Archive | May 8th, 2011

EARLY CHRISTIAN MYSTICS AND MUSLIMS

NOVANEWS

by crescentandcross

 

 

Nimat Allah Al Hardini from Hardin (Lebanon)

By Basheer Soormally, Reader of The Ugly Truth

I HAD 101 titles in mind for the above; but don’t ask yourself or me why I chose this one!  Two of the imagined titles were: “Early Christian Mysticism” and “From Messiah Christ to Clown Obama”.  I have seen unfolding in front of my very eyes, utterly powerless, the live enacting of endless myths, lies, deceptions, mass murder and global plunder where the perverted money changers and their armies of assassins have created havoc on GOD’s earth, whether acting on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church, the Roman Empire, the promoters of the so-called Enlightenment, the European Colonial Empire or its modern military industrial complex now engaged in a Renewed Crusade against 1.5 billion Muslims, and their religion Islam, which although being the first Christian Reformation has been refused all legitimacy by Western Christendom on the grounds of their claim to the superiority of the white European race and the inferiority of the Arabs, the white non Europeans and the non whites alike, and because of their visceral hatred for the Arabic language and for Islam.  They accepted all the other Christian “denominations” or reformed groups because they are all white European Sects although they have now sort of accepted the Black Christian denominations as well.  This white European racism has caused most Muslims to forget that Christianity is part of their religion, and they always refer only the 1400 year-old Islam, but I don’t.  Islam started with the very first Creation.  I recently even witnessed the resurrection of the dead: Muslim Sheikh and Mujaahid Usama Bin Ladin, a well documented twenty first century miracle performed by an “American” clown-god with a Yiddish soul – Baruch Obama!

I expect most Christians (even some Muslims) of The Ugly Truth to feel that I am showing no respect for their religion or even insult their faith.  The truth is that I have the utmost respect for the Christian and Muslim faiths as long as they do no harm to self or to others and are truthful.  I never insult people’s faith.  Islam does not allow this.  As, for Christianity, I claim to be Christian (a name given by outsiders) and it is the perfect right of other Christians to disagree with me, but not to lie about me and the statements I make here.  I have only one religion and way of life and there is no risk ever that I will convert to any other religion and this is the religion of Truth and Justice whatever name people may give to it.  I believe only in Truth and Justice for all, and Love for all true, sincere and good people.  Mainstream Christians believe in loving the sinners and criminals, but I don’t, because my understanding of love, compassion, sin, crime and punishment is different.  People can call my religion by different names: Hinduism, Israelitism, Christianity or Islam.  I have no objection at all to be called Hindu, Israelite, Christian or Muslim as long as it does not go against Truth and Justice.  This exposé will respect the truth as far as the facts I will refer to are provable to be true.  But, I stress that it is not about religion, but only about the survival of mankind as a moral, spiritual and human creation of some invisible force beyond our limited human comprehension.

Mysticism is not about religion or faith or intellectuality, but about spirituality, and this can be of any faith, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian or Muslim.  I cannot unfortunately include Jews in my list, although I would like too, as I have seen them to be the farthest from any kind of spirituality because of their inherent perverted and criminal ways, their racism, arrogance, superiority complex and total lack of humility.  To be a mystic, we do not have to believe in any particular GOD although mystics try to experience a mystical union or a direct communion with the ultimate reality that many call GOD.  It is a personal (subjective) quest that is not necessarily founded on a particular Holy Scripture.  Subjective experience on the higher plane of spirituality is good and not in the sense the term subjective is commonly used.

When people tend to concentrate too much on the Scriptures alone, for example, Christians and Muslims, most tend to loose contact with reality, with GOD Himself because they have turned GOD into a kind of personal property that nobody else can ever possess or even understand.  This is the case mainly with Jews.  Their God is a personal God and they are the Chosen ones of that God.  All the others, the inferior ones, are the REJECTED ones of God.  But, I am no friend of those Chosenites and I wish my Christian and Muslim Brothers and Sisters would always keep in mind that we were and should remain ONE big family, and must remain united against all the forces of evil from outside as represented by the Jews and their likes as well as from inside from our own ranks.  The enemies are countless, but the worst one is within our own selves, our own communities, and our own governments, which means that egocentrism, fanaticism, and blind patriotism and nationalism are also our enemies.  The truth is that we do not even have a consistent religion although we claim to be part of one.  The all powerful state makes us change our religion on a daily basis because of mass mind control and manipulation.  The Godless State very cleverly takes advantage of our passions and our addiction to worldly things and total indifference to truth and justice with the catastrophic result that we damaged our spirit and lost our soul, which they claim we do not have anyway, calling us rational beings with an animal body and mind and no spirit.  Our early Christian fathers knew about this pathology of the human heart and mind they called the eight passions later made up into the Seven Deadly Sins of the Roman Catholic Church.  The more the Christians were made to believe that they had sinned, the more (tax) money came into their coffers because they sold indulgences!

I once read a book on Omar Shariff (Michael Salhoub).  He says in it how he felt the overpowering presence of GOD when he was shooting Lawrence of Arabia in the desert.  His father taught him both the Bible and the Qur’ân when he was young, and he was convinced that Christians and Muslims worshipped the same GOD contrary to what millions of Christians believe and preach.  Their rejection of the Muslims’ belief in GOD is responsible of all the hatred the Church-indoctrinated and Zionist-manipulated Christians have for Muslims and Islam.  But, when you visit the desert and the mountain monasteries you see, feel, know that there is GOD, and that He is ONE because you can experience it there more easily than in the artificial towns and houses we are living in where we tend to lose our humanity or humanness more and more and our GOD consciousness and see our character moulded by materialism and consumerism and our culture destroyed and nation enslaved by crony capitalism!  Our saintly early fathers have mostly been replaced by modern gurus, televangelist clowns and charlatans, Buddha, Hindu and Earth deity worshippers which are being promoted by the Christian New Agers and the Zionist controlled media including the UN.

My belief is founded on personal first hand knowledge and experience and not on acquired beliefs where everybody fights everybody else’s beliefs without realising that modern (Jewish made) culture has contaminated their respective belief systems.  They made Jesus Christ too human, always speaking of his “body” and occulting the spirit which is the very essence of Christianity which our early fathers saw as essentially mystical, or too much of a God.  While the Muslim Sufis are looking to join up with GOD, Christians adopted the reverse by dragging GOD down to earth to be incarnated into the human body.  They fail to realise that Hindus already believed in this kind of religion and have those avatars by the tons including incarnations into animals.  Whether modern Christians like it or not, the truth remains the truth and Western Christianity is not early Christianity and is so remote of Christ and his teachings.  Modern Christianity is a Catholic and Reformed religion without its roots, and this is the main cause of its weakness!  I am just trying to indicate some reasons why and where it went wrong by relating my personal experience (despite my fallible memory).  Christianity is profoundly mystical, but Zionism is certainly not!

At this stage, let me try and go back to that almost abandoned Catholic Church in Paris where I lived (or was it another one?).  I see myself praying in an almost empty Church.  GOD was right there, but nowhere outside those old walls.  I see a well dressed and quite dignified Black lady with a head scarf deep in her act of devotion or prayer.  I finish my act of worship (mistakenly called prayer or supplication by most of us) and look around.  Then, I walk out of the Church.  The lady comes up to me, grabs both my hands, kneels down and asks me to bless her.  I bless her and cannot help the tears gushing out of my heart.  She says she has some serious health problem and asks me to come to her house to do something for her.  I cannot remember exactly.  I have a feeling that I wrote about this somewhere, may be right here on The Ugly Truth.  It was my beard maybe.  I have never seen any of our early Christian fathers without a beard, but because of the modern Western hatred of the beard, I even read that Jesus did not have a beard and did not ever cover his head!  In a desert, 40 days with no head covering?  The West did everything they could to fabricate a Jesus to their personal taste and liking: white, tall, blond, blue eyes, Greek features, beardless, hatless, hippy long hair, speaking non Semitic languages and speaking more like a Greek philosopher rather than like a Semitic Prophet or Messenger of GOD and his man-made fictitious and artistic portraits made him lose all the mystery behind that pure Son of GOD.  May GOD bless Mel Gibson for bringing back the Aramaic speaking Jesus on to the cinema screen in The Passion of Jesus Christ!

That blessed day in Church, the settings of that spiritual or mystic encounter may not be very clear in my mind as there is always a risk of embellishment in the narrative as time goes by, but the very deep emotional experience was real and I am convinced it was not a simple coincidence for that lady to approach me.  This reminds me of the Hollywood-made Brothers Karamazov in which the Russian Orthodox Christian mystic bowed down in front of Dimitri Karamazov (with his head touching the floor as Jesus Christ and all early Christians did and as all Muslims have always done to this very day when worshipping GOD).  The Christian mystic then stood up, looked at Dimitri in the eye, clasped Dimitri’s right hand and raised it to his lips, then to his eyes and forehead.  This was my best part of the film and I do not think that any other actor can ever play that role again better than Yul Brynner because the interaction between him and the mystic was so vivid and so mystical.  I felt and lived every gesture, silence and uttered word of the moment.  It was not just a Hollywood “prostitute” playing a part for money, but a profoundly spiritual man (Dimitri) just being himself on the screen, and the actor playing the Christian Orthodox mystic was excellent.   No wonder the Roman Catholics who constitute the majority of Christendom do not accept Orthodox Christianity!  They have long since lost all the mystical aspect of their religion because of their imperialist and colonialist bloodthirsty adventures and Crusades.

The Russian mystic is teaching us all a lesson about Christian spirituality.  This is how we bless anything human or even an animal.  I did not learn this from books although I may have seen it practiced by humble and many religious Muslims.  Watch the sequence in the film and see for yourselves.  You must live that strongly spiritual moment where the Divine manifested Himself in two pure human souls.  I devised a way to control my inner “self” or what some call the animal instinct in us by teaching my two grand children (girls) to hold up their right hand to me whenever they see me getting angry, on the verge of getting angry or when they are scared of being punished after having done something they feel is wrong or that has been forbidden to them.  As soon as I see any one of them stretching their little angelic hand up to me, it would immediately have an extraordinary effect on me.  I would freeze. All my bestial instincts would be immediately and completely neutralised.  I would mechanically just extend my right hand, take the offering hand and kiss it, then raise it to each of my eye in turn with my soul turned to GOD.  My little angel is thus saved from being punished when I get angry.  Sometimes they would do it without me having even noticed that they have done something wrong.

Prostration is humility and a show of deep spiritual love and devotion to the other or to GOD.  In my experience, the kneeling custom adopted by Western Christians is just half way to full spiritual communion with GOD, although I have seen Christian priests prostrating with their head down on the floor (or the entire body flat on the floor) in the Vatican and in monasteries during their acts of devotion.  In one of the Gospels, we see the host rushing to remove the guest’s sandals and wash his feet, an Arab and Middle Eastern custom, but Western imposed modern culture and even laws (against hijaab, head scarf, niqaab, etc.) are destroying all our religious Traditions.

When a Western Christian walks into a Lebanese, Syrian, Arab, Coptic, Russian or Slav Church, everything is (seems) weird and alien to him or her without realising that those Churches are the closest to early Christianity and to Christ.  I walked into many Protestant (Reformed) Churches and Kingdom Halls, but I never saw or felt GOD there or anywhere near and including in the Baptist Church were I live!  The Catholic Church, despite all its idols (or maybe because of them), had (some still have) more of GOD’s presence.  I could feel it especially when it is empty.  The vast and often gloomy and cold vast space inside definitely contribute to its air of mystery.  Despite the fact that Islam forbids statues, I believe I am unique among Muslims to have experienced closeness to GOD by merely putting my hands on one of them, whether a Christian or Hindu idol.  The rosary and the Holy Qur’ân have in a way replaced the idols in Islam because many (most) humans need that sense of touch while worshipping the Almighty.  (I know some will say it is outrageous, but I said this is my personal experience.)  What they fail to realise is that the very soul of all Western churches, cathedrals and basilica come from the very caves of Syria, Arabia, Palestine and Lebanon where the first Christian congregations (ecclesia) met and where Muhammad obtained his Revelations (or inspiration).  Rome was not interested in the episode when Paul stayed in Arabia.  Why?

But, what Rome and the West destroyed of Christian mysticism, Holy Russia preserved it.  But, in the last century, whatever the Slavic people inherited from Early Christianity was destroyed for ever by the contact with the materialist West and their Jewish hordes.  All that has remained today is the souvenir of the horrible ethnic cleansing wars where, for example, Communist Serbs, many of which claimed to be Orthodox Christians, with the help of the now Godless West, mass raped Bosnians as well as Serbs because they were Muslims or even Christians and others who were allied with Muslims with more rapists and assassins provided by the mercenary Chetniks trained in Russia. Jack Straw spoke of the Serbian “factories of rape” even in Kosovo!  Today we have US and other Western recruited professional killer, torturer and rapist mercenaries (bounty killers) called Blackwater-Xe “contractors” used in all legality in their renewed Crusade against Muslims.   As it is quite clear, these monsters cannot be called Christians by any stretch of the imagination although this is how most Muslims will sadly perceive them to be, as the invaders are also trying to forcibly convert the Muslim victims and survivors of their deadly attacks to Christianity.  But, Muslims can never be converted to Christianity, but only to apostasy and atheism, yes, whereas any Christian can embrace (not convert to) Islam and stay a Christian (of Christ) as Christianity is part of Islam.

My personal deep love for Jesus Christ does not come from the modern Zionist controlled Churches, but from the ancient Lebanese, Syrian, Egyptian, desert and mountain monasteries where our early Christian Fathers were real Mystics with both a pure heart and a soul and were real HOLY men and martyrs, real SONS OF GOD like Jesus Christ, as compared to the vain beardless Western Church leaders and Popes of today.  As soon as they ‘found out’ (or Jews told them!) that shaving does not diminish masculine virility, they rejoiced and soon homosexuality became rampant, Christ suddenly lost his beard, the Popes and Clergy lost all spiritual links with Early Christianity and Christ, and they got rid of the mystery Latin provided in their liturgy.

But, Muslims kept the beard and Arabic and all the mystery (and “magic”!) is still intact despite all the attempts of the West to destroy it.  As soon as the Muslims listens to the Holy Qur’ân of timeless wisdom beautifully recited in Arabic (without any accompanying music) they immediately travel back to the Source of the Divine, to their roots and leave this material world for some time.  This is the reason the Western military superpowers, despite all their deadly weaponry, fear the Muslims and their Qur’ân so much.  Yet, they are convinced they have enough fire power to blow them up all, the entire 1.5 billion people and they do have such a diabolical Freemasonic plan, anyway, not only to exterminate Muslims, but more than 90% of mankind, Christians included. Shall we all, Christians and Muslims wait and squabble continuously among ourselves about the tenets of our religion while the Jews are laughing at us, rejoicing in our face, perverting our culture and religion and murdering us at will?  For the Jews, it is “PURIM EVERDAY” as says Brother Mark Glenn!

 

Posted in Campaigns1 Comment

Dorothy Online Newsletter

NOVANEWS

 

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem
Chair of West Midland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Dear Friends,

Just 5 items today—not because there is not more, but because 3 of the 5 are reports that warrant close attention.  I realize that all of you know what happens in the oPt, that you are aware that Israel does not treat Palestinians as human beings. Nonetheless, it is worthwhile on occasion to know exactly what is happening.  I can’t express my exact feelings when I read reports as the last 3.  I know what it’s like.  I’ve participated in many a non-violent demonstration in Palestinian villages, have talked to many Palestinians who relate their own experiences, have been around, so to speak. Yet, nevertheless, when I read or hear stories as the ones related here, my stomach turns upside down.  I know—human inhumanity to humans is legend.  Nevertheless, for me it is as painful to read about what Israelis do to Palestinians as though I were undergoing the trials myself.  May these events come to an end, soon.

The initial 2 items are brief reports, the first that the EU is sending the PA money to cover the salaries of essential workers in lieu of the money that Israel is not sending.  Actually, Israel should be held responsible!  It should not be allowed to get off the hook.  Item 2 reports that Hamas has agreed to a new ‘Shalit deal’  Let’s hope that Israel will too, both so that Shalit can go home and so that at least a thousand (of 6 or 7thousand) Palestinians can go free, too, including all the children and women being held.  Let’s hope that some day soon all the Palestinian political prisoners will be able to go home to their loved ones.

All the best,

Dorothy

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1.  Haaretz Saturday, May 07, 2011


EU approves $124 million in aid to PA after Israel blocks transfer of Palestinian funds

The European Union agrees to provide extra money to cover the salaries of essential workers and support families in need; move comes after Israel blocked transfer of 105 million dollars in tax funds to PA due to Hamas-Fatah reconciliation.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/eu-approves-124-million-in-aid-to-pa-after-israel-blocks-transfer-of-palestinian-funds-1.360273

By Reuters and Haaretz Service

The European Union said on Friday it would provide an extra 85 million euros (124 million dollars) to the Palestinian Authority to help pay salaries of essential workers and to support vulnerable families.

According to Reuters, the move was decided on after Israel on Sunday blocked the transfer of 105 million dollars in customs duties and other levies it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, following a deal to reunite the two rival Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah.

But an EU spokesperson told Haaretz that the move was not connected in any way to Israel’s blocking of the transfer of customs duties. The spokesperson said that the payment was part of a regular series of payments planned in advance.

Israel has explained the withholding of funds, saying it refuses to let revenues flow to Hamas.

A European Commission statement said the EU funds were being advanced under an accelerated procedure at the request of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to meet urgent financial needs.

The statement said 45 million euros would go toward salaries and pensions of vital workers, mainly doctors, nurses and teachers. A further 40 million would go to social allowances for vulnerable Palestinian families.

“It is important that access to essential public services remains uninterrupted and the right to social services is respected,” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said.

The EU funds are in addition to 100 million euros already approved for 2011.

The money will be channeled through an EU mechanism which has provided 762 million euros in aid to the Palestinian Authority since 2008, in addition to 276 million from EU states.

Palestinians see reconciliation between the secular Fatah and Islamist Hamas as crucial for their drive for an independent state in Gaza and the West Bank. The two groups had been at odds since a brief civil war in 2007, after which Hamas seized control in Gaza, and Fatah was left to administer the West Bank.

Israel has condemned the unity pact as a “tremendous blow to peace”, with Netanyahu refusing to negotiate with Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction.

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2.  Haaretz Sunday, May 08, 2011


Report: Hamas agrees to new Egyptian draft for Shalit deal

Citing Palestinian sources, Al Jazeera reports that Egyptian authorities will present the draft to a new negotiator – presumably Israel’s – set to visit Cairo in the coming days.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-hamas-agrees-to-new-egyptian-draft-for-shalit-deal-1.360519

By Jack Khoury

The militant Palestinian group Hamas has agreed to a new draft agreement drawn up by Egypt for a prisoner swap with Israel that would see the release of an Israeli soldier held captive by the group for almost five years, Al Jazeera reported Sunday.

Following Hamas’ recent reconciliation with rival Palestinian faction Fatah, Egypt has reportedly stepped up efforts to mediate the deal, which would secure the release of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian jailed in Israel.

Citing Palestinian sources, Al Jazeera said that Egyptian authorities will present the draft to a new negotiator, presumably from Israel, who is set to visit Cairo in the coming days.

Shalit has been in Palestinian captivity since he was abducted in a 2006 cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip by militants from a number of factions, including Hamas. Shalit is now in the possession of Hamas, which seized complete power in Gaza in 2007.

The group’s leader, Khaled Meshaal, said during last week’s signing ceremony for the  reconciliation with Fatah that he hoped to see Palestinians imprisoned in Israel released as soon as possible.

Israel and Hamas have been negotiating for years via a foreign mediator on a prisoner swap deal.

The Al-Hayat newspaper reported late last month that Ahmed Jabari, the head of Hamas’ military wing, met recently with Egypt’s new intelligence chief to hash out a plan to advance the prisoner exchange.

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3.  The IWPS house team has been very active for the past couple weeks. There are few internationals in the West Bank at the time and we are working together in an attempt to cover the many needs of Palestinian villages under attack from settlers and the Israeli Occupation Forces. It must also be noted with sadness that the Michigan Peace Team suffered a major loss when one of their members was brutally attacked by soldiers in Izbet at Tabib, resulting in both her wrists being broken. Their team, being only 2 on the ground at the time, has had to leave Palestine.

The IWPS house had 3 people on the ground for the past 3 weeks. Prior to that we were 2 people for 2 weeks and during that time we accomplished a lot of administrative work- our computer was updated and the filing system updated, our human rights reports were organized and uploaded to the website by year, IWPS cards were updated and sent to a printer in Biddiya, we purchased a new printer (our old one stopped working) and our website has been given a lot of life though it remains an ongoing work in progress.

We have made a number of solidarity visits to friends of IWPS in Deir Istiya, Hares, Biddiya, Mas’ha, Nabi Salih, Qusin, Awarta and other villages in the West Bank. We attended part of the International conference in Bil’in and attended the weekly demonstration there one time, We responded to a number of arrest reports and settler attacks both in Deir Istiya and other villages in the region. We also made several visits to the Wadi Qana, both to gather information about the problems farmers face there as well as to assist in some farming work.

We were called to the village of Qusin because 2 children were arrested, being falsely accused of throwing rocks. They were released after 12 hours, however their father had to pay 1200 NIS and has been threatened to have to pay another 100,000NIS less his children have to go to court where they stand the chance of a long imprisonment. It was a sad situation as the extended family was preparing a large celebration because the children had been released then the father received the phone call that the additional fee would have to be paid. He does not have such an exorbitant amount of money.

A third team mate arrived and after orientation we made the rounds of village visits in Deir Istiya, including a tour with Abu Nasser. During our village visits we learned that the IOF had bulldozed dozens of olive trees and destroyed a new terrace which an elderly couple had labored to build. This demolition was for the expansion of Revava. We offered to accompany the couple on their next visit to their farm land.

On the following day we walked the road to Hares in order to photograph and document the expansion of the illegal settlement of Revava. The expansion is immense. We then visited Issa Souf who shared openly with us his views and analysis of what is happening in the West Bank vis a vis the illegal military Occupation and the Illegal Settlements. We exchanged stories about the local settler violence and settler attacks and Issa expressed to us how he sees the future unfolding. He believes that the settlements have been intentionally established in order to complete the work of the Israeli Occupying Power and in time will want their own autonomy. This way, Issa believes, the settlers will continue on with the project of illegally annexing the West Bank and obtaining and controlling a united Samaria Judea. While Palestinian villages will be further stunted and vanquished. The visit ended by  Issa introducing us to his new baby girl and boy twins and other children and thanking us for our time and extending an invitation to us to come back again soon.

We  also visited with Um Rabia and then met with Um Fadi with whom we visited [Muneira Amar] in Mas’ha. Behind the locks, chains and gates this family continues to survive but their isolation and forced separation from their old neighbours and friends stands out clearly. In spite of the hardship that this family are facing every day Munira told us that she is still hopeful that her resistance will bear fruit and that she still has hope.

We participated in a detailed tour of the Qalqiliya region with a Palestinian activist. We learned and witnessed the many negative impacts of this Apartheid Wall through hearing her personal story and through listening to her account of how the Wall disrupts the lives of every Palestinian in the region. She has become an excellent contact for IWPS.  We also met with the Municipality Press officer who gave us a CD which will be uploaded shortly on our website.

In a follow up visit with residents of Awarta we learned that settlers were continuing to attack village homes and the Mosque. The villagers stated that they are fearful of future settler violence. We along with ISMers offered to co ordinate a presence in the village. Fuller co ordination is necessary between village council and internationals. A follow up meeting was held between Palestinian activists, ISM, IWPS and Jordon Solidarity Group. Palestinian activists are to follow up with village council and villagers of Awarta.

On the following day we were asked by Rizik to attend a meeting in Zeita Jamma’in re: annexation of land in Wadi Qana and settler attacks. IOf  had accompanied “archeologists” who are claiming that agricultural land of Zeita Jamma’in is an ancient Jewish heritage site. We visited the site… it is an ancient ruins perhaps 4000 years old. The villagers have used this land for agriculture for as long as they can remember.

At the same time another IWPS member accompanied a Danish delegation to the Wadi Qana. The group had funded agricultural development in the area through a human rights and democracy program. The Wadi Qana valley is an area that will need fuller international support lest it be entirely taken over by the settlements; unfortunately, this is an area that is often overlooked by international activists, due to its isolation and the fact that the farmers of the area are hesitant to contact internationals when they are and their land are attacked. This is an issue IWPS could be more proactive in given our proximity and connections.

We spent a night in Nabi Salih, visiting with the women whose husbands are recently arrested political prisoners for their non-violent resistance to the theft of their land by the illegal settlement of Hallamish. The following day we attended the weekly demonstration which was one of the more violent ones we have witnessed. The IOF injured several people, and an 11 year old boy remains in the hospital with bleeding from his liver and kidney after being hit with a tear gas projectile the previous week. Skunk water was sprayed into villagers homes 3 times after the demonstration had ended.

During our visit to Zeita Jamma’in we met a woman whose job is outreach to needy women in the Nablus area. We arranged a visit in Burin to a widow whose home is attacked by settlers on a regular basis. She and her children live in constant fear and the settlers have caused considerable financial hardship to them by destroying their olive trees and killing more than half their sheep. Unfortunately our visit was cut short by a call to respond to imminent land and home demolitions in the village of Izbat at Tabib.

When we arrived at Izbat at Tabib we witnessed three activists under arrest and a 3rd seriously injured by the IOF. It was later determined that this activist- a 60 y/o woman from the United States sustained 2 broken wrists. Though only a small portion of the planned demolitions took place that day, we have maintained a presence there for the past week. In this time 2 homes have been raided and ransacked by the IOF and the solidarity tent which was erected on May 2, 2011 was destroyed and its remains were confiscated. Internationals are now staying in villagers homes to maintain a constant presence.

IWPS house team has now returned to Deir Istiya to welcome and orientate a new and fourth team mate.

In Solidarity,

House Team

7th May 2011

PS… for more information please visit our new website at http://iwps.info.org  and volunteer blogs at http://wordsfrompalestine.org

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4.  The Weight of Nationalism in Nabi Saleh

http://972mag.com/the-weight-of-nationalism-in-nabi-saleh/

Joseph Dana

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5.  David Shulman in another of his reports,

sending his personal testimony from the

fields of Susya and Lasefer in south Mt. Hebron.

Susya and Lasefer, May 7, 2011

Two things strike you immediately, closely followed by a familiar third. The first is the sheer brazenness of the theft—or, rather, of the thief, who stands before you jeering, smug, sure of his power, eager to hurt. He has already taken some 95% of your family’s land, and now he bullies his way into the tiny patch that is left in order to harass you and humiliate you further, for this evidently gives him joy. Then there is the pure racism, purer perhaps than what one sees anywhere else in the world today. The thief regards you as barely human, an object capable only of feeling pain, though he needs you as his victim, for without you he is incomplete, profoundly frustrated, lonely, unfulfilled. Thus the settler in his Shabbat white, a huge knitted skullcap on his head, takes a pebble and holds it out on his fingertips to a Palestinian woman from Susya as he clucks his tongue at her, beckoning her, teasing her, as one would a dog, then tosses the pebble at her in contempt, as one throws a dog a biscuit, and he laughs. I saw him do it this morning in Susya, and I wasn’t the only witness.

The third thing is the system that protects the thief and ensures that no harm will come to him and that he will never be punished, for the system is built upon his theft.

None of this is new, only somehow starker, more palpable, yet hardly credible, on this perfect spring morning in south Hebron. Drops of bitter-sweet dusty rain fell in Jerusalem as I left home, but here in Susya we witness a shocking choreography of cloud and sun, and the air lingers on my tongue and the light caresses my eyes and the wind is here, too, to welcome us back. The stubborn barley is a bit higher than it was when I was here three weeks ago. It is 9:00, and there is no time to lose. We rush from the van over the hill to the olive grove in the wadi; a donkey brays. Past the trees, up the slope, on Palestinian land, a group of ten or twelve settlers is enacting a brutal ritual of mockery, singing, snarling, making obscene gestures, sneering at the Palestinians who stand in disarray just below them. The leader—the one of the dog-gesture—literally dances in and out of the Palestinian clusters, daring them to stop him, taunting them, and from time to time he lashes out at them with his fists, pushes, shoves, pounds at them, demonstrating his absolute superiority, relishing this moment of his power and the precious opportunity to insult. The three soldiers who have clambered down the hill from the settlement cannot stop him, nor do they seem very eager to do so. They struggle vainly to separate the settlers from their victims, but this is not a static setting; the settlers push ever more deeply into the tiny Palestinian enclave, and movement swirls and spills out over the hill, an alternative, ugly human choreography to match that of clouds and sun above as we ebb and flow in arcs and circles, trying to shield the Palestinians from their attackers, and the soldiers bark their futile threats and orders, and soon we’re already half a mile north of the olive grove where we began and the settlers are closing in now on the sheepfold and the tents and the access road, still very much in control.

More soldiers—Border Police—arrive. They begin, as usual, by arresting, more or less at random, an elderly Palestinian gentleman, whom they spirit away to a makeshift holding area among the trees. By now a second Ta’ayush contingent has arrived, a large group. Amiel strides straight into the battle zone and, within seconds, is arrested and handcuffed; as always, he is calm, self-possessed, and unafraid, but the Border Police officer tells him he is resisting arrest and will suffer the consequences. Why, one wonders, should the officer want to lie? No one touches the rampaging settlers.

So it goes for a long time, maybe two hours or so of dashing madly over the hills to head off one settler attack after another, and then the settlers send their large herd of sheep to graze, where else, in the Palestinian fields and the soldiers force them back uphill, and a vast line of settlers from Susya, women, children, men, some armed with machine guns, emerge for their Shabbat stroll through the lands of their Palestinian neighbors with four or five army command-cars to protect them—as if the Palestinians and not these settlers were the threat to peace and quiet on this bright windy morning. “They always want to make trouble, and the soldiers go with them,” says a dignified Palestinian shepherd, watching this long column in disgust as he holds high the upper row of a make-shift barbed-wire fence so we can pass through. It’s been some time since I’ve run so far and so fast over these rocks.

We’ve got it all down in high-quality digital films. Someday, I think, not yet but someday, some of the criminals will yet pay for their crimes. Their time will come.

When at last it’s over and we’re no longer needed, we split into two groups. One crosses the road to what’s left of the Jbur family’s encampment, which the Civil Administration demolished on Thursday. Yesterday the family itself was driven out with stun grenades and tear gas and blows—one woman was wounded in the leg. I won’t repeat the whole story, which I’ve described before. But I take this demolition as a personal affront, since among other acts of violent destruction the army obliterated a large well that I helped dig out from the stones and dirt left by its  previous demolition. We worked for hours that day, and it looked like the well would eventually be serviceable again. My back hurt for weeks. There’s nothing left there now. The Civil Administration prides itself on its efficiency.

The other group, which I join, heads for the Abu Kbeita fields on the slopes under a small khirbeh called Lasefer. This is another long and tortuous story. We are close to the Green Line—and, indeed, the main checkpoint on the road, recently privatized, is several kilometers north of the border, as if Palestinian lands lying to the south had already been annexed to Israel. What this means in practice is that the Abu Kbeita family, among others, have been turned into Illegal Aliens (shabachim) while residing in their own homes. They’re not the only ones to suffer this fate, heavy with consequences for daily survival; but in addition, they have to deal with a settler, Danny, who claims that the Abu Kbeita fields, leased from the original owner, Hawamdi, in Samu’a, belong to him. He is wrong: the case went to the Supreme Court, which decided in 1991 in favor of the Palestinians. None of this has stopped the settlers, including those from Beit Yatir just across the main road, from trying to drive Mahmud Abu Kbeita and his three brothers off the land. These settlers, like so many others in south Hebron, are often violent; they have stoned the Abu Kbeitas when they felt like it, broken the arm of Osama, one of Mahmud’s sons, and even penetrated into the family house in al-Aseifar where, according to some testimonies, they drove a large knife or other weapon right through the wall.

Here’s a lesson in reality in the south Hebron hills. In November the family plowed the main field and sowed it with barley and wheat. In December settlers came and plowed over the fledgling shoots. The family sowed again, and now it is harvest time—but two weeks ago the settlers invited the police to arrest Mahmud on some trumped-up charge, and the police acceded with alacrity to this request. He spent 24 hours in one of the ugliest lock-ups in the country, handcuffed and footcuffed much of the time. When they finally brought him before a judge, the latter could find no evidence of any possible violation that could be attributed to this man, but the judge fined him anyway with a 5000-shekel “bond”– a huge sum of money for a Palestinian family of small-scale farmers– and also ruled that he could not approach his fields for 14 days. If you have ever met a farmer, you know what this means.

Mahmud is that rarest of beings, a really good man. You know this from the first instant you meet him. Decency and goodness and good cheer radiate from him, and from his sons as well. He tells me the sorry story without acrimony but with a kind of aching bewilderment. “I don’t understand the judge. He could find nothing against me, but still he ruled that I have to pay and have to stay away from my fields. Where is the law? Why should it lie? And how can Danny the settler stand in front of me and lie to my face? I thought I’d go crazy in the jail; I’m a farmer, I am always outside in the fields and the open air, not confined and chained. After 24 hours, your whole body aches. Then they bring you to the court and keep you there, handcuffed, for a whole day with nothing to eat or drink, nothing, your bones hurt, and when you finally come before the judge you can’t find the words. I and my family own 350 dunams, all the way up to and beyond the checkpoint, and I lease this field from Hawamdi and have all the documents to prove it; the Supreme Court also confirmed this, but the settlers still harass us day by day. I submitted a complaint to the police, and you know what happened? Nothing at all. But today you are here, and this is as life should be, Arabs and Jews working together as friends.”

And indeed we are working hard: after a short lesson from Isma’il, another gentle, good-natured son, in the ancient mysteries of ripe barley and wheat, we crouch in the fields and pull the stalks from the caked brown earth with our fingers, brush off the clods sticking to the roots, and pile our treasures here and there in the field in small, slowly swelling heaps. I don’t remember the last time I harvested the spring wheat crop, like in the Book of Ruth, but I remember well the unearthly joy of it, which can, in my view, heal all sorrows of the soul (as I guess it did for Ruth). I’m not sure I can tell the barley from the wheat, even after Isma’il’s lesson, but clearly both somehow manage to emerge, in bright greens and yellows, out of this unpromising, desiccated soil. When I’m not bending over the stalks, I steal glances at the hills and the Yatir forest and the not-so-distant desert, a landscape that ravishes the heart– perhaps, I think to myself, the most beautiful I’ve seen in the world. They bring us tea and fresh bread and white cheese made this morning and the salty hard yellow cheese of this region that lasts forever, and after a while they invite us to feast on fariki:  you take the green, freshly-harvested wheat and roast it in fire, there in the field, then you crack it open and let it rest on your tongue, still hot and pungent, before your swallow. There’s nothing like it, take my word.

A great peace comes over me. For just a moment I let go of the questions that torment me:  how can anyone, man or woman, steal such a field and then stand before the true owner and lie shamelessly to his face? I’m 62 years old and I don’t understand, will clearly never understand. I can imagine greed, in all its cruelty and obsession, can even find it in myself, but that brazen lie, eye to eye, troubles me—that and the ruthless assault on the goodness that the earth offers those who care for it. Anyway I’ve been thinking about truth and its intrinsic worth, and the value of the moral act, even if it goes unnoticed. It is so easy to say in a wishful, or hopeful, romantic way that truth—speaking truth– will necessarily leave a mark on the world. Is there a deeper, tougher way to think about it? I indulge the romantic notion, no question. And yet to stand up to the lie, even for a moment, even on the simplest and lowliest level, surely heals some small abrasion in the body of a wounded world. Israel today is ruled by lies, beginning with most everything the Prime Minister says and moving down the scale through his ministers and members of his cabinet to infect large parts of the press and the army and the courts and thence to the soldiers who man the checkpoints and the policeman who arrested Mahmud and the Border Police who arrested Amiel today, on and on downwards all the way to a Hell entirely of our own making. Yet I know indubitably from my own body that an act of truth can cut like a knife and that in the end it will not be wasted. This I have learned in south Hebron.

When it is time to leave we gather up the stalks and sheaves and load them onto a tall cart coupled to a tractor that Isma’il has driven down the hill. There is enough, Mahmud says, to feed the animals for over a week, and some will be left over. And there is still a vast piece of the field waiting to be harvested:  maybe next week. You take the sheaves in your arms and hold them to your chest, and then there is the sudden, wild movement when you fling them upward into the cart and let them go, like the wild movement that may happen soon when Palestine flings itself free.

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Mondoweiss Online Newsletter

NOVANEWS

 

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem

Chair of West Midland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

 

‘Geronimo EKIA’– as Indian wars continue in Palestine

May 07, 2011

Matthew Taylor

geronimo

When U.S. military officials chose the code name Geronimo for Osama Bin Laden– and then bulletined his death as Geronimo EKIA (Enemy Killed in Action)– they unwittingly cast a harsh historical light on the United States, its ally Israel, and both states’ deplorable treatment of their indigenous populations.

Although Uncle Sam patriots glorify a distorted past that never was, in truth the U.S. was founded on a massive campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing that annihilated most Native Americans and corralled the relatively few survivors into intolerable reservations. Stripped of their land base and way of life, American Indians today endure further devastation as greedy corporations encroach onto their small remaining territories to mine uranium and other resources, often exposing the populations to cancerous pollution.

Both the U.S. and the modern state of Israel were founded on an ideology of a promised land for a chosen people, and to hell with the natives. Israel’s policy of dismembering Palestinian communities, demolishing their homes, stealing their land, and packing them into fragmented urban islands echoes the U.S. treatment of its indigenous peoples.

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In January 2007, when then-Secretary of State Condolezza Rice paid a visit to the Hawara movement barrier (checkpoint) near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, Palestinians dressed up in Native American costumes to protest the U.S. role in funding and arming their immiseration. The protesters held aloft signs that said, “Is this our reservation?” and “The Indian wars are not over Mrs. Rice… We are still here, too!” and “The roadblocks are ruining the Palestinian’s lives.”

Bush’s laughable explanation for 9/11 – “they attacked us because they hate our freedom” – evades the truth of blowback. According to a 2008 audiotape, one of Bin Laden’s primary motivations for the brutal September 11th, 2001 attack was the U.S. role in funding Israel’s theft of Palestinian land. Bin Laden’s murderous methods to express his grievances were despicable. That said, I suspect that those who misguidedly mourn Bin Laden do so for his temerity in opposing U.S./Israeli bullying.

Geronimo was a highly revered Apache warrior who resisted the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Native Americans. The U.S. government labeled him a terrorist. The real perpetrators of terror, those who ordered and carried out the destruction of indigenous societies, were never condemned in such terms. Apache and Native leaders castigate the Bin Laden analogy, which is part and parcel of a U.S. tradition of both calling its enemies indigenous names (translation: all Indians are enemies and vice versa), and appropriating Native culture in militaristic, imperial ways (ex., Apache helicopters, Tomahawk missiles).

It is telling that the U.S. chose Geronimo as Bin Laden’s moniker. At an unconscious level, perhaps U.S. officials realized that just like the famous Native American warrior, Bin Laden had a valid bone to pick with Western imperialism.

U.S. conquest and subjugation of its native population is an especially sordid chapter in the history of this settler-colonial nation, disturbingly similar to Israel’s recent history. It’s time for the U.S. to finally get on the right side of history, and change its foreign policy from bankrolling Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian land to funding and promoting Israeli-Palestinian equality and reconciliation.

 

Obama’s to-do list: Free Pollard in May so he can travel safely to Israel in June

May 07, 2011

Jeffrey Blankfort

Yesterday Weiss had breakfast in Berkeley with Jeff Blankfort, who laid out the following scenario. Weiss’s notes.

I generally do not make predictions. Though I do have a check from a former CIA guy for $10 because I said there would be no attack on Iran. It was when Scott Ritter was saying there would be an attack on Iran, and I said No it would be too disastrous to the world economy. But now I’m going to make another prediction.

I begin with the question, why Osama Bin Laden was killed at this particular point in time. Because they knew where he was for a while and Al Qaeda by everyone’s observations is not a very active force, and the way I see it is, Obama has a wimp image internationally which has come largely from the way he has been repeatedly humiliated by Netanyahu with direct and indirect support from the US Congress, which has now invited Netanyahu to speak this month. The Republicans that is, though the Democrats will also cheer him.

And to prepare for Netanyahu coming here Obama needed something to restore his image as a leader or commander in chief which would make Netanyahu think twice about even indirectly attacking him in Congress. That was killing Osama bin Laden.

Now in order for Obama to get the Jewish funding he had in the last election he has to make a trip to Israel. What’s curious is that up till now he has not only not made a trip there but he hasn’t been publicly invited– and probably for the reason that Obama is so unpopular in Israel that he cannot go there and feel assured that he will come back alive. And the Netanyahu government quite likely feels the same way, because many of their elite army units which used to be secular are now ultra orthodox. Because if Obama’s going to go, he has to go in a very public way, not like sneaking into Baghdad or Kabul.

Following a meeting that Obama had with Shimon Peres a month ago there’s been an expectation that he will go to Israel in June. and the only way for him to do it at this point in time would be to free Jonathan Pollard. And there has been a major campaign to free Pollard recently, an unprecedented campaign, on the part of the Jewish community. Henry Kissinger weighed in, George Shultz weighed in, Michael Mukasey weighed in.

Heretofore previous Israeli governments and the American Jewish community have not really pushed this issue in the way they’re doing it today. Because previously they were afraid of what Pollard might say, because Pollard has said that he was betrayed by the Israelis, and Pollard’s support has largely been in the settler community. But now the setters are running Israel, and the current Israeli government is the equivalent of the Tea Party, and they have nothing to lose by anything that Pollard might say about previous Israeli governments when he gets out.

I think that if it’s going to happen, if Obama’s going to make a trip in June, he may quite likely release Pollard before or during the AIPAC convention this month (May 22-24). I think there will probably only be objections to Pollard’s release on the right. Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan. Obama will get no serious attack, though there might be people who mght question it. Paul Krugman? He won’t even talk about it. And as for the intelligence establishment in the United States that has long objected to Pollard’s release, well it’s not the same as it used to be, and even they’ll rationalize it.

What if Obama were killed in Israel? Well I they they would probably try to blame it on the Palestinians. Though given the atmosphere in Israel, any Israel who would assassinate Obama would be considered a hero among many Israelis, as was the guy who assassinated Rabin.

The fallout here? I’ve thought about that. And if Obama were assassinated there it would cause a rise in African Amercan anti-Semitism. It would be a gamechanger, and this might– it would certainly speed the self-destruction of Israel.

What puzzles me is the timing of all this. Obama has no one in Congress backing him up in confronting Israel. Remember he took this on back when he was still popular, and he got letters from both houses of Congress saying, Don’t lean on Netanyahu. He’s a president who does not have the Congress backing him up and will not get the standing ovations in Congress that Netanyahu will. So the timing puzzles me. Why now?

Why’s it happening now? This pressure to free Pollard—it was a phony issue. None of the Jewish organizations have ever been criticized for not doing enough to free Pollard because Pollard is in prison making these wild charges.

How many people are aware of this deal? I’d say a handful. David Harris of the American Jewish committee, sure. Malcolm Hoenlein. Probably not Foxman, he’s too much of a wildcard. Dennis Ross—it was probably his idea.

Leon Panetta knows. Hillary knows. So now you’re in select company.

Former Mossad chief says ‘Atlantic Magazine’ Iran scenario is stupidest idea he ever heard

May 07, 2011

Philip Weiss

Last fall the Atlantic Magazine ran a piece titled The Point of No Return, stating that an Israeli attack on Iran was a likely scenario. It was written by Jeffrey Goldberg, who once served in the Israeli military, and was a transparent effort to pressure the U.S. to do Israel’s dirty work for it. Well now the former head of Mossad, Meir Dagan, says that the Israeli Air Force attacking Iran “is the most stupid idea I ever heard”. This is Hebrew on Haaretz,. English will likely follow. Oh, here. H/t Noam Sheizaf of 972mag.

 

 

‘FT’ architect says Israeli intolerance has ‘spoilt’ Jerusalem

May 07, 2011

Philip Weiss

Changing discourse. Financial Times architecture columnist Edwin Heathcote on the “best and worst” cities in the world to live in, today’s paper. Thanks to Irma:

Jerusalem

I know, I know – beautiful, holy, history lingers in its every shady corner. Yet the treatment of Arabs as second-class citizens, the ghastly security wall smashing through its edges and the omnipresent guns have spoilt it. Jerusalem is the perfect example of why tolerance is so critical to a city.

 

 

Israelis violently break up unity rally on occupied land

May 07, 2011

Palestine Project

hamdee2From the Palestine Project:

Hebron: Three members of the Beit Ommar National Committee against the Wall and Settlements were injured this afternoon in a demonstration near the Israeli Karmei Tsur settlement.

Yousef Abu Marya, age 36, (holding up his right arm in photo above) had his wrist broken in two places by a Israeli soldiers, while Ahmed Abu Hashem, age 42, and Mousa Abu Marya, 33, sustained leg injuries.

The demonstration was organized by the National Committee Against the Wall and Settlements to celebrate the unity agreement made between Hamas and Fatah this past week in Cairo. Demonstrators held signs proclaiming “Unity is Our Strength” and “Unity = Liberty.”

This weeks demonstration included participants from other villages and regions, including Wad Rahal and the Jordan Valley, as well as international and Israeli solidarity activists. Demonstrators went to the land of Ahmed Abu Hashem, a member of the National Committee whose land has been partially annexed by the Karmei Tsur settlement.

Demonstrators were forcefully prevented from working on Abu Hashem’s land, and several, including the landowner, were pushed from the 8-foot-high terraces that bisect the hillside. Ahmed Abu Hashem and Mousa Abu Marya both sustained leg injuries after being pushed from the terraces by Israeli soldiers.

About 15 minutes into the demonstration, soldiers charged the crowd and attempted to arrest Yousef Abu Marya, a cousin of the land owner who also owns land inside the Karmei Tsur settlement. Israeli soldiers twisted his arm and wrist until it was broken in two places, and released him only when it became clear that he was seriously injured.

Abu Marya was taken to a hospital in Hebron, where he was treated for a broken wrist and sprained leg. An Israeli supreme court ruling in 2006 declared that farmers whose land had been annexed by the Karmei Tsur settlement, including Ahmed Abu Hashem, Yousef and Mousa Abu Marya, should be allowed to access their land with permits from the Israeli authorities. To date no permits have been issued.

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Lest We Forget–Netanyahu: “U.S. should attack Iran with TV”

NOVANEWS

 

Ed note–It is something that all are subjected to whenever someone DARES suggest that Jews exert undue influence over American foreign policy and that there is a deliberate agenda on the part of these interests to corrupt otherwise healthy societies through their control of media. Let us then take a stroll back in time and consider when Netanyahu suggested that Iran be conquered piecemeal, first by corrupting the youth of her society through American (Jewish) pop culture and media.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) — A former Israeli prime minister Thursday called upon the United States to effect regime change in both Iraq and Iran, prescribing a military invasion to topple the government in Baghdad and the transmission of ribald television programming via satellite into Persia, where he said the influx of pop culture would prove “subversive” to the conservative Islamic regime.

Citing the hundreds of thousands of satellite television dishes in Iran, Benjamin Netanyahu told the House Government Reform Committee that the United States could incite a revolution against the conservative Iranian clergy through the use of such Fox Broadcasting staples as “Melrose Place” and “Beverly Hills 90210″ — both of which feature beautiful young people in varying states of undress, living, glamorous, materialistic lives and engaging in promiscuous sex.

“This is pretty subversive stuff,” Netanyahu told the committee. “The kids of Iran would want the nice clothes they see on those shows. They would want the swimming pools and fancy lifestyles.”

But the more pressing issue to Netanyahu is Iran’s neighbor, Iraq, which he said was dangerously close to developing weapons of mass destruction — and would not be susceptible to subversion.

“We understand a nuclear armed Saddam places Israel at risk,” he said. “But a nuclear armed Saddam also puts the entire world at risk.”

“After Saddam gets a nuclear weapon, it is only a matter of time before the terror networks get nuclear weapons,’ Netanyahu warned. “And they will use them if they get them.”

Netanyahu said that the 1981 attack by Israel on an Iraqi nuclear facility was justified and implied that it’s success hinged on just the kind of unilateralism that President George W. Bush’s Thursday speech to the United Nations appears to abjure.

“Did Israel launch this pre-emptive strike with the coordination of the international community?” Netanyahu asked. “Did we condition such a strike on the approval of the United Nations? Of course not.”

Burton’s statements reflected more respect for the administration’s coalition building efforts than Netanyahu’s, but he did note that in the face of failing to develop such support for an invasion, he too supported a unilateral attack.

“This morning the president made a strong case for taking action. Now we need to see how the world responds,” Burton noted. “I hope that our friends and allies around the world will join us. I hope that we can assemble a strong coalition that will stand up to this dangerous regime. However, if we can’t, my view is that we have to do what’s in our own best interest. If we determine that Saddam Hussein is a serious national security threat, then we have to act — alone if necessary.”

Netanyahu’s rhetoric, at least the military invasion portion of his testimony, found a warm reception from committee Chairman Dan Burton, R-Ind., who said that finishing the war on terror with the occupation of Afghanistan without attacking Iraq would leave the job half done.

“One of the unfinished pieces of business we have is Iraq,” Burton said. “In my opinion, this is a problem we can’t continue to ignore. Saddam Hussein is a menace. He has chemical weapons. He has biological weapons. He’s working hard to acquire nuclear weapons. He’s used chemical weapons in the past. We should have no doubt that he’ll use them again. And if he succeeds in developing nuclear weapons, we could have a catastrophe on our hands.”

But Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich was not as supportive of Netanyahu’s calls for war. In a terse exchange that occurred before the former prime minister laid out his “Iran Strategy,” Kucinich asked him for additional suggestions for places to invade.

“While you’re here, Mr. Prime Minister, are there any other countries besides Iraq that you would suggest that we invade?” he asked.

 

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cornell celebrated Yom Ha’atzmaut

NOVANEWS

 

Recently I tried to talk to a student in one of my classes who I had seen at the campus Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration that my group had protested. The “celebration” was like if Bernard Lewis wrote racist fiction (as opposed, I guess, to what he actually writes): camels, sheesha, falafel and hummus, Arabic music playing in the background, Levantine dances, and so on. I don’t think my ancestors were engaging in those activities in the shtetl. Nor theirs. The student refused to listen: history of Nakba = denial of Israel’s “right to exist” (whatever that means), basically turning the conflict into an endless static present where history, except for The Holocaust, doesn’t matter and the future will never happen, since who cares, we’re already in secular redemption. Oh and that campus Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration?

A bunch of teenagers and kids in their early 20s adorned in Hillel t-shirts racistly celebrating the destruction of a peasant society and its replacement by a culture that reconfigured indigenous Levantine culture into a stolen tableau of stolen songs, stolen dances, stolen food, and a stolen language. One of the organizers, a young American Jewish girl, caught up in nationalist fervor, started ordering me out of the way of an “Israeli” dance performance in Cornell public space. I can’t remember if this was before or after the bell-tower started briefly tolling out Hatikvah (the Israeli national anthem), which was alternately sickening and perfect – it is Ivy League universities that are the training grounds for the managers and technocrats of empire, to which Israel has doled out good service, so why not weld onto those material links a little tribal indoctrination?

I told her she could get her hands off my identity and stop culture-washing ethnic cleansing and military occupation. She had the same look in her eyes that I’ve seen in the eyes of police officers illegally ordering political demonstrators about: total arrogance of power. No doubt, soon enough, she’ll get to try that out on Palestinians, this time with a gun.

What does a dying culture look like? A 20-year old Ivy League student in a Hillel t-shirt glibly promoting politicide in a thoughtless celebration of national revival premised on national destruction, exactly what Arendt diagnosed as the robotic thoughtlessness that produced evil. Me? Sorry, no, I don’t hate “Israel,” whatever that means. I don’t care that much about Israel, although I absolutely don’t want my Israeli friends’ families to burn up in a radioactive plume nor do I think it right that the Mizrahi Jews experience another round of upheaval and expulsion, and I think those who wish should be allowed to stay after the liberation struggle succeeds (but as equals). Sometimes I am unclear about what Zionists hate or love, though. When you worship Death in the form of the Holocaust and Violence in the form of a militarized Sparta called Israel, what do you expect the future to look like, if you ever think about that, at all?

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Gunmen kill ten in attack on Syrian checkpoint

NOVANEWS

 

Syrian servicemen at a checkpoint

 

A total of 10 Syrian police and servicemen were killed when unknown gunmen attacked a checkpoint some 160 km north of Damascus, Syrian state news agency SANA said.

The situation remains tense in some Syrian regions, with frequent reports of armed clashes between supporters of various political groupings, entailing civilian and police casualties.

“Army and security forces chased the armed terrorist groups on the outskirts of Homs… after the attack they carried out on an army and police checkpoint,” a military spokesman told SANA, putting the number of victims at “10 dead and several others wounded.”

It was earlier reported that an army officer and four police were killed in the attack, carried out by an “armed criminal group.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry advised its citizens to abstain from trips to Syria, where large-scale protests against the regime of President Bashar Assad have been ongoing since mid-March.

Syrian authorities blame the almost two-months-long unrest in the country on “gunmen” supported from abroad. Violence has claimed the lives of almost 150 people, according to official reports. Opposition says at least 500 have been killed.

Rights groups say some 30 people were killed on Friday as protesters took to the streets across Syria for another day of anti-government protests, dubbed a “day of defiance.”

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Lest We Forget–Some in CIA wanted to create fake Saddam Hussein sex video, report asserts

NOVANEWS

 

A little-noticed blog post by a veteran intelligence reporter averred Tuesday that the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group weighed a plan prior to the 2003 Iraq invasion that sought to discredit Saddam Hussein by portraying him as gay.

According to Jeff Stein, a longtime intelligence reporter who first revealed that FBI officials had eavesdropped on a sitting Democratic congresswoman, the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group considered creating a video that would the then-Iraqi leader having intercourse with a teenage boy.

“It would look like it was taken by a hidden camera,” a former CIA official purportedly told Stein. “Very grainy, like it was a secret videotaping of a sex session.”

The CIA would have then “flood[ed] Iraq with the videos,” the official added.

A third former CIA official said that the plan was shot down, in part, because others in the agency thought that claiming Saddam had sex with boys would do little to undermine him.

“Saddam playing with boys would have no resonance in the Middle East — nobody cares,” another purported CIA official is quoted as saying. “Trying to mount such a campaign would show a total misunderstanding of the target.

We always mistake our own taboos as universal when, in fact, they are just our taboos.”

A current U.S. official told Stein he couldn’t confirm or deny the former CIA employees’ claims.

“While I can’t confirm these accounts, if these ideas were ever floated by anyone at any time, they clearly didn’t go anywhere,” the official told Stein.


Stein notes, however, that the CIA did make a video in which a fake Osama Bin Laden enjoys a campfire and the company of his associates while bragging about their juvenile paramours.

“The agency actually did make a video purporting to show Osama bin Laden and his cronies sitting around a campfire swigging bottles of liquor and savoring their conquests with boys, one of the former CIA officers recalled, chuckling at the memory. The actors were drawn from “some of us darker-skinned employees,” he said.

Eventually, “things ground to a halt,” the other former officer said, because no one could come to agreement on the projects.

They also faced strong opposition from James Pavitt, then head of the agency’s Operations Division, and his deputy, Hugh Turner, who “kept throwing darts at it.”

Fundamentalists in Iraq have shown disdain for their gay compatriots since Saddam’s fall. In some cases, according to human rights activists, they’ve resorted to grotesque violence.

The television news agency Al Arabiya reported last year that a prominent Iraqi human rights activist asserted that some men have died after gruesome anal torture.

“A prominent Iraqi human rights activist says that Iraqi militia have deployed a painful form of torture against homosexuals by closing their anuses using “Iranian gum,” the network said. “Yanar Mohammad told Alarabiya.net that, “Iraqi militias have deployed an unprecedented form of torture against homosexuals by using a very strong glue that will close their anus.”

“According to her,” the report added, “the new substance ‘is known as the American hum, which is an Iranian-manufactured glue that if applied to the skin, sticks to it and can only be removed by surgery. After they glue the anuses of homosexuals, they give them a drink that causes diarrhea. Since the anus is closed, the diarrhea causes death. Videos of this form of torture are being distributed on mobile cellphones in Iraq.’”

Correction: Because of an editing error, the gender of the Democratic representative referenced in the second paragraph was incorrect in the initial version of this story. It has been corrected: the congresswoman in question was Jane Harman (D-CA).

Former CIA Officials Admit To Faking Bin Laden Video

Military psy-ops took over operation after intelligence project failed to take off

Steve Watson
Infowars.net
Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Two former CIA officials have admitted to creating a fake video in which intelligence officers dressed up as Osama Bin Laden and his cronies in an effort to defame the terrorist leader throughout the middle east.

The details are outlined in aWashington Post articleby investigative reporter and former Army Intelligence case officer Jeff Stein.

Stein’s sources told him that during planning for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group considered creating a fake video of Saddam Hussein engaged in sexual acts with a teenage boy, then flooding Iraq with copies of the tape.

That idea, along with faking Iraqi news bulletins, never came to fruition according to the former CIA officials, because agreement on the projects could not be reached between the Iraq Group and CIA’s Office of Technical Services.

However, the two sources reveal that the agency did previously concoct at least one fake Bin Laden video:

The agency actually did make a video purporting to show Osama bin Laden and his cronies sitting around a campfire swigging bottles of liquor and savoring their conquests with boys, one of the former CIA officers recalled, chuckling at the memory. The actors were drawn from “some of us darker-skinned employees,” he said.
The former officials told Stein that the project was taken over by the military after it ground to a halt:

The reality, the former officials said, was that the agency really didn’t have enough money and expertise to carry out the projects.

“The military took them over,” said one. “They had assets in psy-war down at Ft. Bragg,” at the army’s special warfare center.

This latest revelation bolsters evidence that the intelligence agencies, and perhaps more significantly, the military have been engaged in creating fake Bin Laden videos in the past.

As we have exhaustively documented, Intelcenter, the U.S. monitoring group that routinely releases Bin Laden video and audio, much of which have been proven to be either rehashed old footage or outright fakes, is an offshoot of IDEFENSE, a web security company that monitors intelligence from the middle east.

IDEFENSE is heavily populated by long serving ex military intelligence officials, such as senior military psy-op intelligence officer Jim Melnick, who served 16 years in the US army and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in psychological operations. Melnick has also worked directly for former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Intelcenter notoriously released the “laughing hijackers” tape and claimed it was an Al-Qaeda video, despite the fact that the footage was obtained by a “security agency” at a 2000 Bin Laden speech.

IntelCenter was also caught adding its logo to a tape at the same time as Al-Qaeda’s so-called media arm As-Sahab added its logo, proving the two organizations were one and the same.

Could the CIA group of “dark skinned actors” have been behind the infamous December 2001 “Fat nosed” Bin Laden video, that was magically found in a house in Jalalabad after anti-Taliban forces moved in?

The tape featured a fat Osama laughing and joking about how he’d carried out 9/11. The video was also mistranslated in order to manipulate viewer opinion and featured “Bin Laden” praising two of the hijackers, only he got their names wrong. This Osama also used the wrong hand to write with and wore gold rings, a practice totally in opposition to the Muslim faith.

Despite the fact that the man in the video looks nothing like Bin Laden, the CIA stood by it and declared it to be the official “9/11 confession video”.

The latest revelations also shed light on another past Bin Laden release – a tape in which he ludicrously declared himself in league with Saddam Hussein in the weeks before the invasion of Iraq.

The idea that the CIA project was taken over and drastically improved by the Pentagon at some point after 2003 jives with the improvement in quality of Bin Laden videos in later years. Most notably the video that was released immediatelyahead of the 2004 election, and it’s digitally manipulated duplicate from 2007, in which Bin Laden appeared to have a dyed beard.

Posted in USAComments Off on Lest We Forget–Some in CIA wanted to create fake Saddam Hussein sex video, report asserts

US troops homes illegally foreclosed

NOVANEWS

 

The investigative arm of the US Congress says American mortgage companies appear to have illegally foreclosed on the homes of active duty military service members.

According to a report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Thursday, two of America’s largest mortgage firms unlawfully seized the homes of almost 50 active duty members of the US military, The Huffington Post reported.

The GAO noted that many of such instances occurred because the mortgage service companies did not bother to check on an individual’s service status before they foreclosed.

The wrongful foreclosures were discovered during a review of only about 2,800 loans that experienced foreclosure last year.

The finding has led to calls for national standards for foreclosure processes and better government oversight.

“The idea of wrongfully forcing service members’ families from their homes while their loved ones are risking their lives to protect our country is not only unconscionable, it’s illegal,” Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) said.

His remarks come as several senators have written a letter to banking regulators, including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

“We have seen countless examples of servicers giving borrowers the run-around and continuing the foreclosure process when a loan modification has already been obtained,” the letter read.

It added, “Perhaps the most egregious cases of servicer wrongdoing have been violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act by wrongly foreclosing on active duty service members. Correcting these problems and ensuring they do not reoccur should be a priority for all of your agencies.”

Members of the armed forces on active duty are covered by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

The law is designed to protect them from financial distress, and restricts the foreclosure of properties owned by active duty members of the US military.

According to California-based data provider RealtyTrac, more than 2.8 million homes received a foreclosure filing in 2009, and nearly 2.9 million residences got one last year.

This comes as millions of foreclosures in the United States have not been reviewed by banking regulators in recent years.

Posted in USAComments Off on US troops homes illegally foreclosed

‘Torture useless in hunt for bin Laden’

NOVANEWS

 

Intelligence experts in the US have criticized the use of torture on detainees, saying it was counterproductive in tracking down al-Qaeda Leader Osama bin Laden.

“I think that without a doubt, torture and enhanced interrogation techniques slowed down the hunt for bin Laden,” Matthew Alexander told The Huffington Post.

Alexander, an Air Force interrogator, was able to successfully locate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, in 2006.

Alexander, along with other intelligence professionals, said the use of torture may cause people to lie or make false confessions.

“They gave us the bare minimum amount of information they could get away with to get the pain to stop, or to mislead us,” Alexander said of several Guantanamo Bay detainees.

“[Osama bin Laden’s death] vindicates the Bush administration, whose intelligence architecture marked the path to bin Laden’s door,” John Yoo, the former Justice Department official under the Bush administration who authored the secret ‘torture memos,’ said on Monday. Under Bush, the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” i.e. torture, was legally sanctioned.

A 2006 study by the National Defense Intelligence College found that rapport-based interrogations are very effective in obtaining information, whereas coercion involving physical brutality consistently builds resistance and resentment.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged 9/11 mastermind, repeatedly misled interrogators on a key al-Qaeda suspect, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. Sheikh Mohammad, who has reportedly been waterboarded 183 times in one month, has been subjected to other physical abuses upon being detained by US authorities.

“The bottom line is this: If we had some kind of smoking-gun intelligence from waterboarding in 2003, we would have taken out Osama bin Laden in 2003,” spokesman for the National Security Council Tommy Vietor said.

Glenn L. Carle, a retired CIA officer said that torture, “didn’t provide useful, meaningful, trustworthy information,” in tracking down bin Laden.

Posted in USAComments Off on ‘Torture useless in hunt for bin Laden’

Iran blasts illegal US raid in Pakistan

NOVANEWS

 

Iran’s Ambassador to Pakistan Mashallah Shakeri

Iran has lashed out at the US for mounting an attack in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, dismissing the raid as a violation of the country’s sovereignty.


Iran’s Ambassador to Islamabad Mashallah Shakeri further said the US has proven its animosity to Pakistan by launching unsanctioned attacks on the South Asian country, a Press TV correspondent reported. 

“The US has proved its enmity by waging a nightly attack on a friendly country,” said the Iranian envoy in talks with the opposition leader in the Pakistani parliament Choudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

Shakeri lauded the Pakistani parliamentarian for his clear-cut stance on the mysterious killing of al-Qaeda ringleader Osama bin Laden in a US raid in Abbottabad.

The Iranian ambassador urged the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’s (PML-N) leader not to compromise on the gruesome incident.

He also reaffirmed Iran’s backing for Pakistan, saying Tehran will spare no effort to further boost mutual ties with Islamabad as well as other friendly nations.

US President Barack Obama claimed that Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces on May 1 in a hiding compound in Pakistan, resisting while unarmed.

He added that the military mission was conducted without the knowledge of Pakistani authorities due to US mistrust of their purported South Asian ally.

A US official later announced that bin Laden’s body was abruptly buried at sea, falsely boasting that his hasty burial was in accordance with the Islamic law, requiring burial within 24 hours of death.

However, burial at sea is not an Islamic practice and Islam does not have a decree on a burial timeframe.

US officials also claimed their decision of the sea burial was made because no country would accept his remain, without elaborating on which countries were actually contacted on the matter.

Analysts, however, have raised serious questions as to why US officials did not allow for the application of a DNA test to officially confirm the identity of the corpse before the quick sea burial.

Posted in Pakistan & KashmirComments Off on Iran blasts illegal US raid in Pakistan

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