Archive | August 4th, 2011

Italian parliament commission approves burqa ban




An Italian parliamentary commission on Tuesday approved a draft law banning women from wearing veils that cover their faces in public.

The draft passed by the constitutional affairs commission would prohibit women from wearing a burqa, naqib or any other garb that covers the face in such circumstances.

Third parties who force women to cover their faces in public would be fined (EURO)30,000 ($43,000) and face up to 12 months in jail, the news agency ANSA said.

Italy is the latest European country to act against the burqa. France and Belgium have banned the wearing of burqa-style Islamic dress in public, as has a city in Spain.

The law was sponsored by Souad Sbai, a Moroccan-born member of Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative Freedom People party.

The draft will be forwarded to parliament after the summer recess.

The preliminary approval was welcomed by lawmaker Barbara Saltamartini, vice president of the Freedom People party caucus in the lower house.

“Final approval will put an end to the suffering of many women who are often forced to wear the burqa or niqab, which annihilates their dignity and gets in the way of integration,” Saltamartini said in a statement.

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U.S. prepares additional sanctions against Assad as Syria violence rages on


U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford tells Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, ‘It is time for us to start thinking about the day after Assad’.

As violence in Syria escalates, U.S. officials say that the Obama administration is preparing additional sanctions against Syria. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Tuesday with Syrian activists living in America and expressed her sympathy for the victims of the Assad regime’s abuses.

Clinton also expressed her confidence “in the Syrian people’s ability to chart a new course for Syria,” as relayed by State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner in a briefing with reporters.

“We do plan to move forward with additional sanctions under existing authorities, and we’re exploring the scope of those sanctions,” Toner added. “Our goal here is to isolate Assad both politically and deny it revenue.”

“We’re working with Congress, certainly,” he said, “but in the meantime we are looking at additional steps we can take to increasingly isolate Assad.”

Three U.S. Senators – Kirsten Gillibrand (D–NY), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) also prepared a new bill that would slap additional sanctions on the Syrian regime, calling on the President to block Syrian access to the U.S. financial system and markets, and block federal contracts for companies that invest in Syria’s energy sector.

“The pre-Ramadan assault by Bashar Assad against the Syrian people demands a strong and immediate response by the U.S. and our allies,” Senator Lieberman said.

“The legislation we are introducing today will target the Syrian regime’s economic dependence on the energy sector, dramatically ratcheting up pressure against the dictatorship in Damascus and in support of a democratic transition that reflects the will of the Syrian people,” Lieberman added.

U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford met yesterday with President Obama to update him on events occurring in Syria. In testimony today at the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Ford said that, “It is time for us to start thinking about the day after Assad; Syria’s 23 million citizens already have.”

Ford told the assembled Senators that since his last appearance before the committee in March of this year, “over 1,600 people have been killed and more than 10,000 arrested, in a ruthless attempt to cow the Syrian people into submission – an attempt that has failed.”

Ford said that he intends to return to Syria in a couple of days and to continue “through my actions and my presence to demonstrate solidarity with the Syrian people and our rejection of the regime’s empty promises, senseless violence, and sectarian fear-mongering.”

“Assad and his circle will not endure forever, but it is not entirely clear who or what will follow,” Ford said. “An additional focus of my work on the ground, which I do not advertise widely, is getting to know the leading activists and assessing their needs and opportunities for the United States to help.”

“They are independent,” added Ford. “They do not want American military involvement, but it does offer us opportunities to promote respect for our principles and ideals, and to eventually reinforce stability and peace in the Middle East,” he said.

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Zio-Nazi Public Security Minister Calls for Massive Nazi Invasion of Gaza


Insists Rocket Firing Requires ‘Broad Military Action’

Just one day after a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, wounding a woman a sparking a series of major news stories across the Israeli press, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aaronovitch was on state-run TV demanding “broad military action” and a full invasion.

Aaronovitch, a member of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, termed the single rocket strike a “steady shower of missiles” and insisted that the government could no longer tolerate a Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Israel’s military has launched a number of air strikes against Gaza already since the rocket fire.

Israel last invaded the Gaza Strip in late 2008, a multi-week operation that killed 1,417 Palestinians, the vast majority of them civilians. The overwhelming popularity of the conflict within Israel swept Yisrael Beiteinu, once a tiny party, into a major coalition partner role, claiming the Foreign Ministry position.

The talk of a new invasion comes as Israeli officials are talking about renewing peace talks with the West Bank’s Fatah faction, though they are conditioning such talks on a pledge from Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas not to seek statehood through the United Nations.

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Zionist Clinton meets with Syrian activists


US Secretary of State meets with local Syrian opposition leaders in first overt sign that Washington is looking to post-Assad era

The United States is gearing for Syria’s post-Assad era: US secretary of state Zionist Hillary Clinton met with several US-based Syrian activists and opposition leaders in Washington Tuesday, as the American administration mulls more sanctions against Damascus.

The meeting is the first overt indication that Washington is willing to work with the Syrian opposition. Washington believes Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regimes is likely to see its end in the coming months.

Diplomatic elements in the international community have strongly denounced the escalating crackdown on pro-democracy protesters by Damascus forces, despite the fact that the UN Security Council has been unable, thus far, to formulate harsher sanctions against Assad.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that the US plans to “move forward with additional sanctions under existing authorities” and it is “exploring the scope” of these sanctions: “Our goal here is to isolate the Assad regime politically and deny it revenue with which to sustain its brutality,” Toner said.

The latest sanctions’ draft at the UN was torpedoed on Tuesday by Russia and India. The Arab League is also refusing to cooperate with Washington on the matter.

The US has been building up pressure on Syria in recent months, including slapping sanctions on Assad, his inner circle and assets controlled by the Syrian government.

US President Zionist Barack Obama has vowed America will continue to increase pressure on Syria to isolate Assad and his government.

During the meeting, Zionist Clinton expressed “her sympathy for the victims of the Assad regime’s abuses,” and her “admiration for the courage of the brave Syrian people who continue to defy the government’s brutality in order to express their universal rights,” Toner said.

“The United States will continue to support the Syrian people in their efforts to begin a peaceful and orderly transition to democracy in Syria and to have their aspirations realized. We have nothing invested in the continuation of a regime that must kill, imprison and torture its own citizens to maintain power,” Zionist Clinton said in a statement released after the meeting.

“Our view remains that strong action by the Security Council on the targeting of innocent civilians in Syria is long overdue. Some members of the Security Council continue to oppose any action that would call on President Assad to stop the killing, and we urge them to reconsider their positions,” the statement concluded.

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US Muslims More Tolerant, Opposed to Violence Than Other Faiths


Jim Lobe

Muslims in the United States express greater tolerance for members of other faiths than any other major religious group, according to a major new survey and report released Thursday by the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center.

They are also more likely than any other religious group to oppose violent or military attacks against civilians, according to the survey, “Muslim Americans: Faith, Freedom, and the Future.”

Nearly four out of five (78 percent) U.S. Muslims say that military attacks against civilians can never be justified. That compares with less than two of five Protestants (38 percent) and Catholics (39 percent) and just over four out of Jews (43 percent) who take that position, the poll found.

Similarly, 89 percent of Muslims said attacks by “an individual person or a small group of individuals to target and kill civilians can never be justified.” Between 71 percent and 75 percent of Christian and Jewish respondents agreed.

The survey also found that Jewish and Muslim Americans shared many views, including how best to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Eighty-one percent of Muslims and 78 percent of Jews queried by Gallup said they supported a two-state solution.

Jewish respondents were also more likely than any other group, including Muslims themselves, to believe that Muslims face prejudice in the U.S.

While 60 percent of Muslims agreed with the proposition that “most Americans are prejudiced against Muslim Americans,” that was less than the 66 percent of Jews agreed with it. Protestants and Catholics, in contrast, were roughly evenly split on the question.

Jewish respondents (80 percent) were also more likely — besides Muslims themselves (93 percent) — to see Muslim Americans as being loyal to the United States, compared to less than 60 percent of Christian respondents. Conversely, more than a third of Protestant and Catholic respondents questioned Muslims’ loyalty, as did 19 percent of Jews.

The survey, which was based on nearly 2,500 interviews with respondents, 475 of whom said they were Muslim, poses a major challenge to efforts, primarily by right-wing Christian and Jewish groups in the U.S., to depict Muslims — and Islam as a religion — as fundamentally alien, if not actively hostile, to “Judeo-Christian” or “Western” values and U.S. society.

Those efforts reached a high point over the past year in the form of a largely successful effort to derail the construction of a Muslim community center — the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” — two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan and an ongoing state-by-state campaign led by the neoconservative Center for Security Policy (CSP) to outlaw the application of Shariah, or Islamic law, in U.S. courts.

The latter campaign, headed by a former resident of a Jewish settlement on the occupied West Bank, has claimed that Shariah is part of plot by the Muslim Brotherhood to transform the United States into an Islamic “totalitarian” state.

Those campaigns — as well as congressional hearings chaired by Republican Rep. Peter King this year on threats allegedly posed by Muslim extremism in the U.S. — have affected the public’s perceptions of U.S. Muslims. Their perceptions of the U.S. was not addressed by the survey, which is based on interviews conducted early last year and again last October, according to Mohamed Younis, a senior analyst at the Washington-based Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and main author of the survey analysis.

“I really can’t speculate on the impact of those events,” he told IPS.

The survey also didn’t break down differences of views — based on ethnicity or other factors — among U.S. Muslims who make up the most racially diverse religious community in the country.

Asian Muslims, who comprise about 18 percent of the total Muslim population, enjoy particularly high incomes on average, for example, while African-American Muslims — about 35 percent of the total — are least well off, according to the last major Gallup survey, “Muslim Americans: A National Portrait,” published in 2009.

Overall, Muslim Americans expressed more optimism about their lives, including their economic well-being, than all the other major religious groups, according to the survey.

They felt especially positive about President Barack Obama, the first president with Muslim roots. Eighty percent said they approved of his performance, compared to 65 percent of Jews and only 37 percent of Protestants.

On the more negative side, nearly half of all Muslim respondents (48 percent) said they had experienced discrimination over the past year, compared to an average of 20 percent of Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, and 31 percent of Mormons.

And while, of all religious groups, Muslim respondents were most likely to express confidence in the honesty of elections (57 percent), they were the least likely be registered to vote (65 percent) and to express confidence in the military (70 percent) and in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (60 percent), no doubt because they have been the target of repeated investigations, especially since 9/11.

Four out of five Muslims said they do not believe it is possible to profile a terrorist based on his or her gender, age, ethnicity, or other demographic traits. Slightly less than half of the other major religious groups agree with that view.

According to a “religious tolerance index” devised by Gallup, in which respondents assess how strongly they identify with other religions, the survey found that Muslims and Mormons were the most accepting or “integrated” — defined as going “beyond a live-and-let-live (or ‘tolerant’) attitude [to] actively seek to know more about and learn from others of different religious traditions.”

Forty-four percent of Muslim respondents fit that definition, compared to 34 percent of Catholics, 35 percent of Protestants, and 36 percent of Jews.

Asked whether U.S. Muslims were sympathetic to al-Qaeda, 92 percent of Muslim respondents, 70 percent of Jews, 63 percent of Catholics, and 56 percent of Protestants responded negatively. Nonetheless, about one third of Christian respondents did not dismiss the possibility of Muslim Americans holding some sympathy for al-Qaeda.

On foreign policy in the Muslim world, U.S. Muslims tended to be more skeptical than other religious groups. Eighty-three percent of Muslims said they thought the Iraq war was a mistake, compared to 74 percent of Jews and an average of 47 percent of Christian respondents. Muslim Americans (47 percent) were also the most likely to see U.S. military action in Afghanistan as mistaken, compared to about one third of Jews and Catholics and 29 percent of Protestants.

While most respondents of all religious groups said the U.S. suffered a negative image in Muslim world, Muslim Americans (65 percent) were the only group that attributed it to “what the U.S. has done,” as opposed to “misinformation … about what the U.S. has done.” Seventy percent of Catholics, 65 percent of Protestants, and 55 percent of Jews attributed Washington’s negative image to misinformation.

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Emotional scars remain for throat-slashed Muslim cabdriver



The cabby stabbed last summer by a drunken college student barking anti-Muslim epithets has lost his livelihood and fled the city he loved, The Post has learned.

“Oh, our lives are a big mess,” the taxi driver’s wife, Hariza Sharif, told The Post. “Everything’s upside down. He hasn’t been able to find work.”

It’s been almost a year since college senior Michael Enright, now 22, entered Ahmed Sharif’s cab and shouted, “This is your checkpoint!” as he slit the driver’s throat and arms.

Now the father of four is unemployed and penniless in Buffalo.

“I drive a taxi here sometimes,” Ahmed told The Post.

But the memory of the brutal attack resurfaces whenever a passenger opens the door.

“Sometimes it’s scary,” he admitted.

Meanwhile, his attacker is living with his parents in leafy Brewster, NY. When The Post knocked on the door of the two-story house, Enright and his mother, Kathleen Scannell, refused to answer.

Enright appeared in a Manhattan courtroom two weeks ago with his attorney, who claims his client suffered from post-traumatic-stress disorder after taking a 35-day trip to Afghanistan just months before the hate crime.

Cabbie Ahmed Sharif Stabbed: Michael Enright Asks “Are You Muslim?” and Slashes Driver, Say Cops

Ahmed Sharif picked up college student Michael Enright on Tuesday night – and police say it nearly cost him his life.

Police said the clean-cut 21-year-old flew into a rage after asking his driver if he was a Muslim.

CBS affiliate WCBS reports the 43-year-old cabbie displayed his stab wounds with sorrow on Wednesday night – a deep gash on his forearm, a defensive wound on his hand, and slashes to his neck and upper lip.

Police say it was the handiwork of a drunk passenger who savaged the immigrant cab driver in what appears to have been an explosion of anti-Muslim violence.

“I’m driving. He asked me where I’m from. I said Bangladesh. Second question he ask me, are you Muslim? I said yes. Then he tells me ‘assalamu alaikum,’” Sharif told WCBS.

The attack happened around 6:15 p.m. Tuesday in a busy commercial area in New York City. Sharif said the young man began ridiculing the Muslim holiday of Ramadan and then started a bizarre, belligerent rant.

“This is checkpoint [expletive],” Sharif remembers Enright saying. “I have to put you down. You have to bring Abdullah to this checkpoint, I have to bring him down, too.”

Sharif says Enright, an honor student from Putnam County who has spent time overseas in Afghanistan working as a reporter, lunged through the cab partition with a Leatherman knife, and the men struggled as the cab rolled for a block and a half. As the scuffle ensued, Sharif was able to keep Enright locked in the cab until he found a police officer.

Enright was arrested at the scene and charged with attempted murder as a hate crime.

Sharif, despite his injuries, continued to espouse his belief in the American dream.

“I work hard,” Sharif told WCBS. “I try to support my family and I believe in this country, if you work hard and you’re honest, you’re good, you can have anything you want.”

Enright was arraigned Wednesday afternoon and was ordered to be held without bail. A grand jury will hear the case on Monday.

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The Hypocrisy of Criticizing Iran for Supporting Terrorism

John Glaser

The United States government has been hyping a supposed link between Iran and al Qaeda operatives, positing in particularthat a “safe haven” in Iran exists as “six terrorist operatives form a network that funnels money and personnel from the Gulf to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan via Iran.” Leaving aside the limited evidence ever given for such accusations, has America any right to condemn others for engaging in exactly the behavior it engages in every day?

Coincidentally, Iran condemns the U.S. for supporting anti-Iranian terrorism all the time. Do the accusations have merit? Take, for example, recent moves by U.S. officials to remove Mujahedin-e Khalq from its terrorism registry, which would qualify it to receive U.S. funding, despite what Iran calls “a compelling record of terrorist activities.” Also note that U.S. officials during the Bush administration “suggested re-arming MEK and using it to destabilize Iran.” Is this not actively supporting and attempting to provide safe haven for terrorism? Or take instead the “cyber-terrorism, commercial sabotage, targeted assassinations, and proxy wars that have apparently been under way in Iran.” Do these qualify as acts of terrorism? No, because they are committed by America.

Let’s broaden the analysis. At this very moment the U.S. is actively supporting and fighting a war in Libya on behalf of a rebel group who has been committing acts of terrorism and reportedly has ties to al Qaeda. In Somalia, U.S. money and weapons are indirectly funding the U.S. designated terrorist group al Shabaab. In Afghanistan, U.S. money and weapons havealso been funding insurgent groups deemed terrorists by the U.S. government. In Colombia, the U.S. is not only funding and arming paramilitary terrorist groups with atrocious human rights violations, but is also funding the corrupt government who commits horrible acts of state terror on the Colombian people.

If any of this qualifies as funding and cooperating with terrorists – and it quite obviously does – I’m not really sure where the U.S. gets off criticizing Iran for allegedly doing the same thing on a comparatively infinitesimal scale. It’s also important to note that my parallels have been kept mostly to non-state terror, but if we include the state terror America supports it begins to reveal America’s well earned place at #1 top supporter of terror on planet Earth. Even still this barely scratches the surface.

It should also be noted that this isn’t merely about hypocrisy and being principled and consistent. American policy is currently in violation of its own laws which prohibit providing material support or resources to terrorists. This means America should be in the process of prosecuting its own leadership, instead of, say, attempting to justify aggressive actions against Iran for behaving just like America.

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Book Review ~ “Might Makes Wrong”–Eric Walberg’s Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics And The Great Games



NB–Richard Wilcox has a Ph.D. in environmental studies and lives in one of America’s far flung postmodern semi-colonies.

    If modern universities were honest institutions instead of    overpriced degree mills, Imperialism 101 would be a required course    for all undergraduate students and political science majors. Eric    Walberg draws from a wide and relevant variety of sources to tell    the story which stretches throughout what he calls the three periods    of imperialism: Great Game I (classical imperialism); GGII    (Capitalism vs Communism); and GGIII The US-Israel Post Modern    Imperialism, our very frightening present day era.

    Walberg’s Postmodern Imperialism reads like a whodunit novel about    the real world but would also serve as a fine– and boldly    politically incorrect– political science textbook. Nothing is    assumed by the writer beforehand and all terms are clearly defined.    As an anti-imperialist Canadian, has lived in Soviet era Russia,    Uzbekistan and Egypt. What he offers the reader is therefore nothing    less than a lifetime’s work, theoretically original in scope yet    comprehensible  and assiduously documented. The book abounds with    valuable gems scoured from the lost pages of history are relevant    for which we find ourselves amidst the dizzying New World Order, or,    is it, Chaos Theory Realized? Walberg notes that “…’a postmodern    imperialism’, devoid of messy competitive wars for colonies” was the    post Cold War era goal for world peace– but as we can see entropy    seems to outweigh equilibrium these days.

    This book includes 5 chapters and a number of appendixes. Chapter    one deals with classical imperialism Great Game I (GGI); Chapter two    with GGII, the anti communist period and the Cold War; Chapters    three and four sharply define the role of Israel, Jewish and Zionist    power in global and especially US politics/imperialism. The final    chapter gives us a current scenario of struggles for power and    political machinations to grab the last resources, winner take all    and devil take the hindmost.

    The setting for the classical “Great Game” is focused largely on    Europe’s important role in Central Asia and the Middle East where    European, North American and other powers such as Russia and China    have struggled to expand their influence and territories. Walberg    notes, “[t]he term ‘Great Game’ was coined in the nineteenth century    to describe the rivalry between Russia and Britain.” The focus of    this book is on the last two centuries, and takes us up to the    present day analyzing many regions of the world where imperialism    has had an affect.

    Chapter 1 of the book, “GGI: Competing empires”, tells the story of    how European powers “carved up” much of the world to their own    advantage. I found this chapter very interesting since one often    wonders how the countries we have today in the world came about. In    many parts of the world it was directly due to GGI, where arbitrary    borders were drawn in places like Africa that separated tribes    according to new and arbitrary national borders.

         “After seven centuries, the fates of both the Middle East and 
         Central Asia have once again converged. But today, the vast    region, with 
         its dozens of ethnic groups, tribes, and clans, is composed of    largely 
         artificial states, the result of imperial divide-and-rule,    inciting friction 
         between peoples who had not experienced such brutal wars and    invasions 
         since the fourteenth century. The vast region is once again    discovering 
         common roots in Islam, now the chief catalyst of dissent and    resistance 
         to the imperial players, the US and Israel, bent as they are on    further 
         dismembering the region.”

GGI also included the United States, although less of a power at    that time,

         “America’s geography prevents any rival from challenging this    state of
         affairs, unlike the much vaster Eurasia, stretching both    east-west and north-
     south, containing more than 80 per cent of the world’s    population, with many   
         rivals contending for hegemony.”

As one reads along startling claims jump off the page: did you know    WWI was caused by the “International Bankers” ? Previous to that    time, “[t]raditional imperialism was based on the gold standard and    mercantilism—the center amassing gold from the periphery either    through direct theft or trade. London was the banking center that    ensured the pound as international reserve currency based on gold.”    Try that line out at the next party you attend and cause a Fox News    fan to spill their drink on their Armani suit. If that doesn’t    startle the uninitiated, Walberg states that “the events of    [September] 2001 had far more to do with US imperialism—and    Israel—than Islam.” This fact may cause the Islamophobes, which    includes a great many Americans due to their having been brainwashed    by the media, to sputter in a fit of anger, possibly spurting blood    from a bitten lip or chipped tooth.

    Basic concepts of imperialism are explained: “[t]he term geopolitics    refers to the use of politics in controlling territories.” This in    itself is interesting given the term “geopolitics” is the    academically acceptable form of “imperialism.” This is similar to    when the US War Dept. changed its name to the Dept. of Defense (DOD,    or, Dept. of Killing the Defenseless).

    We also learn about “Lebensraum” the German term which defines that:

         “that Eurasian land borders in the massive expanse of Eurasia    are arbitrary    
         and can be changed to meet the increasing needs of the    population and 
         industry…. states are organic and growing, artificial    constructs, that the land
         and people form a spiritual bond, and that a healthy nation’s    borders are 
         bound to expand. This was the Monroe Doctrine and the    concurrent Manifest 
         Destiny writ large for the Eurasian continent.“

Not surprisingly, “[t]he goal of empire, and of all the games    described here, is some variation on economic growth, the pursuit of    profit, and (for public consumption) improving the well-being of the    backward peoples—the latter infamously dubbed “the white man’s    burden” by Rudyard Kipling…” Thus, as nation states solidified    their own territories in Europe and America, technology allowed for    ever greater expansion and expressions of violence of conquest.    Although imperialism began as far back as the days of Columbus, by    the 19th century the great game of “might makes right” was underway    against the indigenous peoples of the world.

         “Already by the nineteenth century there was no such thing as    neutral 
         territory. The entire world was now a gigantic playing field    for the major 
         industrial powers, and Eurasia was the center of this playing    field. The game
         motif is useful to describe the broader rivalry between nations    and economic
         systems with the rise of imperialism and the pursuit of world    power.”

But as all good people of common and natural sense know, violence    begets violence, and to live by the sword is to die by the sword:    World War I which was started by the International bankers, was a    disaster for European society. Death on a large scale in the first    world war led to WWII due to the unjust arrangements dictated to    Germany, largely under the influence of Jewish financiers (2; 3).    Walberg writes:

         “Whichever side ‘won’ WWI, the international bankers were    guaranteed to 
         emerge the true victors, with both warring parties deeply in    debt to the 
         international banking elite….in 1919, the CFR [Council on    Foreign Relations]
         was established in New York, financed by Morgan money, which    would be 
         the mouthpiece of the American branch of the now    Anglo-American  
         empire….The international bankers, who enjoyed the protection    of the 
         British crown around the world, were well aware that the    British government 
         was virtually bankrupt by the outbreak of WWI. They were    already focusing 
         on the US and were able to pressure President Woodrow Wilson to    sign the 
         US Federal Reserve Act in 1913, putting money creation in the    US in the 
         hands of private bankers rather than of government, as it was    already in 
         Britain, France and Germany. These GGI central banks were    already moving
         towards the financial endgame of imperialism—the creation of a    world 
         system of financial control in private hands….The creation of    the Bank for 
         International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, in 1930,    ostensibly to  
         manage German reparations payments, marked a new stage in the 
         globalization of financial capital, with the BIS a ‘coordinator    of the 
         operations of central banks around the world’.”

Indeed, as the book The Empire of the City: The Secret History of    British Financial Power claims, the international banking cartel    played a decisive role in intentionally setting off some 20 wars, by    funding multiple parties, during the 19th and 20th centuries. When    countries are at war they go into debt, and the debt must be paid to    the bankers (4).

    Walberg places attention on the Rothschild banking family,    especially during GGI, yet noting that even today “[t]here are only    5 nations without a Rothschild model central bank: North Korea,    Iran, Sudan, Cuba and Libya. Until recently, there were two others:    Afghanistan and Iraq.” As Michael Collins Piper who recently tackled    the issue of Rothschild banking and political power has written:

         “The Rothschild family are the “King of Kings” –if only by    virtue of their
         immense wealth. And they are, beyond doubt, the royal family of    Jewry. It is
         thus no coincidence that on Jan. 2, 2009, Moses L. Pava, a    Jewish professor
         of business ethics admitted candidly in the Jewish newspaper,    Forward, that:
         ‘Our Jewish communities which once honored rabbis and scholars,    now
         almost exclusively honor those with the biggest bank accounts.’    And those
         with the biggest bank accounts are the Rothschilds. (5)”

Walberg’s interpretation of the Russian revolution will be    controversial to some on the political Right, who see that part of    history as an overthrow of an imperfect monarchy by something far    worse, Soviet
    communism. Walberg is mindful of the Stalinist holocaust against    Russian peasants and mass starvation in the Ukraine, as well as    ecological destruction caused by the Soviet system. But he writes,     “the Russian revolution in 1917 was a declaration of war against the    imperialist system itself. This marked the beginning of what is    called here Great Game II (GGII)—the Cold War between imperialism    and communism.” 
Thus, during the Cold War years the US branded any form of    independent development around the world as “communist” whether it    was or not, and had to  destroy it through a variety of hard and    soft power methods. Which brings us up to “the collapse of the    Soviet Union and the socialist bloc in 1989–91 and the beginning of    what is called here Great Game III (GGIII)” which mainly concerns 
“the two regions—the Middle East and Central Asia.” As anyone who    follows the news today knows, many savage wars of geopolitics in the    search for abundant natural resources are taking place in those    regions of the world.

    Speaking of how Walberg himself came to a critical view of politics,    he recalls his days as a student when his view about communism    became sympathetic: “[i]mperialism was not an abstraction, but a    devastating force that destroyed good, idealistic people, whole    peoples. Enemies of imperialism  must be reconsidered, in the first    place, the Soviet Union, which until then I had accepted as a    dangerous and evil force in the world.” From the end of WWII the US    became the global policeman (or thug): “[t]he US itself is the    source of much of the world’s terrorism, its 1.6 million troops in    over a thousand bases around the world the most egregious    terrorists.” Walberg does not draw a simplistic analysis of Soviet    crimes, yet still sides with the ideals of the former SU against the    evil West:

         “The Soviet Union produced environmental disasters, notably the    
         death of the Aral Sea. Collective farming enforced at gunpoint    destroyed 
         a vibrant peasant tradition. The gulags and Stalinist    repression were a 
         terrible tragedy. But colonialism and fascism killed far more    innocent 
         people, and both were aggressive, starting wars with other    countries. 
         The Soviet Union was a one-party system, a dictatorship, but    not an 
         aggressively expanding empire, contrary to what we were and are    
         indoctrinated into believing.”

I found Chapter 2 to be the least exciting given that it reads like    a standard Left critique of post WWII US foreign policy, as    encountered in such important works as William Blum’s Killing Hope    and the works of Noam Chomsky and Michael Parenti. While all of    these authors including Walberg are correct that the US used the    pretext of “fighting communism” in order to crush independent    democratic and free market development in the Third World, many    believe this argument makes the former Soviet Union come off    smelling too sweet whereas communism’s crimes have been too much    ignored by the Left.

    Chapters 4 and 5 integrate the classic critique of imperialism with    an understanding of the Jewish power structure, as readers of the    works of Israel Shamir, James Petras and a fairly large and growing    number of Internet journalists and bloggers have now championed.    This aspect of the book breaks new ground. The synthesis of Zionist    ideology and American military might emerged as the new political    ideology of neoconservatism, which led to the Iraq war blood bath of    2003 and the death of millions of Iraqis. This is the doorstep we    find ourselves sitting on today, a world of wars on the behest of    Israel, Big Oil, Military Industry and ultimately the international    banking cartel. A postmodern and most deadly game.

    While it is now possible to criticize Israel, Walberg notes that    “[n]one of the mainstream critics of the [Israel] lobby dares to    point to the continuity between the Israel lobby and the fatal    embrace by Jewish elites of past empires.” Indeed, Benjamin    Ginsberg’s Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State, details with pride    Jewish involvement in the economic history of the United States. He    shows how Jewish families in the 19th century such as the American    Seligman’s financed the US Navy and the building of the Panama Canal    and the German Schiff’s helped finance the post Civil War railroad    building that tamed the American continent. “Like their British    counterparts, late nineteenth century American-Jewish financiers    were proponents of imperialist programs and policies and    participants in the American imperialist coalition of the period.    (6)”

The departure from a standard Left critique of US imperialism is    boldly evident by reading Walberg’s chapter and subheading titles    which include: Chapter 3 GGIII: US-Israel Postmodern Imperialism;    Chapter 4 GGII: Israel — Empire -and-a-half; Judaism and Zionism –    goals; Jews and the state through history; and The Israel Lobby and    ‘Dog wags tail’ debate. Walberg cites plenty of evidence that Jewish    interests control the US political system, which as Walt and    Mearsheimer are famous for arguing is onerous not only to the United    States but to Israel itself, both of which countries are set on a    path of self and mutual destruction, from within and from enemies    whom they have created through their bellicose behavior. As minds as    sharp as professor emeritus of politics, James Petras, to Obama’s    failed nominee (he was too anti Zionistic) for chair of the National    Intelligence Council (NIC), Charles Freeman, have shown beyond    doubt, The Tail Wags The Dog. Anyone who cares to research the topic    can see that Jewish interests are involved in political, financial    and media far out of proportion to the numbers of Jewish voters or    consumers they purport to represent. The pseudo Bibilcal and cranky    ideology of the 70 million Christian Zionist supporters of the    Jewish power system is heading us into moral degradation, economic    collapse and brutal Soviet style police state conditions.

    The final chapter of the book deals with the complex machinations of    nation states and multinational corporate interests, that overlap    and conflict. In a world of scarce resources and grotesque    inequality, the Great Game is increasingly turning into a Terrible    Nightmare for an majority of the world’s population that must battle    the latter stages of an ecocidal and unsustainable imperialist    system.


    1. Eric Walberg (2011). Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the    Great 

    2. A.J.P. Taylor (1961). The Origins of The Second World War

    3. Ingrid Rimland Zundel (July, 2011). Japan in WWII: A Casualty of    Usury? Was WWII Fought to make the World Safe for the Bankers?

    4. E. C. Knuth (1944). The Empire of “The City”

    5. Michael Collins Piper (2009).The New Babylon: Those Who Reign    Supreme, a Panoramic Overview of the Historical, Religious and    Economic Origins of the New 
    World Order.

    6. Benjamin Ginsberg (1993). The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State

Posted in LiteratureComments Off on Book Review ~ “Might Makes Wrong”–Eric Walberg’s Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics And The Great Games

Mondoweiss Online Newsletter


Dershowitz uncut: Dersh fears circumcision on the chopping block in the wake of BDS success

Aug 03, 2011


The New York Observer

Should a boycott come to pass, who knows what disasters could beset the humble borough.

The next thing they’ll be doing is calling for an end to circumcision. And the first thing you have to do is have all these guys who are circumcized demand it back, go to the hospital, and have it sewn back on. That’ll make them complete pricks, instead of the pricks that they are, O.K.?

What pains Mr. Dershowitz as much as anything is, being a native son, this is happening in his own hometown, and he will not stand for it.

I have a particular interest in Brooklyn, because that’s where I’m from, and I will be there to make sure that the people who start this will pay a heavy price. We can’t allow good and decent people to think this is the right thing. This is the wrong thing.

And let’s be clear. It’s not happening in Brooklyn. It’s happening in what’s the neighborhood again? [The Observer: Park Slope] It’s happening in Park Slope, and Park Slope is not Brooklyn. That’s like San Francisco.

For extra context from the Observer on the Park Slope Food Co-op boycott debate check out “Soy Vey! Could a Hummus Fight Kill the Co-op?

BDS seems to be humming along at record pace. Omar Barghouti writes in Al Jazeera on Israel’s anti-boycott law and the growth of the BDS movement:

While expressing alarm at this latest repressive attempt by Israel to crush Palestinian peaceful resistance and support for it among conscientious Israelis, a BNC statement conveyed confidence that this law will bolster the spread of BDS even faster among liberal communities the world over. Hind Awwad, coordinator with the BNC,reacted: “This new legislation, which violates international law, is testament to the success of the rapidly growing global BDS movement and a realization within political elites inside Israel that the state is becoming a world pariah in the way that South Africa once was.”

Mr. Dershowitz can rest assured there is nothing, absolutely nothing in there about calling for an end to circumcision.

Video shows undercover Israeli police abducting a Palestinian minor while playing soccer

Aug 03, 2011


I will never get used to this. I hear about these arrests but this is the first time I can recall watching an abduction of a minor with all the hallmarks of a hostile kidnapping.


According to Jaber’s testimony to B’Tselem, the undercover policemen forced him to lie on the floor of the vehicle and blindfolded him with a piece of cloth. He cried, out of fear and helplessness. While the vehicle was moving, the boy said, the undercover forces questioned him while slapping his face. Jaber was interrogated on suspicion of stone-throwing without having his parents present, nor was he given an opportunity to consult with a lawyer. He told B’Tselem that after he refused to sign a document written in Hebrew, the interrogators punched him and hit him with a club. He maintained his refusal and was released at the entrance to the Ma’ale Zeitim settlement, in Ras al-‘Amud, approximately an hour after he was taken. Members of his family had asked police representatives where he would be released and were waiting for him at the spot. Jaber’s father took him to the emergency room at Hadassah Hospital, Mt. Scopus, where he was found to be suffering from external bruising. Jaber told B’Tselem that since the incident, he has been waking up at night from nightmares.

Knesset members recommend solving Israel’s housing crisis by expanding settlements

Aug 03, 2011


Dozens of MKs to Netanyahu: Solve Israel crisis by building in West Bank
Haaretz 2 Aug — MKs, cabinet ministers call on Netanyahu to consider all possible options to solve housing crisis, including settling of ‘tens of thousands of citizens in Judea and Samaria, as well as Jerusalem’.

Yesha Council seeks to join social protest
Ynet 2 Aug —  Yesha Council Chairman Naftali Bennett visited ‘tent city’ on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard Tuesday in a bid to join the protest against rising housing costs. Bennett met with leaders of the protest and told them, “The 50,000 Israelis living beyond the Green Line in Samaria and the area of the Dead Sea are citizens like all the rest, they pay taxes and live with the same hardships.”  However, he explained, the right-wing activists who want to join the movement dislike the fact that “some of the leaders of the struggle are anarchists who oppose the IDF”.

And more news from Today in Palestine:

UNRWA: Clear link between settlement expansion and home demolitions
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 2 Aug — The link between Israel’s settlement expansion in the West Bank and the displacement of Palestinians from their homes is now “abundantly clear,” UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said Tuesday. “Many displacements are taking place where settlements are expanding and with it we are seeing an upturn in vicious attacks by Jewish settlers. Palestinians are being thrown off their ancestral lands to make way for settlers,” Gunness told Ma‘an. Figures released Tuesday by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees showed a sharp rise in demolitions of Palestinian homes and livelihood structures by Israeli authorities in the West Bank.
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IOA banishes Jerusalemite, arrests others
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 2 Aug — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) banished a Jerusalemite from Silwan and arrested a number of others in a sweep of arrests in occupied Jerusalem on the second day of Ramadan. Local sources said that Ammar Zaitun, who was detained for the past two months, was ordered by an Israeli court to remain under house arrest in Enata away from his hometown in Silwan after he was charged with resisting settlers and soldiers. Meanwhile, Israeli border policemen beat up and insulted an old man and his family in Silwan during a search in his home. Eyewitnesses in Aisawiye said Israeli policemen broke into a number of homes to arrest youths accused of throwing stones at settlers and soldiers, adding that three were arrested in the process.

Jerusalemite youth abort settlers’ attempt to storm Aqsa Mosque
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 2 Aug — Jerusalemite youths managed on Monday night to abort an attempt by a group of 20 Jewish settlers to storm the holy Aqsa Mosque during Tarawih prayers. One of the mosque’s guards said that the settlers from Kiryat Arba, in Al-Khalil, managed to enter the Aqsa plaza through the Asbat gate while chanting racist slogans including “Death to the Arabs”. He said that the youths repelled the settlers and blocked their entry into the mosque where worshipers were performing the late night prayers in Ramadan known as the Tarawih. The guard said that Israeli police arrived at the scene, arrested five young Jerusalemites, and took the settlers away.

Municipality attempts eviction of Wadi Hilweh tent and surrounding land
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 1 Aug  — Jerusalem Municipality officers attempted to evict the Wadi Hilweh protest tent today. Several horses who have grazed on the surrounding land for many years were also ordered off by officials. The Municipality and local Israeli settler groups have a long-running campaign to convert five plots of land belonging to local Palestinian families into parking lots. A detailed report is to follow
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Israeli military raids again, man and 10-year-old boy arrested
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC)  1 Aug — A child and a young man from Ein Eluza district of Silwan were kidnapped by a large unit of Israeli forces this evening. Murad Issa Abbasi, 24, was taken by officers on the pretext of participation of recent clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces. Ten-year-old Mohammed Zaytoun was also taken by an undercover unit on accusation of participation in stone-throwing at Israeli forces.
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Palestinians fear for ancient West Bank water source / Tom Perry
RASHAYIDA, West Bank (Reuters) 28 July — Hewn from rock, the cavernous cisterns which dot the desert beyond Bethlehem have for centuries harvested winter rain to provide shepherds and their flocks with water through summer. Under a baking sun, an elderly Bedouin explains how cisterns he remembers from childhood, many of them restored to full working order in the last few years, are once again helping his goat-herding community to survive. That, he concludes, is why the Israeli authorities who control the West Bank have demolished at least three in the area since November.
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IDF prevents Israeli activists from escorting Palestinians to their lands in West Bank / Amira Hass
Haaretz 2 Aug — Women from human rights group Yesh Din barred from entering West Bank settlement of Ofra while escorting villagers to their lands in Silwad; villagers’ access to lands blocked by the settlement … The women were escorting five villagers who had been permitted to enter their lands for the first time in about 10 years, during which time the settlement had blocked access to them … The five farmers intended to assess the damage caused to their lands over the past 10 years. The visit was enabled following prolonged litigation by Yesh Din and a petition the group filed in December 2009 to the High Court of Justice against the IDF for confiscating the village’s lands. The settlers are blocking the Palestinians’ access to some 3,100 dunams, constituting about a quarter of Silwad’s lands and including lands belonging to the villages of Taibe, Ein Yabrud and Deir Jarir as well. The petitioners said the settlers had fenced off the area, built roads on it and used dogs as well as physical harassment to prevent the Palestinians from accessing their lands.
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Al Khalil (Hebron) Mekerot Water Company disrupts flow of water to Palestinian crops again
CPTnet 1 Aug — The Mekerot Water Company continues to disrupt the flow of water to Palestinian farms in the Beqa‘a Valley.  CPTers received a call on 20 July to document further damage to crops when the water company ripped out plastic irrigation pipes, saying that the Palestinians were stealing water.  Seleh Jaber, a sixty-seven-year-old farmer, told CPTers that Mekerot also cut strings that support beans and cut pipes in violation of the Geneva conventions. Mekerot has destroyed cisterns and wells on the Jaber property, filling them with rocks, and has issued orders for the demolition of all wells in the valley.  Jaber said that the interruption of water to crops damages the Palestinian economy.  He also said that since farmers in the Beqa‘a have many children, the denial of water damages families.
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Israel: Opportunity gulf between Bedouin in the Negev
TEL AVIV (IRIN) 1 Aug — More than 180,000 Bedouin live in Israel’s Negev desert, but there is a big gap in terms of life opportunities between those Bedouin who live in 35 unrecognized villages, and those luckier ones for whom Israel has created seven towns or who live in seven officially recognized villages, say human rights workers. Those in unrecognized villages face a constant threat of eviction, and are cut off from even basic services … The conditions for women living in unrecognized villages are dramatically worse than for their counterparts in Israeli-built Negev towns, she said. “Today 75 percent of the Bedouin students [largely from recognized Negev towns] in university are women. But in the unrecognized villages the situation is very different – 65 percent of girls are out of school because there are no schools.” …  Khadra El Saneh is the director ofSidreh, the only NGO of its kind in Israel working to educate and promote the rights of Bedouin women. A mother of four, El Saneh overcame initial opposition from the traditional elements in her community to set up a weaving centre. The centre now employees 70 local women to make rugs that sell in boutiques across Israel and are exported as far afield as New York and Tokyo.
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Israel’s Supreme Court orders state to dismantle largest West Bank outpost
Haaretz 2 Aug — Israel’s Supreme Court on Tuesday issued an unprecedented ruling ordering the state to dismantle the largest illegal settlement outpost in the West Bank by April 2012. The decision follows a petition filed by the Peace Now movement. Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch harshly criticized the Israeli government for failing to dismantle the outpost of Migron, which is home to some 50 families, despite earlier promises it would do so and after it had admitted that it was in fact built on lands belonging to Palestinians. Beinisch said the Supreme Court has tried to show restraint despite the blatant illegality of the outpost. “There is no doubt, that according to Israeli law, no settlements can be built on private lands of Palestinians,” Beinisch said. [how many can you think of that aren’t?]


Jewish settlers burn 150 dunums of Palestinian land
NABLUS (PIC) 1 Aug — Jewish settlers set alight tens of dunums in the Palestinian village of Jallud in the Nablus province completely damaging 150 dunums of land lots. [reported yesterday from WAFA]
Meanwhile, dozens of Jewish settlers stormed the village of Awarta, southeast of Nablus, at dawn Monday and performed Talmudic rituals at alleged shrines. The Israeli occupation forces in 15 armored vehicles provided protection for the settlers who offered the rituals at three “shrines” then left the village before dawn prayers. [This statement is quite odd, since the three shrines are supposed to be Islamic and to date to the Mamluk era. See this site, which has photos of the shrines and information about a previous,  worse incursion in January, 2010: “The  colonizers attacked and destroyed a number of gravestones without regard to the sanctity and dignity of the dead, and dumped bottles of alcohol and some remnants of food on the graves adjacent to the shrine of the Seventy Sheikhs which was, also, partially burned. In addition to this, the attackers wrote some outrageous statements against the Islamic religion and people of the village on the walls of the profaned tombs.”

Palestinian hurt in hit-and-run near Qalqiliya
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 1 Aug — A Palestinian man sustained injuries in a hit-and-run near Qalqiliya on Sunday, medics said. Rauf Abu Hajla, 37, was walking on the side of a road when a car driven by an Israeli national struck him and sped off. A Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance took Abu Hajla to the Darwish Nazzal hospital for treatment of head injuries. [Settler? Maybe not. But some Israeli who doesn’t care about Palestinian life.]
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Israel slaps restraining orders on 12 settlers
JERUSALEM (AFP) 2 Aug  — Twelve Israeli settlers accused of setting fire to Palestinian mosques, property and vehicles have been slapped with restraining orders limiting their movement in the West Bank, the military said on Tuesday. In a statement, the Israeli military said it had signed off on the restraining orders based on recommendations from the Israel Security Agency, the internal security service. The orders range from three months to a year, with six settlers told to stay away from certain communities, three prohibited from entering the Yitzhar settlement south of Nablus, and three more prevented from entering the West Bank at all. “The orders follow the culmination of information recently gathered by the ISA, according to which a group of extreme activists living in the vicinity of Yitzhar have been, for the past two years, involved in leading, directing and executing violent and clandestine activity targeting Palestinian residents,” the statement said. “These activities include igniting a number of mosques, vehicles, and buildings that belong to Palestinians, therefore endangering lives and disrupting public order.”
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Military officials warn of ‘arson intifada’
Ynet 2 Aug — Residents of various West Bank settlements have found themselves under a new threat recently — arson. According to a report published by Yedioth Ahronoth Tuesday, more than 20 fires have been maliciously set in West Bank settlements and outposts in the past few weeks.  Police investigators determined that all of the fires were the result of arson and evidence in all cases led to surrounding Arab villages. The Judea and Samaria District Police have recently arrested six suspects. [If this is in fact happening, we know where they got the idea….]
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Israeli forces – raids, incursions

Report: 6 Palestinians killed, 250 others arrested in July
NABLUS (PIC) 1 Aug — The International Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights in Nablus has issued a report detailing the murders, arrests, and raids that Israeli occupation forces carried out in the occupied Palestinian territories in July 2011. The figures presented are in addition to the attacks by the state and Jewish settlers on Palestinians, which at times amount to confiscation of land or home demolitions or vandalism or the tightened siege on the Gaza Strip.

PA: ‘Alarming’ rise in Israel’s attacks on Palestinian children
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) — The Palestinian Authority on Sunday warned that Israel’s attacks on Palestinian children were escalating at “an alarming rate” and urged the UN to step in.  Israeli soldiers and settlers have killed nine children so far in 2011, and almost 200 children have been injured by settler violence and the Israeli military, a statement by the Government Media Center said. “Hundreds of children are being illegally rounded up monthly by Israeli forces and detained, abused, and imprisoned without due process of law and in direct violation of international, Israeli, and Palestinian laws,” the PA added. The statement referred to a recent event caught on camera in which young Palestinians were kidnapped by masked, armed Israeli forces while playing football.
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Soldiers kill 2 in raid on refugee camp
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) — Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians during an arrest raid near Ramallah in the central West Bank early Monday, onlookers and medical officials said.  Witnesses told Ma‘an that soldiers stormed Qalandiya refugee camp at dawn and as they ransacked homes, confrontations erupted between the army and local residents. The soldiers began to shoot indiscriminately and 22-year-old Mutasim Issa Udwan sustained a gunshot wound to the head. He died immediately. Another young man, Ali Khalifa, was shot in the stomach and died in hospital in Ramallah. A third young man, identified as Maamoon Awwad, suffered a back injury. The two who were killed were Palestinian military intelligence officers, according to locals. Medical sources in Ramallah hospital confirmed two young men were killed, yet they did not give further details. The soldiers eventually detained two men, Wajih Ayman Al-Khatib and Anas Manasrah.  [on the first day of Ramadan, no less, though the army has never had any respect for Ramadan – see this Washington Post article from 2002 about their killing of the Ramadan drummer in a refugee camp near Nablus]
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Israelis kill 2 as West Bank raid goes awry / Ethan Bronner
NYTimes 1 Aug —  [‘goes awry’??? But this article is interesting for the following part] “Kalandia, near Ramallah, is part of the West Bank known as Area A, which is policed and secured during the day by Palestinian Authority forces. The Israeli military reserves the right to enter it at night. In a recent interview, a top Israeli military commander said his troops made about half a dozen nightly raids in Area A. “For intelligence dominance and freedom of action, this is the minimum number of entries we have to make per night,” he said. A year or two ago, the number of nightly raids was more like a dozen. To reduce the raids further, he said, would require a political decision that would involve a security risk. He said he favored such a decision but it was not his to make. He added that in recent months the Palestinian Authority forces were arresting fewer suspects, especially those affiliated with Hamas, because of the unity agreement the Palestinian Authority and Hamas were negotiating.”
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EU urges inquiry after killings in West Bank refugee camp
BRUSSELS (AFP) 2 Aug — The European Union on Tuesday urged Israel to carry out an inquiry into the killing of two Palestinians by Israeli soldiers in the Qalandiya refugee camp in the West Bank. “The European Union is saddened and concerned by the killing,” said a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. “We call on the Israeli authorities to exercise restraint and thoroughly investigate the incident,” added spokesman Michael Mann. UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Robert Serry also urged Israel to investigate. The Israeli army said an inquiry was already under way.
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Many arrested in West Bank sweep
NABLUS (PIC) 1 Aug — Israeli occupation forces arrested Monday morning brothers Badr, 25, and Khalid, 21, Abu Namous, from the Ein Beit al-Maa refugee camp in western Nablus, in an arrest sweep in the occupied West Bank. Witnesses said a massive Israeli military force invaded several areas in the camp. The force proceeded to raid and vandalize the Abu Namous residence, also searching the garden before taking the two brothers into custody.
Elsewhere, heated clashes erupted as an Israeli force raided the same morning several neighborhoods in Al-Syoukh in Al-Khalil governorate … The force managed to arrest one man from the town during a similar raid early yesterday. Also arrested was honor student Mohammed Abdu Rabo Halayka alongside his father. The arrest came just hours after he gave a speech at a party that the Fatah party sponsored in the town to honor outstanding students. …
Reports also show that Israeli authorities have arrested a 70-year-old man from Shyoukh as he visited his son who is currently held prisoner in the Israeli Ramon prison.

Israeli soldiers detain Bethlehem teenager
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) — Israeli forces detained a teenager from Bethlehem on Monday, witnesses said. Salih Zoul, 17, was taken during a raid on his family’s home in Husan west of Bethlehem. An Israeli military spokeswoman said soldiers detained six Palestinians overnight. [End]
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Israeli forces detain 1 in Hebron village raid
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 2 Aug — Israeli forces on Monday detained a Palestinian and beat several others during a raid on the village of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, a Ma‘an correspondent reported. Mahmoud Salibi, 21, was detained by Israeli forces in the raid. A spokesman from the villages’ popular committee said soldiers raided the home of Ahmad Abu Hashim and beat some of his family members, leading to the hospitalization of his son Yusuf, 19. Soldiers issued Abu Hashim and two of his sons with arrest warrants, the spokesman added. A witness said that a tear gas canister fired by soldiers had caused a fire in the home of Abu Hashim.
Israeli forces also raided the home of Ibrahim Abu Mariya, 50, and issued him and his sons Firas, 20, and Mutasim, 18, with arrest warrants.
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Air strikes hit targets in the Gaza Strip
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) — Israeli warplanes struck two targets in the northern and southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, with no casualties reported. Israeli aircraft fired at a target in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip causing material damage but no human casualties, medical sources told Ma‘an’s correspondent. Israeli jets also fired missiles at a smuggling tunnel in the Al Brazil neighborhood of Rafah in southern Gaza, causing material damage only. An Israeli army spokeswoman said that “the sites were targeted in response to the rocket fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel’s southern communities during the previous day, moderately injuring a woman.” “The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip,” the statement added.
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Israeli warplanes raid southern, northern Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 1 Aug — Israeli warplanes launched two air raids on Rafah, in the south of Gaza Strip, and Beit Lahia, in the north of the coastal enclave, at dawn Tuesday causing material damage but no casualties. Local sources told the PIC reporter that Israeli F16 warplanes fired a missile at a tunnel near the Brazil refugee camp in Rafah. Other sources said that the second raid targeted a training camp for the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in Beit Lahia but no casualties were reported in both raids. The raids coincided with Israeli navy gunboats opening machine gun fire at Rafah shores, locals said.

Israel unveils special guided missile used in Lebanon, Gaza
JPost 1 Aug — For years, Israel has been rumored to have classified missiles, but on Monday, for the first time, the IDF unveiled a special guided missile system that has been used successfully in action in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. Called Tamuz, the missile is based on the Spike Long-Range Missile developed by Rafael and is operated by Meitar, an elite unit which operates under the Artillery Corps. The missile was opened to foreign exports last year.
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Video: Travelers resorting to bribes to exit Gaza
Al Jazeera 1 Aug — Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has announced that from Monday only students, patients and foreign passport holders will be allowed to leave the territory through the Rafah crossing into Egypt. The move is an attempt to clear the huge backlog of travel applications. But as Nicole Johnson reports from Rafah, many people find that bribery is the only way to get out of Gaza.

Woman lightly wounded by Gaza rocket in southern Israel
Haaretz 1 Aug — 50-year-old woman sustains shrapnel wounds to her legs as rocket explodes in Hof Ashkelon Regional Council.
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Activists pray in Gaza’s buffer zone
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Aug — Popular resistance activists held noon prayers on Tuesday in the ‘buffer zone’ in northern Gaza. International solidarity activists joined dozens of Palestinians to pray on lands recently bulldozed by Israel near Beit Hanoun. Israeli forces impose a ‘buffer zone’ 300 meters from the border inside Gaza. Israel’s army says it considers the area a combat zone and frequently fires at Palestinians who enter the area, killing many civilians. In practice, the no-go area extends over a kilometer inside the Gaza Strip in some areas. It encompasses around 20 percent of the coastal enclave, including fertile Palestinian farmland. Activists said they organized prayers in the buffer zone as an act of resistance to Israeli forces who were watching from behind the concrete wall. [End]
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Video: Hamas rebuilds ruined Gaza structures
PressTV 2 Aug — The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas says it has managed to reconstruct most of the buildings destroyed during the December 2008-January 2009 Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip.
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Gaza launches relief campaign to support the Somali people
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Aug — The Arab doctors’ union launched a campaign on Tuesday to assist the Somali people. The campaign is called “From Gaza hand in hand to save the children of Somalia” and will last throughout the holy month of Ramadan … Haddad said cash donations would be transferred to the office of the union in Cairo, which would purchase food and medicine and send it to the victims in Somalia. He added that each individual needed about $10 to save his or her life.
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Gaza official denies reports of sharks
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Aug — Gaza official Mahmoud Kabarati on Tuesday denied media reports that sharks had been spotted on the Gaza Strip’s coastline. According to reports in the Israeli media on Tuesday, sharks had ventured near the Gaza shore because of environmental changes in the Mediterranean. The sharks were attracted by the depth of the water off Gaza’s coast and by the large number of fishing boats, the reports said. Kabarati, who heads Gaza’s federation of fishermen and water sports, said the claims were false.
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Gaza’s boat-building tradition dying under siege / Eva Bartlett
InGaza 1 Aug — “My father was a boat-builder and I learned from him, worked on boats all my life. Now there’s no work at all.” Abu Fayez Bakr, 64, is one of two boat-builders in the Gaza Strip, the last of a dying trade, despite Palestinians’ penchant for the sea and its bounty. “My sons learned a little about boat repairs, but not actual building. They were young when I had regular building work, but now that they are older the work has dried up.” In Gaza’s simple harbour, Bakr sits beside a hefty boat he built nearly a decade ago, one of his last projects. “We received funding from Denmark to make this research boat, equipped with special oceanography equipment. I built it about nine years ago, but it isn’t much use now. You need to go out into the sea to use it properly, not just a couple of miles,” he says, referring to the Israeli lethal imposition of a three- mile boundary on Gaza’s sea, despite the Oslo agreements according Palestinian fishermen 20 miles.
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Gaza women join carpentry trade
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 2 Aug — Women in Gaza are learning carpentry skills at an empowerment center in a refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, a Ma‘an correspondent reported.  Amaal Abu Raqiq is one of ten Palestinian women trained at the Center for Empowering Women and Society in the An-Nuseirat refugee camp.  Abu Raqiq studied frame design and woodwork and her designs have featured in 10 exhibitions in Gaza. Her work has been well-received by the public and is in high demand.
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Gazan defies handicap to live life to the fullest / Omar Ghraieb
GAZA CITY, Gaza (Media Line) 2 Aug — Abdul Qader Abu Lubda overcomes birth defect, poverty and social stigma — Abdul Qader Abu Lubda is walking down the street in his n Gaza City neighborhood one afternoon this week. In one hand he has a sheaf of papers perched precariously between his palm and two short fingers. In the other, two stumpy fingers are holding a heavy bag. But Abu Lubda doesn’t look or act like he’s struggling. Along the way he is smiling and greeting neighbors and acquaintances … He is a member of a slew of Arab and international clubs for the disabled athletes and, traveling to Lebanon, Jordan, Dubai, Syria and European countries on a special visa, he has won medals for ping pong in Arab and international competition. He holds a paddle confidently between his two fingers as if he had no handicap at all.
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Extrajudicial killings

Report: Israel’s new Mossad chief behind assassination of Iran nuclear scientist
Haaretz 2 Aug — German weekly Der Spiegel, quoting an Israeli intelligence source, says last week’s shooting was first ‘public operation’ orchestrated by Tamit Prado. Last week, Dariush Rezaeinejad, a 35-year-old member of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, was shot dead by two gunmen firing from motorcycles … This is the fourth attack on an Iranian nuclear scientist in the past year. In the previous cases, Iranian media outlets and spokesmen accused the Mossad, the CIA and MI6 of being behind the strikes.
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Report: Beirut blast targeted Nasrallah
Ynet 2 Aug — Kuwaiti paper al-Jarida cites unnamed source as saying Israel set off blast in Hezbollah suburb of Dahiya after learning of leaders’ meeting with group commanders in neighboring building. Report remains unconfirmed … Hezbollah, for its part, published an obscure statement saying the blast was a gas tank explosion in a residential building.
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Detention, Convictions

Female detainee marks 2 years in administrative detention
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 2 Aug — The Palestinian Center for Detainees reported Tuesday that female detainee Hana Al-Shalabi from Jenin is now the longest serving female prisoner held in Israeli administrative detention. She was detained in 2009 and is currently in Hasharon prison. The Israeli authorities have kept on postponing her trial without providing any justification and the Israeli Shabak refuse to tell her why she is being detained, the ministry said. She is banned from seeing her family. Administrative detention entails being detained without a trial or any charge.
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Fogel family murderer convicted
Ynet 2 Aug — Hakim Awad confesses in court to murder of five members of Fogel family, says threatened to commit another murder to get family members to help conceal weapons, clothes — The Samaria District Military Court on Tuesday convicted Hakim Awad, 18, in the murder of five members of the Fogel family in Itamar five months ago.  Awad was also convicted in a series weapons-related and security offences. The trial of second defendant Amjad Awad is still ongoing separately as the two are testifying against each other … Awad also said that his relatives were initially outraged to learn of the murders, and even beat him and Amjad before they helped them conceal the weapons. He noted that when their uncle refused to help the two, he threatened to go back to Itamar to commit another murder.  Only then did the uncle agree to help conceal their weapons and blood-soaked clothes, Awad said. He did not show any emotion during the arraignment and confession.  Despite the confession, the judges decided to examine some of the prosecution’s evidence, primarily forensic evidence such as as fingerprints and DNA, before announcing the conviction, in order to verify that the confession matches the findings.
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Daughter of prisoner passes Tawjihi with flying colors
JENIN (Ma‘an) 2 Aug — The Minister of Detainees Issa Qaraqe paid a visit to the daughter of a prisoner on Tuesday to congratulate her on passing the recent Tawjihi exams. The daughter of Qahira Al-Saadi from Jenin refugee camp passed the high school exams with flying colors, obtaining grades of 87.2 in her exams. A group of former prisoners and a Jenin official accompanied Qaraqe to the house to congratulate the daughter, praising her for taking care of her brothers while studying for her exams.  Qahira is currently serving a life sentence in the Israeli prison of Hasharon.
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Video: Ni‘lin village commemorates the 3rd anniversary of the killing of Ahmed Mousa 29.7.2011
Ni‘lin Sons 31 July — It has been three years since the brutal killing of nine year old Ahmad Mousa by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF). Ahmad was struck by a single bullet from an M16 assault rifle. The bullet entered his forehead and exited the back of his head. Ahmad was part of a peaceful protest demonstrating against the building of the apartheid wall in the West Bank on the land of the village of Ni‘lin in the West Bank. It was 29th July, 2008.
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Situation of Palestinian refugees in Iraq the worst
IMEMC 1 Aug — The Palestinian ambassador in Iraq, Daleel Al Qassous, stated that the situation of the Palestinian refugees in Iraq is the worst compared to any other place on earth … Al Qassous stated that the refugees in Iraq are being attacked for being Sunni Muslims, and for allegedly supporting the former Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein … “There are only 7,000 refugees in Iraq now, they are living in At-Tweija, Al Za‘faraniyya, Al Doura and the city of Al Hurriyya,” the ambassador stated, “They are living in extreme poverty due to high living costs and the lack of work, the UN provides some services to them but their situation is very miserable.” Dozens of attacks were carried out against the Palestinian refugees since the war on Iraq in 2003 leading to the death, injury and abduction of hundreds of refugees.
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Hamas asks Lebanese gov’t not to discuss ban on building in refugee camps
BEIRUT (PIC) 2 Aug — The Hamas movement has asked the Lebanese government to withdraw an item on its agenda for Wednesday’s cabinet session that stipulates banning construction in the Palestinian refugee camps in the country. Ra‘fat Marra, in charge of the movement’s relations with Lebanon, said in a press release that the item, which also includes closing entrances to those camps, ran contrary to the government’s plan of action that stipulated among other things facilitating the life of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and granting them their social and humanitarian rights.

Racism / Discrimination

Israeli Arabs more likely to be convicted of crimes than their Jewish counterparts, study shows
Haaretz 2 Aug — Arab Israelis who have been charged with certain types of crime are more likely than their Jewish counterparts to be convicted, and once convicted they are more likely to be sent to prison, and for a longer time. These disparities were found in a recent statistical study commissioned by Israel’s Courts Administration and the Israel Bar Association. The study found that 48.3 percent of Arabs who were convicted of violence, property crimes or drug or weapons offenses received custodial sentences, compared to 33.6 percent for Jews. The average prison sentence was nine and a half months for Jews and 14 months for Arabs.
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Israel’s housing crisis

Ben-Eliezer: Israel headed for disaster
Ynet 1 Aug — Former minister warns Palestinian UN bid will clash with housing crisis to create ‘chaos’, urges Netanyahu to ‘take matters in hand’ by cutting defense budget, transferring funds from settlements to housing within 1967 lines
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Stay in your tents / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 31 July –The protest transferred the center of power from the politicians to the public, and that public is speaking now – for perhaps the first time – in terms of individual and society rather than in terms of state and army… Do not trivialize this. The protest has also transferred the focus of strength from domineering minority groups to the previously silent majority. Now the talk is of concern for the majority, not for an extortionist minority.
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Netanyahu’s trump card against Israeli protests: Peace / Bradley Burston
Haaretz 1 Aug — As protests over social welfare sweep Israel, the PM has to go the one way no one is looking: Move immediately – and sincerely – for peace negotiations with the Palestinians — Early Monday, when the news broke of the IDF trading fire with the Lebanese army, everyone in this house, and undoubtedly many others in Israel, had the same thought: That’s it. Netanyahu’s decided to solve the protest crisis by going to war … You needn’t look far for precedent. There is ample evidence that Ehud Olmert could have, and certainly should have, avoided the Gaza war as a means of halting rocket fire from the Strip. But, in the wake of his disastrous conduct of the Second Lebanon War and the sewn-on shadow of graft allegations, Olmert had something to prove and much to hide. We went to war because Olmert needed to.
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Palestinians’ low salaries also linked to Israeli social struggle / Amira Hass
Haaretz 1 Aug — “A financial crisis in the Palestinian Authority” – that is a convenient description of the situation where, on the eve of Ramadan, the Ramallah government is (again ) unable to pay the full salaries of its 150,000 public sector employees. This is a short, but very inaccurate description, however. The crisis, says economist Raja Khalidi, is in the status quo that Israel has enjoyed since the Oslo Accords: Israel is in control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – and Palestinian society and the donor countries finance the cost of this domination.
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Most Israeli municipalities declare general strike in solidarity with housing protests
Haaretz 1 Aug — PM scrambles to quell nationwide protests as he faces a setback in the resignation of Finance Ministry Director General Haim Shani; Moshe Terry, former chairman of Israel Securities Authority, likely to take over treasury — Most municipal authorities have declared a one-day strike scheduled for Monday, in sympathy with popular protests spreading throughout Israel. Municipalities will not be giving services to government offices or holding public office hours today, streets will not be cleaned and garbage will not be collected.
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Knesset to take summer break despite growing social protests across Israel
Haaretz 1 Aug — Proposal by Interior Minister Eli Yishai voted down; Speaker Reuven Rivlin: Government should deal with the crisis, not the Knesset.
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WATCH: Netanyahu in recent interview: No protests in Israel (+ Remix!) / Noam Sheizaf
+972mag 1 Aug — A common mistake for a leader is to take pride in things which he can’t anticipate or have little control over. This is Israel’s Binyamin Netanyahu, in his much publicized YouTube interview, celebrating the absence of popular protest in Israel… Protesters are having lots of fun with this bit lately. Here is a nice mix by former entertainment journalist Noy Alooshe that’s circulating around the net today. The chants in the back say “the people want social justice.” The bit at the End shows Likud MK Miri Regev chased away from the Tel Aviv tent camp.
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Peres to leaders of Israeli social protest: It’s time for discussions, not negotiations
Haaretz 1 Aug — Daphni Leef and Stav Shafir, who initiated the protests for affordable housing, meet the president to discuss their demands.

Israeli settlers largely back housing protests but wary of left-wing slant
Haaretz 1 Aug — Settlers agree the burden on the public must be eased, but see current housing protests as an effort by left-wing activists to piggyback on justified grievances in order to promote the broader diplomatic agenda of the left.

Political / Diplomatic / International news

Hamas FM: Unity government must be formed urgently
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Aug — A united Palestinian government must be formed urgently ahead of Palestine’s bid for membership of the United Nations in September, Foreign Minister in Gaza Muhammad Awad said Monday … Attempts to form a unity government have stalled over a leadership row, as Hamas rejected Fatah’s nomination of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to lead the new government.
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Resheq: Hamas, Fatah meeting in Cairo next Sunday
DAMASCUS (PIC) 2 Aug — Political bureau member of Hamas Ezzet Al-Resheq has said that his movement would meet with Fatah faction in Cairo next Sunday to activate the reconciliation agreement. He said on his Twitter page on Tuesday that the Cairo meet would focus on the detainees, the PLO, and other pending issues in the reconciliation agreement away from the government formation.

PA announces schedule for elections in West Bank
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 2 Aug — The Ministry of Local Government on Tuesday announced its schedule for local elections, which will be held in the West Bank on October 22 … The Ministry … said in a statement Tuesday that registration would take place between August 13-17. A 10-day candidacy period would begin on September 6, the ministry added. The electoral campaign is scheduled for October 8-20, and results of the election will be announced 24 hours after voting closes, the statement added. The elections will only be held in the West Bank. The Fatah-led PA blamed Hamas for blocking elections in the Gaza Strip.
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Palestinians plan mass demonstrations against Israel on eve of UN vote
AP 1 Aug — Palestinian officials said Monday they plan to begin mass marches against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank on September 20, the eve of a largely symbolic UN vote expected to recognize their independence. Palestinian official Yasser Abed Rabbo said leaders hope to attract millions, and the protest will be the first of a prolonged effort. He said the campaign would be called “Palestine 194,” since the Palestinians hope to become the 194th member of the United Nations.
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Arab League likely to turn to UN Security Council for Palestinian statehood
Haaretz 1 Aug — UN sources say Arab League due to approve proposal to simultaneously appeal to UN General Assembly and Security Council for recognition of Palestinian state.

Qabaha: UN option should be part of comprehensive strategy
NABLUS (PIC) 2 Aug — Former minister Wasfi Qabaha has said that asking the UN to recognize a Palestinian state should be part of a comprehensive Palestinian strategy in which all components of the society take part. He said in a statement from his Israeli jail that going to the UN while the state of division was not yet resolved would pose as a point of weakness. The US and Israel would exploit the Palestinian division to abort any international attempt to support the Palestinian cause, the ex-minister said.

Shaath: UN membership would improve chance of peace talks
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 2 Aug — Fatah central committee member Nabil Shaath said Tuesday that Palestine’s bid for UN membership would improve the chances of negotiations with Israel, official Palestinian Authority media reported. “By seeking recognition, we make negotiations more possible, more equal and more doable,” Shaath said … Shaath said every country had the right to declare independence unilaterally. Recognition followed via bilateral relations, and finally world recognition could be achieved multilaterally, he said….  Shaath insisted that all decision making bodies were committed to seeking membership of the UN regardless of whether negotiations resumed.
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President condemns deadly Israeli army raid
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 1 Aug — President Mahmoud Abbas has condemned an Israeli army raid that left two Palestinians dead early Monday in the Qalandiya refugee camp near Ramallah, a spokesman said. Nabil Abu Rudeina told government media that the raid amounted to “an Israeli attempt to escalate things ahead of September,” when the PLO plans to seek recognition of statehood from the United Nations. “The Israeli government is responsible for this escalation,” he added. [End]
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TV: Israel agrees to negotiate over pre-’67 lines
JERUSALEM (AP) 1 Aug — In a dramatic policy shift, Israel’s prime minister has agreed to negotiate the borders of a Palestinian state based on the cease-fire line that marks off the West Bank, a TV station reported Monday. Up to now, Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to spell out his plan for negotiating the border. A senior Israeli official would not confirm outright that the prime minister was now willing to adopt the cease-fire line as a starting point, but said Israel was willing to try new formulas to restart peace talks based on a proposal made by President Barack Obama.
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US, Israel propose new talks to head off Palestinian UN bid
JERUSALEM (AFP) 2 Aug — Israel is willing to begin new Middle East peace talks using the 1967 lines as a basis for negotiations if the Palestinians drop their UN membership bid, an Israeli government official confirmed on Tuesday. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israel has been working with Washington and members of the international peace-making Quartet to draw up a new framework that could relaunch stalled talks … Palestinians were unimpressed, with negotiator Saeb Erekat urging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instead to “announce his position in front of the world and the international media.” Netanyahu should announce “that the 1967 borders are the basis for negotiations and a halt to all building of settlements on Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem,” he told AFP, dismissing the reports as a PR exercise.
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Israel plays down report of border deal
JERUSALEM (AP) 2 Aug — An Israeli official is distancing the government from a report that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to negotiate the borders of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines with the West Bank. Both Israeli and Palestinian officials acknowledged Tuesday they remain far from a breakthrough in efforts to revive peace talks, despite a frantic U.S. push. An Israeli TV station said Monday that Netanyahu had accepted President Barack Obama’s proposal to commit to a near-total withdrawal from the West Bank. The official says Netanyahu is willing to “show some flexibility” on the border issue, but won’t elaborate. He also says Netanyahu expects Palestinian flexibility on other issues. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was discussing a sensitive diplomatic matter.
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Israel, Lebanon armies exchange fire at border
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 1 Aug — The Israeli and Lebanese armies exchanged gunfire early Monday across their shared border, security officials and media reports said. Israel’s Haaretz newspaper said soldiers traded fire in the Mount Dov region on the border … The Israeli military said its troops had been fired upon as they worked on the Israeli side of the Blue Line, the UN-drawn border with Lebanon. But a Lebanese army official said troops opened fire only when Israeli soldiers crossed the border line, which was established in 2000. Both sides have challenged the accuracy of the Blue Line in several locations … The flare-up in violence was the worst clash between the two sides since Israel’s devastating 2006 war in Lebanon against the Shiite Hezbollah militia.
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UNIFIL: IDF troops didn’t cross border
Ynet 1 Aug — UN force sides with IDF, says Lebanese army’s fire on troops patrolling border was uncalled for; but Lebanese president slams Israel for aggression, tells troops: Enemy tried to revert to provocations, but you stood guard
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Der Speigel probes link between Israel, Norway killer
Ynet 1 Aug — German paper warns Europe’s right-wing Islamophobes have found willing allies in Likud
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EU contributes €22.5 million to pay PA salaries
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 2 Aug — The European Union announced Tuesday that it would contribute €22.5 million to help the Palestinian Authority pay July salaries and pensions for around 83,000 Palestinian public service workers and pensioners. The EU announced that the money would be channeled through PEGASE, the European mechanism for support to the Palestinians, a statement said … The West Bank government has been warning for months now that it faces an impending financial crunch because of the failure of donors, especially Arab countries, to fulfill their financial commitments.
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MK Mofaz: reserves likely to be mobilized in September
Former IDF chief says IDF’s answer to coming September’s potential threats may include calling in the Reserves
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Senior Israeli Navy commander: Hamas, Hezbollah threaten our ports and oil rigs
Haaretz 2 Aug — A senior officer in the Israeli Navy said Tuesday that terrorist groups close to Israel are in possession of missiles capable of hitting all Israeli ports and offshore infrastructure such as oil rigs.
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IDF chief warns budget cuts may impede Israel’s defense abilities
Haaretz 31 July — Benny Gantz says IDF will agree to cuts in defense budget in favor of increased spending on social services, but warns that it may impede IDF’s ability to counter threats.

Other news

Photos: Muslims in the West Bank usher in Ramadan amidst economic crisis
MEMO 2 Aug — On Monday, August 1st, Muslims across the globe ushered in the blessed month of Ramadan with its distinctive atmosphere of festivity, unity and expectation as they went about the business of shopping alongside other preparations.
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Photos: Ramadan in Gaza
MEMO 2 Aug — …on the first night of Ramadan, many Gazans gathered in Gaza City’s Kutayyiba Square and lit a large lantern expressing their joy at the commencement of the holy month of Ramadan. Children lit fireworks as an expression of their joy despite the difficult circumstances they live under and the fact that many of them lack the basic necessities of life.
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Palestinian police taking to the air
JPost 2 Aug [the airwaves, that is – you didn’t really believe the Israelis would let them have helicopters?] The idea of turning to the police to hear the news, catch some of the latest tunes and vent some frustration to a talk show host seems a bit odd, but Palestinians will soon be able to do this with a new radio station being set up by the local police force in the West Bank. The Palestinian Civil Police said they plan to model their new station on the popular ones run by the neighboring Israeli and Jordanian armies. With financial support already pledged from Turkey, senior commanders say they hope to be on air by the end of the year.
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MK from Lieberman’s party rapped for threatening colleague over Gaza flotilla
dpa 2 Aug — Last June, MK Anastassia Michaeli forced her way over to Hanin Zoabi, who took part in the flotilla last May, and physically threatened her. Knesset Ethics Committee: behavior is without precedent … Israel accused the activists of an attempted “lynch” of the commandos while the organizers accused Israel of “massacring” civilians. Zoabi, from the Arab town of Nazareth in northern Israel, had been on board the Mavi Marmara, but said she had not been on the deck when Israeli commandos boarded and did not witness the violence. Right-wing Jewish lawmakers accused her of being a “traitor” and a “terrorist,” while an Arab lawmaker shouted at the St Petersburg-born Michaeli, as she was ushered out the plenum: “Go back to Russia.”.

Analysis / Interviews / Human interest

Three lives in the West Bank / Sophie Elmhurst
MEMO 1 Aug — 1. Samer, Jerusalem – If you live in Ramallah and work in Jerusalem, the time your journey will take to the office is an unknown quantity. It could be an hour, it could be three. — 2. Nabil, Sheikh Jarrah – On a wide street in Sheikh Jarrah, the Arab area in east Jerusalem, live Nabil and his family. To enter their house you walk through a gate, through a makeshift tent constructed out of sheets and tarpaulin, and into a back yard, where Nabil sits with his mother and friends drinking coffee and smoking. On the other side of the tent, living at the front of the same house, are Nabil’s neighbours, a group of young Israeli settlers. — 3. Hashem, Hebron – …Hashem, a physiotherapist by training, has lived in Hebron all his life, born in the house he lives in now with his wife Nasreen and four children. He is one of the few Palestinians still living in H2. Their home is perched on a hillside above the deserted market street, and to get there he has to climb over walls and clamber through gaps in hedges – the direct road has been blocked and is used only by the settlers who live further up the hillside.
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From East Jerusalem to Ramallah / Kazim Ali
HuffPost 1 Aug — …The Palestinian people have been divided in four and none of the four can meet, create cultural commerce or find political unity as a people. Scattered by war, they are now scattered by “peace.” There are the Palestinian-Israelis who live inside the “green line,” the internationally recognized borders of the State of Israel. There are the Palestinians who live, sealed up in Gaza, without adequate construction supplies to repair any damage caused in the siege of Gaza, many of them living without electricity, access to fresh water or medical care. There are the Palestinians who live in the cities and towns of the Occupied West Bank and then of course there are the approximately 4 million members of the Diaspora who have no legal status as Palestinians per se. Though legally some are permitted to travel, the onerous system of checkpoints makes a twenty minute drive turn into a three or four hour journey. [and those in E. Jerusalem]
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‘Peace is good business.’ Author and historian Gershom Gorenberg sits down with PNN
PNN 1 Aug — …Gershom, an Israeli-American historian and journalist and himself an Orthodox Jew, has written extensively on the moral failure at the heart of Israel’s settlement enterprise and the threat that it poses not only to Palestinians, but also to Israelis. He sees the settlements as not only a direct assault upon Israeli democracy, but also a threat to the existence of the Israeli state itself … The folly and the danger of the settlement enterprise will be a topic discussed at length in Gershom’s forthcoming book, entitled The Unmaking of Israel and to be published in November by HarperCollins.
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Hope springs eternal for veteran Israeli peacenik
JERUSALEM (AFP)  1 Aug — For Uri Avnery, seen by some as the backbone of Israel’s dwindling peace movement, hope for peace with the Palestinians springs eternal, despite stalled talks and the rising power of the Israeli right wing. At 87, he can recount decades of experience pushing his fellow Israelis towards a lasting peace deal with the Palestinians, and has no time for those who say an accord is as far away now as ever.
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US Muslims more opposed than other groups to violence against civilians

Aug 03, 2011

Philip Weiss

You gotta wonder why, right? Maybe because they have a richer database? The poll also indicates that 4/5 of Muslims and Jews support two-state solution. Huh. Jim Lobe reports at

Muslims in the United States express greater tolerance for members of other faiths than any other major religious group, according to a major new survey and report released Thursday by the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center.

They are also more likely than any other religious group to oppose violent or military attacks against civilians, according to the survey, “Muslim Americans: Faith, Freedom, and the Future.”

Nearly four out of five (78 percent) U.S. Muslims say that military attacks against civilians can never be justified. That compares with [about] two of five Protestants (38 percent) and Catholics (39 percent) and…  Jews (43 percent) who take that position, the poll found.

Similarly, 89 percent of Muslims said attacks by “an individual person or a small group of individuals to target and kill civilians can never be justified.” Between 71 percent and 75 percent of Christian and Jewish respondents agreed.

And here is Abdul-Malik Ryan’s response to poll:

The report emphasized the findings that the American Muslim community was the most culturally diverse faith community in the United States.  It also emphasized that American Muslims in general were highly educated compared to other religious groups.  On the other hand, the report also noted that young Muslims in the United States were less likely than young people of other faith groups to report that they were “thriving” and were more likely to report emotions such as anger

‘New Yorker’ says ‘two-state solution’ was not the answer (during U.S. Civil War)

Aug 03, 2011

Philip Weiss

From a friend: This line in Rick Hertzberg’s review in The New Yorker of a bookabout British perspectives on the American Civil War (Aug 1 issue, page 64), really struck me because he actually used the term “two-state solution”:

Anyway, from the point of view of Britain as a dominating world power, a two-state solution had its attractions: wouldn’t a pair of smaller and mutually mistrustful American republics be less troublesome than a single great big one? Consideration like these might prompt musings that it would be nice if America would just go ahead and divide itself in two without fuss.

Of course, that was the British perspective. In the South, the attraction of a “two-state solution” was the preservation of a system that subjugated a huge chunk of the population into sub-human status. No h/t please.

Sheizaf: ‘Liberalism, in the American sense, never took real hold in Israel’

Aug 03, 2011

Adam Horowitz

Noam Sheizaf remarks on the current trend (especially among American liberal Zionists) to spin the tent protests in Israel as a sign of the resurgence of the Zionist left. He says this is impossible because the Zionist left never really existed in the first place. Sheizaf:

I can’t help but think that those American who are so obsessed with this question recognize “their Israel” in a certain image that the Israeli left has projected, one which very rarely had anything to do with its politics. Like a constant search for something that was never there. After all, you won’t see so many stories in American press about “a return of the revisionist Right” in Israel, or about Shas.

It’s time to face facts: Rabin’s second government was an historical accident, no more. This was the only time in 35 years that the left won a Knesset majority – and even then, it wasn’t even close to a majority of the Jewish public. Liberalism, in the American sense, never took real hold in Israel.

The current social protest is a unique event with tremendous potential, but if it’s a return to the Jewish democracy dreamland that Americans hope for, you are up for a major disappointment.

Israeli officials hint at violent response to Palestinian statehood demonstrations

Aug 03, 2011

Ira Glunts

Could the Arab Spring come to Israel this Fall?  Will IDF soldiers emulate Syrian troops and kill unarmed Palestinian protesters who are demonstrating in support of a United Nations resolution for Palestinian statehood?   Israeli Member of Parliament Shaul Mofaz warns that he expects there will be disturbances during the statehood demonstrations and they “can potentially turn into a violent, painful event, with unclear results.”  Mofaz predicts that his government will call up the army reserves to protect its Jewish Israeli citizens.

The Palestinian Authority is planning peaceful mass demonstrations starting on the evening of September 20, which officials hope will be the day before the United Nations General Assembly votes on a resolution to accept Palestine as a member state.  Recent non-violent protests such as the naqbanaksa, flytilla, and flotilla demonstrations have been met with Israeli military and police violence, in some cases lethal.

Recent actions have shown that for the Israeli authorities the presence of non-violent protesters is intolerable and that Israelis think that it is legitimate to stop demonstrations even if this means killing defenseless civilians.  Any murders can be justified by the claim of pre-emptive self-defense.  Hey, we have our own Jewish “Arab Spring” here. The flotilla activists posed an existential threat to the naval commandos, right? Or the Palestinian demonstrators presence at the gates of the settlements is an unacceptable provocation.  Sure.  It is difficult to believe, but some call this criminal behavior “purity of arms” and say that these assassins are the most moral army in the world.

According to Ha’aretz, the Israeli Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz told a parliamentary committee that he and his men will protect the country from the non-violent Palestinian protesters who go near nice Jewish neighborhoods in the West Bank or god-forbid try to enter Israel.  Gantz makes it clear that Israel will not tolerate protesters who come to close to its Jewish citizens.

While Abed Rabbo said all Palestinian demonstrations would be nonviolent, Israeli security officials have repeatedly expressed concern that mass unrest could quickly turn violent.

Israel’s military chief, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, warned a parliamentary committee this week that “there is potential for a confrontation in September.”

He said the military expects “many thousands of people to conduct a quiet and nonviolent protest” that would move toward Israeli settlements or Israel proper. “The military will not be able to place the settlements at risk in such cases,” he was quoted as saying.

Gantz’s comments were relayed by a participant in Sunday’s meeting. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the testimony was in a closed session.

I do not discount the possibility that some of the statehood demonstrations could turn violent.  However, I get the feeling that the IDF is preparing to act with the lack of restraint for which it has become increasingly known.   This does not bode well for a nice peaceful Jewish Arab Spring this Fall.

‘J Street’ has more influence in the White House than on the Hill

Aug 03, 2011

Philip Weiss

Smart reporting by Adam Kredo at Washington Jewish Week on what is J Street’s influence on the Hill? Kredo asked after J Street brought a group of 7 Israeli diplomats and generals thru town last week. Kredo says that J Street doesn’t have a patch on AIPAC and that it has more influence in the Obama administration than on the Hill. I think this is true. Obama’s game is now to wait for the second term to push on the issue (if there is one). And everyone knows this is the game, which is why the issue has become so quietly politicized: for two-states, against two-states (with nary a voice for one-state).

Also notice the beautiful statement by an unnamed pol, Real power is getting people to do what they don’t want to do. Exactly. And this is essentially an admission of something I state here frequently: The lack of a Palestinian state is an American Jewish achievement. Our organizations, our lobby, have worked to prevent the creation of such a state over 64 years of international promises, even as Pakistan and Kosovo and Uzbekistan and Slovakia and East Timor got states. This is because of a special interest. Just as American opposition to settlement-construction has also been nullified by the lobby.


 What insiders told me is that J Street largely receives the cold shoulder from prominent legislators, particularly those who have a substantial impact on Israel policy.

“Members are still very dubious,” said a former Democratic Hill staffer. “They remember the mistakes J Street made, especially on the Democratic side,” the source said, referring to, among others, Reps. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) and Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), who were publicly attacked by J Street.

“That’s made it tough for members,” said the former aide. “Even if you’re a friend of J Street,” the person added, referring specifically to Ackerman, “it doesn’t make you immune to their attacks. Though they’re learning from their mistakes, members have a long memory. I don’t see [J Street’s] congressional host committee getting any larger.”

Added a current Democratic Hill aide: “I think any power that came from these recent meetings has much more to do with the Israeli generals than with J Street itself. The fact that J Street could compel Israeli generals to come to the U.S. and speak their message shows a certain level of influence — but apparently they have more sway in the community of retired Israeli military officials than on the Hill.”…

“Influence comes when you make people do what you want, and real power comes when you make people do what you want even when they don’t want to,” the Democrat explained. “Obviously J Street doesn’t seem capable of convincing people to take positions they don’t already have.”

However, within the Obama administration, another source noted, J Street seems to enjoy ample sway.

“It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that a lot of time has been spent talking with J Street and it’s supporters developing policy,” said a Republican congressional aide, who, unsurprisingly, proclaimed this to be a bad thing./ “Certainly, the rhetoric and actions of this administration … would lead you to believe J Street has a seat at the table,” the source said with contempt.

Islamophobia has deep roots in our pathologies: Americanism, KKK, and supine media

Aug 03, 2011

Philip Weiss

Jack Ross at Right Web has a fine piece on the extent to which the widespread hatred of Islam has been fed by an ideology of “Americanism,” which draws on the “paranoid style” in American politics, and the complicity of the media, and has a cousin in the Ku Klux Klan’s sacred-ground beliefs:

There is no denying that Breivik’s manifesto and beliefs are rooted in a distinctly post-9/11 ideology of anti-Islamism. This relatively new ideology of anti-Islamism reveals much about the deeper pathologies in current U.S. politics…

The episode that revealed the new anti-Islamism in all its ugliness was last year’s chorus of opposition to the construction of a Muslim community center two blocks from the World Trade Center site. Notorious right-winger Pamela Geller’s crusade against the center was a clarion call for anti-Islamism—indeed, Geller pervasively influenced Anders Breivik’s screeds. Opponents of the proposed Muslim center claimed the site is “sacred ground,” revealing again the paranoid style of anti-Islamism. This is a direct analogy to the Klan’s priestly vestments—“Ground Zero” is the holiest site in [David] Gelernter’s [Americanism] “fourth great western religion,” which non-believers are not fit to desecrate by their presence.

More broadly, this belief in “Americanism”—or, as it is most often called by the right today, “American exceptionalism”—is the militant worldview composed of pathologies its adherents have projected on to their Muslim “enemies” for the last decade. [Richard] Hofstadter would have recognized all too clearly the paranoid style animating the belief that the better part of the Islamic world does not hold legitimate grievances against the United States over its foreign policies, but rather that “they hate us for our freedom.” Thus the basis of the utterly preposterous belief that there is a threat of the imposition of “sharia law” on Western societies or that the non-violent activism of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood poses a more dangerous threat than al-Qaeda. Indeed, Hofstadter wrote:

“Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated—if not from the world, at least from the theater of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention. This demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals, and since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoid’s sense of frustration.”

For media liberals and others to smugly ascribe this paranoid style as the province of the nationalist right is therefore dubious at best, and arguably a deliberate avoidance of the more disturbing questions it raises. The U.S. media is complicit in the belief that “the world” is “at war” with some kind of global Islamist conspiracy against all that is right and true. Coverage of the Norway attacks proved the media’s inherent bias—witness the conflation of the word “terrorism” with an Islamic conspiracy.

Probably no author has more elaborately theorized a great cosmic struggle straight out of Hofstadter’s Paranoid Style between the enlightened West and “Islamofascism” than the self-styled “democrat of the left” Paul Berman. Berman, most recently in the news because of his obsession with the Oxford-based Muslim philosopher Tariq Ramadan, expressed his thesis in The Flight of the Intellectuals, a rambling treatise…

Englishman admits he singles out Israel–because his own leaders seem to be Israel’s devoted citizens

Aug 03, 2011

Philip Weiss

Wonderful piece by Robert Fowke at the Guardian on “why the obsession”
with Israel and Palestine? Notice the fact that the Jewish presence in the Establishment, in England too, grants the conflict a different weight. Don’t you see– the vociferousness and effectiveness of the Israel lobby make this conflict Our Conflict! Thus does Walt and Mearsheimer’s argument come all the way around: the lobby is lodged in our establishment, which is why the establishment press tried to destroy Walt and Mearsheimer, and that created giant pushback among all the people who have been lied to.

Fowke’s curve is my curve. I didn’t begin as a Palestinian solidarity activist. No, I began as an American appalled by Iraq; and then I found the three Zionist bears in the kitchen and started to wonder… Fowke:

There is another aspect to my relationship to Jews, however, which does significantly affect the interest I take in Israel. I have many Jewish friends, I went to school with boys from Jewish backgrounds and consequently I do not think of Jews as being foreign. It would be as absurd for me to call my Jewish friends foreign as it would to call my Quaker friends foreign; they are as English as I am. It is a religious category for me and nothing more, and quite rightly so.

The trouble is that Israel promotes itself as the state for all Jews, including – despite themselves – my friends. And because some of my friends are Jews and it is therefore their country, it is in some subliminal sense my country too. This produces a particular attitude towards Israel – it means that I do not think of Israel as truly foreign either. It is foreign, of course, but not emotionally, not like Thailand or Uzbekistan, and I do not respond to it as I do to most other foreign states. It is, emotionally, almost an English county planted on the Mediterranean shores.

Israel’s non-foreign status is amplified by the extraordinary support it enjoys in the corridors of power in Britain. As many as 80% of Tory MPs are members of Conservative Friends of Israel. The same cannot be said for Conservative friends of Thailand or Uzbekistan.

So not only is it in effect an English county, but many of my rulers appear to be its devoted citizens, subjectively speaking. All those shrill arguments over water or settlements, all that killing, all that fear and loathing, are not far away from me at all, no further away than Belfast.

So I judge this by domestic standards, not foreign ones. I do not expect Israelis to behave like Burmese generals; I expect them to behave like Englishmen, like my friends.

Supporters of Israel complain frequently and loudly that they are singled out for special attention and criticism. What about your own country’s misdeeds, or China’s, they say? And they are right. Israel is singled out for special attention. The Tibetans scarcely get a look-in compared to the Palestinians.

The number of news items about Israel-Palestine has created a self-reinforcing cycle – my appetite for yet more items is whetted by each new article or drama. All of which would appear to vindicate the complaints of the pro-Israel lobby – except that they should consider how they themselves contribute to this.

One reason why Israel is singled out for so much attention is because its supporters are so very vociferous, pushing their agenda at every opportunity. As a consumer of news, the speed of their responses and their sheer ubiquity inflames my interest and my antipathy. Why do they persist in trying to defend the indefensible?

Another reason for my disproportionate interest in this conflict is that I feel I have been lied to, and I feel that people are still trying to lie to me and I don’t like it.

Posted in Nova NewsletterComments Off on Mondoweiss Online Newsletter



People like you, Mr. Greenstein, should be put in preventive custody!’ 

Dr: Gabi Weber

This is an long exchange e-mail between Gilad Atzmon and Tony Greenstein before you read it I copied an e-mail sent by Dr Gabi Weber her e-mail shed the light on the Greenstein true nature it is for you to judge not for us.

Subject: Re: Stop bothering!!!!

Hello Mr. Greenstein,

as physician, working with all kinds of patients for years now, I am used to many different symptoms, diseases, psychological disorders and so on. Fortunately until now I never before was involved in dirty games and tricks as I am experiencing in the emails you are sending for days now. Even the mentally sickest of my patients I ever had, was not as sick as you are!

And to say it clear – KEEP ME OUT OF YOUR MAD INTRIGUES!

My time is too precious to deal with people who are obviously full of hatred, only aiming at destroying other people´s lifes.

Really, I have pity for you. What kind of life must this be, to spend years over years by trying to demolish the career of a person and to see that all the efforts are leading to nothing? On the contrary, the person you try to destroy is getting more and more popular and successful. What a shame for you!

Your behaviour proves exactly, what is happening in the so-called Palestinian Solidarity Movement. We are infiltrated with dirty Hasbara, this is very clear.

Perhaps you should try to find something beautiful for your life? You could try to use your talents, which you certainly have but that you bury under tons of hate and negative energy. Imagine if you simply tried to take all this energy you need for the attempts to destroy Gilad Atzmon and did something positive with it. Perhaps we already would have a Palestinian State?????

As I told you in my last email, I am very attentive in what is happening around my Freiburg conference. In case I get any information of your ongoing attempt to bother my speakers I will start publicizing everything.

Best wishes

Dr. Gabi Weber


Atzmon vs Greenstein

From: Gilad Atzmon

To: tony greenstein

Sent: Wed, 3 August, 2011 10:06:08

Subject: Re: Conference on Historical Revisionism

TG: Yes of course you can have competing narratives. One which says there was a holocaust but there are many things we will never fully understand about it or one which says there was no such thing or ‘only’ a few hundred thousand Jews died of typhus. I suspect I know which one you subscribe to.

GA: I actually do not have any interest in issues to do with numbers , pornography of death or Holocaust necrophilia, I am after the meaning of the shoa, and as you may know, meanings are in flux.

TG: Yes I know that issues of truthfulness are more complicated than the 3 bears but the principle remains the same. Is the holocaust, the decimation of 10m Africans in the Congo, the slave trade etc. just a narrative or is it firmly grounded factually? Otherwise we just get into word games.

GA: You obviously do not understand what the word narrative stands for. There is no contradiction between the notion of the narrative and factuality. The narrative is manner in which facts are picked and set into a tale.

TG: I am fully aware of what the conditional ‘if’ means. To be precise it means you cast doubt on something,

GA: Nonsense, you are simply not familiar with hypothetical manner of speech. You are under developed for you age. It is not a crime but nothing to be proud of.

TG: So when you say ‘if Auschwitz was a death camp’ or some such you are casting doubt on that fact.

GA: Try to concentrate-there is a contradiction between the H narrative and the ‘death march’ one . If the Nazis wanted the Jews out, why did they schlepped them back?

Please come with an answer? Also, please enlighten me and suggest how to pronounce the paradox above without using the word ‘if’.

TG: When you say ‘ if 2+2=4 then 2+1+1=4’ then that certainly casts doubt on whether 2+2=4 otherwise you would just come out and say 2+2=4 therefore 2+1+1 also = 4

GA: No Tony, this is called implication. A conditional manner of speech. the 2 statments have different meanings. I guess that you have to learn deductive logic so you realise that ‘if -then’ is a pretty basic formula of argumetation known as P->Q

TG: I am aware of the purpose of the IF statement, having done Mathematics at degree level.

GA: Tony, don’t bulshit me with your phantasmic degrees. Along the many press clips about your vast criminal record (shoplifting, credit card theft, vandalism and so on) I came across one clip that says that you were kicked out from university for being a vandal. Knowing you as a compulsive liar, I suggest that we stay at argument level. Please don’t wave the qualifications you do not have. Also if you would have a degree in math, you would know what the world ‘if’ stand for and how is it used.

TG: So when, to use your example, one says ‘If X then Y’ then of course there is a question mark over whether X exists in the form posited.

You give the example of ‘If the sun is larger than earth and the earth is larger than the moon then the sun is larger than the moon.’

No of course you are not doubting the existence of the sun but you are questioning whether it is larger than the earth. That is the logical statement in question and that is the context.

GA: Again you are not familiar with hypothetical manner of speech. We call it a logical deductive move, it doesn’t involve doubt.

Let us look at the following obvious example

If X=Y and Z=Y then X=Z

The above suggest an implication rather than a doubt. Also do you really think that when I say 2+2=4 I cast a doubt?

I must admit that this is the first time I run a philosophical debate with a moron. It is an amazing experience. I sometime under estimate your stupidity.

TG: So when you say. If, for instance, the Nazis wanted the Jews out of their Reich (Judenrein – free of Jews), 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?’

You are doubting the Nazis wanted the Jews out of the Reich, because after all, according to your logic, if they wanted them out why did they march them back in?

GA: I suggest that the two narrative cannot live together within the same historical setting unless an explanation is provided. I ve the explanation… but what is your explanation tony?

TG: Likewise if you say. ‘If the Nazis ran a death factory in Auschwitz-Birkenau, why would the Jewish prisoners join them at the end of the war?’

The clear implication is that Auschwitz-Birkenau is not a death factory, otherwise why would Jewish prisoners join them at the end of the war? The Stockholm Syndrome?

GA: No this suggests a discrepancy at the heart of the discourse. If Jews were aware of Nazi homicidal inclinations, how come they joined them at the end of the war as Holocaust scholar Israel Gutman suggests? Again please explain it to me , you may also argue that Gutman is a liar or idiot. I don’t really care… but just try to come up with something..

TG: And you confirm this interpretation by asking for ‘some conclusive historical evidence.’ Nothing metaphysical mind you!

GA: You still do not understand what metaphysics stands for. There is no contradiction between evidence and metaphysics.

TG: ‘We should ask for some conclusive historical evidence and arguments rather than follow a religious narrative…’

I am not a member of any synagogue, left or right. You really can’t help the anti-Semitic stuff. It’s second nature I’m afraid.

GA: You are not just a member, you are a failure Rabbi, with an extremely small congregation of people who must be just slightly more limited than yourself..

TG: Likewise the fact of the holocaust is neither a narrative nor religion. A religion means it is unquestioning.

GA: As far as I can see, you invest a lot of energy trying to stop others and myself, in particular, from questioning H and other Jewish narratives. So it is a religion and you are a leading cantor (as well as a Rabbi). You cry for heaven day and night, praying for Gilad to be stopped.

TG: There are many questions concerning the holocaust in the widest sense but you ask none of them and instead stick to the agenda of neo-Nazis and revisionists of doubting whether it happened.

GA: Tony, trying to label me won’t solve your problem. And why do you stop with neo Nazi? What about pedophilia? For the record, I am not associated with any group or school of thought. I advocate freedom of speech. And I indeed support any form of revisionism. I am not afraid of thoughts or ideas, I am far more concerned with tribal morbidity as performed by you and your ilk. And as you know, I am very good in exposing it. You will find out very soon soon that my take on the subject is endorsed by the biggest scholars in the Pls discourse.

TG: This is dump stupidity or malevolence or both. There are all sorts of questions. I mentioned Daniel Goldhagen. He raises many issues, all of them reactionary, about the knowledge of ordinary Germans, their indifference etc. There is considerable research in this area. Comparative history is helpful, but you are stuck with the basics because you can’t get it into your head that there is no doubt about the mass exterminations of the Nazis.

GA: So if I understand you correctly, you now plan to tell us what we are allowed to ask… how progressive of you.

TG: There is too much evidence. Did Rauf ever deny he was involved in the development of the gas trucks? Was the ‘euthenasia’ denied? Grow up and start dealing with the things that researchers, some of whom are not Zionists, are doing.

GA: Tony, all of that, has nothing to do with my body of work or research. I argue that history is the art of revising the past. You are against it, Judaism is against it. You operate politically as a Jew, is it a coincidence? I don’t think so! You are simply a Zionist amd a rabid one.

TG: In the conflict between anti-Zionists like Vrba and the collaborationist Zionists you not only have nothing to say but you appear to justify the role of the Zionists.

GA: I am familiar with Vrba report, but the reaction to the report is also very interesting. However, I m not interested in the imaginary debate between Zionists and the so called ‘anti’ Zionists. I am much more interested in the exposure of this debate as a spin of fake pluralism.

TG: Your whole framework, Jew=Zionist, left Jew = more Zionist is crude and counterproductive.

GA: Please be precise. I do not talk about Jews. I say that everyone who identify politically as a Jew is a Zionist. You, for instance operate politically as a Jew and you are indeed a rabid Zionist. Interestingly enough you act like ADL and Hasbara. Only one difference is noticeable, unlike ADL, you are pretty clumsy and astonishingly lame. I guess your operators will have to send someone slightly more sophisticated and soon. It is a shame, because by now, it is almost fun dealing with you.


It is a scholarly and truly monumental work, deeply profound and, of course, controversial. (Alan Hart, British Journalist and covert diplomat in Middle East, ITN’s News at 10, BBC’s Panorama) A seriously funny writer and the wittiest musician since Ronnie Scott. We’re lucky Gilad Atzmon is around. (Robert Wyatt, musician and founding member of Soft Machine)

An investigation of Jewish identity politics and Jewish contemporary ideology using both popular culture and scholarly texts. Jewish identity is tied up with some of the most difficult and contentious issues of today. The purpose in this book is to open many of these issues up for discussion.

Since Israel defines itself openly as the ‘Jewish State’, we should ask what the notions of ’Judaism’, ‘Jewishness’, ‘Jewish culture’ and ‘Jewish ideology’ stand for. Gilad examines the tribal aspects embedded in Jewish secular discourse, both Zionist and anti Zionist; the ‘holocaust religion’; the meaning of ‘history’ and ‘time’ within the Jewish political discourse; the anti-Gentile ideologies entangled within different forms of secular Jewish political discourse and even within the Jewish left.

He questions what it is that leads Diaspora Jews to identify themselves with Israel and affiliate with its politics. The devastating state of our world affairs raises an immediate demand for a conceptual shift in our intellectual and philosophical attitude towards politics, identity politics and history.


* See:


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