Archive | September 22nd, 2011

A free Palestine: Free from the River to the Sea

NOVANEWS

 

A “King’s chair” is touring the world to demand a crippled state for the Palestinian people; a “state” on 20% of our historic homeland, a “state” minus Jerusalem, a “state” drowned in illegal Zionist colonies, a ghetto within ghettos, a Bantustan that is to be called “the state of the PA”. To those who worship the chair and to those who worship the “King” of the chair and those who kneel at the foot of the chair, I say:

I grew up a villager, a daughter of villagers, a daughter of the land, a lover of the olive tree, of the almond and the carob and the fig trees, a runner along the fields, a dancer under the autumn rain, a dreamer among the wheat fields under the autumn sun. I grew up with the sunshine over the hills and meadows of Palestine, I grew up with the birds singing among the trees, the butterflies decorating the fields, the bees buzzing around the grapevines, the sheep and the goats running up and down the hills and the horses racing the wind. I grew up to climb olive trees during the harvest, to carry huge baskets filled with ripe fruits, to listen to villagers tell tales in the evening around a fire while the smell of roasted wheat fills the air. I grew up watching men and women working the land with love and diligence from sunrise to sunset.

I grew up watching them plant their fields and water the olive trees with their sweat and blood. I grew up watching them planting the love of the land in their children’s hearts. I grew up and learned from them to love the land, to talk to the olive tree, to hold sacred every stone, every flower and every dust particle in this land. I grew up watching our land being stolen, dunum after dunum, by strangers who don’t belong to the land, who don’t know what it means to love the land or to respect the land. I grew up watching our land being butchered, dunum after dunum, by strangers who claim that the land is theirs but who don’t know that when the land cries, we cry, when the land suffers, we suffer, when the land is massacred, we are massacred, when the land bleeds, we bleed with the land because she is our mother, our Palestine.

I grew up watching the villagers being expelled from their land, saw our olive fields burnt into ashes, our wells dried up, the birds silenced and the flowers withering. I grew up searching for a little freedom in the hills of Jerusalem, in the meadows of Sawahreh, before the mountains and the meadows themselves became captives to an army of illegals who kill the birds, the bees and the butterflies.

I grew up a refugee, a daughter of a refugee, my heart longing to a village I never saw, my mind filled with images of a paradise I never touched, but every drop of blood in my body knows I am from there, and every cell in my body directs me towards that place. I grew up separated, expelled from that part of me, but as I grew up that missing part grew up with me, was planted within my heart and within my soul, its name implanted itself in my memory and became as familiar and as known to me as my own name, its houses, fields and trees mingled with my blood. I grew up thinking of Jrash as part of me, a part that seems far away, but is so near to me, a part of me that makes me who I am, a part that refuses to be forgotten or buried, a part that lives with every beat of my heart, a part that will never die.

I grew up on tales about Jrash, a beautiful home, a warm home that continues to be warm and beautiful in the hearts of all Jerashis. I grew up hearing of the harvest, the grinding of the crops, the pressing of the olives, of the weddings that lasted 7 days and nights. I grew up hearing about the dark-stoned houses, the front yards green with the flowers, the Khawaby, the Rozanah and the Taboun. I grew up hearing about Nyata, Khirbet Il-Asad, Khirbet Is-S’iri, Khirbet Il-M’allaq, Khirbet Im Il-‘Imdan, Khirbet Al-Baten, Khirbet Id-Dilbah. I grew up hearing about Wadi It-Teen, Wadi Il-Kharoub, Il-Khalleh, Il-Harayek, Ij-Soura and Thahir Jrash. I grew up hearing about the never-ending fields of fig trees, apricots, almonds, apples, carobs and olive trees stretching into the horizon.

I grew up hearing about the ancient ruins scattered all over the hills, about the much-visited Im-Ittwameen grotto, about the many water springs and many Masateeh. I grew up with the names Deir Aban, Zakariya, Al-Majdal, Ein Karim, Staf, Beit Jibrin, Beit Nattif, Ajjour, Beit I’tab, Allar, Il-Sifla, Tal Il-Safi, Mighlis, Kasla, Khirbit Il-Louz, Khilda, Il-Joura, Il-Falouja, Beit Mahseer, Il-Qabou, Al-Walaja, Ras Abu Ammar, Tal Al-Turmous, Iraq Al-Manshiyyeh, Deir Ad-Dubban. I grew up drawing houses with carob and apple trees in their yard, drawing laughing faces harvesting the wheat, the olives and the figs in the western hills of Jerusalem. I grew up hearing their songs, long after they had been brutally expelled from their homes and villages, ringing along the narrow streets of the refugee camp, promising the land to return and promising their ancestors to return.

I grew up a full Jerusalemite, my mother from a village in the western part of Jerusalem, my father from a village in the eastern part of Jerusalem. I was born in the heart of Jerusalem, since childhood know its alleys one by one, know its streets one by one, know its features, its houses, its markets and its people. I grew up buying Mickey Mouse magazines from the kiosk at the central bus station, from the grandfather who always welcomed me with a smile and a prayer, before heading to school for another long day between books. I grew up collecting political newspapers and magazines from the kiosk at the corner, from the grandfather who always welcomed me with a smile, a political statement and an advice, before distributing them in schools, refugee camps and villages.

I grew up with the smell of falafel filling the old city, with the smell of fresh Ka’ik in Al-Musrarah, with the smell of Jasmin along the wall of the old city. I grew up with the lively buzz of the markets, with the songs coming from almost every shop, with the dance of colours decorating the roof tops of the old city, with the minarets hugging the church towers. I grew up with the sun kissing Al-Aqsa, the Holy Sepulchre and the homes of the old city good morning every day. I grew up with the sun kissing Al-Aqsa, the Holy Sepulchre and the homes of the old city good night every day. I grew up sneaking looks at the beautiful fairy tale books at the windows of Sharbain, the International Library and the Economic Library but unable to afford buying any of them. I grew up knowing every tiny shop in Salah Iddin street, and wandering with my classmates along the street after classes every now and then.

I grew up looking forward to the Monday walk to the British Council to borrow books about ancient civilizations, kingdoms, mummies and villagers. I grew up in Jerusalem and Jerusalem was and will forever be part me, my home. I was born in Jerusalem on a spring day. I went there to school, my first job was in Jerusalem. Today I am not allowed into Jerusalem anymore. I see my birthplace from my window, but I can’t touch it anymore. I see the Dome of the Rock every night standing as a lighthouse, lighting the darkness, lighting the road for us, waiting for us to start marching, waiting for us to return. I have only one comfort: that when I die, I will be buried in the family grave in Jerusalem, that even if they don’t allow me in while I am alive, I will go there when I am dead. I will be reunited with my birthplace, with Jerusalem.

I grew up a Palestinian and all of Palestine my home. I grew up in the alleys of the old city of Jerusalem, in the prairies of Sawahreh, in the over-crowded Dheisheh refugee camp. I grew up with the map of Palestine drawn in my heart, the names of every Palestinian villages, towns and cities carved into my veins. I grew up hearing tales of heroism, tales of steadfastness, tales about a land that refuses to be deleted, about a people that refuses to be defeated. I grew up hearing tales about a land that yearns to be free and about a people that yearns to destroy the chains of oppression and captivity. I grew up calling Jerusalem my home, calling Haifa my home, calling Nablus my home, calling Beisan my home, calling Bethlehem my home, calling Safad my home, calling Gaza my home, calling An-Naqab my home.

I grew up calling Palestine from the river to the sea my home, my homeland. I grew up drawing Palestine from the river to the sea, I grew up drawing a map connected and one from the water to the water, from the border of Lebanon to the border of Egypt., naming Haifa, Yafa, Akka and Gaza as our coastal cities, singing about Marj Ibin A’mer, Nablus, Beisan, Jericho, Beer As-Sabi’ and the hills of Hebron. I grew up and my heart beating for Palestine, all Palestine, my mind memorizing every hilltop and every meadow, every creek and every water spring. I grew up memorizing names the occupier wants us to forget. I grew up drawing a map the world sold to create a terrorist entity that ethnically cleansed Palestine to create a Zionist colony, a cancer within the heart of Palestine that turned our paradise into a desert.

I grew up reading books about the heroes who fought the first Zionist waves that have come to occupy our land and claim it theirs, about the heroes who stood up in the face of Zionism and its ally the British mandate. I grew up reading about the general strikes, the Great Revolt, about the prison of ‘Akka, Al-Qassam and Al-Qastal, the battle of Deir Aban, the battle of Al-Mukkabbir, the battle of Ash-Shajara, the battle of Al-Lyd and Ar-Ramleh, the battle of Jenin, the battle of Beit Jibrin.

I grew up hearing about Deir Yasin, about Khisas, Qazaza, Beit Daras, Dawaymah, Sharafat, Qibya, Kufr Qasim, As-Sammou’, Sabra and Shatila and many more massacres and Zionist crimes. I grew up to the testimonies of the survivors, those who witnessed Zionist crimes against humanity, those who witnessed how the Zionist entity, the child of the “European humanity” was built on the bones of Palestinian children, on rivers of spilt Palestinian blood, on the bodies of pregnant women who were bayoneted and their unborn children butchered in their wombs, on the screams of the mothers whose children were maimed and beheaded in front of them, on the cries of children who were left to wander thirsty and hungry after their parents were massacred.

I grew up singing about Mish’al and Jafra, about the martineh and the olive tree and a little home in a village that refuses to be erased, that refuses to be forgotten. I grew up singing about Lina, Dalal, Taghreed and Leila and thinking of all the Palestinian women who stood up and still stand up in the face of Zionist terrorism, who fought and still fight side by side with their brothers, fathers and comrades, who refuse to be silent, who refuse to bow down. I grew up singing about Mohammad Jamjoum, Fouad Hjazi and Ata Az-Zeer, about Ghassan Kanafani, Dalal Al-Mughrabi, Shadia Abu Ghazaleh and many more heroes. I grew up reading about the heroes who shook the foundation of the Zionist entity, who showed the world that Palestine will never be forgotten, who told the Israeli occupiers: the old continue to live in us and the young will never forget. I grew up reading about, hearing and watching the great men and women who stand as one in the face of oppression and occupation, who fight for their legitimate rights, who refuse any concessions, who will always be the guardians of Palestine, the guardians of the revolution

I grew up reading the stories of Ghassan Kanfani, reading about those who were expelled from their homes in the middle of the night, those who were forced out of their lands under the rush of bullets. I grew up reading about the land of the sad oranges, the apricots of April, about men and their sacred rifles, about the steadfast under the sun. I wandered with him in Yafa, in Akka, in Damascus, in Beirut, in Kuwait and in the refugee camps of the Diaspora. Um Sa’d taught me that not all tents are the same, and Safiyah and Sa’id taught me that every human is a cause and Fatima taught me that you can’t fight Zionist terrorism with flowers or smiles or conferences and Ibrahim taught me that true heroes die without anyone hearing their names. I cried with the children of the refugee camps, the children of Palestine, I laughed with them, I shared their dreams and their hopes. Ghassan Kanafani taught me that I have something in this world… so I will stand up and remain steadfast in my land.

Ghassan Kanafani taught me that we write in blood for you Palestine, that we will die standing and that there is always enough place in this sacred soil for another martyr. Ghassan Kanafani taught me that I must never stop until I plant my heaven on earth or die trying. Ghassan Kanafani taught me that treason is in itself a nasty death. Ghassan Kanafani taught me that the only way to understand what a revolution is about is when you carry your gun on your shoulder and march. I grew up reading Ghassan Kanafani and repeating his message: that if we were failing, unsuccessful defenders of our cause, then we better change the defenders and not the cause….. that we are planted in this land, that we will stay steadfast here, and when we die, we will die standing.

I grew up looking forward to the caricatures of Naji Al-Ali. I grew up searching for Handala in the newspapers, in the magazines, on the walls of the refugee camp, among the scribbling of a comrade. I grew up listening to Handala, talking to me, for he is my grandfather in Jerusalem, he is my brother in Safad, he is my sister in Ein Il-Hilweh, he is my nephew in Al-Yarmouk, he is my niece in Bethlehem, he is my cousin in Deir Al-Balah , he is my uncle in Balata, he is my aunt in Shnillar, he is my comrade in Beita, he is my family: my Palestinian family, he is my conscience and the conscience of the Palestinian people. Naji Al-Ali taught me that the poor people are the ones who suffer, the ones who are imprisoned and the ones who die without shedding a tear. Naji Al-Ali taught me that we draw, write and sing only for Palestine and that you should never give up on your principles even if they kill you.

Naji Al-Ali taught me that the liberation of Palestine is not the liberation of the West Bank or Gaza, but the liberation of Palestine from the ocean to the gulf. Naji Al-Ali taught me that Palestine is not far away or near, it is of the distance of the revolution and that there is one way towards Palestine and that is the gun. Naji Al-Ali taught me to say to those who want us to close the file on the Palestinian cause and to solve it as our enemies want us to: if you are tired, leave us. I grew up reading Naji Al-Ali and repeating his message: That there is only one red line and no one has the right to recognize and surrender to the Zionists. That no one has the right to give up what is the right of every Palestinians, the right of our children and grandchildren, that no matter how much they talk about negotiations and conferences and a Palestinian state, no one, NO ONE, has the right to give up or sell out Palestine.

I grew up visiting uncles in Israeli jails, waking up in the middle of the night at the sounds of Israeli occupation soldiers banging at the door, asking for my brother, for my uncle, for my cousin. I grew up to be beaten and dragged by Israeli occupation soldiers, I grew up to watch my grandmother get beaten by Israeli occupation soldiers, to watch my uncles, my aunts being beaten by the soldiers and dragged away in the middle of the night. I grew up to visit my injured uncles, to watch them suffer in silence from their injuries, to watch the traces of torture carved forever in their eyes. I grew up to watch Naser play football in the dusty street before he was shot dead by an Israeli bullet that sliced his young heart and silenced his laughter. I grew up to listen to Mohammad talk about his dreams, his wish to live in a free Palestine, before an Israeli bullet exploded in his young lively body and caused him a slow and painful death.

I grew up to watch Ayat running in the narrow alleys of the refugee camp before her young body was blown up into a million pieces by the brutal Israeli occupation. I grew up to watch our neighbor’s home being demolished, to watch sick grandmothers being kicked at military checkpoints, to watch grey-haired teachers being shouted at by teenager Israeli soldiers. I grew up to see my childhood paradise being confiscated and turned into settlements in the name of the “peace process”. I grew up to witness Zionist colonizers attack us in the middle of the night, shoot at us while singing and laughing, as if they were on a hunting trip. I grew up to donate blood for injured comrades, to say goodbye to those whose lives were cut short by the Israeli bullet, to visit graves decorated with a map of Palestine from the river to the sea, a Palestinian flag and promise: we will never surrender!

I grew up among suffering, I grew up with hope, I grew up in fear, I grew up with determination, I grew up with courage, I grew up with the love of Palestine. I grew up to meet Palestinian men and women whose hearts only beat for Palestine, whose eyes only see the road to liberate Palestine, whose throats only ring with one song: free Palestine from the water to the water. I grew up to meet Palestinian men and women whose will the walls of Zionist jails couldn’t break, whose determination the pain of injury and torture couldn’t lessen, whose courage the loss of family members and comrades couldn’t weaken, whose insistence to liberate Palestine the dagger of betrayal and concessions couldn’t extinguish. I grew up a Palestinian, one among the millions living in occupied Palestine, one among the millions living in the forced exile. I grew up to hold in my heart sacred rights, constants that are unchangeable no matter how long the struggle lasts and how hard the road to liberation becomes.

I grew up drawing a map, a key and the Dome of the Rock: I grew up swearing that I will never accept less than a Palestine from the water to the water, that I will never accept less than the return of every single Palestinian refugee, that I will never accept less than a Jerusalem united again with its indigenous people, with its villages and olive tress. I grew up like millions, dreaming of a free Palestine, of the freedom to live in my homeland, to walk in my land, to plant my field, to build my home, to run under the rain, to sit under the sun, to have breakfast in Jerusalem, lunch in Haifa and dinner in Gaza.

I dream of real freedom, not a charade called the “peace process”, I dream of real justice, not a charade called “a crippled state with land swap”. I dream of a Palestine from the river to the sea, with Jerusalem as its heart, with Yafa and Beisan, with Safad and Um-Al-Rishrash, not a charade called “Palestinian state with land swap”, where the first part of Palestine to be “swapped” is Jerusalem, the heart and the soul of Palestine.

And I, a Palestinian from occupied Palestine, refuse to accept a fake state on less than 20% of my homeland.

And I, a Palestinian from occupied Palestine, refuse to share my homeland with Zionist colonizers.
I denounce those who are selling 80% of our homeland in the name of “peace” and I denounce those who are selling 50% of our homeland in the name of “co-existence with colonizers”.
I denounce those who, while having American and European passports and living comfortably in the Diaspora, in the name of ‘finding a solution’, want us, the ones living under occupation, the ones being oppressed day and night by the Zionist colonizers, want us to ‘co-exist’ with the murderers of our land, the killers of our families and comrades. I tell you: if you are tired, leave us!!!

I denounce those, who under the claim of legitimizing our cause, our struggle, want to legitimize the Zionist colonization of Palestine, want to give the Zionist colonizers a right to our land, to our homes and to our ethnically cleansed villages and towns and cities.

I denounce those, who have accepted to be something other than Palestinian, unless it brings them benefit, and call themselves everything but Palestinians, unless it brings them benefit, then and when it brings them benefit they claim to speak in our name, they claim to speak in the name of those steadfast in occupied Palestine, they claim to speak in the name of the millions who were expelled to the refugee camps of the Diaspora, they claim to speak in the name of every Palestinian dreaming of returning, they claim to speak in our name, they claim to represent us when they legitimize the Zionist presence in Palestine, be it on 80% or on 50% of Palestine.
I denounce those who are selling Palestine, village after village, hilltop after hilltop, tree after tree, stone after stone in the name of ‘peace’ that is anything but peace and in the name of ‘courage’ that is nothing but cowardice to face up to your occupier and nothing but an audacity to sell your own land and your own people.

Over 63 years of struggle to fight the Zionist colonization, over hundreds of thousands of Palestinians martyrs who sacrificed their lives for Palestine, and some come and call for the legitimization of the Zionist colonization of Palestine by calling for ‘co-existence with the colonizers and the land thieves’.

I, a Palestinian from occupied Palestine, say to you;
Our struggle is not even 100 years old, other nations have fought for hundreds of years to get their freedom, so if you are tired, while leading a luxurious life, leave us, for we will never tire until Palestine, all of Palestine is free!

I, a Palestinian from occupied Palestine, say to you;
Ahmad Jamjoum, Fouad Hijazi and Ata Az-Zer are still alive,
Ghassan Kanafai is still alive,
Naji Al-Ali is still alive,

Dalal, Lina, Taghreed, Nidal, Ibtisam and Mohammad are still alive,
Ahmad, Daniel, Naser, Ayat, Mohammad, Ruwaida, Nabil, Anton, Yahia, Nabil, Hanadi, Omar and Firyal are still alive.

Every single Palestinian who sacrificed their lives for Palestine is still alive, every single Palestinian who was murdered by the enemies of Palestine is still alive. They are all still alive in the majority that refuses to sell, that refuses to recognize the entity built on our homes and our bones, that refuses to surrender, or submit or sell out, the majority that refuses to concede or relinquish our sacred rights, that refuses to co-exist with the fully-armed terrorist colonizers, that refuses to legitimize the Zionist colonization of our home, that refuses to give legitimacy to our murderers, that refuses to give them the right to our land. Every single drop of Palestinian blood spilt cries to us, every soul massacred cries to us, reminds us that peace without justice is no peace, that rights are taken not begged for.

I, a Palestinian from occupied Palestine, say to you;
Every part of Palestine is my home
Every Palestinian is my brother, my sister, my comrade,
Every tree in Palestine, every stone, every flower is sacred,

I am only a Palestinian within Palestine, I am only whole within a whole Palestine, I refuse to be divided, I refuse to give up my heart and my lungs.
I will not remain silent while you slice me and cut my veins with every new initiative, with every new charade,

I will not remain silent while you negotiate in the open and in secret, while you sell Jerusalem, while you divide Palestine, while you condemn us to live as slaves for ever, while you sell our rights, while you swap our lands for bank accounts and permits to Tel Aviv,
I will not be silent while you fight over imaginary posts and chairs and act helpless when the occupier oppresses us,

I will not be silent while you oppress us, train forces to suppress us, and act helpless when the settlers attack us,

I will not be silent while you steal our land, build ‘cities’ for the elite and act helpless when the occupiers destroy our homes,

I will not be silent while you sell 80% of Palestine in the name of a ‘state’ and ‘red carpet’ and ‘government’.

I will not be silent while you sell 50% of Palestine in the name of ‘co-existence with murderous colonizers’,

I will not be silent because the Zionist entity is built on our ancestors, on our homes, on our history, on our map, on our existence,

I will not be silent because this land is ours, every iota of soil is ours, the villages await to be rebuilt, await to awake from underneath the Zionist parks and from underneath the Zionist colonies, the towns await to shed off their fake Zionist names, the lands await to be planted again by the hands that have been planting them for thousands of years,

I will not be silent because the Zionist colonizers who claim a right to our homeland have their roots somewhere else, have homes somewhere else, and while they give even Martians a right to our homeland, they deny us our birthright, steal our lands and homes.
I will not be silent because this land is our home, our only home!

Tour with your chair the world, for it is all that you will ever get: a chair, a useless chair in an imaginary state for an imaginary cabinet and an imaginary king. You know that with you chair you are only playing a charade, but with your charade you don’t intend to fool the Zionists, for you coordinate with them day and night, they beckon and you obey. With your charade you don’t intend to fool the Americans, nor the Europeans, nor the Arab dictators, for they demand and you answer: your wish is my command.

No, with your charade you want to fool only one, and you want the interest of only one; you want to fool the Palestinian people you claim you represent, and you want the interest of the Zionists who gave you a chair, a fake state and a fake government and told you: go play while we oppress your people and continue the ethnic cleansing of your land. But you are mistaken, for you only fool yourselves.

The Israelis felt our wrath over and over, every time the Palestinian people rose up to face their oppressors, the oppressors felt our thirst for freedom, our hunger for our legitimate rights, and they fear this thirst for freedom, they fear this hunger for rights, they fear the next uprising of the Palestinians and know it is coming, and so should you! Assuring the Israeli occupiers that you won’t allow any uprising, whether armed or popular, won’t prevent the coming uprising, others before you gave assurances to the Zionists and were unable to stop the uprising when it came.

And we, those who refuse to accept a crippled state, a fake state, a Bantustan, we will tour the world with our map. This map, imprinted in our hearts and minds and decorates our homes, is our message to the whole world which claims to be just and conscientious, when it only acts blind, deaf and mute to the crimes of the Zionist entity. This map is our message to the long-dead PLO that still claims to represent us, when it only represents the interests of the chosen elite. This map is our message to the unelected PA that claims to represent us, when only it represents the interest of the occupation. This map is our message to those Palestinians who want to legitimize the Zionist colonization of Palestine, to those Palestinians who want to sell Palestine, in any form, under any fancy name.

Our message to these and to those who worship the chair and the king of the chair is:
Palestine was and forever will be one from the river to the sea.
We are only whole within a Palestine from the river to the sea.
We are only free with a free Palestine from the river to sea.
There will never be a state called Palestine only in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, because the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are part of Palestine, and the part will never compensate for the whole.

There will never be a state called Palestine without Jerusalem, because Jerusalem is the throbbing heart of Palestine, and without a heart there is no life.

There is only one Palestine: and it was, is and will forever be one from the river to the sea, and Palestine will not be free until it is free from the river to the sea.

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On Why Micronesia Opposes Palestinian Self-Determination

NOVANEWS

Earlier today, Ira Glunts posted at Mondoweiss on the subject of Palestinian reactions to Obama’s speech at the U.N. General Assembly. He highlighted the response of Hanan Ashrawi, who mentioned the lengths the U.S. is going to, in order to prevent international recognition of Palestine’s statehood:

I did not believe what I heard, it sounded as if the Palestinians were occupying Israel.  There was no empathy for the Palestinians, he only spoke of the Israeli problems.

He told us that it isn’t easy to achieve peace, thanks, we know this.  He spoke about universal rights – Good, those same rights apply to Palestinians.

[The Americans] are applying enormous pressure on everybody at the UN, they are using threats and coercion.  I wish they would invest the same energy in an attempt to promote peace, not threats.

When I read that, the obvious comparison that came to mind was with the U.N. General Assembly meeting of 29 November 1947, that adopted the proposal to partition Palestine. Specifically, the threats and coercion the U.S. brought to bear on that occasion against the most dependent member states, in order to ensure that the U.N. would recommend the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state, over the objections of a large majority of its population, and despite the fact that the U.N.’s own Special Committee on Palestine had already concluded that founding a Jewish home in Palestine, against the wishes of the Palestinian people, “may well run counter” to the principle of self-determination [footnote 1], in contradiction of the U.N.’s own charter [2].

From John Quigley’s Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice, (Duke University Press, 1990, pp.36-7, 39):

On November 25, 1947, the ad hoc committee approved the partition recommendation of subcommittee I, by a vote of 25 to 13, with 17 abstentions. While sufficient to carry the plan in the subcommittee, this margin was short of the two-thirds majority that would be required for passage in the General Assembly. By this time the United States had emerged as the most aggressive proponent of partition. Most European countries, including the Soviet Union, supported it, but most Third World countries viewed it as an infringement of Arab rights.[42] 

The United States got the General Assembly to delay a vote “to gain time to bring certain Latin American republics into line with its own views.”[43] U.S. officials, “by direct order of the White House,” used “every form of pressure, direct and indirect,” to “make sure that the necessary majority” would be gained, according to former Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles.[44] Members of the U.S. Congress threatened curtailment of economic aid to several Third World countries.[45] As a last-minute compromise, and as a major concession, several Arab states proposed a plan for a federated government in Palestine. Similar to the Special Committee’s minority proposal, this plan called for a federation with Jewish and Arab components.[46] Colombia asked the General Assembly to refer the matter back to the ad hoc committee for further efforts at producing a solution acceptable to both the Arabs and the Jews of Palestine.[47] 

There was little reason in the fall of 1947 to believe that the delicate political arrangement contemplated by the partition plan could find the necessary level of cooperation between the Jewish and Arab communities. But the General Assembly proceeded to a vote on the partition plan. On November 29 it adopted a draft resolution embodying the partition plan as Resolution 181. The resolution narrowly gained the required majority of two-thirds — 33 in favor, 13 opposed, and 10 abstaining. 

Included in the countries that switched their votes from November 25 to November 29 to provide the two-thirds majority were Liberia, the Philippines, and Haiti. All heavily dependent on the United States financially, they had been lobbied to change their votes. Liberia’s ambassador to the United Nations complained that the U.S. delegation threatened aid cuts to several countries.[48] Some delegates charged U.S. officials with “diplomatic intimidation.”[49] Without “terrific pressure” from the United States on “governments which cannot afford to risk American reprisals,” said an anonymous editorial writer, the resolution “would never have passed.”[50] 

The fact such pressure had been exerted became public knowledge, to the extent a State Department policy group was concerned that “the prestige of the UN” would suffer because of “the notoriety and resentment attendant upon the activities of U.S. pressure groups, including members of Congress, who sought to impose U.S. views as to partition on foreign delegations.”[51]… 

[42] Yearbook of the United Nations 1947-48 (1949), p. 245. Sally Morphet, “The Palestinians and Their Right to Self-Determination,” in R.J. Vincent (ed.),  Foreign Policy and Human Rights: Issues and Responses (1986), p. 85-87. 

[43] New York Times, November 30, 1947, p. A64. 

[44] Sumner Welles, We Need Not Fail (1948), p. 63. 

[45] Alistair Cooke, “Final UN Vote on Palestine Postponed,” Manchester Guardian, November 27, 1947, p. 5. Alistair Cooke, “More Complaints on Pressure,” Manchester Guardian, November 29, 1947, p. 5. Mohammed K. Shadid, The United States and the Palestinians (1981), p. 35. Alan R. Taylor, Prelude to Israel: An Analysis of Zionist Diplomacy, 1897-1947 (1959), pp. 103-104. J.R. Gainsborough, The Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Politico-Legal Analysis (1986), p. 34. W. Roger Louis, The British Empire in the Middle East 1945-1951: Arab Nationalism, the United States, and Postwar Imperialism (1984), pp. 485-486. Henry Cattan, Palestine and International Law: The Legal Aspects of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (2nd ed. 1976), pp. 82-87. 

[46] New York Times, November 30, 1948, p. A1. 

[47] Yearbook of the United Nations 1947-48 (1949), p. 245.

[48] Michael Palumbo, The Palestinian Catastrophe (1987), p. 31.

[49] Millar Burrows, Palestine Is Our Business (1949), p. 71. 

[50] Editorial, “The Partition Gamble,” Christian Century, vol. 64, p. 1541 (December 17, 1947). 

[51] “Report by the Policy Planning Staff on Position of the United States With Respect to Palestine: Top Secret,” January 19, 1948, Foreign Relations of the United States 1948_, vol. 5, p. 546, (1976).

From Sami Hadawi‘s, Bitter Harvest: A Modern History of Palestine, fourth edition, pp 75 & 76:

The part played by the United States – government and people – in bringing about a majority vote in the General Assembly, can best be illustrated by quoting from American sources:

1. The Hon. Lawrence H. Smith declared in Congress, “Let’s take a look at the record, Mr. Speaker, and see what happened in the United Nations Assembly meeting prior to the vote on partition. A two-thirds vote was required to pass the resolution. On two occasions the Assembly was to vote and twice it was postponed. It was obvious that the delay was necessary because the proponents (the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R.) did not have the necessary votes. In the meantime, it is reliably reported that intense pressure was applied to the delegates of three small nations by the United States member and by officials ‘at the highest levels in Washington’. Now that is a serious charge. When the matter was finally considered on the 29th, what happened? The decisive votes for partition were cast by Haiti, Liberia and the Philippines. These votes were sufficient to make the two-thirds majority. Previously, these countries opposed the move … The pressure by our delegates, by our officials, and by the private citizens of the United States constitutes reprehensible conduct against them and against us.” [Footnote 42 – cites U.S. Government Record, 18 Dec 1947, p. 1176]. 

2. Journalist Drew Pearson explained in his ‘Merry-Go-Round’ column that in the end ‘a lot of people used their influence to whip voters into line. Harvey Firestone, who owns rubber plantations in Liberia, got busy with the Liberian Government; Adolphe Berle, Advisor to the President of Haiti, swung that vote …  China’s Ambassador Wellington Koo warned his Government … The French Ambassador pleaded with his crisis-laden Government for partition’. 

‘Few know it’, he wrote after the partition, ‘but President Truman cracked down harder on his State Department than ever before to swing the United Nations vote for the partition of Palestine. Truman called Acting Secretary Lovett over to the White House on Wednesday and again on Friday warning him that he would demand a full explanation if nations which usually line up with the United States failed to do so on Palestine … ” [Footnote 43 – cites the Chicago Daily Tribune, 9 Feb 1948].

3. Sumner Welles affirmed, ‘By direct order of the White House, every form of pressure, direct or indirect, was brought to bear by American officials upon those countries outside the Moslem world that were known to be either uncertain or opposed to partition. Representatives or intermediaries were employed by the White House to ensure that the necessary majority would at least be secured’. [Footnote 44 – Sumner Welles, We Need Not Fail (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1948), p. 63]

4. James Forrestal, then Secretary of Defense, described ‘The methods that had been used … to bring coercion and duress on other nations in the General Assembly bordered closely on scandal’…

From Sir Zafrulla Khan, Pakistan’s former Foreign Minister, and head of Pakistan’s delegation to the U.N. in November 1947:

LISTENING ‘live’ to Mr Kofi Annan’s farewell speech on a worldwide American news channel (Dawn Dec 11), one was astonished that Mr Annan should base his five postulates for future peace on quotations from the late President Truman. Mr Truman was hardly a Woodrow Wilson or Wendel Wilkie, much less an oracle.

One of the issues Mr Annan so distressfully lamented was of Palestine. Here is a first-hand graphic account of the not-so-visionary role Mr Truman played in the partitioning of Palestine in 1948 at the UN given by former Pakistan foreign minister Sir Zafrulla Khan in his memoirs (Servant of God pp 143-144).

“The factor that played the decisive role was that President Truman, who as vice-president, had taken over the presidency on the death of President Roosevelt, in the spring of 1945, was looking forward to being elected president in the 1948 election. His own party was not united in his support. The Jews [sic] had a strong position in New York City, and the state was expected to go the way the City went. The Jewish vote in the City might prove crucial. President Truman was, therefore, a strong supporter of the partition of Palestine. The US delegation in the UN was not too happy about it. The legal adviser to the delegation had conveyed to the president his doubts about the competence of the assembly to carry out partition of a country. But the president remained firm in his support for the Jews [sic].

“The debate in the plenary session started in an atmosphere of great tension. It reached its closing stage on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. A careful checking up confirmed the impression that had been gained from the speeches delivered in the plenary session that the Resolution did not have the support of a two-thirds majority. That morning, before proceeding to the Assembly, I, as leader of the Pakistan delegation, called on Mr Dennis, the leader of the Liberian delegation, and was assured by him that his instruction from his government was to vote against partition, and [he] added: But we are under great pressure from the United States. Try that the vote should be taken today, for I do not know what might happen tomorrow.

“General Romulo, foreign minister of the Philippines, had gone to the rostrum and roundly condemned partition in a speech of burning eloquence. The representative of Haiti had declared he would vote against partition.

“At about lunch time a rumour was heard that the president [of the Assembly] did not intend to proceed to the vote that day. Dr Fadhil Jamali, foreign minister of Iraq, and the Pakistan leader called on the president and discovered that he was determined to postpone the vote till Friday.

“His excuses were flimsy, but he was adamant. At the end of the afternoon sitting he adjourned the session to Friday morning. On Thursday President Truman put through personal telephone calls to certain heads of state and persuaded them to shift their position on the question of the partition of Palestine from opposition to support. Among others, the Philippines, Liberia and Haiti made the shift.

“The resolution was carried, the die was cast, and the Arabs and Jews were set by the ears for generations. President Truman will go down in history as the statesman whose decision released the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and whose determination pushed the partition of Palestine through the United Nations.”

M.J. AS’AD
Karachi

– Dawn Newspaper, 19 Dec 2006

So, to get this clear: The United States, which once coerced members of the U.N. into establishing the Israeli half of the two state solution when no clear international consensus existed on that step, is today trying to coerce members of the U.N. into NOT establishing the Palestinian half of the two state solution, even though a strong international consensus exists in favor of this. And this is the same United States that for the last 20 years has been the sole mediator of a “peace process” allegedly intended to lead to the establishment of that two state solution. Do you really wonder why that process has failed to deliver?

Footnotes:

[1] With regard to the principle of self-determination, although international recognition was extended to this principle at the end of the First World War and it was adhered to with regard to the other Arab territories, at the time of the creation of the “A” Mandates, it was not applied to Palestine, obviously because of the intention to make possible the creation of the Jewish National Home there. Actually, it may well be said that the Jewish National Home and the sui generis Mandate for Palestine run counter to that principle.

– UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), Report to the General Assembly, 3 September 1947. Paragraph 176.

[2] The Purposes of the United Nations are:

1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace; 

2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace; 

3. To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and 

4. To be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

– The Charter of the United Nations Organization, Article One.

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The arrogant voice of imperialism

NOVANEWS

By Bill Van Auken

 

Obama at the UN: Eloquence is not enough

President Obama delivered an empty and arrogant sermon to the United Nations Wednesday, laced with platitudes about “peace” that were designed to mask Washington’s predatory policies.

The American president received a tepid response from the assembled heads of state, foreign ministers and UN delegates. Not a single line in his speech evoked applause. The novelty of two years ago, when Obama made his first appearance before the body posing as the champion of multilateral-ism in contrast to Bush, has long since worn off. As the world quickly learned, changing the occupant of the White House did little to shift the direction of American foreign policy or curb the spread of American militarism.

The immediate purpose of Obama’s 47-minute address was to supplement a behind-the-scenes campaign of bullying and intimidation aimed at forcing the Palestinian Authority to drop its plan to seek a UN Security Council vote on recognition of Palestine as a sovereign member state.

Washington has vowed to veto any bid for Palestinian statehood if it comes to the SecurityCouncil, a move that would only underscore the real character of US imperialist policy in the Middle East and the hypocrisy of its claims to identify with the revolutionary upheavals of the Arab masses.

The speech and Obama’s defense of the veto threat served to accomplish the same purpose, further diminishing the US president’s popularity in the Arab world. According to a recent poll, his favorable rating in the region has fallen from roughly 50 percent when he took office to barely 10 percent, even lower than George W. Bush in his second term.

Obama rushed from the podium at the General Assembly hall to a meeting and joint appearance with Benyamin Netanyahu. The Israeli prime minister praised Obama’s remarks and made it clear that the two are working on a joint strategy to muscle Palestine Authority head Mahmoud Abbas into dropping the statehood bid. It was reported Thursday that there were efforts to get the Palestinian delegation to make an entirely symbolic plea for recognition, while agreeing to postpone any vote until after the resumption of US-brokered negotiations with Israel.

There have been two decades of such talks, which have achieved nothing, while Israel has relentlessly expanded Zionist settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. Since the onset of negotiations in 1991, the number of settlers has more than doubled, while the West Bank has been internally divided by settlements, security roads and checkpoints as well as the apartheid security wall separating it from Israel.

Obama’s remarks in the UN speech represented an even further accommodation to Israel compared to his proposal in May for a resumption of talks, which he then said should be based upon pre-1967 borders with “mutually agreed swaps.” That statement, which implicitly supported Israel’s demand to retain existing settlements, merely reiterated the official policy of the US government since the Clinton administration. Nonetheless, the mere reference to borders provoked a storm of criticism from Netanyahu, the Israeli right, and the Republican Party.

In his speech to the UN, Obama mentioned neither the 1967 borders nor any proposal to halt the expansion of settlements on the West Bank. Instead, he presented the basis for proposed negotiations as: “Israelis must know that any agreement provides assurances for their security. Palestinians deserve to know the territorial basis of their state.” As the rest of the US president’s remarks made clear, both those conditions are to be dictated by Israel.

While behind the scenes US officials are reportedly threatening the Palestinian Authority with cutting off all US aid if it goes ahead with the request for recognition, in his speech Obama described a turn to the UN as a “short cut” that would accomplish nothing.

Dismissing the role of the institution that he had rhetorically praised at the outset of his remarks, Obama said, “Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the UN—if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.” Indeed, scores of UN resolutions on the plight of the Palestinians have been repudiated and ignored by both Israel and Washington. The US has used its veto in the Security Council to kill scores more.

Evidently responding to the right-wing criticism of Republican presidential hopefuls, who have denounced him for “throwing Israel under the bus” with his 1967 borders remark last May, Obama went out of his way to dismiss the historical grievances of the Palestinian people, while identifying unconditionally with Israel.

Of the Palestinians, he said only that they deserved a “sovereign state of their own” and they “have seen that vision delayed for too long.”

This was followed by a declaration that “America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakable, and our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring.” He continued by describing Israel as a country “surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it,” whose “citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses.” He referred to Israel as a “small country” in a world “where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map.” And he wound up by invoking the Holocaust.

“These facts cannot be denied,” he said. One would never guess from this selection of “facts” that some 4 million Palestinians live under the oppression and constant violence of Israeli occupation, and that another 5 million are refugees, driven from their homeland.

Nor for that matter, would one have any inkling of the constant wars that “little Israel,” with its elastic borders, has waged against its neighbors. Among the more recent are the 2006 war against Lebanon, which left 1,200 civilians dead and much of the country’s infrastructure in ruins, and the 2008 “Operation Cast Lead,” against Gaza, which claimed the lives of nearly 1,500 Palestinians, compared to 13 Israelis.

With a tone of exasperation, Obama acknowledged that “for many in this hall,” the Palestinian question was the issue that “stands as a test” for Washington’s claims to champion human rights and democracy.

In reality, however, the rest of the speech proved just as revealing in terms of the hypocrisy and imperialist interests that pervade Washington’s policies all over the world.

The pretense laid out at the beginning of Obama’s speech was that the US government is engaged in “the pursuit of peace in an imperfect world.” The address included a trite refrain, repeated three times: “peace is hard.”

Fleshing out this theme, Obama pointed to the partial troop withdrawals from the eight-and-a-half-year-old war and occupation in Iraq and the decade-old war in Afghanistan. He bragged that by the end of the year, only 90,000 US troops will be deployed in these wars.

Washington’s aim, he said, was to forge an “equal partnership” with Iraq “strengthened by oursupport for Iraq—for its government and its security forces,” and an “enduring partnership” with “the people of Afghanistan.” He claimed that these changes proved that “the tide of war is receding.”

The rhetoric about “partnership”, however, refers to the plans being pursued by the White House and the Pentagon to keep US troops, CIA operatives and American bases in both countries, long past the dates set for US withdrawal. US imperialism is determined to continue pursuing the goals that underlay the wars from the outset: hegemonic control over the strategic energy reserves of the Caspian Basin and the Persian Gulf.

Obama then preceded to extol the “Arab Spring,” declaring: “One year ago, the hopes of the people of Tunisia were suppressed…One year ago, Egypt had known one president for nearly thirty years.”

Needless to say, the American president made no reference as to whose support had kept the dictators Ben Ali and Mubarak in power for so long, nor to the current attempts by Washington to salvage the regimes they headed and suppress the mass popular movements that forced their ouster.

From there, he proceeded to praise the NATO war in Libya, declaring that, by authorizing this imperialist intervention, “the United Nations lived up to its charter.”

In reality, the war represented a fundamental violation of the tenets of this charter, which proclaimed the “sovereign equality” of all member states, demanded that all disputes be settled peacefully and insisted that member states “refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.”

In the case of Libya, the US and its NATO allies, proclaiming the threat of an imminent massacre in Benghazi, procured a resolution authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect civilians. It utilized this resolution as a cover for a war of regime change. The NATO powers carried out thousands of air strikes and sent in special forces troops to organize, train and arm a “rebel” force for a war that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Libyans. The aim of this war, like those in Afghanistan and Iraq before it, is domination of strategic energy reserves—as well as inserting Western military power in the midst of a region facing revolutionary turmoil.

“This is how the international community is supposed to work,” Obama declared in relation to the Libyan operation, calling to mind Lenin’s description of the League of Nations, the UN’s predecessor, as a “thieves’ kitchen.”

Turning to uncompleted business and potential imperialist interventions yet to come, Obama condemned Iran for failing “to recognize the rights of its own people” and calling for the UN impose new sanctions against Syria. “Will we stand with the Syrian people, or with their oppressors?” he demanded.

Given the bloody events in Yemen, where over 100 civilians have been massacred over the past three days, Obama could not completely ignore the upheavals against US-backed regimes in the region. In Yemen, however, there was no invocation to stand against oppressors, merely a call to “seek a path that allows for a peaceful transition.”

Even more tepid was his reference to Bahrain, the headquarters of the US 5th Fleet. “America is a close friend of Bahrain,” he declared. Here, where thousands have been killed, tortured, imprisoned, beaten and fired from their jobs for demanding democratic rights, he proposed merely a “meaningful dialogue,” while justifying the repression by suggesting that Bahrainis were confronting “sectarian forces that would tear them apart.”

The rest of the speech consisted of a hollow and unconvincing recitation of the usual platitudes. These included the elimination of nuclear weapons—with Washington, sitting on the greatest nuclear arsenal in the world and the only state ever to use such weapons lecturing North Korea and Iran. He inveighed against poverty and disease and insisted on the need “not to put off action that a changing climate demands.” Thrown in were calls for the rights of women as well as gays and lesbians.

On the decisive issue facing millions of working people in the US and across the globe, Obama acknowledged that economic “recovery is fragile”, that “too many people are out of work” and that “too many are struggling to get by.” Referring to the multi-trillion-dollar bailout of the banks, he boasted, “We acted together to avert a depression in 2009” and insisted that “We must take urgent and coordinated action once more.”

But as with all the other issues raised in the speech, the American president had no “coordinated action,” no program, and no policy to propose. In the final analysis, Obama’s empty rhetoric is a direct expression of the profound crisis gripping American capitalism and its ruling financial elite as it confronts economic collapse and the threat of revolutionary upheaval.


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US Nuclear Weapons Unaccountable

Israel Behind The Crime

Israel’s nuclear smuggling network was key element in Carnaby murder in Houston

By Wayne Madsen

Israel, working with deeply-embedded intelligence moles in the United States, including within the U.S. government and “off-the-books” intelligence front companies, has been pilfering spent U.S. nuclear fuel from American nuclear arms caches at a phenomenal rate over the last several years. U.S. and foreign intelligence sources have confirmed that much of the nuclear fuel has been shipped to Israel and other locations via the port of Houston.

The illegal smuggling of spent highly-enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium fuel from U.S. nuclear weapons facilities is the same outbound Houston shipping pipeline used by Bush-influenced Carlyle Group and the firm’s front companies in Spain and France to ship precursor nerve gas chemicals to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in the 1980s, according to one Pentagon intelligence source.

The nuclear smuggling is a major back story to a September 8 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report titled “Nuclear Nonproliferation: U.S. Agencies Have Limited Ability to Account for, Monitor, and Evaluate the Security of U.S. Nuclear Material Overseas.” The most serious finding in the GAO report states:

“DOE [Department of Energy], NRC [Nuclear Regulatory Commission], and State are not able to fully account for U.S. nuclear material overseas that is subject to nuclear cooperation agreement terms because the agreements do not stipulate systematic reporting of such information, and there is no U.S. policy to pursue or obtain such information. U.S. nuclear cooperation agreements generally require that partners report inventory information upon request, however, DOE and NRC have not systematically sought such data. DOE and NRC do not have a comprehensive, detailed, current inventory of U.S. nuclear material–including weapon-usable material such as highly enriched uranium (HEU) and separated plutonium–overseas that includes the country, facility, and quantity of material.

In addition, NRC and DOE could not fully account for the current location and disposition of U.S. HEU overseas in response to a 1992 congressional mandate. U.S. agencies, in a 1993 report produced in response to the mandate, were able to verify the location of 1,160 kilograms out of 17,500 kilograms of U.S. HEU estimated to have been exported. DOE, NRC, and State have established annual inventory reconciliations with five U.S. partners, but not the others it has transferred material to or trades with.”

The report also states that a nuclear cooperation agreement between the United States and Israel was allowed to lapse. The GAO report also states: “DOE’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) removes U.S. nuclear material from vulnerable facilities overseas but can only bring back materials that have an approved disposition pathway and meet the program’s eligibility criteria.” WMR has been informed that because of the amount of HEU and plutonium smuggled from the United States outside of “approved disposition pathways,” there is no way for the United States to know exactly where HEU and plutonium has been distributed, especially to unauthorized end-users who have been using the spent nuclear material in violation of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) or U.S. export control laws. Countries that fall into this category, according to our sources, include Japan, Israel, South Korea, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, India, Syria, Iran, Burma, Egypt, Turkey, Taiwan, and Pakistan.

The major reason behind the nuclear material smuggling from the United States stems from Israel quietly re-establishing its global nuclear smuggling operations, rampant during the 1960s when it was working to acquire nuclear weapons. Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor capabilities have always been clouded in maximum secrecy but it is known that the facility suffered a major equipment failure in the 1990s that impacted on Israel’s ability to re-process nuclear fuel. The diminished capabilities of the Negev Nuclear Research Center prompted Israel, in the 1990s, to actively smuggle nuclear materials, including enriched plutonium, to Israel.

The smuggling operations immediately became known to the CIA’s Counterproliferation Division and its non-official cover (NOC) Brewster Jennings & Associates operation headed up by Valerie Plame Wilson’s. It was a major reason why Vice President Dick Cheney, his counsel Scooter Libby, State Department Undersecretary for Political Affairs (and President Obama’s current envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan) Marc Grossman, and others within the Bush administration exposed the Brewster Jennings operations.

Israel’s search for replacement enriched plutonium hit pay-dirt when its intelligence service discovered that the Pantex nuclear facility near Amarillo, Texas, stores enriched plutonium fuel that is 99 percent pure plutonium that does not require reprocessing for another 60 to 90 years.Israel gained access to the classified details of the Pantex operation by tapping intoclassified government communication networks through the Israeli-owned communication company AMDOCS.

The Israelis discovered that only U.S. nuclear cores composed of plutonium alloys were ripe for theft at Pantex. The 99 percent plutonium fuel was more well-guarded. However, the older plutonium alloy cores were unstable and the shipment of the cores through the port of Houston required refrigerated containers to keep them cooler than 150 degrees.The Israelis used refrigeration trucks to move the cores through the port of Houston from Amarillo and into refrigeration containers loaded on board ships belonging to Zim-American Israeli Shipping Company, a firm with close links to the Mossad. The plutonium cores were shipped to Israel and Dimona.

One individual who had the port of Houston under close scrutiny was CIA contractor/informant/source Roland “Tony” Carnaby. Carnaby had set up a number of videosurveillance cameras at the port of Houston and routinely uploaded the stored videos from the camera units to his Macintosh computer. WMR has learned from intelligence sources that Carnaby possessed a major secret about the smuggling operation: much of the nuclear material being shipped through Houston by Israel, more than its needs, was being re-sold by Israel on the international black market. On April 29, 2008, Carnaby was shot to death by two Houston police officers after what was reported to have been a high-speed chase by police.

After he was killed, the Houston police took possession of Carnaby’s Macintosh computer. WMR previously reported that Carnaby kept Israeli intelligence assets and agents under close scrutiny in Houston and that he had a strange encounter with an Israeli Consulate General official the evening before he was shot. WMR also previously reported on Mossad’s penetration of the Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. Radiation detectors routinely scan containers at Houston for the presence of nuclear materials, hence, it was important for the Mossad to counteract Carnaby’s security systems at the port.

It is known that Carnaby used a number of cell phones to dial into port video cameras to turn them on, stop them, and download captured video data. However, an Israeli firm, Orsus, was scheduled to begin installation of its own surveillance at the port, putting Carnaby’s surveillance operations in jeopardy. The financial backers of Orsus include ComSor Venture Fund LDC, a joint operation of Comverse Technology, which includes its subsidiary Verint Systems, and Soros Fund Management’s Quantum Industrial Holdings Ltd.

Other investors in Orsus include Israel’s Koor Industries, the leading shareholder of Tadiran, the Israeli defense electronics firm; Cial Industries and Investment, an Israeli holding company; the Cedar Fund, an ‘Israeli-related’venture capital firm; Israel Infinity Venture Capital Fund; and Poalim Capital Markets, a subsidiary of Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank.”

Carnaby was, reportedly, working with the FBI on the Israeli nuclear smuggling issue and the FBI office in Houston requested that the Houston police call off their chase of Carnaby. It was too late for Carnaby. He was marked for assassination by Mossad and its friends in Houston area law enforcement because of his knowledge of the nuclear smuggling program. Israel was also concerned that Carnaby, a Lebanese-American with close ties to some of Lebanon’s political groups opposed to Israel, might leak details of the operations to his Lebanese friends, information that would soon end up in the hands of Iranian and Syrian counter-intelligence.

One of the countries that received re-sold American plutonium fuel from Israel was Japan. However, the Japanese soon discovered that the plutonium for which they were paying the Israelis top dollar was too old and provided only short-life usable nuclear weapons. Japan decided to go it alone on their nuclear weapons development but not before they planned to blow the whistle on the Israeli and American smuggling operation to the International Atonic Energy Agency (IAEA). Before the Japanese could act, the super-quake struck Japan, along with the devastating tsunami. At that point in time, Israel and the Americans programmed their Stuxnet computer virus to trigger the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima, the major site for Japan’s nuclear weapons development program.

Stuxnet, developed to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program, is also effective against the nuclear power generation systems of other nations using standard supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software, including the plutonium MOX fuel processing operations at Fukushima. Stuxnet can be used to blackmail recipients of the smuggled plutonium material, including MOX fuel, into silence. The Fukushima disaster destroyed physical evidence of the Israeli smuggling operation to Japan. However, Japanese intelligence possesses other evidence of the Israeli smuggling operations.

The recent explosion at a MOX fuel plutonium processing facility at the French Marcoule nuclear power plant was a warning to France, courtesy of Stuxnet, not to support Palestine’s bid for UN membership. It is not yet clear whether the MOX being used at Marcoule was developed from the unstable and old American plutonium cores smuggled and re-sold by Israel. However, U.S. intelligence has evidence that Israel has re-sold some of its stolen plutonium material to India in return for that nation providing Israel with missile systems and related technology.

The disassociation of the CIA and FBI from Carnaby’s murder in Houston was directly linked to the power of the Israel Lobby in Washington, which will stop at nothing to ensure that Israeli crimes and intelligence activities in the United States remain unexposed and unpunished.

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US: Panic In The Jaws Of Defeat

NOVANEWS

by 

Distrust on the rise

The present volley of accusations and raising fingers at Pakistan by Obama Administration is nothing but panic whensinking in the jaws of defeat. Such baseless allegations would further complicate things for the US.

By Hamid Waheed

The Nations in situation of crisis sometimes act in the most irregular way and it becomes difficult tounderstand difference between wrong and right , a friend and a foe. A leadership at such moment has to have correct, sincere and competent advisors. The state institutions play an important role in guiding the leadership to the correct decision. Unfortunately the confusionbetween American state department, Pentagon and CIA  has made the world and Americans a hostage . American Nation known for its uprightness, fairness and values have been put against the wall with deep shadow of fear to decide between death due to terror or give up social liberty. Not realizing that taking values and liberty away from a society means its death leaving behind only the name to be buried in history. Under such a state each wrong step invites moreconfusion leading to death of American culture.

 Culture is a pattern of shared basic assumptions that a Nation  learns as it adopts a way of life of external adaptation and internal integration and this is passed on to new members as the correct way you perceive, think, and feel. The changes in this pattern of life are  now being felt by the entire world as America stands as the sole superpower of the world. It seems that faulty lessons from Iraq are being carried forward instead of being analysed and corrected. Unlawful HR violations at prisons and innocent killings in drone attacks apart, there is a long list of doings and sayings which may be comical for some but for others this joke is meaning end to their livelihood and destruction.

   The American Intelligence agency is the pioneer for collecting, producing, and promoting open source intelligence and out sourcing paid fighters  through Department of National Intelligence’s Open Source Center (OSC) established in November 2005 in response to recommendations by the Robb-Silberman Commission. The OSC Director Douglas Naquin believes it is incumbent to work across organizations — inside and outside government — to make the most effective use of available expertise and capability. On the outsourcing technique guards from Blackwater, perhaps is the most nitorious example of private security contractors. During the Bush administration, private contractors were involved with interrogating prisoners and sometimes subjecting them to torture the same continues during Obama administration.

Even now 25 percent of country’s intelligence work force is made up of private contractors along with 70 percent of the CIA budget feeding the outer sources. The starting point for outsourcing was that the U.S. military had long been unhappy about the quality of CIA intelligence in Afghanistan. The frustration surfaced publicly in January 2010 in a report by the top military intelligence officer in Kabul, Maj. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who said that: “Eight years into the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. intelligence community is only marginally relevant to the overall strategy. With new concepts of “information operations” or “force protection,” the Americans launched intelligence activities that otherwise might require a presidential finding and notification of Congress if they were conducted by the CIA.

Therefore they use contractors who operate “outside the wire” in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and perform jobs not covered under law. This working gives priority to quick tactical gains without considering rules, morals and values inbuilt in America’s own and international laws. These groups are also found actively involved in making drug money in Afghanistan. Such out sources are at times found to be double agents like Raymond Davis who was caught with pictures of Pakistani instillations on Indian Border.

This environment generates different institutional responses for the leadership with a blend of interests of the out sourcers and we find illogical logics flowing out. The September 13 attack in Kabul was linked to Haqqani Network stated to be based in Pakistan  by  US officials despite Siraj Haqqani saying that they have comfortable basis in Afghanistan. A  Senior state department official during back ground briefing after meeting of Pakistan’s FM and Hillary said that,  the attacks in Kabul had changed the nature of the meeting. The issue of counterterrorism and particularly the issue of the Haqqani Network was, the first thing on the Secretary’s agenda. Ambassador Munter made a statement after the attack in Kabul that US has evidence of Pakistan’s links to Haqqani Network but Senior state department official denied of any proof talked about during meeting of FMs.

Trying to understand the above logic it is hard to believe Haqqani terrorist going all the way from Torkham 223 Kms from Kabul. Say if it is an option where was NATO and Afghan National Army(ANA)?    A video report on the training of ANA  exposed that US trainers confess that more than 70% Afghan selected by US for Afghan army are drug addicts. This breed of soldiers can be easily used by any agency having money to fulfill their addiction requirements. On other hand  the attack on Chitral valley of Pakistan, in which 37 people died, is   being hinted to be backed by NATO forces in Afghanistan. An eye witness of the incident has revealed that the attack at Arandu was monitored and supported by NATO and Afghan security forces. Sources told that gunship helicopters and jet fighters were seen around the area during the attack on Chitral Scouts.

“We did inform the provincial and federal authorities that NATO fighter jets and gunship helicopters do tour our airspace over the border outposts.” An official told in Chitral, on the condition of anonymity. This still has a logic being a bordering town and after reports like that of Nuristan and Kunar  handed over to war lords by US in 2009. The story of Telegraph on how US commanders fight the Taliban during the day and dine with them at night. Lt Col Savage says they may well have killed his own men, and almost certainly some of the British whom the Marines inherited part of southern Afghanistan from last year.

“But he’s tired of fighting, and if he lays down his weapons he could have a significant effect around here. I have to put aside what he may have done in the past, and think about what he can do in the future”. In such intense gray environment of perceptions use of locals by exploiting their weaknesses is a common lead behind most of the terror incidents not only in both Afghanistan and Pakistan but also across each others borders.

Assessing the overall mission, Admiral Mullen said the president’s order to begin withdrawing the 33,000 additional American “surge” troops could be carried out without putting the mission at risk. Under the president’s order, all 33,000 “surge” troops are to leave Afghanistan by the end of September 2012, leaving an American deployment of about 68,000. After three days of consultations with commanders across southern and eastern Afghanistan, Admiral Mullen said that “all the leaders are reasonably confident on the security side and probably very concerned on the governance side.” During his visit, he used some of his harshest language to date to express American concerns that corruption continues to put security successes at risk.

 He specifically criticized what he described as “criminal patronage networks that are here, and how they are woven into the fabric of how things get governed, the loyalties between people, how decisions get made and how that gets in the way of support for the normal Afghan citizen who is worried about their government not delivering good services.” Leon PANETTA told in an interview in Sep 2011,on CBS that Pakistanis caught Mauritani  working with us.  He said ,   “I think we have to recognize that Pakistan is a critical country in that region of the world not only in terms of trying to give us some cooperation in the war that we are conducting there, but also because they are a nuclear power, also because they themselves are in the effort to try to confront terrorism there, but also because they can be extremely important to us in the effort to provide stability in Afghanistan and other areas”.

Obama in his address to UN show his desire for peace in the world and American interest in humanity. Despite such realizations US policy seem more of a mind boggler than Carrot and stick or DO More type now. Pakistan has a Key place to every solution may it be Afghan exit, or future economic route to central Asia. Panetta , Pasha and Mullan , Kiyani have to find an honourable and humane situation; Pakistan and America have to create one on principles of accommodation. It is not possible to pressurize a country of huge population and take unilateral decisions through coercion as they would prove temporary. The concept of America fighting thousands of miles away from its borders and considering out sourced techniques is understandable but main decisions have to be coming keeping America and its people in mind and not the inputs of outsourcers and their vested interests.

The present volley of accusations and raising fingers at Pakistan by Obama Administration is nothing but panic when sinking in the jaws of defeat. Such baseless allegations would further complicate things for the US.

Posted in USAComments Off on US: Panic In The Jaws Of Defeat

Nanny state trying to force restaurants to change their menus.

Step Away From The French Fries

by Jeff Davis

A recent news article reports: “Michelle Obama said Thursday that a pledge by the Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants and its sister chains to serve healthier meals is a breakthrough moment for the industry. Darden Restaurants Inc. is pledging to cut calories and sodium in its meals by 20 percent over a decade.”

Needless to say, once Michelle is out of office and the need to kowtow to the media is eased, that promise will be quietly forgotten.

The article notes “Among promised changes for children, a fruit or vegetable side and low-fat milk will become standard with kids’ meals unless a substitution is requested. No more French fries for the little ones unless an adult asks for them. ’With this new commitment, Darden is doing what no restaurant company has done before, said the first lady, who joined executives of Orlando, Fla.-based Darden for the announcement at an Olive Garden restaurant in Maryland, just outside Washington. ‘This is a breakthrough moment in the restaurant industry. I believe the changes that Darden will make could impact the health and well-being of an entire generation of young people,’ added Mrs. Obama, who is leading an effort to reduce U.S. childhood obesity rates.”

One thing to remember about Democrats is that virtually everything they do has a political motivation. You don’t suppose this war on french fries might be a retaliation against Idaho farmers, who keep voting Republican.

One wonders what kind of political arm-twisting and coercion was applied to get a national restaurant chain to change their menu? Or promise to change their menu, in any case?

Then again, Obama failed to balance the budget, the US just got it’s credit downgraded and there’s a new rumor of impending financial collapse every month, if not every week. In a situation like that, it’s no surprise Obama is trying to put the nation’s focus on french fries.

The article continues “Since the beginning of the year, McDonald’s, Burger King, Chili’s, IHOP, Friendly’s and more than a dozen other large and small chains have said they will begin replacing the French fries in children’s meals with fruit and removing enticing pictures of less healthy items from their menus. Diners [except for Mrs. Obama herself] are becoming more health conscious and are asking for improvements, such as for their meals to be cooked without butter or with less salt or to be prepared any way but fried. Then there’s Mrs. Obama’s campaign to bring down childhood obesity rates.”

These standards obviously are not applied to White House dinners; down through the past three years the media have documented White House feasts, which frequently include lobster (no doubt heavily buttered) and caviar. Mrs. Obama’s weight appears to yo-yo considerably, perhaps she gets the fat lipo-suctioned out of her generous African rear end every two or three weeks to avoid assuming the same husky proportions as a mountain gorilla.

Instead of dictating that children never eat french fries or red meat, perhaps parents should make their fat little lard balls turn off the television, turn off the computer, throw away the Nintendo and get their pudgy butts outside riding bicycles and running around playing, the way children are supposed to.

Posted in USAComments Off on Nanny state trying to force restaurants to change their menus.

Truth, Propaganda and Media Manipulation

NOVANEWS
By Global Research

Never before has it been so important to have independent, honest voices and sources of information. We are – as a society – inundated and overwhelmed with a flood of information from a wide array of sources, but these sources of information, by and large, serve the powerful interests and individuals that own them. The main sources of information, for both public and official consumption, include the mainstream media, alternative media, academia and think tanks.

 

The mainstream media is the most obvious in its inherent bias and manipulation. The mainstream media is owned directly by large multinational corporations, and through their boards of directors are connected with a plethora of other major global corporations and elite interests. An example of these connections can be seen through the board of Time Warner.

 

Time Warner owns Time Magazine, HBO, Warner Bros., and CNN, among many others. The board of directors includes individuals past or presently affiliated with: the Council on Foreign Relations, the IMF, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Warburg Pincus, Phillip Morris, and AMR Corporation, among many others.

 

Two of the most “esteemed” sources of news in the U.S. are the New York Times (referred to as “the paper of record”) and the Washington Post. The New York Times has on its board people who are past or presently affiliated with: Schering-Plough International (pharmaceuticals), the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chevron Corporation, Wesco Financial Corporation, Kohlberg & Company, The Charles Schwab Corporation, eBay Inc., Xerox, IBM, Ford Motor Company, Eli Lilly & Company, among others. Hardly a bastion of impartiality.

And the same could be said for the Washington Post, which has on its board: Lee Bollinger, the President of Columbia University and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Warren Buffett, billionaire financial investor, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway; and individuals associated with (past or presently): the Coca-Cola Company, New York University, Conservation International, the Council on Foreign Relations, Xerox, Catalyst, Johnson & Johnson, Target Corporation, RAND Corporation, General Motors, and the Business Council, among others.

 

It is also important to address how the mainstream media is intertwined, often covertly and secretly, with the government. Carl Bernstein, one of the two Washington Post reporters who covered the Watergate scandal, revealed that there were over 400 American journalists who had “secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency.” Interestingly, “the use of journalists has been among the most productive means of intelligence-gathering employed by the CIA.” Among organizations which cooperated with the CIA were the “American Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald-Tribune.”

By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time IncThe CIA even ran a training program “to teach its agents to be journalists,” who were “then placed in major news organizations with help from management.”
 

These types of relationships have continued in the decades since, although perhaps more covertly and quietly than before. For example, it was revealed in 2000 that during the NATO bombing of Kosovo, several officers from the US Army’s 4th Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) Group at Ft. Bragg worked in the news division at CNN’s Atlanta headquarters.” This same Army Psyop outfit had “planted stories in the U.S. media supporting the Reagan Administration’s Central America policies,” which was described by the Miami Herald as a “vast psychological warfare operation of the kind the military conducts to influence a population in enemy territory.” These Army PSYOP officersalso worked at National Public Radio (NPR) at the same time. The US military has, in fact, had a strong relationship with CNN.

 

In 2008, it was reported that the Pentagon ran a major propaganda campaign by using retired Generals and former Pentagon officials to present a good picture of the administration’s war-time policies. The program started in the lead-up to the Iraq War in 2003 and continued into 2009. These officials, presented as “military analysts”, regurgitate government talking points and often sit on the boards of military contractors, thus having a vested interest in the subjects they are brought on to “analyze.”

 

The major philanthropic foundations in the United States have often used their enormous wealth to co-opt voices of dissent and movements of resistance into channels that are safe for the powers that be. As McGeorge Bundy, former President of the Ford Foundation once said, “Everything the Foundation does is to make the world safe for Capitalism.”
 

Examples of this include philanthropies like the Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation providing immense financial and organizational support to Non-Governmental Organizations. Furthermore, the alternative media are often funded by these same foundations, which has the effect of influencing the direction of coverage as well as the stifling of critical analysis.

This now brings us to the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and Global Research.

As an institution which acts as a research centre as well as a source of alternative news through the website www.globalresearch.ca, the CRG has become a much needed voice of independence seeking to break through all the propaganda and misinformation.

To maintain our independence, Global Research does not accept assistance from public and private foundations. Nor do we seek support from universities and/or government.

While the objective is to expand and help spread important and much-needed information to more people than ever before, Global Research needs to rely upon its readers to support the organization.
 

Thank you, dear readers, for your tireless support.

Supporting Global Research is supporting the cause of truth and the fight against media disinformation. 

 

Thank you. 

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on Truth, Propaganda and Media Manipulation

AMERICAN TRAGEDY

NOVANEWS

 GILAD ATZMON

Ynet’s Washington reporter, Yitzhak Ben – Horin, produced last night a clear and succinct reading of Obama’s recent UN General Assembly  address:

“Likudnic in the White House.”

“Netanyahu could not have written it better.”

“Obama at this point, is in line with the Likud party.”

“Obama is a pro-Israel president …Since January 2009, he provided Israel with all its needs both in diplomacy and in terms of security”

Obama is not performing too well in the polls. He clearly needs the Jewish Lobby on his side. The American president ‘provided’ yesterday and the lobby was quick to react- “Israel has no better friend in the world today,” wrote the president of the National Council of Jewish Democrats, David Harris.

According to Ynet,  hours before his UN General Assembly Address Obama sought to ensure that prospective Jewish voters pay close attention to his speech.

“Three of Obama’s aides held a conference call with the president’s Jewish supporters and community leaders. The advisers, all Jewish themselves, asked the supporters to “spread the word” that Obama will give a pro-Israel speech which reflects his own genuine positions and implored them to pay close attention to the president’s UN address.”

The three Jewish advisers  “stressed that the Republicans intentionally distort Obama’s statements to portray him as an anti-Israel president, when in fact their arguments are baseless.”

If anyone was foolish enough to believe that America could ever be a broker for peace in the Middle East, the truth is now unavoidable. American political world is clearly hijacked by a foreign lobby that represents foreign interests. America cannot rescue itself. What we see in front of our eyes is basically a tragedy.

Greek tragedy depicts the downfall of a noble hero, usually through some combination of hubris, fate, and the will of the gods. The American tragedy contains the same elements. America has regarded itself as a ‘noble hero’ since its creation, ‘hubris’ is also far from being foreign to American culture. Americas’ fate has been written on the wall for more than a while. And what about the Gods, can you guess who the Gods are? I think that Obama and his party knew very well whom they were trying to appease last night. They know very well who their Gods are because they shamelessly mix with them at least once a year at AIPAC annual gathering.

However, Obama and his ‘advisers’ maybe mistaken here. Their ‘Gods’ are not stupid at all, they grasp what Obama is up to, Ben Horin wrote last night, they understand what ‘2nd term’ means in terms of Israeli politics. They remember, for instance, that during the election campaign in 2000, George Bush promised to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but once re-elected he was the man who pushed Sharon to withdraw from the Gaza Strip. They remember that the same George Bush was also the president who sided with Abu Mazen, and declared that negotiations with the Palestinians should be based on 49 armistice lines.

If Obama thinks that the ‘Gods’ are now beside him, he is deluded.

Obama made a grave personal mistake yesterday. But it is Americans, Israelis and Palestinians that will pay the price. What we see here is a classic tragedy, for America doesn’t posses the political power to save itself from itself.

The only question you may want to ask yourself at this stage is how long will it take for America to emancipate itself from its ‘Gods’.

You can now order Gilad Atzmon’s New Book onAmazon.com  or Amazon.co.uk

Posted in USAComments Off on AMERICAN TRAGEDY

Mondoweiss Online Newsletter

NOVANEWS

Perry embraces violent Jewish extremists, Politico’s Ben Smith calls him ‘moderate’

Sep 21, 2011

 Max Blumenthal

Republican presidential frontrunner Rick Perry embraces former terrorist group leader Dov Hikind

Yesterday, I attended Rick Perry’s press conference at the W Hotel in New York City, where the Texas Governor and Republican presidential frontrunner denounced President Barack Obama for supposedly “appeasing” America’s enemies in the Middle East and failing to sufficiently support Israel. The Perry appearance was timed to pre-empt Obama’s speech at the UN in which the President would reject Palestinian demands for statehood.

The most remarkable aspect of Perry’s press conference was the cast of characters that assembled behind the Governor while he spoke. To Perry’s immediate right was Assemblyman Dov Hikind, the former leader of the Jewish Defense League, a terrorist group responsible for bombing attacks on numerous Arab-American targets and a conspiracy to murder Republican Rep. Darrell Issa. While Hikind’s collaborator Victor Vancier spent ten years in jail for firebomb attacks, Hikind was suspected by the FBI of numerous terror attacks of his own. After issuing numerous stentorian condemnations of terror, Perry handed the mic over to Hikind, who exclaimed, “I heard the Governor’s speeches and I said to myself, ‘He sounds like me!'” The two engaged in a sustained hug before a giant media gaggle.

To Perry’s left was Dr. Solomon “Joe” Frager, who was listed on official Perry press material as the organizer of the press conference. Frager is the Chairman of the Jerusalem Reclamation Project, a front group for theAteret Cohanim organization that steals Palestinian property in East Jerusalem and hands it over to fanatically religious Jewish families. They are the spearhead of Israel’s slow motion ethnic cleansing of Silwan and the Old City. For a glimpse at the zealotry, racism and sheer sleaziness behind Ateret Cohanim’s operation, watch Louis Theroux’s excellent BBC documentary, “The Ultra-Zionists,” which follows Ateret Cohanim’s man-on-the-ground Daniel Luria as he personally orchestrates the theft of Palestinian homes.

Surrounding Perry was a sundry assortment of Jewish Israeli extremists, from Knesset Deputy Speaker Danny Danon, who advocates annexing the West Bank to punish the Palestinian Authority for pursuing statehood, to Member of Knesset Nissim Zeev, a settler from the Shas Party who has proposed “rehab centers” for homosexuals.

None of the reporters I talked to afterwards seemed to know who any of Perry’s “pro-Israel” supporters were, and very few even cared. And nothing I have read so far about the event in the mainstream American media noted that it was planned by a key orchestrator of Palestinian home seizures in occupied territory, or that Perry embraced the former leader of a group listed by the FBI as a terrorist organization. To get a sense of the kind of coverage Perry earned from the mainstream press, read Politico’s Ben Smith, who described Perry’s speech as “moderate” and “centrist.” Meanwhile, the liberal groups that howled in protest when Perry hosted a prayer rally in Houston with Christian right leaders have virtually ignored Perry’s embrace of the Jewish extreme right.

It goes without saying that if an American politician meets with any Muslim or Arab leader, they will invite vehement denunciations from their opponents and face intense scrutiny from the mainstream press. This is why Obama has not visited a single mosque during his entire term as President (former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said Obama was avoiding Muslims “out of sensitivity to the Jewish vote”). When a politician like Perry who surrounds himself with violent Jewish extremists before the national press corps, however, he is lauded as a “centrist” and treated as a serious contender.

This post originally appeared on Max Blumenthal’s blog forAl Akhbar English.

Palestinians have a better chance of getting a state on Craigslist than from Barack Obama

Sep 21, 2011

Philip Weiss

Avigdor Lieberman is thrilled by a speech that called Israel the “historic homeland” of “the Jewish people.” AIPAC is over the moon: “President Obama demonstrated his understanding of Israel’s legitimate requirements.” J Street is happy, too.

Netanyahu called the speech a “badge of honor.” Of course. Because Obama’s description of “the Jewish people’s burden of centuries of exile, persecution”– and the Palestinians’ burden to amend for that– is straight from Netanyahu himself.

Not a word about settlements or occupation. Not a word about Palestinian conditions, or Palestinian nonviolent resistance, while he sang praises of the Arab spring. No sense of the strategic let alone moral urgency of ending the longest military occupation in modern history.

Zbig Brzezinski said (on PBS’s News Hour) that Sarkozy’s speech had urgency while Obama’s was a speech for a domestic audience, for the 2012 election. Brzezinski found it tragic: it abandoned any pretense that Americans would be fair in the conflict, and the loss of an American role is bad for Palestinians and Israelis. “Senior Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath said Wednesday that the Palestinians’ statehood bid at the United Nations is the only alternative to violence.” —Haaretz.

All our politicians belong to the Tea Party when it comes to Israel. The Times reports that the Republican Party has forged a bond with Netanyahu (surely not just for voters, but for money), and the Democratic Party doesn’t want to be left behind. They are cultivating the same government. The Washington Post says says there must be no daylight between Obama and Netanyahu, and Congressional Democrats gave Netanyahu 29 standing ovations last May.

What do people who care about Palestinian rights gain by being Democrats? Where is the left in this conversation? Where are the 20 percent of Americans who think we are too supportive of Israel? Do we have a voice in Congress or the media?

Back in the 60s, the Democrats gave up part of their coalition to choose equal rights. “We have lost the south for a generation,” said Lyndon Johnson. Will anyone in our politics be willing to take a principled step in support of Palestinian rights and risk losing those Jewish voters and donors who will back Israeli discrimination forever?

Based on today’s performance in New York, I doubt it.

 

Ashrawi and Tibi say Obama made it sound like Palestinians are occupying Israel

Sep 21, 2011

Ira Glunts

Hanan Ashrawi, who is part of the Palestinian delegation at the UN, reacted angrily to President Obama’s UN address.  Here are some quotes from a Ha’aretzinterview in Hebrew that took place immediately after the speech (Barak Ravid, “Palestinian Anger Over Obama Speech at the UN” (original title), Ha’aretz (Hebrew))

I did not believe what I heard, it sounded as if the Palestinians were occupying Israel.  There was no empathy for the Palestinians, he only spoke of the Israeli problems.

He told us that it isn’t easy to achieve peace, thanks, we know this.  He spoke about universal rights – Good, those same rights apply to Palestinians.

[The Americans] are applying enormous pressure on everybody at the UN, they are using threats and coercion.  I wish they would invest the same energy in an attempt to promote peace, not threats.

Ahmad Tibi, a Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament, who is in NYC with the Palestinian delegation, was also interviewed by the newspaper.  He echoed Ashrawi when speaking about the Obama address:

It is possible to think after hearing the President’s speech today, that the Israelis were demanding a state from their Palestinian occupiers.

Avoiding [mentioning] the ’67 borders was biting and clear.

His message is continued suffering for the Palestinians, accompanied by long and perpetual negotiations with Netanyahu.

The fact that Tibi, who is an Israeli politician, traveled with the PA delegation to the UN is viewed by many as controversial in Israel.  Many Israelis take a very dim view of cooperation between Palestinians from Israel, with officials in the territories; they see it as disloyalty to the state.   I know it sounds crazy, but that’s the way they think.

Both Tibi and Ashrawi insisted that despite the pressure, the Palestinians will go forward with the UN resolution as planned.  According to an AP report, Mahmoud Abbas says that he will not agree to a delay in voting for the statehood resolution despite pressure from the US and France.

Conservative rabbis overwhelmingly disapprove of settlers and many say they’re ‘sometimes ashamed’ of Israel

Sep 21, 2011

 Philip Weiss

NY Jewish Week’s Eric Herschthal reports on “the increasingly liberal” views reflected in a Conservative movement survey of 100s of American rabbis:

46 percent said they were “always proud” of Israel, but 44 percent said they were “sometimes ashamed.” Sixty-three percent thought that Israel should freeze settlements in the West Bank, and another 17 percent were unsure. More than twice as many rabbis supported Obama’s call for a peace deal based on ’67 borders with lands swaps than those that opposed it, and the vast majority–78 percent–viewed the settler movement unfavorably.

And here’s another poll that suggests politicians are out of step with public opinion, a Think Progress report on a poll of Israeli opinion:

A joint poll by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in the Occupied Palestinian Territories found that 69 percent of Israelis think that their country should accept United Nations recognition of an independent Palestinian state, according the Jerusalem Post.

American-Israeli votes might have put Turner over top–and Israeli settler helped craft Turner speech

Sep 21, 2011

Philip Weiss

Adam Dickter, at the New York Jewish Week, reports that an Israeli settler helped craft Bob Turner’s speech blasting Obama during Turner’s successful congressional campaign in Brooklyn. (thx to Jeff Blankfort):

Turner’s campaign, which was staffed and assisted by many Orthodox Jews, also sent 5,000 pieces of direct mail to American citizens living in Israel who are registered to vote in the 9th CD, sources said. (That’s more than Turner’s margin of victory of 4,128 votes in his 33,816-win upset over Democrat David Weprin.)

Giving new meaning to Scott McConnell’s view that the special relationship is a transmission belt for bad ideas.

 

Obama consulted no Palestinians for his rendition of history

Sep 21, 2011

Philip Weiss

Mazin Qumsiyeh on Obama’s speech:

In his first speech at the UN, President Obama stated that he prohibited torture and ordered Guantanamo prisons closed.  He also said he will work to cut the nuclear arsenal of the US and Russia and move towards a world without nuclear weapons. He said that peace must be pursued by actions of all nations working together and that the era of unilateralism is finished. He said he will work aggressively to advance peace based on two states: Israel and Palestine. He said, “America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements”.  All were big fat LIES. And now comes Obama with new lies in front of the UN and at this International day of peace.  Here he shows Palestinian leaders did not give him any briefing on history.  I hope any Palestinian leaders should object strongly and with facts and figures to these misstatements.

“Let’s be honest: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. [false] Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. [correct but this should be balanced by explaining that 10 times more Palestinians were butchered]

Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. [Israelis teach hate 100 more times than the other way around and hate of the colonizer to the colonized is not the same as the reverse].  Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, looks out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. [That is nonsense; Israel wiped Palestine including 530 villages and towns and now is the fourth strongest country plus having you Obama and Congress as its lackeys]. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile, persecution, and the fresh memory of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they were. [Irrelevant and highly emotional: just study the history of Nazi-Zionist collaboration to see how absurd to link Apartheid Israel with “The Jewish People”, itself a mistaken term no more valid than concepts of “The Christian People” or “The Muslim People”]. These facts cannot be denied [they are regurgitation of Zionist myths, irrelevant facts, and half truths]. The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland [a racist apartheid state based on land theft and ethnic cleansing; is that your definition of success?]. Israel deserves recognition [no it does not, Israel deserves to be faced with the truth and pressured to transform just like Apartheid South Africa]…

All who meet with him to go back and read his first speech in the UN should level with Mr. Obama.

Hypocrisy will be more evident at the United Nations these coming few days.  It is already evident in the use of bullying by the US administration to other countries to force them to not vote for a Palestinian state.  This bullying will remind us of how they bullied in 1947 to get the unjust resolution recommending partition of Palestine against the wishes of its people (contrary to UN Charter and the right of self-determination).  Hypocrisy will also be evident in Netanyahu’s speech in the UN that will say to the world: Israel wants peace and “why are we at the UN when Israel and the Palestinians can negotiate directly.” After decades of direct negotiations between slaves and heavily armed masters, excuse the world for not believing you.

Israel’s remaining friends rally around flag outside of UN

Sep 21, 2011

Alex Kane

Israel may be increasingly isolated globally, but you wouldn’t know it from the scene in New York today.  A right-wing crowd of thousands rallied earlier today at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza against the ongoing Durban III conference and the Palestinian Authority bid for United Nations recognition of statehood.

The demonstration was organized by a group called theJerusalem Institute of Justice.  But by far the largest contingent of participants came from the evangelical Christian community.  The Eagles’ Wings, an evangelical Christian group, brought droves of Christian Zionists out to wave the Israeli flag, hold signs to insist that Israel will “stay on the map” and cheer against the division of Jerusalem.

“It’s important for the Christian community to stand up for Israel,” twenty-year old Rutgers University student Hannah Johnson told me.  “We’re from the same roots, we both hold a lot of the same ideals and beliefs, and their God’s chosen people, so we choose to stand with them.”

The rally took aim at the Durban III conference, which marks ten years since the first UN conference against racism in Durban, South Africa.  Many hard-line supporters of Israel have advocated against the Durban conferences because of what they see as an unfair focus on Israel.

“The whole Durban conference…is appalling to us, and we don’t want our children to be taught [anti-Zionism] and we don’t want it spread in the United States via the UN,” said Sheree Krause, a Christian Zionist from Virginia, as her and her son passed out free Israeli flags.

It wasn’t only Christian evangelicals that came out to the rally, though.  Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI), a pro-settler organization whose executive director spokeat a memorial event for the far-right extremist Meir Kahane last year, was also present.  One member of Americans for a Safe Israel carried a sign that read “Jews Want Peace, Arabs Want Pieces.”

“The whole land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people,” said Helen Freedman, the executive director of AFSI.

“The unilateral declaration of independence is very, very dangerous, because what it does is signal to the Arabs that they now have a state…There’s no legitimacy to their claim for a state, but the population will get the message that they do have entitlement and the whole situation will really spiral out of control.”

And of course, the Israeli government’s point man on outreach to Christian Zionists–Likud Party member Danny Danon–was there.  Danon recently appearedwith Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry at a press conference where Perry blasted President Obama’s record on Israel.

At the rally, Danon told Obama to loud cheers to “wake up” and focus on the threat of Iran.

The rally came just after President Obama finished up his remarks at the UN General Assembly for which he was praised by Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman. 

Despite that praise, though, the rally served as a reminder that Obama will spend a good portion of his re-election campaign defending his record on Israel, especially against the likes of Perry.  But no matter how deferential Obama is to Israeli wishes, winning over the crowd at a rally like this isn’t going to happen.

Alex Kane is a New York City-based freelance journalist who blogs on Israel/Palestine at alexbkane.wordpress.com.  Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

Deal in works to save Obama casting a veto, and continue ‘peace process’ –Guardian

Sep 21, 2011

Philip Weiss

Chris McGreal, in New York:

International efforts to forestall a showdown in the UN security council over the declaration of a Palestinian state are solidifying around a plan for the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, to submit a request for recognition but for a vote on the issue to be put on hold while a new round of peace talks is launched.

The deal is being pushed by the Middle East“Quartet” of the UN, EU, US and Russia, which is attempting to persuade Abbas to back away from a diplomatic confrontation with Washington, which says it will veto the Palestinian bid.

The US president Barack Obama is expected to meet the Palestinian leader at the UN on Wednesday as Abbas comes under intense pressure from the US and Europe to compromise.

Diplomats said the proposed compromise would see Abbas submit his letter to the security council, which would then defer action.

US is all alone on ‘Israel Island’ –Munayyer in Chicago Trib

Sep 21, 2011

Philip Weiss

Yousef Munayyer of the Palestine Center has a strong op-ed in today’s Chicago Tribune that begins with a haunting picture of the U.S. isolating itself by vetoing the resolution against Israel’s settlement project in the Security Council back in February, then patiently describes the absurdity of the peace process. “Just another example of how this whole issue is going mainstream,” says Mark Wauck, who sent me link. “You just wouldn’t have seen this type of op-ed as recently as a year ago.” Munayyer:

Israel Island is not simply a metaphysical place, it is a mentality — one that has preferred isolation over cooperation, stubbornness and recalcitrance over genuine concessions and abiding by law, vetoes over pressuring Israel.

A valuable lesson from the Arab uprisings is that Israel cannot expect lasting peace with Arab regimes if it does not have peace with Arab nations. It can’t simply wall itself off from neighbors it has maligned and expect peaceful coexistence.

New Dem panic: If Obama’s such a great friend, why didn’t he go to Israel?

Sep 21, 2011

Philip Weiss

Panic among the Democrats on the Jewish front. Ron Kampeas reports on a call to Jews from Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic congresswoman and head of the Democratic National Committee, along with Robert Wexler, the FL congressman turned Israel lobbyist, reminding Jewish Dems about our “values.”

Notice the defensiveness on Wasserman Schultz’s part and the real fear that Rick Perry will be able to peel away Jews on this issue (here’s the Dems new website: Jews have never had a better friend than Obama– just what New York Magazine says, in declaring Obama a Jewish president). Kampeas:

[Wasserman Schultz said,] “Beyond Israel there is nothing, I mean nothing that the Republicans are proposing …. That are in line with our values.”

She also acknowledges nervousness about Obama.

“I know many of you feel overwhelmed by the partisan fearmongering and deliberate distortions of our president’s record on Israel.

“The uncertainty within the community continues for many.”
…There is, however, a GOP/conservative response to the call and the website that seems to have real legs:  Wasserman Schultz and Wexler were hyperdefensive about Obama’s failure so far to visit Israel as president.

@DWSTweets protests too much on BHO not going to #Israel; it stands out b/c he was in the neighborhood for Cairo speech but stayed away.

The first Jewish leader to ask Obama why he was not planning a visit to Israel, way back in the summer of 2009 — a month or so after his Cairo speech — was Debra DeLee, the CEO of Americans for Peace Now. He still hasn’t adequately answered.

None of their answers  — Reagan never went, GW Bush waited seven years, etc. etc. — got to the point, succinctly put by the Republican Jewish Coalition in a tweet:

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Naziyahu to meet world leaders in bid to thwart Palestinian statehood

NOVANEWS

Zio-Nazi Prime minister heads to UN, will meet with U.S. President Obama; says Abbas turned down his repeated requests to meet, ‘road to peace through direct negotiations, not unilateral decisions’.

Haaretz

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took off yesterday for New York to attend the UN General Assembly. Netanyahu is to meet today with U.S. President Barack Obama after the latter addresses the General Assembly. Netanyahu is to address the General Assembly Friday, a short time after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivers his speech.

A few hours before leaving for Ben-Gurion International Airport, Netanyahu organized a support meeting of Likud lawmakers, to which Likud mayors were also invited. “I know the reception here is much warmer than the one I’ll receive at the UN General Assembly, and precisely for that reason I think it’s important to go there and present our truth,” Netanyahu told the group.

Netanyahu said the wave of revolutions in the region had nothing to do with Israel, but that it obliged Israel to “insist on our rights and our needs.”

The prime minister told his supporters that Abbas had turned down his repeated requests to meet with him.

“I told him the road to peace was through direct negotiations and not unilateral decisions in the United Nations. I believe that in the end we’ll get there. If the Palestinians want to improve their situation, they’ll get there, too” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu also said the most important thing was to begin negotiations and persist in them, but that “to this moment the Palestinians have not done so and I hope this will change.”

Netanyahu said that more and more countries were opposing the Palestinian statehood maneuver in light of the problems it was causing.

“It is much easier to give in to pressure and earn applause from the nations of the world … We gave major concessions and we see what we have gotten. The mayors of the north and the south will attest to that,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu said the danger of a hasty agreement or a unilateral move was “not only missiles on the north and the south but all over the country.”

The prime minister said his meeting with Obama would be important to coordinate the efforts on thwarting the Palestinian statehood bid, and to prepare for the possibility that the Palestinians will ask the General Assembly for the upgraded status of a non-member country.

Netanyahu’s advisers said yesterday that the Americans were sure to veto a Palestinian approach to the Security Council on statehood, and that the approach to the Security Council – not to the General Assembly – was what mattered.

Netanyahu and Obama are also expected to discuss Israel-Turkey relations. Obama met yesterday in New York with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and asked him to tone down his attacks on Israel. Obama is expected to ask Netanyahu to reconsider Israel’s refusal to apologize over the loss of Turkish lives during last year’s flotilla to Gaza.

Iran is also on the agenda for discussion with the U.S. president. Defense Minister Ehud Barak met earlier this week with U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and members of the American intelligence community, mainly over Israel’s concerns of a technological spurt that will bring Iran closer to nuclear weapons capability.

Netanyahu is also expected to devote today and tomorrow to meetings with world leaders, to persuade them to vote against the Palestinian statehood bid.

Israel’s president requests heads of state to oppose Palestinian UN bid

In phone calls with the presidents of Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Shimon Peres promotes direct negotiations; Palestinian sources: negotiations are complementary, not contradictory, to UN bid.

President Shimon Peres spoke to the presidents of Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday, requesting they oppose the Palestinian bit for statehood at the UN Security Council.

In telephone conversations with Austrian President Heinz Fischer and incumbent President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Živko Budimir, Peres said a Palestinian state could only be established via direct negotiations.

Peres is planning to speak to the presidents of Gabon and Nigeria later tonight.

Gabon’s position is being closely watched because it is one of the countries voting on the Security Council. The vote is expected to be close.

Laure Olga Gondjout, the chief of staff for President Ali Bongo of Gabon, said Tuesday that the country has not yet made up its mind on whether Palestinians should be granted UN membership. She added that the country’s delegation to the United Nations has not yet submitted its position on the matter.

When asked how Gabon would vote on the Palestinians’ bid for United Nations membership, Gondjout replied: “We have not turned in our position statement… We cannot anticipate a recognition of the new state of Palestine… or a non-recognition at this point.”

Peres’ conversations with his fellow heads of state come as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sets off for the United Nations in New York.

Speaking at a Likud party conference ahead of his flight, Netanyahu said he is aware that he will come under heavy pressure at the United Nations.

“Tonight I am going to New York to speak at the General Assembly, meet with (U.S. President Barack) Obama and with other leaders,” Netanyahu said. “I know the reception I received here is much warmer than the one I will receive at the UN, and exactly because of that I think we should go there and present our truth… of a people attacked over and over by those opposed to their very existence. That is the most basic truth.”

Netanyahu said he has turned to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas several times, and offered him to meet, but Abbas declined. “I told him the road to peace goes through direct negotiations and not unilateral decisions at the UN,” he said.

Netanyahu received support from opposition leader Tzipi Livni, who called upon the prime minister to initiate political negotiations with the Palestinians. “Your trip is critical for the future of Israel,” said Livni, “Every move at the United Nations dangers the security and national interests of Israel, and this is avoidable.”

Sources at the Palestinian government told Haaretz on Tuesday evening, following Netanyahu’s comments, that “even if we start direct negotiations with Israel, it does not cancel the UN bid. We see both of these paths as complimentary, not contradictory.”

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