Archive | August 12th, 2011

Texas Congressman Praises Iranian Terrorists as ‘Freedom Fighters’

Rep. Poe Termed Cult’s Iraq Camp a ‘Bastion of Freedom’

antiwar.com

Reports on the millions of dollars the terrorist organization the Mujahiden-e Khalq has spread around in an effort to buy its way off the State Department’s terror list have added to scrutiny of its paid advocates. They haven’t, however, slowed the flow of advocacy.

Fresh off of hawkish British MP David Amess lauding the group on TheHill.com yesterday, his US equivalent, Rep. Ted Poe (R – TX) is in TheHill.com today cheering the group as a ticket to regime change in Iran.

Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of the Amess and Poe pieces are not their differences, but their massive similarities. Both seem to be working off the same script, using the same list of talking points. Both praise the group as the only “real” opposition in Iran, while lashing the existing political opposition movement and accusing all critics of the MeK of a “policy of appeasement.”

Poe’s slavishly pro-MeK comments go yet farther, however, as he praises the cultish Marxist-Islamist group as “freedom fighters” that deserve American support. It is unclear if either MP Amess or Rep. Poe are among the hundreds of top officials who have been paid for their endorsements, or if they simply see the MeK as the surest road to a US war with Iran, which both also support.

Poe, however, has a long history of shilling for the group, sponsoring the bill pushing their removal from the State Department’s list while terming Camp Ashraf, an MeK camp in Iraq left over from the long-standing support for Saddam Hussein, a “bastion of freedom” that the US had to protect from Iran’s “proxies in Iraq.”

The MeK’s history of terrorist attacks includes repeated attacks on US businessmen and military personnel in pre-revolution Iran, and the group was one of the founding members of the “Foreign Terrorist Organization” list when it was created by the US State Department in 1997. The group is typified by its harsh reaction to any criticism, and was reported by Human Rights Watch to have run a private system of detention centers inside Iraq to detain (and in many cases torture) dissident members.

 

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Zio-Nazi’s denies it agreed to discuss a nuclear-free Middle East

NOVANEWS

 HAPPY NUCLEAR

Zionist sources deny reports by the Associated Press reported Zionist and Arab countries agreed to hold a conference hosted by the International Atomic Agency.

Zionist said Wednesday there has been no change in its position regarding a nuclear-free Middle East, and that it has not received an invitation to a conference on the matter, sources at the Zionist Nuclear Agency told Haaretz. Their statement comes after the Associated Press repored IsraHell and Arab countries agreed in principle to attend a conference hosted by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

IsraHell has said for more than a decade that it is ready in principle to hold an unbinding discussion, but not negotiations on “learning from others about the experience of establishing of a nuclear-free zone.” Yet the stance of Arab countries has been that such discussions must be a binding forum, where decisions are made under the supervision of the IAEA.

The IAEA has not received any information regarding a shift in the Arab countries’ stance, raising doubts about the information obtained by AP.

But even if IAEA chief Yukiya Amano succeeds in holding a conference, it will not be a direct continuation of the UN conference that convened in New York less than a year ago and discussed the need to update the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The UN conference, in which IsraHell did not take part because it is not a signatory, ended with a call for a nuclear-free Middle East. Nuclear-free zones exist in the Pacific Ocean, Central and South America and certain areas in Asia.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI1 Comment

Kfir Brigade Nazi soldier’s conviction overturned

Judges order to reexamine case of Nazi sergeant convicted of assaulting Palestinians because reprimand given to brigade commander prior to trial may have ‘directly or indirectly influenced legal proceedings’

ynet

The Military Appellate Court on Wednesday overturned the conviction of a Kfir Brigade paramedic charged with attacking Palestinian residents during 2008 operational activity in Kfar Kadum, referring the case back to the Jaffa Military Court.

The judges ruled that because the Brigade Commander, Colonel Itai Virob, was reprimanded prior to the opening of Sergeant G.’s trial, his testimony may have directly or indirectly influenced the sentencing and subsequent punishment of 65 days in prison.

Sergeant G., along with Kfir Brigade Deputy Commander Adam Malul were convicted of aggravated assault after it was revealed that they had hit Palestinians during military activity in the West Bank.

During Lt. Malul’s trial, which was held first, Colonel Virob stated that “sometimes a slap or a blow to a Palestinian in order to calm them down are a reasonable courses of action.”

The statement stirred a storm among top military echelons, who reprimanded Virob even before Sergeant G.’s trial began.

In the appeal Sergeant G. filed after his conviction, the military advocacy claimed that the disciplinary action taken against Colonel Virob affected his testimony during the second trial, and made him change his statements.

The advocacy further claimed that legal proceedings during the sergeant’s trial were faulty, and therefore called to reverse the conviction.

The judges accepted the plea, referring the case back to the Jaffa Military Court in order to examine whether the reprimand had influenced Colonel Virob’s testimony. If the court finds that the act did in fact have a negative impact on the legal proceedings, the judges might convict Sergeant G. of a lighter offence, or acquit him of all charges.

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AIPAC’s Support of Iran Sanctions Parallels Lead Up To Iraq War

NOVANEWS
 
John Glaser

antiwar.com

Eric Clifton has an important addendum to his earlier post on the push from almost the entire Senate for Obama to add further sanctions on Iran (which I posted on here). Obviously, the Israel lobby supports these sanctions too, but Clifton says their tactics resemble all too closely the lead up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He writes:

a Tuesday press release [PDF] from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)brings to mind eery parallels between the escalation of sanctions against Iran and the slow lead up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The press release read:

AIPAC applauds today’s bipartisan letter—signed by 92 U.S. Senators—to the administration urging it to sanction the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), or Bank Markazi. The letter, spearheaded by Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), notes that the CBI lies at the center of Iran’s strategy to circumvent international sanctions against its illicit nuclear program.

Sanctioning Bank Markazi might, as mentioned by the Wall Street Journal’s Jay Solomon, be interpreted as an act of war. But that doesn’t seem to bother AIPAC. Indeed, they’ve been down this sanctions road once before before the invasion of Iraq.

In June, Robert Dreyfuss interviewed former AIPAC senior Iran analyst Keith Weissman who offered details of how AIPAC and its allies in the Bush administration pushed the allegation that Saddam Hussein was in league with al Qaeda. More importantly, Weissman discusses AIPAC’s plans for ultimately bringing regime change in Iran. Dreyfuss writes:

Weissman says that Iran was alarmed at the possibility that the United States might engage in overt and covert efforts to instigate opposition inside Iran. He says that many in AIPAC, especially among its lay leadership and biggest donors, strongly backed regime change in Iran. “That was what Larry [Franklin] and his friends wanted,” he says. “It included lots of different parts, like broadcasts, giving money to groups that would conduct sabotage, it included bringing the Mojahedin[-e Khalgh], bringing them out of Iraq and letting them go back to Iran to carry out missions for the United States.Harold Rhode backed this…. There were all these guys, Michael Ledeen, ‘Next stop Tehran, next stop Damascus.’“

Indeed, as shown in the AIPAC press release, Iran is now the target of similar sanctions and bellicose rhetoric similar to those that targeted Iraq in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Sanctioning Iran’s central bank and imposing a de facto oil embargo on Iranian oil exports would appear to be pages torn from the playbook before the invasion of Iraq.

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‘New’ Iraq a Nightmare for Women, Minority Groups

NOVANEWS 
 
Denis Foynes
 

UNITED NATIONS — A United Nations report on Iraq says the human rights situation there remains fragile and huge development challenges loom as the country transitions out of a nearly decade-long conflict.

Torture and poor judicial practices are widespread, says the report [.pdf], released Monday by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

The report claims that the 2,953 civilian deaths it attributed to violence in 2010 were mostly carried out by insurgent and terrorist groups.

It stressed that minorities, women, and children suffered disproportionately from these abuses.

While there have been improvements in some areas of human rights, many challenges remain and some areas were actually worse off in 2010 than previous war-torn years.

“Particularly women’s rights levels and standards have gone down. They suffer from widespread violence, especially from domestic violence,” Rupert Colville, the spokesperson for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, told IPS.

“There is little legislation to prevent this from occurring and the criminal code in Iraq almost encourages these crimes. There needs to be laws in the region against domestic violence,” Colville said.

The treatment of minorities was also heavily covered in the report.

Samer Muscati, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, told IPS,“Minorities have suffered hugely since 2003. We have also released similar two reports explaining this, as have many rights agencies.”

“Kurds, Christians, Persians, and Yarsans are among some the groups targeted for violence. This rise is caused by general insecurity and a rise in religious extremism,” he said. “These groups are also targeted by desperate criminal gangs because they are believed to have huge wealth.”

The murder in August 2010 of Luay Barham al-Malik by kidnappers despite the fact that his family had paid a $15,000 ransom is just one example the report gives of this sort of criminal activity in the country.

According to the report, major problems plague law enforcement and the administration of justice in Iraq, especially respect for due process and the right to a fair trial.

While there has been some improvement in the brutal conditions within many detention facilities and prisons, incidents of cruelty and torture remain widely reported in the world’s press.

“An overreliance on confessions to convict encourages an atmosphere where the torture of detainees takes place,” the report said.

It also said that “widespread poverty, economic stagnation, lack of opportunities, environmental degradation, and an absence of basic services constitute ‘silent’ human rights violations that affect large sectors of the population.”

These abuses are often overshadowed by the more heavily publicized issues of terrorism and insurgency.

The report also cited the questionable March 2010 parliamentary elections and the ensuing nine-plus months of stalemate as one source of Iraq’s rights problems.

“It is believed that this fueled instability, but it also contributed to a degree of inactivity in relation to implementing reforms and other measures aimed at ensuring the protection and provision of human rights to the Iraqi population,” the report stated.

As Colville told IPS, “The report has a mixed scorecard that is slightly better than the 2007-2008 report, but it is still pretty appalling.”

Asked how the problem can be effectively tackled, Colville stated, “A functioning legal framework needs to be set but this is not all that needs to be done. Changing law isn’t enough. Society in Iraq must change too, and this will take time.”

“We hope that the government will also address their other issues, such as their rigorous use of the death penalty. This combined with the weakness of their system of law means there is a risk that many innocent civilians are being killed every year,” he added.

Muscati of Human Rights Watch said that “the international community needs to assist Iraq to improve its human rights.”

“The people also need to freely express themselves and be able to hold guilty persons accountable. A completely free press would also aid this,” he said. “This would make injustice more difficult to carry out without being seen by the Iraqi people and the international community.”

Asked by IPS if there was any realistic expectation that the situation would improve, Muscati responded, “I hope so, but it is hard to say with any sort of hope for accuracy. The situation is currently getting worse in many ways.

“The question is unanswerable — especially with the effects of the American forces’ withdrawal. One would hope, but the future of Iraq is truly anyone’s guess.”

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‘Racists Nazi’s want Mosques burnt in unrest’

Using the riots as a cover, the Nazi cowardly racist thugs  EDL are planning on firboming mosques around the UK. This news directly off their private forums from trusted contacts.
 
Vigilante group take to the streets in Eltham on Aug. 9
Britain’s Islamic Human Rights Council (IHRC) has warned that far-right groups seek to use unrests as an opportunity to burn down mosques and stage a race war.

The London-based campaign group, which is a consultative partner of the UN Economic and Social Council, said racist groups such as the English Defense League (EDL) have been using social media networks to post messages that suggest they are planning to target non-white British nationals.

“Messages from far-right groups on social media have suggested that some groups of far-right sympathizers want to use the riots as cover for burning down mosques. Others have spoken of the riots in terms of a race war and suggest taking action against ‘blacks’ and ‘Asians’ and ‘coloreds’,” the IHRC said in a press release on its website.

The campaign group said the presence of the EDL supporters among those on streets in the southeast London Eltham area on Tuesday and the messages they are posting on the web is especially worrying.

“Of more concern was the actual appearance of the English Defence League in Eltham, London yesterday and the promotion of their effort via social media. Reports suggest that there may have been EDL members or supporters amongst vigilantes in Enfield, London,” the IHRC said.

This comes as EDL leader Stephen Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, has claimed that up to 1,000 of the far-right group’s members will be patrolling the streets as long as the unrest continues.

IHRC chairman Massoud Shadjareh said they are especially worried because the EDL threat is apparently being taken lightly.

“Whilst we know police took action to disperse the EDL from Eltham as well as a group of men in Enfield, we are deeply concerned that the threat of far-right violence in these days is not being taken seriously,” Shadjareh said.

“The demonizing rhetoric in the media in particular and from government and its institutions is being capitalized upon by far-right actors, and the government needs to publicly condemn this opportunism and make clear it will deal with this threat,” he added.

The campaign group included links on its website to postings by EDL supporters including one by a Facebook user “Steve Guest” who said wherever the riots are “we should all go around and burn the mosques”.

Another posting on an EDL Facebook profile by a user named “Micky English” claims “most of the rioters and looters attacking white people are Asians and blacks” and indirectly calls on other users to do something against those ethnicities.

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IsraHell Lobby Dominates Congress, Media Covers it Up

Alison Weir
 

You might think that 20 percent of the American Congress going on all-expenses-paid, weeklong junkets to a foreign country — paid for by a lobby for that country —would be newsworthy, especially when the top congressional leaders of both parties are leading the trips.

You would be wrong.

Eighty-one congressional representatives from all over the country, led by Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, are traveling to Israel this month. Most are freshmen congressmen, and the group includes half of all the freshmen Republicans voted into office in 2010.

The weeklong trips are being paid for by the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), which was created in 1990 as a supporting organization of AIPAC, America’s major pro-Israel lobbying organization, and they are located in the same building. AIEF, which is only one of numerous organizations pushing pro-Israel policies, has an annual budget of over $24 million, with an even larger endowment.

This is an extraordinary situation. No other lobby on behalf of a foreign countrycomes anywhere near controlling such wealth or taking so many of America’s elected representatives on a propaganda trip to its favorite country.

Not all those going on these trips are enthusiastic. The wife of one congressman who made a similar trip some years ago said that she and her husband had never been exposed to such pressure in all their lives. She said that at one point on their trip, her husband — a normally extremely tough man — was curled up in a fetal position.

A staff member of one representative participating in this month’s junkets said the representative had no choice. If the congressional rep didn’t go on the trip, the rep would be targeted by AIPAC; large quantities of money, including massive out-of-state money, would be raised for the opponent in the next election; and quite likely the representative would be defeated. The staffer said that the Israel Lobby is far too powerful to ignore and that American voters have no knowledge of what’s going on.

It’s no surprise that voters are unaware that their representatives are being propagandized and pressured by a foreign lobby. Their news media almost never tells them.

The Associated Press, America’s number one news service, has decided not to report on a lobbying group taking 81 representatives to a foreign country in order to influence their votes.

Even though the trips are being reported by news media in BritainIranIndiaIsraelLebanon, and elsewhere, AP has decided to give the story a pass. When contacted about this, an AP editor in Washington, D.C., said AP knew about the trips and was “looking into it.”

Taking a similar tack, The New York Times, USA Today, Fox News, CNN, ABC, et al., failed to inform Americans about the trips. The Washington Post, after the story was posted throughout the blogosphere, finally covered it belatedly on Page 13. The CBS website had a story on the situation, but CBS News made no mention of the junkets on-air.

The only AP stories on the subject are scattered local stories about individual representatives. For example, AP’s Chicago bureau reported that Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is taking part, without reporting that he was one of 81 representatives accepting these all-expenses-paid junkets and that his trip was being paid for by the pro-Israel lobby.

A few other American media outlets reported the story in interestingly diverse ways:

Washington’s Politico covered it twiceThe Atlantic‘s website reported on people who were“kvetching” about the one-sided nature of the junkets, pointing out that some of the reps were also going to meet with some Palestinian leaders, without telling how many (no one will say) and for how long (apparently for a few hours of the weeklong trip). Los Angeles’ Jewish Journal was remarkably forthright, reporting that “the congressional reps will be getting the dog and pony show,” and Commentary gloated at the “astonishing” number of representatives going on the trip, noting that “Congress is the backstop that gives Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu the ability to say ‘no’” to the president of the United States.

While Commentary claims that the willingness of congressional representatives to go on all-expenses-paid trips by one of the country’s most powerful lobbies “is a good reflection of American public opinion on the Middle East,” this is actually not accurate.

Surveys find that an extraordinarily strong majority of Americans — typically between two-thirdstothree-quarters — do not wish the U.S. to take sides on Israel-Palestine. Such widespread desire for neutrality is particularly noteworthy given that U.S. news sources across the political spectrum are consistently highly Israel-centric in their reporting.

It is quite likely that such voters would be unhappy to learn that a foreign lobby has such power over their elected representatives, leading them to give the favored nation, one of the smallest and wealthiest countries on the planet, over $8 million per dayof American tax money when the U.S. is in the middle of a financial crisis.

Perhaps that’s why AP and the others don’t tell them.

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The Libyan NATO murder syndicate

NOVANEWS

“Not so the Libyan rebels. Members of their Transitional National Council (TNC) in Benghazi last month detained their military leader, General Abdel Fatah Younes, on suspicion of treachery, lured him away from his bodyguards and murdered him.

This week the head of the TNC, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, sacked his whole government on the grounds that some were complicit in the killing. He was apparently forced to do so in order to quell the rage of the powerful Obeidi tribe to which Younes belonged.

A ludicrous aspect of the whole affair is that at the very moment the rebel leaders are at each other’s throats, they are being recognised by country after country as the legitimate government of Libya. This week TNC diplomats took over the Libyan embassies in London and Washington and are about to do so in Ottawa. In a masterpiece of mistiming, Britain recognised the rebel government on the day when some of its members w

Patrick Cockburn: Libya’s ragtag rebels are dubious allies

11 August 2011Rebels, from the Wars of the Roses up to the present civil war in Libya, usually try to postpone splitting into factions and murdering each other until after they have seized power and are in full control. However deep their divisions, they keep them secret from the outside world.

 

Not so the Libyan rebels. Members of their Transitional National Council (TNC) in Benghazi last month detained their military leader, General Abdel Fatah Younes, on suspicion of treachery, lured him away from his bodyguards and murdered him. This week the head of the TNC, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, sacked his whole government on the grounds that some were complicit in the killing. He was apparently forced to do so in order to quell the rage of the powerful Obeidi tribe to which Younes belonged.

A ludicrous aspect of the whole affair is that at the very moment the rebel leaders are at each other’s throats, they are being recognised by country after country as the legitimate government of Libya. This week TNC diplomats took over the Libyan embassies in London and Washington and are about to do so in Ottawa. In a masterpiece of mistiming, Britain recognised the rebel government on the day when some of its members were shooting their own commander-in-chief and burning his body.

If this is how the rebels behave today, when it is much in their interests to make a show of unity, how will they act once they are installed in power in Tripoli? But Nato’s sole policy is to do just that. A UN Security Council resolution, intended to stop Gaddafi’s tanks taking Benghazi for humanitarian reasons in March, transmuted rapidly into a bid to overthrow him. Britain and France, with essential backing from the US, still maintain that the good of the Libyan people requires the replacement of Gaddafi with those sturdy democrats from Benghazi and eastern Libya represented by the TNC.

Could a strategy of brute force work in a purely military sense? Could the rebel columns of pick-up trucks with machine-guns in the back advance to capture Tripoli behind a creeping barrage supplied by Nato firepower? The Libyan capital is increasingly short of fuel, consumer goods and electricity. The rebels have been making gains on the ground to the east and south-west of the capital. But even with the support of Nato air strikes the advance has been slow. If the rebels make such a meal of taking a town like Brega, with a population of 4,000, on the Gulf of Sirte, can they really fight their way into Tripoli with a population of 1.7 million?

Gaddafi may fall, but it looks increasingly that, if he does, it will be at the hands of a rag-tag collection of militias ever more dependent for success on being backed by tactical support from Nato aircraft. Given that the rebels lack a coherent leadership or a united military force, the outcome is unlikely to be a clear-cut victory. Even if victorious, the rebels will depend on foreign support at every level to exert authority over this vast country.

As with Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, the US and Britain found it was one thing to overthrow the Taliban or Saddam Hussein and quite another to replace them. Treating dubious local allies as the legitimate government has a propaganda value, but it is unwise to pretend that the local partner carries real authority. With this experience under its belt, it required real fecklessness for Britain to plunge into another conflict on the assumption that this time we were betting on a certain winner. Gaddafi may be overthrown but the struggle for power between internal factions is likely to continue.

Colourful, but woefully misleading

The foreign media had its failings in Iraq, was worse in Afghanistan but has reached its nadir in covering the war in Libya. Reporting has become largely militarised. Much of it is colourful stuff from the frontline about the dashes backwards and forwards of rebel militiamen. It takes courage to report this and reporters naturally empathise with the young men with whom they are sharing a trench. Their coverage tends to be wholly in favour of the rebels and in opposition to Gaddafi.

When Abdel Fatah Younes was murdered almost nobody in the foreign media had an explanation as to how or why it had happened. The rebel leadership, previously portrayed as a heroic band of brothers, turned out to be split by murderous rivalries and vendettas. Some reporters simply regurgitated the rebel authorities’ unlikely claim that the general had been killed by pro-Gaddafi fighters with camps in Benghazi, while others mentioned that there were 30 different Islamic militias in the city.

To this day politicians justify Nato’s intervention in Libya by citing atrocities supposedly carried out by pro-Gaddafi forces such as mass rape or extensive use of mercenaries. Human rights organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch long ago revealed that there was no evidence for most of the atrocity stories, as did a UN commission headed by the distinguished legal scholar Cherif Bassiouni. These well-researched reports were almost entirely ignored by the media which first published the Gaddafi atrocity stories,

The militarisation of reporting in Iraq and Afghanistan was boosted by the system of “embedding” reporters with military units. This was inevitable to a degree given the danger from Iraqi insurgents or Taliban. But the outcome has been that war reporting has reverted to what it was during imperial skirmishes in the 19th century, with the world getting only a partial and often misleading account of what is happening in Libya

ere shooting their own commander-in-chief and burning his body.”

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Saudi Arabia’s message to Syria, decoded

NOVANEWS

“Saudi Arabia has no interest in promoting democracy or human rights in Syria; it does have an interest in promoting Sunni Muslim influence and combating Shia influence (as embodied at the international level by Iran).” Shoah

It is Iranian influence, not the killing of civilians, that Saudi Arabia is concerned about as it recalls its ambassador in Syria.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has announced that he is recalling the kingdom’s ambassador from Syria for ‘consultations’. Photograph: Tannen Maury/EPA

Saudi Arabia has become the first Arab country to take a firm stand against the Syrian regime’s killing of civilians. In a statement issued late on Sunday night, King Abdullah demanded an end to the bloodshed and announced that the kingdom was recalling its ambassador from Damascus.

There are only two options for Syria, the king said: “Either it chooses wisdom willingly, or drifts into the depths of chaos and loss.” He called for “quick and comprehensive reforms” – “reforms that are not entwined with promises, but actually achieved so that our brothers the citizens in Syria can feel them in their lives”.

These are the strongest comments made so far by any Arab leader, and on that basis we should probably welcome them – especially if they encourage other countries in the region to take a stand. But, as one Twitter user noted, the king’s denunciation of the Assad regime does make him sound a bit like Al Capone condemning the Kray twins.

Back home, King Abdullah has shown no inclination towards the “quick and comprehensive reforms” that he is now urging upon Syria; Saudi Arabia has nothing to teach Syria about democracy, and protest demonstrations in the kingdom are totally banned. So the king’s message to Syria betrays more than a little irony.

Perhaps more troubling, though, is the negative role that Saudi Arabia has been playing during the “Arab spring” – a role that now it seems to be extending to include Syria.

The tone was set in February when Saudi Arabia gave refuge to Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, the ousted Tunisian dictator. The Saudi government last week seemed unhappy when Egypt’s former president, Hosni Mubarak, was actually put on trial, with one official describing it as “a humiliating spectacle for everyone”.

The Saudi-dominated Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) has also sought to bolster the status quo in Jordan and Morocco by inviting them into the rich men’s club. Since neither country is a significant oil producer and neither is located anywhere near the Gulf, GCC membership for Jordan and Morocco only makes sense in terms of bringing all the Arab monarchs under a single umbrella for their collective protection.

We saw this monarchical insurance scheme operating at a practical level in March when Saudi troops entered Bahrain (under the auspices of the GCC’s military arm, Peninsula Shield) to save the king from protesters. Considering how much criticism there has been of Nato’s intervention in Libya, Saudi Arabia’s neo-imperialist adventure in Bahrain has attracted remarkably little attention – and it didn’t even have the cover of the UN security council resolution.

Saudi Arabia has long been the hegemonic power in Yemen, too, and its role there since the Yemeni uprising began has been more unhelpful than helpful. While recognising that Ali Abdullah Saleh is no longer a viable option as president, the Saudis are looking for a solution that would keep Yemen’s current political establishment intact – the last thing they want is a revolution of the kind favoured by protesters on the streets.

King Abdullah perhaps deserves some gratitude for detaining Saleh in Riyadh, as a “guest” locked up in luxury, now that he has beendischarged from hospital – since his return to Yemen would certainly result in more bloodshed. But no one should have illusions about that: the Saudis are looking after their own perceived interests, not those of the Yemenis who are trying to change the system. The GCC-mediated “transition plan” for Yemen was meant to prevent a genuine revolution, not help to accomplish it.

Which brings us to Syria and the question of Saudi intentions there. King Abdullah’s call for swift reform and an end to the killings is unlikely to be heeded, but perhaps it is not meant to be. Perhaps it’s meant to do nothing more than distance Saudi Arabia from the Assad regime, in preparation for its fall.

Saudi Arabia has no interest in promoting democracy or human rights in Syria; it does have an interest in promoting Sunni Muslim influence and combating Shia influence (as embodied at the international level by Iran). Considering the Assad regime’s ties with Iran, this suggests a motive for Saudi Arabia to become involved now – in the hope of driving a wedge between Iran and a post-Assad Syria.

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Following anti-Democratic Arrests and Intimidation Attempts: IsraHelli Citizens in Solidarity with Australian BDS Activists!

NOVANEWS

We, Israeli citizens, members of Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within, would like to express our solidarity with the numerous Australians who are involved in the burgeoning BDS campaign in Australia.


Witnessing first-hand the brutality of our government against the Palestinian people, we have joined the July 2005 Palestinian call for a comprehensive boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against the state of Israel and its institutions. Such means should be applied as long as Israel continues to flout international law and UN resolutions and refuses to acknowledge the Palestinian people’s universally recognized human rights: The rights of Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories, the rights of Israel’s Palestinian citizens, and the rights of Palestinians who were expelled from their homes during the Nakba (the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine).


As Israeli citizens, we are angered by the outrageous attempts to exploit the horrors committed by the Nazi regime, through a comparison of the Palestinian led BDS campaign to the 1933 Nazi boycott campaign, in order to try and silence the Palestinian non-violent popular struggle for freedom and justice. The deplorable and racist Nazi boycott campaign targeted all Jews, without exception, and only for being Jewish.

The Australian BDS campaign does NOT target Jewish businesses, as argued by demagogues in Australia! The lesson from the Jewish holocaust should be, in our view, the need to oppose all forms of discrimination and violence committed against different ethnic groups in the name of nationalist or supremacist ideologies. The state of Israel has failed to learn that lesson.


To reiterate, we are concerned that some politicians in Australia have accused the activists involved in BDS of being anti-Semitic. We reject those accusations. The BDS campaign is a legitimate form of non-violent political action, whereby people and organizations are required not to participate in or support violations of international law. We take a clear stand against all forms of racism, including antisemitism and Islamophobia.

Not only does the BDS campaign oppose anti-Semitism, it is also a responsible call that targets only complicit institutions rather than individuals. BDS is neither anti-Jewish nor anti-Israeli, since it does not oppose all that is Israeli because it is Israeli: the campaign simply insists that Israel abide by its obligations under international law. Furthermore, by attempting to lump together all Jews around the world as a monolithic block that is expected to support its criminal policies, the state of Israel is denying the fact that many Jews, including in Israel, oppose the occupation and apartheid policies inflicted on the Palestinian people.


The current debate within Israeli society shows us that the boycott campaign is extremely effective. The latest attempt by the Israeli government to silence its own citizens, the new anti-boycott legislation, in addition to other explicitly racist laws, is yet another indication of the need for this Palestinian-led non-violent global movement, in order to insure the rights of all people in this region.


The recent Australian BDS actions have been a great inspiration. We are encouraged to know that as far-away as Down Under there are individuals and groups active in the BDS campaign, promoting the Palestinian people’s unassailable rights. The BDS movement needs your help and support. We call upon all Australians to join and support the struggle for freedom and equality in Palestine.


With the deepest gratitude and all our support,


Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within


Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Following anti-Democratic Arrests and Intimidation Attempts: IsraHelli Citizens in Solidarity with Australian BDS Activists!

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