Archive | June 22nd, 2011

Collaborating with Outlaws


By Amira Hass

Of all places, it is in Azzariyeh, east of Jerusalem, that one can really learn to appreciate the activities of Palestinian law-enforcement authorities in cities like Ramallah and Nablus. In those cities, Palestinian security forces are seen as authority figures who are trying to protect and serve Palestinian citizens, not just as extensions of Fatah or subcontractors of the Israel Defense Forces or the Shin Bet security service.

Unlike Ramallah and Nablus, which are categorized as “A” areas, Azzariyeh and its neighbors Sawahra and Abu Dis are holed up in an enclave of type “B”, where the IDF does not allow the Palestinian police to be fully functional. The interim Oslo 2 agreement determines that the Palestinian Authority is responsible for maintaining public order in Area B, but in the same breath it limits the PA’s authority and the means by which it can protect the people from disruptions of public order. Almost every action taken by the Palestinian police in Area B requires IDF approval.

And Israel, which has no inhibitions about violating key clauses of the agreement, is particularly meticulous here: The number of police officers is limited, police are prohibited from moving from a makeshift police station in an apartment building to a proper one, they are not allowed to carry weapons or wear uniforms, and they are prohibited from bringing in reinforcements on their own to locate drug or weapons dealers or to deliver subpoenas. Is it any wonder that the Azzariyeh-Abu Dis enclave has become a place of refuge for the outlaws of the West Bank? Not that this enclave has not had its share of troubles. Since it was shut off by the wall in 2005, all its ties with its natural and immediate urban center, East Jerusalem, have been severed. The enclave’s isolation, and the impoverishment and despair to which it gave rise, are as painful as a fresh burn.

The artificial division between Areas A, B and C was supposed to be erased from the map, and dropped from the discourse, in 1999. Instead, Israel has sanctified and perpetuated it. The largest share – 60 percent – is designated Area C, meaning it is under full Israeli security and civil control. It is self-evident why Israel perpetuates the Area C classification. After all, it gives Israel a free hand to continue emptying that part of the West Bank of Palestinians and encourage more Jews to violate international law and settle there.

But what about Area B? Why does Israel insist that drug and weapons trafficking should flourish in an area several dozen meters away from Ma’aleh Adumim and some three kilometers from the Judea and Samaria District police headquarters – both of which sites, as is often forgotten, are violating international law due to their location on the land reserves of Palestinian villages? True, there is also unlicensed public transportation, unlicensed construction, environmental pollution – but the drugs and weapons trade dwarfs those violations. A similar situation exists in A-Ram, the hybrid city between Ramallah and Jerusalem that is also cut off from its past, its surroundings and its land by the wall. Just a hop, skip and jump (over a wall and barbed-wire fence ) away from Jerusalem, some 100,000 people have been left to fend for their own personal safety, a situation that can be reversed.

Is there some deliberate intention behind the painstaking adherence to a clause in an agreement that was supposed to be short-lived? That’s what many Palestinians have concluded. Some say the drugs and weapons dealers are collaborators, or potential collaborators, with Israel. This is why the Shin Bet and IDF are not allowing the Palestinian police to take action against them and why, according to them, Israeli security forces immediately find out about any Palestinian attempt to capture them. Some find here a strategic goal: The worse this intolerable situation gets in neighborhoods that are so close to the annexed Jerusalem, the greater the likelihood that the residents will leave and head over to Area A. In other words, it’s just another expulsion trick.

Listen to the Palestinians. The subjugated excel at analyzing the implications of their ruler’s actions. And if the Palestinians are wrong, then why will the IDF not let the Palestinian police operate freely?




Source: Haaretz, 22 June. 2011


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A Funny Thing Happened Today as Unity FM Bows to Atzmon’s Blackmail



FRIDAY, 17 JUNE 2011

and York Against War Invite Atzmon to Speak Despite Opposition Locally

Atzmon Wants to Question Everything (especially the Holocaust) But Seeks Protection Through Censorship

Unity FM is a Muslim radio station in Birmingham run by Sami Ibrahim. He’s phoned me for interviews on a number of occasions in the past, so it was no surprise when I got the following text message at just gone 1 pm:


Tel – 01217728892/07926843388 Or visit

I therefore rang Sami up and let him know that I considered Atzmon an anti-Semite not an anti-Zionist. Sami was understanding and said he’d welcome my putting Atzmon on the spot. Indeed he even offered to give me first shot and to call me at approximately 5.05 p.m. And Sami was as good as his word ringing me a couple of minutes later resulting in me having to ring him back.

Sure enough I was connected and listened to Atzmon begin his garbage. Sami then invited me to intervene, which I did. I asked what was quite a simple question, which was how Atzmon’s holocaust denial helped in any way support for the Palestinians. When Atzmon tried to duck and dive I quoted from his article ‘Truth, History, and Integrity’ accessed 13.3.10. where he wrote that

‘If, for instance, the Nazis wanted the Jews out of their Reich…, or even dead, as the Zionist narrative insists, how come they marched hundreds of thousands of them back into the Reich at the end of the war?’

Atzmon goes on to explain that ‘I have been concerned with this simple question for more than a while’. This absurd interpretation of the death marches leads him to ask the following:

‘If the Nazis ran a death factory in Auschwitz-Birkenau, why would the Jewish prisoners join them at the end of the war?’

It couldn’t be much clearer. There was no death factory in Auschwitz-Birkenau, on the contrary when the concentration camps were abandoned by the Nazis, their Jewish inmates were eager to join them. Clearly there could have been no exterminations there.

Atzmon then tried to respond to what he termed his ‘internet now radio stalker’ (apparently criticising the great man counts as stalking!) and when I began laying into him for his lies and duplicity, and I repeatedly asked him how holocaust denial had anything to do with support of the Palestinians, he tried to interrupt. Eventually Sami told me that it was time for the adverts and I would be brought back in after the interval. And the radio connection to my phone continued as I listened to Atzmon trying to defend the indefensible. But I wasn’t called. In fact no one was called. A phone-in programme had turned into a monologue. Atzmon doesn’t like criticism and is particularly bad at responding to it. When I phone in on another line I was told firstly there was a technical fault and then that Sami Ibrahim had decided just to interview him.

It became clear from this conversation with the staff member that Atzmon had insisted, if he was to continue allowing himself to be interviewed, that I not be allowed to call him to account and Sami Ibrahim had bowed to his dictat in order to allow the programme to continue. The result? No phone in programme!

Atzmon struck me though as a man who has ready very little about Zionism and what he has read he takes as gospel. One of the few books he has read is Shlomo Sand’s book ‘The Founding of the Jewish People’ an excellent book, though not unproblematic, which I have reviewed in a number of publilcations. The problem is that Atzmon doesn’t understand it and he thinks that because Palestinians are more genetically akin to the ancient Jewish farmers, that gives them the right to their land. But this is nonsense . The rights of the Palestinians derive from their position as an indigenous population being displaced by largely European settlers, regardless of their genes.

Likewise Atzmon believes that until 1927 Ben-Gurion believed in assimilating the Palestinians rather than expelling them and attributes the latter to a post-1927 Ben-Gurion. In fact expulsion was on the agenda from the moment the Zionist movement was born. Ahad Ha’am castigated his fellow Zionists as early as the 1890’s in This is not the Way and other essays. Jewish Labour and Land policies took shape from the early 1900’s as a reading of something like Ben-Gurion’s Rebirth & Destiny would confirm. Brit Shalom, the Zionist peace group was founded in 1925, by people like Arthur Ruppin. But despite being wholly ignorant Atzmon gives the air of someone who knows what he is talking about.

Which is why he fought shy of having to confront my criticism of his anti-Semitism and ignorance. Despite believing the holocaust is a ‘narrative’ rather than a fact, Atzmon was strangely reluctant to discuss this, preferring a monologue.

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Rowan Williams Archbishop of Canterbury Reprimanded



Activist slams Archbishop Rowan Williams

Angry Holy Land Christians tell him “We need advocates for the truth.”

by Stuart Littlewood

Archbishop Williams’s comments about Bethlehem were “particularly faulty and offensive”, according to Rifat Kassis, especially his claim that Muslims coming into the Bethlehem area, where space is limited, was forcing Christians to leave.

Kairos Palestine, the voice of Palestinian Christians, has given the Archbishop of Canterbury a strong ticking-off for remarks he made during a BBC interview.

Rifat Kassis, co-ordinator of Kairos Palestine, said he was “deeply troubled” by the Archbishop’s “inaccurate and erroneous remarks” about the situation of Christians in the Middle East. He called the Archbishop’s failure to mention the Israeli occupation and the regime’s oppressive policies “shocking”.

In a letter to the Archbishop he said: “We were deeply saddened by your declarations because we know that Your Grace is well informed… and you know very well that in the Bethlehem area alone there are 19 illegal Israeli settlements (such as nearby Har Homa built on Jabal Abu Ghneim) and the wall that have devoured Christian lands and put Bethlehem in a chokehold. You know well that only 13% of Bethlehem area is available for Palestinian use and the wall isolates 25% or the Bethlehem area’s agricultural land. Not to mention the situation of Christians in Jerusalem, which you know very well, since you should have received reports from the Anglican Bishop in the City whose residency permit was denied by the occupying power.”

Mr Kassis ended by saying: “We would like to remind Your Grace that Christian Palestinians need advocates for the truth. It is the truth, and only the truth, that will lead to peace and justice in our home.”

Archbishop Rowan Williams

So what did Archbishop Rowan Williams say to the BBC that so infuriated his Palestinian brethren?

Apparently it was the way he talked about the ethnic cleansing of Christians referring to extreme pressure in Iraq while suggesting that the exodus of Christians from Palestine was due to “a much more un-dramatic but equally steady and strong pressure”.

Interviewer: “But that’s a strong term to use isn’t it, ethnic cleansing?”

Archbishop: “It is a strong term but I think not disproportionate where Iraq is concerned. The level of violence has been extreme.”

However, Williams seemed careful to avoid connecting the term ‘ethnic cleansing’ with Israel’s programme to dispossess and terrorise Palestinians.

The interviewer then asked:  “Do you think that the British government, other governments, should be more vocal in their support for Christians who you are seeing at the moment under great difficulty in a number of these countries?”

Archbishop: “Well to be honest I think at the moment there is quite a lot of support. And I can’t fault what’s been said by our government on this issue because I think the issue of religious freedom in general has very high priority in the Foreign Office at the moment. So I hope that continues.”

The truth is that the British Foreign Office is infested with pro-Israel placemen and has not lifted a finger for religious or any other freedoms in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The Archbishop continued: “Also I think people in the West know perfectly well that if foreign powers take up the cause of a minority in another country it can be utterly counterproductive.”

Was he, by any chance, thinking about the foreign powers that implanted Jewish aliens in the Holy Land in 1947 and the running sore ever since?

He went on the say: “I think there are still perhaps too few people in this country who are aware of the haemorrhaging of Christian populations from the Holy Land.   The fact that Bethlehem, a majority Christian city just a couple of decades ago, is now very definitely a place where Christians are a marginalised minority. We want that to be a little bit higher on people’s radar… “

Interviewer: “Would you see what’s happening in Bethlehem as another example of what you’ve described as ethnic cleansing?”

Archbishop: “It’s not ethnic cleansing exactly because it’s been far less deliberate than that I think. What we’ve seen though is a kind of Newtonian passing on of energy or force from one body to another so that some Muslim populations in the West Bank, under pressure, move away from certain areas like Hebron, move into other areas like Bethlehem. And there’s nowhere much else for Christian populations to go except away from Palestine.”

I’m sure that trapped and imprisoned Palestinian Christians will be relieved to hear that their misery is all down to Newtonian energy effects.

Archbishop Williams’s comments about Bethlehem were “particularly faulty and offensive”, according to Rifat Kassis, especially his claim that Muslims coming into the Bethlehem area, where space is limited, was forcing Christians to leave.

Are the Archbishop and his Anglican Church the ‘advocates for the truth’ so desperately needed?

It is not the first time the Archbishop has upset Palestinian Christians. For decades the Israelis’ game has clearly been to obstruct and paralyse Christianity in the Holy Land. When Palestine was under British mandate, Christians accounted for 20 per cent of the population. Sixty-three years of hostilities, dispossession, interference and economic ruination have whittled their numbers down to less than 2 per cent. At this rate there will soon be no Christians left in the land where Christianity was born.

And in November 2008, while Israel was planning its murderous assault against Gaza’s civilians (including the Christian community), the Archbishop of Canterbury was gallivanting with the Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, on a visit to the former Nazi camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland to demonstrate their joint solidarity against the extremes of hostility and genocide.

“This is a pilgrimage not to a holy place but to a place of utter profanity,” said the Archbishop, “a place where the name of God was profaned because the image of God in human beings was abused and disfigured. How shall we be able to read the signs of the times, the indications that evil is gathering force once again and societies are slipping towards the same collective corruption and moral sickness that made the Shoah possible?”

Evil was again gathering its forces and corruption and moral sickness were on the rampage even as he spoke. And did the Archbishop and the Chief Rabbi afterwards go to sniff the stench where the name of God had been profaned in the ruins of the Gaza Strip and utter the same brave words?

Did they hell!

When the Church of England’s head honcho finally visited Gaza, the Israelis refused him access to the Strip but at the last minute allowed him into the shattered enclave for just one-and-a-half hours, enough time to show his face at the hospital and no more. He said nothing about his experience to the House of Lords where he has a seat and the support of a large gaggle of bishops.

This despite his claim to be “in a unique position to bring the needs and voices of those fighting poverty, disease and the effects of conflict, to the attention of national and international policy makers”, despite his declaration that “Christians need to witness boldly and clearly”, and despite his urging greater awareness of the humanitarian crisis to ensure that the people of Gaza are not forgotten.

The Archbishop’s website, however, did report how he hobnobbed with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, paid his respects to Yad Vashem and the Holocaust, and talked with the President of Israel. There was no mention of any similar get-togethers with senior Islamic figures, leaving a question-mark over his real commitment to inter-faith engagement.

The Archbishop’s agreeing to accept the hospitality of Jewish political and religious dignitaries while they squished his wish to carry out his Christian duties in Gaza, tells us a great deal.

So is the guy a closet Zionist like so many other so-called Christians?

I’m reminded of the he words of Desmond Tutu: “Where there is oppression, those who do nothing side with the oppressor.”

“Christianity destroyed not by Muslims but by Israel.”

The Archbishop has a chance to redeem himself with the international conference on Christians in the Holy Land he plans to hold next month. For two days I’ve been asking his press office for details of delegates, keynote speakers, etc but have received nothing.  We are left to speculate.

Outside the Irish Parliament. Left to Right: Alan Lonergan (SADAKA), Constantine Dabbagh, Fr Manuel Musallam, John Ging, Archbishop Theodosius Hanna

It would be nice if the conference were addressed by that excellent trio from the Holy Land Archbishop Theodosius Hanna (Greek Orthodox Church), Monsignor Manuel Musallam (Latin Catholic) and Mr Constantine Dabbagh (Executive Director of the Middle East Council of Churches)? These courageous spiritual leaders and human rights defenders toured Ireland last November to raise awareness of the situation in their homeland under Israeli military occupation and the plight of the dwindling Christian community. Their central message was simple: “We need only one thing, to be protected by the world against the crimes of Israel” (For details please see my article “No such thing as justice in the Holy Land“, 14 December 2010.)

Fr Manuel told members of the Irish Government:

“Christianity in the region has been destroyed not by Muslims but by Israel. Israel destroyed the church of Palestine and the church of Jerusalem beginning in 1948. Its not Muslims, has sent Christians in the region into a diaspora… Christians in Palestine are not suffering persecution, because we are not considered to be a religious community, but rather the people of Palestine. We have the same rights and the same obligations.

“We have spoken to Israel for more than 18 years and the result has been zero. We have signed agreements here and there at various times and then when there is a change in the Government of Israel we have to start again from the beginning. We ask for our life and to be given back our Jerusalem, to be given our state and for enough water to drink…  I have not seen Jerusalem since 1990.”

However, given the Anglican Church’s recent form, it wouldn’t surprise me if the conference is hosted by the CMJ (the Church’s Ministry among Jewish People). The CMJ is “propelled by devotion to God and the fulfillment of His promises to His people Israel”. In its statement of faith the CMJ says Christians have “a special responsibility to love, defend and share the Gospel with God’s historic, chosen People, the Jews”.
The CMJ’s attitude to the Israel-Palestine struggle is unhelpful to the Palestinians. For example…

  • Gentiles are “fellow-citizens with God’s people”…

  • CMJ rejoices that, after 2000 years… the Jewish people now, at last, have returned to the land from which the majority were dispersed in AD70…

  • CMJ recognizes that the State of Israel was set up as a result of a majority vote of the United Nations in 1947… However the Ministry does not hold any official position as to the appropriate location of the borders of the state.

That signifies approval for Israel’s continuing land-grab and lawlessness.  If CMJ recognizes the UN’s partition it should also accept the borders on which it was based.

According to Wikipedia, “CMJ has always adopted a Zionist position, and expressed the view that the Jewish people deserved a state in the Holy Land decades before Zionism began as a movement.”

The CMJ was adopted as an official ministry of the Church of England in 1995 and has been operating in the shadows ever since. It is, if you like, the Church of England’s Zionist wing.

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Christians Flee Holy Land in Mass Modern Exodus


Dateline Jerusalem:  Christian Trail of Tears on the Move While Archbishop of Canterbury Plays Blame Game

by Eileen Fleming

In a recent BBC radio interview for the program “”World at One” the Archbishop of Canterbury expressed concerns about Christian minority populations all across the Middle East where life for Christians was “becoming unsustainable.”

The Archbishop is also organizing a conference to raise awareness of the “hemorrhaging of Christian populations from the Holy Land. The fact that Bethlehem, a majority Christian city just a couple of decades ago, is now very definitely a place where Christians are a marginalized minority. We want that to be a little bit higher on people’s radar. We want the public profile of the situation of Christians there to be better known. And we see that as of course part of a general hope to raise the profile of Christians in the region.”

The Archbishop noted that in the Little Town of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, Christians are now the “marginalized minority…It’s not ethnic cleansing exactly because it’s been far less deliberate than that I think. What we’ve seen though is a kind of Newtonian passing on of energy or force from one body to another so that some Muslim populations in the West Bank, under pressure, move away from certain areas like Hebron, move into other areas like Bethlehem. And there’s nowhere much else for Christian populations to go except away from Palestine.” [1]

In 1947, 20% of the total population of the Holy Land was Christian. Today, less than 1.3% of the total population of that troubled piece of real estate is Christian.  Unless things change very soon, Holy Land churches will soon be nothing more than museums for the Christian Exodus coupled with their low birth rates may be the end of Christianity in the Holy Land.

In response to the Archbishops’ omissions, Rifat Odeh Kassis, Kairos Palestine Coordinator wrote:

“Your inaccurate and erroneous remarks cite Muslim extremism as the greatest threat facing Christians in Palestine and the primary reason for our emigration. Your statements about Bethlehem are particularly faulty and offensive especially when you say that the movement of Muslims into the Bethlehem area, where space is limited, is forcing Christians to leave.

“Equally shocking is how Your Grace managed, diplomatically –instead of being prophetic, as one would expect you to be, not to mention the Israeli occupation, the separation wall, Israel  confiscation of Palestinian land, its policies that violate freedom of movement and worship (Palestinians in Bethlehem cannot, for instance, go to Jerusalem), or its brutal crackdowns on nonviolent protests as one of the major reasons that push not only Christians to emigrate, but also many other Palestinians.

Me at The Wall in Bethlehem, photo copyright Meir Vanunu

“We were hoping that Your Grace would have a different voice than the one in mass media and other right wing political parties, which exploit our sufferings to fuel some islamophobic tendencies and negative images about Islam. Indeed, this is what the Israeli occupation persistently tries to do. It demonizes Islam in a way that deflects blame from the repression levied by the state itself…in the Bethlehem area alone there are 19 illegal Israeli settlements (such as nearby Har Homa built on Jabal Abu Ghneim) and the wall that have devoured Christian lands and put Bethlehem in a chokehold…

“Since Your Grace did not meet or consult with any Palestinian Christians during your recent visit here, we are wondering why would you be suddenly interested to speak on our behalf? This troubles us…Finally, we would like to remind Your Grace that Christian Palestinians need advocates for the truth. It is the truth, and only the truth, that will lead to peace and justice in our home.” [2]

On my third of seven trips to Israel and Palestine since 2005, Hind Khoury, who was the delegate general of the Palestine Liberation Organization in France from 2006 through 2010, informed this reporter:

“The truth has been hidden, and it has been maneuvered by an oppressive and violent occupation.

“This occupation violates every single human right imaginable. Governments today are getting their own way to serve their own interests which are: money and power.

“It is ethnic cleansing that is happening in Jerusalem. Bethlehem is a ghetto, an island, an open-air prison! When the gate in Beit Jala is done, it will completely isolate Bethlehem from her sister city Jerusalem which is only three miles away.

“Before Hamas won the elections there were 370 checkpoints. There are now 25% more. Because of the moral bankruptcy of the PA, Hamas won the elections and they should not be feared. They have an open mind and open heart and many of them say: ‘Fight them with love.’

My view from a rooftop in Aida Camp, Bethlehem

“The International community put conditions on Hamas, but it is not about Israel’s existence we are speaking of, it is the existence of Palestine and Human Rights that must be addressed! The world is unbalanced and the polarization just increases the violence. Civil society must become responsible.”

In 2006, Reverend Chris Ferguson, Representative for the World Council of Churches said:

“I go to Bethlehem because of the Biblical injunction to visit the prisoners. In 2001, the World Council of Churches, the Middle East Council of Churches and others decided that the world ecumenical community was not doing enough about this conflict. Now, we have joined hands and are working together globally to mobilize the international society to demand policy change. The absence of settlers does not mean there is freedom in Gaza.”

He spoke those words seven months after the “Disengagement” in Gaza, which was nothing more than redeployment, for Israel has maintained total control and all access to Gaza by land, sea and air.

During the “disengagement” 25 of over 150 settlements were dismantled, and 8,475 of over 436,000 settlers [less than 2% of settlers] were evacuated.

As of October 2005, 12,800 new settlers had moved into the West Bank, which are 50% more settlers than were evacuated! Gaza is less than 6% of the Occupied Territories and that leaves 94% of Palestinian territories under the boot of the IDF.

During my 2006 visit to the Little Town of Bethlehem which is Occupied Territory, I met four of the newly elected members of Hamas, and for the fourth time I met the Mayor of Bethlehem, Victor Batarseh.

Mayor Batarseh spoke about the dire need for tourists and pilgrims to sleep and eat in Bethlehem for unemployment was well over 50% and the Bethlehem Municipality was borrowing money to pay its own employees.

The first time I met Mayer Batarseh was when he traveled to Orlando Florida, to meet with Mayor Buddy Dyer, with the hope to re-ignite The Twinning Agreement that was signed in May 2001 by the then Mayors of Bethlehem and Orlando.

The Twinning Agreement is a sister-pact that affirmed Orlando and Bethlehem would encourage tourism to the other and promote a global community.

I followed up on Mayor Batarseh’s visit with my own visit to Mayor Buddy Dyer’s office one week after the Mayors had met and I informed the Orlando Mayor’s public relations representative about an opportunity to help the city of Bethlehem.  I was seeking the Mayors support in getting the word out about two events that were already scheduled and my involvement with Palestinian Children’s Welfare Fund which imported goods crafted by the artisans in Bethlehem that volunteers sold throughout the world and returned 100% of all proceeds back to the crafts people and helped support the children who endure in the refugee camps of the Holy Land.

Mayor Buddy Dyer did not even have the common courtesy to respond to any of my three follow up emails. I also informed The Orlando Sentinel about the opportunity for the Central Florida community to do something to make true the words of the Twinning Agreement without traveling all the way to the Little Town of Bethlehem in occupied territory. I got nowhere then, but I persist to be a voice of conscience.

During my March, 2006 trip to Bethlehem, Mayor Batarseh informed me:

“When the occupation is ended there will be peace. If the world boycotted Israel for six months they would comply with the UN Resolutions, which is all we want! There is state terrorism and Israel must be forced to recognize our right to exist. For the past ten years Hamas has worked with and helped the poorest of people, they have built schools and orphanages. The PA took the money but Hamas was providing the social services!

“Israel is a state built on religious beliefs. The US and EU and all the free world are against theocracies. But Israel has the right to do anything! The world needs to WAKE UP! If there is no peace in the Holy Land there can be no peace anywhere. End the occupation and there will be peace the very next day. All the terrorism in the world can be traced back to the Palestinian situation. All the money spent on weapons and war could eliminate world poverty.”

In 2006, I also met with four newly elected Hamas members but I still haven’t met any terrorists. Two had been elected to the Palestinian Parliament/PLC and two to the Municipality/local government. PLC Representative, Anwer M. Zboun, lives in the Abiet refugee camp and has a Masters Degree in Physics.

Zboun began with a smile and said, “We welcome you to our home and the Holy City of Bethlehem. We are suppose to be terrorists, are you afraid?

“We are a Palestinian resistance movement and we are not against any people. We are against the occupation. We want to rebuild what the occupation has destroyed. Hamas was born from the suffering of the Palestinian people and we belong to the global Muslim movement. It was on December 14, 1987 after an Israeli driver killed nine Palestinians that the first Intifada [uprising] began and the Islamic Resistance movement in Palestine was renamed Hamas.

“Hamas is a national liberation movement based on Sharia; Islamic Laws and Orders. Hamas is not against any religion. We are not a terrorist movement, but we resist the occupation. Christians voted for us for many reasons and they know we are faithful to this cause: that God knows better than we ourselves know what is for our benefit. We do not force anyone to believe as we do. The public and private schools both teach Islam and Christianity.

“In November 1988 Arafat issued a birth certificate for the Palestinian State and under religion he stated: ‘None.’ This is because we are a secular state. As Muslims and Christians we live together peacefully and our attitude is citizenship is for everyone. Everybody should have freedom of belief, traditions and a personal life. Hamas does not propose anything that contradicts Christianity.

“Our slogan is: Remove Suffering for everyone. The issue of Israel is about the occupation. We have no problems with religious beliefs; our problem is that Israel is illegally occupying our land. Since March 2005, we have honored a unilateral cease-fire. But Israel martyred 200 Palestinians, injured 1,200 and has detained 3,500. Many are under the age of sixteen. In the last two weeks Israel has killed twenty-five Palestinian and yet we have maintained the cease-fire. Israel does not recognize us and recognition takes both sides.

“Abbas has stated that we do recognize Israel, but there must be clear borders and Israel does not yet have them. The PA recognized Israel ten years ago but we Palestinians are detained in an open air prison. We resist the occupation, which is our right guaranteed under International Law. International Law demands Israel withdraw to the 1967 borders, release the prisoners, and stop the assassinations, illegal wall and home demolitions.

“Hamas defines terrorism as a violation of the rights of others and their property. Bush defined terrorism as evil. We are weak with resources and our voice is not heard in the West, only the voice of America and Israel gets press. America asked us to hold democratic elections and we did. We thank everyone who was involved in our transparent and democratic elections. We did what the USA asked and now they are punishing our people. Democracies are supposed to respect and not intervene in what others want.

“We had democratic and transparent elections and how are we rewarded? By the EU and the USA who have cut funds to the poorest of people who live under occupation. Hamas suggested that the International community monitor all the financial aid to assure that it went to the people and not to Hamas. We offered this suggestion to the world and we have been ignored.

“So now we look to the Arab and Muslim world to strengthen our local infrastructure and economy and hope to bring back investors. We know there are people in Europe and America who will not allow us to go hungry. We believe aid and support are in Gods hands and not governments.”

On 15 March 2006, I was in Nazareth and learned from Fuad Farah, Board member of Sabeel and the Chairman of the Orthodox National Council in Israel, that “90% of Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land, never even meet any Palestinian Christians!

“No Christians can live here anymore. They fled in ‘48 and their homes were destroyed in the ‘50’s for the settlers. Christians once were 20% of the total population of the Holy land, today we are less than 2% and maybe in thirty years there will be no Christians here if things do not change soon. There are more Christians in India and Syria than there are in the Holy Land!

“The reasons are many and include our low birth rate, migration due to lack of economic opportunities especially for the most highly educated, Muslim and Jewish fundamentalism, land confiscation and now Nazareth has become a retirement community because our young people all leave!”

I imagine if I were a young Palestinian with an opportunity to leave that troubled land; I would too and Palestinians all tell me that is exactly what the Israeli government hopes for!

In 2006, I also met BADIL [Arabic for Alternative] Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights.

The Founder, Muhammed Jaradat, grinned as he said, “I learned to speak English in prison, I was arrested first at 13 years old and spent a total of 5 ½ years in prison because I was a peace activist. I was arrested for winning a high school student union election in my village and charged with terrorism!”

“They said I was a gangster that I was against Israeli rights, but justice for Palestinians means justice for Israelis too! The issue of the right to return is the ultimate issue. The refugee issue is the core issue and since 1948, 800,000 Palestinians have been evicted from their homes and their families land.

“Two-thirds of Palestinian people are refugees. A democracy is supposed to be that the majority rules. But we have been told to SHUT UP about the refugee issue. If you really want to solve a problem you must attack the roots and that leads to the refugee issue.

“International Law, the Declaration of Human Rights and UN Resolutions all affirm the rights of refugees. For 57 years and 157 times the UN General Assembly has affirmed the right for refugees to return home, resettle with compensation or to choose a new country.

“The Israelis claim there is not enough room in the Holy Land but according to their own documentation in 2000, 86% of Israeli Jews live on 15% of Israel proper. 90% of state land is Palestinian land! The problem is not that there is not enough room, the problem is racism. I was born here but I am not a citizen of any country. They can revoke my residency at any moment.

“From 1989 to 1993 Israel absorbed 1.1 million new immigrants from the former Soviet Union who have illegally settled in the West Bank and Gaza. Historic Palestine is 26,000 square kilometers, about the size of Texas. The separation mentality has been at work since the 1930’s. Uniting this country with universal and basic human rights is the only way to success in the future. Israel has built the facts on the ground to not have two states. We are not stupid, we live under the harshest of conditions and we have survived. We have been divided into 28 different countries but we are united on the goal to achieve our human rights.

“The future depends on what happens to Palestinians and we are the legal owners of this land and Israel needs to get its nose down and realize they are living in the Arab world. Christian Zionists are the most destructive group of all and they want Israel to use their bomb. Who will they destroy? They will destroy themselves. The Dimona reactor is leaking and will cost more to remove than it did to build.” [3]

But that is another story that I told in BEYOND NUCLEAR: Mordechai Vanunu’s FREEDOM of SPEECH Trial and My Life as a Muckraker: 2005-2010

Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on Christians Flee Holy Land in Mass Modern Exodus

Medical Care in Gaza Under Siege (Part II)


by Stephen Lendman

On March 25, 2008, Time magazine writer Tim McGirk headlined “Israelis Blocking Medical Care in Gaza,” saying:

“Since Gaza is denied (most everything under siege), many complicated surgeries are no longer done there.” Those permitted abroad for them, like Bassam al-Wahedi, endure a gauntlet through Israel’s “security maze.”

Entering Egypt through Erez Crossing, “(h)e fumbled along tunnels, steel doors that opened and slammed as he passed along, entered a strange cylinder that fired a whoosh of air at him before he finally reached a large hall with an Israeli soldier sitting inside a bulletproof glass booth.”

He showed his permit for scheduled surgery that afternoon. “(T)hree plainclothed Israelis with pistols and walkie-talkies led him past cages with growling dogs to a room where he was strip searched and interrogated by a man who identified himself as a” Shin Bet captain.

He pressured al-Wahedi to spy for Israel, saying his permit would be cancelled if he refused. “He wanted me to go back to Gaza and collaborate for two weeks,” al-Wahedi explained, “and if they liked what I did, I could come to Israel and have my eye operation with the best doctor in Tel Aviv.”

Angry and frustrated, he refused. “Contacted by Time, Shin Bet denied approaching (him) to collaborate, (saying he was sent back) because of his involvement in ‘activities dangerous to the state.’ ”

Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR – I) believes everyone “has the right to health in its widest possible sense, as defined by the principles of human rights, social justice and medical ethics.”

As a occupying power, international law obligates Israel to provide and/or do nothing to obstruct it. PHR-I explained at the time that Shin Bet denied dozens of other patients vital care for refusing to collaborate. One with severe heart trouble, in fact, was told to “go back and die in Gaza.” It’s common practice, but Israel denies it.

PHR-I petitioned Israel’s High Court of Justice for redress to no avail, its director Miri Weingarten saying, “What we’re seeing is that (it’s) willing to intervene less and less in (alleged) security cases.”

PHR-I’s earlier report titled, “Obstacles Facing Gaza Patients in Need of Medical Care” explains what they endure, accessed through the following link:

Under siege, Gazans struggle daily to survive, especially when needing medical care that may or may not be available. For Israelis, it’s simple. “Schedule an appointment. See a doctor. Get treated.”

Gazans, however, face numerous obstacles, including forcing them “to opt out of treatment altogether” because hospitals or other medical facilities can’t provide it.

PHR-I helps about 100 patients a month get vital care otherwise not accessible, but never easily given the impediments Israel imposes. In fact, its repressive occupation undermines the health and welfare of all Palestinians, especially isolated Gazans under siege.

Referral for Treatment Abroad

Gazan doctors unable to provide treatment refer patients abroad. The medical unit head and hospital director must then authorize it. Unavailable care is especially lacking in oncology, cardiology, orthopedics, and ophthalmology, as well as for any severe health problem for lack of proper equipment, drugs or trained staff.

Palestinian Bureaucracy Required by Israel

A Gaza medical committee must first approve referrals abroad, as explained above. It’s first sent to the Ramallah Palestinian Ministry of Health for financial coverage approval. Patients must then submit proper papers to the Gaza Palestinian Ministry of Health to schedule an appointment in an Israeli or Palestinian hospital. On average, the process takes 7 – 10 days without hitches.

Submitting an Entry Permit Application

Comprised of an authorized referral, financial coverage approval, and scheduled exam date, patients must submit entry requests to the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee – the Palestinian Health Coordinator appointed by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Coordinating between Palestine and Israel, everything pertaining to healthcare must go through him or her with exclusive authority to handle all applications for Gazans. “In his absence, patients encounter great difficulties, often missing appointments and access to timely medical treatment.”

Israel Decides Who Exits and Who Doesn’t Regardless of Need

Palestine’s Health Coordinator submits patient entry permit applications to the District Coordination Office (DCO), a division of Israel’s military. After reviewing them, DCO sends them to General Security Service (GSS) authorities for security clearance. Some get permission. Others don’t, but the process takes time, too much, in fact, in emergency situations.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Gazans submitting permit applications are interrogated at Erez Crossing, as explained above. However, the process is so degrading, intimidating, and unacceptable that some don’t show up, losing their right to vital care.

Pressure, Threats, and Extortion of Patients During Interrogations

After arriving as scheduled, hours can pass before interrogations begin. As explained above, Gazans are pressured to cooperate for treatment, though some, in fact, refuse and get it anyway. Many, however, must either collaborate and risk their lives at home, or refuse and be denied vital care.

Resubmitting Applications

When interrogations are scheduled after appointment dates, the process starts over, requiring weeks more waiting even when urgent treatment is needed.

Erez Crossing Security Examinations

Gazans approved for passage are assigned an exit date. Even those weak or extremely ill must walk about a kilometer on their own inside Erez, then pass through an additional security exam and more. They still must receive final approval. Even critically ill patients must wait hours to pass.

In 2009, 7,534 Gazans applied for permit permission to cross Erez. Applications for 5,211 (69%) were approved, the other 2,300 (31%) denied or delayed, causing patients to miss appointments. From January – March 2010, 3,089 applied for entry. Applications for 2,392 (77%) were approved, the other 697 (23%) denied or delayed.

However, for those approved, the process just began, followed by a lengthy, time-consuming gauntlet of hardships, denying care for many for not spying on for Israel as the price for vital treatment.

Posted in GazaComments Off on Medical Care in Gaza Under Siege (Part II)

Saudi Arabia: The Movement for Change


King Abdullah and President Obama Image credit: Opinion Maker

The Saudi Arabian Moment In The Movement for Change

The Saudis have shown their frustration with Washington in a number of dramatic ways recently.

By Dr. Lawrence Davidson

What happens if the Saudis decide that the time really has come to exercise their immense economic power? Saudi Arabia’s power, is truly international and represents well founded, mass economic power.

Part I – Saudi Power

The Saudis do not like President Barak Obama and his administration. The reason is straightforward. They do not like the what the administration says to them. They say things that Riyadh does not want to hear and, in their ears, sound downright dangerous. For instance, the Obama administration has advised the Saudis, and the rest of the rulers in the Arab world, to get out ahead of the region’s growing protest movements and make democratic reforms. The Saudis have no tradition of democracy beyond the tribal advisory council. Before they were kings and princes, they were desert sheiks. Obama’s advice sounds like an erstwhile ally telling them to surrender. In the Bedouin tradition strong leaders do not surrender without a struggle.

Saudi Support for Bahrain’s Monarchy Image: Press TV

The Saudis have shown their frustration with Washington in a number of dramatic ways. One was their coming to the rescue of the Bahraini monarchy (more sheikhs now calling themselves kings) and supporting the outright fascist reaction that regime has been practicing on its majority Shi’ite citizens. The Saudi’s are Wahhabi Sunnis, the most conservative of Muslims, and they do not care what happens to the Shi’ites. They view them as heretics and suspect that the ones in Bahrain are acting as the pawns of Iran (who they fear as a rising Shi’ite regional power). So the Bahraini terror seems a good and necessary thing in Riyadh. This writer finds the Saudi attitude in relation to Bahrain despicable.

The second way the Saudis have shown their frustration is by pointing a finger at U.S. hypocrisy. This was done in a sharp, no-nonsense op-ed by Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal in the Washington Post of 10 June 2011. Turki has strong credentials. He has been the Saudi ambassador to both the U.S. and the U.K. He has been his country’s chief of intelligence. And while he presently holds no government office (which is probably why he was the one who authored this op-ed) his sentiments undoubtedly reflect those of the Saudi government. So what did the prince say?

1. Referring to President Obama’s speech on events in the Middle East, Turki noted that “President Obama…admonished Arab governments to embrace democracy” while he “conspicuously failed to demand the same rights to self-determination for Palestinians–despite the occupation of their territory by the region’s strongest military power.”

2. Turki found equally depressing “the sight of Congress applauding the denial of basic human rights to the Palestinian people” when recently addressed by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

3. Taken together, the denial of such rights to the Palestinians, while calling for them for the rest of the Arab world was, in the Saudi view, a clear indicator that “any peace plans co-authored by the United States and Israel would be untenable and that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will remain intractable as long as U.S. policy is unduly beholden to Israel.”

4. Thus, “in the absence of productive negotiations, the time has come for Palestinians to bypass the United States and Israel and to seek direct international endorsement of statehood at the United Nations. They will be fully supported in doing so by Saudi Arabia.

If the Saudis have it all wrong in Bahrain, they have it all right on Palestine. But the message does not stop here. Turki proceeds to throw down the gauntlet, so to speak.

5. “American leaders have long called Israel an ‘indispensable’ ally. They will soon learn that there are other players in the region…who are as, if not more, ‘indispensable.’ The game of favoritism toward Israel has not proven wise for Washington, and soon it will be shown to be an even greater folly….There will be disastrous consequences for U.S.-Saudi relations if the United States vetoes U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state.”

It should be noted that there is no legal basis for such a veto in the UN General Assembly, but the Obama administration could make things very difficult simply by twisting arms so as to get nations dependent on Washington to vote no on Palestinian recognition. That, by the way, is what the Truman administration did in 1948 in order to get the necessary yes votes for Israel’s recognition as a state (the vote was a close thing). It would be sadly ironic if the Obama administration tried the same tactic to defeat the Palestinian effort.

6. Turki concludes, “We Arabs used to say no to peace, and we got our comeuppance in 1967. In 2002 King Abdullah offered what has become the Arab Peace Initiative….it calls for an end to the conflict based on land for peace….Now, it is the Israelis who are saying no. I’d hate to be around when they face their comeuppance.”

It would be dangerous to consider this a bluff. Turki is quite right when he says that there are others in the Middle East region who are more indispensable to the United States and the West in general than Israel. For instance, any and all of the oil producers of the area. To demonstrate this the Saudis do not have to repeat the oil embargo of 1973. All they have to do is cut back on production a little bit at a time and pressure the other Arab producers to do so as well. If they do that President Obama will be campaigning in 2012 with gasoline at above $5 a gallon. Nor will the price come down just because he loses to Mitt Romney or some other candidate in an elephant costume. It is unlikely to come down until the Palestinians have a just peace.

Part II – Israeli Power

Against this reference to very real Saudi power we have Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s latest bit of legerdemain. In a Rome press conference the Prime Minister, backed up by the smiling approval of his Italian counterpart, Silvio Berlusconi, told the world that “the problem is not the settlements; the root of the conflict is the fact that the Palestinians refuse to recognize the existence of the Jewish state.” Later on Netanyahu elaborated, “This is an insoluble conflict because it is not about territory….Until the Palestinians agree to accept Israel – not just as a country, but as a Jewish state – it will be impossible to move forward.”

All Israeli leaders seem to have possessed this power to create illusions. Here Netanyahu manifests this by moving the peace process goalpost simply by the spoken word. This magic act seems to be underpinned by the spectators complete lack of historical memory and perspective. So, Netanyahu is able to say historically incorrect things and get away with it. Here is what he left out:

1. In 1993 the Palestine Liberation Organization, then led by Yasir Arafat, formally recognized the state of Israel . At the time it was clearly understood what the “state of Israel” meant. No one was trying to play fast and loose by leaving out a descriptive term like “Jewish.” Arafat himself later told the Guardian newspaper that it was “clear and obvious” both that Israel was and will be Jewish and the refugee problem has to be solved in a way that maintained that Jewish character.

2. Then there is the information revealed by the leaked Palestine Papers (January 2011). What they showed was that Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) and his follows had offered the Israelis just about every thing they wanted. As I noted at that time, Abbas and his colleagues “were willing to accept the Bantustans, to give up almost all of Jerusalem, to turn their backs on 99% of the Palestinian refugees, to look the other way as the people of Gaza were slaughtered and to even serve as an ally of the Israeli occupation forces on the West Bank. By the time they were done there was nothing left that was worth fighting for. As the PNA’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat told U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell, they had done everything but “convert to Zionism.” And yet, the Israelis scorned the Palestinian compromises.”

Now, one can say that Netanyahu is so narrow minded and under-informed that he does not remember 1993 or Arafat’s subsequent clarification to the Guardian. But he must remember the capitulation described in the Palestine Papers. After all, it happened partly on his own watch. So, what is it with him and his “Jewish state”demand? The only logical conclusion is that Prime Minister Netanyahu is a “confidence artist” and he thinks of the rest of us, particularly the U.S. Congress, as his “marks.” Behind this illusion is the reality: the Israeli leadership is not interested in peace. Indeed, peace is to be avoided because it would necessarily stop their absorption of Palestinian land. This is really why it is “impossible to move forward.”

Part III – And The Winner Would Be….

What happens if the Saudis decide that the time really has come to exercise their immense economic power for the sake of the Palestinians? Can the power of the Israeli con artists successfully compete? Well here are some things to consider:

1. Zionist power outside of Palestine is confined to a small number of locales. That does not mean it is not real, but it does mean that its basis is shallow. For instance, its twin pillars are holocaust guilt and lobby influence. The latter, at least in the U.S., comes in the form of political payoffs. The Zionists also have media leverage but that influence is not as ubiquitous as it use to be. It is unclear just how long it would hold up in the face of serious economic counterweights.

2. Saudi Arabia’s power, on the other hand, is truly international and represents well founded, mass economic power. If the price of energy starts going higher and higher because the Saudis and other Arab oil producers cut back on production, the Zionists can’t do a thing about it. And what is Washington and the Europeans going to do? Invade Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, et. al.? That sort of thing happens in suspense novels and will only be advocated by fringe extremists of the John Bolton type. It is not likely to happen in the real world.

No. In this kind of confrontation the Zionists can not win. They are just not as indispensable as affordable energy. It is interesting that not much is being said about this in the U.S. media. Maybe the Zionists and their friends think that if they ignore the Saudis, they will just go away. Maybe they are praying for fusion power before September. Maybe they think it is all bluff.
Personally, I think it might just be Saudi Arabia’s moment. That it is Saudi power that can force a just peace on Washington and Tel Aviv. Let us hope so. For Palestine I’m ready to pay per gallon whatever it costs.

Posted in Saudi Arabia1 Comment

A Zionist’s Response to “What’s the Difference Between Zionism and Racism?



Beneath The Spin*Eric L. Wattree


Zionist’s Response to “What’s the Difference Between Zionism and Racism?”

I recently posted an article entitled “President Obama: What’s the Difference Between Zionism and Racism?” In response I received several comments from a gentlemen who posts under the name of Tim 2. His comments were so reflective of the typical Zionist reaction to this debate that I thought it would be enlightening to present it as an article under its own name.

Tim 2
June 18, 2011 – 4:26 pm

Eric – You obviously believe the Jewish State of Israel has no right to exist and should not exist. As a result, everything else that comes from you is just hot air and noise. If the majority of Palestinians and other Arabs/Muslims believe as you do, then there will be no peace. And, more importantly, if the goal of Arabs/Muslims is your goal, to destroy Israel, then your criticism of Israel is worthless and empty and hypocritical and non-substantive and arrogant and duplicitous and, of course, self-serving.
Also, for you to believe that you are not anti-Semitic (all stupid word games aside) is atrocious and flagrant self-deception at best and purposeful and callous malevolence at worst.
Eric L. Wattree
June 19, 2011 – 8:17 am
Tim 2,
I have a philosophy that I’ve developed over the years about ALL ideologues regardless to their ideology, and it is the following: Efficient thinkers give truth priority over ideology, while ideologues give ideology priority over truth.
Your comment just validated that philosophy. Like most ideologues, you seem to see things in black and white, and you also tend to make unwarranted assumptions. What evidence do you have that I don’t think Israel has a right to exist? I was very clear in the article that I don’t like the way the United States came into being either, but that doesn’t mean that I’m advocating the overthrow of the United States. So what made you leap to the conclusion that I was advocating the destruction of Israel? The fact is, I’d settle for the outrageous compromise of agreeing that Israel stop stealing land under the pretext of national defense, and exist as a true egalitarian democracy. That would work for me, how about you?
Tim 2
June 19, 2011 – 12:56 pm
Explain to me what you mean by an “egalitarian democracy” first. A dollar will get you a hundred that your solution is the destruction of the nation-state of the Jews (ie, as Israel exists now).
The truth is Eric, you and everyone like you deny not only the history of the Jewish people (probably the most severe type of anti-Semitism) but believe you are clever enough to formulate your hate and motivations in such a way that they become opaque or even mis-understood.
When you can accept Israel as the nation-state of the Jews, then I’ll listen. Otherwise, you’re just whistling dixie.
Eric L. Wattree
June 19, 2011 – 5:05
Tim 2,
I think that egalitarian democracy is self-explanatory – a one man, one vote democracy where every person has equal rights. You knew exactly what it meant, but you want a state that has a legal right to discriminate against all non Jews. There’s a word for that – bigotry. Thus you’re arguing for the legal right to do to others what you’re always whining about being done to you. That seems kind of hypocritical to me.
And Tim, your insistence that anyone who disagrees with you is anti Semitic is not only arrogant, but it’s getting very old. The world used to give Zionists a pass on that argument, but the world is gradually waking up to the fact that the cruelty and the loss of life that’s taking place in the Middle East as a direct result of our catering to Israel is resulting in yet another Holocaust, but this this time it’s being carried out by Israelis. So you’ve just about played the sympathy card out.
So spare us the guilt trip, because it ain’t working anymore. I’m not buying into the send-your-sons-to-die-to- prove-that-you-don’t-hate-Jews bit. So if you want to accuse me of being anti Semitic, knock yourself out. Your Zionist gravy train is about over. We’re tired of dying so you can live in privilege.
Tim 2
June 19, 2011 – 5:23 pm
Eric –
I don’t want a pass from you or your kind. Nor do I expect you or your kind to admit you’re anti-Semitic, so I certainly don’t expect you to feel “guilty” about any of your horrific ideas and thoughts presented here.
And just because I disagree with you, doesn’t make me conclude you’re anti-Semitic. It’s just that you are. And you are one of the worst kind of anti-Semites.
I only want one thing and that’s for you to know you’re fooling no-one, not even yourself.
Eric L. Wattree
June 19, 2011 – 9:23 pm
Tim 2,
Hmmm, let’s see. You said,
“And just because I disagree with you, doesn’t make me conclude you’re anti-Semitic. It’s just that you are. And you are one of the worst kind of anti-Semites.”
Wait a minute. I think I get it. You don’t conclude that I’m anti semitic just because YOU disagree with me. You think I’m the worst kind of anti Semite because I disagree with YOU. Oddly enough, that kind of makes sense to me. Anyone who thinks that everyone should have equal rights in Israel hates Jews. I think I’ve got it.
No wonder there’s so much turmoil over there. Your philosophy is, anyone who disagrees with you is the enemy. That kind of thinking is not only dangerous, but absolutely psychotic.
Tim 2
June 19, 2011 – 7:01 pm
Eric –
I don’t want a pass from you or your kind. Nor do I expect you or your kind to admit you’re anti-Semitic, so I certainly don’t expect you to feel “guilty” about any of your horrific ideas and thoughts presented here.
And just because I disagree with you, doesn’t make me conclude you’re anti-Semitic. It’s just that you are. And you are one of the worst kind of anti-Semites.
I only want one thing and that’s for you to know you’re fooling no-one, not even yourself.
Eric L. Wattree
June 20, 2011 – 7:20 am
Tim 2,
There are many Jews who take the exact same position that I do with respect to Zionism. Are they anti Semitic? Then what makes me any different from them? You’ve presented absolutely no evidence that I’m anti Semitic. Thus, the only basis that you have for coming to that conclusion – at least, the only basis that you’ve stated in this discussion – is that I’m a non Jew who disagrees with your belief that Zionist should be given the right to discriminate against non Jews. That represents the epitome of intolerance – Hitlerian intolerance. So I think I’m on solid ground in suggesting that Zionism represents the Nazi wing of Judaism.
Tim 2
June 20, 2011 – 8:14 am
You mean I haven’t given you my rationale for why I believe you are an anti-Semite. You have never asked me for that, choosing instead to project your own rationale upon me.
Here is my rationale:
1)Your article denies the history of the Jewish people ( I did state this in an earlier comment and added that this is perhaps the most sever e type of anti-Semitism). This is exhibited most clearly by statements, “Far be it from me, however, to say who’s a Jew and who’s not, but I think we can all agree that European Jews are not the same Jews that were spoken of in the Bible,” and “Think about it– as bad as the Germans and Russians treated the Jews over the years, you’d think the Jews would have been given part of one of those countries,” and ““Granted, when someone invades your home you do have a right to retaliate against them, but Europeans have about as much right to call Israel their home as I’d have of tearing off a part of China simply because I converted to Buddhism.”
2)You accuse Jews of being racists and of ethnic cleansing if not of outright genocide claiming in your article, “How can you go into your neighbor’s home and kill his family, then call him the aggressor? And now they’re talking about invading Iran! It’s all about racism and greed,” and “So the Israeli claim that their slaughter of the Arab people is simply an attempt to defend themselves is nothing but a farce. “
3)You accuse Israel as being the source of all mid-east and even worldwide problems and conflicts and, more importantly, of costing US citizens’ and soldiers’ lives saying, “This is an issue that desperately needs to be addressed, because due to our failure to do so, American troops are dying, the United States treasury is being looted, and the entire world is being placed at risk.“
4)You compare Zionism to Nazism saying in your last comment to me, “So I think I’m on solid ground in saying that Zionism represents the Nazi wing of Judaism.”
Your comments are the quintessential comments of an anti-Semite. They revise or fabricate history and fact to libel, demean and defame an entire people.
Eric L. Wattree
June 20, 2011 – 10:06 am
Tim 2,
First, when you accuse someone of being anti semitic, or anything else, for that matter, they shouldn’t have to ask you for your rationale. A fundamental rule of 7th grade English is when you make an assertion you should start substantiating that assertion in the very next sentence.
And regarding the other issues that you bring up, that’s not proof that I’m anti Semitic. Those are the facts as I see them, and many non Zionist Jews take some of the very same positions. Just because I person disagrees with you doesn’t mean that they hate you. I disagreed with my late wife all of the time, but I loved her dearly. I currently disagree with my children on many issues, but I also love them dearly. And I have a growing number of disagreements with Barack Obama, yet, unless he does something incredibly stupid, I intend to vote for him in the next election. So we’ve come full circle, back to your very dangerous belief than anyone who disagrees with your distorted belief system is the enemy, and I repeat, you and Adolph Hitler would be in full agreement in that regard.
And finally, you’ve now accused me of defaming “an entire people.” That’s a flat-out lie. I’m not criticizing Jews, any more than I would criticize all White people of being Nazis, or all Black people of being hip hop artists. I’m critizing the criminal malevolence of Zionism. Period. But the fact is, you find it convenient to conflate Zionism with Judaism in an attempt to generate sympathy for your bigoted philosophy.
Texas Vet
June 20, 2011 – 8:24 am
I’m sorry Eric that you had to listen to Tim 2 blabber on. He can’t help it if his head is screwed on backwards. But, you handled him well and with compassion. Thanks. As a fellow human, he deserves that much, though he seems unwilling to respond in kind.
Keep writing Tim 2. But think clearly. Just remember, you’re tangling with serious intellects in Wattree and some of the rest of us on this site.
Texas Vet. First Cav
Eric L. Wattree
June 20, 2011 – 10:44 am
Thank you, Tom.
Based on this guy’s philosophy we should be bitter enemies instead of best friends. After all, I’m a progressive and you’re a staunch conservative. We disagree on many things, so naturally, you must hate Black people.
Eric L. Wattree
Religious bigotry: It’s not that I hate everyone who doesn’t look, think, and act like me – it’s just that God does.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI2 Comments

Korea: Buried Toxic Herbicides Threaten



Veterans-For-Change Requests Congress Hold Hearings on Toxic Herbicides Buried by US Army in Korea

by Jim Davis

As you may have heard or seen in recent news articles from both U.S. and South Korean News Departments, major reports have been reported about toxic herbicides being buried throughout Korea by U.S Army personnel.

Searching on the Internet with Google, delivered 58,400 hits under the key words of ‘toxic herbicides being buried throughout Korea by U.S Army personnel,’ including an interesting article at the Korea Times website,

In addition, some documents and testimony has been made public which indicates the deployment of the Dioxin contaminated herbicides Agent Orange, Agent Blue and Monuron covered a much wider date range than has historically been reported by the Departments of the Army and Defense at hearings in Congress. For those who have never heard the terminology of Monuron, Monuron is a herbicide “recommended for use in non-crop areas for total control of weeds, and it would be released to the environment as a result of this use.

Monuron’s registration with EPA for use as a herbicide was cancelled in 1977, and therefore if it is still manufactured, it would be manufactured for export.

In soil, monuron is transformed to its metabolites primarily by biodegradation.

Additionally, a document from the Appeals Management Center of the Department of Veterans Affairs — clearly states that the areas where these toxic herbicides were deployed is far greater than reported – in fact into areas far to the south of the DMZ, Demilitarized Zone.

Veterans-For-Change, respectfully request that both Houses of Congress hold hearings immediately to call the Department of Defense, Department of the Army and the Department of Veterans Affairs to explain the following:

  1. Why was this information, which clearly existed in the files center for Unit Records Research, were not previously reported so that affected former service members would know what is causing their serious health problems today?; and

  2. Why have the records of this deployment of toxic herbicides and the Unit Histories suddenly become unavailable to former Service Members since the cited document was revealed by the Board of Veterans Appeals?; and

  3. How many more Veterans of Korean Service and Korean Civilians must suffer and die from the many diseases associated with and proven to be a result of poisoning carried out by the U.S. Departments of the Army and Defense before the U. S. Government reveals the complete truth?; and finally

  4. Why has this Appeal Case Decision not been posted in the Board of Veterans Appeal on-line files despite the fact that ruling was issued in late 2009?

The time has arrived for a thorough investigation of the items listed above, along with a thorough investigation/hearings to make the Department of Defense, Department of the Army and the Department of Veterans Affairs accountable to all effected parties, including our Veterans.

As your constituent, Veterans-For-Change expects actions among the leaders in calling for this hearing. It is time for our United States Congress to be accountable about the issues concerning the United States of America and our military and not dwell so much about the actions, morals, or lack of morals from our representatives.

Posted in USA, South KoreaComments Off on Korea: Buried Toxic Herbicides Threaten

History of Vaccines Not Pretty


Part one of two

by Tom Valentine

(This story is from Tom Valentines archives circa 1996; Vaccines remain one of the most contentious issues today, with a determined anti-advocacy continuing to battle fascist monopoly medicine.)

The idea of vaccinations to protect an individual against disease-causing germs was actually invented and practiced before mankind knew anything about germs. That’s right, it started early in the 1700’s when somebody got the idea (theory) that mixing the blood of a smallpox or plague survivor with an untested person might somehow pass along protection. They would make incisions in the hands or arms and much like we’ve seen “blood brothers” made in the movies, they would press the wounds together.

History says Edward Jenner conceived of vaccinating people against the dread smallpox (a viral infection), by pricking them with a cowpox tainted instrument back in 1796, yet mankind didn’t have the germ theory of disease, let alone know anything about viruses, until the time of Bechamp and Pasteur almost a century later. Koch’s postulate (the basis of the germ theory diagnostics by Robert Koch) wasn’t put forth until 1882.

So, Jenner developed a vaccination theory before we knew anything about the immune system and infectious pathogens. And, until the invention of the electron microscope in the 1930’s scientists knew virtually nothing about viruses.

Roger Bacon is credited for pointing out that “man can do much more than he knows.” The “cowpox” inoculations against smallpox first conceived by Jenner is a good example of doing without knowing. If the truth be told, we are still “doing” a lot more than we “know” when it comes to immunization programs today.

However, we certainly know more than they did back in Jenner’s time, or Pasteur’s time, or even the times of Jonas Salk in the 1950’s when polio was allegedly eradicated by vaccines. And after reading this article, you will know a lot more about the history of vaccines than you ever imagined.

Today there are two polarized camps—the established medicine, public health policy pro-vaccination camp and the anti-vaccination, freedom of choice camp.

The vast majority of Americans would automatically assume that “science” is on the side of the medical point of view. If this assumption were true, there would be far less controversy. Medical science, even in our modern era of high tech, is anything but “absolute.” And, the medicrats responsible for the programs, are not truthful. (consider recent lies about flu vaccine and miscarriage.)

So, what can we believe?

We shall strive to deal with this issue rationally.

First, does experience validate the theory? Let’s look at the record.

Our entrenched medical establishment points to the smallpox record as convincing. We are told that up until Benjamin Rubin invented the “bifurcated vaccination needle” in the 1960’s, a device allowing vaccinations in primitive areas of the world, the record indicated at least two million people died of smallpox every year worldwide. By 1980, the World Health Organization proclaimed that smallpox had been “eradicated.” This appears very impressive, but does not consider all the variables involved.

For example, we find in the book “Vaccination; the Silent Killer” by Ida Honoroff and Eleanor McBean, the following:

“In 1796 Edward Jenner started his cowpox vaccination craze, which increased the smallpox epidemics to such an extent that the disease became endemic, and in 1837 to 1839 there was the sweeping epidemic which killed 22,081 people. In spite of this absolute proof of the deadly effects of vaccination, the vaccine promoters managed to get a compulsory vaccination law passed in England in 1853. The epidemics then increased to such an extent that by 1870 to 1872 there was the worst smallpox epidemic of all time, which killed 44,480 people. The English people fought the vaccination promoters until they were able to abolish compulsory vaccination in England in 1948. They have had no epidemics since then.”

Isn’t that a fascinating story of medical history? Not only was man doing more than he knew by vaccinating himself against viral organisms that he didn’t know existed, but he also introduced “vaccination promoters” and “compulsory laws” into the equation way back then.

Is it any wonder that some have said our human behavior is capable of boggling even the Angels?

The late Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, “The People’s Doctor” provided this look at the historical record regarding smallpox, which, we are told with a great deal of media hype, is a disease that has been utterly eradicated:

“Did you know that several years after the first smallpox vaccine was introduced into the Philippines (it was first given in 1910) and after 95 percent of the population—8 million people—had been given 24,500,000 doses of vaccine, the Philippines experienced its worst smallpox epidemic in history?”

To add another wrinkle of dark humor to this tale of human folly, a letter to the editor in a recent issue of The Lancet (September 28, 1996) featured a photograph of a grave headstone dating back to 1788. The letter and photo were headlined: “An old malpractice claim.” The tombstone read as follows: “In Memory of Peleg, son of Thomas & Mary Conklin, who died of the smallpox by inoculation Jan. 27th, 1788; aged 17 years.”

Not only is the date of the contention, 1788, interesting in that it precedes Jenner by eight years, the letter-writer in The Lancet pointed out that “medical malpractice claims are not new in the New World.” Neither are claims that vaccination caused an untimely death of a youngster.

Apparently, the facts about disease eradication have been misrepresented and twisted.

The story of the lessening of specific diseases is not cut and dry at all; there are variables and multiple factors—not merely vaccinations—to take into account when analyzing the record.

Part two will outline the incredible history of the polio vaccine.

Posted in Health1 Comment

Major Afghan Drawndown Unlikely



Obama Not Likely to Call for Major Afghan Drawdown

by Sherwood Ross


Four cheers for the U.S. Conference of Mayors! It has just voted up a resolution calling on Washington to transfer $126-billion in annual spending from its Middle East wars to America’s cities! This vote represents an historic, antiwar breakthrough, one perhaps analogous to CBS anchor Walter Cronkite’s commentary on February 27, 1968, that the U.S. could get no better than a stalemate in Viet Nam. As Cronkite put it,“…it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.”

We might hope Americans today will not have to endure further long years of losses in blood and treasure as did this nation in the Sixties and into the Seventies because Presidents Johnson and Nixon refused to withdraw even though the objective Cronkite rightly diagnosed the conflict as win-less and futile. Unfortunately, President Obama is not apt to listen to the mayors, either.

He is expected to deliver a speech tomorrow(June 22nd) calling for a mere token withdrawal from Afghanistan, where the cruel war drags on into its tenth year, making it the longest contest in U.S. history. That’s despite a Bloomburg poll, one of many, that shows the American public by an overwhelming margin of 63% to 30% want “complete withdrawal.” U.S. taxpayers are not only funding about 100,000 uniformed troops in Afghanistan but a like figure of civilian “contractors,” who may be considered irregular regulars.

According to the Agence France-Presse dispatch of June 20, Obama “has to weigh rising popular discontent over the war with military and strategic considerations and may want to showcase faster withdrawals when he runs for a second term next year.”

And Monday’s Washington Post reported, “Senior Democrats in Congress, and many Republicans, have questioned the major troop deployments, called the costs unsustainable and urged a rapid withdrawal. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) has suggested that Obama withdraw 15,000 troops by the end of the year.”

Support for the war is ebbing fast on Capitol Hill, even among Republicans. As the Post remarked, “In a debate last week, seven Republicans contesting the party’s 2012 presidential primaries were divided about how to proceed, with most calling for the troops to come home.” (Italics added.)

However, 200,000 take away 10,000 or 15,000 is not exactly what the American public is hoping for—particularly those who have loved ones stationed in Afghanistan. Mr. Obama will get to meet some of those who have served there on Thursday when he visits the Tenth Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y. Many of these troops have done two or more tours in the Middle East and maybe the President should do less talking and more listening. These are men and women who have seen the ghastly face of war.

Obama—a president whose background check reveals he was a CIA employee and who follows the CIA’s hawkish line in foreign policy—is not apt to listen to Senator Levin, the nation’s mayors or the American people. The polls have long shown the American public is disgusted with the wars in the Middle East and is beginning to make the connection between the slowdown in the economy, and the terrible nation-wide cuts in public services on one hand with Pentagon spending on the other, spending that tops $1-trillion a year, sucking up 52 cents out of every tax dollar and leaving the civilian sector to fight over the scraps.

Outside of the White House, is it possible to find an American anywhere who believes that the presence of U.S. troops on the ground in Afghanistan is essential to our national security—-particularly when we have some 800 bases around the world ready to deploy troops at the drop of a bomb?

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