate in front of Israeli embassies worldwide on Friday, February 11th, against injustice and dictatorship and in solidarity with persecuted nations under the slogan “People Can Bring Change and Make the Impossible Possible.”
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/oq060211.html 

As’as Abukhalil’s Commentary
Guerrilla warfare in Egypt
Are you following what is happening in `Arish in Egypt? There is some kind of guerrilla warfare activities going on.  They today struck security barracks with rockets. 
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/guerrilla-warfare-in-egypt.html

“The Egyptian Uprising and the (US) Counter-Revolution: Some Notes,As`ad AbuKhalil
Once again, Operation Ajax is exploding before our eyes in Cairo and Egyptian provinces. America’s policies towards our region have not progressed over the years and decades, and American has not learned from its mistakes and sins. On the contrary; America’s policies have become more audacious, humiliating and insulting to our intelligence. Things have become worse since the fifties: the US has subcontracted the decision making of its policies and wars for Israel. What Walid Jumblat calls (with deliberate vagueness and ambiguity lest he angers his friend “Jeff”) the “game of nations” is merely an American-Israeli-Saudi plot. (continued, click link to read the rest)
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/egyptian-uprising-and-us-counter_06.html

Mubarak’s foreign minister
This is one of the funniest gem this week.  Mubarak stooge, his foreign minister, spoke today.  He said that countries around the world should not interfere in “tafa’ul” (interaction) between the state and the people” in Egypt.  I kid you not.  So the national uprising is merely an interaction between the state and the people.  I guess the Iranian Revolution was a dance between the Shah and his people.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/mubaraks-foreign-minister_07.html

Mubarak clip
Aljazeera Arabic has unearthed a clip from 1990-91 in which Mubarak calls on Saddam Husayn to resign and save his people. Ha.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/mubarak-clip.html

US relations with the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty–I mean, Egypt
“The Egyptian government receives about $2 billion a year from the United States, with most of that assistance going to its military. Last year the U.S. sent about $1.3 billion to Egypt’s military compared to about $250 million in economic aid, and the Obama administration requested similar amounts for the 2011 fiscal year, as Britain’s Telegraph reports.   The U.S. has long made the case that its unconditional funding for Egypt strengthens relations between the countries and provides benefits for the U.S. such as expedited processing for U.S. Navy warships sailing through the Suez Canal.  Indeed, one of the diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks noted that “President Mubarak and military leaders view our military assistance program as the cornerstone of our mil-mil relationship and consider the USD 1.3 billion annual FMS as ‘untouchable compensation’ for making and maintaining peace with Israel.”
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/us-relations-with-egyptian-israeli.html

Repression in “stable” UAE
A citizen was arrested for speaking in solidarity with the Egyptian protesters. 
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/repression-in-stable-uae.html 

Hillary on Egypt
“Revolutions have overthrown dictators in the name of democracy,” she reminded her audience, “only to see the process hijacked by new autocrats who use violence, deception and rigged elections to stay in power.” Did you say that about the protests in Iran?  And did you not support groups in Iran (and Iraq) that even engage in car bombings?  Or are car bombings an acceptable tool of democratic change when perpetrated by your tools and allies against a government that you oppose?
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/hillary-on-egypt.html

Egyptian military prison
Yesterday, on Egyptian Mubarak TV, a protester was talking about his ordeal when he was kicked and arrested by Egyptian soldiers.  He said that he was taken to a “military prison.”  He was interrupted and told that, no it was not a military prison.  He said: I read the name with my own eyes: it was “a military prison.” The anchor person said: I am being told that it was not a military prison.  The guy then said the Egyptian equivalent of “whateverrr.”
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/egyptian-military-prison.html 

Ronald Reagan on Husni Mubarak
“Some may not realize that the U.S.-Egyptian collaboration on security issues goes back over 100 years.” —Ronald Reagan 
“Our hope lies in statesmen like President Bourguiba and King Hussein, President Mubarak and Prime Minister Peres.” —Ronald Reagan, 1985
“I value the counsel of President Mubarak as an Arab leader committed to peace.” —Ronald Reagan, 1988
“I thank you, my brother, President Mubarak, and wish you every continued success.” —Ronald Reagan, February 14, 1984
“King Hussein, President Mubarak are men I greatly admire.” —Ronald Reagan, February 14, 1984
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/ronald-reagan-on-husni-mubarak.html

Bill Clinton on Mubarak
“I don’t think we would be where we are today if it weren’t
for President
Mubarak.” —Bill Clinton | 
“We believe that working together we can help to bring more 
prosperity to the Egyptian people.” —Bill Clinton | 
“I thank you for your wise counsel, your strong leadership, and 
your iron determination.” —Bill Clinton | 
“I especially want to thank President Mubarak for 
Egypt’s…partnership in the peace process and for playing a 
critical role in our efforts here. ” —Bill Clinton |
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/bill-clinton-on-mubarak.html

Lessons from Lebanon
The Egyptian protesters should learn from the Lebanese opposition.  In 2007, the Lebanese opposition took to a downtown square hoping to extract concession from a lousy government (a tool of the House of Saud) that really conspired against resistance to Israel in Lebanon.  They stayed there for a year or more, I think, and they basically got nothing.  They even resisted early calls to engage in civil disobedience and to take over government buildings.  They stayed in the square doing nothing, which gave the other side enough time to engage in counter-propaganda and sectarian mobilization.  If they used the early momentum to push forward and get out of the damn square, they would have achieved more, much more.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/lessons-from-lebanon.html 

hypocrisy
““That takes some time,” Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton said, speaking at a Munich security conference. “There are certain things that have to be done in order to prepare.” She also stressed the dangers of holding elections without adequate preparation. “Revolutions have overthrown dictators in the name of democracy, only to see the process hijacked by new autocrats who use violence, deception and rigged elections to stay in power,” she said.”   
Prepare? Back when Rafiq Hariri was assassinated in 2005, the US government refused to even postpone the election for one week.  Jeffrey Feltman made it clear as US ambassador in Lebanon that his empire would not put up with one day of delay in election.  Prepare? Did you adopt that policy toward the communist governments?
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/hypocrisy.html

Mubarak State TV
It is not an exaggeration to say that the Mubarak state TV has begun allowing views that are critical of the regime–much more than the Saudi media which still exercise a fanatic policy of protecting Mubarak.  Yesterday, a pro-Mubarak anchorperson, hosted a group of people to discuss the crisis.  There was a wishy washy guy who said that he participated on Jan. 25th but that now he wants order (as if the two don’t clash, logically).  But there was a famous protesters’ leader Isra’ `Abdul-Fattah: she is really a firebrand and she won the show.  She has a sharp and logical mind and can deconstruct any argument.  She was most impressive. There was another leftist youth leader and he said that there are some 20 or so anarchists among the protesters (but he was dismissive of them).  I was impressed how he talked about the assassination of Sadat–with glee. 
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/mubarak-state-tv_06.html

House of Saud
I have been receiving a lot of information and some details about a rushed Saudi intelligence covert operation in Egypt.  I don’t have any proof yet, but the folks in Egypt know about it already, I gather. 
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/house-of-saud.html

History of US opposition to democracy worldwide
“But none of that seemed to matter: what was important to Carter’s White House was the preservation of US national security interests – not the democratic impulses of a Korean population sick from 18 years of dictatorship. As the citizens of Kwangju waited for a sign of hope, Carter’s team made a fateful decision: to support Chun’s plan to put down the rebellion by force.”
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/history-of-us-opposition-to-democracy.html 

Al-Azhar
The book burners of Al-Azhar–the Islamic center for kooky fatwas and subservience to tyranny and Saudi money–have spoken.  In a week, when US, EU, Israeli statements on Egypt are coming out at the rate of 30 per hour, Al-Azhar singled out Iran for its intervention in internal Egyptian affairs.  The center said that Islam should be revised: that Mubarak–not God–should be worshiped.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/al-azhar_06.html 

Counter-Revolution in Egypt
“Though Mr. Mubarak appeared to have done what people familiar with the diplomacy said the U.S. had asked—declare he won’t seek re-election—his speech didn’t end tensions in Egypt and didn’t put the U.S. on the side of the people in the street…While the swelling protests have raised the pressure on Mr. Mubarak, U.S. officials have played an increasingly prominent role in his deliberations over the past two days…With the prospect of Mr. Mubarak remaining in office until the fall, the U.S. and Egyptian regime appeared to be working together to try to ensure a transition that wouldn’t immediately thrust opposition groups into positions of power.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/counter-revolution-in-egypt.html

Jihadi Bin Ladenite website
The NYT had an article last week about chats on Egypt in Jihadi, Bin Ladenite websites.  My theory: most of the writers in those websites are crazies and people who work in Arab, Western, and Israeli intelligence agencies.  I don’t even bother with them anymore.  Too obvious.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/jihadi-bin-ladenite-website.html 

Thomas Friedman
Thomas Friedman is too silly to comment on.  I don’t want to comment on his silly comment today, but I would like people to go back to archives and find me words of praise that he had written for Mubarak over the years.  Also, what is most annoying about him is this; whenever he goes to developing countries, he always has quotations attributed to “my friend Muhammad” or “my friend Kim” or whatever.  Suspiciously, the quotations from those “friends” seem to always confirm his own thesis about everything and they all speak in shallow English, just like him.  And they all suspiciously sound like one another, as in: “My friend Muhammad in Jordan tells me that government is like Falafil.”  In South Korea, the quotation becomes: “My friend Kim in South Korea tells me that government is like Kimchi.”  And so on.  Also, if you add the number of “friends” cited by Friedman, they can easily add up to thousands of people dispersed around the world.  A man with thousands of friends is a man with no friends at all.  I don’t know why, but I always felt sorry for Friedman’s daughters.  I can imagine their agony in long car ride with his annoying laugh and boring stories in the front seat.  I would rather be raised by monkeys that raised by Thomas Friedman–and the monkeys would have better insights on foreign affairs, and they would have more complex ideas in their heads, but that is just me.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/thomas-friedman.html

America and Israel: the Muslim/Arab reaction
The European campaign of the crusades poisoned relations between Muslims and Europeans for a very long time.  Similarly, US embrace of Israel (clearly on racist terms), will leave very long term repercussions on relations between the US and Muslims/Arabs.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/america-and-israel-muslimarab-reaction.html

Putting Mubarak on Trial
The protesters in Tahrir Square keep demanding a trail of Mubarak.  Well, they can themselves do that, if they want. There is something called revolutionary justice with its own courts, u know.  No one faulted the Romanian people when they dealt with their dictator.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/putting-mubarak-on-trial.html 

You are not fooling anybody
“America doesn’t understand,” said Ibrahim Mustafa, 42, who was waiting to enter Tahrir Square. “The people know it is supporting an illegitimate regime.”
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/02/you-are-not-fooling-anybody.html

Analysis/Op-ed
Who holds power in Egypt?
The ruling party, army, internal security and an emerging business elite form the core of Hosni Mubarak’s regime.
http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/spotlight/anger-in-egypt/2011/02/2011266573647420.html 

Egypt’s fate hangs in balance
As the Egyptian government tries to get the country back to work, security has been tightened around Liberation Square. Banks and businesses are planning to re-open, but the pro-democracy protestors are still there with their demand to ouster Mubarak. Muslim Brotherhood, country’s largest opposition group, is holding talks with the government and outcome of the talks will be crucial in the days to come. Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher reports from Cairo.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6T-wBZIwuz4&feature=youtube_gdata 

A timetable for constitutional reform, Issandr El Amrani
If you’ve been following this blog for a few days, you will have noticed that the debate in Egypt is centering on the question of how to proceed with either a new constitution or adapting the current constitution to the circumstances. We’ve highlighted the proposal by Bahgat and Abdelaty, thestatement by a group of establishment figures, and indeed the debate about having multiple vice-presidents to handle a transition. And of course, at the heart and soul of the protest movement in Tahrir, the continuing non-negotiable demand of Mubarak’s removal.
http://www.arabist.net/blog/2011/2/7/a-timetable-for-constitutional-reform.html

The U.S.-Egyptian Breakup | Foreign Affairs – Steve Cook
The United States should greatly lower its expectations of what is possible in the post-Mubarak era and come to terms with the end of the strategic relationship. Expecting the new Egyptian president — whoever that may be — to carry on a partnership with Washington is like Václav Havel asking the Soviets for assistance after Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution in 1989. To be sure, there are no Havels in Egypt, and Washington is not Soviet-era Moscow — but the analogy rings true enough for those people in Cairo’s Tahrir Square or the Alexandria corniche who saw U.S.-made F-16s fly overhead or were choked by tear gas produced in the United States.
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/67347/steven-a-cook/the-us-egyptian-breakup?page=show

Egypt Burning
This film tells the story of five days in January 2011 when the people of Egypt broke through a barrier of fear they had known for a generation and rose in revolt against their president. Anger had long been brewing in Egypt – strikes, unemployment and sectarian tension were on the rise. Small networks of activists had been agitating against Hosni Mubarak’s autocratic rule for years. But it was only when another Arab country, Tunisia, rose up against its tyrant that the Egyptian activists attracted mass support. People took to the streets across Egypt demanding political freedoms, an end to state corruption and a better quality of life for the impoverished population. Egypt Burning captures those critical moments as history unfolded through interviews with Al Jazeera correspondents on the ground.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3FQXYdyHCg&feature=youtube_gdata 

A harrowing day shows the resilience and tactics of Egypt’s security state
Said Haddadi and his colleagues were released after 24 hours with bruised wrists and insults ringing in their ears. They were the lucky ones.
http://rss.csmonitor.com/%7Er/feeds/world/%7E3/DvoQmOBxQWY/A-harrowing-day-shows-the-resilience-and-tactics-of-Egypt-s-security-state

How long can Egyptian military navigate middle ground?
The army has managed to keep the public trust while remaining loyal to Hosni Mubarak, one of its own. But a history of crushing dissent indicates that its tolerance for protesters may not hold if its interests are threatened. When bread shortages swept Egypt in 2008, the government didn’t rely on the free market or its own warehouses, but turned instead to army bakeries to churn out millions of flat loaves to calm the angry masses. A few months later, as fire raced through the upper house of parliament, soldiers helped put out the flames.
http://feeds.latimes.com/%7Er/latimes/middleeast/%7E3/qovjcq2Nwt0/la-fg-egypt-military-20110207,0,5393652.story 

‘Rejected’ … or is it?
“Opponents of Hosni’s embattled regime have dismissed as insufficient an offer to include them in political reform plans, and have renewed their demands that he step down…. Omar Suleiman agreed to sit down on Sunday with the groups, which included the banned Muslim Brotherhood, was in itself a landmark concession, but the talks produced no breakthrough in the two-week-old standoff. As night fell, central Cairo’s now iconic Tahrir Square was still filled with thousands of anti-regime protesters, adamant that the start of dialogue will not divert them from their campaign to unseat Egypt’s strongman.
http://friday-lunch-club.blogspot.com/2011/02/opponents-of-egyptian-president-hosni.html 

Is Obama wobbling on democracy for Egypt?, Stephen M. Walt
President Obama is reportedly angry with the U.S. intelligence agencies for failing to anticipate the upheavals in Tunisia or Egypt. His irritation is silly, because there’s a well-founded social science literature (by Timur Kuran, Susanne Lohmann, and Marc Granovetter, among others) explaining why it is nearly impossible to predict the onset of a revolutionary upheaval. You can identify countries where the government is unpopular or illegitimate, and thus were a rebellion might occur, but that doesn’t tell you if or when a popular uprising of the sort we have been watching will occur.  
http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/02/05/is_obama_wobbling_on_democracy_for_egypt

Robert Fisk: The wrong Mubarak quits. Soon the right one will go
The old man is going. The resignation last night of the leadership of the ruling Egyptian National Democratic Party – including Hosni Mubarak’s son Gamal – will not appease those who want to claw the President down. But they will get their blood. The whole vast edifice of power which the NDP represented in Egypt is now a mere shell, a propaganda poster with nothing behind it.
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-the-wrong-mubarak-quits-soon-the-right-one-will-go-2205852.html 

Robert Fisk: Exhausted, scared and trapped, protesters put forward plan for future
On a day of drama and confusion in Cairo, opponents of the Mubarak regime propose a new kind of politics.
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-exhausted-scared-and-trapped-protesters-put-forward-plan-for-future-2205079.html

The Egyptian crisis: another day, another two US policies
An American envoy’s praise for Mubarak has raised the question once more of what Washington really thinks
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/julian-borger-global-security-blog/2011/feb/06/egypt-obama-administration 

Indyk Won’t Apologize for U.S. Policy Toward Egypt [Video-Today!]

The new activist group RootsAction put out an alert this week calling on the U.S. government to apologize for its policy of backing a dictator in Egypt for 30 years.  Washington Stakeout today questioned Martin Indyk (currently director of foreign policy at Brookings, senior adviser to U.S. government envoy George Mitchell. He has worked in the past at Washington Institute for Near East Policy and American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC]):  Sam Husseini: “Does the U.S. foreign policy establishment owe the Egyptian people an apology for having backed a dictator for all these years? …”
http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/576/indyk-wont-apologize-for-u.s.-policy-toward-egypt_video-today-

The danger to Egypt’s revolution comes from Washington
The greatest danger to the Egyptian revolution and the prospects for a free and independent Egypt emanates not from the “baltagiyya” — the mercenaries and thugs the regime sent to beat, stone, stab, shoot and kill protestors in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities last week — but from Washington, writes EI’s Ali Abunimah.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11781.shtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+electronicIntifadaPalestine+%28Electronic+Intifada+%3A+Palestine+News%29

Kara N. Tina, “Egypt: Which Way Is the Way Forward? Interview with Hossam el-Hamalawy”
It is true that virtually all the opposition groups, whether they are the traditional political parties or the youth groups, have taken part in the uprising but the protests still remain spontaneous. Which means, on the one hand, the people always surprise you by their militancy from below that exceeds all expectation, but, on the other hand, there is always confusion about what is the way forward and what the clear alternative is. This could pose the threat of this revolution being hijacked. . . . The intervention of the working class in the movement is also another question mark, because definitely in some of the provinces where mass protests were organized they contained a majority of workers. 
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/hamalawy070211.html

A private estate called Egypt | Salwa Ismail
Only a thousand families count in a country that Mubarak and his cronies regard as their fiefdom. There is a lot more behind Hosni Mubarak digging in his heels and setting his thugs on the peaceful protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square than pure politics. This is also about money. Mubarak and the clique surrounding him have long treated Egypt as their fiefdom and its resources as spoils to be divided among them.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/06/private-estate-egypt-mubarak-cronies 

Amr: Official Egyptian Press Tall Tales about the Protesters
The campaign against the Egyptian protest movement by Egyptian officialdom, has been two-pronged. One tactic has been to attempt to neuter the foreign press. This step then allowed a propaganda campaign by the organs of the State-owned media, which has been shameless in distorting the realities on the ground. The employees of Egyptian government newspapers and television stations are nothing more than ruling party hacks but they are not without their talents. While some of the rumors they were circulating were marginally plausible, others were off the wall.
http://www.juancole.com/2011/02/amr-official-egyptian-press-tall-tales-about-the-protesters.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+juancole%2Fymbn+%28Informed+Comment%29

A proposal to integrate the opposition into the heart of the state, Philip Weiss
As a foreigner who has absolute starry-eyed confidence in the youth committee that is at the vanguard of the revolution, even I am a little afraid right now of them being coopted by the U.S. and the lobby and other regressive forces in this vaunted transition period. But Issandr El Amrani has a proposal to “integrate the opposition into the heart of the state” thru the appointment of five vice presidents. The opposition, he states, is divided– so maybe this will redound to the Palestinians’ unification?
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/02/a-proposal-to-integrate-the-opposition-into-the-heart-of-the-state.html

Americans need to get their priorities straight, Philip Weiss
I’m sure this has been tweeted already, but: Shouldn’t the Egyptian revolution put The Social Network over the top for Best Picture?  And inasmuch as young Jesse Eisenberg could become Best Actor for portraying facebook genius Mark Zuckerberg, isn’t that a fair trade for the end of the Jewish state in a state of its citizens? What do you think, Mom? 
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/02/americans-need-to-get-their-priorities-straight.html 

Some quick thoughts about the situation in Egypt
(Please consider the following as the superficial musings and impressions of an interested observer who openly admits that he does not know Egypt and does not pretend to understand what is happening there – me.  The Saker)
http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2011/02/some-quick-thoughts-about-situation-in.html 

Egypt protesters call for final countdown
Egyptian protesters call for fresh multi-million-strong rallies against out-of-favor President Hosni Mubarak and his government in the coming days. Egyptian demonstrators gathered in Cairo’s Liberation Square on Sunday to honor the martyrs of 13 days of anti-government protests.
http://jnoubiyeh.com/2011/02/egypt-protesters-call-for-final.html 

Will Egypt’s government now strike a deal with the Muslim Brotherhood?
The Muslim Brotherhood said it was entering direct talks with the government Sunday. Democracy protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square remain suspicious of any compromise deals that may be promised by Vice President Omar Suleiman.
http://rss.csmonitor.com/%7Er/feeds/world/%7E3/1VYPJ6fXjRw/Will-Egypt-s-government-now-strike-a-deal-with-the-Muslim-Brotherhood 

Muslim Brotherhood at Mubarak’s Banquet
Only a traitor would refer to the Egyptian Revolution as “the Egyptian Crisis,” the likes of Al-Arabiya News Channel, funded by Saudi Arabia. The Muslim Brotherhood representatives to Al-Jazeera have been consistently referring to it as a “crisis” that Egyptians need to get out of.
http://www.kabobfest.com/2011/02/muslim-brotherhood-at-mubaraks-banquet.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kabobfest%2FGrillMe+%28KABOBfest%29 

We are all part of Egypt’s revolution
“It’s been almost two weeks since the Egyptian uprising began. I type these words sitting in my dirtied and blood-soaked jeans, as I have no change of clothes. But all that really isn’t important now, because we are in a state of revolt.” EI’s Matthew Cassel writes from Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11783.shtml?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+electronicIntifadaPalestine+%28Electronic+Intifada+%3A+Palestine+News%29

Searching for Egyptian unity in Ramallah, Linah Alsaafin
The last few days of the solid millions of protesting Egyptians got me thinking how Palestinians would react in a similar situation. But the fact of the matter is that we are so segmented from each other, with political party allegiances prioritizing over national ones, that it was hard for me to envisage a true Palestinian people revolution where citizens from all walks of life, young old religious secular rich poor students employees etc, intensely unite against a common adversary (either the PA or the Israeli occupation-take your pick) simply for the reason of wanting a proper representative or their basic freedom, without propagating factional or religious interests.
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/02/egyptian-solidarity-rally-worked-this-time-sort-of.html 

Egypt’s Three Revolutions: The Force of History behind this Popular Uprising
When the Egyptian Uprising of 2011 began, we heard media pundits, friends, and colleagues milling about in search of apt metaphors to describe the mass protests and revolution in Egypt. In so far as “history” was mobilized in these discussions, it was generally as repetition or analogy. Hence: the Berlin Wall; Tiananmen Square; the first Palestinian Intifada; the Iranian Revolution; the Paris Commune; and the French Revolution, as well as Egypt’s own 1919 and 1952 revolutions. But do these vivid comparisons conceal more than they reveal? Indeed, one could argue that one of the most striking aspects of the contemporary media discussions surrounding Mubarak’s Egypt is the absence of any real sense of history. It is not enough to fill this void with rhetorical comparisons and poetic license.
http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/569/egypts-three-revolutions_the-force-of-history-behind-this-popular-uprising 

The Egyptian upsurge: why we never saw it coming, Justin Raimondo
The Obama administration has veered all over the map when it comes to the Egyptian uprising, beginning with Vice President Joe Biden declaring his fulsome support for his dear friend Hosni Mubarak, and refusing to characterize him as a dictator. That Obama’s crew were asleep at the wheel – delegating their response to a figure whom no one in Washington takes very seriously – was painfully apparent as the Cairo revolt showed every signof becoming a full-scale nationwide revolution. 
http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2011/02/06/caught-in-the-headlights/ 

Tunisia and Egypt Ripples Felt Throughout Arab World
Sayyed Nasrallah to Speak Today on Egyptian Revolution
Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is to deliver a speech Monday afternoon via video link in support of the Egyptian people’s revolution and in support of Egypt’s Arab identity. The speech will be at the end of a rally organized by a number of Lebanese political parties and figures at Ghobeiry square, Beirut. The rally will be held under the slogans “In support of the Egyptian people’s revolution against the Camp David regime” and “In support of Egypt’s Arab identity,” organizers said.  Camp David refers to the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and the Zionist entity.  The gathering will also voice support for “strengthening the approach of resistance in the Arab nation.”
http://almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?eid=1363&cid=23&fromval=1&frid=23&seccatid=14&s1=1

Inside Story – Egypt vs Tunisia 
What are the differences between both revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt? What are the possible ramifications? How would this impact on shaping the future in both countries? And does people’s power actually work?

Hamas could rise with Brotherhood 
Hamas has been in power in Gaza for four years, and is firmly entrenched in the community. The organisation’s early origins lie in the Muslim Brotherhood, neighbouring Egypt’s banned opposition group. While Egypt’s political turmoil shakes up the Middle East, Hamas could benefit if the Brotherhood becomes a rising political force following the country’s current crisis.  Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston reports from Gaza.

Iraq swirls with rumors of Egypt-like protests to come
With their televisions set to 24-hour coverage of the turmoil in Egypt, Iraqis have mounted a number of modest protests in recent days against power, water, and food shortages.
http://rss.csmonitor.com/%7Er/feeds/world/%7E3/5bC8XNCLz2o/Iraq-swirls-with-rumors-of-Egypt-like-protests-to-come

‘We were for blackmail’ escaped Hamas prisoner says
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — “I felt pride and joy when I returned to Gaza, but at the same time I felt such sadness for the raw destruction apparent just on the walk home,” Ayman Noufel recalled of his entry into the Gaza Strip after escaping from an Egyptian prison earlier in the week. 
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=357600 

Peres: Israeli-Palestinian peace urgent in light of Egypt crisis
President tells 11th annual Herzliya conference that the sluggish pace of the peace process means that the conflict is being ‘exploited to the detriment of all sides’.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/peres-israeli-palestinian-peace-urgent-in-light-of-egypt-crisis-1.341633?localLinksEnabled=false

OPT: Egyptian regime change hope for Gaza
RAMALLAH 07 February 2011 (IRIN) – Possible regime change in Egypt, sparked by mass popular protests against President Hosni Mubarak since 25 January, could usher in a new leadership not as committed to maintaining the Gaza blockade, observers say.
http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportId=91848

“.. The West Bank looks ripe for its own revolution ..”
“… In some ways, the West Bank looks ripe for its own people’s revolution. Palestinians are frequently called the best educated Arab population in the world, especially if that assessment includes the Diaspora living in Europe and elsewhere. And the ruling Fatah party is best known for patronage. The security apparatus intimidates civil society as well as local operatives of Hamas …Nor does it help that Egypt erupted just after the satellite news channel al-Jazeera published confidential papers of Palestinian peace negotiators. The exposé, clearly calculated to embarrass Abbas, succeeded on that score. …But much else argues against rebellion… “A wave of demonstrations is not going to take place here because of the complexity of the situation,” says Said Zeedani, a senior official at al-Quds University, near Jerusalem. “But I think the Palestinian Authority, due to the events in Tunisia and Egypt and their likely extension, is going to be negatively affected, in terms of being to some extent discredited because of its alliance with the Israeli regime, and because it belongs to the same camp as these so-called ‘moderate regimes.”’.. 
http://friday-lunch-club.blogspot.com/2011/02/why-palestinian-authority-is-worried.html 

Avnery says underlying cause of Egypt is… Palestine, Philip Weiss
The ad below the excerpt is from Gush Shalom in Haaretz. And Uri Avnery gets it. Here’s his column and wonderful excerpt. By the way, this isn’t about the two-state solution or the 23-state solution. It’s about the Israel lobby and the the enforced political backwardness of the Arab world in the name of “the only democracy in the Middle East,” which isn’t. It’s about human rights and international law. 
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/02/avnery-says-underlying-cause-of-egypt-is-palestine.html

“The US is ‘quietly’ passing assurances to the Saudis that unlike Egypt, America will not ‘hesitate to support the Saudi monarchy’ ..”
“…The crisis in Egypt continues to dominate the foreign policy agenda, but no longer threatens to overwhelm it. US officials concede that the Administration got off to a slow start, but they now believe that they have established a productive dialogue with their Egyptian counterparts, both on the government and opposition sides. The prospects for an “orderly transition” have improved measurably, with Secretary of Defense Gates playing a considerable role in this effort. As one State Department official commented privately to us: “We now have a chance of emerging from this crisis without having to make a one-sided choice between democracy and stability.” Despite this guarded optimism, however, the Administration is well aware that the US posture in the Middle East may be at a turning point. A National Security Council official commented: “Egypt has been the pivot on which ourpresence in the region has depended. If we now face a less sympathetic government there, the implications are far-reaching.”
http://friday-lunch-club.blogspot.com/2011/02/us-is-quietly-passing-assurances-to.html 

Prabir Purkayastha, “Tunisia, Egypt, and Beyond: Interview with Aijaz Ahmad”
About the protest, let me say that Tunisia has had a recent history of protests, repeated ones, the last one was in 2008. . . . The pattern of protests in Tunisia has been that they were mostly in the South and in the coastal regions, the poorer regions of Tunisia. This time, for the first time, they came into Tunis. They did not start in the capital. They started in the historic homelands of protests. But they came into Tunis. That’s where it became a mass protest. Otherwise, these were congregations of 300 people here, 500 people there, and so on. So, that is what is new: that the city has risen. Who has risen in the city? To start with, professional classes, educated and employed.
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/ahmad060211.html 

Arab revolts damage Al-Qaeda’s violent narrative, analysts say
CAIRO: If the popular revolts which have rocked Tunisia and Egypt gain momentum and spread across the Middle East, they could strike a catastrophic blow to Al-Qaeda’s violent ideology, experts say.  While some in the West fear the protests in the Arab world could see authoritarian secular regimes overthrown by equally hard-line Islamists, other observers say the movements pose a far greater threat to jihadi militants.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=124626#axzz1DEfdRU5k

JVP leader is targeted ‘for Treason and Incitement against Jews’

Feb 07, 2011

annie

 

chandlerHaaretz changed its headline this morning but the opening paragraph is still sitting there:

Estee Chandler, who heads anti-Israel organization, found a poster of her picture, her workplace, other personal details and names of her relatives [on the front porch] at her West coast home.

The poster charged her with using “her own presumed Jewishness as a weapon against the Jewish People and the Jewish State of Israel while conspiring with other well-known anti-Israel groups to assist in Israel’s destruction and to otherwise engender hatred and incite further violence against the Jewish People and the Jewish State of Israel.”

Chandler responds:

“I was forewarned about extremists when I first decided to start a Jewish Voice for Peace chapter here in my hometown of Los Angeles. I went into it with my eyes open. While I didn’t think anything would happen this soon, I can’t say it wasn’t something I didn’t anticipate. Ultimately I think these people really are cowards, and not really to be feared. We are the silent majority of American Jews and it’s time for us to stop being silent. If we raise our voices a fraction of the level of these people- we will become the message, too many people who are with us are afraid. Ultimately nonviolence is the only thing that has ever won out.”

For background I suggest reading Yossi Gurvitz’s Nobody mentions the Jewish Brotherhood over @ 972.

Who is afraid of BDS?

Feb 07, 2011

Max Blumenthal and Joseph Dana

 

The day after the American pop star Macy Gray announced controversial plans to perform in Tel Aviv in March, we sat down for a drink at Pua, a bar nestled in the heart of one of Jaffa’s most gentrified neighborhoods. When the waitress, a sociable, 20-something resident of the city’s burgeoning young Jewish community informed us of a new brand of beer the restaurant was carrying. We wondered based on rumors we had heard if it was brewed in a settlement in the Golan Heights. The waitress, who was clearly offended, vehemently denied that it was “a settlement beer.” She reassured us that the owner of the restaurant was “a real Tel Aviv type guy,” and as such, “would not carry such a product.”

We were confused. “What exactly is a Tel Aviv type guy?” we asked her. When she returned to our table with two European beers, we asked for more information about the owner and a conversation began. She informed us that the owner of the bar ‘just keeps to himself and his friends in Tel Aviv’. She told us that he was not interested in politics and just wanted to live his life. We asked about her ideas on politics and the occupation. “I am a photographer. I used to go to Bil’in but it is violent.” She continued, “Now I just spend time with my friends and try to be a good person. I can’t take trying to change anything anymore.”

When asked her for her opinion about BDS, her response was short and quick: “You can’t fight evil with evil.” She insisted that every boycott in history was wrong. We pressed her gently on the issue of boycotts (what about MLK’s Montgomery Bus Boycott, or the boycott of apartheid South Africa?) but it was clear that she was unwilling to go deep into the issue. She knew about the Occupation, the settlements, the racism that was rising like a tidal wave all around her, but she had deliberately cloistered herself inside a quaint European-style bar and Tel Aviv’s cosmopolitan lifestyle. Perhaps she could have contributed to the fight for a real democracy in Israel and justice for Palestinians living under occupation, but she had surrendered to the culture of apathy sanctioned by an entitled elite.

I began to understand the power of the cultural boycott in disrupting the apathy that pervades middle class, urban Israeli society. Apathy allows Israelis to live in comfort behind iron walls while remaining immune to the occupation and innoculated from its horrors. The culture of apathy allows them to watch the news and let out a groan of concern without thinking seriously about political engagement. In the case of the waitress at Pua, her apathy enabled her to witness the brutal military repression of legitimate political protest in the West Bank, only to return home to Tel Aviv and ignore her culpability.

The cultural boycott forces Israelis to deal with Israel’s behavior towards Palestinians by targeting them where it counts most: in the heart of their affluent comfort zones. The extreme right of Lieberman and the settlement movement must be confronted and exposed, but they are only the most extreme representation of an official ideology of racism towards Palestinians and the Arab world. They have grown and metastisized through fervent political activity, charisma and demagogy, while the “Good Israel” of North Tel Aviv sits by impassively, and even cynically, watching the waves roll in while their society goes over the brink. It is the culture of apathy that supplies oil to the Occupation Machine.

A majority of Ashkenazi citizens of Israel have a second passport allowing them to travel to and receive benefits from Western countries. They have developed an easy escape valve from the oppressive and violent manifestations of Jewish nationalism. Meanwhile, Palestinians live under a matrix of control devised inside US and European-funded Israeli universities and high tech research centers. An elaborate network of walls, electrified fences, biometric scanning devices, predator drones and collaborator networks ensures that each aspect of their lives is dominated by the Occupation. Because Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are forbidden from living where they choose with West Bank spouses, even their love lives are occupied. How would our waitress at Pua react if her life was subject to such crushing limitations?

I have often heard the argument that Macy Gray and other artists thinking about boycotting should perform in Tel Aviv and Ramallah. This commonly held idea not only reinforces concepts of segregation between Jews and Palestinians, it misses the point of the Palestinian boycott call entirely. The cultural boycott is designed to undermine the normalization of Israeli society. Palestinians do not necessarily want to see rock shows in Ramallah, they want to bring an end to the occupation. The 170 Palestinians civil society organizations who crafted the BDS call concluded that the most realistic non-violent means for ending the occupation was to force Israelis to live with the full responsibility of their actions. This was one of the ideas behind the boycott of Apartheid South Africa and one of the reasons why organizations like the South African Artists Against Apartheid now work to achieve the same goals in Israel.

My colleague and peer, Noam Shiezaf, published a thoughtful piece on this site arguing that Macy Gray should request that a certain number of tickets be sold to Palestinians in the West Bank for her Tel Aviv performance. The Palestinians would buy the tickets and then Israel would refuse their entrance to Tel Aviv. This would then provide a suitable subtext for Macy Gray to cancel her show.

The idea is clever but raises an important question: why would Macy Gray need to create a subtext to cancel? Doesn’t the longest military occupation in history provide a suitable enough reason to boycott? Furthermore, Israel would be able to correctly point out that Palestinians from the West Bank, by and large, are not allowed to enter Tel Aviv due to the sovereign laws of entry and exit to the State of Israel. Thus, the stunt would accomplish little more than reinforcing the notion that a militarized and radicalized Israeli society is perfectly kosher. And by circumventing the substance of the Palestinian BDS call, it allows critics to paint the cultural boycott as a form of collective punishment.

Too much of the commentary about BDS addresses the movement in a vacuum. The fact is, BDS is an integral part of Palestinian non-violent tactics. Quite simply, BDS is the globalization of Palestinian non-violent action against Israel’s occupation. So why certain “pro-Israel, pro peace” organizations from the United States and Israeli liberal Zionists lend rhetorical support to the joint nonviolent struggle in Sheikh Jarrah and elsewhere, while demonizing the call for BDS as borderline anti-Semitic and beyond the pale of reasonable people. Would the leaders of these organizations sit with the Palestinian families forcibly evicted from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah and tell them that their tactics are illegitimate?

It is easy to wash your hands of moral responsibility by participating in noble but ultimately doomed battles against the Occupation Machine (the orange juice Sheikh Jarrah is an added bonus). Confronting your own personal responsibility in allowing the crisis to reach such a terrible juncture is much harder, if not impossible, for too many. Perhaps the hardest step for the left-wing of the Jewish Establishment is ceding control of the debate while Palestinians assume the lead in their own struggle for freedom.

If the international community and especially the American Jewish community is unwilling to allow Palestinians a global form of nonviolent resistance against Israel’s occupation, what is left for the Palestinians to do? If violence is out of the question – it is certainly a terrible option for everyone — should Palestinians simply allow the Occupation to sweep them away like dust?

This is the question posed by the Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish in his famous poem, “The Earth Presses Against Us.” “Where should we go after the last border? Where should birds fly after the last sky?” he asked. BDS may not be a panacea, but it at least ensures that for the Palestinians, a horizon darkened by occupation can be extended until a just solution comes into view.

This post originally appeared on +972.

Broad coalition of Israeli and Palestinian h.r. orgs call on UN to follow through on Goldstone Report

Feb 07, 2011

Philip Weiss

 

“Is the Goldstone Report Dead, High Commissioner?” An open Letter from 13 Palestinian and Israeli Human Rights Organisations to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanetham Pillay, on her first official visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territory:

As Palestinian and Israeli human rights organisations, we welcome your first visit to the region and take this occasion to ask: is the Goldstone report dead? Over two years have passed since the end of the Israeli offensive “Operation Cast Lead” on the Gaza Strip, and justice for victims has yet to be addressed. Should these victims give up on the UN in their search for accountability? Or is there a way out from the prevailing culture of impunity? The opportunity to achieve justice is being hijacked by political interests and we seek your unequivocal support on behalf of the victims. Achieving justice is essential to prevent further violations of international law and to lay the foundations for a just and long lasting peace in the region.

The Goldstone report, published in September 2009, presents strong evidence that war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity were committed during “Operation Cast Lead.” The report, endorsed by both the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly, provides a clear framework to ensure justice for victims in accordance with international law, including referral to the UN Security Council, the International Criminal Court and the exercise of universal jurisdiction. Over a year later, justice has not been delivered to the victims.

Israeli investigations, conducted by the military, fail to examine the legality of decisions taken by senior military and political leaders who designed, planned and implemented the attacks. To date, only one Israeli soldier has been sent to prison for stealing a credit card. The Committee of Independent Experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council confirmed the lack of cooperation by Israel and its unwillingness, despite its capability, to conduct genuine investigations in accordance with international standards.

On the Palestinian side, the authorities in Gaza have been unsuccessful in carrying out credible and genuine investigations, as confirmed by the UN Committee of Independent Experts. Despite the independent investigations mandated by the Palestinian Authority, no criminal proceedings have been initiated. 

Thus far, the international community of States has failed to uphold its responsibility to ensure justice for international crimes. Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority, entrusted to uphold the interests of the Palestinian people before the UN and diplomatic community, has undermined the Goldstone recommendations by capitulating to external political pressures. Palestinian representatives and member States of the UN Human Rights Council persist in prioritising politics over the rights of victims by according more time to continue the façade of domestic investigations.

As the implementation of the Goldstone recommendations is being delayed, Israel’s closure policy continues to collectively punish 1.5 million people in the Gaza Strip, where incursions are intensifying and civilians are being killed while trying to make a living. The denial of justice for victims of “Operation Cast Lead” is compounded by Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory, where violations of international law have gone unpunished for over 43 years. Today, Israel’s illegal policies of settlement expansion and forcible transfer of Palestinians from East Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank, amongst others, contribute to undermine peace efforts and result in the delegitimisation of the international actors involved, while undermining fundamental principles of international law and justice.

As the highest UN official responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights, we urge you to give a voice to the victims of “Operation Cast Lead” and inject momentum into their search for justice. We call upon you to denounce the forfeiture of justice for Palestinian victims of international crimes in the name of politics and to publicly demand the implementation of the Goldstone report, including referral to the General Assembly, without further delay. We also request that you seek immediate clarification from the Office of Legal Affairs of any pending issues regarding the establishment of an escrow fund for Palestinian victims of the offensive to promptly advance its development. Finally, we ask you to firmly condemn Israel’s persistent violations of international law, which prevent the Palestinian people from exercising their universally recognised right to self-determination.

The UN must seize this opportunity to demonstrate its declared commitment to justice as stated by the Secretary-General in his address to the General Assembly in January 2011. We trust that you and your Office will use all means at your disposal, including high-profile advocacy, to ensure that the Palestinian people are fully included in the UN-proclaimed “new era of accountability” and that impunity does not prevail once again.

Yours sincerely,

Addameer Prisoners’ Support and Human Rights Association

Aldameer Association for Human Rights

Al-Haq

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights

The Civic Coalition for Defending Palestinians’ Rights in Jerusalem

Defence for Children International – Palestine Section

Ensan Center for Human Rights and Democracy

Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights

Public Committee Against Torture in Israel

Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies

Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on Mondoweiss Online Newsletter

A. Loewenstein Online Newsletter

       NOVANEWS
      
        *    Faithless dedicated to BDS

 

 

Faithless dedicated to BDS

 

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 04:25 AM PST

 

Bush won’t be the last former leader who should watch where he travels

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 04:08 AM PST

A small victory:

George W Bush has had to call off a trip to Switzerland next weekend amid planned protests by human rights groups over the treatment of detainees at Guantánamo Bay and the threat of a warrant for his arrest.

David Sherzer, a spokesman for the former US president, confirmed the move in an email to the Associated Press. “We regret that the speech has been cancelled,” he said. “President Bush was looking forward to speaking about freedom and offering reflections from his time in office.”

The visit would have been Bush’s first to Europe since he admitted in his autobiography, Decision Points, in November that he had authorised the use of waterboarding – simulated drowning – on detainees at Guantánamo accused of links with al-Qaida. Whether out of concern over the protests or the arrest warrant, it is an extraordinary development for a former US president to have his travel plans curtailed in this way, and amounts to a victory for human rights campaigners.

 

 

Obama on Mubarak; he ain’t so bad really

 

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 04:01 AM PST

Barack Obama on Mubarak when speaking to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly: “He’s been a good partner in relation to the peace with Israel. And with some counter-terrorism.”

What’s this code for? We like how he’s repressed the Palestinians and Hamas and tortured “terror suspects” for us:

 

 

Wikileaks roundtable number one

 

Posted: 06 Feb 2011 08:57 PM PST

 

Untitled from Winston Burrows on Vimeo.

 

 

Throwing weapons into the bottom of the ocean

Posted: 06 Feb 2011 07:24 PM PST

When privatised mercenaries become the norm, illegality will almost certainly follow:

Thousands of guns are being dumped in the ocean by private security companies hired to protect ships against pirate attacks, top security executives say.

As Somali pirates grow bolder and launch attacks further into the Indian Ocean, shipping companies and yacht owners are increasingly using armed security to protect their vessels.

But there are varying laws and regulations about taking weapons into ports across the region, leading some security companies to cut costs and save time by getting rid of their guns before arriving in various countries’ territorial waters.

“This is happening on a daily basis,” said Richard Skinner, the Dubai director at the security company the Orchid Group. “I suspect there are literally thousands of semi-automatic and automatic weapons down there at the bottom of the Red Sea for fish to swim around.”

These practices and others have led security companies and government officials to call for increased regulation of armed teams operating on the high seas. Rogue security companies could endanger the lives of their clients and innocent fishermen by failing to follow proper rules for using force against perceived threats.

 

 

Indyk mumbles something about democracy in Arab world; Egyptians laugh

Posted: 06 Feb 2011 05:38 PM PST

 

Lesson number one; never ask a Zionist lobbyist to talk honestly about American or Israeli aims in the Middle East because for them, real democracy is a danger to maintaining Israeli dominance.

 

Backing apartheid is as American as apple pie

Posted: 06 Feb 2011 04:50 PM PST

Israel for decades.

And Ronald Reagan loved apartheid South Africa.

 

What’s happening inside Gaza

Posted: 06 Feb 2011 04:38 PM PST

From one of Australia’s finest NGOs, APHEDA.

 

Australia sees the Middle East as its Zionist mates tell them

Posted: 06 Feb 2011 04:34 PM PST

The Middle East is in turmoil and yet here’s the Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, speaking a few days ago in Greece, on what he thinks the region should look like. Nearly everything is reactive and the “peace process” between Israel and the Palestinians should continue as if it’s nearly achieved resolution.

Somebody should tell Australia that Tehran isn’t the main issue in the Middle East (despite what Tel Aviv and Washington is telling them):

We believe that Egypt needs fundamental political reform beginning now. We also believe that this process of reform must be delivered peacefully.

We are therefore deeply concerned at the violence that erupted today in Tahrir Square. This sort of violence is an anathema to Australians and we deplore it.

We call on the Egyptian authorities to ensure its people are able to undertake their peaceful protest safely. We again call on the Government to exercise maximum restraint and respond to peaceful protests without violence.

I conveyed directly to the Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa my concerns about this violence. He too was very concerned by today’s events.

Difficult and dangerous days lie ahead in Egypt. Around a million people took to the streets of Cairo yesterday. Many will take to the streets again on Friday.

The Government and the people of Egypt have been presented with an historic opportunity to engineer peaceful democratic transformation — creating a modern democracy out of this most ancient land.

More broadly across the Arab world, the forces of democratic transformation are also at work. These forces run headlong into the two, well established stereotypes of what has hitherto been believed to be politically possible in the Arab world.

One such stereotype is, that given the challenges of governance in the countries of the region, the only workable political system is an authoritarian dictatorship.

The other is that if you lift a lid on democracy, you open up the possibility of an Iranian-style revolution and a creation of an Islamist state.

The people on the streets of Cairo appear to be calling for another way: a democratic system of government capable of embracing a multiplicity of views within its political system.

This appears to be very much a popular movement from below — led by young people whose names by and large are unknown to the outside world; people whose incomes have not risen in recent years because economic growth has been so thin; an intellectual class which has long sought greater freedom of expression; by both new and long-standing opposition political figures who have often been in conflict with one another in the past; as well as those who are calling for a more central role for Islam in what since Nasser has been a secular Arab state.

The difficult challenge ahead lies in how these disparate elements might be melded together into a pluralist democracy while preventing radical Islamists from snuffing out the pluralist voices of the people.

While this represents a difficult challenge, more difficult is the prospect of hanging on indefinitely to the political absolutism of the past.

Political reform is necessary in the wider Arab world — although ultimately it’s a matter for the Arab peoples themselves to determine its shape.

The Arab peoples are no different to others in the world who have found their democratic voice in recent decades — across Latin America, across Indonesia, across the former states of the Eastern bloc and across other parts of the world.

In Australia, we hold democracy to be a universal value — not one which is particular to one culture, one people or one set of intellectual traditions.

There is a basic animating principle of freedom to which all peoples strive — the freedom of political expression; accompanied also by economic freedom to unleash the full potential of all people.

This does not mean that the State has no role in maintaining law and order or in regulating economies. But it does mean that these constraints must be bound constitutionally in order to offer genuine freedom to peoples everywhere as the proper condition of humankind.

Events in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world also have potentially profound implications for the Middle East peace process. It is possible that new democratic voices unleashed in Egypt and elsewhere will begin to challenge many of the assumptions underpinning the traditional views of moderate Arab states such as Egypt, Jordan and even Saudi Arabia.

In other words, the geopolitics of what flows to the region from the streets of Cairo are likely to have significant implications on the current state of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Many of us who are friends of Israel and friends of the Palestinian people are familiar with the broad architecture of a comprehensive settlement which would create a two state solution — an independent and secure Israeli state and an independent and secure Palestinian state.

These elements include the 1967 borders, with mutually agreed land swaps; the question of the right of return; the question of Jerusalem and the holy sites; as well as necessary security guarantees.

Ultimately this is a question of course for Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to resolve because what is at stake is the future of their respective homelands.

Given the possibility of opportunistic actions by Iran in the light of the political changes currently underway in Egypt and other parts of the Arab world; it therefore becomes more imperative than ever to bring the Middle East peace negotiations to a successful conclusion.

There is political capacity for this to be achieved on both sides of the negotiation table.

From Israel’s perspective reaching such an agreement holds out the prospect of greater security for Israel and its people, and recognition and respect from its neighbours and the wider world.

Reaching such an agreement also holds the potential to transform the Arab world into an open market for Israeli goods and services, helping grow the Israeli economy as well as helping grow the economies and employment opportunities among its neighbours.

For the Palestinians, an independent and secure state would also enable its Government to get on with the task of improving the lot of its people.

And for the region at large, it would remove the Israel/Palestine question as the regional rallying point around which Iran seeks to bolster its political and diplomatic standing.

The governments of the region are carefully analysing the possible strategic consequences of what now unfolds from political reform on the streets of Cairo.

Posted in Middle EastComments Off on A. Loewenstein Online Newsletter

Mondoweiss Online Newsletter

NOVANEWS

If the ‘NYRB’ wills it, it is not a dream

Feb 06, 2011

annie

 

David Shulman reviewing both Sari Nusseibeh’s What Is a Palestinian State Worth and Occupation of the Territories: Israeli Soldier Testimonies 2000–2010 by Breaking the Silence offers readers what might best be described as a ‘Hold onto your Hat’ experience at New York Review of Books.

Shulman opens with an inviting description of the Palestinian non violent movement by way of a visit to the village of al-Nabi Salih, introducing us to the eloquent Ali Abu Awwad.

The article’s political trajectory picks up thru the introduction of Sari Nusseibeh, Palestinian philosopher, author and President of al-Quds University in Jerusalem. A “moral optimist” once so dedicated to forging a two state solution he joined with Ami Ayalon, former Shin Bet director, to forge a way–tho Nusseibeh no longer has certainty two states is worth the effort. Shulman journeys us thru Nusseibeh’s illuminating prescience, in viewing history as an evolving “moral trajectory”.

Essentially one comes to believe this might be Shulman’s own story. Initially tempered, his even pacing quickly builds as question upon question merge Israel’s actions and responses. He’d earlier described the Israeli academic establishment’s “stony and impassive silence.” A transformation takes place as he lashes away with distress at those convinced of the inevitability of one state, but has no qualms about naming those who he feels are responsible:

I don’t agree [with those who seek one state], but I think we are rapidly approaching such a result, and I think the cause is, on one level, entirely clear. It lies in the steadfast reluctance of the Israeli establishment to make a real peace, under any circumstances. What the present government and the Israeli security services clearly want is to continue the occupation under one form or another, maintaining near-total control over the entire Palestinian population.

He scathes after Breaking the Silence’s testimonials with an insistence that persists thru his infuriation:

This particular system could not continue to exist without a profound and willful blindness that we Israelis have cultivated for decades, and whose roots undoubtedly predate the existence of the State of Israel itself. I am speaking of blindness not to the existence of millions of Palestinian people—they are there for all to see—but to the full humanity of these people, their natural equality to us, and the parity (at least that, if one can measure such things) between their collective claim to the land and ours. There is also, again, a studied blindness to the cumulative trauma that we Israelis have inflicted upon the Palestinians in the course of realizing our own national goals (and later, in going far beyond any rational conception of such goals).

This is no ordinary blindness; it is a sickness of the soul that takes many forms, from a dull but superficial apathy to the silence and passivity of ordinary, decent people, to the malignant forms of racism and protofascist nationalism that are becoming more and more evident and powerful in today’s Israel, including segments of the present government. I suppose that to acknowledge these facts is too demoralizing, and too laden with potential guilt, for most of us. Often it seems that we will do anything—even risk catastrophic war—to avoid having to look our immediate neighbors in the face, to peel away the mythic mask. Palestinian violence over many years has made it easier for Israelis to make this choice, but it is important to bear in mind that it is, indeed, exactly that, a choice. There is a clear alternative—clearer today than ever before. In the history of this conflict, Israelis have by no means had a monopoly on blindness, but they are the party with by far the largest freedom of action and the greatest potential to bring about serious change.

The article culminates in a promising challenge of will, exactly what Shulman describes as Nusseibeh ‘s intentions. “He wants [Israelis] to step back from prejudice and an obsession with brute force and to open their eyes. He wants them to find in themselves the generosity of spirit needed in order to take a chance on peace, whether in the form of two states or a single binational entity or, perhaps, some kind of confederation.” Ultimately one can’t help but notice Shulman is a moral optimist himself. He’s both courageous and convincing. To NYRB’s Zionist readers, beware, a wave is upon you.

 

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, some have greatness thrust upon em, and some have none of the above

Feb 06, 2011

Philip Weiss

 

Robert Dreyfuss at the Nation has picked up Sarah Palin’s first comments on Egypt:

And nobody yet has, nobody yet has explained to the American public what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak and no, not, not real enthused about what it is that that’s being done on a national level and from D.C. in regards to understanding all the situation there in Egypt. And, in these areas that are so volatile right now, because obviously it’s not just Egypt but the other countries too where we are seeing uprisings, we know that now more than ever, we need strength and sound mind there in the White House. We need to know what it is that America stands for so we know who it is that America will stand with. And, we do not have all that information yet.

 

Americans need to get their priorities straight

Feb 06, 2011

Philip Weiss

 

I’m sure this has been tweeted already, but: Shouldn’t the Egyptian revolution put The Social Network over the top for Best Picture?

And inasmuch as young Jesse Eisenberg could become Best Actor for portraying facebook genius Mark Zuckerberg, isn’t that a fair trade for the end of the Jewish state in a state of its citizens? What do you think, Mom? 

Photo by Christina Rizk. Check out her Tahrir shots here.

 

 

It’s a boom time for settlements, and Palestinian prisoners threaten hunger strike

Feb 06, 2011

Kate

 

and other news from Today in Palestine:

Land, property, resources theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers

Israeli settlers cause environmental damage to Bethlehem villages
4 Feb – BETHLEHEM, (PIC)– Israeli settlers on Thursday caused environmental damage to fields belonging to residents of the villages of Husan, Wadi Fokin and Nahalin to the west of Bethlehem when they pumped large amounts of waste water the fields. Olive trees and plantations of Palestinian farmers in the villages were damaged, said Osama Shakarneh, head of the Nahaleen village council
Meanwhile, the IOF troops stationed at the Atarah checkpoint, north of Ramallah, intentionally caused traffic jam after they held Palestinian vehicles for long hours for “security” reasons, badly affecting students and sick people seeking medical treatment.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2b

IOA accelerates settlement activity in WB
5 Feb – RAMALLAH, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has been accelerating lately the construction spree in various settlements planted in the West Bank, popular committees against the settlement activity reported on Saturday. They said that IOA bulldozers were seen bulldozing land in villages south of Nablus, north of Ramallah, and near each of Salfit and Al-Khalil. Engineering teams and construction workers are building new settlement units inside and in the vicinity of settlements without any media coverage, the committees said, adding that the media are preoccupied with the events in Egypt.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq

Fifteen wounded in Friday East Jerusalem clashes
Jerusalem – Maysa Abu Ghazala – 5 Feb – Violent clashes erupted on Friday after midday prayers in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amoud between local Palestinian youths and Israeli forces. Fifteen people suffered from tear gas inhalation and rubber bullet wounds and were treated by medical personnel. Youths threw stones at the Israeli forces, who blocked neighborhood streets and prohibited men and women from attending Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque. Troops responded with gunfire and tear gas canisters.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9512&Itemid=64

January 2011: Wadi Hilweh Information Center Report
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) — The first month of 2011 was marred by escalations in the ongoing political crises of Jerusalem, with increasing numbers of demolitions, arrests, violence and repression of Palestinian protest. This repression has been wanton but by no means random, aimed at several prominent local activists and their families, particularly in Silwan. In January 2011 the Wadi Hilweh Information Center counted 65 arrest, detention and interrogations in Silwan, 25 of them children. An unknown number of youth were also stopped by Israeli forces on the streets of Silwan, who were subjected to on-the-spot background checks. Two homes were demolished during the month, in addition to a hotel, a kiosk, 2 animal barns and a water well. The latter was cleared along with the 40 dunums of land surrounding it in East Jerusalem, belonging to over 6 Palestinian families. Frequent clashes between armed Israeli troops, police, settlers and settler guards and Silwan residents resulted in a high number of injuries of Palestinians such as over 30 cases of injury from rubber bullets (including 2 journalists and 3 children under 13 years) and widespread exposure to toxic tear gas fumes (including several pregnant women).
http://silwanic.net/?p=11607

Violence

Worker hurt by gunfire in north Gaza
5 Feb — Israeli forces shot and injured three Palestinians from the Gaza Strip while they were collecting stones, medics said. Gaza medical official Adham Abu Salmeya said a 22-year-old man was hit by a gunshot to the pelvic cavity, and another 19-year-old was hit in his right foot as they were collecting aggregates east of Gaza City’s Shuja’iyyaneighborhood …. He added that a 42-year-old man sustained a moderate injury while collecting stone aggregates north of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza strip … The shooting brings the toll for injuries in that area to 118 since March 2010, he said. 
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=357168

Film review: “The Shooting of Tom Hurndall” / Tim King
(with photos) 3 Feb …This triumphant film is not without an air of victory. Through their diligence, the Hurndall family was finally able to see a real investigation launched by the IDF – Israeli Defence Forces. The soldier ended up receiving the longest sentence ever handed down to a member of the IDF for the murder of a Palestinian civilian – eight years behind bars. The Israeli investigators who eventually prosecute the case push for what we perceive to be justice, but then we are confronted with the part of the story that is agonizing … Because a large number of Arab citizens of Israel are poverty stricken, and they also because they live under an apartheid legal system with clearly different laws for Jews and non-Jews, one option they sometimes take is to join the IDF … The obvious question centers around whether or not Israel finally chose to prosecute this soldier only because he was Arab and not Jewish.
http://salem-news.com/articles/february032011/tom-hurndall-tk.php

Detention

Israel releases Ramallah MP Abd al Jaber Fuqaha
EXCLUSIVE PICTURES – The Israeli occupation authorities have released Islamic bloc politician Mr Abd al-Jaber Fuqaha. He was given his freedom at the al-Thahiriya checkpoint near Hebron in the south of the occupied West Bank on 3 February. The elected representative for Ramallah had served 27 months in “administrative detention” in a prison in the Negev Desert. He was met at the checkpoint by the head of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr Aziz Duweik, along with a delegation of other West Bank politicians.
http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/news/middle-east/2023-israel-releases-ramallah-mp-abd-al-jaber-fuqaha

Megiddo prisoners threaten to go on hunger strike over strip searches
NABLUS, (PIC)– The Megiddo prison administration could be exploiting the world’s preoccupation with Egypt to impose heavier restrictions, prisoners say.  Prisoners have threatened to kick off an open-ended hunger strike to protest the escalation.  The prison administration has engaged in suppressive policies turning life into hell, prisoners wrote in a statement to the public on Friday, saying they are forced into strip searches, severe beatings and property damage during nearly everyday night raids.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx

Ministry of captives condemns PA summoning of captive’s wife in Ramallah
4 Feb – GAZA, (PIC)– The ministry of captives in the Gaza Strip has strongly condemned the PA security forces in the West Bank city of Ramallah for summoning wife of a Palestinian captive incarcerated in an Israeli occupation jail, describing such behavior as a stab in the back of the captives. The ministry added … that the PA security forces summoned Palestinian citizen Fatima Shaker Al-Ajrab, wife of Palestinian captive Hussein Yakoob Al-Ajrab who is under administrative detention in occupation jails since 18 months. He spent several periods in occupation jails totaling ten years. The ministry also explained that Mrs. Al-Ajrab was sick and suffered a stroke recently 
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bc

Activism / Solidarity / BDS

Video: Wad Rahhal 4 Feb 2011
Demonstration In Wad Rahhal [over] land some of it taken for an illegal Jewish only colonial settlement
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-t9vgPlD_c

Updated: PR firms drop Israeli image campaign
4 Feb – Israel wants to hire PR firms in 10 countries to improve its reputation, according to Israeli paper Yedioth Ahronoth. Norwegian PR firms have refused.
http://theforeigner.no/pages/news/updated-pr-firms-drop-israeli-image-campaign/

A Jewish group makes waves, locally and abroad
3 Feb – Hundreds of people, mostly Arab-Americans, are expected to gather Saturday in downtown San Francisco to support anti-government protests in Egypt, and a large contingent of Jews representing a Bay Area peace-advocacy group will join them, one of its leaders says. “We are deeply inspired by their push for democracy and freedom,” said Cecilie Surasky, deputy director of Jewish Voice for Peace, based in Oakland. Ms. Surasky said she hoped a new political order in Egypt would help speed the end of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, which her group opposes.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/04/us/04bcactivists.html?_r=2&ref=global-home

Ishmael Khaldi lecture in Edinburgh cancelled after protests
Ishmael Khaldi’s lecture at the University of Edinburgh, hosted by the university’s Jewish Society, was cancelled after protest by students acting in support of Palestinian refugees. Khaldi, special advisor to Avigdor Lieberman, left the stage after 45 minutes, having been unable to speak due to the group of approximately 50 protesters, whose presence was not removed by security.
http://www.imemc.org/article/60568

Supporters around the world demand justice for Yousef Ikhlayl
5 Feb – Throughout the week supporters around the world honored Yousef Ikhlayl, shot and killed on January 28 by settlers from the Bat Ayn settlement. Demonstrators in Jaffa and San Francisco carried signs with pictures of Yousef and handed out fliers explaining what had happened to him. Protesters in Chicago dropped a banner in his honor, and The Palestine Solidarity Campaign in Scotland honored Yousef at their annual conference. In Santa Fe, a presentation on Yousef drew over 150 participants. Yousef Ikhlayl was shot and killed Friday, January 28, when 100 settlers from the Bat Ayn settlement descended upon the Palestinian villages of Saffa and nearby Beit Ommar in the southern West Bank.
http://palestinesolidarityproject.org/2011/02/05/supporters-around-the-world-demand-justice-for-yousef-ikhlayl/

First International Apartheid Short Film contest announces winners
3 Feb – The winning films are as follows: The Expert Panel prize and Overall prize was awarded to “Road Map to Apartheid” The Global Jury prize was awarded to “Confronting the Wall” The Palestine Jury prize was awarded to  “Ali Wall” These powerful films are starting to circulate on the internet all over the world. There have been showing of the films, in the US, Canada, Venezuela , Britain, Australia, France and the Netherlands. [Links above are to YouTube]
http://endtheoccupationblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/first-international-israeli-apartheid.html

Omar Barghouti: Why is BDS a moral duty today? A response to Bernard-Henri Levy
1 Feb – …Since 2008, the BDS movement has been led by the largest coalition of Palestinian civil society organizations inside historic Palestine and in exile, the BDS National Committee (BNC). Anchored in deep respect for international law and universal human rights, the movement has spread across the world, empowering and mobilizing creative energies and emphasizing sensitivity to the particularities of each context. BDS activists anywhere select their own targets and set the tactics that best suit their political and cultural environment. The fact that BDS categorically rejects racism of all sorts, including anti-Semitism, has further increased its appeal among liberal and progressive movements everywhere.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/omar-barghouti/why-is-bds-a-moral-duty-t_b_816990.html

Anti

The price of success: Fanatical wingnuts target Jewish Voice for Peace activist /  Mitchell Plitnick
On the same day that Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) could celebrate an excellent article about it in the New York Times, they also had to send out the alert below, alerting us to another threat to one of their activists. I had reported some time back on a physical attack perpetrated by at least one member of the fanatical extremist group, Stand With Us against JVP members in Berkeley. The violence, however, doesn’t seem to be abating. Quite the opposite, as the defenders of occupation, human rights violations, and ethnic hatred continue to be exposed by groups like JVP, they will increasingly turn to intimidation tactics. It’s all they have.
http://mitchellplitnick.com/2011/02/04/the-price-of-success-fanatical-wingnuts-target-jewish-voice-for-peace-activist/

One Portland grocer that buys into apartheid
Palestinian solidarity activists got an answer drenched in hypocrisy when they asked a Portland grocer to boycott Israeli goods, reports Wael Elasady. 
http://salem-news.com/articles/february022011/bds-newseasons-we.php

Siege

Daily life in Gaza / Nathan Stuckey
4 Feb ISM — …Drones and F16’s can often be heard in the air overhead. Thankfully, since I arrived, there haven’t been any strikes that I know of. Gaza is densely populated but the streets are very quiet. Unemployment is brutally high because of the siege, few imports, and exports are impossible, so you don’t see many cars or people on the street. They don’t have jobs to go to, and they don’t have any money to shop with. The apartment has a generator, so it took me a few days to realize just how often there is no electricity in Gaza. If you don’t have a generator there is electricity for less than half the day, and you never know when you will have it.
http://palsolidarity.org/2011/02/16521/

Egyptian uprising and Palestine, Israel

In solidarity with Egypt, fifty gather in Bethlehem’s Nativity Square
5 Feb – The protest was organized by human rights activist Dr. Mazen Qumsiyeh, author of the book “Popular Struggle in Palestine,” and coincided with others in Ramallah, Jerusalem, and Gaza. After between 50 and 60 protesters had gathered, flying Egyptian and Palestinian flags in Nativity Square — typically crowded only around Christmas — the group marched toward the marketplace, only to be stopped by local police. “The people in power are trying to stem the tide, they’re trying to go against the inevitable,” said Qumsiyeh.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9515&Itemid=59

Palestinians trapped in Egypt: Ambassador has done little to rescue us
CAIRO, (PIC) 5 Feb — While countries across the globe scramble to evacuate their citizens from volatile protests in Egypt, little has been done to aid Palestinian commuters trapped at the Cairo International Airport. Authorities have detained around 30 Palestinians transiting Egypt in a constricted room for over ten days … The stranded group includes people with illnesses, women, children, and elderly. No one is left in the airport besides them.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%2bc

Hamas denies involvement in Egyptian upheaval
GAZA, (PIC) 5 Feb — Senior Hamas official Salah al-Bardawil called on Egyptian news outlets to hold their hands and tongues back from the Palestinians and pay heed to the Egyptians. He condemned in statements on Saturday “fabricated” accusations by the Egyptian Al-Akhbar newspaper dragging Hamas into the Egyptian disorder. “The siege, aggression and injustice are enough for the Palestinians,” he said. Bardawil considered the accusations were designed to alienate Hamas from the west, evade an objective diagnosis of the incidents in Egypt and spread the crisis to the Gaza Strip.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%

US expects Egypt to keep peace with Israel regardless of who is in power
5 Feb – …”Our expectation would be that whatever the next government of Egypt is, that they would adhere to a treaty signed by the government of Egypt,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. Gibbs was referring to the 1978 Camp David Accords, which were brokered by the U.S. and set the stage for the 1979 peace agreement between Egypt and Israel, which is in force to this day. 
http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/u-s-expects-egypt-to-keep-peace-with-israel-regardless-of-who-is-in-power-1.341356

Israelis discover a new love for Mubarak / Pierre Klochendler
5 Feb – JERUSALEM – Around the world, peoples revel in anticipation of the fall of a regime that has denied its citizens their basic rights. But most Israelis are haunted by nightmare scenarios of ‘the day after’, as if their country’s stability was anchored in the continuity of the rule of Hosni Mubarak – not in peace.
http://original.antiwar.com/klochendler/2011/02/04/israelis-discover-a-new-love-for-mubarak/

Critical connections: Egypt, the US, and Israel / Alison Weir
5 Feb – Minimally explored in all the coverage of the momentous Egyptian uprising taking place over the last 10 days are the Israeli connections. A central and critical reality is that it is US tax money that has propped up Hosni Mubarak’s despotic regime over the past 30 years, and that this money has flowed, from the beginning, largely on behalf of Israel. Israel is generally a significant factor in events in the Middle East, and to understand ongoing happenings it is important to understand the historic and current Israeli connections. The violent creation, perpetuation, and expansion of a state based on ethnic expulsion of the majority inhabitants has been central to Middle East dynamics ever since Israel was created by European and American Zionists in 1948 as a self-identified “Jewish State.”  
http://original.antiwar.com/alison-weir/2011/02/04/critical-connections-egypt-the-us-and-israel%C2%A0/

Politics / Diplomacy

PA rejects Israeli ‘incentives’
BETHLEHEM 5 Feb — The Palestinians rejected a package of economic incentives Israel and the Quartet’s envoy Tony Blair offered Friday. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is playing games and haggling, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a statement commenting on the offer … Israel proposed Friday to wean Hamas-run Gaza off its infrastructure network, as Netanyahu set out a series of steps intended to ease the economic lot of the Palestinians.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=357074

Egypt overshadows talks on Palestine-Israel
5 Feb – MUNICH, Germany (AFP) – Egypt loomed large over talks of the Middle East Quartet in Germany on Saturday, with fears that a change of regime in Cairo could throw into turmoil an already deeply troubled peace process. “One of our big partners did not want the Quartet to meet at this stage, saying maybe it’s not the moment to be discussing the peace process when the whole region is undergoing dramatic changes,” a European diplomat said. “And our analysis is just the opposite. Because this is happening, the Quartet needs to meet, and the Quartet needs to give a strong signal that the peace process is alive.”
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110205/wl_mideast_afp/egyptunrestisraelpalestiniansquartetmunich

Resistance factions refuse elections in absence of reconciliation
GAZA, (PIC) 5 Feb — Palestinian resistance factions in the Gaza Strip have declared rejection of de facto president Mahmoud Abbas’s call for elections while division was still ruling in the Palestinian arena. Politburo member of the popular resistance factions Hasan Al-Za’lan said in a terse statement after a meeting for those factions on Saturday that the results of such elections would not be binding for them.
http://www.palestine-info.co.uk/En/default.aspx?xyz=U6Qq7k%

Palestinian negotiator backtracks on CIA charge
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The PLO’s chief negotiator has backed down from allegations an Al-Jazeera journalist worked for the CIA and stole a cache of secret documents on behalf of the Qatar-based network.  Saeb Erekat claimed in January that Clayton Swisher, a US citizen and Al-Jazeera International journalist, was a current member of the CIA who had worked six months in the PLO’s Negotiations Support Unit. 
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=356993

Other news

Egypt holds gas supply to Israel and Jordan after pipeline explosion
5 Feb 9:33 – Security source in Sinai says ‘foreign elements’ targeted the pipe that supplies Jordan; Egypt supplies Israel with over 40 percent of its natural gas –Saboteurs blew up a pipeline that runs through Egypt’s Northern Sinai, state television reported on Saturday, disrupting flows to Israel and Jordan after Islamist groups called on militants to exploit the unrest that has rocked the government. The Egyptian army closed the main source of gas supplying the pipeline and were trying to control the fires. Following the explosion, Israel Radio said, quoting sources in the consortium overseeing imports, that the blast did not target supplies to Israel but they had been halted as a precaution. 
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/egypt-holds-gas-supply-to-israel-and-jordan-after-pipeline-explosion-1.341368

Egypt pipeline blast affects Jordan
(with map) 5 Feb 14:46 – An explosion at a pipeline in Egypt that supplies gas to Jordan and Israel has been blamed on a gas leak, according to the country’s natural gas company. Earlier reports suggested that sabotage had been behind the blast on Saturday. Magdy Toufik, the head of Egypt’s natural gas company, said in a statement that the fire broke out “as a result of a small amount of gas leaking” in the terminal at the pipeline that runs through the El-Arish area of Egypt’s north Sinai. However, a local security official said an explosive device was detonated inside the terminal, and the regional governor, Abdel Wahab Mabrouk, said he suspected sabotage … Jordan does not have any of its own reserves and currently gets all of its gas from Egypt.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/20112514224368313.html

Israeli official sees cyber alternative to ‘ugly’ war
JERUSALEM, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Cyberwarfare of the kind waged against Iran last year offers advanced nations an alternative to “ugly” military force with its moral costs, a senior Israeli official said on Thursday … [Deputy PM Dan] Meridor, who oversees Israel’s spy services and nuclear affairs, said Israel had learned from news coverage and the ensuing public censure of its conflicts with often outgunned enemies. Over the past two years, Israeli officials have quietly unveiled cyberwar capabilities that they say are a core pillar of defence strategy.
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/israeli-official-sees-cyber-alternative-to-ugly-war

Israeli army battles new dangers within / Pierre Klochendler
JERUSALEM, Feb 3, 2011 (IPS) – They chant, “One people, one draft!” They raise the flag of unified, across-the- board army enlistment – students and veterans wearing scars of past wars from a few dozen mainstream Zionist civil society organisations and youth movements … They protest against a societal trend which many here view as a threat to national security … Meanwhile, the draft dodgers continue to raise the banner of deferment. 
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=54334

A UFO over Jerusalem? Only if you want to believe in those sorts of things
(with video) Videos have surfaced on YouTube that claim to show a UFO, really a glowing, pulsating ball of light, as it descends from the sky, hovers over the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and then shoots straight back up into the night sky. The Sydney Morning Herald says the sightings took place on January 28. A story on The Vancouver Sun offers several choices of video showing the event. Is it a hoax? Probably. Or, maybe, it’s just an illusion, a trick of the eye and there’s some more down-to-earth explanation. But, for the moment, it’s fun to take it at face value and just wonder: What was that?
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/02/04/133493963/a-ufo-over-jerusalem-only-if-you-believe-in-those-sorts-things

Analysis / Opinion

Visit Palestine / Paula Rosine Long
5 Feb – This holiday season, an advertisement from the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism was attacked for “ignoring” Israel’s existence. The charges of geographical misrepresentation stem from the following lines: “From the famous cities of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho, Nablus, and Gaza, the Palestinian people welcome you to visit this Holy Land … Palestine lies between the Mediterranean Coast and the Jordan River, at the crossroads between Africa and the Middle East.” … Last year, two Israeli tourism ads were banned by the ASA for including landmarks from disputed territories, such as the Dome of the Rock. But if the same standards are applied to Palestine — if Palestine is forbidden to include “disputed” territories — then Palestine has little or nothing to advertise. 
http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11760.shtml

A villa in the jungle? / Uri Avnery
4 Feb …The turmoil in Egypt was caused by economic factors: the rising cost of living, the poverty, the unemployment, the hopelessness of the educated young. But let there be no mistake: the underlying causes are far more profound. They can be summed up in one word: Palestine. In Arab culture, nothing is more important than honor. People can suffer deprivation, but they will not stand humiliation [no people will!]. Yet what every young Arab from Morocco to Oman saw daily was his leaders humiliating themselves, forsaking their Palestinian brothers in order to gain favor and money from America, collaborating with the Israeli occupation, cringing before the new colonizers. This was deeply humiliating for young people brought up on the achievements of Arab culture in times gone by and the glories of the early Caliphs. Nowhere was this loss of honor more obvious than in Egypt, which openly collaborated with the Israeli leadership in imposing the shameful blockade on the Gaza Strip
http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1296857067/

Palestine Papers: The Palestinians’ ‘generous offer’ / Ramzy Baroud
3 Feb – As Palestinians are becoming increasingly confident about the authenticity of the Palestine Papers – 1,600 leaked documents that Al Jazeera began publishing on January 23 – they can also find little to be proud of in their contents. According to Palestinian political commentator Mazin Qumsiyeh, the PA’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat “comes out basically pleading and begging sometimes and other times using the presence of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran to try and convince (American and Israeli) officials.” If the conduct of PA officials is not outright betrayal of the rights of their people, then it is, at best, degrading political groveling in exchange for factional gains. Others have convincingly argued that such demeaning behavior is also indicative of the true nature of the negotiations. Palestinians are, in fact, the party desperate for a peace agreement, while the Israelis insist on arrogantly refusing all Palestinian initiatives 
http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16612

‘NYT’ pulls back the curtain for US: Egypt is about Israel / Ira Glunts
5 Feb – In an extraordinary report which appeared today both on the Internet and in the print edition of The New York Times, writers Helene Cooper and Mark Landler make plain the huge importance of Israel and the Israel lobby in all American government decisions regarding the ongoing crisis in Egypt. Among those quoted in the article, which is innocuously titled “Crisis In Egypt Tests US Ties With Israel,” are some of the usual players in the lobby game … But the most prominent and sane voice is that of Daniel Levy, the former Israeli negotiator who is presently a so-called pro-Israel critic of the occupation and Israeli militarism.  Levy declares, “…the core of what is the American interest in this [Egypt]. It’s Israel. It’s not worry about whether the Egyptians are going to close down the Suez Canal, or even the narrower terror issue. It really can be distilled down to one thing, and that’s Israel.”
http://mondoweiss.net/2011/02/nyt-pulls-back-the-curtain-for-u-s-egypt-is-about-israel.html

Will US collude with the Brotherhood in Egypt?
I was thinking that just recently.  The Muslim Brotherhood kept out of the Egyptian fray until the rising looked unstoppable.  Hamas wouldn’t allow solidarity with Egypt demonstrations until the Brotherhood was on board.  Such opportunism ought to be grist to the American imperial mill.  I don’t do punditry so I kept these thoughts to myself until I just read this Guardian article by Noam Chomsky: “A common refrain among pundits is that fear of radical Islam requires (reluctant) opposition to democracy on pragmatic grounds. While not without some merit, the formulation is misleading. The general threat has always been independence. The US and its allies have regularly supported radical Islamists, sometimes to prevent the threat of secular nationalism…”
http://jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.com/2011/02/will-us-collude-with-brotherhood-in.html

Israel isn’t the center of the Mideast, or of the world / Yitzhak Laor
4 Feb – The problem with Orientalist discourse of our commentators − which sees the world through the prism of the Shin Bet Security Service − is that it helps to seal off the ghetto into which we are gradually locking ourselves, a ghetto within the Middle East and within world history.
http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/israel-isn-t-the-center-of-the-mideast-or-of-the-world-1.341177

Interview with Dr. Mustafa Barghouti
27 Jan – In this interview Dr. Barghouti addresses the current economic situation in the West Bank, the failed peace process, the Palestine Papers and the responsibility of the international community for the continued occupation and situation of the Palestinians.
http://www.uruknet.info/?new=74584

Iraq

Friday: 2 Iraqis killed, 8 wounded
At least two Iraqis were killed and eight more were wounded in light reported violence. Meanwhile, 40 Iraqi interpreters, or their surviving families, are suing the British government for not protecting them sufficiently. Also, civilian and military officials fear that Iraq has become the forgotten war, but its fragile state could mean continued U.S. presence there. During Friday’s sermons in Karbala, clerics warned that mass demonstrations could spread from Tunisia and Egypt into Iraq. Hoping to stave off such unrest, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has promised to give back half his rumored $360,000 salary to the country. 
http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2011/02/04/friday-2-iraqis-killed-8-wounded/

Video: The end of farming in the Fertile Crescent
Rick Rowley: A rough short piece from a longer film we’re working on about how the US destroyed agriculture in the place where it was invented 10,000 years ago. 
http://blip.tv/file/2116578

Amnesty: Kurdistan authorities must ensure fair trial of man held for 11 years
Amnesty International has urged authorities in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) to ensure the fair trial of a man charged with terrorism-related offences 11 years after his arrest. Walid Yunis Ahmad, was arrested on 6 February 2000 and was held for 10 years without charge or trial. Recently, after international pressure for his release or trial, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) authorities charged him with involvement in “terrorist” activities allegedly committed in 2009 when he had already been in prison for more than nine years.
http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/kurdistan-authorities-must-ensure-fair-trial-man-held-11-years-2011-02-04

An unsuppressible truth / John Green
(with film) 2 Feb – Only a few years ago the media was full of discussion about the so-called “Gulf war syndrome,” the mysterious illness affecting British and US troops who took part in the Iraq invasion of 1991. Then it dropped off the radar. But in Iraq the civilian population was subject to even more alarming incidences of unexplained illnesses. A recently published study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health confirms what film maker Friedere Wagner has been saying for years.
http://www.uruknet.info/?new=74553

Iraq PM pledges not to seek third term
BAGHDAD (AFP) 5 Feb – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Saturday that Egyptians have the right to democracy, and also pledged not to seek a third term in power himself. Maliki also backed constitutional term limits on his office in an interview with AFP
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110205/wl_mideast_afp/iraqpolitics

Son of Babylon: ‘I made it for my family, for Iraq’
Film-making was a lost art in Iraq, until Mohamed Al-Daradji set about making an epic road movie. He tells Kate Connolly how difficult it was, and its significance to everyone involved
http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/feb/03/son-of-babylon-iraq-film

Other Mideast / Arab world

Tunisia to lift state of emergency next week
TUNIS, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Tunisia will next week lift a state of emergency that was imposed last month by ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali at the height of a popular revolt, Tourism Minister Mehdi Houass said on Friday.
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/tunisia-to-lift-state-of-emergency-next-week

Algeria opposition bent on protest despite government move
ALGIERS, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Algerian opposition groups said on Friday they would probably go ahead with a planned protest march next week despite promises from the president to heed some of their demands and allow more political freedoms. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, keen to stop uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia spreading to his energy-exporting state, said on Thursday he would give the opposition air time on television and soon lift a 19-year-old state of emergency.
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/algeria-opposition-bent-on-protest-despite-govt-move

Syria: Gang attacks peaceful demonstrators; police look on
3 Feb – Syria’s government should immediately cease its intimidation and harassment of demonstrators expressing solidarity with pro-democracy campaigners in Egypt, Human Rights Watch said today … On February 2, a group of 20 people dressed in civilian clothing beat and dispersed 15 demonstrators who had assembled in Bab Touma in old Damascus to hold a candlelight vigil for Egyptian demonstrators, one of the gathering’s organizers told Human Rights Watch. The police, who were present nearby, failed to intervene, the sources said. When demonstrators went to the local police station to file a complaint, a security official insulted and slapped Suheir Atassi, one of the main organizers, and accused her of being a “germ” and an agent of foreign powers.
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/02/03/syria-gang-attacks-peaceful-demonstrators-police-look

Facebook fails to ignite protests in Syria
DAMASCUS (AFP) — Rain, not protesters, flooded the streets of Damascus on Friday after Muslim prayers when a “day of anger” had been promoted by online activists in an echo of Egypt’s popular uprising. For a week, Facebook activists had touted Friday as the day they would mark a peaceful “2011 Syrian revolution” to “end corruption and tyranny.” The group’s page had amassed over 12,000 ‘likes’ on the social networking platform by early Friday.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=357056

U.S.

US: Conspiracy charges filed against Muslim students
5 Feb (AP) A group of Muslim students accused of disrupting a speech by Israeli ambassador Michael Oren at the University of California, Irvine, were charged Friday with misdemeanor conspiracy counts, ending speculation about what would come from their actions nearly a year ago. 
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4024067,00.html

$5 million lawsuit targets Jimmy Carter for ‘attacking Israel’
WASHINGTON – Former President Jimmy Carter has become the target of a class action lawsuit over ostensibly mean things he said about Israel in his best-selling 2006 book,Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. The lawsuit, filed in New York by an Israeli firm, alleges that the book “contained numerous false and knowingly misleading statements intended to promote the author’s agenda of anti-Israel propaganda and to deceive the reading public instead of presenting accurate information as advertised.”
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/carter-sued-5-million-attacking-israel-book/

Lawless FBI intelligence gathering practices / Stephen Lendman
4 Feb – A new Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) report titled, “Patterns of Misconduct: FBI Intelligence Violations from 2001 – 2008” based its findings on nearly 2,500 FOIA-obtained document pages, revealing “alarming (lawless) trends….” They suggest far more frequent civil liberty violations than previously known, including: (1) grossly understated numbers; (2) long delays between violations and reporting them; (3) types of violations involved, including: … (d) complicity of ISPs, phone companies, financial institutions and credit agencies, supplying unauthorized personal information without their customers’ knowledge or consent. (4) flagrant ones, including false declarations to courts, supplying bogus evidence to get indictments, and accessing protected documents without warrants.
http://www.uruknet.info/?new=74601

Guantánamo: a tale of two Tunisias / Andy Worthington
In the last week, there have been two significant developments. In the first, former Guantánamo prisoner Abdallah Hajji (also identified as Abdullah bin Amor), who is 55 years old, was freed from prison in Tunisia “as part of a promise by the interim government to free all political prisoners.” A former member of the previously banned Islamist political party Ennahdha … Hajji, who was seized in April 2002 in Pakistan, where he had been living with his wife and children since fleeing Tunisia in 1989, had, in 1995, been sentenced in absentia to ten years in prison, on terrorism-related charges that his lawyer was convinced had been extracted through the torture and abuse of other prisoners in Tunisian custody.
http://www.uruknet.info/?new=74598

 

     

‘We yearn for a democratic Middle East’ — until we don’t, that is!

Feb 06, 2011

Philip Weiss

 

Another Israeli is agonized by the democracy movement in Egypt. Donniel Hartman at first tries to say it’s a good thing, writing on the last day of January:

As Jews our natural affinity group is the oppressed. Legally, this has been the moral imperative of the Jew since our Exodus from Egypt. Instead of serving solely as a narrative depicting God’s covenant with the Jewish people, our tradition positioned the Exodus story as the paradigm for God’s covenant with the powerless and downtrodden….

When people take to the streets and lay claim to their inalienable rights as free people, when they ask that their government be of the people and for the people, when they plead for an equitable and just distribution of their society’s goods, the natural response of the Jew is to stand at their side. “Love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Leviticus 19)

Here, however, we Jews and especially Jewish Israelis find ourselves particularly challenged. We yearn for a democratic Middle East. Deep down, we often suspect that only in a democratic Middle East will we achieve the peace for which we aspire. Only when peace is made between free peoples, ratified by their elected governments, will it have a viable and sustainable future. In our experience, however, we have yet to meet such people.

But Hartman seems to resolve some of his agonies by February 2:

A government run by the people in accordance with the will of the people potentially undermines the status quo to which we have become accustomed and threatens to expand the reach of radical Islamic and anti-Israeli forces. Our border with Lebanon, instead of being the exception, could become the rule.

It is not that the existence of the State of Israel itself will be brought into question. Our faith in our military is such that, here too we believe we will be able to overcome any existential threat.

Thx to a Bir Zeit graduate and reader of Haaretz.

 

     

Searching for Egyptian unity in Ramallah

Feb 06, 2011

Linah Alsaafin

 

The last few days of the solid millions of protesting Egyptians got me thinking how Palestinians would react in a similar situation. But the fact of the matter is that we are so segmented from each other, with political party allegiances prioritizing over national ones, that it was hard for me to envisage a true Palestinian people revolution where citizens from all walks of life, young old religious secular rich poor students employees etc, intensely unite against a common adversary (either the PA or the Israeli occupation-take your pick) simply for the reason of wanting a proper representative or their basic freedom, without propagating factional or religious interests.

Expressing solidarity for either Tunisia or Egypt in Ramallah has been met with PA saboteurs, which only allowed a small pro-Mubarak demonstration. PA spokesman Adnan Damiri announced that all protests were illegal and not allowed because “our policy is that we don’t intervene in the internal affairs of other countries.” However, Saturday was proclaimed to be the International Day in Support of Global Democracy, an event sponsored by a number of civil society organizations and individual artists and that was largely promoted by social networking media. The announcement included “Participation Guidelines” warning that this was a non-violent rally not coordinated by any political party, therefore only Egyptian, Palestinian, and Tunisian flags be brought and not factional signs. I told my friend the minute I see the yellow Fateh flag I would be going home. The rally would be in sync with ones taking place the same day in Jerusalem and Bethlehem at 2 pm. It looked like the PA had given this one the green light to go ahead, perhaps to save face from its undemocratic decision to ban any solidarity protests. Abbas certainly knows how to pick his friends, and is scared shitless lest the Palestinians in the West Bank get afflicted with the revolutionary fever. It’s the same in Gaza; any protest unbacked by Hamas immediately got shut down.

I’ve already spoken about the university’s nonchalant reaction toward the unfolding events in Egypt, but today on campus a suspension of classes after noon was declared, and a bus was to collect participants and drop them off at the Manara square in Ramallah. It wasn’t clear what time classes would resume, but some of the teachers wanted to take part in the rally. It would be shameful if we didn’t put on at least one good demonstration for the heroic Egyptian protesters. I walked past the bus, where students bundled in with rolled up posters. I hoped the turnout would be good, not just from students but from everyone.

  The crowd when I arrived at the Manara square was a sizable one, but the chants could only be heard faintly from a smaller inner group of people. After five minutes of standing there, I went to photocopy a book down the road and returned ten minutes later to a bigger crowd, slowly finding their voices. Along with my friend and my sister, I pushed in to get to where the chants were concentrated most, thanking the young man who gave me a tiny flag of Egypt. Abu Ali, an elderly man in a kuffiyeh known for leading chants at demonstrations, was up on someone’s shoulders shouting rhymes about despotic Arab leaders, Ramallah hailing Tahrir square, and “Thawra thawra hata nasr! Revolution until we achieve victory!” Suddenly, the ever popular staccato that summed up the Egyptians’ protests was given about a dozen rounds: The people deMAND the END of the reGIME! It was simply glorious, everyone in one deafening voice.

Then an American flag was burned amidst cheers and whistles of approval, but I thought it was unnecessary and untactful. The USA is the crown of imperialism that backs tyrannical corrupt Arab governments for fear of national independence or pan-Arabism or whatever, but we were protesting in solidarity with Egypt, who in twelve days so far have not burned a single American or Israeli flag.   It looked like everyone was having a good time. The sky was cloudy but had stopped drizzling. Posters with Gamal Abdel-Nasser were held up, Egyptian and Palestinian flags rippled together with one or two Tunisian flags in the distance, and more and more people joined us which added to the buoyant atmosphere. Finally, we were allowed to express our voices, try out the chants the Egyptians made popular, and smile furtively as we chanted them out with other intentions. “The people demand the end of the regime” perhaps wasn’t only alluding to Mubarak’s…   The students from Birzeit University arrived, and they seemed to be a group on their own.

They began moving away from the Manara square into Rukab Street, and many people followed suit. Yet unity was definitely missing here. I heard someone say that the PFLP party was leading the procession with their own chants, while the Fateh party was just behind us, also with their own chants. We were all moving together which made it more cacophonous, not knowing whether to repeat after chants of “Down with Mubarak!” or “Egypt is Palestine, and Palestine is Egypt.” Two million people in Cairo shouted together in unison yesterday, whereas a couple of thousand people in Ramallah couldn’t demonstrate in consonance. It was fairly disappointing to say the least. I saw a lot of my teachers who I greeted, and remarked to one of them that this was a good turnout. She quietly replied, “This is not a lot of people.” The days of more than a few thousand milling around the Manara square were over due to the political crackdown by the PA on anything not pro-sulta, as anything otherwise is conceived as a threat to Abbas’s dominion of a few cities sadly riddled with checkpoints and settlements.  

We headed back to the Manara, and there were as many as five or six different people intoning all at the same time: national unity, no to division, Ramallah and proud Gaza hail Egypt, the people demand the fall of Erekat, no to negotiations, no to normalization, the people demand the annulment of the Oslo agreement, CIA out of the country, Arab leaders are so shameful, the people demand the end of occupation, etc. Then it sort of fizzled out a bit. Abu Ali was still on the shoulders of a man, but without a loudspeaker no one could hear what he was saying unless he was facing us. Other men were sporadically shouting out slogans but more and more people were just standing there, not knowing again who to repeat after. One guy behind me was discussing the situation is Egypt with his non-Palestinian friend and described Mubarak in delightfully colorful words, my favorite being “He’s such a persistent fuck.”   My friend decided to go home, and my sister and I found my mother standing outside the railings of the Manara. I sighed and began griping about how people couldn’t be united even for this cause when she gave me a look and murmured close to my ear that the plainclothes police were behind us.

I stole a look, noting they were weedier and scrawnier than the Egyptian thugs I saw on TV, rolled my eyes and stared back at the crowd from my slightly elevated position, my flag slightly crumpled. All of a sudden I saw a Styrofoam board with “Down with Abbas” written on it in Arabic. I quickly told my sister to snap a picture of it, and sure enough seconds later the board was ripped into pieces and the man holding it up was dragged away. The plainclothes behind me were buzzing, “Keep your eye on him…he’s changed his jacket..” One man jumped out of nowhere and began yelling “The people demand the fall of Abbas!” but no one swarmed up on him which obviously meant that he was part of the secret police hoping to instigate others. Some of the crowd, who were onto him, yelled back “The people demand the end of disunity” but the man was joined by two others who were then all hoisted up onto shoulders, still screaming for the end of Abbas.

It was such a poor blatant show of instigation, that even the foreign journalists around us were muttering all too knowingly. A couple of scuffles broke out as the plainclothes dragged away a few men, and that was the end of the Egyptian solidarity rally. It seemed inevitable that Abbas’s goons would screw this peaceful assemblage over. The same men who had shouted for Abbas’ demise were now yelling over and over again “The people. Want. Mahmoud. Abbas!” A few people urged the others to start up one of the popular chants, “Mubarak is a coward, he is America’s agent” in an attempt to drown out the insultingly rude men but the mood was broken and the crowd was slowly drifting apart. A yellow Fateh umbrella was unfurled. My mother, sister and I began walking away from the Manara. When I looked back, more Fateh flags had materialized and we could hear the men yelling out pro-Abbas slogans-our rightful president, our role model, etc. They went further though; chants about Al Jazeera being Zionist and not Arab, chants against Hamas, chants for the division of Gaza and the West Bank, and to demonstrate their imbecilic deficient selves, chants against Tehran.

In the end, it had to be all about them.   No one could doubt that these Fateh supporters were planted among us for the very glaring purpose of one way or another, turning it into a Fateh celebration. It’s completely sickening and frustrating to know that we have reached a stagnant point. Any protest must be infiltrated with dozens of plainclothes police. Anyone daring to speak out against the PA or even have the nerve to publicly advocate national unity is promptly arrested. Those outside the country wrote that the PA has lost any shred of credibility it hung on to as a result of the leaked Palestine Papers, but they were disappointed by the lack of response on behalf of Palestinians who did not take to the streets demanding the dissolution of the PA. The Palestine Papers did not reveal anything we did not know. Saeb Erekat’s offer of the biggest Yerushalayim shouldn’t have caused an uproar (minor or not) as for years we have seen East Jerusalem disappearing under its Judaized neighborhoods and incessant settlements.

Raja Shehadeh wrote of an emerging strong police state in the West Bank which contrasts ironically with the surge of revolutionary change currently taking place in Arab countries. We have a double fight on our hands-overcoming the corrupt PA and instating a new government devoid of Fateh and Hamas representatives (wishful thinking), and resisting against the Israeli occupation, which should have been our only contest.   A couple of days ago, I was embroiled in an online debate with a friend. He had written that none of the Arabs cared about the Palestinians and that we in turn shouldn’t care about them. I patiently explained to him that the Arab governments couldn’t care less about us because of the nature of their relationships with the USA and Israel who supply them with military aid and business deals, and that they saw us as a tenacious problem, but the average Arab common man were sympathetic to our cause. One thing led to another, and I was spewing out words like “sell-outs”, “traitors”, “corrupt mercenaries” and he countered back with the childish justifications that the PA learn from their mistakes and were a good force for us all-look at how the number of stolen cars have drastically reduced! I pointed out the failure of negotiations, that ever since 2005 we haven’t achieved any small part sovereignty, and that Israel has successfully put up more checkpoints, built more settlements, evicted more Palestinians, expropriated more land-in short, making us more occupied than we ever were.

He opened my eyes to the sad truth-one that I refused to believe that likable people could ever be victim to- that there is a large majority who wholeheartedly support the PA and would rise to its defense without thinking. I thought that the only people like that were goons. In today’s rally, I saw people who earnestly shouted for the end of the division and for national unity. They didn’t give a damn about about any political party/faction or had either become disillusioned with them a long time ago, and wanted the Palestinians to be a unitary population. I fear that we might be a tiny minority. If we weren’t, then there would have been protests against the PA. Abbas has been president for six years now, there’s only twenty four years left until we could be level with Egypt-more than enough time for a sufficient people’s revolution.   Linah Alsaafin is a third-year student at Birzeit University in the West Bank, where she is studying English Literature. She’s been living in Ramallah, West Bank since 2004, and despite being only 50 miles away from her grandparents and uncles in the Gaza Strip, she hasn’t seen them since 2005. Alsaafin was born in Cardiff, Wales, and was raised in England, the United States, and Palestine.  

     

Israel’s Egyptian teachers

Feb 06, 2011

Shmuel Sermoneta-Gertel

 

Recent events in Egypt have already provided Israelis with a number of invaluable lessons. The first was right there in the Bible the whole time (Prov 27:24 – nice play on words in Hebrew, by the way: ‘h[o]sn[i] is not forever’), but there’s nothing like a live demonstration to jog one’s memory: a system based on oppression and privilege has a limited shelf-life. Even the most stoic of peoples will eventually rise up and demand their rights and dignity. To ignore this truth in the name of stability and security is like putting out a fire with gasoline. It’s not just about human rights or international law. It’s also a really lousy survival strategy.

The second lesson is that peace agreements signed with corrupt and corruptible elites, without seeking to resolve the underlying causes of the conflict are, in the long-term, a rather unsafe investment. The active corruption of Palestinian officials and creation of a (relatively) privileged Palestinian elite have been an integral part of the “peace” process, ever since Oslo. The result – as the leaked Palestine Papers have shown – has been a Palestinian leadership capable of signing almost anything. But even if Israeli leaders were actually interested in a deal, what would such a deal be worth, without popular support, “ratified” by brute force?

The third and possibly most important lesson – certainly the most shocking for many – is that Arabs are people too. They don’t like being oppressed any more than you or me, and they are perfectly capable of rationally and heroically pursuing their goals, without any atavistic bloodlust or uncontrollable desire for revenge. The remarkable behaviour of the movement and crowds in Tahrir Square and throughout Egypt offer some indication of how Palestinians might go about building a single state, two states or a federation with Jewish Israelis once their democratic rights and fundamental humanity have been recognised.

A fourth and final lesson (for honours students only, I’m afraid) is that there is a limit to how much one can expect others – millions and tens of millions of others – to pay, in order to assuage one’s own fears and sustain one’s own unsustainable way of life.

     

A proposal to integrate the opposition into the heart of the state
Feb 06, 2011 11:30 am | Philip Weiss

 

As a foreigner who has absolute starry-eyed confidence in the youth committee that is at the vanguard of the revolution, even I am a little afraid right now of them being coopted by the U.S. and the lobby and other regressive forces in this vaunted transition period. But Issandr El Amrani has a proposal to “integrate the opposition into the heart of the state” thru the appointment of five vice presidents. The opposition, he states, is divided– so maybe this will redound to the Palestinians’ unification? El Amrani:

It would be wise at this point to curtail Suleiman’s power by handing out different functions to different vice-presidents as Mubarak withdraws from any lead role in handling the crisis. Some of what multiple vice-presidents could do:

  1. A vice-president to handle to act as a constitutional ombudsman, focusing on the enforcement of the rule of law and guiding the constitutional reform process. Could be someone like Tareq al-Bishri or Yehia al-Gammal.

  2. A vice-president to oversee and investigate the Ministry of Interior. Fully delegated to have the Minister of Interior answer to him, charged with preserving MoI documents, restoring the police’s presence, the dismantlement of the Popular Committees, and investigating the security vacuum. A prominent judge would be appropriate here.

  3. A vice-president for media and communications. This person would look at preventing any further tampering with communications by the authorities, and oversee state media to ensure equal access and the end of the propaganda and incitement of the last week. He would appoint a new Minister of Information to replace Anas al-Fiqi, who is chiefly responsible for the sad spectacle of state propaganda over the last week. Ideally, this should be a person known for media professionalism and neutrality: Salama Ahmed Salama, Hisham Kassem, etc.

  4. A vice-president that would oversee the relaunch of the economy, with economic ministers and the head of financial institutions such as the Central Bank and the Financial Services Authority directly answering to him — a kind of economic war room. Ideally, a prominent economist or even the respected head of the Central Bank, Farouk al-Ogda.

Omar Suleiman would remain as the vice-president representing the ancien regime and taking the lead with the negotiations with the (hopefully more united than it currently is) opposition. Personally, I think such a bargain would make it worth it to postpone the demand that Mubarak step down immediately.

 
     

The existential threat to Israel is… democracy

Feb 06, 2011

Philip Weiss

 

Adam Shatz in LRB rightly anatomizes Israel’s role in the counter-revolution, sees the geological shift underway– and also singles out the regrettable “mob” claim by former-liberal Richard Cohen. But the analysis:

Mubarak, when he stands down, is not likely to be missed by many people in Egypt, where he has pledged to spend his last days, but he will be missed in Washington and, above all, in Tel Aviv. Mubarak and Omar Suleiman, now the interim vice president, worked closely with Israel on everything from the Gaza blockade to intelligence-gathering; they allowed Israeli warships into the Suez Canal to prevent weapons smuggling into Gaza from Sudan, and did their best to stir up tensions between Fatah and Hamas. The Egyptian public is well aware of this intimate collaboration, and ashamed of it: democratisation could spell its end. A democratic government isn’t likely to abolish the peace treaty with Israel – even some of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood have said they would respect it. But Egyptian foreign policy would be set in Cairo rather than in Washington and Tel Aviv, and the cold peace would grow colder. A democratic government in Cairo would have to take public opinion into account, much as Erdogan’s government does in Turkey: another former US client state but one that, in marked contrast to Egypt, has escaped American tutelage, made the transition to democracy under an Islamist government, and pursued an independent foreign policy that is widely admired in the Muslim world. If Egypt became a democracy, it might work to achieve Palestinian unity, open up the crossing from Gaza and improve relations with Iran and Hizbullah: shifts which would be anathema to Israel.

Almost from the moment the demonstrations began, while much of the world rejoiced at the scenes in Tahrir Square, Binyamin Netanyahu and other high-ranking Israeli officials were urging Western politicians to stop criticising Mubarak, and raising fears of an Iranian-style revolution. For years, Israel had said it could hardly be expected to make concessions in such a dangerously undemocratic region. But as calls for Mubarak’s exit grew, Israeli officials and commentators began to talk about Arab democracy as if it constituted another existential threat to the Jewish state. ‘If, the day after elections [in Egypt], we have an extremist religious dictatorship, what good are democratic elections?’ Shimon Peres asked, while Moshe Arens, the former defence minister, wondered in Haaretzwhether Israel could make peace only with dictators like Mubarak. As one Israeli commentator wrote in Yediot Ahronot, Israel has been ‘overtaken by fear: the fear of democracy. Not here, in neighbouring countries.’

 
     

Avnery says underlying cause of Egypt is… Palestine

Feb 06, 2011

Philip Weiss

 

The ad below the excerpt is from Gush Shalom in Haaretz. And Uri Avnery gets it. Here’shis column and wonderful excerpt. By the way, this isn’t about the two-state solution or the 23-state solution. It’s about the Israel lobby and the the enforced political backwardness of the Arab world in the name of “the only democracy in the Middle East,” which isn’t. It’s about human rights and international law.

The turmoil in Egypt was caused by economic factors: the rising cost of living, the poverty, the unemployment, the hopelessness of the educated young. But let there be no mistake: the underlying causes are far more profound. They can be summed up in one word: Palestine….

When Egypt moves, the Arab world follows. Whatever transpires in the immediate future in Egypt – democracy or an army dictatorship – It is only a matter of (a short) time before the dictators fall all over the Arab world, and the masses will shape a new reality, without the generals.

Everything the Israeli leadership has done in the last 44 years of occupation or 63 years of its existence is becoming obsolete. We are facing a new reality. We can ignore it – insisting that we are “a villa in the jungle”, as Ehud Barak famously put it – or find our proper place in the new reality.

Peace with the Palestinians is no longer a luxury. It is an absolute necessity. Peace now, peace quickly. Peace with the Palestinians, and then peace with the democratic masses all over the Arab world, peace with the reasonable Islamic forces (like Hamas and the Muslim Brothers, who are quite different from al Qaeda), peace with the leaders who are about to emerge in Egypt and everywhere.

 

Ad in Ha’aretz,  Feb. 4, 2011

 

There has
Not been
And there
Will not be
Real peace with
The Egyptian people
(As distinct
From the regime)
Without peace with
The Palestinian people.

 

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Posted in Middle EastComments Off on Mondoweiss Online Newsletter

News**News**News

NOVANEWS

by crescentandcross 

 

‘Turkey and Iran to triple bilateral trade despite nuclear sanctions’

 

US Envoy’s Law Firm Represents Mu-barak

 

Clinton Says a Mu-Barak Ouster Now Could Complicate Transition

 

IsraHell Supports Democracy – Except in the Case of Egypt

 

IsraHelli Minister Barak Says No Immediate Peril From Egypt Turmoil

 

ElBaradei: Peace Treaty With IsraHell Is ‘Rock Solid’

 

Airport Attack Was Just the Start, Militants Warn Russia

 

Unlike Egyptians, IsraHellis support restricting expression

 

Jerusalem council set to approve Jewish housing in Arab neighborhood

 

Britain: IsraHell-Palestinian peace could help weaken Iran

 

IsraHelli Students Cancel Speech by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: “She is Anti-Semitic”

 

‘Islamic Revolution plays role in Egypt’

 

Iran mass-produces ballistic missiles

 

‘US pressured UK to freeze Iran assets’

 

IsraHell vows new settlements in al-Quds

 

 

 

 

 

 

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http://theuglytruth.podbean.com
 

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Posted in WorldComments Off on News**News**News

BUSH ” BLOOD MONEY” TOUR CANCELLED

NOVANEWS

 

FORMER PRESIDENT FACES “WIKI-ARREST”

By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor

Former President George “W” Bush has been forced to cancel a highly paid speaking engagement to an Israeli group in Switzerland.  Bush was going to be arrested as a war criminal.  He is now fighting extradition.  This will not be reported in any American mainstream media.

Wikileaks, an organization many say exposes American hypocrisy while serving Israel’s global ambitions, a hypothesis well supported by even a cursory examination of the carefully chosen material “leaked” to date, has had one quite positive result worldwide.  Human rights activists around the world have been vindicated and government after government is prepared to use the legal process to lash out at the remnants of America’s unilateralist policies during the Bush administration.

Bush, whose two term presidency saw a virtual takeover of most US government functions, both domestic and foreign, by Israeli interests, now faces imprisonment largely because of Wikileaks, an organization said to be directly controlled by Israeli intelligence.

Psychological warfare and disinformation are not perfect sciences.  This may be the biggest “Wiki-backfire” yet.

MANY AMERICANS WHO TRAVEL UNDER THREAT

Americans abroad are seldom subject to legal scrutiny.  That, however, seems to have changed.  Now it seems, only Israelis will enjoy the privilege that has allowed acts like Israel’s piracy attack on the Freedom Flotilla to go unpunished.  Now, however, with the chilling of relations between the US and Israel, more Americans are likely to be subjected to laws demanding accountability for their parts in governmental crimes, even though they were involved in a private capacity.

 

NATIONS UNDER OBLIGATION TO DETAIN THOSE COMPLICIT IN TORTURE OR DETAINEE ABUSE OF ANY KIND

In coloring America’s government as conspiratorial and criminal, Wikileaks has shined a spotlight on the broad involvement of many sectors in America, both public and private, and their roles in torture, murder, kidnapping and war for profit.  At one time or another, every court, every police agency, every military command, every newspaper or network has knowingly advocated human rights abuses and too many have openly participated.

Totally by accident, Julian Assange may have done more to restrict air travel by Americans than the TSA, or even Michael Chertoff and the bogus “crotch bomber” or the long forgotten “Times Square fizzler.”

Wikileaks has placed a target on any American who travels.

“Did he torture in Iraq as a soldier?”  “Did he advise on the legality of waterboarding as a law professor?”  “Did she help prosecute an alleged terror suspect who had been abused?”

Not only Wikileaks, but the string of revolutions, all based on rights abuses to which the United States may have been fully complicit, has made the atmosphere even more charged.  With many worldwide doubting the credibility of America’s claim its government wasn’t involved in staging 9/11, over 77% in Australia in a recent national poll,  the human rights “rampage” waged at the demand of the United States under the discredited “war on terror” is facing wide legal review.

“GEORGE “W” BUSH, WANTED FOR TORTURE AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY”

An Israeli based ultra-nationalist group, Karen Haysod, is going to wait a long time to hear George W. Bush speak.  Arrest warrants have been issued in Switzerland for Bush, charging him with a broad list of war crimes under a United Nations convention that obligates any signatory nation to take a violator, one believed to have been involved in torture in any manner, into custody.  Though Bush is the highest profile target of this law, literally dozens of high government officials in the US are no longer free to travel openly, along with thousands of others including judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, security and intelligence officers and members of the US military.

Any American involved in the apprehension, detention, interrogation or prosecution of anyone who was subjected to any pain and suffering, mental of physical, is considered a war criminal and subject to arrest.

For the first time in American history, a former president is not free to travel, even to peaceful Switzerland, because of an outstanding warrant for his arrest. A 2500 page criminal indictment of George “W” Bush was said to be awaiting Bush if he entered Switzerland. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair faces similar “challenges” during travel, both men paralleling the situation Hitler and Mussolini might have been in had they survived World War II due to a negotiated peace, which could have been a real possibility, many historian say.

Bush has a tenuous claim to diplomatic immunity as a former chief of state. However, continual admissions of ordering “waterboarding” or “enhanced interrogation,” obligate the 147 nations that are signatory to the United Nations Convention on Torture to arrest, not only Bush, but members of his administration along with tens of thousands of members of America’s armed forces who have violated this law.

Precedents set at Nuremberg established a framework for even diplomats to be executed.

Von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister (diplomatic immunity)

Article I is simple and straight forward:

Article 1

For the purposes of this Convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

This article is without prejudice to any international instrument or national legislation which does or may contain provisions of wider application.

Even more curious is Article 15.  Other articles cover mandatory extradition for any violator and provide for no excuses, not “following orders” or taking legal advise from former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who, by the way, also faces criminal charges.

 

Article 15

Each State Party shall ensure that any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made.

REPORTERS/PUNDITS/BLOGGERS EVEN ACTORS FACE ARREST

Everyone from conservative bloggers to talk radio hosts to starts of prime time TV dramas may be at risk for prosecution, not just for torture, international law, but under expanded national “hate crime” laws, some of which are quite undemocratic and draconian, all pushed through by powerful Zionist interests. Hundreds have been imprisoned already in Europe, Canada, Australia, jailed for “thought crimes,” generally criticism of Israeli foreign policy which is labeled as racism or Antisemitism. Defense of torture is covered by those same acts and now, with the current rift between the US and Israel, Americans who violated these laws in support of Israel face prosecution.

MOVIE POSTER PROMOTING TORTURE

Is this “perfect irony” or what?(sic)

Before 9/11, well organized penetration of the internet by a coordinated consortium of groups funded by the Heritage Organization, the American Enterprise Institute and the Republican Party, partnered with ultra-nationalist extremists in Israel, Netanyahu’s Likudists and their American branch, AIPAC set the tone for the wave of propaganda that would follow 9/11.  The takeover of Fox News by Rupert Murdoch, an Israeli-Australian Likudist billionaire, put into motion the “cheerleaders of torture.”

Joining this group were dozens of former military officers, hired by the Pentagon, to spread news stories meant to justify torture and illegal detention.  These “Pentagon Pundits” were only a part of the US government’s “psyop” (psychological operations) warfare program waged against the American people, a program carefully designed to condition the public to accept, not only diminished civil rights but widespread war crimes.

With websites like www.familysecuritymatters.org and its hundreds of virtual clones, some financed by “think tanks,” some by public relations firms representing munitions manufacturers, the post 9/11 internet environment seethed with “Islamophobia” and open advocacy of, not only torture and rendition, but “death squads” and assassinations as well.

The most effective tool in this psychological warfare operation against America, conditioning the public to, not only accept war crimes as acceptable but to openly support them, was the television and motion picture industry.  Literally thousands of television shows and movies were produced with themes favoring torture, rendition and assassination.

Shows like “Rescue Me” continually “sold” the now refuted 9/11 cover story while others, NCIS and dozens of police dramas, vilified Muslims while presenting a bucolic view of life in Israel.  Many openly depicted acts of torture and abuse of prisoners, carefully produced to gain public support, evil and cartoonish villains, heroic Mossad agents, leering “terrorists.”

Almost all shows were produced for viewing in America and Western Europe by Israeli citizens of members of pro-Zionist groups.

TORTURE AND EVANGELICAL ZIONISM, WAR CRIMINALS IN THE PULPIT

Torture was “sold” to congress, to the troops, to the American public as “Christian righteousness,” part of a “clash of cultures.”  Half “crusade” and half “inquisition,” America’s military took on much of the language and many of the obscene practices of the Tribunal del Santo Oficio de la Inquisición, the monstrosity of senseless imprisonment, degradation and abuse in order to extract confessions used to justify more torture and abuse.

From TV studios across America, from hundreds of pulpits, religious leaders, Christian Evangelicals, Zionists, Dominionists, hundreds of pastors including and especially the Chaplain’s Corps of the United States military, the call came out, justifying torture, murder and rape.

America chose to put the face of Christ on the mask of the torturer and executioner and in doing so, spat in the face of g-d himself.

INQUISITION-1478 SPAIN OR 2005 IRAQ?

The marriage between America’s primitive and often violent religious sects and right wing extremist politics that had begun during the Reagan administration reached full flower after 9/11, no longer constrained by any human accountability.  America had contracted rabies.

All world religions are subject to attack, dogma should always be questioned.  Any organization that holds belief over fact is subject to extremism.  Fundamentalist sects, not just Islam, but Judaism and Christianity as well, seek a return religious law or Sharia, the Islamic name for the sacred law.  Witch burning, stonings for adultery, all a part of Christian fundamentalism, one”Taliban” much like another.

One difference used to damn Islam, the extremes of dress in some Islamic nations have no basis in Koranic education but are derivative of 16th century Wahhabi “reforms unrelated to the teachings of the Prophet. (Peace Be on Him)

Where 7th century Islam may be spread by the sword, 20th century Judaism speaks of humans as “goyim” or cattle and religious leaders openly suggest that killing non Jews, even on whim, is consistent with “righteousness.”  The rantings of the murderous Rabbi friends of Benjamin Netanyahu are mild in comparison to the calls for nuclear incineration of “non believers” that are heard daily during the hours of religious indoctrination that cadets at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs are subjected to.

Torture becomes second nature.  This is how Dr. Aafia could be held on an American Air Force base for five years, tortured and raped, then put on trial afterwards.  As religious extremism infected the military, starting with the Commander in Chief downward, personal responsibility was abrogated for the Third Reich mentality and the old excuse, “I was only following orders.”

CONCLUSION

America’s expansion of Israeli tactics, kidnapping, torture, mass detentions, military tribunals, on a massive scale with innocent victims dragged off the streets in dozens of countries, later to be released without apology or “disappeared,” having died in captivity, succumbed to torture and abuse, has put every American under a microscope.  Existing laws in Canada and Europe, enacted at the behest of Israel in order to suppress reexamination of the holocaust, can now be applied against any individual, even members of the press, who have spoken or even blogged in support of torture.

Wikileaks has, it seems, been very successful and perfectly timed.  People around the world are standing up, yearning for freedom.  America is an easy target.  It invaded Iraq after starving 700,000 children to death.  Its private airlines move kidnap victims, a rare few captured in battle, most kidnapped from streets, bus stations, dragging them to a slow death from torture.  America’s friends, like Mubarak in Egypt, where hundreds of illegal detainees were tortured and killed in secret detention centers, are now coming under attack.

Though Wikileaks, despite empty promises, has failed to disclose secrets outlining the slaughter of 300,000 Palestinians in an open program of apartheid and ethnic cleansing and has safeguarded the secrets of 9/11, an awakened public will seek justice and not always look toward the misdirection Assange and his friends stage.

Today, one hateful and miserable failure, a “Bush” has been “inconvenienced.”  The powerful and privileged of the world cringe at the idea that “one of them” might be asked to answer for crimes against humanity.  Forces are being marshaled even now, legions of the cruel, the ignorant and unwashed, drawn to the side of the foppish thug.

Posted in USAComments Off on BUSH ” BLOOD MONEY” TOUR CANCELLED

Why Are Americans Blocked From Watching Al Jazeera?

NOVANEWS

Want the best coverage of what’s happening in Egypt?  Turn to Al Jazeera English … Oh, wait, you probably can’t.

 

As Ryan Grim writes for the Huffington Post:

Canadian television viewers looking for the most thorough and in-depth coverage of the uprising in Egypt have the option of tuning into Al Jazeera English, whose on-the-ground coverage of the turmoil is unmatched by any other outlet. American viewers, meanwhile, have little choice but to wait until one of the U.S. cable-company-approved networks broadcasts footage from AJE, which the company makes publicly available. What they can’t do is watch the network directly.

Grim notes the irony of the fact that Egypt’s blackout of the Internet is scorned here in the U.S., but at the same time cable companies are refusing to offer Americans Al Jazeera because of “political and commercial reasons” that amount to basically a bunch of xenophobic hooey.

Whether this is xenophobia or censorship in the USA, Americans ought to have the right to view programming from around the world.   We need an educated population, not an ignorant one.  We ought not be afraid of connections around the world.  We ought to embrace the challenge and not run from it.

The good news is that you can find the programming on Al Jazeera’s website, where they stream live — and apparently 60 percent of their traffic right now is coming from the U.S. And the bottom of Grim’s article lists several satellite TV stations and radio programs carrying some Al Jazeera English content.

Lets hope that American TV broadcasters get the message and provide us with access

No Fear!

Posted in USAComments Off on Why Are Americans Blocked From Watching Al Jazeera?

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