Archive | November 14th, 2011

Nada Bakri a Saudi Sharmota


Nada Bakri on Syria–again: when a mob is a mob, and when a mob is not a mob

First notice the title: it talks about a mob.  So a mob is a group of Arabs who don’t support the US and its clients in the region.  When “people” attacked Syrian dissidents in Cairo and threw rocks, eggs, and tomatoes at them and beat the shit out of some of them, the New York Times did not describe them as mobs, as in “Mobs Strike Embassies After Group Bans Syria.”  If protesters in Lebanon attack the Iranian or Syrian embassies, do you think that Barki or the Times would describe them as a mob?  You know the answer.

 Then Bakri seeks an independent analysis of the situation in Syria, so since the “objective” Zionists of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy were not available, she settles on the second best.  A propagandist for the House of Saud who writes in the mouthpiece of Prince Salman, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat.  She then describes Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat thus: “a Saudi-owned Arabic newspaper.”  A few sentences later she describes Syrian newspapers thus: “The Thawra and Tishreen newspapers, both mouthpieces of the government”.

So a question must  be raised about the obvious biased standards of Barki: why is a Saudi-owned newspaper not described as a mouthpiece of the Saudi government very much like Tishrin and Thawra are indeed mouthpieces of the lousy Syrian government?  Or is Bakri implying that House of Saudi, when they own a newspaper, never interfere with the journalistic process?  But Bakri then reports in passing about the pro-regime demonstrations: “The Arab League decision was met by popular anger across Syria on Sunday, and tens of thousands of government supporters poured into the main squares of major cities, expressing their anger at Arab officials and shouting slogans in support of their embattled leader.”  Pictures are not necessary although youtube footage of much smaller anti-regime demonstrations are always provided in Western media.

But Bakri, to be fair to her, decides to interview one protester out of the thousands that she mentioned: he is described as “government employee” thereby implying clearly that the mob or pro-regime demonstrators are all state employee.  I mean, forget about politics, and knowing that foreign editors of US newspapers forget their job when they read over texts about a government that is not on the side of the US/Israel, but what about the journalistic standards of Bakri??  Ms. Bakri when reporting on matters against the Syrian regime never even bothers to provide sources: can you imagine if she is reporting about matters against Israel or the government of Jordan.  Look at this sentence:  ” including four who were killed by security forces for chanting slogans against Mr. Assad at a pro-government rally in Hama.”

How did you know that, Ms. Bakri?  You are based in Beirut, did you see it from your window just as “Abu Muhammad, the witness” sees events all around Syria from his window in Idlib and reports about it for Aljazeera?

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GOP Candidates Tout War and Aggression Against Iran


by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 

The debate was filled with bombastic war rhetoric against Iran, except for Ron Paul who drew parallels with the misguided calls in 2003 for war with Iraq

Republican presidential candidates were bombastic in Saturday night’s debate on the issue of Iran in light of the most recent U.N. nuclear watch-dog report on the country’s nuclear weapons program.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney railed against Obama for being weak on Iran. “If we reelect Barack Obama,” he pronounced, “Iran will have a nuclear weapon.”

When asked whether he would choose to strike Iran militarily, Romney said “absolutely,” so long as aggressive sanctions and covert war failed to end their nuclear enrichment.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report this week cobbling together uncorroborated intelligence from mainly U.S. and Israeli sources in an attempt to imply Iran may have a secret nuclear weapons program, although no direct evidence was offered. The political class and most of the media jumped on the opportunity to again portray Iran as on the verge of attaining nuclear weapons, as has been typical practice for war hawks for the past thirty years.

Newt Gingrich, former Republican Speaker of the House, openly advocated for increased covert terrorism against Iran. He suggested employing “maximum covert operations to block and disrupt the Iranian program including taking out their scientists, including breaking up their systems. All of it covertly, all of it deniable.”

By “taking out their scientists” Gingrich was referring to the current U.S.-Israeli strategy of assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists, incidentally quintessential acts of international terrorism. By reassuring listeners that all of these actions would be deniable, he was openly advocating for this presidential administration and the next to continue to lie about its foreign policy.

He also advocated “actively funding every dissident group in Iran.” Supporting with money an weapons domestic factions in adversarial countries – essentially supporting terrorism aimed at regime change – is a long-time activity of the U.S. government, but only recently has it been so blatantly explicit.

Rick Santorum agreed with Gingrich. “You know there have been scientists turning up dead in Russia and Iran, there have been computer viruses, there have been problems at their facility.” Here again, Santorum is referring to the concerted covert U.S. campaign of cyber-terrorism, commercial sabotage, targeted assassinations, and proxy wars currently underway in Iran.

“I hope that the United States has been involved with that. I hope that we’ve been doing everything we can covertly to make sure that program doesn’t proceed forward,” Mr. Santorum said. He then explicitly advocated for a preemptive unilateral strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, which it maintains are solely for civilian purposes, a claim for which no person or organization has presented evidence disproving.

“We should be working with Israel right now to do what they did in Syria, what they did in Iraq, which is take out that nuclear capability,” Mr. Santorum said, adding, ”Before the next explosion we hear in Iran is a nuclear one and the world changes.”

The feverish readiness for war or additional aggression against Iran broke only when Texas Representative Ron Paul insisted “it isn’t worth while” to go to war with Iran. “I’m afraid what’s going on right now,” Mr. Paul warned, “is similar to the war propaganda that went on against Iraq and, you know, they didn’t have weapons of mass destruction.”

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Senior officer killed in Iran blast


by crescentandcross in Uncategorized  

Brigadier general in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards killed in Saturday’s explosion at military base that left at least 17 people dead

More details emerging following explosion near Tehran: A senior officer in Iran’s weapons industry was killed in Saturday’s blast outside Tehran, officials in the country said.

The officer, identified as Hassan Tehrani Moqaddam, held a rank parallel to brigadier general in Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, the Fars news agency said. He reportedly served as a researcher at a Tehran university and headed the “Jihad Self-Reliance” unit, mostly tasked with developing arms and missiles following the embargo imposed on Iran since 1979.

Saturday’s blast killed at least 17 people and wounded 16 others, some of them gravely. Earlier reports put the number of fatalities at 27, but a Revolutionary Guards spokesman said the numbers were inflated as result of a “fax error.” The official apologized to the Iranian people for the supposed error.

‘Missile base hit in blast’ 

Iranian officials said the explosion was an accident that took place while munitions were being moved inside the military base. However, according to opposition reports the base where the huge blast took place is home to a Revolutionary Guards missile unit and holds long-rang Shihab-3 missiles.

A former spokesman for the Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK, in Washington, citing reliable sources inside Iran, said Saturday that the explosion hit the Modarres Garrison of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps west of Tehran. Alireza Jafarzadeh said the garrison belongs to the IGRC’s missile unit and the blasts “resulted from the explosion of IRGC missiles.”

Although Iranian reports did not refer to the possibility that the base was struck from the air, some assessments indicate that the explosion may have been the result of a military operation based on intelligence information. 

Tehran Police Chief Ahmad-Reza Radan said that a specialized team has been dispatched to the scene to examine the circumstances surrounding the blast.

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Mondoweiss online Newsletter


A weekend of terror in Occupied Palestine

Nov 13, 2011


IDF thugs attack Palestinian and International activists in June; though this video is months old, it merits all the exposure we can give it.

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Restriction of Movement

Bedouin oppose Israeli plans to relocate communities
Bedouin in the occupied West Bank and in Israel’s Negev desert say they fear for their future as new reports circulate that the Israeli authorities plan to relocate them. International aid and Bedouin groups say tens of thousands of people could ultimately be affected.
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Israel stalling release of damning report on West Bank outpost
The outpost, Derekh Ha’avot, established early 2001 and is home to about 35 families; according to report 60 percent of the community is on Palestinian farmland.
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West Bank settlement is outdoing its neighboring Bedouin village
Dozens of people in Umm al-Khayr live in grinding poverty, next to a few hundred people to whom Israel has generously supplied, in the heart of the desert, the amenities for leading a comfortable modern life.

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Arabs squeezed as Jerusalem expands
Geographically, Beit Safafa – one of Jerusalem’s more middle-class Arab districts with a large minority of its residents, like Mr Akel, Israeli-Arab migrants from northern Israel – is not in east but south Jerusalem. But politically the neighbourhood is clearly on the Palestinian side of the “green line” that divided the city between 1948 and Israel’s conquest of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. This means the plan for Givat Hamatos, a large tract of open land with a temporary cluster of prefabs housing a small group of Ethiopian Jews, is not only illegal in international law but also a “provocative action” of just the sort the United Nations, European Union and United States warned against in September when they were trying to revive the peace process. And it is part of a wider policy that may help to explain the frustration with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Barack Obama vented in his now famous G20 meeting with Nicolas Sarkozy.
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Palestinian gov’t urges UNESCO to protect holy sites from Jewish settlers
The Palestinian government in Gaza appealed to the UNESCO to necessarily protect the Palestinian holy sites and heritage from ongoing acts of sabotage and destruction by Jewish settlers.
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Raed Salah wins permission to appeal against deportation decision
A press statement issued Friday by Irvine Thanvi Natas Solicitors, the law firm representing Sheikh Raed Salah, said that he won permission to appeal the ruling of the First-tier Immigration Tribunal.
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New Sheikh Jarrah Video from Just Vision
Just Vision, the folks I interned for last spring, are out with, “Home Front is a new series of four video portraits chronicling the resolve of a neighborhood, and the support it receives from the most unexpected of places.” It documents different Israelis and Palestinians involved in the Sheikh Jarrah movement, including a Palestinian teenager whose family who was evicted. TOD’s own Amir Terkel worked on the film. It is a wonderful primer on the movement, well worth the half hour or so to watch all four.
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Israeli Regime Violence Against Palestinians and International Activists

Israeli occupation gunboats fire at fishing boats opposite Gaza
Israeli occupation gunboats on Friday morning opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats opposite Gaza City coast, no casualties were reported.
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IOF troops open machinegun fire at Palestinian farms in southern Gaza on Saturday
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened their heavy machineguns from military watchtowers at Palestinian farms and homes on Saturday.
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Nabi Saleh Protest Organizer Shot in Face at Weekly Protest
In the village of an-Nabi Salah, in the district of Ramallah, an organizer of the weekly non-violent protest, Abu Hussam Tamimi, was shot in the face by the Israeli military, at a distance of approximately 20 meters, according the the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, on Friday.
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As B’TSelem documents shooting of man, employee is arrested
A 55 year old Palestinian man was taken to hospital from Nabi Saleh due to an injury from a rubber coated steel bullet.  After two hours of demonstrating the Israeli Occupation Forces invaded Nabi Saleh and arrested one Palestinian, 36 year old Bilal Tamimi, who works for B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization.
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Injuries Reported at Five Non-Violent Protests; Multiple Arrests
Non-violent protests took place in five locations on Friday, in different parts of the West Bank, resulting in injuries at all five locations and arrests in the village of al-Ma’sara, near Bethlehem, Kafr Qaddum, near Qalqilya, and an-Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah.
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Violent clashes following Israeli violent raid on Silwan
Violent clashes erupted Friday evening in Silwan district between Jerusalemite young men and Israeli soldiers after the latter kidnapped young man Hamed Jaber from his home in the area.
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Palestinians, foreign activists hurt in IOF crackdown
Palestinian citizens and foreign solidarity activists were treated for teargas suffocation after Israeli occupation forces (IOF) used teargas to quell a peaceful anti wall march in Bilin village.
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Settler Terrorism Against Palestinians

22 Palestinians Injured, 100 Trees Damaged in Settler Attacks in Week, says OCHA
JERUSALEM, November 12, 2011 (WAFA) – A total of 22 Palestinians  were injured and over 100 olive trees damaged in clashes and settler attacks between October 26 and November 1st, according to the Protection of Civilians Weekly Report issued Saturday by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). During the week, when the Israeli government announced plans to  construct 2,000 new settlement housing units in the Jerusalem area, Palestinian injuries and property losses continued to occur in protests against access restrictions aimed at protecting existing settlements, as well as in settler attacks.  OCHA documented six settler attacks leading to casualties or property damage, all of which took place in the context of the olive harvest.
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OCHA: Settler Attacks against Palestinians Increased by 40% in 2011
JERUSALEM, November 12, 2011 (WAFA) – The weekly average settler attacks resulting in Palestinian casualties and property damage has increased by 40% in 2011 compared to 2010, and by over 165% compared to 2009, according to a report issued Saturday by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). In 2011, three Palestinians were killed and 167 injured by Israeli settlers, whereas one Palestinian was killed and 101 others injured by Israeli soldiers during clashes between Israeli settlers and Palestinians, said the report. Eight Israeli settlers were killed and 30 others injured by Palestinians in 2011, compared to five killed and 43 injured in 2010.
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Gaza Siege

Egypt detains 4 Palestinians in Rafah
EL-ARISH (Ma’an) — Egyptian forces on Friday detained four Palestinians suspected of trying to enter Egypt through underground tunnels from Gaza, security sources said.  Egyptian security officials said three students and a merchant were seized exiting a tunnel in Rafah, a city straddling the Egypt-Gaza border. They have been detained for questioning, the officials added.
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Int’l delegation in Gaza soon to issue declaration against blockade
About 200 parliamentary and political figures from different countries are expected to arrive in the besieged Gaza Strip on 21 November.
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Child Arrests / Political Detainees / Prisoner Swap

Israeli navy kidnaps two Palestinian children and uncle fishing in Gazan waters
Seventeen-year-old Abdul Qader Baker still has no idea why the Israeli navy surrounded his small fishing boat at 4 a.m. Thursday morning, ordered him, his 17-year-old cousin Mohamed Baker, and his uncle, Arafat Baker, to strip off their clothes, stand shivering in their underwear for an hour and a half and ultimately forced the group to Ashod.  The two high school students were released approximately twelve hours later, but their uncle remains in Israeli detention. “I was so scared and it was so cold,” Abdul Qader reported.  After the Israeli navy ordered the group to take off their clothes, Abdul Qader stated that “for two hours I had to stand, not moving, while [Israeli] snipers pointed their guns at me.”
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Two youth arrested in Silwan, another detained
Israeli forces arrested two young teens and detained a third on Thursday, 3 November in the district Al-Ein, Silwan. Hamza Jawad Jaber, 14, was accused of throwing stones at Israeli forces. Muhammad Mahmoud Shwayat, 17, was arrested the same day. Jaber’s 13-year old brother Fareed was also detained and taken for interrogation. Fareed’s father, present at the interrogation as his guardian, was assaulted by investigators and forced to leave the room. Investigators accused Fareed father of attempting to speak with his son. The father later told Silwanic that “the interrogators’ merely wanted to be alone with my son, to exert pressure on him more easily.” This is a common occurrence in interrogation of Palestinian minors, wherein parents or guardians are ejected from the investigation room by officers, who claim that the guardian is disrupting investigation. Shwayat appeared in court the same day, and was sentenced to house arrest outside Silwan in Shuafat Camp. He is not permitted to return to Silwan until the sentence is over.
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Youth arrested in Bir Ayyub
Haitham Quadir, 20, was arrested by Israeli forces in Bir Ayyub district of Silwan on Thursday, 3 November. On-lookers attempted to inform Israeli troops that Quadir suffers from multiple health issues and that they should reconsider the arrest, a request ignored by troops.
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Family says students detained while picking olives in Salfit
SALFIT (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained two men on Saturday while they were picking olives near the separation wall north of Salfit in the northern West Bank, family members said.  Islam Afana, a high school student and Saed Afana, a university student, were detained by Israeli soldiers while they were picking olives in the family’s field behind the separation wall, relatives said.
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Israeli forces ‘stop funeral’ near Hebron, make arrests
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces intervened in the funeral of a Palestinian woman in Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, on Friday, Palestinian activists in the West Bank village said.  Muhammad Ayyad Awad of the local popular committee said soldiers stopped the funeral from reaching a cemetery on the main road. The people had to go through a bypass road to reach the cemetery.
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Kufr Qaddoum: In the footsteps of an unwarranted arrest
Following the first barrage of tear gas during November 11th’s peaceful demonstration in Kufr Qaddoum , some Israeli soldiers began to make their way into the village. The soldiers picked up one villager, 30 year old Hazzem Barham, who was lying down unconscious from the tear gas and arrested him; carrying him into their jeep. Minutes later, after documenting the arrest of Barham, soldiers targeted an activist from the United States, handcuffed him and took him into a second jeep. Whilst arrested, soldiers took turns beating him, presumably for his solidarity with the non-violent Palestinian resistance.
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Alternative Information Center academic arrested
Alternative Information Center academic and activist Yakub Abu Assab was arrested in a night raid on his home by Israeli forces on Friday morning, 4 November. Forces stormed his home at 2am on Friday, arresting Assab. In addition to his work with the AIC, Assab serves as a member of the National Committee for Resisting Exile. He has been targeted for arrest many times by Israeli forces over the past seven years, and is now accused by Israeli officials of being an Islamic labor leader in Jerusalem. Many such figures have been arrested in the wake of the Israel-Hamas prisoner swap agreement.
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Occupation renews administrative detention of Asfour for eighth time
The Israeli occupation authorities renewed on Thursday the administrative detention of Hamas leader Adnan Asfour, 47, for another three months.
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Palestinian captives transferred to hospital as his health deteriorates
Palestinian sources said that the Eishel prison administration moved Reyad al-Ammour to Ramlah prison hospital because of the deterioration in his health, pointing out that he suffers heart problems.
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Israel in breach of prisoner swap deal, report
Ramallah, Nov 12 (Petra) — Israel did not live up to a prisoner swap deal reached with Hamas group last month and continued arbitrary measures against Palestinian detainees, according to a Palestinian Authority report issued Saturday. The report, released by the Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs, said Israel had not made good on a pledge to end collective punishment against thousands of prisoners, including allowing visits by relatives, after the deal under which more than one thousand Palestinians held in Israeli jails won their freedom in return for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. “The Israeli government has not committed to what has been agreed, particularly a waiver of arbitrary measures against the prisoners after the deal was implemented as a ban on university education for the detainees still stands and the money paid for that purpose withheld along with police raids on prisoners’ quarters,” it added. “Those measures escalated in a punitive fashion with the introduction of new penalties, that had not existed before the deal,” added the document. It said relatives of prisoners from the Gaza Strip had been barred from seeing their loved ones for the fifth year in a row.
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Solidarity / Activism / Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions

Occupation releases the last of solidarity activists of the Freedom Waves

Israeli occupation authorities released the rest of the international solidarity activists who were detained by the occupation authorities when their aid boats were hijacked.
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Proceedings in US National’s Civil Suit Over West Bank Injury to Begin on Thursday
Tristan Anderson, a US National, suffered a life-threatening injury after being shot in the head with a high velocity tear-gasprojectile during an anti-Wall demonstration on March 13th, 2009. On 13 March 2009, Israeli Border Police officers shot US activist from California,Tristan Anderson, in the head with a high velocity tear-gas projectile during a demonstration in the West Bank Village of Ni’ilin. He was shot from a distance of about 40 meters away, at a time when no clashes or protesters were in his immediate vicinity. As a result of the shooting, Anderson suffered serious brain damage and the loss of his eye, as well as being paralyzed on half of his body. His injuries prevent him from functioning as an independent adult. A criminal investigation into the incident by the Israeli police is still pending.
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Bill in Congress seeks to investigate US Boat to Gaza for “terrorist” ties, Ali Abunimah
A bill introduced in the United States Congress last month would require the State Department to investigate “The sources of any logistical, technical, or financial support for the Gaza flotilla ships, including the Audacity of Hope, that were set to set sail from Greece on July 1, 2011.”
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Return to Anatot, Pogrom Redux, Richard Silverstein
In a few hours, the courageous activists of Sheikh Jarrah will return to Anatot (English here), the site of a horrific pogrom several weeks ago which involved a knife assault by a settler hooligan-resident, a sexual assault, and broken ribs and noses suffered by the protesters.  I only wish I could join them myself.  But if you are in Israel and see this in time and can join the hevra, please do so.  It is critical to rally in support of the Palestinian farmer denied access to his fields by the Anatot settlement.  It is critical to support the right to protest in a free country.
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Fact Check!: DePaul students disrupt ‘Israel 101′; Northwestern students walk out on Israel propagandist
On the evening of November 10th, students and community members staged two simultaneous walkouts at events promoting Israel’s narrative of its history and  politics. At Northwestern University’s Evanston campus, demonstrators held a silent walkout during a presentation by Gil Hoffman, an Israeli military reservist and journalist. Meanwhile, on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus, students and community members used the “People’s Mic” technique – popularized by Occupy Wall Street – to disrupt a presentation sponsored by the organization Stand With Us. Organizers say that they protested because the presentations omitted the disturbing reality of Israel’s repeated  violations of international law and countless human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.
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Palestine comes to Atlanta: Linking the US and Palestinian civil rights movements, Jesse Benjamin
As the Civil Rights Mecca, Atlanta played a huge role in the global divestment campaign to bring down South African apartheid in the Seventies and Eighties. Now Atlanta is becoming a major site in the growing struggle for justice in Palestine.
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Palestinian Freedom Riders to ride settler buses to Jerusalem
Inspired by the Freedom Rides of the US Civil Rights Movement Palestinian activists will attempt to board segregated Israeli settler buses to occupied East Jerusalem. Groups of Palestinian Freedom Riders will attempt to board segregated settler buses heading to Jerusalem through the occupied West Bank this Tuesday November 15, in an act of civil disobedience that takes its inspiration from the US Civil Rights Movement Freedom Riders aim to challenge Israel’s apartheid policies, the ban on Palestinians’ access to Jerusalem, and the overall segregated reality created by a military and settler occupation that is the cornerstone of Israel’s colonial regime. While parallels exist between occupied Palestine and the segregated U.S. South in terms of the underlying racism and the humiliating treatment suffered then by blacks and now by Palestinians, there are also significant differences. In the 1960s U.S. South, black people had to sit in the back of the bus; in occupied Palestine, Palestinians are not even allowed ON the bus nor on the roads that the buses travel on, which are built on stolen Palestinian land.
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The story of one young person’s decision to quit his job in the Jewish community over Israel, Michael Deheeger
On October 26, I resigned from my position as Chicago Program Director for AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps. Each day I have spent in this job has been a blessing, but I have no choice in light of AVODAH’s decision to co-sponsor a 10-day “service-learning” trip to Israel with the American Jewish World Service through their joint initiative Pursue: Action for a Just World.
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As ultra-Orthodox flex muscle, Israel feminists see a backsliding
Women who thought Israel’s battle for gender equality was mostly won warn of a new assault from the fast-growing ultra-Orthodox, seeking to expand religious-based segregation into the public realm. When public buses rumble to a stop in some of Jerusalem’s religious neighborhoods, women often dutifully enter by the rear door and sit in the back, leaving the front for men.
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 Political Developments / Diplomacy / Other News

 Zahhar: No negotiations with Israel
Political bureau member of Hamas Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar has affirmed that his movement had not and would not hold any negotiations with Israel.
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Abbas announces meeting with Mishaal within 10 days
Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas announced on Friday that he would meet with Hamas political bureau chairman Khaled Mishaal within the next ten days to iron out reconciliation differences.
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Palestinian-UN Bid Rejected
UN Admission Committee, specialized for recognizing new states’ applications, submitted its report to the UN Security Council on Friday, reading that the Palestinian-UN full membership has been rejected after discussions regarding the Palestinian bid.
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Palestinians ponder next step in their statehood bid
After their successful bid to join UNESCO, they now seem uncertain about how best to win full U.N. membership. Leaders have acknowledged they don’t have the votes needed in the Security Council. After gaining momentum with their successful bid to join UNESCO, Palestinians now seem uncertain about their next move to win full membership in the United Nations and frustrated with their progress.
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Philippine: Time for Palestine to Gain Full UN Membership
RAMALLAH, November 12, 2011 (WAFA) – Philippine non-resident Ambassador to the Palestinian Authority, Julius Torres Saturday said it’s time for Palestine to fully exercise its rights and gain full membership in the United Nations, according to a press release issued by the foreign ministry. Torres, who is also the Pilipino ambassador to Jordan, in a meeting with the Assistant Foreign Minister for Asian and African Affairs, Mohammad Tarshehani, in Ramallah, stressed his country’s supporting position of the Palestinian cause up to establishing the Palestinian independent state. Torres also congratulated the Palestinian people for gaining a full membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Tarshehani and Torres discussed the political relations between Philippine and Palestine, as well as worked on a framework for economic, cultural, educational, tourist and athletic cooperation between the two sides.
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Rick Perry: Israel Foreign Aid Starts ‘At Zero’ [UPDATED]
Rick Perry called for a radical new approach to American foreign aid spending in the GOP debate Saturday night, proposing that all aid be reduced “to zero,” and then be re-implemented only once the country made a good case for their aid. Asked later in the night if he included Israel in that plan, Perry said he did. “Obviously Israel is a special ally, and my guess is we would be funding them at a high level,” Perry said, “but everyone should come in at zero.” It wasn’t quite calling for the end of foreign aid to Israel — Perry was quite clear he supported it — but the tricky question demonstrated the difficulty of the proposition he made earlier in the night.
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Bachmann: Obama Favors American Protesters Over Israel, Ali Gharib
During tonight’s national security and foreign policy GOP presidential debate on CBS, Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN) said that President Obama favors Americans protesting against income inequality over Israel, the U.S.’s chief ally in the Middle East. Bachmann said: President Obama has been more than willing to stand with Occupy Wall Street, but he hasn’t been willing to stand with Israel. Israel looks at President Obama, and they do not see a friend.
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PA marks Arafat’s death: ‘He was poisoned’
Ceremonies marking 7th anniversary of Palestinian leader’s death held in West Bank and abroad. Wife: Secret of Yasser’s death went with him to the grave.
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Even when Palestinians have nothing to do with Israeli crimes, terrorism is invoked: Rabbi killed by IDF fire to receive terror victim status
Defense Ministry decides to recognize Mount Hebron shooting incident as act of terror so that victim’s families will be eligible for National Insurance aid.
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U.S. / Other Mideast News

Arab-American man arrested by mistake in Michigan (Reuters)
Reuters – The Arab-American head of a Dearborn, Michigan community center was arrested by local police on suspicion of being wanted for funneling money to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, but was later found to be the wrong man and released, the FBI said on Saturday.*

Nasrallah: Military Intervention in Syria Will Spiral into Regional War
In his latest televised speech, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned that military intervention in Syria will lead to a regional war. He also chastised the US for cutting funding to UNESCO for the latter’s recognition of a Palestinian state.
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Arab League sanctions for Syria
The Arab League votes to suspend Syria from its meetings and impose other sanctions over its failure to end a government crackdown on protesters.
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Pro-Assad protesters storm diplomatic missions in Syria
‘We sacrifice our blood and our soul for you, Bashar,’ the crowd shouted, according to neighborhood residents.
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Iraq Violence Kills 7, Including Iranian Pilgrims
Over the last two days, at least four Iraqis were killed and 14 more were wounded in poorly covered attacks. Three Iranian pilgrims were killed as well, along with seven more who were injured during one bombing in Samarra. Due to the Eid al-Adha observances, reports were scant this week.
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Police say kidnappings on rise in Iraqi city (AP)
AP – An Iraqi police commander says rival gangs seeking ransom money to fund terror attacks are behind the recent abductions of four people in a volatile northern city.*

Egypt court bars former NDP members from vote; U.N. rights body warns of dwindling freedom of speech
An Egyptian court has ruled that members of ousted President Hosni Mubarak’s former party should be barred from running in a parliamentary election that starts this month, possibly opening the way to a host of legal challenges to candidate lists, as the U.N. human rights body warned that the space for freedom of expression was shrinking in Egypt.
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Niger to grant Gaddafi son asylum
Saadi Gaddafi to be given refuge on humanitarian grounds, as he is sought in Libya for murder-related charges.
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World’s poor to wait ‘200 years’ for sanitation
A global plan to halve by 2015 the number of people without access to sanitation is failing so badly that some of the world’s poorest countries will not have this basic necessity for another 200 years.
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Obama: US, Russia seek ‘common response’ on Iran
HONOLULU, Hawaii (AFP) — President Barack Obama said the United States and Russia would seek a “common response” to Iran’s nuclear challenge, despite strong reservations about new sanctions expressed by Moscow. After meeting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Obama said both sides “reaffirmed our intention to work to shape a common response so we can move Iran to follow its international obligations when it comes to its nuclear program.”
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Military strike against Iran Unlikely
Defence officials from both Israel and the US have publicly hosed down speculation that an attack on Iran’s nuclear program is imminent.
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Israel allegedly refuses to disclose its plans to U.S. regarding Iran
Israel has “rebuffed” President Obama’s request that it disclose any plans to attack Iraq, according to an anonymously sourced article in the U.K. newspaper The Daily Telegraph. Allegedly Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was told in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel would offer no guarantees that it would consult the U.S. before making a military strike against Iran.
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U.S. to Sell Bunker Buster Bombs to UAE for Use Against Iran, Richard Silverstein
It’s a sly and devious approach to promoting Middle East arms proliferation and saber rattling against Iran: the Obama administration (unlike the Bush administration which refused to do so) has already supplied Israel with the bunker buster bombs which they would need to (try to) take out Iran’s nuclear facilities.  But this makes us look like Israel’s weapons pimp.  So what better way to defuse that claim than by arming an Arab country that hates Iran almost as much as Israel, with the same weapons?  Now, if only Israel can persuade UAE to launch a joint attack on Iran you’d have an Israeli-Arab Coalition of the Willing, even if it’s only two.
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Bahrain joins Israeli/U.S. drumbeats of war against Iran in an attempt to delegitimize dissent: Cell ‘plotting attacks on Bahrain’ busted
Spokesman says five arrested planned to target interior ministry, Saudi embassy and a causeway.

Shin Bet Withheld Iran Secrets from Lieberman as Security Risk, Richard Silverstein
Israel Defense, the publication which covers the Israeli defense industry, reports that when Avigdor Lieberman was Minister for Strategic Affairs, in an earlier iteration of the Netnayahu government, the Shin Bet, which determines security clearances, refused to approve access to some of the nation’s secret information about Iran.  In contrast, the current minister filling that portfolio, Moshe Yaalon, has full access.

Reality Withdrawal:The Iran Nuclear Scare™ Cycle Continues, Nima Shirazi
report from the semi-official Fars News Agency in Iran is sure to send the Bomb Iran crowd into a frenzy. But it shouldn’t. “Parliamentary sources revealed on Saturday that Iran’s legislature is due to discuss the country’s withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director-general released a biased report against Iran,” Fars reported. The Vice-Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mohammad Kowsari said a commission would consider withdrawing from the NPT in response to “a relevant demand by a major political faction of the Iranian university students.”
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The Little Iran Nuclear Report that Couldn’t, Juan Cole
A key allegation in the IAEA report on Iranian nuclear activities has fallen apart. Gareth Porter has been able to use interviews and other material to demonstrate that Vyacheslav Danilenko, a Russian scientist referred to without being identified in the report, is not a nuclear weapons expert. His field is nanotechnology (making tiny machines), and Iran has been looking into making diamonds with nanotechnology, bypassing the middle man.
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Striking Iran: Israel’s War Wager, Jonathan Cook
Israel is trying to exploit the international community’s uncertainty about how to respond to this week’s report by the UN nuclear watchdog on Iran’s nuclear program to justify a possible military strike against Iran. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s report indicated Iran has secretly worked for years on developing a nuclear warhead and might still be doing so. The IAEA report is certain to lead to demands by the US and Europe for stiffer sanctions on the Iranian regime. Russia and China, meanwhile, have urged dialogue and cooperation with Iran. Amid the divisions, British government officials said this week that Israel was preparing to launch a military attack on Iran’s suspected nuclear sites within the next two months, probably with logistical support from the United States.
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Iran’s “Soviet Nuclear Scientist” Never Worked on Weapons, GARETH PORTER
The report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published by a Washington think tank Tuesday repeated the sensational claim previously reported by news media all over the world that a former Soviet nuclear weapons scientist had helped Iran construct a detonation system that could be used for a nuclear weapon.  But it turns out that the foreign expert, who is not named in the IAEA report but was identified in news reports as Vyacheslav Danilenko, is not a nuclear weapons scientist but one of the top specialists in the world in the production of nanodiamonds by explosives.
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Analysis / Op-ed

On relations between Hamas and Europe
It is well known that Europe has been divided over what to do about Hamas over the past five years. At no point has there been a consensus on how to manage communications or build relationships with the Islamic Resistance Movement; it’s been a controversial issue, with some European capitals opening secret communication channels between leading Hamas figures and government officials. Such initiatives have all been instigated by European countries individually, not collectively.
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 ‘Washington Post’ runs long prominent piece on young Palestinians who reject ‘shriveled’ state and emulate civil, Philip Weiss
Let’s celebrate the brilliant journalism of Joel Greenberg in the Washington Post last weekend, a profile of young Palestinian activist Hurriya Ziada that deploys all a reporter’s tools to convey the thinking of someone new and important who is Palestinian. I believe Greenberg or his Conservative rabbi father moved to Israel from the U.S., and I have probably accused him of being a Zionist at some time (I have a popgun), but this is fabulous reporting. It is a simple effort to convey the shifting consciousness of Palestinians and the growing hatred of the two-state Bantustan solution to American readers. The piece has 446 comments, a reflection of its importance. This is how Americans will learn about the true dimensions of this conflict, from brave reporters who are more interested in what the world looks like than in tired American assumptions about the world.
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Occupy Wall Street Stifled Solidarity With Gaza Flotilla at Dan Sieradski’s Urging, Richard Silverstein
At first I thought this issue was much ado about very little, but the various ways in which Dan Sieradski, co-founder of Occupy Judaism, has attempted to deflate or deflect the controversy he started, and thedisingenuousness of the arguments he’s used to defend his actions, have made it a very important one.  As the Gaza flotilla boats were steaming toward Palestine, someone tweeted on the @OWS Twitter feed.
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Why we Occupy Wall Street, not Palestine, by CAROLYN KLAASEN, LIZA BEHRENDT, AND JESSE BACON
The virtual ink was barely dry on our “Occupy the Occupiers” declaration when Marc Tracy weighed in on Tablet’s Scroll blog. At the end of an article where he defends Occupy Wall Street (OWS) from charges of Anti-Semitism, he gets to our declaration and reverses course. Suddenly he displays nothing but defensiveness regarding the Jewish institutions that repress the very sentiment of dissent that OWS expresses.
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The Seizure of the Gaza Boats, RAMZY BAROUD
Another mission accomplished, or so it seems. Israeli navy ships have managed to thwart yet another civil society ‘provocation’ (as described by a spokesman for the Israel Embassy in Dublin, Irish Times, November 4). Thus the 27 activists from nine countries aboard two boats were rounded up and hauled, along with their ‘provocative’ medical supplies, to the Israeli port of Ashdod. It was a successful operation conducted by a well-equipped navy, one that is credited for sinking numerous Gaza fishing boats, while forcing fishermen to swim naked back to shore. Of course, one can hardly address such valor without mention of the May 2010 attack on the Mavi Marmara, which killed nine Turkish activists and wounded many more.
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Max Blumenthal on Jennifer Rubin
“On October 25, here at Al-Akhbar, I drew attention to Washington Post “Right Turn” columnist Jennifer Rubin’s re-tweet of a call by professional neocon Rachel Abrams for the mass murder of Palestinians. In my post, I urged readers to write Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton and inquire if the Post has a policy regarding staffers who promote mass murder, ethnic violence, and hate speech. Yesterday, Pexton weighed in on the matter in his “Post Roast” column, crediting my post at Al-Akhbar with exposing Rubin’s re-tweet. Pexton asked Rubin if her re-tweet was simply an innocent gesture intended to direct her followers to a widely discussed piece of inflammatory writing, or if it was an explicit endorsement of Abrams’ call for murdering Palestinians, whom she described as “unmanned animals” and “child-sacrificing savages.” Rubin replied matter-of-factly that it was the latter: she supported Abrams’ message. According to Pexton, “But in this case Rubin told me that she did agree with Abrams. Rubin said that she admires Abrams, has quoted her a lot, thinks she’s an excellent writer and endorsed the sentiment behind the Abrams blog post.”
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‘Post’ ombudsman secretly admits that a writer who attacked Israelis as Rubin attacked Palestinians would lose her job, Philip Weiss
Glenn Greenwald asks a lot of the right questions about the staying power of neoconservative blogger Jennifer Rubin (right) in “Why the Washington Post won’t fire Jennifer Rubin.”
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Lookin’ for love in all the wrong places — Why is JDate advertising in the Gaza Strip? , RADHIKA SAINATH
Whether I’m reading the New York Times, perusing Facebook or checking my gmail account, Israeli companies bombard me with deals on manicures and massages beckoning me to “meet Jewish singles in my area.”  But I live in the besieged Gaza Strip, where 77% of the population lives below the poverty line of $2 a day, where 15% of children are stunted from malnutrition and the Israeli blockade has caused 163 key medicines to go out of a stock. The only Jewish singles in my area are those routinely flying F-16s above my apartment, firing at Palestinian fishermen off the coast, driving tanks through bulldozed orchards or shooting at me when I’m taking a Friday evening stroll. I really don’t want to meet them in my area “for dating and romance” or any other purpose.  And, given those bullets that passed eerily close to my head two weeks ago, I’m pretty sure they don’t want to meet me.
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Ray Hanania Doesn’t Know Nancy Ajram, “Bettered” Than Abba Eban
Ray Hanania’s best humor is always unintentional.  During his Radio Show today, November 11, he misunderstood a reference to Nancy Ajram, a popular Arab singer, and the Arab world’s version of a talentless, cultural “pop-tart”.  His gaffe occurred during a discussion of a local election in Michigan and Arab-American political apathy.  A caller into the show wanted to express his view that Arab-Americans are not politically active, and would be more interested in coming out to see a concert than to come out and vote in elections (44:25).
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Right of Return – Book Review, Ludwig Watzal
(Francis A. Boyle, The Palestinian Right of Return under International Law, Clarity Press, Atlanta, GA, 2011, 134 pp.) According to U. N. General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) of December 11, 1948, the Palestinian refugees have the right to return and receive financial compensation for lost property. “Refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property…”  The same body admitted in resolution 273 Israel as a member state to the U. N. on May 11, 1949 after Israel implements other U. N.  Resolutions including resolution 194 and 181. Up till now, Israel has fallen short of its pledge.
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Robert Fisk: Will computers make extinct the last of Islam’s proud and honourable calligraphers?
Dr Jamal Naja meets me in a coffee shop just down the road from his home in Alamuddin Street, a quiet almost mischievous face, greying hair, and he lays – with great care – a black packet on the table in front of him.
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US Freedom Riders woke a nation. Palestinian Freedom Riders must wake the world

Nov 13, 2011

Clarence B. Jones

(Clarence B. Jones is Scholar in Residence, Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University)

Last month I was invited as a guest to a reunion of former Assistant and Deputy Attorneys General from the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department during the presidencies of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Pulitzer-Prize-winning civil rights historian Taylor Branch and civil rights activists Julian Bond and Robert Moses also attended. Moses had been Mississippi Field Director of Voter Registration for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee during the 1960s. The reunion was also the occasion for the celebration of the 90th birthday of John Doer, the former Civil Rights Division’s Deputy Attorney General.

Several historically memorable civil rights events were discussed: Albany, Ga., 1962; Birmingham, Ala., 1963; the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, 1963; Mississippi summer of 1964; the march from Selma to Montgomery, 1965; the Voting Rights Act of 1965; etc. As Dr. King’s lawyer and political advisor during those years and events, I represented him and the SCLC. We frequently appealed for support and assistance from either Attorney General Robert Kennedy and/or President Johnson.

We were often positioned or viewed as “adversarial.” On the orders of Attorney General RFK, wiretaps were illegally installed on my home and office phones, along with the home and office phones of Dr. King, by J. Edgar Hoover, from July 13, 1963 until the end of December 1967. After transcribing the content of every conversation, 24/7/365, that took place between us, the wiretaps were discontinued by Attorney General Ramsey Clark.

I was glad to learn more about the individual dedication of several lawyers in the Justice Department during those years. They worked to enable the civil rights movement to succeed in challenging racial segregation in public facilities and sought to protect our efforts at voter registration. As historian Nick Kotz writes in Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Laws that Changed America, “Without tens of thousands of demonstrators demanding change as they transformed restaurant counters into venues for sit-ins, bus trips in to Freedom Rides, and voter registration into bloody battlefields, the shining moments of the 1960s never would have become a possibility.”

The Civil Rights Division’s “baptism by fire” during the administration of President Kennedy was the interracial Freedom Riders journeys to desegregate interstate bus transportation. The Freedom Riders sounded an alarm bell to awaken our nation’s conscience to one of the most egregious and personally humiliating forms of racial segregation that hundreds of thousands of African Americans had to endure, the precepts and principles of equality and justice enshrined in our Declaration of Independence notwithstanding.

During the “Arab Spring” I was pleased to learn that several of its leaders had not only read about Mahatma Gandhi’s and Dr. King’s philosophies and actions of nonviolent civil disobedience, but they had also studied Gene Sharp’s Self-Liberation: A Guide to Strategic Planning for Action to End a Dictatorship or Other Oppression, published by the Albert Einstein Institution. Earlier this week I received a press release that reminded me of the connection a new generation of people from the Middle East feels about the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. The release says that next Tuesday Palestinian activists from the Ramallah Cultural Palace in the West Bank “will attempt to board segregated Israeli public transportation headed from inside the West Bank to occupied East Jerusalem in an act of civil disobedience inspired by the Freedom Riders of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement in the 60s.” The press release continues by saying:

Fifty years after the U. S. Freedom Riders staged mixed-race bus rides through the roads of the segregated American South, Palestinian activists will attempt to board segregated Israeli public transportation headed from inside the West Bank … asserting their right for liberty and dignity by disrupting the military regime of the Occupation through peaceful civil disobedience.

While it is not officially forbidden for Palestinians to use Israeli public transportation in the West Bank, these lines are effectively segregated, since many of them pass through Jewish-only settlements, to which Palestinian entry is probhited by a military decree.

The media seems fixated on Herman Cain’s alleged sexual misconduct, Governor Rick Perry’s momentary lapses of memory, Mitt Romney’s alleged political “flip-flops,” and who will emerge as the GOP challenger to the reelection of President Obama. Nevertheless, as the recent disclosure of an unknown open mic discussion between Presidents Obama and Sarkozy about Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu indicates, major matters continue that affect U.S. foreign policy toward Israel, the Palestinians and the Middle East.

Once again, America is transfixed on an incident of alleged sexual harassment by a political figure intertwined with the issue of race. Meanwhile, our outsized debt, national spending, high unemployment, housing foreclosures and Wall Street bonuses also continue unabated.

It is refreshing that amidst all of this Sturm und Drang, some Palestinian activists remain inspired by the legacy of our Freedom Riders.

The question confronting us is whether our sense of moral responsibility can transcend the latest “scandal” of the week long enough for us to focus our attention on the plea from our Palestinian brothers and sisters.

Just as our Freedom Riders in the 20th century were primarily directed to awaken the conscience and sense of decency in the majority of white America, our Palestinian “Freedom Riders” brothers and sisters are seeking, in the 21st century, to awaken the conscience of the world and a majority of Israelis.

On Nov. 8 the Associated Press reported that the State Department had announced that “International Mideast mediators will hold separate talks with the Israelis and Palestinians this week in a bid to re-launch stalled peace talks after a series of setbacks that have badly damaged prospects for negotiations.” This is good news.

My attendance at the reunion of lawyers from the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department reminded me of what Martin Luther King, Jr. would often say: “The moral arc of the Universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” It is this same moral arc that enabled Civil Rights Justice Department personnel to gather in pride to celebrate their work more than 50 years ago and enabled me to see them with greater respect than I did at the time.

I woke up this morning humming a song from our Civil Rights Movement. It made me think about Dr. King’s moral “arc.” The “arc” is also resilient enough for me to hear the plea of the Palestinian “Freedom Riders” from Ramallah in the West Bank.

I hope that amidst the media clatter of domestic presidential politics, you can also hear them.

Clarence B. Jones is the former personal counsel, adviser, draft speech writer and close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He is Scholar in Residence at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.  Author of  Behind The Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation , his personal, insider’s account of the 1963 March On Washington.This piece appeared first on Huffington Post.

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Hard-line Zio-Nazi Cabinet minister Avigdor Lieberman denied access to sensitive intelligence


by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 

Associated Press

A senior Israeli official said Saturday that sensitive intelligence information was withheld from the country’s hawkish foreign minister when he was the strategic affairs chief several years ago.

The official did not give the reason for the measure against Soviet-born Avigdor Lieberman, which would be rare for a top official and doubly extraordinary for a minister whose portfolio specifically deals with coordinating security initiatives. The most important work of the ministry in recent years has involved the threat from Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.

However, immigrants from Communist nations are known to struggle with gaining security clearance — and this may be true of Lieberman, who is considered close to some top officials in his homeland. Furthermore, Lieberman’s situation has been complicated by years of corruption probes.

The official said Lieberman had not been given full access to secret information while he was minister of strategic affairs from October 2006 to January 2008. The official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, said that did not mean Lieberman was under any particular suspicion. The official did not know whether Lieberman’s security clearance was upgraded in 2009, when he became foreign minister in the current, more hawkish government.

Lieberman’s spokesman, Tzachi Moshe, said the allegations were “absolutely and unequivocally false,” adding that Lieberman passed a comprehensive security inspection and as strategic affairs minister held dozens of meetings with the heads of the Mossad intelligence agency.

A spokesman for Ehud Olmert, prime minister at the time, denied any knowledge of Lieberman’s supposed marginalization. He, too, spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity.

Lieberman, who immigrated from what is now Moldova some three decades ago, founded the hard-line Yisrael Beitenu party, which currently holds the third biggest faction in parliament, giving its leader significant clout. He is known for his combative style and a brash brand of diplomacy that seems to have won Israel few friends in his years as foreign minister.

He has, however, been warmly received in Belarus, which he has frequently visited and where he is considered close to the leadership, which is widely seen as one of the most authoritarian in Europe.

He is currently awaiting a final hearing on whether he will face corruption charges. Israel’s attorney general announced in April that he intended to indict the foreign minister on charges of breach of trust, aggravated fraud, money laundering and harassing a witness. Lieberman is suspected of illicitly receiving money and laundering it through shell companies.

If indicted, Lieberman would likely be forced to resign. He has denied the accusations.

The strategic affairs portfolio, created largely to accommodate Lieberman, is currently held by former military chief Moshe Yaalon.

US blog: Mossad behind Iran blast

Blogger Richard Silverstein claims Israel orchestrated explosion that killed 17 at Iranian missile storage facility, in collaboration with local militant group


US blogger Richard Silverstein said Saturday that Israel was the mastermind behind the blast the killed at least 17 people at an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps base near Tehran.

In his blog, Tikun Olam, Silverstein quotes an Israeli expert as saying that the Mossad was responsible for the explosion, in collaboration with the Iranian militant opposition group Mojahedin-e-Khalq.

“It is widely known within intelligence circles that the Israelis use the MEK for varied acts of espionage and terror ranging from fraudulent Iranian memos alleging work on nuclear trigger devices to assassinations of nuclear scientists and bombings of sensitive military installations,” Silverstein said.

He attributed an incident similar to Saturday’s explosion which occurred at a different IRGC missile base last year to Mossad sabotage.

Silverstein noted that his source “has never been wrong so far in the reports he’s offered.”

‘External sabotage unlikely’

Meanwhile, a former IRGC soldier said that the explosion occurred at military storage facility where Shihab missiles are stored. Hamed Ebrahimi, who served at the base for two months, told the Iranian online daily Rooz that the tough security at the facility makes it highly unlikely that the blast was caused by an act of external interference.

The soldier said that the base is split into two divisions; one stores missiles, while the other serves as an air force training center.

A senior IRGC officer was among the massive blast’s victims. The officer, identified as Hassan Tehrani Moqaddam, held a rank parallel to brigadier general, the Fars news agency said. He reportedly served as a researcher at a Tehran university and headed the “Jihad Self-Reliance” unit, mostly tasked with developing arms and missiles following the embargo imposed on Iran since 1979.

The explosion occurred 40 km (25 miles) outside Tehran, and was felt in the capital.

The IRGC ruled out the possibility that deliberate sabotage was behind the flare-up. On Saturday, it was reported that the blast occurred while munitions were being moved.

“The primary cause for the explosion is being determined, and will be made public at a later date,” IRGC spokesman Ramezan Sharif said, stressing that the 17 people who died in the incident and the 16 who were injured were all IRGC operatives, and not civilians.

The funeral procession for the victims has been scheduled for Monday, and is to leave the IRGC’s headquarters in Tehran.

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Arab League may pave way for military action in Syria


by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 

A military move against Syria could also imply intent to attack Iran, just when the Western states want to dispel the fears that the Iranians, Russians and Chinese have of such an attack.


The Arab League’s decision to suspend Syria’s membership, impose economic sanctions and discuss transition-period arrangements with the opposition, could pave the way to a military offensive on Syria, similar to the one on Libya.

However, it’s doubtful whether Western states – who have so far used the lack of Arab support for intervention to justify their inaction – will take advantage of this. That’s because, unlike the attack on Libya, an offensive against Syria could have dramatic regional repercussions.

Iran could decide to open its own front and Hezbollah – as leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah threatened last week – could launch an attack on Israel. A military move against Syria could also imply intent to attack Iran, just when the Western states want to dispel the fears that the Iranians, Russians and Chinese have of such an attack.

This is not the first time the Arab League has suspended a member state. It suspended Egypt’s membership for 10 years after it signed the peace agreement with Israel, and suspended Libya’s membership. But the decision against Syria is not merely a penal measure. In addition to delegitimizing President Bashar Assad’s regime, it grants Arab legitimization to the large, albeit not exclusive, opposition faction – the National Syrian Council, established in Istanbul. The council has been recognized for the first time as the official representative of the Syrian people.

By so doing, the Arab League is assuming the role of “regime maker,” which acts rather than merely responds. Its move is likely to lead Russia to meet with the opposition representatives for the first time as well. If such a meeting takes place, it will mark a dramatic turning point in Russia’s position; until now it has sided with Assad.

Iraq has so far refrained from supporting the League’s decision, but did not oppose it as Lebanon and Yemen did. Iraq, which coordinates its foreign policy with Iran, voted in a manner reflecting Iran’s distress.

Iran, which is not a league member, is still sticking to its support of Assad. But in recent weeks Iranian leadership officials have been calling to stop the brutal oppression in Syria.

Opposition officials in Syria reported that Iranian officials have met Syrian opposition members to discuss “the future.” As far as Iran is concerned, “the future” will oblige it to examine its own relations with the opposition, to make sure the Arab League’s decision does not leave it bereft of Syrian allies.

Hence the importance of the league’s decision, which poses a strategic dilemma both to the West and to Iran.

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U.S. demands Iran respond to IAEA report within days


 by crescentandcross in Uncategorized

U.S. Secretary of State says at a Pacific Rim summit that Islamic Republic has ‘long history of deception’ regarding its nuclear program.


Iran must respond soon to a report by the UN atomic agency alleging that it is working secretly on developing a nuclear weapon, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday while attending a Pacific Rim summit.

Clinton said she discussed the issue with her counterparts gathered in Hawaii who also expressed serious concern over the issue.

“Iran has a long history of deception and denial regarding its nuclear program and in the coming days we expect Iran to answer the serious questions raised by this report,” Clinton told reporters.

“The U.S. will continue to consult closely with our allies on the next steps we can take to increase pressure on Iran,” Clinton said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency showed satellite images, letters and diagrams to 35 nations earlier Friday in Vienna as it sought to underpin its case that Iran apparently is working secretly on developing a nuclear weapon.

Iran’s chief envoy to the IAEA, however, rejected the presentation as based on material fabricated by the United States and its allies.

The IAEA report strongly suggested that Iran is using the cover of a peaceful nuclear program to produce atomic weaponry.

Iran is under UN sanctions for refusing to stop uranium enrichment — which can produce both nuclear fuel and fissile warhead material — and other suspected activities that the international community fears could be used to make atomic arms. It dismisses such allegations and says its activities are meant to be used only for energy or research.

Western diplomats hope a Nov. 17-18 meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation governing board will adopt a resolution denouncing Iran’s nuclear activities and calling on Tehran to start addressing the agency’s growing concerns about its aims.

But Russian and Chinese reluctance may hinder such steps.

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كشف دبلوماسى إسرائيلى عن قصة تنامى العلاقات الإسرائيلية مع قطر، والمساعى الإسرائيلية المستمرة لاختراق دول الخليج العربى، فى كتاب صدرت ترجمته العربية عن دار نشر «جزيرة الورد» بالقاهرة، منذ أيام.

يقول محمد البحيرى، مترجم الكتاب من اللغة العبرية، فى مقدمته، إن أهمية الكتاب تنبع من أن مؤلفه «سامى ريفيل» يعد واحدا ممن كان لهم باع طويل فى دفع التطبيع بين إسرائيل والعديد من الدول العربية، وكان أول دبلوماسى إسرائيلى يعمل فى قطر، وكان رئيس أول مكتب لتمثيل المصالح الإسرائيلية فى الدوحة خلال الفترة من عام 1996 إلى عام 1999، وعمل فى مكتب مدير عام وزارة الخارجية الإسرائيلية، ضمن فريق كانت مهمته دفع علاقات التطبيع الرسمية الأولى بين إسرائيل ودول الخليج العربى، وتنمية التعاون الاقتصادى بين إسرائيل والعالم العربى بأسره. وفى السنوات الأخيرة ترأس سامى ريفيل قسم العلاقات الإسرائيلية مع الاتحاد الأوروبى وحلف الناتو بوزارة الخارجية الإسرائيلية، ويعمل اليوم وزيرا مفوضا بسفارة إسرائيل فى العاصمة الفرنسية باريس

ويربط الدبلوماسى الإسرائيلى بين صعود الشيخ حمد بن خليفة آل ثان، أمير قطر، إلى سدة الحكم بعد انقلابه على والده وبين تسريع نمو العلاقات بين قطر وإسرائيل، فيقول إن الأمير سارع إلى توطيد علاقات بلاده مع الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية عبر توقيع اتفاقية دفاع مشترك معها، والسماح لها بإقامة قواعد عسكرية أمريكية فى قطر، الأمر الذى وفر حماية أمريكية للإمارة فى مواجهة أى ضغوط قد تتعرض لها من جانب الكبار المحيطين بها، لا سيما إيران والسعودية

وأشار إلى تصريح أدلى به الأمير القطرى الجديد لقناة «ام بى سى»، بعد 3 شهور فقط من توليه الحكم، قال فيه: «هناك خطة لمشروع غاز بين قطر وإسرائيل والأردن ويجرى تنفيذها»، وطالب الأمير بإلغاء الحصار الاقتصادى المفروض من جانب العرب على إسرائيل

ويقول سامى ريفيل إن إقبال قطر على التطبيع مع إسرائيل، وتصدير الغاز إليها تحديدا، كانا يستهدفان الترويج عالميا للحقل الشمالى الموجود فى قطر، الذى يوصف بأنه أكبر حقل للغاز الطبيعى فى العالم، ويقدر حجم الغاز الموجود فيه بما يزيد على 25 تريليون متر مكعب

ويؤكد «ريفيل» صعوبة نسج العلاقات القطرية – الإسرائيلية التى شارك فيها هو بنفسه، لولا المساعدة التى حظى بها من مسؤولين كبار فى قصر الأمير ووزارة الخارجية القطرية وشركات قطرية كبرى. ويقول: عملت خزائن قطر الممتلئة وعزيمة قادتها على تحويلها إلى لاعب مهم فى منطقة الشرق الأوسط، بما يتعدى أبعادها الجغرافية وحجم سكانها

ويدّعى «ريفيل» أن التوترات التى شهدتها العلاقات المصرية – القطرية ترجع إلى الضغوط التى مارستها مصر على قطر لكبح جماح علاقاتها المتسارعة باتجاه إسرائيل، بسبب قلق القاهرة على مكانتها الإقليمية من الناحية السياسية، وخوفا من أن تفوز الدوحة بصفقة توريد الغاز لإسرائيل بدلا من مصر، وهى الصفقة التى كانت وما زالت تثير الكثير من الجدل فى الأوساط السياسية والاقتصادية والشعبية أيضا. ويشيد الدبلوماسى الإسرائيلى بالشيخة موزة، قرينة أمير قطر، واصفا إياها بأنها باتت السيدة الأكثر تأثيرا فى العالم العربى، متفوقة بذلك على كل زوجات الرؤساء والملوك العرب

يؤرخ «ريفيل» لبداية العلاقات الإسرائيلية مع دول الخليج العربى باتفاقات أوسلو التى تم التوقيع عليها فى 1993، وبالإضافة إلى المحادثات الثنائية مع الفلسطينيين والتوصل إلى اتفاق السلام مع الأردن، كان هناك الحصاد المتجدد للمحادثات متعددة الأطراف لعملية السلام التى دشنت فى مؤتمر مدريد (أكتوبر 1991)، الذى جلست فيه إسرائيل حول مائدة واحدة مع دول عربية لم تقم معها علاقات دبلوماسية، لبحث التعاون فى قضايا المياه والاقتصاد ومراقبة التسلح والأمن الإقليمى، مشيرا إلى تحقق تقدم فى اتجاه إقامة مؤسسات إقليمية مشتركة فى الشرق الأوسط، مثل إقامة بنك إقليمى للتنمية

وأوضح «ريفيل» أن الاتصالات تركزت بشكل أساسى على إقامة علاقات سياسية بين إسرائيل وتلك الدول العربية التى لا حدود مباشرة لها مع إسرائيل، وعلى رأسها دول المغرب العربى: الجزائر وتونس والمغرب، ودول مجلس التعاون الخليجى الست السعودية، قطر، الكويت، البحرين، الإمارات العربية المتحدة، وسلطنة عُمان

وكان لجهود إسرائيل فى هذا الاتجاه نتائج فعلية، بحسب «ريفيل»، ففى شهر سبتمبر 1994 أعلن مجلس دول التعاون الخليجى عن وقف المقاطعة الاقتصادية غير المباشرة المفروضة على الشركات العاملة فى إسرائيل أو معها، ما أزال واحدة من أبرز العراقيل التى كانت تعيق عمل الشركات الأمريكية العاملة فى إسرائيل ودول النفط الخليجية، وتلا ذلك إقامة علاقات بين إسرائيل وهيئات ومؤسسات وشركات طيران عربية، مثل الخطوط الجوية الأردنية «رويال جوردونيان»، و«جالف إير» التى يقع مقرها فى البحرين، والخطوط الجوية القطرية «قطر إير»، وغيرها من الشركات التى خففت من القيود المفروضة على المسافرين والبضائع القادمة من إسرائيل إلى الدول العربية

ويقول الدبلوماسى الإسرائيلى إن رجال الأعمال الخليجيين اهتموا كثيرا بما شاهدوه من تقدم تكنولوجى إسرائيلى، وبصورة مبدئية كانت تقديرات معهد التصدير الإسرائيلى تشير إلى أن إسرائيل تصدر منتجات تقدر بمئات الملايين من الدولارات سنويا إلى دول الخليج العربى، فى مجالات متنوعة مثل وسائل الاتصالات، وأجهزة التبريد والتكييف، والتجهيزات الطبية، والبتروكيماويات، ومواد البناء والأغذية والمنتجات الزراعية

ويشير «ريفيل» إلى اتفاق قطرى – إسرائيلى لإقامة مزرعة حديثة تضم مصنعا لإنتاج الألبان والأجبان اعتمادا على أبحاث علمية تم تطويرها فى مزارع إسرائيلية بوادى عربة، من أجل منافسة منتجات السعودية والإمارات


Posted in Middle EastComments Off on QATAR ZIONIST LINK ?

Jerusalem mayor urges police: Stop exclusion of women on ads


by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 

Barkat asks Jerusalem District Police Commander to take step to ensure billboards with pictures of women are not defaced, following trend of late initiated by local ultra-Orthodox sector.

ed note–where, oh where are you, Sean Hannity, Pamela Geller, Geert Wilders, Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and the rest of the gang, with your trumpets and your drums and all the rest of your noise makers warning of the dangers of the “Judaic Taliban”? You know that if this were taking place in an Islamic country you would be pissing your pants in trying to warn the world about the dangersthat DEM MOOZLEMS pose to civilized society with their b”ackwards/woman-hating” ways.

Don’t bother answering the question–we all know how the game is played here. We all know if you DID make an issue of this, as well as all the other problematic things dealing with Jewish issues these days, you would be be outta here like a Ninja and looking for new work.


Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Sunday urged District Police Commander Niso Shaham to put a stop to the exclusion of women’s images from billboards across the city, and to the defacing of advertisements on which women do appear, both trends initiated of late by the local ultra-Orthodox sector.

“We must make sure that those who want to advertise [with] women’s images in the city can do so without fear of vandalism and defacement of billboards or buses showing women,” Barkat wrote Shaham.

One example of women disappearing from billboards in Jerusalem is in the winter campaign of clothing outlet Honigman: Whereas model Sandy Bar appears in wool knit outfit in ads elsewhere in the country, in the Jerusalem ads all that remains is her arm and purse.

Another instance is an ad for the organization that encourages organ donation that appears in buses, in which a mosaic-like representation of people are shown holding donor cards – all of them men.

Hundreds of demonstrators around the country on Friday gathered to sing in protest against the exclusion of women from public areas. The protest also followed an incident at an Israel Defense Forces event, where four religious male cadets left because women were singing.

Last week, six women met in Jerusalem to be photographed so their pictures can be hung from balconies throughout the city, to counteract what they say is an attempt to keep women out of advertising in the capital.

Posted in ZIO-NAZIComments Off on Jerusalem mayor urges police: Stop exclusion of women on ads

Head of Michigan Arab-American center mistakenly jailed


by crescentandcross in Uncategorized 



Associated Press

Police in suburban Detroit mistakenly arrested the head of a popular Arab-American cultural center and held him overnight in jail, believing he was a man charged in a conspiracy to funnel money to Hezbollah from the sale of stolen and counterfeit goods.

Dearborn police claiming to be investigating a break-in asked Ali Hammoud for identification and arrested him outside his home Friday night, attorney Majed Moughni said.

“They said they had a warrant for his arrest. He was coming back from a dinner, a family gathering,” Moughni said.

But police had the wrong Hammoud.

A man with the same name was indicted with 18 people in Detroit in 2003 in a conspiracy involving the sale of illegal cigarettes, counterfeit Viagra and stolen goods to support Hezbollah, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group. That man has not been found.

An FBI agent went to the Dearborn police station Saturday and told Hammoud he was not the man wanted by authorities, Moughni said.

Hammoud is president of Bint Jebail Cultural Center in Dearborn, a Detroit suburb that is home to one of the largest Muslim populations in the country. The center has hosted ceremonies for new U.S. citizens and speeches by prominent government officials, including CIA Director Leon Panetta, in 2009.

Dearborn police had no immediate comment. FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold said police arrested a man who fit a description on a federal warrant, but the FBI was not directly involved in the arrest.

Moughni said Hammoud did not want to comment about the incident.

“He’s very well respected and liked. People are angry,” the lawyer said. “If this can happen to a pillar of the community, it can happen to anyone.”

Osama Siblani, publisher of The Arab American News in Dearborn, said he called the Dearborn police chief and the FBI to let them know Hammoud was the wrong man.

“This is not the end of the world but it’s no small thing,” Siblani said. “The charges are unbelievable. He has raised three doctors, a very down-to-earth guy. For me to even imagine he would do something like this is beyond my imagination.”

Posted in USAComments Off on Head of Michigan Arab-American center mistakenly jailed

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