Archive | July 12th, 2011

Bahrain: Let them eat doughnuts

NOVANEWS

“Pity the poor people of Bahrain. They have been shot, beaten, tear-gassed – and patronised. On 7 March, at the height of the pro-democracy protests in the tiny Gulf island kingdom, a crowd gathered outside the US embassy in Manama, the capital, carrying signs that read “Stop supporting dictators” and “Give me liberty or give me death”. A US embassy official emerged from the building with a box of doughnuts for the protesters, prompting a cleric in the crowd to remark: “These sweets are a good gesture, but we hope it is translated into practical actions.”

Let them eat doughnuts: the US response to Bahrain’s oppression

While the west averts its eyes, Bahrain’s people are subjected to brutal suppression.

David Cameron bahrain 

David Cameron greets the crown prince of Bahrain, Sheikh Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, at No 10 in May. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

Pity the poor people of Bahrain. They have been shot, beaten, tear-gassed – and patronised. On 7 March, at the height of the pro-democracy protests in the tiny Gulf island kingdom, a crowd gathered outside the US embassy in Manama, the capital, carrying signs that read “Stop supporting dictators” and “Give me liberty or give me death”. A US embassy official emerged from the building with a box of doughnuts for the protesters, prompting a cleric in the crowd to remark: “These sweets are a good gesture, but we hope it is translated into practical actions.” 

It hasn’t been. Syria was subjected to sanctions and Libya to air strikes; Bahrain, however, was rewarded with visits from the Pentagon’s two most senior officials – the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Mike Mullen, andthe then defence secretary, Robert Gates. Disgracefully, at the same time as peaceful protesters were being rounded up and imprisoned, both men offered full-throated endorsements of King Hamad Bin Isa al-Khalifa‘s brutal regime.

The Sunni Khalifas have ruled Shia-majority Bahrain – officially a constitutional monarchy – since 1783. Bahrain’s prime minister since 1971, Prince Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa – the king’s uncle – has the dubious distinction of being the longest-serving unelected prime minister in the world. Unemployment stands at 15% – the highest in the Gulf – and Shias have long complained of discrimination and disenfranchisement.

The Arab spring reached Bahrain on Valentine’s Day; protesters – both Sunni and Shia – arrived in Manama’s Pearl Square on 14 February to demand political freedoms, democratic reforms and greater equality for the Shia majority. They were met with rubber bullets and teargas; three days later security forces switched to live ammunition. Within a few weeks some 2,000 Sunni soldiers from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had arrived in Bahrain, at the invitation of the Khalifas, to impose martial law – and, in doing so, poured oil on the fire of sectarian tensions.

Since February at least 30 protesters have been killed and more than 500 people detained, four of whom died in suspicious circumstances. Meanwhile, up to 2,000 people across the country have been dismissed or suspended from work – almost all of them Shia. According to an investigation by al-Jazeera, 28 Shia mosques and religious institutionshave been destroyed by the authorities.

Few have been spared the wrath of the Khalifas. Last week friends and relatives of the Bahraini football stars A’ala Hubail and his brother Mohammed claim they were beaten and threatened in custody after being arrested in March for their participation in the protests. “You are British: imagine David Beckham gets arrested and tortured. It’s unthinkable,” a friend of Hubail told the Times.

The Orwellian regime in Manama continues to round up people for the most minor of “offences”. Last month, for example, the 20-year-old university student Ayat al-Qarmezi was arrested, assaulted and sentenced to a year in prison – by a military court – for reading out a poem criticising the king at a rally.

Yet western leaders and journalists continue to callously avert their eyes. Those who itched to drop bombs on Libya have little to say about Bahrain – Misrata, yes; Manama, no. Bahrain is “complicated”, say our leaders. It isn’t. A king has turned his security forces on his own subjects. And the reason the US hasn’t come out against him is as cynical as it is simple: Sunni-led Bahrain is a strategic ally of the US, a counterweight to Shia-led Iran, and home to the US navy’s fifth fleet. Syria isn’t. Neither is Libya.

Since September 2001 Bahrain has been a key Middle East collaborator in America’s so-called war on terror; in 2002 it was designated a major non-Nato ally by George Bush. And, on a visit to Manama last December – two months before the Khalifas began killing their people – Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, called Bahrain a “model partner” and said she was “very impressed by the progress that Bahrain is making on all fronts – economically, politically, socially”.

Since February, the failure of western governments to do anything more than go through the motions of “condemning” the violence by Bahrain’s rulers has been a dismal vindication for those of us who have long maintained that in the clash between our interests and our values, the former almost always trump the latter. Nonetheless, the sheer brazenness with which our elected leaders have continued to cosy up to, and apologise for, Bahrain’s tyrants, is startling. Referring to the Obama administration’s decision to emphasise “stability over majority rule”, a US official was quoted in March as saying: “Everybody realised that Bahrain was just too important to fail.”

Meanwhile, our queen invited King Hamad to the royal wedding in April, and our prime minister, David Cameron, welcomed Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa to London in May, greeting him on the doorstep of No 10 with a firm handshake and bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase “blood on our hands”.

The blood, however, is on all our hands. Successive British governments have supplied the Khalifas with submachineguns, sniper rifles, smoke canisters, stun grenades, tear gas and riot shields. These have been deployed, with murderous effect, against unarmed civilians in Pearl Square and Shia villages across Bahrain.

Defenders of the Khalifas say it is wrong to compare countries in the Middle East; Bahrain is not Syria, they argue, and the Khalifas are not the Assads. Yet as Joshua Landis, a Middle East expert at Oklahoma University, says: “Bahrain has killed twice as many of its citizens as Syria has, if one adjusts for population size.”

 

But Bahrain’s crimes are ignored and forgotten; in recent days, the US and UK governments have heaped praise on the government-sponsored “national dialogue” between the royal family and opposition. It is, however, a cruel charade. “How can there be real dialogue when most [of the opposition] is in jail?” says Kristin Diwan, a Gulf specialist at American University in Washington DC. In fact, of 300 invited participants, just five are from the main Shia opposition party, al-Wefaq, which gained 60% of the vote in last year’s parliamentary election. The government, meanwhile, has involved a huge number of diverse organisations to try to dilute opposition voices. What contribution, for instance, will the Bahrain Astronomical Society make to discussions on democratic reform? “It is a joke,” Said Shehabi, a London-based member of the Bahrain Freedom Movement, tells me. “It makes a mockery of dialogue.”

It is bad enough that we helped arm and equip the brutes of Bahrain and then turned a blind eye to their violence and torture; we must not now allow our leaders to endorse this farcical “national dialogue” or further patronise the country’s bloodied and battered opposition. Bahrainis need democracy, not doughnuts.

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Somali refugees need your help now!

NOVANEWS

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Tens of thousands have fled their homes, walked for weeks in search of food. Many young children have died along the way. And all of the Somali refugees arriving in Kenya and Ethiopia are exhausted. Between 40 per cent and 50 per cent of the children are acutely malnourished.

Please give whatever you can afford. You will save lives; give protection. And you will offer hope to people who are in an extremely desperate situation.

Please do give whatever you can. Any amount will help, but here are just a few examples of what we need:

  • £ 10: provides ready-to-use therapeutic food for a malnourished refugee child

  • £ 30: therapeutic feeding kits – each one helps feed five children.

  • £ 50: survival kits – each has a blanket, mattress, kitchen set, stove and soap.

  • £ 100: all-weather tent to shelter a refugee family.

  • £ 200: nutrition survey kit, includes weighing scales (x5), height measuring board, haemocue machine and accessories (microcuvettes, lancet, etc.), and mid upper arm circumference ape.

Thank you so much for whatever you decide to give.

Contact: info@shoah.org.uk

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    Murdoch Lies of Zionist propaganda

    NOVANEWS

    “In addition to the targeting of specific “extremists” such as Ramadan, Murdoch’s tabloids regularly stigmatise Muslim communities in Britain. According to research published last week on the sixth anniversary of the London bombings, the News of the World and The Sun have contributed to the creation of “suspect communities” throughreporting that fails to distinguish between terrorists and the communities in which they live.

    Murdoch’s dirty tricks against Palestinians

    The newspaper conglomerate is not only behind smear campaigns against the Palestinian cause, it supports corruption.

    Murdoch’s News International phone hacking scandal will be subject to forensic examination and extensive analysis [GALLO/GETTY]

    Hacking the mobile phones of British families who had lost loved ones to sexually depraved violent criminals, al-Qaeda inspired “terrorists” and Taliban insurgents proved the tipping point that led to the closure of Britain’s most popular Sunday newspaper The News of the World, first published in London in 1843 and printed for the very last time on Sunday July 9, 2011.

    To adopt a current media idiom, hacking these telephones at times of deep family grief became toxic for Rupert Murdoch’s News International media empire because public support for precisely these victims sits at the heart of all Murdoch’s political strategies. As a result, Murdoch has been forced to mount a damage limitation exercise on an unprecedented scale in an effort to protect his global media empire from the fallout.

    Hugh Grant, a famous British actor turned investigative journalist, himself a victim of News International phone hacking was the first to acknowledge the extent to which the invasion of celebrities and politicians’ privacy paled into insignificance compared to the unpardonable intrusion into the lives of the newly bereaved. Grant is absolutely right, but it is the fact that Sunday’s News of the World – like its daily sister The Sun – sets itself up as the champion of these victims that hoisted it by its own petard.

    In fact, the “Sarah’s Law” campaign that named and shamed convicted paedophiles following the murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne was spearheaded personally by Murdoch’s now beleaguered lieutenant Rebekah Brooks. When confronted with criticism that the campaign encouraged vigilantism and threatened the rule of law she responded that she did not “regret the campaign for one minute”. The same well attuned ear for the popular mood led The News of the World and The Sun to launch and promote the popular charity Help the Heroes that supports British troops.

    Damaging reputations

    Safe in the knowledge that Murdoch’s News International phone hacking scandal will now be subject to forensic examination and extensive analysis, I will delve instead into the News of the World toolbox of dirty tricks to see what dark arts of the modern hacks’ trade have been deployed against supporters of the Palestinian cause in recent years. In doing so I believe I will get closer to the heart of Murdoch politics – an important topic that will almost certainly remain untouched by any official inquiry into the criminality and immorality that has dramatically engulfed his media business in Britain.

    I believe it is especially enlightening to reflect on the damage done to the reputation of Palestinian supporters by News International journalists in a week when David Cameron has been seriously compromised by his close association with the disgraced former editor of the News of the World, Andy Coulson, yet has come under no pressure in parliament for keeping the prominent Palestinian peacemaker Sheikh Raed Salah in prison for no good cause. Moreover, it is no coincidence that the handful of British politicians who might once have voiced their concern over Sheikh Salah’s ill-conceived arrest have been silent in the face of the ongoing power of uncritical pro-Israel politics nurtured by Murdoch’s journalists over a long period.

    As Samira Quraishy observes in an article for Middle East Monitor, this silence has been most conspicuous in the case of leading Liberal Democrats including party leader Nick Clegg, Sarah Teather, Ed Davey and Simon Hughes.  Take the case of Sarah Teather – before she became a junior minister to the Murdoch-friendly neo-con cabinet hawk Michael Gove, she was an outspoken supporter of the Palestinians. Not only is her present silence on Sheikh Salah’s plight a tribute to Murdoch’s unbroken grip on government security policy, it is also a slap in the face for the many voters who put a tick in the box next to her name at the last general election in the mistaken belief that she would show consistency of conduct in or out of government.

    Smear tactics

    True to form, The Sunadopted a tried and tested smear tactic by juxtaposing moral outrage aimed at Salah – an alleged “hate preacher” – entering Britain unchallenged with an unconnected story about Britain being hindered from deporting “hundreds of foreign killers, paedos and rapists” by a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights. This follows the same successful formula adopted against a wide range of Palestinians and Palestinian  supporters, especially Muslims, such as the academic Tariq Ramadan and Sheikh Yusef al Qaradawi. Whether low brow tabloids or their upmarket counterparts in the UK, US and Australia, all Murdoch newspapers have a consistent policy of targeting and denigrating active supporters of the Palestinian cause whenever and wherever they can.

    Before considering two notable instances where the journalist’s dirty tricks toolbox has been used against British campaigners for Palestinian justice I should first illustrate day to day News International reporting in this arena. Typically, just days after terrorists inspired or directed by al-Qaeda bombed London in July 2005, The Sun explained to its readers how this atrocity was linked to Palestinian resistance by seizing on a planned visit to Britain by the academic Tariq Ramadan to make its case. It is worth highlighting extracts from The Sun’s front page to remind ourselves of the tabloid style deployed so effectively in support of a global strategy in support of Israel that masquerades as support for Britain and the West:

    “Extremist Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, who backs suicide bombings, is to address a London conference part-funded by police”.

    “…in our bomb-hit capital he is being given a platform to speak – while the victims of Britain’s worst terror atrocity wait to be buried”.

    “The police must pull the plug without delay. And Home Secretary Charles Clarke must move swiftly to ban Professor Ramadan from our shores”.

    Tales of hacking and bribery

    In addition to the targeting of specific “extremists” such as Ramadan, Murdoch’s tabloids regularly stigmatise Muslim communities in Britain. According to research published last week on the sixth anniversary of the London bombings, the News of the World and The Sun have contributed to the creation of “suspect communities” through reporting that fails to distinguish between terrorists and the communities in which they live.

    According to The Guardian’s exemplary ongoing investigation, phone hacking and police bribery appear to have been relatively cheap and frequently used tools to elicit information for news stories of all kinds, whether political in nature or not. Interestingly, however, when The News of the World wanted to exert maximum pressure on its chosen targets, it would resort to a more invasive and pro-active tactic – the deployment of undercover investigators, most notably the notorious Fake Sheik, Mazheer Mahmood, in what are often described as “sting” operations.

    Doubtless Mahmood’s book Confessions of a Fake Sheik, published in 2008 by Harper Collins, is the least reliable kind of evidence – but it does at least provide some compelling if unwitting testimony about the political motivation and machinations behind his undercover deployment against two notable Palestinian supporters in the UK, former Labour Party and Respect Party MP George Galloway and Mohamed Ali, CEO of Islam Channel TV in London.

    Mahmood ruefully admits failure in his sting operations against both Galloway and Ali. Characteristically, when he became fully appraised of the News of the World sting operation, Galloway exposed Mahmood in parliament as an “agent provocateur”. Subsequently, it came as no surprise when Galloway joined the long list of phone hacking targets being offered large sums of money by News International in an attempt to silence them – an unlikely ambition in Galloway’s case.

    Supporting corruption

    What Murdoch’s tabloids sought to obscure was the reality on the ground. Their portrait of Galloway as an appeaser of terrorists was shown to be well wide of the mark in London, where he was twice attacked by al-Qaeda cheerleaders for successfully persuading young Muslims to channel their anger against British foreign policy in the Middle East into democratic politics. Not a story that fit with Murdoch’s agenda.

    Most telling, is the credence that Murdoch journalists gave to corrupt dictators – such as Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt – happily now deposed and discredited. Indications of Murdoch’s personal interest in discrediting Mohamed Ali became apparent when considering the role of journalist Richard Kerbaj, who was transferred by Murdoch from The Australian to The Times in London – not least because of his contacts with corrupt security regimes in North Africa and the Middle East.

    Suffice to say, Kerbaj supplemented Mahmood’s dirty work on behalf of The News of the World with his own supposedly authoritative reporting for TheTimes. Much the same kind of synergy can be seen between Dean Godson’s eloquent or “anti-Islamist” commentaries in The Times and Richard Littlejohn’s belligerent versions of the same message the columns he wrote for The Sun.

    In Ali’s case, Mahmood was clearly briefed that his intended victim was a former “terrorist”, ultimately on the discredited word of a corrupt dictator. Had the Fake Sheik succeeded in his sting against Ali, News of the Worldreaders would doubtless have been treated to an account of Ali’s “terrorism” that echoes Kerbaj’s version – and is now wholly discredited.

    Retaining dignity in the face of such provocation, Ali writing for Open Democracy, explains the unexpected and beneficial impact of the Arab Spring in his case:

    The West talks about the human rights abuses and democratisation of the Middle East, and yet turned a blind eye to the repressive anti democratic methods used by Ben Ali [in Tunisa]. Western leaders supported him, believing him to be a staunch ally in the war on terrorism and against Islamist extremism.

    In the circumstances, Ali, who as a young man was tortured by Ben Ali’s regime, might have directed his words to Murdoch as well as to Western leaders.

    On a lighter note, and again unwittingly, Mahmood’s book reveals weaknesses in his tradecraft that might suggest he will now be seeking more conventional employment. More seriously, it was a similar failure of tradecraft by the corrupt investigator Glenn Mulcaire, employed by the News of the World, that led him to delete voicemail messages on a mobile phone belonging to murdered teenager Milly Dowler, and thereby leave an audit trail that would provide the trigger for the worst week in the history of Murdoch’s global media empire.

    It is therefore noteworthy that setting up elaborate sting operations against supporters of the Palestinians, such as Galloway and Ali, would not cause Rupert Murdoch to lose a minute’s sleep – even today. To the contrary, it remains central to the political journalism he has nurtured.

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    Nazi Infringement of Palestinian Medical Right

    NOVANEWS

     

    Palestinians who died following an infringement of the right to medical treatment in the Occupied Territories, 29.9.2000 – 31.5.2011

    2011

    Mahmoud Khaled Ahmad a-Najar
    15 year-old resident of Jabalya R.C., North Gaza district, died on 21.01.2011 in Beit Lahiya, North Gaza district, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Anas Jum’ah ‘Abd al-Qader Saleh
    20 year-old resident of Gaza city, died on 01.01.2011 in Gaza city, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    2010

    Basel Lutfi Muhammad Sadeq
    24 year-old resident of Gaza city, died on 22.11.2010 in Gaza city, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    a-Sayedah Muhammad Hassan Mahdi
    64 year-old resident of a-Zahraa, Gaza district, died on 14.11.2010 in a-Zahraa, Gaza district, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Nasmah Naji Maher Abu Lashin
    2 year-old resident of Gaza city, died on 16.10.2010 in Gaza city, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Muhammad Hatem a-Ra’i Hajaj
    Under 1 year-old resident of Gaza city, died on 05.03.2010 in Gaza city, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Myasarah Husam Ibrahim Musa
    2 year-old resident of Gaza city, died on 07.01.2010 in Gaza city, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    2009

    Latifah Naser Isma’il al-Hur
    19 year-old resident of al-Maghazi R.C., Deir al-Balah district, died on 01.10.2009 in al-Maghazi R.C., Deir al-Balah district, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    2008

    Dawlat ‘Abd al-Fatah ‘Abdallah Mahana
    53 year-old resident of Jabalya R.C., North Gaza district, died on 01.12.2008 in Jabalya R.C., North Gaza district, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Fidaa Talal Salim Haji
    16 year-old resident of Gaza city, died on 11.11.2008 in Gaza city, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Amin Muhammad Khalil Fiad
    28 year-old resident of Gaza city, died on 07.11.2008 in Beit Hanun, North Gaza district, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Khaled ‘Abd a-Rahman Hussein Abu Shamaleh
    39 year-old resident of Khan Yunis, died on 17.10.2008 in Khan Yunis, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Menatallah ‘Abd al-Halim Nayef Zo’arub
    1 year-old resident of Rafah, died on 21.09.2008 in Rafah, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Infant child of the Abu Raidah
    Under 1 year-old resident of Nablus, died on 05.09.2008 at the checkpoint in the area of Huwara, Nablus district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: The baby was stillborn following a delay of more than forty minutes at a checkpoint.

    Iyad Salman Salem al-Hamaydah
    36 year-old resident of Rafah, died on 09.07.2008 in Rafah, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Muhammad Hamdan Hamidan Abu Hweishel
    68 year-old resident of Deir al-Balah, died on 11.05.2008 in Deir al-Balah, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Subhiya Sa’id ‘Othman Rashwan
    62 year-old resident of Gaza city, died on 03.05.2008 in Gaza city, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Fawzeyeh ‘Abd al-Fatah Yusef a-Darak (Qab)
    66 year-old resident of Deir al-Ghusun, Tulkarm district, died on 14.02.2008 at the checkpoint in the area of Deir al-Ghusun, Tulkarm district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: Suffered a heart attack and died after soldiers at al-Jarushiya checkpoint did not permit her evcauation to hospital in Tulkarm.

    Ratebah Muhammad Ibrahim al-Khatib
    45 year-old resident of Gaza city, died on 22.01.2008 in Gaza city, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Fatma ‘Ali Da’ud a-Lidawi
    44 year-old resident of Gaza city, died on 21.01.2008 in Gaza city, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: She was ill with spleen and liver problems. Israeli officials delayed her entry into Israel for five days after her scheduled appointment. On the day she was allowed to enter, officials delayed her passage through Erez Crossing for a few hours, and she arrived in serious condition at Ichilov Hospital, where she died a week later.

    Shirin Isma’il ‘Abdallah Abu Shawareb
    9 year-old resident of a-Nuseirat Camp, Deir al-Balah district, died on 15.01.2008 in Gaza city, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Yihya Mustafa Salim al-Jamal
    54 year-old resident of Gaza city, died on 12.01.2008 in Gaza city, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    2007

    Rawan Sameh Muhammad Diab
    1 year-old resident of Beit Lahiya, North Gaza district, died on 07.12.2007 in Beit Lahiya, North Gaza district, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Muna Faiz ‘Ali Nufal
    37 year-old resident of a-Nuseirat Camp, Deir al-Balah district, died on 24.11.2007 in Gaza city, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Safeyeh Mussa Salem Shalat
    57 year-old resident of a-Nuseirat Camp, Deir al-Balah district, died on 20.11.2007 in Gaza city, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Amir Shaher ‘Abdallah al-Yazji
    8 year-old resident of Gaza city, died on 19.11.2007 in Gaza city, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: suffered from meningitis, and died after being refused, for more than a week, entry into Israel.

    Na’el ‘Abd a-Rahman Khamis al-Kurdi
    21 year-old resident of Gaza city, died on 17.11.2007 in Gaza city, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: a cancer patient, Israel refused to let him leave the Gaza Strip to obtain medical treatment

    ‘Ayidah Zuheir Hafez ‘Abd al-‘Aal
    31 year-old resident of Gaza city, died on 10.11.2007 in Gaza city, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Faten Naser Muhammad al-Madhun
    26 year-old resident of Khan Yunis R.C., died on 05.11.2007 in Gaza city, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Mahmoud Kamal Kamel Abu Taha
    23 year-old resident of Rafah, died on 28.10.2007 in Erez (Industrial Zone), North Gaza district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: Cancer patient dies after being delayed entry into Israel for 10 days even though he had a permit to pass.

    Nimer Muhammad Salim Shuheibar
    75 year-old resident of Gaza city, died on 23.10.2007 at the checkpoint in the area of Erez (Industrial Zone), North Gaza district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: He arrrived at the Erez checkpoint after having received a permit to enter Israel, but soldiers fired at the ambulance and ordered it to return to the hospital in Gaza. The following day, he returned to the checkpoint and was allowed to pass after waiting for more than two hours, but died when he got to the Israeli side.

    Muhammad ‘Abd al-Fatah Muhammad Yunes
    34 year-old resident of Nur Shams, Tulkarm district, died on 15.09.2007 at the checkpoint in the area of Kh. Jubara, Tulkarm district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: Cancer patient on his way to hospital in East Jerusalem. He was delayed by soldiers at a checkpoint for more than an hour, even though he and the persons with him had permits to enter Israel.

    Kamleh Ibrahim Mahmoud Kabha
    75 year-old resident of Barta’a a-Sharqiya, Jenin district, died on 06.08.2007 at the Separation Barrier gate in the area of Barta’a a-Sharqiya, Jenin district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: Heart patient died after soldiers and security guards at the Separation Barrier gate refused to let her cross to go to hospital in Jenin.

    Radi al-Wahsh
    18 year-old, died on 29.06.2007 at the checkpoint in the area of Bethlehem, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: Seriously wounded in traffic accident, he died after Border Police at the tunnels checkpoint refused to let him enter Jerusalem so he could be taken to the hospital there.

    Muhammad Ahmad Ibrahim Mansur
    23 year-old resident of Gaza city, died on 23.05.2007 at the checkpoint in the area of Erez (Industrial Zone), North Gaza district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: Was seriously injured during clashes between Fatah and Hamas on 15/05/2007. Died from his wounds after Israel delayed his transportation to a hospital in its territories even though he had a permit to pass.

    ‘Adel Rashid ‘Abdallah ‘Omar
    20 year-old resident of ‘Azzun, Qalqiliya district, died on 17.02.2007 at the Separation Barrier gate in the area of ‘Azzun, Qalqiliya district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: Was severely injured when a tractor he and some friends were on turned over. He was taken by car to a gate of the separation barrier, where soldiers delayed them from crossing for twenty minutes. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

    Taysir Mahmoud Ibrahim Qaysi
    46 year-old resident of ‘Ein Beit al-Maa R.C., Nablus district, died on 18.01.2007 at the checkpoint in the area of Huwara, Nablus district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: Cancer patient who was on his way home from treatment at a hospital in Jerusalem. He died after soldiers did not let him cross the checkpoint in a vehicle, on grounds that he only had a permit to cross by foot. He waited two hours until a car with a permit came and he was allowed to cross.

    2006

    Isma’il Sa’id Ibrahim a-Sifi
    44 year-old resident of Tell, Nablus district, died on 12.12.2006 at the checkpoint in the area of Tell, Nablus district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: Died of a heart attack after being delayed at a flying checkpoint on his way to the hospital and having to take dirt roads, which greatly lengthened his journey.

    Ahmad Ramadan Muhammad Wakhman
    Under 1 year-old resident of Nablus, died on 12.11.2006 at the checkpoint in the area of al-Badhan, Nablus district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: Week-old infant on his way to hospital in Nablus for treatment. The driver of the car was beaten by soldiers at the checkpoint when he went over to them to explain the infant’s grave medical condition.

    2002

    Zaghluleh Ibrahim ‘Abd al-Qader a-tibi
    81 year-old resident of ‘Askar R.C., Nablus district, injured on 06.12.2002 in ‘Askar R.C., Nablus district, following a delay in receiving medical care, and died on 15.08.2006. Additional information: Suffered a heart attack during an IDF operation to arrest wanted persons. The soldiers delayed the ambulance and prevented her evacuation by members of her family. When finally evacuated, she died on the way to the hospital.

    2004

    ‘Abd a-Latif Mahmoud Muhammad Malitat
    65 year-old resident of Beit Furik, Nablus district, died on 13.07.2004 at the checkpoint in the area of Beit Furik, Nablus district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: He was delayed at the checkpoint for an hour, during which he suffered chest pains.

    2003

    Infant child of the a-Shtiyeh
    Under 1 year-old resident of Salem, Nablus district, died on 28.08.2003 at the checkpoint in the area of Beit Furik, Nablus district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: The mother was delayed at a checkpoint when she was giving birth, and was forced to deliver behind the concrete blocks at the checkpoint. The newborn died a few minutes later.

    Muhammad Mahmoud al-Masimi
    52 year-old resident of Balata R.C., Nablus district, died on 24.02.2003 in Balata R.C., Nablus district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: He suffered a heart attack during an IDF search of his house. Soldiers delayed the ambulance evacuating him to hospital by half an hour.

    2002

    Hussein a-Tamimi
    57 year-old resident of a-Nabi Saleh, Ramallah and al-Bira district, died on 29.12.2002 next to Ramallah, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: He was taken by private vehicle to the hospital after suffering a heart attack. On the way, the vehicle was delayed by a settler and soldiers, and the driver traveled along dirt roads, bypassing most of the checkpoints and settler roads. He died as a result .

    ‘Azzam ‘Alawaneh
    47 year-old resident of ‘Azmut, Nablus district, died on 08.12.2002 in ‘Azmut, Nablus district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: He was sick and unable to to get to the ambulance on the other side of a trench that had been dug at the entrance to the village.

    Rawan Murad ‘Issa Harizat
    Under 1 year-old resident of Hebron, died on 23.09.2002 in Hebron, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: A curfew on the city prevented the infant from reaching the hospital, and he was pronounced dead on arrival.

    ‘Odeh Ya’qub ‘Odeh Shahadeh
    57 year-old resident of Bir Zeit, Ramallah and al-Bira district, died on 18.06.2002 at the checkpoint in the area of Surda, Ramallah and al-Bira district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: Fall and suffered from chest pains. He was delayed on his way to hospital in Ramallah; soldiers at the checkpoints did not allow the ambulance to reach him .

    Jaliya Shaleh
    55 year-old resident of Rafah, died on 29.05.2002 next to Khan Yunis, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: The ambulance taking her to the hospital was delayed several times, and she died on the way.

    Unnamed newborn son of Fadiyeh Kamel
    Under 1 year-old resident of Nahhalin, Bethlehem district, died on 25.05.2002 at the checkpoint in the area of Bethlehem, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: Physical roadblocks on the way from the village to Bethlehem prevented his mother, who was in labor with him, from reaching the hospital. She was forced to give birth in a car with help from a member of the ambulance team summoned to meet her. The newborn infant died on the way to the hospital.

    ‘Aiseh ‘Ali Hassan ‘Absi
    21 year-old resident of Qibya, Ramallah and al-Bira district, died on 22.05.2002 at the checkpoint in the area of Deir Abu Ibzi’, Ramallah and al-Bira district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: A kidney patient, she was on her way to dialysis treatment. Soldiers at the checkpoint twice refused to let her cross; the second time, they fired a tear-gas canister at the car she was in. She died in the car.

    Dunia Nasr Suleiman Shatiyeh
    Under 1 year-old resident of Salem, Nablus district, died on 18.04.2002 in Nablus, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: The infant was born at home because it was impossible to reach the hospital. Her medical condition deteriorated three days after birth. The ambulance called to the house was delayed several hours on the way, and the infant died at home.

    Tabarak Jaber Fa’iz ‘Odeh
    2 year-old resident of Deir al-Hatab, Nablus district, died on 17.04.2002 in Nablus, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: Because Nablus and nearby villages were under curfew, she could not be taken to the hospital, which led to her death there.

    Unnamed infant boy ‘Ali Nasaat a-Sha’ar
    Under 1 year-old resident of Nablus, died on 12.04.2002 in Nablus, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: He was born prematurely at home, the IDF having prevented his mother from reaching the hospital, and died due to lack of medical treatment.

    Fahima Hassan ‘Ali Najajereh
    68 year-old resident of Bethlehem, died on 09.04.2002 in Bethlehem, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: A cancer patient who died at her home after the IDF prevented the Red Crescent from reaching her to provide her with medicine or take her to the hospital.

    Yusef Salim Khalil Hazbun
    80 year-old resident of Bethlehem, died on 09.04.2002 in Bethlehem, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: On April 3, 2002, he had a stroke, but due to the ongoing fighting in Bethlehem, he couldn’t be taken to the hospital by ambulance or private vehicle. Several days later, he died at home.

    Ahlam Majed Muhammad Shaqarneh
    37 year-old resident of Nahhalin, Bethlehem district, died on 04.04.2002 at the checkpoint in the area of Bethlehem, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: A kidney patient, she was delayed on her way to the hospital in Jerusalem and died shortly afterwards.

    Rana ‘Adel ‘Abd a-Rahim al-Jayush
    17 year-old resident of Kur, Tulkarm district, died on 09.03.2002 at the checkpoint in the area of Qalqiliya, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: IDF soldiers refused to let the woman cross the checkpoint at the entrance to Qalqiliya after she had given birth to a stillborn child in ‘Azzun. She ultimately reached the hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrivall.

    Unnamed infant boy Iyad Shefik Malitat
    Under 1 year-old resident of Beit Furik, Nablus district, died on 26.02.2002 at the checkpoint in the area of Beit Furik, Nablus district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: He was stillborn at birth after his mother, in labor, had to travel four hours to reach the nearby hospital after being denied passage at a checkpoint.

    Raed Sabri Ibrahim Srugi
    46 year-old resident of Tulkarm R.C., died on 23.01.2002 at the checkpoint in the area of Deir Sharaf, Nablus district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: The ambulance in which he was being transferred to the hospital in Tulkarem from the hospital in Nablus was delayed for several hours at the checkpoint.

    2001

    ‘Aliyeh Hussein ‘Abd a-Latif Yasin
    48 year-old resident of ‘Asira al-Qibliya, Nablus district, died on 21.12.2001 at the checkpoint in the area of Huwara, Nablus district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: A heart patient who was denied passage at the Hawarra checkpoint on her way to the hospital in Nablus. She then had to go via the Awarta checkpoint which extended the trip and as a result caused her death.

    Infant son of Amaneh Muhammad ‘Awad Sa’id
    Resident of al-Yamun, Jenin district, died on 11.12.2001 at the checkpoint in the area of Jenin, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: The mother was delayed at the entrance to Jenin. When she gave birth, her baby died due to a lack of oxygen.

    Muhammad Khairi ‘Abdal-Fatah Zaban
    50 year-old resident of Ramin, Tulkarm district, died on 13.11.2001 at the checkpoint in the area of Nablus, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: A kidney patient , he was not allowed to cross the checkpoint near the Qedumim settlement on his way to receive dialysis treatment at the Nablus hospital.

    Unnamed newborn son of Fatma Muhammad ‘Abd Rabo
    Under 1 year-old resident of al-Walajah, Bethlehem district, died on 22.10.2001 at the checkpoint in the area of al-Walajah, Bethlehem district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: The child died shortly after birth, following delay of his mother at a checkpoint.

    Sabri Amin Mahmoud ‘Abd al-Quader
    40 year-old resident of a-Ras, Tulkarm district, died on 16.10.2001 at a checkpoint near Tulkarm, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: A kidney patient who required dialysis treatment three times a week, he was delayed at a checkpoint on his way to hospital in Tulkarem. He died in Tulkarem while walking to the hospital.

    Infant child of the Safdi couple
    Resident of ‘Urif, Nablus district, died on 23.09.2001 at the checkpoint in the area of ‘Urif, Nablus district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: Was stillborn at birth after the mother, Amana Safdi, who was nine-months pregnant, was delayed at a checkpoint for five hours.

    ‘Abdallah ‘Atatrah
    2 year-old resident of a-Tarem, Jenin district, died on 23.08.2001 at the checkpoint in the area of Ya’bad, Jenin district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: He was delayed at a checkpoint and died when he reached the clinic in Yabed.

    Maryam Homed Ibrahim a-Tamimi
    61 year-old resident of a-Nabi Saleh, Ramallah and al-Bira district, died on 02.07.2001 next to Ramallah, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: She died after being delayed at a number of checkpoints on her way to the hospital in Ramallah.

    Israa Barakat Salem Ahmad
    11 year-old resident of a-Sawiya, Nablus district, died on 23.03.2001 at the checkpoint in the area of Huwara, Nablus district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: She suffered from a congenital brain deformity and lost consciousness. She was delayed at the Hawarra checkpoint for about an hour, and died on the way to the hospital after the car she was in was allowed to pass.

    Amira Nasr Abu Seif
    48 year-old resident of Faqqu’a, Jenin district, died on 14.03.2001 at the checkpoint in the area of Jenin, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: A diabetes patient, she was delayed for four hours at the checkpoint.

    Na’im ‘Abd a-Nabi Abu Jami’a
    39 year-old resident of ‘Aqraba, Nablus district, died on 13.03.2001 at the checkpoint in the area of Huwara, Nablus district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: Delayed at the Hawarra checkpoint for more than an hour, the vehicle carrying him had to take dirt roads to reach the hospital in Nablus.

    Maryam Ass’ad ‘Abd a-Razeq Hanani
    45 year-old resident of Beit Furik, Nablus district, died on 25.02.2001 in Nablus, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: She died from loss of blood after being stopped at several IDF checkpoints while on her way to the hospital in Nablus, and being forced to take dirt roads.

    ‘Abd a-Rahman Mahmoud Jum’ah
    66 year-old resident of Beit Lid, Tulkarm district, died on 16.02.2001 at the checkpoint in the area of Tulkarm, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: Suffered of chest pains. He died after being delayed for more than an hour at the checkpoint at the entrance to Tulkarem.

    Hadreh Raja Mustafa Shatiwi
    65 year-old resident of Kafr Qadum, Qalqiliya district, died on 06.02.2001 at the checkpoint in the area of Nablus, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Hasnah Suleiman Daraghmeh
    66 year-old, died on 27.01.2001 at the checkpoint in the area of Huwara, Nablus district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: Although suffering from shortness of breath, she was delayed for 15 minutes at the Hawarra checkpoint, then was taken via the back roads and died on the way to the hospital.

    ‘Iyesha ‘Abd al-Karim Muhammad al-Sawil
    30 year-old resident of al-Janiya, Ramallah and al-Bira district, died on 23.01.2001 at the checkpoint in the area of Dolev, Ramallah and al-Bira district, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Infant child of the Mahmoud Ass’ad al-‘Obeisi
    Under 1 year-old resident of Beit Dajan, Nablus district, died on 07.01.2001 in Beit Dajan, Nablus district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: She died at birth at home after the IDF prevented her mother from leaving the village to go to the hospital.

    Teysir Wahdan
    40 year-old resident of Rantis, Ramallah and al-Bira district, died on 05.01.2001 next to Rantis, Ramallah and al-Bira district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: He suffered a stroke and died en route to hospital in Shuqba along back roads.

    2000

    Massyuna Hussein Suleiman Sha’ban
    60 year-old resident of Nablus, died on 16.12.2000 at the checkpoint in the area of Nablus, following a delay in receiving medical care.

    Na’im ‘Atallah al-‘Abd Ahmad Huas
    37 year-old resident of a-Zawiya, Salfit district, died on 16.10.2000 near the checkpoint in the area of a-Zawiya, Salfit district, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: He had kidney disease, and was unable to reach the hospital in Nablus to receive dialysis treatment.

    Alaa Hamdan ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Ahmad
    10 year-old resident of a-Sawiya, Nablus district, died on 14.10.2000 at the checkpoint in the area of Nablus, following a delay in receiving medical care. Additional information: She suffered stomach pains and was not allowed to cross the checkpoint with her father and get to the hospital in Nablus.

    80 Palestinians who died following an infringement of the right to medical treatment in the Occupied Territories

    Posted in Human RightsComments Off on Nazi Infringement of Palestinian Medical Right

    STOP THE PRESSES: HARIRI TRIBUNAL IMPASSE RESOLVED

    NOVANEWS

    It is over.  The entire affairs has been resolved.  Zionist New York Times–no less–orders Najib Miqati to arrest the four accused Hizbullah members at once.  As is known, New York Times orders are quickly implemented in the Middle East.  But this arrogance of the paper has to be interrogated: imagine if a Lebanese newspaper writes an editorial ordering the US government to arrest some four Americans.  This mentality is purely colonialist: the New York Times figures that operating outside of a major city in the capitalist center gives it an international authority.  How silly.  The arrogance of American Zionists knows no bounds.

    EDITORIAL

    The Long Pursuit of Justice in Lebanon

    Published: July 11, 2011

    New York Times

    An international tribunal has called on Lebanon’s government to arrest four suspects indicted in the 2005 car-bomb killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 21 others. All four of the accused are members of Hezbollah, the militant Shiite movement whose cynical mix of politics and armed intimidation helped bring Prime Minister Najib Mikati to power.

    Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, vows the four will never be turned over for trial. Mr. Mikati has a legal duty to arrest them. He claims to be politically independent of Hezbollah. This is the perfect chance to prove it.

    Carrying out these arrests will require extraordinary political courage. Failure to do so would cost Lebanon dearly, threatening its civil peace and leaving no doubt that the real powers in Lebanon are Hezbollah and its backers in Syria.

    The reverberations of Mr. Hariri’s murder have rocked Lebanon for the past six years, threatening its recovery from the disastrous 1975-1990 civil war. Mr. Hariri was a symbol of that recovery. Popular fury over his killing helped force out Syrian occupation troops. But the failure to bring his killers to justice has revived the bitter mistrust among Lebanon’s main confessional groups — Sunnis, Shiites, Christians and Druse — opening the way for Hezbollah’s alarming rise.

    Other countries have important roles to play in urging Mr. Mikati to turn over the indicted suspects. That goes especially for members of the United Nations Security Council, whose authority stands behind the international tribunal. The United States, the European Union and Russia have issued helpful statements. Saudi Arabia and Egypt have spoken less emphatically. All need to raise their voices in the weeks ahead.

    Lebanon has until early August to arrest the four men. If it does not, the international tribunal has the authority to try them in absentia. If convicted, they would become international outlaws, subject to future arrest and punishment. Any Lebanese government that continued to shelter them could be subjected to international sanctions, including suspensions of economic assistance. Lebanon should do its duty now, and arrest the four indicted suspects and turn them over to the tribunal.

    Posted in Middle EastComments Off on STOP THE PRESSES: HARIRI TRIBUNAL IMPASSE RESOLVED

    IsraHell’s anti-boycott law

    NOVANEWS

    IsraHell has passed an anti-boycott law. It’s yet another example of IsraHell jettisoning its democratic facade but apparently it’s to protect the economy of the settlements.

    Here’s Avirama Golan in Zionist Ha’aretz:

    the Boycott Law is only ostensibly about boycotts of goods produced in the settlements, just as the Admissions Committee Law is only ostensibly about community life in small towns and the Nakba Law is only ostensibly about commemorating the Palestinians’ “catastrophe,” and so on and so forth ad infinitum.

    All of these new laws, all the new conditions stating that “anyone who doesn’t recognize the Jewish and democratic state” will not receive state funds or will lose his citizenship or will not be allowed to sleep in the afternoons, have one purpose only: to completely eradicate open political debate and to comprehensively delegitimize everyone who doesn’t think like MKs Zeev Elkin, David Rotem, Michael Ben-Ari and their friends.
    The question that most preoccupied Meridor yesterday related to how Israel would be perceived by the international Quartet. He was genuinely worried that the law to punish those who boycott the settlements would not paint Israel’s parliament in a terribly flattering light.
    But Israel’s image is a truly trivial issue compared to the process of change being wrought in Israeli society by the cabal of Yisrael Beiteinu, extremist rabbis and Kahanists. This process is crudely erasing entire entries from the democratic dictionary, and in their place – via a series of focused laws with intentionally vague wording – it is putting blatantly totalitarian values.
    The Boycott Law is just one step in this process. Anyone who attempts to relate substantively of any of these separatist laws – all of which are meant to “defend” Israel from a long list of imaginary monstrous enemies – or who chooses to ignore their overall anti-democratic context is guilty of naivete at best, and perhaps even of dangerously feigning innocence.

    Magnes Zionist has an interesting take on the new law here. He thinks it’s unworkable. I don’t know if it is or it isn’t. I do find it remarkable though that so many people in the west who claim to support Israel because it’s “the only democracy in the middle east” don’t say a word when the trappings of democracy are being steadily undermined by the Israeli government.

    Posted in CampaignsComments Off on IsraHell’s anti-boycott law

    Another desperate defence of the working definition

    NOVANEWS

    Now it’s the turn of the Jewish Chronicle’s Geoffrey Alderman to defend the EUMC working definition of antisemitism. His point is as ludicrous as any and his involvement is further evidence of the motive of the working definition’s promoters: to protect the State of Israel from criticism.  Let’s have a look at what he says:

    No one would describe the EUMC working definition as a state-of-the-art exposition of the characteristics of anti-Jewish prejudice in all its forms.

    Well Dr David Hirsh of the Israel advocacy site, Engage, does not actually stoop to calling the working definition “a state-of-the-art exposition of the characteristics of anti-Jewish prejudice”, he just says it’s thedefinition of antisemitism as in,

    Instead of addressing the antisemitic culture, the leadership of the union now proposes to alter the definition of antisemitism

    And there has been quite a mobilisation of Jewish leaders and zionist activists to condemn the UCU as if the working definition was the only thing standing between the world’s Jews and the nazis. But let’s see some more of Alderman’s piece:

    it does put down some markers. Antisemitism, it proclaims, is “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews.”
    It adds that “such manifestations could also target the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity”. It explains that denying “the Jewish people” the right to self-determination – for example, by proclaiming that Israel is “a racist endeavour”- could be regarded as antisemitism, as could holding Jews collectively responsible for the actions of the state of Israel.
    But it also says that “criticism of Israel similar to that levelled at any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic”. And we might also note that, within the working definition’s more general list of actions and activities that could be regarded as antisemitic are: calling for the killing of Jews in the name of an “extremist” religion; making “mendacious” claims about Jews – such as the myth of a Jewish world conspiracy; and accusing Jews “as a people” of “inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust”.
    Such, in outline, are the broad characteristics of the working definition. At its recent conference, the UCU resolved that it would henceforth make “no use” of the definition – which must and can only mean no use whatever. And that, “in any public discussion on the matter”, it would “dissociate itself” from the definition – which can only and must mean that it would and will publicly repudiate the content of that definition: the content, the whole content and nothing but the content.
    For the wording of the UCU’s resolution contains no reservation. The brothers and sisters of the UCU – or rather, to be fair, of the UCU conference delegations – rejected the definition in its entirety.

    Now let’s take another little look at the UCU resolution:

    Congress believes that the EUMC definition confuses criticism of Israeli government policy and actions with genuine antisemitism, and is being used to silence debate about Israel and Palestine on campus.

    What has happened here is that, typically, Israel advocates have listed out some things which are truly antisemitic, some things which are not and some things which “taking into account overall context, could be” antisemitic. Among the things that are not of themselves antisemitic are comparing Israel to the nazis and “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination”. Some Israel advocates say that this could be antisemitic in certain contexts like say walking into a synagogue and shouting “you have no right to self-determination” at the congregation but since that could apply equally to throwing a bunch of daffodils into a synagogue congregation it shouldn’t really be included in a working definition of antisemitism lest some idiots come away with the idea that it is antisemitic to to say that the ethnic cleansing and colonial settlement policies required to implement self-determination for the Jewish people is not very nice.

    Anyway, what Geoffrey Alderman is failing to recognise is that the working definition is a curate’s egg. What’s a curate’s egg? A curate’s egg is an egg that is rotten but, according to the curate, is good in parts. The thing is you can’t eat the good bits of a rotten egg and you can’t accept a working definition of antisemitism that is so rotten in so many parts that the good parts could be confused with the good parts. Let’s the resolution again,

    Congress believes that the EUMC definition confuses criticism of Israeli government policy and actions with genuine antisemitism,

    Clearly, contrary to what Alderman is saying, the UCU recognises that there is such a thing as antisemitism. They just reject the confusion of criticism of the State of Israel with the real thing. If they didn’t recognise the real thing as existing then why did they mention it in their resolution? Maybe more to the point, why didn’t Geoffrey Alderman mention that they mentioned it in their resolution?

    What the UCU is doing is what should always be done with a curate’s egg and that is rejecting the whole shebang whilst recognising that it may well be good in parts but the rotten parts render the whole thing rotten.

    Posted by Levi9909

    Posted in PoliticsComments Off on Another desperate defence of the working definition

    The cost of a Palestinian state

    NOVANEWS


     

    Palestine Center Brief No. 214 (11 July 2011)

     

    By Yousef Munayyer

    Since the Palestine Liberation Organisation led by Yasser Arafat recognised the state of Israel over 20 years ago, the general framework for a claims-ending solution accepted by the Israeli and Palestinian leadership has been a deal that would create a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. But now, two decades later, that framework has been completely exposed as a sham, and the number of people who believe such a solution is achievable, let alone worthwhile, is consistently dwindling.

    So, do the Palestinians want a state? Or, perhaps more importantly, should the Palestinians want a state? This seems like a straightforward question with an even more straightforward answer. At the beginning of the Washington-led peace process and during creation of the Palestinian Authority in the mid-1990s the answer sure seemed to be a resounding ‘yes’. There were plenty of reservations about this strategy however, especially among Palestinians concerned that such a solution would disenfranchise the rights of refugees. Nevertheless, many Palestinians including the formal leadership was on board.

    Today, the answer to this question is not so clear, and for good reason. In the course of 20 years of negotiations, Palestinians learned that the concept of a “state” that they had in mind was different from the one that Israel – their occupier – would permit them to have, and in turn different from what the United States was willing to support. Despite the “historic compromise” PLO leaders often refer to – the relinquishing of claims on 78 per cent of historic Palestine – a Palestinian state would not emerge on the remaining 22 per cent. Instead of getting closer to a territorially contiguous and sovereign political entity they could call a state, Palestinians were constantly facing increased Israeli colonisation of their territory.

    Wanting a true state

    The size of the territory allotted for this “state” continued to shrink with every new settlement home. The Israelis remained adamant about maintaining control over the air space and borders of any Palestinian state, retaining a military presence in the Jordan River valley (about 30 per cent of the West Bank), retaining the illegally annexed occupied Jerusalem and refusing a new Palestinian state to have an army. Essentially, this would be a state in name only, lacking the all important features of sovereignty, and would be the de facto continuation of the occupation with different window dressing.

    The question then is: do the Palestinians want this state? No, clearly not. In fact, the Palestinian cause was only about statehood insofar as a state could be a vehicle for realising Palestinian human and political rights. Since its inception, the Palestinian cause has been about two central issues 1) the right of Palestinians to live in Palestine (this includes the right of refugees to return to their towns and villages if they choose) and 2) the right to self-determination and sovereignty. It has never, contrary to Zionism, been about a fear driven desire for ethno-centric domination.

    Public opinion polling of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza reveals that 74 per cent of Palestinians consider ending the occupation and achieving the right to return as the two most important Palestinian goals. The maximalist version of the concept of a Palestinian state permitted by the Washington sponsored Peace Process does not even accommodate the minimalist version of Palestinian rights.

    Perhaps one reason the process has drifted into this morass is because the intended goal has focused on a Palestinian state in name only, without much regard for what that state would look like or whether it would afford Palestinians their rights. This peace process would seemingly go forward endlessly if it could loosely attach the concept of a state to any hilltop in the West Bank, so long as there was a Palestinian leadership willing to go along with it. Palestinians cannot and should not accept a “state” at any cost.

    A strategy to end occupation

    For 20 years, the Washington-led peace process has succeeded in doing one thing better than anything else; giving Israel every incentive to maintain its occupation. By assigning the policing responsibilities for the urban centers to the Palestinian Authority and having the Europeans and the Americans pay for this project, Israel has effectively retained the security domination and colonial usurpation benefits inherent in occupation without having to be responsible for any of the costs. It can build settlements in Palestinian land and steal Palestinian water, both acts in direct opposition to international law, but simultaneously ditch obligations it has to the population it occupies and use the ongoing Peace Process to deflect international criticism for obviating Palestinian self-determination.

    This game has to end, and the continuation of a Peace Process that only encourages relentless Israeli occupation exacerbates the situation. It’s time for a dramatic shift in the Israeli/Palestinian dynamic which places costs where they belong, on the occupier. Whether this will be born out diplomatic initiatives at the United Nations, non-violent popular uprising, or Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions is still unclear. Perhaps it’s all of the above.

    What we know for sure is that Washington’s insistence on a failed status quo has only proved costly for Palestinians and beneficial for Israel. Palestinians should not be subjected, or subject themselves, to engaging Israel in an arena they are cornered into and disadvantaged in, but rather should choose to meet them in an arena where the the playing field is fair or to their advantage. Increasingly, this is anywhere in the world outside of Washington.

    Any new Palestinian strategy must put reversing this “cost-free occupation” dynamic at its centre. Israel will only end its occupation when pressured to do so and it must be made to realise that it is more costly to maintain the occupation than end it.

    This article originally appeared in AlJazeera.net.

    Posted in Palestine AffairsComments Off on The cost of a Palestinian state

    FLOTILLA, FLYTILLA AND THE PROSPECT OF ‘CIVIL SOCIETY ACTION

    NOVANEWS
    GILAD ATZMON

    It might be argued that the passing week was not very easy on the Palestinian solidarity movement:  firstly, an international peaceful flotilla aiming to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza did not manage to leave Greek ports. The Greek government had surrendered submissively to Israeli pressure and American Jewish organisations, and blocked the naval enterprise.

    Secondly, an international attempt to fly hundreds of activists from all over the world to the West Bank also partially failed, as the Israeli Government had managed to mount just enough pressure to make sure that the project fell apart before it became airborne.[1]

    Though it may seem as if the Palestinian solidarity movement suffered a blow, it is actually Israel that was harshly beaten here, for Israel has managed to expose its level of hysteria: it seems that eight old yachts and a few hundred Easyjet passengers have managed to shake the entire Israeli society.  Now try to imagine the potential impact of hundred of thousands of  Palestinian refugees marching to their  homes  in Jaffa , Acre Lod , Ramle, Haifa, Beer Shiva and  Al Quds.

    I guess that the picture is clearer than ever– Israel doesn’t stand a chance. Its fate is doomed. It is just a question of time. It is not a matter of ‘if’ but a question of ‘when’.

    But the truth of the matter goes slightly deeper. Both the Flotilla and the Flytilla are exemplary cases of ‘civil society campaigns’– they were intended to mobilise international public support using peaceful and democratic means.

    Both campaigns were not aimed to harm Israel’s security in any way; rather, they were there to draw the world’s attention to the situation in Gaza and the West Bank. Their immediate goal i.e. reaching Palestine, was not fulfilled, but their mission is still a clear and significant victory because it proves once again what Israel is all about: the Jewish State is a closed society, a morbid collective driven by ‘Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder’ (fuelled by vivid imaginary fantasies of destruction).  Most importantly, the Israeli government’s desperate measures against the peaceful Flytilla proved to the world that the West Bank is also under siege, and Palestine is closed to visitors.

    The leaders of the two ‘civil society campaigns’ had done their homework: they had planned it all for months, orchestrating and coordinating an airlift of different international groups. They had raised the funds, and they operated as you would expect ‘civil society campaigners’ to operate.

    But they had failed to see one thing. They did not grasp the most obvious fact about the Jewish State and its supportive powers around the world.  As much as they wanted to put into action the most civilised peaceful strategy, they may have failed to grasp that the Jewish State is not a civilised place, and it is also totally foreign to the notion of civilisation.  Once again the Israeli Government provided its critics around the world with a clear lesson about the unique traits of the Jewish State.

    Israel vs. Civilisation

    The word ‘civilisation’ comes originally from the Latin word civilis, related to the Latin words civis, meaning citizen, and civitas, meaning city or city-state.

    ‘Civilisation’, then, is traditionally grasped as a society that acknowledges and respects notions of  ‘civil law’ and ‘citizenship’. Israel is not such a society unfortunately. Most of the people whose homes are on Israeli-controlled land lack basic civil rights just for failing to be Jewish.

    It is possible that Israel’s deficiency in that regard is rooted in orthodox Judaism’s defiance of the notions of ‘civil law’ and civilisation. For Rabbinical Judaism, it is the Halacha law that strictly sets the legal rights and duties of the Jew.[2]

    Interestingly enough, early Zionism was an attempt to remedy the situation. It promised to ‘civilise Jewish life’.  It vowed to erect a Jewish society that respected principles of citizenship and secular civil law. But Zionism was doomed to fail. Already, at its moment of inception, the Jewish State preferred to ethnically cleanse the vast majority of the Palestinian population instead of exercising the theoretical possibility of ‘Jewish civilisation.’

    The truth of the matter is that the Jewish state has battled with Halachalaws since its moment of birth. On the one hand secular Israelis, Hasbara agents and Zionists disseminate the deceptive image of a Jewish ‘democratic’, ‘civilised and open society’ but on the other hand, the religious institutions in Israel challenge that fictitious deceptive   agenda: they clearly argue that if Israel defines itself as the ‘Jewish State’, it should give Jewishness some real meaning. They are basically referring toHalacha laws

    The outcome of this struggle is clear: by now, Israel has very little respect for the notion of ‘civilisation’ or ‘civil law’.  At the most, it mimics some liberal Western symptoms. The Arab MK Azmi Bisharawho suggested a few years ago that Israel should become a state of all its citizens ( i.e. a civilisation ), had to run away for his life, and has lived in exile ever since. It is not a secret that Israeli Arabs (Palestinians with Israeli citizenship) are second class citizens, and the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank lack any meaningful civil status. They are dwelling in open air prisons. They are subject to Israeli brutality  and different forms of racially discriminative laws. Not only that, foreign labour communities in Israel are also totally marginalised, living a life of complete insecurity, with few rights.

    The obvious question here then, is whether ‘civil society action’, as we have seen in recent weeks from international solidarity activists, can have any effect at all on a society that so clearly defies the notions of ‘civil law ‘and ‘civilisation’?

    Jewish Diaspora and Civilisation

    Israel itself is obviously just part of the problem: the Jewish State is supported by some relentless Jewish Lobbies all over the world.  These lobbies do manage to push Western governments and political institutions into some very dark corners.  In Britain, for instance,  Sheikh Raed Salah, AKA the ‘Gandhi of Palestine’ has been detained for more than a week following the shameful British Government surrender to right-wing Jewish Lobby pressure.  Also, the Israeli press was proud to report recently about the incentives offered by Jewish organisations to the struggling Greek government ahead of the Flotilla.

    The Israeli Government and its supporting lobbies gathered a while back that it is much cheaper to buy a Western politician than it is to buy a tank.

    So, the moral for the rest of us should be clear: though Israel itself defies the notion of civilisation, the above incidents prove that its lobbies around the world still manage to interfere with our respective nations’ civilisations.

    Civil Society Action Vs. The Non Civilised

    Palestinian Solidarity leaders will have to draw the necessary lessons from the recent events. Civil Society Campaigns do mobilise public support around the world and this is indeed very important. However, such campaigns may be just too weak to bring about a change of consciousness in Israel.

    In order to defeat Israel and Zionism, we must first admit to ourselves what Israel is all about: we are combating a unique, racially oriented, expansionist tribal project that has no precedent in history, and this project exceeds beyond its natural geographical boundaries. Israel is not just a territorial quest; it is actually an ideology, and its modus operandi is driven by radical forms of racial supremacy (Jewish chosen-ness). But we should  also acknowledge that the Jewish State is not alone: it is supported institutionally by world Jewry.

    If we care about Palestine, world peace and the state of our world in general, our task is to stand up openly and identify the kinds of ideology, politics and culture that serve the Jewish State and its interests, both globally and locally.  We do not necessarily have to travel to Palestine to combat the Israeli soldiers: it may be better to locate its mercenaries around us, in our media, political institutions, think tanks, academia and economy.

    These people and organisations actually interfere with our civilisation, with our most sacred Western values of ethics, pluralism, harmony and tolerance.


    [1] Those activists that did make it to Israel were very quickly detained and given deportation orders.

    [2] It may be argued that Islam also defies the notion of Civil Law. However, unlike Judaism, Islam is a universal precept. It  clearly defined respectful measures and approaches towards ethnic and religious minorities.

    Posted in GazaComments Off on FLOTILLA, FLYTILLA AND THE PROSPECT OF ‘CIVIL SOCIETY ACTION

    Are Cats Bad for the Environment?

    NOVANEWS

     

    How feral felines (and their human friends) pounce on the planet

    — By Kiera Butler

    A little black cat lives in the crawl space under my house. Some weeks I see him every day, darting back into his burrow as I pull into the driveway. Then he’ll disappear for weeks at a time, and just when I’m sure that he’s found cushier digs, he comes back, like the cat in the old children’s song. He’s not much of a charmer—skinny, mangy, limping, and so feral that he bolts at the mere sight of people. But I can’t help feeling sorry for him, so a few months ago I began leaving out cat food. I congratulated myself on this great solution: He’d get a square meal and maybe keep the mice away, too. But when I told an ecologist I know, she was horrified. “Basically,” she said, “you’re subsidizing a killer.”

    Surely she was overreacting. After all, how much damage could one pathetic little furball really do? As it turns out, a lot. Any cat owner who’s ever found a mouse corpse thoughtfully placed on her pillow knows that cats are efficient hunters. Domestic cats, officially considered an invasive species, kill at least a hundred million birds in the US every year—dwarfing the number killed by wind turbines. (See “Apocalypse Meow,” below.) They’re also responsible for at least 33 avian extinctions worldwide. A recent Smithsonian Institution study found that cats caused 79 percent of deaths of juvenile catbirds in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Bad news, since birds are key to protecting ecosystems from the stresses of climate change—a 2010 studyfound that they save plants from marauding insects that proliferate as the world warms.

    What’s more, feral cats can carry some heinous people diseases, including rabies, hookworm, and toxoplasmosis, an infection known to cause miscarriages and birth defects. (There’s also speculation that it can trigger schizophrenia and even the desire to be around cats—some researchers blame the crazy-cat-lady phenomenon on toxo.)

    Considering all this—and the fact that the US feline population has tripled over the last four decades, to about 600 million in 2007—it’s clear we have a kitten problem. Cat advocacy groups believe they’ve found a simple solution: Trap ferals, sterilize them, then release them.

    In theory, this strategy, known as trap-neuter-return (TNR), sounds great. If cats can’t reproduce, their population will decline gradually. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. To put a dent in the total number of cats, at least 71 percent of them must be fixed, and they are notoriously hard to catch. Cash-strapped cities can’t afford to chase down, trap, and sterilize every stray—a process that costs roughly $100 per kitty.

     

    And yet, the feline freedom fighters continue to promote TNR and battle to preserve feral colonies at all costs. Among the most powerful of these groups is Alley Cat Allies, a nonprofit whose main program, the Feral Friends Network, teaches people how to care for “community cats.” ACA, whose budget was $5.3 million last year, has enjoyed generous grants from cat-food vendors like PetSmart and Petco. Pro-feral groups—there are 250 or so in the United States—have used their financial might to woo wildlife groups. Audubon’s New Jersey chapter backed off on its opposition to TNR in 2005, around the same time major foundations gave the chapter grants to partner with pro-TNR groups.

    All the caterwauling is working. At least 10 major cities, including San Francisco, Miami, and Chicago, have adopted TNR. And the crusade continues. Cat groups are trying to reinstate TNR in Los Angeles (where it failed miserably in the past) and make it illegal to remove ferals from a wildlife refuge in South Florida, where the cats have taken a major toll on anendangered woodrat. “These groups are incredibly well-organized,” says John Fitzpatrick, the director of Cornell‘s renowned ornithology lab. “And even though there are all these studies, they won’t change their minds. It’s a very emotional issue for them.”

    Emotional indeed. Many of the biologists I spoke with say they’ve been harassed and even physically threatened when they’ve presented research about the effect cats have on wildlife. In 2005, research by Stan Temple, an emeritus professor of wildlife biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was cited by a panel that proposed studying cats’ impact on birds in that state. In response, he received several death threats. “You cat-murdering bastard,” one activist wrote to Temple. “I declare an open season on Stan Temple.” (Police promptly arrested the suspect.) When Travis Longcore, science director of the environmental group Urban Wildlands, filed suit in Los Angeles against the city’s TNR program, an irate blogger posted his cellphone number.

    But wildlife groups haven’t found a solution, either. The silver bullet would be a single-dose sterilization drug that feral feeders could slip into cat food. The Michelson Prize offers $25 million to anyone who can invent such a prophylactic, but nobody has even come close.

    Until they do, biologists recommend a combination of strategies. For starters, quit feeding the ferals: Beyond sustaining strays, the practice often leads delinquent pet owners to abandon their cats outdoors, assuming they will be well cared for. The food can also attract the very pests that cats are supposed to keep at bay. The American Bird Conservancy‘s campaign to convince pet owners to keep cats indoors has had some success—bird deaths have declined by a third in areas that passed ordinances against free-ranging cats. Programs that remove feral cat colonies are typically more successful than TNR—but those usually involve euthanizing cats at shelters. Which, for obvious reasons, is a tough sell.

    I can see why. In theory, I’m on the birds’ side. But could I call in the authorities and sell out my scrappy little friend? I’m not sure. Anyway, it’s a moot point: I live in a TNR city, so if I call animal control, he’ll eventually end up right in my driveway. But I’ve stopped putting food out. Towhees and robins of my yard, you’re welcome.

    Apocalypse Meow

    Quantifying annual bird kills isn’t easy, but US researchers have made some educated guesses.

    BIRDS KILLED* CAUSE
    1 billion Cats
    970 million Flying into buildings
    174 million Flying into power lines
    80 million Vehicle collisions
    72 million Pesticides
    5 million Flying into communication towers
    440,000 Flying into wind turbines

    Source: US Fish & Wildlife Service
    *Highest reliable estimate

    Posted in HealthComments Off on Are Cats Bad for the Environment?

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